Trinh Profile picture
20 Jul, 15 tweets, 4 min read
Okay, I think there is a silver lining playbook for this delta variant🤗. Been thinking about it for the past two days, especially for Asia.
What do we know? a) Virus mutates & the delta variant is rather infectious but there is something effective at reducing infection & hospitalization - vaccines esp Pfizer & Moderna; b) Asia isn't fully vaccinated & virus is causing countries to use the old playbook - restrictions.
In Asia we got India getting that massive wave that resulted in deaths/hospitalizations/higher poverty & something countries want to avoid through lockdowns - fresh ones are happening in Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Australia, Thailand etc. Not good for growth & sustainability.
That we know. We also know this: this time, we have something else beyond just the old playbook for lockdown/suppression: the vaccines, esp a certain kind of vaccines. So what? I think Singapore may be an answer on whether we can exit out of this Covid lockdown vicious cycle.
Singapore is an odd example for Asia to take as it is a small city state that is rather organized and rich. But it is also a good example because it faces the same issue that everyone shares, esp ASEAN economies: CANNOT AFFORD TO LOCK DOWN FOREVER given its openness. So?
Singapore has a typical Asia problem despite being small/an island/organized/rich - the Delta Variant manages to creep into it & occasionally has "waves" that results in lockdowns etc. It does have a lot of savings to do generous handouts but can't sustain lockdowns given its eco
Singapore decided to LIVE W/ COVID. Yes, as in moving from pandemic to endemic, as in getting to life w/ Covid in a way that doesn't destroy the public health system & open up. Strange as u know that it just imposed restrictions just now on the spike of cases. But hear me out.
Of course imposed lockdowns b/c Singapore doesn't want its health system to be overwhelmed as it doesn't have enough of its citizens vaccinated. The math is hard b/c 10% of population is under 12 & herd immunity requires like 80% so gonna be hard. But if Singapore can do it then.
So far Singapore vaccinated 47% of the population (using mostly pfizer/moderna) & 73% have had first shots. It aims to achieve a high level of vaccination by 9th August - its national day.

So what?
If the current lockdowns (or circuit breaker as they call it there) buy time for Singapore to achieve 2/3 fully vaccinated by August 9th &enough for it to "open up" and live w/ the virus, then we can have the light at the end of the tunnel.…
But if Singapore cannot do it, then we, well, well, well...Why? Because Singapore is arguably the most organized, small & nimble & rich enough, enough to do it. And we'll find out soon really whether Singapore "circuit breaker" is really the beginning of normalization or dejavu.
This is a great infographic by the @straits_times (although slightly dated as more fresh restrictions are rolled out in Asia) but shows u the juxtaposition of the US, Europe and Southeast Asia as well as Australia.

If Singapore succeeds, this should look differently by end 2021
And the Singapore approach (it does have a roadmap) is ultimately adopted by laggards of Asia (other Southeast Asian economies that relied on ZERO COVID strategy that doesn't work) then we may have more countries, pushed by the delta variant, moving towards endemic vs pandemic.
So either we are at the beginning of the end of the pandemic to go into endemic or something rather bad. The suffering that is happening by the poor, the fragile middle class & especially those in EM w/o safety nets is mounting while the world is awash w/ liquidity for the haves.
That imbalance is building up for a climax & I'd like to believe that we're getting closer to some reprieve. Perhaps Singapore can show us the way or not. I wish it success because I think it's my silver lining playbook. Good night!


@Trinhnomics 🤗

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More from @Trinhnomics

20 Jul
Good morning - here's what is going on in Asia regarding new Covid infections - charts look messy but key point is that infections are going up on the Delta Variant, even for previously good places like Australia, Vietnam and Singapore.
Added South Korea to the mix (this is net change 1 day) & it's not looking good either: Question is whether Bank of Korea can hike/tighten as it wants to given not the spike of the virus in Korea as well as Asia?
Added India to the mix & you can see that it's high but down from the worst in Q2. This Delta Variant (DV) is wreaking havoc across Asia esp as we are behind in Covid vaccination esp the Pfizer/Moderna one that proven to be more effective.
Read 8 tweets
19 Jul
Good morning Hong Kong!! @Trinhnomics is back! Shop open! Just give me some time to clear some admin! So happy to be back!!! Tons to talk about of course!
Created a Maternity folder & dumped all my emails during my leave there & inbox is cleared already by 230pm (tried to go through them since this morning but so many thousands more & needed a new strategy!!!). Okay, now the fun stuff - economics & markets! FX moves since I left👇🏻
Now that I've put all the emails in one folder to worry about later - let's discuss the two themes dominating markets: Delta Variant & inflation. We focus on the Delta Variant first & why Asian FX for the most part (ex TWD & CNY/CNH) have done poorly vs the USD & why the USD rose
Read 16 tweets
18 Feb
Deaths of Covid-19 by age:

81% of total deaths were of people greater than 65 years of age in 2020.

32% of total deaths by >85 and older.

140 people died from age 0-14 out of 460,234 or 0.03%
41,096 more MEN died of Covid-19 than WOMEN 👈🏻
Other than hospitals/healthcare settings, nursing homes were the #2 place of deaths or 21% of total Covid-19 deaths.
Read 4 tweets
11 Feb
May I add electric cars? If u want to live without fossil fuels, it'll be almost impossible. Speaking of oil, watch this documentary by the BBC called Planet Oil & how it has taken over everything. Don't delude urself to think u are green & not black.…
Must watch it to understand the world we live in, if u're not already aware of the role of oil & its derivative in your life. Once u do, u'll find the hypocrisy of vegan shoes etc.

Everything u touch has fossil fuels, including electricity to charge ur phone to read this tweet.
People think oil = the energy that powers your car & therefore if you buy an electric car, say a Tesla, your green cred is up.

But that is delusional thinking. That electric car requires oil to even be manufactured & very energy intensive. And its source of power is fossil fuel.
Read 7 tweets
11 Feb
After that deflated CPI in China, US Jan headline & core inflation decelerated (lower than expectations & MoM lower than before). US 10yr moved lower to 1.12% but the debate on inflation continues: w/ weak demand but supply shocks, will we get stagflation?

Plus, there's fiscal!
Let's look at how the vaccination efforts are going globally:

The US is doing much better with 67.2% of supply used up & that 14 doses per person (I know many people that have gotten the shots). UK is great.

In EM, Chile is standing out. In the EU, Spain not badly either.
The experience of the US shows that after a slow start, there is a steep learning curve & the process gets faster (assuming you have the vaccines to deploy) and hence the distribution of existing supply has shot up in the US sharply. Don't assume linear progress for distribution.
Read 4 tweets
10 Feb
Good morning: and China CPI for January went negative -0.3%YoY & that mirrors other data like PMIs that show growth momentum sagging on weak demand. Obvs a lot of this is on the base effect + food but it now reveals that demand is a challenge & the PBOC is going to pay attention.
US CPI tonight & markets expect an increase (yield curve has steepened on expectations of CPI higher on fiscal & supply constraints).

Btw, if u ever wonder how a country grows out of its debt, it's nominal GDP or inflating its way out of it. Real rates in the US still negative!
Just like that, Korea unemployment rate went back to the 1990s (remember the Asian Financial Crisis). The KOSPI has been on a tear thanks to low rates & retail investors piling in, pushing up valuations. But jobs are MIA while real estate prices higher. Pres Moon got a problem.
Read 5 tweets

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