Links 4/10/2021

Insatiable Shipping Companies Set the Table for the Suez Canal Ship Debacle Labor Notes

Crude Greeks decide it’s time to go very large Lloyd’s List

Credit Suisse Scandal Toll Goes Ever Higher as Rivals Thrive Bloomberg

‘This crisis is different’: the dramatic rebound in the global economy FT

Stabilising the economic outlook Philip R. Lane, European Central Bank

Redefining insurance supervision for the new normal Bank of International Settlements

Managing Divergent Recoveries IMF

Assets Have Tanked at Two of the World’s Biggest Short Sellers Institutional Investor

The Nope theory to explain volatility in equity markets FT. Net Options Pricing Effect.


Ethical, Legal, and Scientific Challenges for COVID-19 Vaccine Passports Bill of Heath, Harvard Law

Antibody evasion by the P.1 strain of SARS-CoV-2 Cell. From the Abstract: “[N]ew strains have emerged with multiple mutations: P.1 from Brazil, B.1.351 from South Africa and B.1.1.7 from the UK…. We show that, surprisingly, P.1 is significantly less resistant to naturally acquired or vaccine induced antibody responses than B.1.351.” The article seems to reach no conclusion on B.1.1.7 one way or the other.

Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine under scrutiny at EMA after 4 ‘serious cases’ of unusual blood clots Fierce Biotech

Science Brief: SARS-CoV-2 and Surface (Fomite) Transmission for Indoor Community Environments CDC (MNA). Trashing aerosols* (despite) and fomites:

Findings of these studies suggest that the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection via the fomite transmission route is low**, and generally less than 1 in 10,000, which means that each contact with a contaminated surface has less than a 1 in 10,000 chance of causing an infection… People can be infected with SARS-CoV-2 through contact with surfaces. However, based on available epidemiological data and studies of environmental transmission factors, surface transmission is not the main route by which SARS-CoV-2 spreads, and the risk is considered to be low. The principal mode by which people are infected with SARS-CoV-2 is through exposure to respiratory droplets carrying infectious virus. In most situations, cleaning surfaces using soap or detergent, and not disinfecting, is enough to reduce risk.

Go long plexiglass, I suppose. NOTES * To be fair, we get confused and faction-straddling language like “aerosol droplets.” Since droplets are ballistic (falling within a radius under gravity) and aerosols float (like cigarette smoke, filling a space), this entire “science brief” is deeply confused at the ontological level; saying “aerosol droplets” is like saying “rocky smoke”; it’s an oxymoron, confused at the ontological level. When is Walensky going to get a handle on this? ** Now that we know that the virus persists in excrement, there is a case to be made for fomite transmission via that path. I don’t think the case has been made yet, and the case for aerosol transmission from excrement has been made.

The COVID-19 Pandemic and the World Trade Network Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia

Is airborne transmission an important and mitigatable aspect of the COVID-19 pandemic? – A panel discussion O’Brien Institute of Public Health, University of Calgary (recording). Important. Speakers: Dr. John Conly (WHO), Dr. David N. Fisman (epidemiologist, University of Toronto) Dr. Kim Prather (Atmospheric Chemist, Scripps Institution of Oceanography). Live twitter thread:

(A corollary of airborne transmission is that HCWs (health care workers) should be supplied with N95, not surgical, masks.) I don’t think WHO sent their best:

Acne? Really? That’s one of the hold-ups?

B.C. shatters records with 1,293 new COVID-19 cases, pushing average over 1,000 per day Global News

COVID-19 lockdowns around the world as vaccine efforts stumble Channel News Asia


Manila confronts Beijing’s ‘utter disregard’ for law in South China Sea FT

Alibaba antitrust investigation: Beijing slaps e-commerce giant with record US$2.8 billion fine in landmark case South China Morning Post. China’s Amazon. Who’s got the rule of law and who doesn’t?

