The world's factory remains closed; impacts rising; China inflation jumps; commodity prices fall; bond investors worry, equity investors not so much; UST 10yr yield at 1.55%; oil down and gold up; NZ$1 = 63.8 USc; TWI-5 = 69.6

The world's factory remains closed; impacts rising; China inflation jumps; commodity prices fall; bond investors worry, equity investors not so much; UST 10yr yield at 1.55%; oil down and gold up; NZ$1 = 63.8 USc; TWI-5 = 69.6

Here's our summary of key economic events overnight that affect New Zealand, with news apprehension is growing at the scale of the coronavirus impacts.

Firstly, an update on the official virus data. It has doubled in the past week to be 40,600 confirmed cases (and an equivalent levels of unconfirmed cases) and the death toll has also more than doubled in a week to 910.The recovered-to-death ratio is approaching 4 - which is a minor positive.

Not only are there issues with testing a virus few fully understand yet (and one that seems to be mutating), but the incubation period may be longer than the originally assumed 14 days. It may be as long as 24 days in some cases.

The human toll is tragic, not only the deaths and infections, but the upending of more than 100 million lives in China. Beijing's ability to forceably control that anger will be a real test of their power.

And the economic cost will be large too. The implications for New Zealand can't be known at this stage, but they won't be positive. The RBNZ will get an early chance tomorrow to give their assessment, and risk signals is all we are likely to get, rather than official rate moves. No-one knows enough to pull any triggers yet.

Back in China, much of "the world's factory" remains largely closed. Some firms are reopening, especially software and services firms. But supply chain freezing means that most manufacturing firms remain closed. And that means we are facing a major global economic shock - the widely anticipated 'black swan'. More than 300 Chinese companies are now seeking bank loans totaling at least NZ$12 bln to help to soften the economic impact on them. This will just be the start of public support for a private sector that is staggering.

And one of the great ironies of this is that Beijing's vaunted mass facial recognition system is ineffective, now that 'everyone' is wearing masks. The Hong Kong defense against the surveillance state is nationwide now.

And Beijing is instructing banks to "automatically extend" maturing term deposits - presumably to prevent a run on banks.

Consumer inflation in China is jumping, up +5.4% in January 2020 from the same month in 2019. In December it rose at the rate of +4.5% pa. Food prices are up +15.2% in a year as the ASF impacts linger. Beef prices are up +20% and lamb prices are up +10%. Fresh vegetables are up +17% in a year. How the coronavirus impacts February is unclear from this data. Producer prices are rising too, but only taking them back to the tiniest gain year-on-year. It's inflation for households, deflation for businesses. Today's China CPI data means that inflation is now rising in the three largest countries that are important to New Zealand.

Elsewhere, Canadian housing starts came in much better in January that expected. And Canadian building permits did too.

The Sentix global investor confidence survey reports the obvious - the optimistic start for 2020 has been undermined by the China virus and investors are turning cautious worldwide.

Closer to home, the iron ore price has shifted sharply lower. And the Baltic Dry shipping index continues to fall.

Equity prices were lower overnight after moderate fall in Hong Kong and Tokyo. Shanghai bucked the trend with 'home team' buying. European markets shed about -0.5%. But Wall Street is up modestly in a mid-day recovery trade today.

It is bond investors who show more concern, marking down yields is a continuing drive for safety.

The UST 10yr yield is at just on 1.55% and a -3 bps decline from this time yesterday. Their 2-10 curve is still positive at +18 bps. But their 1-5 curve is still negative at -9 bps. Their 3m-10yr curve is also negative now, but only just -2 bps. The Aussie Govt 10yr is down -3 bps at 1.00% even. The China Govt 10yr now at 2.83% and also lower by -3 bps. And the NZ Govt 10 yr has fallen +7 bps to 1.28%.

Gold has risen again, up another +US$4 to US$1,574/oz.

US oil prices are down sharply again today at just over US$49.50/bbl. The Brent benchmark has also dropped to just under US$53.50/bbl. Since the start of 2020, these prices have fallen just about -20% so oil is in a bear market.

