Sweden’s economy holding up as the rest of Europe suffers

Although the title of this post focuses on Sweden, I intend it to mostly be a links post with various sub-themes. The idea is to share the news flow I am seeing across different countries.

Since this is the first links post in a while, there are a ton of links. I will try and divvy them up into buckets to make it easier to follow topic threads. Unfortunately, a lot of these sources are in foreign languages. But, I will also summarize. And then, you can use Google Translate if you find a source especially interesting.

The economy

Focussing on the economy in Europe first, it has to be noted that Sweden came out with a better than expected fall in GDP of only 0.3% in Q1 versus Q4 2019. Here’s the link:

With even the UK expected to see a fall in GDP of 7%, it shows you the Swedish approach is working for its economy. Despite the bankruptcies in the hotel and restaurant sector I highlighted yesterday, for me this highlights upside potential for economy’s post-lockdown.

The GDP performance may also eventually put Sweden’s approach to the pandemic in a positive light because of the psychological benefits of not fully locking down but simultaneously testing and quarantining assiduously. It looks to me like the lack of a strong lockdown may cause consumers to be less fearful. And that adds to GDP. Only time will tell. Just note that my initial view on Sweden was mostly negative regarding the potential for R0s to rise. But they allegedly have R0s under 1 now despite their relaxed approach.

Below are some other links on the economy.

The US

That last article contains a lot of good information including several charts related to Americans’ mistrust of interacting with specific economic sectors of the economy. I believe it is further evidence that as the US does open, the spending lift will be incomplete because consumers will be fearful. Notice the polling partisanship though. I believe this will lead to R0s spiking more in red states going forward given the data in the article linked right above this one.

American shopping 2020-05-05

Americans support for re-opening 2020-05-05

Re-opening partisanship 2020-05-05

Economic sectors

The biggest takeaway here is that there will likely be bailouts. The airline industry was hit hard and first. We have already seen Norwegian Air get one. KLM and Air France are next and Lufthansa is in the works. That will make it easy for the US to start bailing out the airline sector too. or healthy companies like SOuthwest or Ryan Air, what will this mean? I don’t know but there will be a glut of capacity for years to come. Lufthansa’s chief says we won’t see a resumption of normalcy until 2023.

Also, if the airline industry gets a bailout, expect the hotel industry to get help too.


The flow of anti-China news I am seeing has increased significantly since this crisis started. I think we are seeing a new Cold War beginning with China in the Russia role. And the negative sentiment from China is on multiple fronts across a wide swathe of countries. I see China’s influence in Africa as critical to understanding how it reacts to this turn. I will have much more to say on this front later. Here are some recent articles related to China.



Technology, Privacy, and Surveillance


That was a ton of links. Sorry for the huge data dump. I hope it was helpful though. To be continued

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