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So much, Mr. Number Five, and influential economists in the whole wide world like ever, ever. How did you get there, Mike? How do you do? You know what it's all about, John?
It's all about education, dissemination, economics, making it interesting, you know, because I've always thought education is the key to more education you get the more the world opens up to you. Yeah, you demystify it.
So, I mean, and on that note, there's some really interesting courses, this part time degrees, professional diplomas, postgraduate springboard programs at the Dublin Business School. And they're in law and fintech and psychology and marketing and business and loads and loads of topics. Yeah. What I like about these courses is they actually allow people to just keep the sort of work life balance and do online. You can do part time, have a look at them. They're really interested.
Steber study, having gone to the website to have a look at these, you know, really fascinating courses.
Yeah, you're absolutely right, Mark. And while we're at it, we'd like to thank TB's for sponsoring this episode. What in the world is happening on Wall Street? Economic indicators, he knows where this is going to end up.
You understand the economy. You have to understand human nature. This podcast is powered by a akehurst. Nice, nice. We don't get any accolades, let's say the Mercury Music Prize. We will not get from marching all together 16 years max. I mean, it was really funny. It was Friday night. Yeah. Our mate John McCormack Bagley's fun Always Like You big time. And my phone started ringing at about nine o'clock Big Bang.
Well, I was a huge Leeds fan and he's already planning the Ellen Road trips and road trips. This will take me. Take me, but I don't know. I mean, Leeds is like sportiness is like having a virus. Right. It's an unpleasant experience. It's something you pick up young and you can't shake and your entire football frame in his frame and memories. Right. Rather than the reality and the actuality. What it's going to be quite interesting, you know, next year he's going to win the premiership.
Well, it's Leicester. That's true, actually.
But where did the Leeds gloves come from when we were kids? John Wright in Windsor Park, Leeds, were the team to follow when we were about four or five years old.
Because Johnny Giles. Well, Johnny John's anchored in Ireland, right? Yeah. And he was captain of our the best player we've ever produced. So Leeds, you forget, we're also a premiership, our first division champions. B, they were the team to watch. And of course, 1974, John Bayern Munich semi-final of what was now the Champions League and Leeds got dumped out and harsh decisions. And of course, the Leeds fans went completely bonkers and thus giving needs the legacy of rather difficult fans.
And of course, when I was living in London, I still see them every time I could. And I got my start as well, because the Lees had software city. It was then when I noticed, like there was something about the fans. But anyway, the point is, any long suffering fan of any football team that has spent its biblical or twenty years in the wilderness using Manor and then Moses part of the waves, we did a deal with the pharaoh and now it's all good.
So we'll see because I saw all the tweets for Motin and I was going to get his marching on together. Yeah, I thought it was to do with the car. You're the to your motive for the car in London. But what I want to I put I bought at emoted is on Twitter and I was Mimos it's my my mom MLT is not me, my Nardy Motor whatever the act. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. How was your week.
Sunshine Week was interesting. It was a really interesting week. And actually let me give you a little update. We got a huge reaction from the Mala Tukaram interview. We did. Yes we did. Yeah. And I it was really brilliant. Everyone was up in arms. But anyway, what is interesting is we contacted a few MEPs and in fairness, Barry Andrews and a few other MEPs have come back declaratively compared to he came back as well.
And I know they were beginning to talk Tomala and I think they're going to. I hope so, yeah. This in the European Parliament. Yep. There were votes, questions on the idea. Martis idea is that the European policy towards small post-colonial, definitely non-white countries. Yeah. Is different to its policy internally and be towards big countries. Yeah. And Malas big group as well was that the European Union are setting a whole load of terms and conditions unilaterally and are moving the goalposts for the likes of these small countries.
And she was also saying that small countries and it's again dovetails into what's happening the last couple of days here, is that small countries have an absolutely legitimate right to use their tax system in order to attract in capital. Yeah, and she's seen you guys in Ireland have been doing this for years. We're trying to do it in the Caribbean. And the EU is penalising us with no recourse. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So it's interesting. So hopefully let's get the conversation going.
Yeah. And then hopefully we'll get some results. That'd be brilliant.
But, you know, again, it brings us down to the Apple tax decision. Yeah, right. Because I've always believed that if any country or city, state or region displays growth rates and achieves growth rates that are over and above the growth rates of its neighbours, it's usually deploying some trick or some innovation. Are some policy that other people are not deploying to propel that wealth. But now we in Ireland happen to do this in a huge measure by what they call tax arbitrage, which is playing the tax game.
Right. But I think, you know, the overall legal you think you think of how most countries historically have got rich, like the French basically took over. Over half of Africa, the Dutch at gunpoint, pillaged all the resources of Borneo and Indonesia. Yeah, the Belgians I mean, I've been reading about the Belgians in the Congo. The Belgians were chopping off people's arms, men, women and children to terrify them into increasing rubber production. This is the heart of darkness, is the heart of darkness.
This is what Roger Casement exposed. These are countries did to get rich. The Brits, of course, the most fantastic. And the Brits took over in India. Thirty one percent of global GDP when the Brits arrived and when they left, it was two percent Jesus. So for the vast majority of known history, there's a guy called Madison Station and he has GDP figures. This is really incredible. I'd only give you a couple of minutes. OK, back to the time of Jesus.