The Kiwi dollar will start today lower at just 63.8 USc and its lowest level so far this year. On the cross rates we are lower too at just on 95.6 AUc. Against the euro we holding at 58.5 euro cents. That takes our TWI-5 down to 69.6.

Bitcoin has slipped back -2.7% after briefly breaching the US$10,000 level and is now at US$9,838. The bitcoin rate is charted in the exchange rate set below.

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

Our exchange rate chart is here.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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.


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Exactly right, the data from the Chinese govt is obvious fabrication. We will probably only learn the truth in coming years as people involve move to west and leak. Really scarily china needs the rest of world to get this epidemic to avoid being cut off and quarantined as an endemic source. China has no interest in protecting the world from spread, quite the opposite in fact.

Over 284,000 deaths from swine flu, millions infected, yet here we are. This is nothing new, your apocalypse is elsewhere, lack of social justice and the climate emergency crisis are far more serious threats, having already stolen many childhoods and nothing is being done.

Wow, you really need to do some reading before you spout off. A 2% death rate in china would be ~30million, same as WW2, which could happen if their medical system gets over-stressed, it's incredibly infectious, airborne, and in asymptomatic individuals. Their govt has shut down much of China because they know how bad things really are (not the bullshit official numbers they are publishing) - 100's of millions there are on effective lock-down, and it's not an over-reaction. Social Justice and Climate as comparable threats is just laughable.

Come on Foyle, you should recognise that username. Everything the account posts is extreme sarcasm/satire.

Apologies for my rant then.

Viruses never affect 100% of the population but climate emergency crisis affects the entire planet and 90% of the worlds population is minority’s and suffering some form of intersectional oppression.

another good live update web site for information:

ICYMI: New map shows the horrifying unstoppable spread of deadly coronavirus across the globe after five million Wuhan residents fled ground-zero before the city was properly placed on lockdown. The new research, published by Southampton University’s World Pop Project shows a number of major Asian cities were inundated with potential carriers, as well as major European and US hubs.

“Beijing’s ability to forcibly control that anger.” A very good question indeed, methinks. Aye, trouble at t’mill then!

I've been warning everyone who cared to read my posts about the implications of this plague for over two weeks now. My posts have been largely received with indifference or veiled accusations that I'm sensationalizing. I'm not an economist or finance guru but I am and have always been a keen student of history. (I'll repeat that economists are out of their depth here.) so I'll also repost a couple of history lessons:

Thanks for posting. One of the issues with Ireland is mindset: the fixation on rentier economics and the reliance on being little more than a corporate tax haven. Furthermore, two big commercial property mutual funds in Ireland are in troubles (

Some parallels with NZ.

A scarcity of housing has become the defining issue of the campaign, with daily stories of low-income families stuck in temporary accommodation such as hotels waiting for social housing and workers in their 30s living with their parents.

The Irish are their own worst enemy.

They do their best, but most of their problems stem from a lack of independence. They are essentially a colony of Greater Germany as Germany controls their money. The die was cast in the Easter rising a century ago.

Yes, they don't have a sovereign currency. But a colony of Germany? Well that's semantics. Germany is a productive nation and has net external assets. Germany should be an economic role model compared to Ireland.

Heh, the same Germany which currently appears to be dragging the Eurozone down with it?

The same Germany which refuses to stand up to China and so has seen its primary and secondary sectors devastated. A country so addicted to selling luxury cars to the Chinese upper classes that it never considered what would happen when they stop buying.

Germany has the same problem as NZ and Australia - a complete reliance on the Chinese market buying their products.

And coupled to a dependence on Russia for energy, that requires them to soft pedal and block anything in the EU forum that might be punitive towards Russia. At the moment it’s balanced Russia needs the money, Germany needs the gas. Strangely and ironically that is exactly how Hitler and Stalin were playing things prior to Barbarossa. latest rental report for Q4 2019.
Of course our Reserve Bank will do anything and everything to maintain and increase our 1.2 trillion in housing "wealth"
Our rental costs are quite similar.

