sign up log in
Want to go ad-free? Find out how, here.

US services data strong; China rises on services too; China rushes out new regional bank support; blockage of Taiwan to roil supply chains again; UST 10yr 2.73%; gold and oil lower; NZ$1 = 62.6 USc; TWI-5 = 71.1

Business / news
US services data strong; China rises on services too; China rushes out new regional bank support; blockage of Taiwan to roil supply chains again; UST 10yr 2.73%; gold and oil lower; NZ$1 = 62.6 USc; TWI-5 = 71.1

Here's our summary of key economic events overnight that affect New Zealand, with news we are probably facing new supply-chain stresses as the fallout over the Pelosi visit to Taiwan echoes over coming months.

But first, after declining for eight of the past 12 weeks, and four of the past five weeks, American mortgage applications actually rose last week. It wasn't a big rise, but it was unusual, even in the whole 2022 context. The recent yield declines followed through to lower mortgage interest rates, which undoubtedly helped, especially as higher rates are anticipated for the rest of the year.

Also rising, and unexpectedly strongly, was their services sector activity in July. The widely-watched ISM measure was particularly upbeat with strong gains in new orders and activity levels while the price pressure eased noticeably. They also noted that these businesses are struggling to replenish inventories, and that bodes very well for the factory sector in coming months. The internationally benchmarked Markit PSI was however as negative as the ISM one was positive, so there is a good opportunity to reinforce confirmation bias here.

Meanwhile, American factory order growth beat forecasts in June to be +15% higher than year-ago levels, and that makes this data elevated for four of the past six months, impressing markets.

US carmaker Ford said is North American sales jumped by more than a third in July from a weak year-ago level. This was driven by a huge leap in electric car sales, and a +70% jump in SUV sales.

The US logistics management index (LMI) is now reporting that freight prices are falling in July - not by much, but it is the first time that has happened since the start of the pandemic. Other components of the LMI are going in buyers favour as well, although warehouse capacity is still shrinking.

In the background, the Fed is almost sure to raise rates by another +50 bps at its next meeting in September. It would be 'reasonable' for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates by that level if the US economy evolves as expected, San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly said, as she signaled policymakers are united in reducing decades-high inflation. Meanwhile, the cost of borrowing as measured by 3-month LIBOR just hit its highest point since 2008. Fed speakers are making markets into believers, despite some earlier scepticism.

In China, the private Caixin Services PMI rose in July from June to a good moderate expansion, pointing to the second straight month of growth. This was a better result than the official version and is the fastest pace of expansion in their service sector in 16 months. It comes after an easing of some lockdown measures with new orders rising the most since October 2021. However, new export orders fell for the seventh straight month, and employment fell modestly again amid a slight decline in the backlog of work.

China's car sales are recovering with good sales gains in July.

But the Chinese government still finds it necessary to inject ¥320 bln (NZ$75 bln) in public funds into small and midsized banks in a bid to help regional lenders reeling from their economic slowdown (not to mention some well-publicised cases of fraud).

The EU reported retail sales volumes for June, and these were sharply negative. Their rise in producer prices extended into June too, but apart from energy cost, there is a sense non-energy costs are losing some upward momentum there.

Giant reinsurer Swiss Re is pointing out the fast rising risks from climate change. They say global estimated insured losses from natural catastrophes in first half of 2022 at US$35 bln, +22% above the average of the past ten years. Floods in Australia set a new record for insured flood losses at close to US$3.5 bln, the costliest natural catastrophe for the insurance industry in the first half of 2022. Other perils such as hailstorms and flooding continue to drive insurance losses globally, exacerbated by rapid urban development and wealth accumulation in disaster-prone areas. Swiss Re returned to profit after pushing through +12% premium increases.

In international trade, June air cargo data basically went sideways, and putting a dampener on earlier optimism. The easing of restrictions in China and reduced disruption in global supply chains is likely to be good news for world trade and air cargo volumes in coming months. However, the impact of high inflation and rising interest rates will work against this expected recovery. In June, Europe was sharply negative, the US sharply positive, and the Asia/Pacific region quite lack-luster.

China's attempt to blockage Taiwan in retaliation to the Pelosi visit will also have a severe, even if temporary impact on Asia/Pacific air and sea cargo activity, messing with supply chains again in a significant way that will be felt globally.

These new extreme tensions will be particularly hard on HSBC, caught in the middle of this struggle in a fundamental way.