Pro-democracy pair to quit Hong Kong district council seats over new allegiance oath Hong Kong Free Press

Path to $4.1 Trillion Puts Australia Pensions Among World Giants Bloomberg


The Dangerous Impasse in Myanmar Foreign Affairs. There’s a history here:

Myanmar ‘State Collapse’ Imminent: ‘The Bloodbath Is Real,’ Expert Warns Sourcing Journal. I’m including this because the source is for supply chain professionals. Myanmar er, resistance isn’t sponsored by the National Endowment for Democracy or something (now that the tankies have gotten themselves involved. To be clear, I think US RSP intervention would be madness; we’e botch the job).

My unusual week with Myanmar’s violent, paranoid military junta Globe_. “Surreal, controversial and heavily-choreographed.”

Ethiopia’s ethnofederalism: fact and fiction Ethiopia Report


Northern Irish loyalists demand Brexit changes, call for end to street violence Reuters. An alternative view. Thread:

The real story behind Prince Philip’s infamous ‘slitty-eyed’ remark during 1986 China visit South China Morning Post

Health authorities modify national vaccination schedule Mexico News Daily. For “modify,” read “delay.”

New Cold War

War Clouds Over Russia And Ukraine? Ask Brussels The American Conservative

Is Russia Preparing to Go to War in Ukraine? Foreign Policy

Ukraine: A Short History of Meddling Yasha Levine, Immigrants as a Weapon

What do Russians really think of Putin and Navalny? Al Jazeera

Biden Adminsistration

The Origins of a Distinguished Diplomatic Career and the U.S.-China Fight for Primacy—BPR Interviews: Chas Freeman Brown Political Review. Recommended by Yasha Levine, in a post also worth reading.

Defying Beijing, US loosens restrictions on Taiwan contacts Agence France Presse

Biden’s tax plan is about tackling the class warfare of the US elite Tax Research UK. Big if true.

Sanders expresses ‘serious concerns’ with Biden’s defense increase The Hill

It is the argument consuming Washington. Politico. What is “infrastrucure”?

Republican Funhouse

Five things to watch for at the GOP’s donor retreat The Hill

Gaetz Targeted by House Ethics Panel Amid Sex-Trafficking Probe Bloomberg

Democrats en Deshabille

The Daleys of Chicago Need Accountability in Ongoing Loan Scandal Counterpunch

Our Famously Free Press

Support the Tropes FAIR

How an online ‘Lego’ gamer infiltrated the White House press corps Politico (dk). Good. More like this, please.

How fact checkers and are fighting misinformation Google

Google Blocks Advertisers from Targeting Black Lives Matter YouTube Videos The Markup

Health Care

Google is exploring a health record tool for patients STAT

Police State Watch

Military Equipment Transfers to Police Have Picked Back Up Brick House

A Far-Right Extremist Allegedly Plotted to Blow Up Amazon Data Centers Wired. Granted, the FBI sold him the explosives.


Boeing production issue prompts airlines to pull some 737 MAX jets from service Reuters

Imperial Collapse Watch

Crisis of Command Foreign Affairs. One reason the United States is not agreement-capable, as for example withdrawal from Afghanistan by May 1.

EXCLUSIVE: She exposed decades of alleged sexual abuse at elite Bay Area high schools. Now, she’s speaking out San Francisco Chronicle

Class Warfare

Union members reject agreement, strike to continue at Warrior Met Coal Tuscaloosa News

Amazon has won a historic warehouse union election. But the battle is not over. Recode

Flawed Approach Sunk Amazon Union Drive, But Birthed National Movement Payday Report. Ugh. A “national movement” like BLM or #MeToo?

The enormous impact of eroded collective bargaining on wages Economic Policy Institute

Boston’s hospital chiefs moonlight on corporate boards at rates far beyond the national level Boston Globe

Prolonged Isolation Can Lead to the Creation of New Accents Atlas Obscura. As for example in The Big Sort?

The rice of the sea: how a tiny grain could change the way humanity eats Guardian

The Vast Viral World: What We Know (and Don’t Know) Nautilus

Did climate change cause societies to collapse? New research upends the old story. Grist

Globalization Lewis Lapham, Lapham’s Quarterly (noonespecial).

There’s Now a Tiny Washing Machine to Clean Your Wax-Encrusted Earbuds Gizmodo

Antidote du Jour (via):

Bonus antidote (you may wish to turn the sound down):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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This entry was posted in Guest Post, Links on April 10, 2021 by .

About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered.
To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.

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