What was GDP? And for 80 percent of that time, India was the biggest economy in the world. The biggest economy. Right. The Brits arrived in. It was miniscule. They totally plundered, as Shashi we had on the show a while ago, said, look, you know. Don't give me this, you gave us the railways, you destroyed our industries and you took all. So what I'm saying is countries have always deployed some advantage to try and get rich.
And you think about us, there's a lot of handwringing about Ireland and tax and using your tax is a legitimate way because it's an innovation in some way. Yeah, and even if you go back to, like, know, medieval Florence, which came this unbelievably wealthy place, and you think, how do they do that? What they use? What trick did they use? And the trick, John? This is an interesting one. The trick to the medieval Florentines used was an understanding of the magic power of this, huh?
Yes, you're right. So this is the and innovations are fascinating. The Florentines discovered a couple of Florentyna lands were going to the EU and Marco Polo goes to these. Yes. Yeah. All young fellows were going to this was like going into one year on Facebook. You'd go to you'd go to Turkey. What is that? Turkey and Istanbul. They're going to get this exactly right. And one guy was going through this is this is the legend was in what they call Asia Minor somewhere in Turkey.
And he goes for this and he pees on what he thinks are grass or weeds. These weeds go purple. Right? That's a special election that when combined with piss, the potassium in his right goes purple. And he figured out if we bring these lechon home, think of it right to Florence, we can die close with the purple dye that's ruining our politician. And all we need is piss, right? I think that's right. And that's what they did.
And the Florentines brought us back in the 13th century by the cultivated diligence. It was called the Kali Gardens in Florence is well known. Right? Right. OK, they then collected his and then you think that really weird. Then you go back to the Romans. The Romans also understood the amazing power of the Romans used to. I know this sounds weird. It's a family show. Go on, wash their teeth with this because of the ammonia.
Cause ammonia made the teeth. Wow. Isn't that interesting? And the Romans didn't do much for their breath. It didn't do much for the breath, but it made the teeth a great taste and great teeth. Right. And Vespasian, the emperor, there was no there was no official job in Rome of the piss collector. Right. So you went to the public taxes and you collected this, right. And you sold us.
Was that a kind of a hijab or was there were barristers and high status occupations and WILLISON so Vespasian said, OK, and they were trying to force Vespasian was one of the great emperors that expanded the Roman Empire. Right. When you expand the Roman Empire, you need money for everything. So he taxed this right and he and the Romans fought for peace. And all this at all is exactly at all his all his advisers are best is a great expression.
Akuna Noncollege, which is a great Roman expression, means that money does not smell. So even if I raise money from piss, it doesn't smell because it's money. So my point is to go back to our tax thing. Right. The point is Vespasian was pragmatic. Yeah, right. He said, look, if there is a value in this, I will use this. If you want to use it, use it for your washing. Your teeth like the Romans is just for all sorts of stuff.
Yeah, but again, the Florentines discovered the combination of a certain lechon and potassium creates the color purple. And why was that a huge, huge deal? Because the Color Purple. Purple was always the royal. Exactly. Yes, that's right. Why was purple always the royal? Because normally you needed in order to generate purple in order. You know, this squid ink risotto. Yes. Black risotto. Yeah. Yeah. Keep that in your head.
Right. There was a certain snail that was harvested around tyre tires in south Lebanon. Right. Right. Which we spoke about with the snail. It's. Secreted a purple dye, but it was incredibly expensive, so the Florentines discovered much more importantly than Richmonds Purple. They discovered how to make poor man's purple using pee, right. OK, so why weren't things innovations coming the weirdest places? Yeah. And you have to be pragmatic about them and you think, OK, so Ireland used its tax system and I know lots of people on the left and lots of people believe that Ireland is in some way culpable of robbing money from other people.
Yeah, and that was in effect, the European Commission's argument, the Apple tax argument. Yeah, but what I say is that all through history, countries have done what they can to enrich or increase the prosperity of their own citizens. Now, you remember before we had multinationals in Ireland. Yeah. Ardent had no capital and lots of people. The reason we had no capital is when the Brits left here, they didn't just take their army and their police and whatever.
They took the capital to get the money as well. So this country started with no capital. Right. Which is terrifying. So think about loads of workers with nowhere for them to work. Exactly.
So what happened then? Where do they go? The immigrants. So that's why the extraordinary figure of two out of three people born in this country from 1920 to 1940 emigrated. Isn't that an extra two out of three? Yeah, it's not that extraordinary that people emigrate. 500000 people emigrated from Ireland in the 1950s alone to England, just to England, which is why, you know, we're talking about Jackie Charlton. The entire Jackie Charlton football team were the sons of the people who emigrated in the 50s.
That's exactly what they were. You know, that's that's so true. The the main phalanx of that team were basically the kids of people who demonstrate. So it's a different twist to footballers coming home than it was going away. But it is interesting. So if you don't have capital and this is the problem for many, many countries and you have a high growth rate of population, you export your people. Right. So we have to figure out what do we do with the capital now?