The UST 10yr yield starts today at 2.73% and unchanged from this time yesterday. The UST 2-10 rate curve is also unchanged today, now at -35 bps and their 1-5 curve is also unchanged at -25 bps. Their 30 day-10yr curve is now at +60 bps and again steeper than this time yesterday. The Australian ten year bond is down -1 bp at 3.13%. The China Govt ten year bond is also down -1 bp at 2.74% and still near its low for the year. And the New Zealand Govt ten year will start today unchanged at 3.32%.

Wall Street is in its Wednesday session with the S&P500 trading +1.5% higher. Overnight, European markets closed up about +1% although London only managed a +0.5% rise. Yesterday Tokyo ended with a +0.5% gain, Hong Kong with a +0.4% rise. but Shanghai ended with another retreat, down -0.7%. The ASX200 ended down -0.3% while the NZX50 starred, up +1.5% in Wednesday trade.

The price of gold opens today at US$1763/oz in New York which is down -US$6/oz from this time yesterday.

And oil prices start down -US$3 at just over US$91/bbl in the US, while the international Brent price is now just over US$97/bbl.

The Kiwi dollar opened today little-changed from this time yesterday to 62.6 USc. Against the Australian dollar we are marginally softer at 90.2 AUc. Against the euro we are unchanged at 61.6 euro cents. That all means our TWI-5 starts today at just under 71.1.

The bitcoin price has moved up from this time yesterday, up +1.3% to US$23,484. Volatility over the past 24 hours has been moderate at just over +/-2.0%.

The easiest place to stay up with event risk today is by following our Economic Calendar here ».

Daily exchange rates

Select chart tabs

Daily benchmark rate
Source: RBNZ
Daily benchmark rate
Source: RBNZ
Daily benchmark rate
Source: RBNZ
Daily benchmark rate
Source: RBNZ
Daily benchmark rate
Source: RBNZ
Daily benchmark rate
Source: RBNZ
Daily benchmark rate
Source: RBNZ
End of day UTC
Source: CoinDesk

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.

98 Comments

Taiwan makes 50% of the world's semi conductors. Any sort of blockade or sanctions that affect that are going to cause some trouble... https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/16/2-charts-show-how-much-the-world-depends-on-taiwan-for-semiconductors.html

Up
5

Zhang also said that Pelosi's visit "posed huge pressure on TSMC, which on one hand has to kneel down to the US, and on the other hand is reluctant to give up the mainland market."

In 2021, the Chinese mainland imported $432.55 billion worth of integrated circuits, of which 36 percent came from the island of Taiwan, customs figures showed. Link

Up
4
Up
1

The CCPs Taiwan blockade is small man syndrome playing out on a national scale.

Up
9

the economic front, China suspended the imports of a series of products from Taiwan including citrus fruits and frozen horse mackerel from 3 August, and the commerce ministry suspended China’s export of sand to Taiwan from 3 August

This is getting serious..

 

Up
0

For those a bit slower on the uptake, here's a map of the "live fire exercises" that the CCP thugs are menacing and blockading Taiwan with.

https://twitter.com/Nrg8000/status/1554493353789882368

Up
10

The horse mackerel will not be happy!

Up
0

Semiconductors are made from silicon which in turn comes from sand

Up
0

Which in turn comes from rocks, but it all depends on investment in plant, knowhow etc.

Up
0

My understanding is that that is an urban myth.

https://planetofthehumans.com/

Worth watching, every second.

Up
0

Normally like your links but this documentary is a sh*tshow. There is a message in here but they rely on sensationalised footage and myopic opinions to get their message across.

Planet Of The Humans: One Moore Rebuttal To Debunked Documentary (climatenexus.org)

Up
3

If that's a rebuttal

we are in trouble.

The population argument, particularly doesn't wash. Neither does the 10 year/ 25 year PV argument - if that's the best they can muster

Up
0

China is just following the play book of the USA?

If you have an annoying ideology on your doorstep, blockade it, and starve the locals into submission. How long could they hold on, after all?

Cuba comes easily to mind. 60 years and counting.

Up
5

Cuba has been free to trade with the world. That's not a blockade.

Up
8
Up
3

when?  that article doesn't mention anything about a blockade.  
fix the link for ya 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Power_of_Community:_How_Cuba_Survived…

Loosing a supply of free oil from the former soviet union is not a blockade. If you claim that then NZ was blockaded when UK joined the EEA.

Before this, Cuba had been re-exporting any Soviet oil it did not consume to other nations for profit, meaning that petroleum had been Cuba's second largest export product before 1990.