Steve Saretsky

The national election in Ireland saw Sinn Fein, a left-wing party win the popular vote. They proposed:

- 1% tax on net wealth of more than 1 million euros
- Freezing residential rents
- The biggest public housing program in decades
- Lowering the retirement age

136 infected on the cruise ship now.
Longer incubation period.
How long till this pops and the Fed, China can not keep the markets propped up..

The FED pumped in another $32 billion into the repo market yesterday..... why?

Because the world is falling apart and if they don't prop it up this virus will be 10 times worse.
Try paying someone to help contain the virus and expose themself and family to it when the reward is dollars which are worthless.

But the FED have been pumping in billions on a daily basis since before the outbreak of Corona Virus.... this is a banking and wealth transfer issue - I was asking Why? To see what response I got..... I’m continually unsurprised when I mention this to my Kiwi friends who have no idea what I’m talking about.... just get the same old responses .... dairy..... houses..... rich people.... we are different....

it was actually 38bln. But still this is nothing comared to the last week (min 48bln per day and max ~120bln per day). Why? because if they don't they will fail the whole financial system , such a fragile it is atm . And if you noticed, every repo has maturity from 1 to 14 days , which means if they don't do that for , let's say 1 week - almost immediate crash comes. But I'm sure they will continue , they still need to re-elect Trump this year...

If it doesn't happen the economy will go down the gurgler and a hundred million will die from this virus. Trump is a second string issue now.

i think in the scenario you are describing , the number of suicides of co-called investors will be another number to watch.


Cannot imagine that Trump does not have an opportunistic streak in his modus operandi. Nor would he be beyond, like any good fighter, taking advantage of an opponent’s weakness. In all of that, on the big world stage, he is though, hardly unique. Question is what cards he sees he holds and then how and when he plays them. Then again he may not need to do anything at all. Just let things roll along as they may develop to the advantage of the USA. Who knows, seeing how he missed out on Greenland, he may offer to buy, or lease, the old German territory of Tsingtao.

This is an .xls snip of recent Fed RP & RRP TOMO and POMO actions ($billions).

This is not really a big issue, the Repo daily recycled dollar values have been dropping steadily for the last two weeks as the FED withdraws that cashflow support slowly from the people that rely on it.

The TOMO operations are dwindling as the steady stream of POMO security purchases add to term bank reserves lodged on the Fed balance sheet.

why would they stop? it seems to be very easy to hit the button , create couple of more blns out of thin air and inject in the system

"The human toll is tragic, not only the deaths and infections, but the upending of more than 100 million lives in China. Beijing's ability to forceably control that anger will be a real test of their power."
Still think its hilarious Gummy?

... stop that bullshit right now , pal .. I never said that ...
What I actually said what your OTT reaction was hilarious ... and it is .... you're the joke ... you moron ...


Ha...look in the mirror mate and re read your posts since the start of this outbreak. Yup I'd rather be a moron than you any day.

Yes I don't think down country hill billy comments, albeit probably a facade, is what is needed right now.

Frazz mate, there's no need to bait people. Yes it's bad, most get that and are crapping their britches already. No need to make it worse.. Stiff upper lip and all that.. pip pip.

Agree Kezza - but when a commenter regularly ridicules other commentators on this site they need to be confronted about their bullshit views - enough said.

Our view on what is occurring is directly inline with our exposure and longevity. Gummy may not give a rats #'* as he doesn't need to.
We're here to get others thoughts on a myriad of financial topics and each input can reinforce what we think or ripe it apart. We need both ends of the spectrum and what lies in between to make am informed decision of what we guess can occur and plan for that.

I suspect most Chinese will be proud of the determination and efforts of their govt. As were the British enduring German bombing during the war. Objections to local bureaucratic bunglings but approval of the govt and maybe praise from those who will put down their survival to their govt's actions.
China is different to NZ; I doubt Jacinda could control Auckland as the CCP has locked down Wuhan.