What happens in a country with very limited capital is the capital becomes hoarded, right? Yeah. And the reason is being hoarded because interest rates tend to be very high because people are worried about capital flight. So interest rates are very high. The people with capital just leave the money on deposit course. So that amplifies the inequality so the rich get richer by virtue of just waiting not to do nothing. And the poor emigration. And that was the story of Ireland until we decided, can we bring capital into this country if we don't have our own capital, where do we find it?
You've got to get to somebody else's capital. OK, so how could you attract capital into Ireland? You make it cheaper. How do you make it cheaper? You tax it less. So the idea is you tax capital less to bring it into the country. Yeah. And then you fuse that new capital with your labor, your own people, and you begin to see this virtuous movement where you have new companies. Those new companies pay their own taxes, you have VTE, you have income tax, you have also things.
And suddenly your tax base increases dramatically from that one decision, which is you make tax, you use tax to make capital cheap. And in short order, let's say between 1980 and 1995, this economy takes off. Who did make that decision then to spark it up? There are a number of people, one, they believe that originally in the late 50s, a guy called Whiteaker. Oh, yes. Yeah. But I actually don't believe that.
Right. Because Whiteaker and Limus, this is this is part of the Irish myth. There was a thing that political and the mass unveiled this great policy in 1958 that caused the German economy didn't turn around until 1988. Yeah, OK. So this idea that Whiteaker and the Mass were actually crucial, I don't buy that. Right. OK, I think what happened was after the late 80s, I was definitely involved. No doubt that, you know, after the late 80s, we became much more aggressive in using this policy, but we got lucky.
And the reason we got lucky was the following up until the fall of the Berlin Wall. Mm hmm. Lots and lots of companies regarded globalization as a little bit alien to them. Right. Once the Berlin Wall collapses, you get an era of globalization and it's only in that period because the Irish tax advantage kick in. OK, it's really interesting. At the time, everyone thought that the main beneficiaries of the fall of the Berlin Wall were going to be East Germany, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic.
All this. In fact, Ireland was the major beneficiary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, because once the Berlin Wall came down, American corporations decided, OK, we're going to become much more global. In fact, it was an American hegemony to use that expression through the 90s and into the early 2000s, American companies start to play around with their supply chains. They start to find places around the world that they could actually invest in and they arrived here.
So much more plausible is the explanation that we got lucky by virtue of international events. Yeah, but the main point now is that if you have a vibrant economy, you have a vibrant tax base and the tax base then allows you to do things that just give you a few figures on multinationals. Yeah, because there's a lot of talk even in Ireland about how multinationals are bad and multinationals are, you know, give you a few figures. But Ireland is Ireland's corporation tax take will be around 10 billion in the next year or two per year.
Right. That's two thousand euros per head of population. Just one corporation tax alone. Right. From multinationals. Right. Also, multinationals pay eight billion in wages every year. Eight billion they pay. They probably spend another four billion on Irish contractors building Intel's plants, right? Yeah, yeah, yeah. And they have about another four billion on capital projects every year, building stuff every year. So that's what you're talking about with 30 billion. Talking a bit between the figures aren't absolute, but it's definitely between 20 to 25 billion euros a year coming in here every year by multinationals.
So this idea that multinationals are bad for Ireland isn't ludicrous. And if the tax system is what was the main driver, we, I think, need to be very careful in the future about. What we give away, what we acquiesce to and if, for example, it means the stuff that really annoys the commission, like Apple having shell companies here and driving phantom profits through that, yeah, we should then, I think. Roll over on those arguments, you know.
So the idea is why? Inflame your partners unnecessarily. Sure, tell me a little bit more about the decision and what it means in the long term. And also we spoke before about this and you always talked about the benefits of taking that money. If that's the case here, if you're OK, if he lost case, but like it was 13 billion, that could build all the houses we need, all the schools, all the children's hospitals, all that stuff.
Yeah. So the way you look at tax or tax is not just about economics, it's not just about raising revenue. So it's not a static idea. It's a dynamic idea that it's part of a long term policy. Right. So the question was, is then could Ireland have remained the epicenter of foreign investment? Yeah. In Europe, which it is now, had we lost that case, had Ireland been seen to have had a sweetheart deal with Apple, had Ireland's tax system been seen to be very shoddy, had Ireland's Department of Revenue seem to be very sorry?
I think no, I think it would have profoundly tempered our brand and then that would have a ripple effect. Because the interesting thing is Ireland now has become a home to so much capital investment. I'll give you a statistic. Right. American corporations have invested more in Ireland. Think about this than they have in China. Brazil, Russia and India combined, wow, really combined over 450 billion dollars of investment, right? That's how big it is.
Yeah, that's how transformative this policy has been. And it's about 25 billion a year, a year ongoing. Think this is hugely important to us. And then, of course, what happens is this this thing in economics, economical network effects, that company AI is here and Company B comes here not because we're fantastic, but because companies Azz here. So Google comes here because Facebook's here. Yes. Twitter comes here because Facebook's here. Right. Facebook's here because they heard from somebody else that this was a good place.
