We are playing an infinite game and rules have to be changed to combat Covid-19

By | CYH

The responses to Covid-19 have been unprecedented.

The Fed announced unlimited QE and buying corporate and municipal bonds.

The Singapore government have announced that contractual obligations are suspended for a period. Loans can have their principal payments deferred too.

Monetary Authority of Singapore has just announced to increase the debt limit from 45% to 50% for S-REITs, deferring the Interest Coverage Ratio requirement as well as giving more time for REITs to meet the 90% distributable income requirement for tax incentives.

Rules are changing every day to combat Covid-19 as we speak. These changes are not trivial. To make sense of this, I was reminded by James Carse’s Finite and Infinite Games,

It is on this point that we find the most critical distinction between finite and infinite play: The rules of an infinite game must change in the course of play. The rules are changed when the players of an infinite game agree that the play is imperiled by a finite outcome-that is, by the victory of some players and the defeat of others. The rules of an infinite game are changed to prevent anyone from winning the game and to bring as many persons as possible into the play.

… Finite players play within boundaries; infinite players play with boundaries.

The world is definitely playing an infinite game – we are fighting for human existence in this world as long as we can. That’s the obvious infinite game and we are changing rules in order to keep playing.

But there’s a darker infinite game – the capitalism game and the rich needs the poor to play. If the poor cannot survive this health and economic disaster, the game stops and the rich will have to fight among themselves, and wealth will be destroyed. So the poor needs to be saved to keep the game going.

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