Up
1

"free to trade"  only with those not impacted by US embargoes

The United States embargo against Cuba prevents American businesses, and businesses organized under U.S. law or majority-owned by American citizens, from conducting trade with Cuban interests. It is the most enduring trade embargo in modern history.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_embargo_against_Cuba

Up
2

China is just testing the strength of the country it regards as it's main opponent in reoccupying Taiwan.

Up
0

Just occupying with out the [re].  The CCP has never governed Taiwan.

Up
4

He didn't say CCP, he said "China", hence "reoccupying Taiwan

China has indeed governed Taiwan from 1683 till it was ceeded to Japan in 1895. And following Japans defeat it was again ruled from China from 1945 to 1949.

 

Up
2

Fair enough, but that was when there was to all intents "one China". But to be fair, before WW2 you'd have to admit that for centuries the borders had some considerable variation. Today the problem is that in reality there are two China's. This is something that the CCP have never been able to reconcile with; that they failed to completely obliterate the Nationalists under Chiang Kai Shek, and that as a democracy the Republic of China (Taiwan) is economically per capita significantly more successful than CCP China has ever been.

Up
0

Quite a few pieces in terms of history on the chess board. If the CCP wanted Taiwan their opportunity best existed in the early 1950s. Instead they went after Tibet which signalled two issues. Firstly always start a diversionary campaign immediately after a revolution/civil war. Secondly their army was (and still is) structured and geared, for large scale land manoeuvres for obvious reasons. Taiwan is handy as a target for swords beating the shield etc for nationalistic fervour, but if it was really either the mortal enemy or a totally vital  jewel missing in the crown, the trade between the two should never have progressed in the first place let alone contribute heavily to Taiwan’s ability to increasingly fortify itself. If the CCP is hell bent on reclaiming lost territory it is likely they would be prudent enough to test the water first, that is for  international reaction and consequences with a much easier, softer target.  Up until the early 20th century Mongolia was Chinese territory. Stalin moved Russia into the void but with Russia now occupied in the West, weakened economically & militarily & resultant increased dependence on China, an easy annexation might just satisfy a lot of China’s current issues in terms of face at least.

Up
0

Yeah i was just being a historical pedant. My statement in was in no way meant to imply "Taiwan belongs to (mainland) China".  As far as i'm concerned they are a soverign democratic nation and if they want to reunify with China that is a decision soley for the people of Taiwan to decide.

It's an interesting counterpoint to CCP 'there is only one China' policy, ok then, so you are happy to adopt Taiwans political system?  Why is it that a unified China has to adopt the CCP political system and not Taiwans. Certainly no one is going to believe the one china two systems bluff.

Up
0

Because you may have missed it, the CCP won the civil war for mainland China back in the 1950s. Sure they didn't take Taiwan, but that didn't mean they never would and they always said that they would reunify one day.

Not too sure if people realise the hell hole China was post WWII under the Kuomintang.  Lots of land owning wealthy people (by and large) who abused the peasants, a real feudalist like system. My family there remember it pretty poorly and they were partly land owners themselves.  Mao was good to start but then increasingly terrible, then under the Deng Xiaoping years and later was basically completely transformative.

TBH the best way forward would be for Taiwan to try and work under a two party system forever, much like Hong Kong did, but without an end date. The end date in Hong Kong is what has led Beijing to increasingly exert control.  For Taiwan let Beijing handle the foreign affairs and military, but limit internal migration to Taiwan and negotiate to have their heads of state as provincial level governors within the CCP.  There is a good (and peaceful) way out of the situation with Taiwan maintaining it's democracratic ideals, but becoming another full Chinese province.

At some point they have to face facts, it's either reunite with China peacefully with significant room for negotiation, or do it the hard way where you will become like Tibet if they try and fight.  They can't win, likely even with the US's support, not now with Chinese hypersonics that almost certainly are going to defeat US CIWS on their ships or just with the overwhelming amount of cruise missiles China could fire from their coast.  Better to join back with the mainland without loss of life and negotiate to keep the parts of your democracy you want to keep. Or at least have those conversations, Beijing is fairly used to allowing special parts of their country to run under different rules.

Up
1

Completely disagree Blobbles. i accept your commentary re under the Kuomintang and post WW2 and it is understandable, in the back wash of Japanese atrocities and the last throes of the older feudal systems. The transition away from those systems is always painful. But the I suggest you lose it when you suggest Taiwan should accept a system like HK. Never! The communists have proven themselves to be untrustworthy and power hungry. You'd make more sense if you argued that China should accept a transition to Taiwan's style and standard or Government. Democracy for all its faults, still delivers the best outcomes for the people.