So you have this it's what Alfred Marshall, the great British economist, talked about. You can't put your finger. Said something's in the air. Right. That people come. So they say it's it's why places like London still have great financial centres. Right. Is that people feel if they're not in London, they'll miss the deal. Yeah. Yeah. The the vibe was right. So once you create these network effects, they become self-perpetuating. And because they've been built up on a tax policy, that tax policy should be defended at all costs for us.
Now, then the question becomes, OK, so that 13 billion, the so-called 13 billion, the idea that I was just waiting for us to spend. Yeah. Was enough. No, because the whole point of the commission's argument was that was not Ireland's money. That money was generated by Apple sales in the European Union, right? Those sales were driven through a company here in Ireland, but there was no evidence that the company in Ireland was producing the goods.
Right. And we argued that it was intellectual capital. Yes, right. And now I think it's a slightly sleight of hand argument. But the court said, no, the Irish are writing this. So what would have happened had we lost is the 13 billion would have been divvied up with other European countries. Oh, OK. And that was never really explained. No, that was never explained. I didn't I didn't fully appreciate that. How much would we've got?
I don't know. But I mean, if you were to apportion it on the basis of population, let's say the Commission 110, we would have got five, four percent of 13 billion and had our reputation destroyed as a place to do business. So the stakes were high. So where do we go from here? What does that mean? Well, I think it's I think it's it's winning the battle, not the war. This is my own understanding that basically the EU came after us on the basis of what they call state AIDS, that Ireland was having sweetheart deals orchestrated by the states for specific companies in this case.
The court ruled that said, no, that's not the case. You probably the commission cos for who was the Danish commissioner, this is her thing. They'll probably come after Ireland. They lost on the state aid issue to probably have a second appeal or an appeal based on what they call the internal market criteria, which is the level playing field. Right. And that is another fight. My sense is that having lost the big battle. The European Commission's lawyers will not be very confident about the second battle.
OK, but it's ongoing. But I want to do now Janis's to give Irish people a sense of what's at stake here. OK, how significant the transformation has been of the economy driven by multinationals. This is not small peanuts. This is not small fair. This is the heart and soul of this economy. And I understand lots of people say the multinationals are treated differently to us. And if you're a small business, it's up to us to treat our small businesses like we treat multinationals.
Right. That's the cure to the virus rather than attacking the multinationals and then the small businesses who are receiving wages and contracts from the multinationals. Right. So it's a lose lose if we lose this. You think this week you do it, buy a lottery ticket, maybe a quick pick, and maybe, you know, the latest winning cork was a sweet six point nine million euro in June. And maybe then you think if someone's going to win it, why not us?
The National Lottery, it could be you play responsibly, play for fun.
The penalty for using a mobile phone while driving is an automatic three points on your license and a 60 euro fine mobile distraction can impair your judgment and reaction time as much as driving under the influence. That's why there's no legal limit for mobile phone use. No ifs, no buts, no excuses. One text, one call, one look. Could be the cause of a fatal collision. It won't kill you to put it away from the Road Safety Authority and UNGA.
Doesn't John have another curious fact for you? I was just rummaging around there on these data, some data, that's my thing, but it's about foreign direct investment in Ireland, right? Just how much foreign direct investment Ireland gets, particularly for American corporations. I come back to at the end and I'll give you that review. And you know why we're doing this? We're doing this because we want to thank Vodafone for this episode with Vodafone. You can follow your curiosity.
And this is all about curious facts. Let your whole family follow their curiosity when you bring everyone's plans together. On Vodafone's multi mobile, a red family plan, search Vodafone Red Family for more. Mark, you were talking there about kind of multinationals looking after how we look after the multinationals, but we're kind of leaving the SMEs almost fend for themselves in ways. Now, of course, we've just come out beginning to come out of this logjam and just talk going back in again.
Yeah. So, you know, with the second wave that everyone's talking about, which has already begun in certain places like Milburn's locked down again and the states are going out, the states are not completed. They should just stop all flights. Please stop flights. I tell you to go and talk to Luke O'Neill, but he's not feeling great. Oh, a skinful last night. All right. We're going to take over. No, no. To skinful point.
Which is which is which. Which can be worse. Right? Well, in fairness, I tell you, is due skinful Jews can Philipines. Look, how are you doing?
Well, look, we were talking about you know, we can come back to that. But tell me about covid. Just from my own view, it seems that there was a sense maybe three weeks ago, maybe even as late as two weeks ago, that the virus wasn't so much beaten but was crushed here in Ireland, all around Western Europe, particularly the sunnier parts of the world that people want to travel to. And there was a sense of relief after the lockdown and we could look forward.
That has changed profoundly in the last five or six days. What happened?
Yeah, I think it's a strange one, because we are you're right that three weeks ago we were really low virus. It was looking great in Ireland. And those sentences that the the medical officer would always say, oh, well, we still got to be careful, but nobody would listen to the second half that sentence on there. All the things come and go. Let's get cracking on, I suppose, and then back gay rights. A bit of complacency maybe, and certainly a feeling that we might be coming out of.
