The economic impact according to a major investment bank’s private briefing

31 March 2020 I participated in a call this evening with a major investment bank, where two well-known economists and a tax policy expert discussed the economic impact on the US and the US fiscal and policy response.  As with many such discussions, it was on a not-for-attribution basis. I won’t summarise the entire call,Continue reading “The economic impact according to a major investment bank’s private briefing”

What do we know about immunity?

Last updated: 31 March 2020. First published: 31 March 2020 Why immunity matters Among the most important questions about COVID-19 is whether those who recover from infection gain immunity, and for how long. Immunity is common. It’s why most people only get chicken pox once in their lives; and why vaccinations against diseases like measles,Continue reading “What do we know about immunity?”

Important recent reading

30 March 2020 A roundup of some of the most interesting things I’ve read in the last few days. Tomas Pueyo, who authored the highly influential (and highly recommended) post, “Why you must act now” back on 10 March, has published a sequel, “The Hammer and the Dance.” His summary: Strong coronavirus measures today shouldContinue reading “Important recent reading”

A sequel to last Sunday’s private conversation with experts and investors

29 March 2020 Last Sunday, I shared hot-off-the-press notes from a two-hour private conference call with 15 experts and >150 major investors. The hosts of that call organized a sequel tonight following the same format, and I’m happy to share those notes now — literally minutes after leaving the call. Again, we had 15 experts,Continue reading “A sequel to last Sunday’s private conversation with experts and investors”

Simple models really do work better (at least for now)

29 March 2020 I made the point a few days ago that extremely simple exponential curve-fitting has done astonishingly well in predicting the progression COVID-19. Adam Adamou, Director of the London Mathematical Laboratory, makes precisely the same point with rather more detail and sophistication: A few key points: Simple exponential models work well in theContinue reading “Simple models really do work better (at least for now)”

Guest post: doubling times redux (image issues fixed!)

27 March 2020; updated 28 March to fix broken image links in some clients Much of what I share in these notes is the result of conversations with many well-informed, intelligent, and wise people. The constant stream of suggestions, corrections, and criticism is invaluable. One regular correspondent, who has asked to remain anonymous as heContinue reading “Guest post: doubling times redux (image issues fixed!)”

What are IFR, CFR, and attack rate?

Last updated: 27 March 2020 A confirmed case is, or should be, “a person with laboratory confirmation of COVID-19 infection” (as defined in WHO situation reports); but different countries apply different standards, and standards have changed over time in some countries. Confirmed cases are typically reported both on a daily and on a cumulative basis.Continue reading “What are IFR, CFR, and attack rate?”

In praise of simple models

26 March 2020 How well have naïve, simplistic models of the epidemic done? I’ve mentioned before that I am a great fan of Philip Tetlock’s Superforecasting. One thing he argues is that many so-called expert forecasts are mealy-mouthed, in the sense that they are so vague as to give plenty of wiggle room. “The marketContinue reading “In praise of simple models”

What do we know so far, and what do we need to know?

24 March 2020 Towards better Bayesianism; and, underreporting To date, my updates have been dipping into the flow of information to try to capture high-quality signals. I don’t know about you, but I can’t keep up anymore; there’s just too much information coming at me at once. Plus, all too often I struggle to knowContinue reading “What do we know so far, and what do we need to know?”

What do we know about the degree of underreporting of COVID-19?

Last updated: 31 March; first posted: 24 March 2020 One acute contributor to uncertainty in this crisis is that we really don’t know how many people currently have, or have previously had, COVID-19. First, some definitions. A confirmed case is, or should be, “a person with laboratory confirmation of COVID-19 infection” (as defined in WHOContinue reading “What do we know about the degree of underreporting of COVID-19?”

Better and worse outcomes

23 March 2020 Better and worse outcomes seem more likely; expected case appears more painful I’ve spent much of the last three days thinking more about expected, better, and worse cases, and how I should update my priors in light of a constant flood of new information. On the one hand, I’m increasingly optimistic thatContinue reading “Better and worse outcomes”

A private conversation with 15 experts and 100+ investors

Sunday, 22 March 2020 I had the opportunity this evening to participate in a private conference call where 15 speakers, each (except for one — me!) an expert in his or her field, shared brief thoughts on the COVID-19 epidemic. The audience was primarily large investors and business leaders, and so as you’ll see muchContinue reading “A private conversation with 15 experts and 100+ investors”

A variety of useful sources, some optimistic

20 March 2020 I’ve been overwhelmed (in the positive sense) by the number of thoughtful e-mails I’ve received with ideas, resources, good articles/reports, suggestions and questions.  I can’t do justice to all of this in a single update. Yesterday I posed the question: “What are the arguments against the current ‘expected case;’” and in particular,Continue reading “A variety of useful sources, some optimistic”

Expected, better, and worse cases

19 March 2020 Apologies for no update yesterday.  We’re discovering that home schooling three children and keeping the house running is a 12-hour/day job, and are having to manage work and a bit of exercise in the early and late hours.  Hopefully we’ll get more efficient over time but updates might not be daily. Today’sContinue reading “Expected, better, and worse cases”

Links to posts prior to 19 March 2020

I created a WordPress blog in late March 2020. Prior to that, I sent out a newsletter via MailChimp but did not have a site. The links below are to the MailChimp newsletters I haven’t yet imported to this blog. 17 March: 16 March: 15 March: 13 March (1 of 2): reading “Links to posts prior to 19 March 2020”