Up
0

The communists have proven themselves to be untrustworthy and power hungry, do you mean NZ government?

Up
1

I guess China's miracle rise over the past 40 years happened under democracy... oh hang on. Vietnams huge rise in wealth over the last 50 years is due to their democratic... wait a second. Singapores miraculous transformation happened in a democratic... oh hang on... the Arab states huge rise in power and status must be due to democratic... wait wait wait... what were we arguing?

Different styles of government work differently in different places for different peoples.  The lack of realisation of this holds you back from true understanding Murray, it makes you sound very unworldly. Pushing the line that democracy is the only form of government that works isn't really right for all societies, particularly for those who start poor and try to transition to richer.  It may be true that richer societies tend towards democracies because they can afford to care about social freedoms, which is also likely to happen as China becomes more wealthy as well.  Hierarchical democracy already exists within the CCP, if Taiwan joined China they may actually help the transition to a more democratic system representing all people (only CCP members get to vote currently). But not joining China makes them a breakaway province in China's eyes.

As I said, Hong Kong always lived under an end date for unification with China, due to the British lease expiring. I don't know what people expected out of the one party two systems agreement, that China would only start integrating their systems in 2047?? The 50 years given was so that the transition could be slowly managed, which after 20 years began in earnest.  However, the agreement with Taiwan could be forever and advantageous to both parties. If it clearly spells out the amount of freedoms desired by Taiwan people and the amount of control over foreign affairs from China and potentially mediation via the UN or some body in cases where there are disputes, it could be hugely beneficial to all.

But going to war over the style of governance when you are almost the same people IMO is both stupid and futile and likely to end poorly for everyone involved. I am suggesting peace and negotiation is the key with a brokered solution that helps both sides. This western ideal that "people must be able to choose for themselves, even if it's against their own best interests!" should have seen it's day and is showing very obvious issues throughout most Western democracies, including our own. It is also applied only where it won't hurt major Western powers geopolitical aspirations or we would be demanding Saudi Arabia becomes democratic, the US/Britain would be giving back the Chagos Islands to it's people with apologies, they would leave Okinawa as people don't want the base there, the Chamorros would be given Guam back, Australia would be giving much of it's country back to the aboriginals... why do we not care about democracies and self-determination in these places?

Up
0

 I don't know what people expected out of the one party two systems agreement,
 

For China to follow the agreement?  You just made up the part about it only being valid for 20 years, re-writing history in the CCPs favour.

Up
0

But going to war over the style of governance when you are almost the same people IMO is both stupid and futile and likely to end poorly for everyone involved. 

Agreed, China should not go to war and leave Taiwan in peace.

Up
0

You stretch some very long arguments here Blobbles. Lee Kwan Yew was a benevolent dictator and a very rare example (I cannot find another example in history which compares), but he set up a democracy that is very strong and it is under that democracy that Singapore's growth developed. Viet Nam is not a democracy in the common use of the word. It is closer to China, in that it is a single party state. This means just as in China people do get to vote for any party they like so long as it is the local Communist Party. In case you missed it - that's not democracy! Hong Kong? China's breach of the agreement ultimately proves they cannot be trusted. Hong Kong is already a shadow of what it used to be, and the decline is both continuing and accelerating. Not a good example.

No Blobbles you are not correct. My view is that Taiwan should never concede to China. Indeed i believe the best out come would be for China to accept that Taiwan is indeed an independent country with all the rights and benefits that that imparts, and then use the things that you are arguing to develop closer economic ties and relations to mutual benefit. Instead China's belligerence, playing with fire, is a direct pointer to what would happen if Taiwan concedes.

Up
0

Which shows how little you know of Singapore. Lee was a dictator through and through and now his son is in charge, creating an ongoing family based dictatorship. If you believe that there is a normal functioning democracy in Singapore that led to their growth, you have zero idea about how Singapore grew and the political system that exists on the ground and continues to this day. Hilarious you think it's a strong democracy, it is nothing of the sort.  Again, you show you aren't worldly, you don't understand that other people can and should be governed differently according to their own needs. You are caught up with your own experience, instead of having experience of other places, particularly poor and corrupt places that need to grow without division creating chaos. China has internal voting for different ideas within the CCP, that's a different way of political expression. Yes, that's a different type of government, one that has turned China into a superpower over the last 50 years or so. Remember how you said "Democracy for all its faults, still delivers the best outcomes for the people."? Well there are clear examples to show that this simply isn't the case. Yet you ignore them because they don't fit with your childish world view.