This was in the air. It wasn't just one. It's relentless. All the stories keep coming up. I mean, with the American situation, everybody sees that every day. Now, the WHL keeps saying this is still burning, it's accelerating in the world. And then you get a bit of a worry in the back of your mind. Your hang on a minute, it hasn't gone away. It's all out there. And then the question is, how do we stop it coming back to us?
I mean, there's no doubt we're doing well and the numbers are good. We're back into uncertainty. That's the key thing, I think. And then the second thing to remember is we now know the summer is rolling along here. The autumn is coming, the dreaded schools and everybody's going, oh, gosh, what's going to happen then? And I get the impression it's a bit if you kind of bumping around a bit or waiting for things to happen, you know, it's a bit like a phoney war in many ways at the moment.
So my my sense of it, you tell me, look, what are you finding that now as scientists, you're discovering your day by day, you're getting more and more work. What are you discovering about the nature of it?
Yeah, the good part is that we now know where you catch it for death. And that's been refined because, you know, ten, tens of thousands of times in studies. Where do people take up this virus? And that makes certain sites, certain things aren't safe. And there's a massive list. Actually, the Texas Medical Association has issued a really good list ranked by risk. You know, number one, top of the heap are pops. That's for definite pubs and clubs are the most dangerous place by far.
And then you go down to quite tell me exactly why that is. And I said if anybody was playing a joke on the Irish, it's a virus that you can't open a pub, can you believe who invented that kind of thing? It seems like the English. And not only that, you can't sing in a pub either, because that's a high risk. So it seems to me especially designed to torment us, I think. Well, the reason is this.
The three CS with the Japanese to give them credit earlier in February, issue a very clear public health message. Avoid the three cities, which is closed spaces, crowds and close contacts. Those are the three cities. Now, a pope is going to be full of people that will be drinking. The main reason pubs are tricky, David, is because alcohol decreases our inhibitions. And that does not that's not consistent with social distancing, is if you put your arm around your mate.
You're my best mate. You are, you know.
Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Have I ever told you? Yes, you have. Every time you've had four, five, you've told me. I know I am that creature. Go on and then of course get up to shout. I have to say with three points the same story three times or something I don't think in itself. Fantastic.
And then of course you want to get up close and personal, especially if you're in the dating game. You got to smell someone's aftershave. So I get give someone a drink into that makes disaster because all those Artaud, I mean, it's. Well, don't you drink certain other behaviours change. Let's say driving home, you know, your level of risk, it goes up. Basically you're taking more is because of alcohol. So those are the main reasons we think why study after city after city?
Even in the last week in Sydney, there was a pub in Sydney. Twenty eight is traced to that pub. So we just keep seeing this cropping up the whole time. So what do you think is going to be the next phase?
Now we're looking down again. There's no pubs for at least another two, maybe three weeks. Who knows? Yeah, I think it's going to just play out well. I can't see the pubs opening night. That's my first prediction. I wouldn't open the pubs now. It's tough on. Republicans, of course, it isn't the big sectors, they need special compensation, actually, because they are being picked on policy wise. So it would be unfair not to maintain their business is the case because it's such dangerous places.
It's just bad luck for them all. Their fault is that. And there we see the pope having to close. I can't see the pubs opening is the first thing. The second thing that we have to watch for these clusters of spikes that's really important and be ready for them now. They will come in from travel. That's the source of them.
And then we've got to control our borders, because it seems to me that some of the countries on the travel list have the same level of covid are less than us. And we're letting in people from America, from Texas, which we know to be a hotspot. And yet we're banning Irish people going to Mediterranean countries, which we also know have more or less got the disease under control. What's that all about?
Yeah, it's been very grossetête, in my opinion. I mean, you need a very clear message on this very clear empirical guidance. Otherwise you won't bring the people with you. If it's seen as half baked, the general public will go out to do. And they're so very clear guidance and the guidance. Absolutely. As they look at the number of cases over the previous seven days, if that hits a certain number, I think it might be 50 or so then that countries like the U.S. and now that country is designated a green country.
And what that means is we can travel between us and them like you were going to carry out Donegal now and then he can come in to us. I'm not commenting. That's the key difference. Just like anywhere base can't you know, the other countries on the list, like the US, you have two options there. Ban them entirely. And to me, that makes perfect sense, I have to say, because that clarifies if you know flights from countries with those numbers, because it's tricky.
If you bring them in, you've got to quarantine them. Now, how are you going to do that? And we know that that's very tough. In Melbourne, for example, there's a massive outbreak in Melbourne. It's going back into a six week lockdown. Can you believe it? Almost as strange as the one that we had. And guess where the clusters came from? The quarantine hotels, there were 60 cases. And one of those hotels, a security guy in the hotel, went home to his family and infected someone and they infect someone else.
So quarantine is the other option is testing. Get them in the airport, test them maybe twice. You keep them for a day or so. And if they test negative about test and I'll admit we need that very sort of clear instructions.
You just mentioned that because a friend of mine was saying his son travelled from London to Iceland in the last week, arrived in Iceland, gets a swab, gets a text. Twelve hours later in Texas. You're fine. Enjoy Iceland. Could we not do something like that?
