Weekly reading 4

Apr 20, 2020
小天安门:美国议员回忆成都“六四” - nytimes:


Socially Distance This - bloomberg:

Even after Carnival became aware of the potential coronavirus case, passengers say staff tried to keep the fun going. Guests continued eating and drinking at buffets and bars, hanging out in saunas, and attending shows, including an operatic performance called Bravo. Carnival distributed itineraries (known as “Princess Patter”) guiding guests to trivia contests and other group activities on Feb. 3. “They were encouraging us to mingle,” says Gay Courter, who, after getting her temperature taken by a Japanese official the next day, went for a walk on deck and saw tables of as many as 30 people playing mahjong.

This article details how the curise company Carnival handles COVID-19, which is pretty bad, to summarize. Giant floating petri dish is a proper phrase for cruises. Especially if you think about all the events/activities on baord that are designed for people to gather and mingle. I’d give respect to the CEO, who still needs time to think about whether to shutdown completely even after the virus has already took down a couple cruises.

Work-from-home coronavirus trend drives U.S. office supply spending - secondmeasure:

It shows office supply sales have been increasing lately. Can confirm as we bought a printer as well.

部分游戏玩家失去了危机感 - qq:



Consumer spending shifts by industry in the COVID-19 era - secondmeasure:

It shows transportation sales plummet and delivery sales ries over the COVID-19 period.

长平观察:任志强与“红二代”的历史良知 - dw:


兽爷丨他终于遇到鬼 - qq:







Apple, Amazon, and Common Enemies - stratechery:

This is the most compelling lens with which to view Apple and Amazon’s recent partnerships. Both, given their desire to be a platform for over-the-top services, are on the same side when it comes to a potential Netflix-dominated future: neither want it to happen. Netflix dominating means that shows are sold directly to Netflix; channels are pointless. Apple and Amazon both, though, want channels to exist, if only so that they can sell subscriptions to them.

Apple and Amazon does a deal such that users can now make purchases in Amazon Prime Video iOS app using credit card, not Apple Store channel, the default and only option for iOS apps.

It also talks about how different Apple/Prime Video are compared with Netflix. Apple/Prime Video provides options to subscribe to other streaming services (e.g. HBO, Hulu) in addition to their own content. Their business model is to get a commision for every subscriber they bring in to the other services. Netflix provides only their own content (produced or licensed) and cares only about its own subscription.

As a result, Netflix always aims at squashing all the other streaming competitors, while Apple TV/Prime Video are incentivised to build a market full of competitors and they being platforms.

The Fed Won’t Take Ratings Too Seriously - bloomberg:

“The trading desk will be in the office unless they have a medical condition with a dr’s note”

JPMorgan Chase leadership comments on why traders are not WFH.

When Can Bond Investors Lie to Banks? - bloomberg:

It talks about how banks lie/bluf to get ahead of each other and get the other out of a deal. Sounds correct to me.

It’s Not All Bad for Banks - bloomberg:

“Trading operations are a hedge, an insurance policy against losing money in regular banking. If you just run a regular bank and lend a lot of money to businesses that now can’t pay it back, this crisis is unmitigated bad news. If you run a universal bank with a big trading business that is minting money, this crisis is, you know, mitigated bad news.”

And so for instance it is relatively straightforward, in the current environment, for companies to stop buying back stock to preserve cash, but it is much harder for them to stop paying dividends.

Great article explains both the upside and downside for banks under COVID-19. Down: people are not able to pay back loans so banks take a hit on profit; Up: trade of everything has been high volume and high volatility lately, so the trading branch of banks are taking in profit. Also people has been depositing cash to banks, another good thing for banks.

It also talks about stock dividends and buybacks, two common ways of companies giving back profits to their investors. Investores generally expect diviends to continue but are ok with buybacks being stopped. Companeis should have more freedom of stopping dividends too, as it is same as buybacks in terms of costing companies cash. They need cash to sustain thru COVID-19.

肺炎疫情下被重新审视的全球产业链:“去中国化”已非唯一焦点 - bbc:

I don’t read a lot of BBC but this article is worthless. It fails at answering the question it asks: what is the impact of COVID-19 on the global supply chain. It is a valid question, but the article basically just swings between the two sides, and ends with 不妨开一个脑洞. Major failure.

Instagram founders launch COVID-19 spread tracker Rt.live - techcrunch:

Instagram ex-founders release first product after their leave of FB: a site tracking COVID-19 spread

The US just crossed a dangerous threshold - systrom:

This claculates case growth rate per country and per U.S. state by days since 100 infections. It showed how well the effort of Singapore/Japan/Korea have been, and how bad US is. More observation for states: the sudden increase of growth rate around 10th day for NY indicates numbers kick in due to increase of testing capacity. The jump of Michigan is the fastest but looks to be slowed a bit.

The Numbers Behind Social Distancing - systrom:

A conditional probability calcuation - probability that everyone of a group is coronavirus negative.

The Metric We Need to Manage COVID-19 - systrom:

Instagram ex-founders estimates effective reproduction number (Rt) of COVID-19 per state in U.S.

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