Many Asian countries still have open borders with China and I see our NZ Chinese neighbours coming home in a taxi from 3 weeks back home.There was an article on the Herald about this plus another about how No. 8 wire the effort is at the airport. I dont see anything being done about this. It wont turn out well.


Our measles response wasn't particularly inspiring.

To be fair, measles isn't exactly a large scale killer in western societies with decent healthcare system. But yes, we could have and should have done better on measles.

Whether by pandemic or via other pathways, global population is destined to readjust. This fellow is - ironically - an ecomnomist, but his figure - 1.8 billion - comes in between the 1 billion (at our level of consumption) and 2 billion (at peasant level) this I often cite.

Takes the pressure off housing somewhat............

Humanity responds to random death of young people by increased breeding. As per the baby boomers born after the war. So if we have a pandemic that kills say 100 million our instinctive reaction will be 2 billion new babies and reading your articles from the university of Cambridge will not stop the bonking.
Sadly you are right our population is in excess of our potential resources so disaster beckons.

Global shipping, all those 'just in time' inventories ,must be looking bleak.

Yep if you have FCL’s of perishables all end user labelled up and ready to go, you are looking at a bit of a set back indeed.

The data indicates that those over sixty are much more susceptible to the virus. In the coming months we may see a glut of properties that were previously being hoarded by boomers appear on the market.

Yep and people are just starting to ponder the outcome of all this.
An apple orchard I am involved with in HB is being put on the market due to nervousness.
60 plus and rental properties... you have to start thinking that you bail out now and sit back for a bit if you can afford it.
Pension funds... pull as much as you can out now.
You can now pull funds from Kiwi Saver if you have hardship. It won't be long till some pull out bucks, then more will follow. This effects the markets.
Once we get a confirmed case in NZ, it's the start and if more follow it will get grim fast.

On the other hand those old people living in standalone houses can avoid contact with other people whereas the young in apartments are goners since they unavoidably share airspace with one another. Expect the CBD to become a ghost town and Hobson st a row of empty buildings.

"Front the analysis of death cases, it emerged that the demographic profile was mainly male, accounting for 2/3, females accounting for 1/3, and is mainly elderly, more than 80% are elderly over 60 years old, and more than 75% had underlying diseases present such as cardiovascular and cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and, in some cases, tumor."

The young will be just fine.

No such analysis has appeared on news networks that I have seen.
What is your source?
Until an independent study is ALLOWED by CCP, by non CCP outside source, then any analysis is suspect I am afraid.
Dr who died was 34 remember.

If that is true, then I guess if we get hit in NZ (or the west in general) then that could solve the unfunded boomer pension/superannuation liability problem, and will certainly go a long way to sorting out the housing crisis.. all those boomers and what remains of the silent generation vacating homes horizontally, and their kids/grandkids inheriting the homes or proceeds from sale thereof.

Every cloud has a silver lining..

millennials should go and visit their parents and grandparents. twice weekly

oh wait, millenials live with parents...

Armageddon then? Spike Milligan’s interpretation “ a’m a geddon out of here”

Those young'uns will have left Hobson St and gone out to the suburbs, some even to stay with their parents in their standalone houses...

The virus is racist (seriously!) Asians have far more of the ACE2 receptors that that virus attaches to, so westerners are likely far less susceptible.
Also, Chinese men are huge smokers - particularly older men - more like what NZers were like 40-50 years ago, and china has appalling air quality, so many elderly Chinese will have terrible lung-health. Reasons to be optimistic that won't hit NZ as hard as it's hitting China. BUT ~20% of 'confirmed' infections in China appear to require hospitalization, and if you don't get hospital treatment then much increased chance of death. A big outbreak would quickly overwhelm our hospitals and greatly increase deaths.

That could well be a factor. Still seems that there is too much complacency here. From what I understand clinics are viewing it as a flu and nothing to worry about. But the other risk which is under the radar is what will happen to jobs as other countries slow down. Highly leveraged households must be nervous.

We could just build a field hospital, would only take 10 days to construct. The resource consent would take 18 months however.

18 months? Blimey , an optimist!

Will be damp and mouldy in a week if working to our building stay home to recuperate.