That's exactly what we want to give it. One hundred percent, because that gives us confidence. It's systematic. You know, we have the guy's name in the system and all that kind of thing. So that's exactly what I would do here for those countries outside the green countries. Now, why are they aren't doing that? I don't know. Maybe they are. I mean, you might we might have hopefully will. Here it will. But if you don't do that, you risk a spike.
It's as simple as that because you can't maintain quarantine and then these people could well be infected. Go and remember, there's hardly any immunity out there. So this person gets off a plane, maybe. So I'll stay home. I don't think it's even compulsory. As they say, it might be kind of compulsory. It's a grey area. They go home and they say is another shock and then bang to infect someone in the shop. That's a similar I mean, we know it's so contagious.
This can take off at any moment from someone who is, in fact, not explained to me scientifically.
If you mentioned the disease, to have an known I know this sounds weird, but I have a brain of its own and its objective is to survive and on the basis that it needs to pass itself through us to other people, because that's obviously the object of the disease, is to live like our objective is to live. What is going on in this disease that makes it different, makes it so contagious. That makes it very, very difficult to pin down.
Give me give me some of the science behind it. Yeah.
So once the virus goes in your body, its job is to make copies of itself and go inside one of your cells. So it's trying to penetrate your cells anywhere in your body. And there's all these different families, the viruses, the thousands of them, and they all do it slightly differently. And this particular one loves your lungs. So you breathe it in beautiful breathing in and out. The virus goes into your lungs. And then there's, I think a to a to the lock.
It can like on the lung cell. And the key is Okemah. The spike protein virus goes in and it lives inside your lungs. Now it starts to grow there and then it goes all over your body too, is in your heart. It's in your brain. It's in your liver. So the virus that infects any part of your body and now begins to divide or the virus is used different things. HIV uses a thing called CD4 for this block, you see, and that's on your immune cells.
So that's different. This one uses AIDS two. Now, then how does it spread then? Well, it makes you feel sick and now you cough and splutter. That's the usual thing. And now it comes out of your mouth and goes into someone else. This virus is so like a ninja. I suppose the way to put it, you don't need to cough. You just breathe. It comes out. So it's like a fragile little breath comes out and the virus goes with the reason it's up in your nose and your mouth can live up here in your upper airways and it's in your saliva.
We're always, always shedding, shedding. It's shedding out of your cells all the time. And now you breathe. It's not around us. This is what makes it so dangerous that flu isn't like the flu. You need to have a cough or sneeze. Let's get out. This one is like stealth and that comes out and that's the way it's built, it's got certain proteins and structures allowing it to do that. The last thing that those that's really coming, it turns off your immune system.
So it's not even better because it doesn't want the immune system. Remember the attack. It turns off your immune system because I thought the whole point was that the your immune system identifies there's something alien in here. It goes through its back catalogue of previous diseases. Have I seen this geyser before? Oh, yeah. I've seen this geyser that it releases the antibodies have seen the geyser before, and they go and have a scrub and hopefully the antibodies win.
That's my very rudimentary understanding of what you're saying.
It turns that process off opposite, but it does modulate, I suppose, viruses. All viruses are very good at tweaking the immune system for a window of opportunity. In other words, if the immune system is really effective, it'll kill the virus completely. The virus will become extinct. So through evolution, viruses have evolved little tricks to suppress parts of the immune system, to allow it to grow, if you like. It's a bit like, you know, it's a cloaking device over the virus for a while in a away and now the immune system can't see it.
And then it's a battle that rages. And evolution is the history of this is really fast. Like the immune system has evolved ways to take the cloak off and then see the virus, for example. You know, and this one is especially funny. I mean, again, if you were to say the two two boxes, you take care, meaning this one to us at the first is you can read it out. The second is it it can turn off certain bits of the immune system very clearly.
Now, eventually, of course, we win, don't we? Most people, about 90 percent of people, 80 percent of the immune system does its job, beats the virus and kills. And that's great. And we're all happy with that 15 percent. It gets worse than that. And of course, the big question is why is it especially worse them? It could be there's a lot of virus on board. So in other words, instead of having one guy knocking on your door, there's a hundred and they get in wreaking havoc.
A second reason is your immune system might be different. And in other words, you want a different genetic aspect to this, maybe be less fish, maybe like me, you've had five points I to exposed this morning because I'm at risk of being immune. System's a bit down. So at least you were drinking with doctors last night, you know. Exactly. I'm glad to see the entire medical and scientific profession of greater St. Louis area is down with gargled inspired immune deficiency.
I will that they have on the positive side, if if you're happy, your immune system goes better. So as a distress, you see. So is that true? Yeah. If you're if you're depressed or if you're anxious, right. That suppresses your immune system. That's why people get colds and flu is under a bit stress. So we've known this for quite a while. So having a few drinks with your mates is a good thing. Not too many.
It's the law of diminishing returns because actually it gets worse. You know, I'm certainly Lockton doesn't help. That then is depressing. Everybody try to drink more than ever. There you go. Yeah, it's a double whammy. We're calling our bar the Dublin lockout. The lockout. What's the name of the bar in his garden? Is there a big Jim Larkin of your drinking mates? We should we should get a statue of Jim, by the way.