An arrogant and belligerent attitude mixed with an ignorant view of the world is also what is driving the West into claiming their way is the only way.  And the hypocrisy is writ large with the West wilfully imposing itself on others around the world for geopolitical power, the opposite of what they claim to want of others.

Up
0

You may have missed it, but the year is 2022, Taiwan has been run as an independant soverign nation for about 72 years.   Why would Taiwan want 'a way out'?  Why can't they just stay an independent soverign nation?  There is no way anyone in Taiwan would trust the CCP to let Taiwan "maintain it's democracratic ideals, after becoming another full Chinese province." 

Most people in Taiwan don't even consider themselves Chinese, why would they want to become part of China?

Should all neighbouring countries with less military power than China become a province of China?

Up
0

You may have missed the Chinese perspective that Taiwan has always been a part of their nation (well at least for hundreds of years). And thinking that it is separate doesn't even come into the thinking of most Chinese people. Taiwan people consider themselves ethnically Chinese but make a distinction to be Taiwanese, this despite their government being the Republic of China, ergo them being Chinese. But this is much the same as I consider myself a Wellingtonian and despise Aucklanders, but actually we are the same people.  Taiwanese share very common culture and identity with mainland Chinese, though still with distinctions. Most Westerners don't know this but people like Sun Yat-sen and other Taiwanese "fore fathers" are revered in both countries as well as national heroes. They have a strong identity sure, but so do other ethnically and culturally diverse people of China.  You think people from Guangdong consider themselves to be just like Beijing ren?  Absolutely not, they identify with their local culture, even have their local language and norms, but have a somewhat shared and overlapping histories. 

No, neighbouring countries should NOT become provinces of China just because they are militarily less powerful. But that doesn't apply to Taiwan where the facts are significantly different.  Taiwan hasn't really been an independent nation since they are only recognised by a handful of countries as being so and don't have a seat at the UN for all these reasons. 

I suggest taking a wider look at the situation, not being frankly brainwashed by the Western ideals of freedom and democracy that are blasted in our faces, but only applied selectively by people looking to benefit from the misery of others.

Up
0

Taiwan people consider themselves ethnically Chinese

Yeah like i'm ethnically a Viking.

80% consider themselves Taiwanese
5% chinese
10% both.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_on_Taiwanese_identity

Up
0

Blobbles you're losing it in semantics. What I'm surprised you didn't mention is that many Taiwanese still have family in China. These are descendents of people who either were unable to flee the communist armies, or chose to side with them. Those family ties are still maintained today. But that does not mean those Taiwanese want Taiwan to be ruled by China. Indeed many of them are extremely strong in their opposition to the CCP. Your position, and I appreciate your perspective, simply does not stand up to scrutiny. 

Up
0

Insurance costs about to sky rocket.

Up
1

When I hear HSBC, I think laundered drug money. 

Up
10

On the 18th of October 1860, the British burned down the Summer Palace, also known as Yuanmingyuan (Gardens of Perfect Brightness), the French apparently refused to assist. The razing of the building took two days.

When the war was won, British and French troops (and mercenaries) looted and destroyed many artifacts, many of which remain abroad, scattered throughout the world in 47 museums[1]. An ongoing reminder of their spoils from the Opium Wars. How ironic that so many enjoy gazing upon such works of beauty and forget the horror that was committed in attaining them.

A British-friendly bank needed to be created to facilitate trade in the region, connecting the Empire’s newly acquired treasures Shanghai and Hong Kong with its British India (the major world producer of opium) along with the rest of the British Empire and Europe. HSBC was founded in 1865 for this purpose, that continues to this day.

This bank was not only meant to facilitate foreign trade within China in whichever way it deemed fit, but in addition was created namely to trade in the product of opium. It is important to note that although the founder of HSBC is credited as Thomas Sutherland of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company, a Scottish merchant who wanted the bank to operate under “sound Scottish banking principles”, the bank had been created from the start to facilitate crooked trade on behalf of the British Empire.

China refers to this period as its “Century of Humiliation,” also known as the “hundred years of national humiliation,” describing the period from 1839 to 1949. Link

Up
1

.

Up
4

The old Summer Palace was destroyed on the orders of the British High Commissioner (8th Lord Elgin) to send a  message to the Qing Empire following the extended torture and several murders of a British flag of  truce delegation.