Asians don't have more ACE2 receptors, but smokers do:

"No significant disparities in ACE2 gene expression were found between racial groups (Asian vs Caucasian), age groups (>60 vs <60) or gender groups (male vs female). However, we observed significantly higher ACE2 gene expression in smoker samples compared to non-smoker samples."


Firstly the numbers coming out of China are complete bullshit. If you want to stay up to date then watch the daily peak prosperity Corona virus updates. The Chinese crematoriums are running flat out.

Indeed..... an estimate from a doctor working in China with Corona virus patients is that the number of infected people and deaths is a least 5 times more than the official figures.

Close to what my friend is hearing from family in China, they believe > 1/4 million infected and thousands dead

"The recovered-to-death ratio is approaching 4 - which is a minor positive." Hate to say it but the lag may just be a lag where the incubation period may be increasing so the fatality rate could take a while to catch up. I hope not, because the known infectious rate is official figures and can be fiddled but the death rate is a little hard to avoid.


Nope the Chinese can publish any numbers they feel like. This is way bigger than the majority of people think. I have put buying a house on hold. There is no point doing anything rash until we see the other side of this personally.

Good move. I'm doing the same and I'm sure lots of others are as well.


That's a great example of how economic decision making can be so profoundly affected by these black swan events. The behavioural impacts are much greater than the direct health impacts (which are obviously significant).
Myself and one or two others have been suggesting over the last 6 months that there would be an event that would shock the world economy, and which would affect NZ and our housing market. I was scoffed at by some. I thought it would be 2021 but here we are now.
You didn't need to be Nostradamus. Major global shocks typically occur at least once a decade.

I'm guessing more and more will be looking to PM's as a safe haven store of wealth.
China has been gathering gold for quite a while now and looking like they will need an income other than manufacturing. Do they encourage / manipulate the upward price as an offset? Many have guessed this is their long term plan but this situation may have forced this to the forefront..... Sell everything US and buy PM's and leek the info.

I found this page somewhat insightful.

It goes without saying that the official numbers coming out of China, as always, should be taken with a gigantic grain of salt.

Usually I wouldn't trust the CCP and especially their figures (I do trust their expressed determination to invade Taiwan and eliminate Uighur culture) however the figures for Coronavirus death rate must be virtually impossible to collect when cities are under lockdown. I suspect their authorities are trying their best and probably doing so more successfully than any NZ bureaucrat. For example can you imagine our Govt trying to stop the InterIslander ferry sailing without appointing a committee to investigate and write a report first and then being delayed by Health & Safety requiring port-a-loos for the stranded passengers.

PRC do not deserve you apologetics. The whole reason this is as bad as it is is because of the party's byzantine efforts to control and limit information propegation and instead spread lies and everything-is-fine propeganda until it was too late. If they had a free and open press then Chinese population would have been warmed a month earlier and would have modified their travel plans to reduce spread massively. Their evil has just condemned millions to miserable death.

If they had a free and open press then they would have had a different govt years ago.

However a free and open press in a time of a potential epidemic can be a very scary creature. Shouting 'fire' in a crowded theatre is dangerous. Assuming your free and open press I expect there would have been many charted flights from Wuhan to NZ before Xmas.

Just for a bit of comparative anchoring, Vietnam is also in stasis right now, as is much of SEA. Since the end of Lunar New Year, economically everyone has been in limbo. Tropical fruits are selling for a song as exports to China are in turmoil. I was in Bangkok on a business trip end of last week and the usually bustling city seemed to be at a standstill compared to its usual chaos. Thailand manufacturing is on tenterhooks with many of the Japanese companies suffering (which was happening before Coronavirus).

Yes Asia is paralyzed

Yep. Another colleague said that the main shopping areas in downtown Osaka were deserted last week. Usually teeming with Chinese tourists.

Singapore went to Orange status on Sunday.
This will affect their Changhi hub I am sure.
Truth be told any of the major cities in Asia should be at the same status with their open borders and large Chinese populations.

