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What We’re Reading

Action:

Americans saving for retirement weren’t panicking last quarter even as markets crashed and their 401(k) nest eggs deflated.

Only 5.6% of people enrolled in a 401(k) plan changed their portfolio allocations in the first three months of 2020, according to a Morningstar Inc. analysis of more than 635,000 participants.

WFH:

Our classification implies that 37 percent of U.S. jobs can plausibly be performed at home. We obtain our estimate by identifying job characteristics that clearly rule out the possibility of working entirely from home, neglecting many characteristics that would make working from home difficult.

Re-opening and freewill:

OpenTable bookings had declined 70% before US restaurants were closed. Swedish movie theaters are open but revenues are down 90%. “When will government open up the economy?” is the wrong question. Open doors and no customers is not an economy!

Case counts:

In many parts of the world today, health authorities are still trying to triage the situation with a limited number of tests available. Their goal in testing is often to allocate scarce medical care to the patients who most need it — rather than to create a comprehensive dataset for epidemiologists and statisticians to study.

But if you’re not accounting for testing patterns, it can throw your conclusions entirely out of whack. You don’t just run the risk of being a little bit wrong: Your analysis could be off by an order of magnitude. Or even worse, you might be led in the opposite direction of what is actually happening.

Bailouts:

I see no reason why financiers should be bailed out simply because the event they’re being harmed by was unpredictable.

Have a good weekend, stay safe.


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