Category Archives: Trump

9/5/21: COVID19: U.S. vs EU27 comparatives


Updating data for the U.S. - EU27 comparatives for the pandemic through this week (week 17):

Table above reflects several major features of the recent data evolution for the Covid19 pandemic in the U.S. and the EU27, also highlighted in the charts below:
  • Firstly, total number of new cases has diverged in recent weeks. Starting with week 7 of 2021, the U.S. cases continued to fall, while the EU27 cases entered a new upward trend. The new wave - Wave 3 - formed in Europe, whilst the U.S. managed to escape development of Wave 4.
  • For eleven of the last consecutive weeks, the EU27 cases significantly exceeded those in the U.S.
  • As of Week 12, 2021: EU27's Wave 3 has peaked and we have now witnessed five continuous weeks of declines from the peak, although the EU27 case numbers still substantially exceed those in the U.S.
  • There is only one attributable difference between the two countries that can explain this divergence: vaccinations rates. In fact, whilst the U.S. response to the pandemic in its first 10 months has been an unmitigated disaster, the EU27's unroll of the vaccines has been a Trumpesque-level failure of its own. 

As the result of the above factors, EU27 trends in deaths numbers are equally concerning:
  • The EU27 started 2021 with a significantly lower per-capita death rate than the U.S. 
  • At the start of January, as reported on this blog, adjusting for age differences and population size differences, the U.S. pandemic was associated with 139,188 excess deaths compared to the EU27.
  • At the end of this week, this gap was down to 87,598.
  • Put differently, President Trump's policies were responsible for excess deaths amounting to roughly 1/3 of the total deaths sustained in the U.S. over the period of 2020. Since the start of 2021, EU27 policies on vaccinations are responsible for closing this gap by almost 40 percent.
  • The above comparatives for vaccination roll out failure effects are conservative. The EU27 has suffered Wave 3 of the pandemic amidst strict and wide-ranging lockdowns, not comparable to the U.S. measures deployed over the same period of time. 
  • In fact, Week 17/2021 U.S. deaths counts are now lowest for any week since week 27/2020. In contrast, the Eu27 deaths are currently the lowest since week 45/2020.

Tragically, for the EU27, European rates of mortality from the virus have been running above those in the U.S. every week since Week 43/2020, as shown in the chart below:

In fact, as the chart above illustrates, EU27 is yet to see the return to its lowest recorded mortality rate of 0.014 set in Week 37/2020, while the U.S. has been running below that rate on-trend over the last five weeks.

Chart next show the dramatic difference in mortality per case in the U.S. and the EU27 (vertical axis) against the world-wide mortality (horizontal axis), without adjusting for age and population size differences (a note of caution: regression lines are only indicative, at best):

In summary, therefore, the EU27 is paying a high price for its utter failure to unroll vaccinations at scale. The U.S. performance, starting with February-March, has been exemplary compared to the European policy approach, although a lot of the gains made so far are:

  1. Subject to forward uncertainty (U.S. weekly statistics have been exceptionally volatile and hard to interpret); and
  2. As of yet, not enough to erase the scars left by the Trump Administration's mismanagement of the early stages of the pandemic.

3/2/21: The Cost of Trump’s Failures to Act on Covid19: Case of Housing Market Interventions


COVID-19 pandemic has been associated with a range of deep and dramatic policy interventions, including rolling lockdowns, monetary and fiscal policies interventions, wide ranges of subsidies and supports, but also measures relating to addressing the risk to households and companies arising from the pre-pandemic financial commitments. 

One of the most, potentially, impactful measures has been adoption of a range of policy interventions that aimed to reduce the impact of income shocks on housing availability. In addition to targeting reduction of financial burden of the pandemic shocks on households, the measures also targeted the objective of lowering the risk of spread of the disease via promotion of housing stability.

A recent paper, by Jowers, Kay and Timmins, Christopher D. and Bhavsar, Nrupen and Hu, Qihui and Marshall, Julia, titled "Housing Precarity & the Covid-19 Pandemic: Impacts of Utility Disconnection and Eviction Moratoria on Infections and Deaths Across US Counties" (January 2021, NBER Working Paper No. w28394: looked into the effectiveness of housing markets interventions in the latter context. 

Per authors, "housing precarity, which includes both the risk of eviction and utility disconnections or shut-offs, reduces a person’s ability to abide by social distancing orders and comply with hygiene recommendations."

The authors found that 

  1. "...policies that limit evictions are found to reduce COVID-19 infections by 3.8% and reduce deaths by 11%.
  2. "Moratoria on utility disconnections reduce COVID-19 infections by 4.4% and mortality rates by 7.4%."
"Had such policies been in place across all counties (i.e., adopted as federal policy) from early March 2020 through the end of November 2020, ... policies that limit evictions could have reduced COVID-19 infections by 14.2% and deaths by 40.7%. (emphasis is mine) [While], for moratoria on utility disconnections, COVID-19 infections rates could have been reduced by 8.7% and deaths by 14.8%."

These are genuinely huge numbers. Assuming the effects are non-additive, the lower end estimate of human losses to Covid19 pandemic due to the Trump Administration's failure to act coherently and resolutely in imposing similar policies to support households' tenancy in rental and mortgages markets across the U.S. is in the range of > 40 percent. If the effects are additive, the magnitude of the preventable deaths rises to well over 50 percent.

2/9/19: Trump’s Tariffs of War…

Two charts summarizing the effects of the ongoing Trump Trade War on U.S. tariffs (overall, first chart) and on bilateral U.S.-China trade (second chart)

Source: @Soberlook

In the mean time, China's tariffs vis a vis the rest of the world are falling:
Source: ibid.

Someone is winning in this war (maybe Europeans or others but it ain't the U.S.

1/9/19: U.S. Non-Financial Corporate Sector: Stagnation in Net Value Added

Value added by the U.S. non-financial corporates has been languishing well below the cyclical peak for some months now:

In fact, since Q3 2016, net value added by the non-financial corporations has been running below long run trend, and has been basically flat. This suggests substantial pressures build up in the economy, consistent with all previous early indicators of a recession. Interestingly, there is zero evidence of any improvement in the non-financial economy in the U.S. since 2016 election.