Have a look at this frightener..... If Orr sees this he might consider Hickeys "drop the OCR 0.5%"

What difference would it make?

But doesn't mean they won't cut, not now, but in a couple of months

A cut now would shock the market and create fear.

Just need the truth. Rumours of containers of meat on water to China being returned are rocking the farming world. No one knows how bad it is or how bad it's going to get. If the Chinese eat a little less every day our ag export business is in trouble, we will probably never let ourselves be so dependent on one country again.
Do we stock up now and panic, or just sit back and have another beer.

I'm gonna put a couple of cans of spaghetti in the larder and have a Beer. It seems the right thing to do.

Stock up slowly and have another beer. No need to panic.

Yes, is it fact or fiction these ships returning with meat?

This surprises me. One thing you would expect the Chinese govt to work hard to maintain would be the flow of food - it's critical to survival, and with much of their country shut down it seems likely they would be leaning more on imports where possible

too many eggs in one basket


What needs to be cut are expenses, rates ,insurance, gst, gas taxes etc.

Exactly. Someone suggested the government immediately change depreciation rates from 30 to 5 years if they want to help businesses through the downturn.

In Vietnam, all day-care and schools are closed until further notice. In a society where increasingly both parents work, that means one parent stopping/quitting work and having to stay home to take care of children. Incrementally the effects will be felt right across its economy.

We have been in Vietnam for three weeks, and another three to go. Seems pretty quiet here in Da nang. Vendors are begging us to buy saying " no tourist - make no money" but then again I'd trust a Vietnamese street vendor about as much as I trust the CCP figures.

Will be interested to see Hanoi in a few days especially as on the 14th it is the first full moon of the new year so they have the lantern celebration - the numbers who come out will be a real indicator of how serious the locals are taking Coronationstreetvirus.

Granny Herald also did the 'Bitcoin passes $10K' article y'day. Whenever mainstream media starts putting their expert fingers all over things like cryptocurrency, best to switch off. They used to barely touch gold and precious metals, only to have some dumbass angle about its irrelevance or an old wives' tale about it being only 5% of a balanced portfolio.

It was also on Radio NZ morning report last week. They were talking about halfing of the daily supply from May and how that may cause a price shock (or else it is being priced in). I don't think we are at the FOMO stage yet - that will come at 20k

Oh, RNZ is talking about the halving. The good thing about the FOMO event (if and when it happens) is that most people won't know where to start to get their hands on BTC. On the negative, scammers will possibly run riot (and Granny Herald will pick up on the story).

The Hong Kong defense against the surveillance state is nationwide now.

Thanks to @Snowden
(x-keyscore / prism) and @Wikileaks
(vault 7) the world knows about the "COLLECT IT ALL" mass surveillance attitude of US Empire.

Of course China, Russia and many other countries are now in a digital arms race to catch up with NSA / CIA.

You are all victims. Link

How does it make you feel that all digital devices, popular web services, operating systems, software and apps on the market today come with backdoors for spy agencies to capture and store all your communications, photos, location and financial data, EVERYTHING, all the time. Link

Must read article from the New York Times: "Zero Privacy: One nation, tracked. An investigation into the smartphone tracking industry":

Another good update on what we should be hearing on msm from Martenson -

Can Interest do an article on why the FED is pumping billions into the repo market everyday. Has there been a news blackout on this? The Herald has mentioned it once!

It doesn't get any air because nobody cares. They will only take notice if it blows up in some way. Interest dot has referenced the repo situation before.

Yes...rather irritating when msm business commentators mention the markets and seldom (if ever) point out the link between the movements and the feds 'this is not qe' pumping. Instead they latch to some other distant event that happens to coincide.

Just to let people know, because the official media are in "soothing" mode re the virus: China changed the criteria for what is to be classified as a "case" on February 7th. Originally you were counted if test was positive. Now you are only counted if you have positive test AND show symptoms. Just the sort of statistical legerdemain we expected. And BBC and our useless NZ news channels will continue to quote figures from CCP like they are gospel.