Up
5

It was interesting going from Korea to China. In one place you'd visit a national treasure and see signs saying "This is a replica of the original 1300 temple which was burned down by the Japanese in 1905". Then in the next place you'd see "These ruins are all that remain of such and such, which was shelled by the British in 1895".

The moral? Bullies gon' bully, no matter where or when

Up
1

Japan's rhetoric on being the liberators of Asia has some interesting similarities to China's rhetoric these days too.

Up
2

How about this then Rick.  “Their economic purpose was to seize raw materials, markets, and labour power; their political purpose was to free the Pacific of British and American domination and to establish an Asiatic sphere of “co-prosperity”; and their military purpose was to use every resource of the Japanese nation to sweep away the territorial armies of Britain and America in the Pacific.” Thus wrote Jack Belden in 1943 after retreating with US general Stilwell through Burma to India. 

Up
1

I cannot recall the statements but there were interesting ones from the Japanese themselves documented in this book. An excellent read. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/79929.The_Rising_Sun

Up
0

Walk around Whitehall. Buildings still have bomb damage deliberately left to remind viewers of the WW2 bombings.

Up
2

ditto Cologne, the beautiful cathedral, Valletta almost an entire block.

Up
1

Pelosi goes to Taiwan, live fire exercises by Chinese. And stocks go up.

Pat C, former White House counsel, to testify before a grand jury, a clear sign that the DOJ is now investigating D J Trump.

Red Kansas voted to protect abortion rights. A 20 point lead, whilst polls showed a narrow margin.

Trump is prominent in the Republican Party, but losing his star appeal. Spectators in the LIV Golf were few. Although disparaging Pelosi, some Republicans and Fox have positive views of her visiting Taiwan.

Up
1

T Alexsnder got such a grilling last night, from the Interest commenters, that the comments section had to be suspended!

Up
8

His schtick isn't going down well these days.

Up
17

And many of us have long and disturbing memories of his condescending, unfair and frankly insulting ‘smashed avocados’ nonsense when he was the head honcho at BNZ.

Up
25

Yes and if you disagreed with his views it was because you lacked 'credibility' (at least in the eyes of the vested interests)

Up
13

Do you clowns even think that TA even reads, let alone is bothered by your anonymous keyboard opinions. 

Up
5

It’s the Tony Alexander fan club! Do you sell T shirts sit23? 

Up
1

He reads them.

Up
1

So all you guys think it's perfectly fine to rubbish someone, call them a "turd" when that person has not given his consent to be published on Interest and has no way of defending himself?  I don't.

Up
2

Just imagine, for one moment, you were brave enough to write something and publish it, imagine it.  Then a website posts a huge picture of your mug and every Tom, Dick and Harry shoots you down and abuses you without you being able to explain yourself.  How would you feel?  Be honest.  At school this is called bullying!

Up
4

Yes, the ban on smashed avo on toast except on birthdays and Xmases for young people was a step too far. However, I do agree with Tones that millennials should go for the cheaper Oppo phones over iPhones.   

Up
1

The problem is the smashed avo example was a good one- most people who have got ahead is by saving a dollar here and a dollar there

Up
2

Most people who have got ahead have had windfall capital gains on real estate.

Up
0

Yes most people who have got ahead owned property, but most of them had to save very hard for a deposit. Getting ahead via property, particularly by owning your own home, is still the best way to save, and always will be.

And right now is a really good time to buy, not only have prices fallen substantially (yes they may or may not fall a bit further), but the value of money is falling at 7% aka inflation.

Prices will be rising again within 12 months, and in years to come it will be said that 2023 was a great time to buy.

Up
1

The problem is the smashed avo example was a good one- most people who have got ahead is by saving a dollar here and a dollar there

Wrong. It's a terrible example. If people stopped drinking lattes, much of the country would shut down. 

Up
0

Giant reinsurer Swiss Re is pointing out the fast rising risks from climate change... Swiss Re returned to profit after pushing through +12% premium increases.

Here is the issue. Climate change risks are going to escalate quickly - many houses will be uninsurable within ten years. Damage events will increase in frequency and severity. Meanwhile the insurance companies in NZ will continue to keep premiums circa $1bn above their claims (10% margin). If risk / claims go up, premiums will go up to protect their margin. Soon premiums will become unaffordable for many.