I bought them a little toy to celebrate the opening of our David as the child of Prague. I got one. And that's on the shelf of Prague as well. I'll tell you, Cathy, this can't be happening to you for trying to prove what we did. Of course, there's something about rain and child surprise. Yeah, yeah, yes. I put it out in the garden the night before the wedding. It's not what it is. Yeah, well, we're doing experiments like we are.
We are scientists. We're putting it in the garden and hope it's going to be sunny tomorrow.
You know, that's great. I was reading something there during the week that there are actually five different versions of covid. Does that mean that it's evolving in some sort of way or developing?
Yes, but it is changing every time it divides the recipe to make it less. Changes in the recipe is a good idea for every organism has a recipe to make itself, and that is called DNA in humans. By the way, this one is RNA is the name, the recipe. There are 30 million letters not I'm not joking at thirty million letters in this recipe. This is true. These letters are chemical letters and when it replicates our call, we just have a copy of all those letters and they get the second virus, sometimes one or two letters changed by a random process.
And that's why it's changing. And then and amazingly enough, another thing it has, in fact, number three about this damn virus. It can correct any errors. It's very good to correct them. It's like a proofreader of its own proofreader, which flu hasn't got, for instance. So it doesn't want to mutate because it might mutate into a dead form, you know, a less active form. And it doesn't want to get stronger either, by the way, because if it gets more dangerous, it kills you and then it hasn't got no house to live in, you know, so so that rate of change then we think is very slow in this virus to go to the loo.
Can I just ask the very before you go the vaccine, what's your sense? Yes. Well, there was good news this week. There were four deaths and waiting everybody out. I'm waiting for an update on these things and it comes in I'm on a special special vaccine development group, another one to keep an eye on. But anyway, every every 20 years you'll be what's up?
Name for the special vaccine group, by the way, as it is called the specialist. Yeah. Yeah. It's actually called warp speed. But, Sam, and every 20 minutes, ping, ping, ping, now this week, the big step up this week, we've jumped a couple of very important fences to the vaccine business. So one is the Oxford vaccine, which is being done with AstraZeneca. That's the company developing that they're about to publish.
We haven't seen the paper yet, though. Sadly, there was a press release more than the public on Monday. All right. Let the light in the way that the paper says they got a good response in humans with their vaccine is just giving the vaccine to humans. And you mentioned the immune response to got antibodies, loads of them. And they got these things called T cells. C cells are very, very important. It's a bit like it was a war going on.
The T cells of the bombers struck on planes, on the virus, you know, the antibodies to other troops on the ground. And then we got both. And that's a brilliant development because you need to finish off the enemy in both. And that's the first time a vaccine is my chance to do that. So we're very glad that that early days that I talk about are about to start a challenge trial, to give someone the infection and then vaccinate them and trying to affect them.
That's a dangerous thing to do at this stage.
No cure. It sounds like an American frat party. Yes, exactly.
I just announced that they're going to try to volunteer people for that now as young people probably won't get out sick. They do this with malaria, for instance, with a bunch of new material. If you if you get sick, you see in this case, you know, treatments, that's how rapid and desperate they are anyway. So to show you how fast it's going to go, so everyone's going great. I say that was ahead of the pack now at the moment.
And then secondly, Moderna, this company in the US whose share price they've tripled in the past week, by the way, with this announcement so that they're going very well. They had results as well from their vaccine trial. And again, they've got a very strong antibody response. They managed to get the three times the antibody in the blood of someone who was severely affected. In other words, we've now broken the seeding on antibody levels with this vaccine.
That's great because they are ready, supan, the whole thing. And again, it's going to go ahead by the start of phase three trial. Thirty thousand people that will begin. They saw some side effects that must be said. And like injection site reactions, when you have a vaccine, you need a bit flu sometimes have something similar, very similar. But we do worry about that because it was a small number of people, one or two looks a little bit severe to me.
So that's one to watch now that there wasn't to stop, you know, but still, this is the key question. How do you get efficacy now? Efficacy means can you see the immune system being triggered? And then secondly, is it safe? And both of those vaccines have jumped those fences. So now we press on and now the ultimate test, whether you're getting infected in the wild and if that happens, gangbusters, we've made it out.
The timelines for that, they could be there by December. You know, both of those vaccines, the way things are going. So if nothing goes wrong now, as we know in life, everything's great and then you fall over at the last fence or whatever. So so you got to be cautious about himself. And he's a very measured man. He said he's cautiously optimistic. And I said, that sounds good if Tony. He's saying cautious optimism, although that was a good sign.
So this week, we're all highest points on the vaccine business this next week, back down again. But, you know, hopefully not in the same place.
I would say, look, can I ask you one last question before we go on factory? You know, Foushee. I do. I do indeed. What sort of guy is he? Because he's right now, he's got this crazy, the White House against Foushee nonsense. It's easy.
He's a very serious, somber kind of guy, as you might gather from him. You know, I met him twice over the years and I have a cup of coffee with them. And we didn't talk about much except our research. He's very focused. So there wasn't much there wasn't a sponsor.
There would be no Leeds United difficult. Did you did you remind him that you look like Len huddled in a previous life?