I long ago came to the conclusion that BBC is awful. At best, shallow in its content, at worst complicit.
The Guardian is brilliant.

The Guardian is a joke in my books. It's the woke-brigade's bible, and the only newspaper I know of which is explicitly a propaganda outfit, i.e. they do not print what people want to read, rather they start with ideology and go from there. That's only possible with some VERY wealthy backers.

Great then you don't have to read it - but "they do not print what people want to read" sounds odd for a news organization?

Yes, if you read the rest of the comment, you would know that's possible because the Guardian is not a for-profit newspaper. Its stated aim is to influence public opinion in favour of its ideology.

Reminds me of the old: "Do you want to tell you the truth or do you want me to tell you what you want to hear?"

Ah yes, the billionaire backed radical left paper is the arbiter of the "truth", even though they wouldn't survive if they had to rely on people actually paying for their drivel.

Billionaire backed? Radical Left?

The Guardian's owned by a trust...

So radical left that they continuously criticised Corbyn, and are currently putting their support behind a centrist in Keir Starmer for Labour leader.

Not that facts matter in this day and age.

Seems appropriate ‘Comment is free, but facts are sacred'

Well, I read it because it dives deep. Yes I am centre-left so aligned to it politically. But I know that, and go elsewhere if I want a centre-right perspective, which I do value.
For example, I disagree with his political views but I really value Matthew Hooton's pieces.

Med students are being put on duty unqualified and they are not qualified to verify that patients are infected even when they know it to be a fact.

Anyone listened to 'The Sun King'

I was clearly wrong about what I said on this forum about the Coronavirus .

I held the view it was just like SARS, another new annual flu-type strain that was serious , but not going to last a season , and all be forgotten about in a few years .

The issue has such ramifications its impossible to model the possible outcomes or trajectory , or consequences .

I now reckon this could cause a plague -type death spiral wiping out whole chunks of the population over 60 or cause the next global a worst-case- scenario .

Hopefully we find a vaccine .

In the meantime , that cruise we had planned in the Med for August has been canned , and I certainly wont be flying anywhere in the next few months .

It's a hard one to wrap your head arround and grasp it.

Best thing we can do is slow the spread, massive over-reaction in quarantining efforts is justified given huge cost otherwise. Give us time to work out best treatments and development time for vaccines, ensure hospitals aren't over-stressed. If we can do that the mortality will be low, if we can't then god help us.


Nice, Boatman. It's ok to change your mind, it's indeed brave and admirable. We should all keep open minds, and acknowledge that things are never crystal clear on complex issues. We should go where the evidence leads.
Telling that you are cancelling travel as far out as August. That will be common,

Yep, reassessing the situation based on new evidence and coming to a different conclusion is good critical thinking. Why is it the property market soothsayers cannot do this?

For comparison, the case fatality rate with seasonal flu in the United Stats is less than 0.1% (1 death per every 1,000 cases).

Mortality rate for SARS was 10%, and for MERS 34%.

Virus Death Rate
Wuhan Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) 2%*
SARS 9.6%
MERS 34%
Swine Flu 0.02%


Some informative commentary:
"More accurate forecasting models show a min. 3% CFR (Case Fatality Rate) & as high as 15%. W/ some saying it may be around the same as SARS which began w/ a 3% fatality rate but after 18 months, once the virus was eradicated (defined as an R0 < 1), the resulting fatality rate was closer to 10%.

The chinese authority has sent another 6000 medical staff to Hubei province, the majority of them went to Wuhan. They are to help exhausted local doctors and nurses. Meanwhile, quarantine measures have been applied to even in the north west part of the country. Residents are asked to not leave their apartment complex, and each household can have only one person leave the residence to do grocery shoppings. Xi Jinping appeared publicly for the 1st time since the outbreak calling for strength and courage. It's a show of both the determination and desperation. When the CPI reaches 5.4% and $50 could only buy you two pieces of pork, the leadership knows they don't have much time to spare. china is trying her very best to contain the epidemic in next 14 days.