The answer is obvious: include insurance for major weather-related events in local Govt rates so that the amount paid can reflect the medium-term risk (rather than the risk over the next 12 months). The cost of repairs, rebuilds, or re-locations would then be Govt expenditure (no need for a showpiece 'fund').

The real challenge here of course is not financial, it is logistical. To become more resilient to climate change and more able to recover quickly when things go pear-shaped, we need a standing capacity of domestically-sourced building materials, construction workers, civil engineers, planners etc. We need a 21st Century Ministry of Works. 

      

 

Up
3

Not convinced that would be workable. Politicians, even local government ones, have a tendency to pillage funds for their pet projects. Most if not all local governments don't understand what declaring a 'climate emergency' really means. I've only just started hearing the media discuss roll back or pull back from vulnerable areas, but it is also clear that some locals living in those areas are in denial and resistant, apparently expecting government to pick up their risks.

I suggest that with climate change there must be a degree of forced pull back. Some subsidy could be had from funds like EQC to cover a market level buyout, but if people refuse, then they should have to understand that they are accepting the risk themselves and cannot expect bailout. 

Up
3

Yes they do too. Wilfully, avariciously too. In this regard for example the Christchurch City Council has made no hard fast undertaking that the extra funds levied on rate payers to pay for the new stadium will be ring fenced & spent only on the stadium. Given  their feeble going on farcical management of this project, this is quite obviously a worrying stance.

Up
2

Completely agree on the rollback. When thousands of middle class households face the reality that the homes and baches they thought they were leaving their children will be value-less and uninsurable all hell is going to break loose.

The purpose of the insurance premium would be to make sure that medium-term risks are increasingly factored into household investment decisions - NOT to raise money to put into any fund. Local Govt could spend the revenue on whatever they have been voted in to deliver. 

The key point here is that Govt does not need to 'save' money for a rainy day in some showpiece fund. When the proverbial hits the fan, Govt creates new money without hesitation - as it did to build housing in the 40s and 50s, post GFC in 2008, Chch in 2011, and, most obviously, during Covid in 2020. At the start of Covid, RBNZ extended Treasury a $10bn overdraft (which actually wasn't needed in the end). The challenge is making sure that the real resources (people, materials, etc) are there to buy, not whether there is enough money in a fund to pay for stuff.   

Up
6

You make some good points, but I'm somewhat sceptical about increasing any rates loading. Many home owners are already heavily burdened by the rates demand and local councils have notoriously dropped the ball on delivering essential services as they spent money on pet projects that have done little for their communities. 

Your last paragraph is the good point. the forced roll/pull back from vulnerable areas could be achieved reasonably easily. 

The other big concern I have is an old one of insurance companies profiting while they fail to deliver. 

Up
1

You do have to have a level of financial separation, obviously. Per Watercare finally being able to get in catch-up mode on decades of deferred maintenance caused by councils pillaging monies collected for waters.

But ACC may be the level of separation. The choice is really where the money gets sent, perhaps. Offshore, or onshore.

Up
1

Here's an example of the need for financial separation.  Funding from the "Three Waters" potentially being used elsewhere.  

Masterton district councillors have identified 11 projects which could benefit from the $3.88m allocated council from the Government's Three Waters "Better Off" funding and they are now open for public consultation.

  • Targeted Wastewater Renewals – $2 million over 2 years
  • Trust House Recreation Centre & War Memorial Stadium Assessment and Splash Pad Feasibility – $120K
  • Mobile EV Library – $350K
  • Animal Shelter Enhancements – $500K
  • Planting for Biodiversity and Fish Passages (primarily at the Mākoura Stream, Homebush area) – $200K
  • Mana Whenua Partnership Project – $575K
  • Seed funding for an On Demand Bus Service – $100K
  • Urban Safe Transport Trails (incorporating Historic Walking Paths) Business Case and Detailed Plans – $50K
  • Air Quality Actions Scope and Business Case – $100K
  • Pūkaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre – $200K
  • Climate Change Activator for 3 years – $250K

The estimated total cost of these projects is $4,445,000 which is more than allocated so council wants to know how they should be prioritised..

Up
0

what do you mean "being used elsewhere"?  the funding is "$2 billion of funding to invest in the future of local government and community wellbeing".  How are these projects not "the future of local government and community wellbeing"?

Up
0

Government's Three Waters "Better Off" funding 

Then why is it labelled "Three Waters" funding? It's a Three Waters support package, not a Mobile EV library support package.  So basically the Government picks up the tab for already budgeted 3 Waters council spend (as a portion of a rates) and then the council can go on their typical white elephant spending spree.  

https://www.dia.govt.nz/three-waters-reform-programme-reform-support-pa…

Up
0

These figures while not massive are still obscene. What on earth is a mana whenua partnership project or a climate change activator? Our councils are drunk on public money.

