Financing the stimulus #1

Devesh Kapur and Arvind Subramanian, writing in the Business Standard:

In principle, there are five ways of financing additional expenditures over the next 12 months or so:

  • Reduction in other expenditures (Rs 1-1.5 trillion)
  • Foreign borrowing, from official sources and non-resident Indians (NRIs; Rs 1-1.5 trillion)
  • Public financing by issuing g-secs (including to banks and LIC) (Rs 5 trillion)
  • Monetary financing or “printing money” (Rs 1-1.5 trillion)
  • Mobilizing additional resources via raising taxes and cutting subsidies (Rs 1-1.5 trillion)

The rest of the article explains their rationale behind each point above. Essential reading!

Assorted corona links for Monday, 13th April

  1. False negatives don’t matter as much as you might think.
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    “The simulated data here contrast policies that isolate people who test positive using four different assumptions about the quality of the test. Even a very bad test cuts the fraction of the population who are ultimately infected almost in half. And when I say bad, I mean bad – an 80% false negative rate, which means that 4 out of 5 of people who are truly infectious will get a negative test result – i.e. a result saying that they are not infectious.”
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  2. An interview with Bob Nelsen. Worth reading!
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    “I mean, I’m biased, but I think antibodies are probably the highest probability to work. I hope some mRNA works. I think if you ask scientists, they’re more skeptical. But I hope it works, especially in populations that tend to have weak immune systems. When you get skepticism about mRNA, it tends to be, ‘Yeah, it might work in a young person, but how is it going to work in the populations at risk?’ My own gut feeling is that mRNAt works a little and I hope it works a lot. And even then, there’s a role for all of the systems.If mRNA works, it bides us time to develop more potent, longer term vaccines. Antibodies will likely work and have the highest probability of working. There are multiple companies pursuing antibody therapy. So you hope that mRNA and antibiotic therapy start ramping up by the fall.”
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  3. What is mRNA? Here you go.
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  4. Doing it like Singapore.
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    “We try not to meet at all with the other teams as much as possible. We’ll just say hi from across the corridor. Meals are the same. All our cafeterias and everything have got social distancing spaced in already,” said Chia, who is also a member of parliament and chairs a shadow committee on health.”
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  5. The Bill Gates TED Talk about pandemics (from 2015!)

Back To Posting Regularly. Hopefully.

I wrote every day on this blog from the 13th of June, 2018. No exceptions. Until sometime last week. I was done.

I don’t know what, exactly, was the tipping point. But I just couldn’t write anymore, so I didn’t.

To those of you who asked about me, thank you! I’m perfectly fine. I just needed to step away, and so I did.

Today, I felt like getting back on the treadmill, so here we go again.

I’m perfectly ok, to be clear. But I will take breaks if I need to from writing about the damn virus, because god knows it helped.

Thank you for reading, as always.