No, no, no. I was like, you know, you meet someone serious and you try and lighten it a bit and then to fall back onto the antibodies in the T cells again, you know, but he's he's a famous guy. He's like Bruce Springsteen to me, you see, because he worked on HIV and in the very early days of HIV, he was the guy. He was the one who found the antiretroviral drugs.
You know, I didn't realize that. So he himself is a really good researcher in a proper manner. And he was and at that time, he was going to do now trials for drugs. And he led the big one for the antiretroviral. And he was being attacked viciously then. Right. And the gay rights movement was accusing the government of doing nothing. You know, they're dragging their heels and he himself was attacked. We're going too slow. And he kept saying, I'm doing the best I can, you know, these things that we don't care.
And eventually he felt so bad and he admitted that he made some mistakes to give them credit for. I got something wrong here. He then decided to give all the drugs away for free while the trial was still running. We saw the dangerous thing to do because of such desperation. It's like that movie Dallas Buyers Club, you know. Yes, he was. And he was in the mix of all that. You see, I didn't know that.
So he's got a really interesting backstory. Absolutely.
Yeah. And then he was given great credit because he had made mistakes and he and he could have been kicked out, I suppose. And he he admitted it. And then he put things right. He set up a special fund to fund drugs for every game. And he couldn't afford them and couldn't get access to the the drugs that were in trials. And I thought that's how we remember them. And then not only that, he's discovered all the.
About the immune system that I'm envious of is published, about a thousand people in immunology, you see so far seems like a always a hero and he's head of that institute. And I tell you, it's about one hundred billion in his units of justice. And he's had so of immunology, but he's getting attacked by Donald Trump for his. Well, they can't Trump can't really touch him, David, you know, because he's a public employee. Right.
Because he works for the government effectively in research is in this big research institute, I think, about the US government's support for the NIH. It's the biggest issue in the world for medical reasons. And he works for them. And his boss then is going to Francis Collins. They're saying if Trump is annoyed with them to convince Francis Collins to sign on to be a janitor or something like that because they can't fire the know, but I think he'll stand his ground and he won't take any crap, I'll tell you that much.
And his family even threatens all this hate stuff is coming out of the hole to have a security detail recently, for instance, because these far right are accusing them of wrecking the economy. You know, so when this all ends, they got to put statues up to Tony if that is allowed. Because the great thing, David, is one of them.
It's all just science based. All he says is the science. And when he said he doesn't know, he doesn't know. And this might be right. I'm doing all this bit here. And then it's a bit like who? I mean, the odd hint of optimism comes out every so often it keeps going. So he's very sort of a pretty skilled kind of person, I think. And the world needs desperately, because this is the biggest country in the world doing all the research.
The biggest irony, David, is it's running rampant in the US, as we know, but that are the biggest country for biomedical research like Law Order. And they're doing all the research that they may get the vaccine first, remember, in the U.S. So the antiviral drugs and Gilliard are US company making Ramdas of our antiviral. Moderna are a Boston company making the vaccine. So so even though it looks like a nightmare over there, it's American science that might say, look, we will leave it there.
Tasaki Lucasta, thanks a lot.
I think that Jerry Lucas always value for money there, isn't he. I just love all the attention around the child flag. I'd say they were Lupita's. Oh yes. Nice. Oh, absolutely. But you know what's funny, though, is like just talking about going back into lockdown us. I'm actually finding this period probably in phase three, phase four, harder than the full on lockdown because we're kind of betwixt and between. We're going to see some people again, but the pubs aren't open and probably unless you go in for a full blown drink with me.
Yes. I mean, it's it's kind of we're not really sure. There's no real clear. There is no clarity. And that is one of the even bigger problems with how you get out of this recovery. Because if you look at what happens in a normal recession, right. Calmy goes from growing. People spend a little bit too much. They get really, really confident over optimistic about things, they make mistakes. Suddenly the price of assets, for example, the house price to 10 years will start to fall.
People then retrench. So a recession is nothing more than people not spending increase and savings of the income they have. And then what happens is we all start saving at the same time. Demand collapses, and that happens for a period and then as night follows day. Human nature is such that you sort of say, well, maybe things are not that bad. And you say, OK, well, I take so much savings and maybe open a little cafe or maybe do this, that you begin the process of open inoffensively.
And that's what that's what a recovery is. A recovery is the increased incident of positive human sentiment. That's all of this associated with human nature. So a recession is we get depressed together, recoveries. We start talking a little bit more optimistic together. Now, part of that optimism is going out. Think about because consumer spending is 60 percent of GDP in the modern economy right now. So if consumer spending, which is retail, talk about last week, the crack economy going has taken a weekend away, going on holidays, all that stuff.
But if that then normally what that triggers is increased optimism from other people because you spend in their shop is OK, I'm feeling better off than they spend. So the trigger of recovery is actually going out. Yeah. And the problem with this disease is covered, puts a ceiling on going out. So every time the economy starts to recover and we start to say, well, maybe we should just spend a little bit more, it's the disease, not the economy, that is framing the recovery, and it's the disease that is actually forcing us back into lockdown.
And it's the disease that means the economy cannot work the way it normally works. And that's why unless we get that vaccine, we will not recover in any material way. And that's terrifying.
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