Up
3

What is not being said in the whole of the Three Waters debate, is what homeowners/occupiers will be charged under the plan. The can be no guarantee Councils will drop their rates or fees. In Whangavegas for example there is no separate "water charge" it is lumped in the general rates bundle. Our water infrastructure is pretty good now, although the council screwed up the waste water big time originally, but that's fixed now (I hope). I will certainly resent having to pay for someone else's infrastructure when we are paying heaps for our own already.

Up
2

It's the big unknown isn't it? And aside from the 'stealing our assets' argument, impossible to decide whether at the individual rate payer level, a centralised governance regime will be better or worse on a cost basis.

Here in New Plymouth we're locked in for the next 9 years of rate rises to cover the back log of water infrastructure spend needed.

Up
0

Maybe if people want to leave their coastal homes and baches to their children, they should get their own insurance.

I have zero desire to give a local authority an excuse to screw even more money out of ratepayers for something they should cover themselves, and bear the risk for, particular for people lucky enough to inherit holiday homes. 

Up
11

Charging people an increasing risk premium for having a house in a stupid place does not have to increase local Govt revenue overall. It could be redistributional - with people in more sensible locations paying less because they have sensibly chosen to live in a house that won't be full of seawater a few times a year by 2050! 

Up
5

I agree I live 120 meters above sea level, if you want to live in say Papamoa at 4 meters or less above sea level that's your choice, I'm not subsiding your insurance.

Up
6

In my home town, business premises close to the lake cannot get flood insurance. Owners and tenants both accept the risk themselves. Not a big deal. Can we not just take a bit of responsibility for ourselves and our actions before it is bred out of us?

Up
11

A climate emergency means that if you build a stadium, it must have a roof on it. 

Up
5

And construct a wide bodied jet international airport miles away in Central Otago. Some emergency! GO CCC!

Up
5

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/sea-change-how-the-dutch-confront-the-rise…

2017, the dutch have some ideas here.  Retreat is well and good, probably necessary in a lot of circumstances but not always.

Up
0

I see the economic woes are hitting where it really  hurts in Australia.

“The boss of luxury carmaker Lamborghini says the group is still assessing by how much it will lift prices as inflation across the industry accelerates, with heavy demand meaning backlogs for new vehicles have now blown out to 18 months,” said the report. “Jobs will be destroyed unless the Government moves immediately to ease restrictions on the luxury car sector,” said Jennifer Westacott from the Business Council of Australia.

https://tinyurl.com/4f5mpksx 

Up
0

Are the Aussies still applying a protectionist racket in the form of a luxury car tax in a bid to protect manufacturers who took the money and ran years ago? 

Up
0

The price of Lamborghinis is out of control, something must be done.

Up
9

:D

Up
0

"But the Chinese government still finds it necessary to inject ¥320 bln (NZ$75 bln) in public funds into small and midsized banks in a bid to help regional lenders reeling from their economic slowdown...."

A China bubble, as seen by Western analysts, that seems to have an eternal life. 

Up
0

Of course it does, they can create as much of their own currency as they want, providing they have the labour and materials to spend it on. China's huge trade surplus also means that they have huge stockpiles of other currencies to splash around as well!

Up
2

It’s on life support.

And maybe they can avert a crash, but their economy will still be much weaker for it.

They are definitely in the ‘Middle Income Country Trap’.

only what us China bears have been saying for the past 5 or more years.

Up
0

‘Middle Income for the Middle Kingdom’

Up
1

I always love coming to interest.co.nz comments to see how long you have been saying things.

Up
8

Sarc?

Up
0

Quite a drop in average sale prices for new homes in the USA.

 

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/ASPNHSUS

Up
1

That is a very sharp decline. Seems to be the case across the rest of the anglosphere as well - countries that have been lead by post ww2 baby booms have all had big property bubbles in the last 20 years. 

Up
8

ComCom report on building supplies out this morning. 
Another lame report and findings or something a bit more juicy????

Up
1

The bus tickets are being moistened as we speak.

Up
8

To meet our emissions targets, these should probably be replaced with virtual wet bus tickets sooner rather than later at the rate they're being dished out.

Up
1

Wet electric bus tickets - Shocking!

Up
4

There's always a first time...

Up
0