Honestly, from bugs care point of view, that 14days seems to be optimistic (we all should be though), but daily we received update that slightly worrying.. kind of pointing towards the things we hope not to happening (worldwide Pandemic possibility). Last night we've been briefed that the incubation period may last longer than 14 days, the viral mutation (I don't like to call it that way), or more less; body/host adaptation is more prevalent.. worst? the Chinese available test kit (I believe the world test kit as well), returned plenty of 'false negative' this is more dangerous. As for sure we cannot keep those millions people to stop from outing/travelling forever, a simple bugs blown across by wind end up on building hand rails, touched by factory workers.. then voila, transported to be a latent danger to the next country of shipment. This particular RNA virus bugs is quite resilient under human daily life activities condition, They're thriving between human host to another once transmitted. Human body is much clever to adapted/learned to combat this bugs, but really need to be in ICU/isolation conditions. The main hidden danger is that, the bugs which already spread all over.. then just waiting to strike eg. during Winter months - before you knew it's the usual Flu signs of misdiagnosis assumption, whereas it's actually Meningococcal, nCov19, Cancer, normal Allergy.. etc. etc. - Patient positive with nCov19 bugs, need to be in ICU/isolation, most likely induce paralysis with LTVV then bed positioning.. all this? just in a hope to reduce their mortality rate to below 20% and hope for patient antibody themselves to do the trick. Now, spare our thought to those in many peoples/cases? vs avail. ICU care beds. The current combo of vaxx or meds, are just try to keep the patient alive, the young, the elderly and those with unknown specific but can be mortal medical conditions? usually will populate the stat board. Death.

Thanks for sharing, it's scary indeed. Let's hope it won't impact New Zealand too much. This particular Made-in-China is going to be in the history textbook for sure.

Regarding poverty , I see the HERALD ran a somewhat disjointed story about how many of us are just 3 paychecks from poverty , the story wandered around the topic of greed , mostly .

I wonder whether proper research has been done recently into this matter of how vulnerable we are to money shocks .

I know for a fact that my extended family ( being our children and our siblings, cousins and close relations ) , are all okay , have either very low or no mortgages , having a savings buffer and have high levels of education.

We discuss these matters at Sunday evening family dinners , and they are sometimes lively and heated debates .

They all work in sectors where the risk of being unemployed is low , such as post -Grad healthcare professionals , or other professions such as civil or electrical Engineers , Accountants , lawyers or Quantity surveyors and a teacher .

Everyone, particularly those under 40 , have during their lifetime taken advantage of New Zealand's excellent, unbelievably generous , and mostly free education system

Everyone in our extended family has the Kiwisaver, all since inception , and our youngest son I enrolled at the age of 5.

So what are the statistics on poverty and savings , and what level of saving does the middle band of Kiwis really have , or are we as a family , the fortunate few or lucky exception ?

I'd say you're one of the lucky ones. While not addressing your savings question it's still illuminating that according to Statistics NZ the poorest 50% of people in New Zealand own only ~2% of the countries total wealth. For reference, the top 10% own 59% of the total wealth (with 22% of this being owned by the top 1%). That report is probably a few years old now so the numbers are probably worse for the majority.

that "poorest 50% stat" is a commonly used but misleading wealth stat. People own their labour, and welfare income for those not working, so that those "poorest 50%" in reality have combined incomes of $50-100billion per year, with a net present value in the Trillions if you consider their lifetime earnings. That is higher than the value of all assets in NZ and makes the net present value of richest 2% look tiny by comparison.

This is looking exclusively at asset wealth. If beneficiaries are as 'loaded' as you infer then they'd either have to have their money in a bank or parked in assets (both of which would be captured by this analysis). The only way to skew this would be for them to have cash in mattresses, which I would imagine is less plausible.

many young people with good jobs, pleasant rented accommodation, fine lifestyle, etc because of student loans are actually in negative debt. I don't worry too much about them.

I would imagine you are the exception. Although there are two sorts of "Money shock"
1. Loss of income
2. ad-hoc expense.

Personally I try and keep an eye on these sorts of stats, but they are getting harder to find from reliable sources. Particularly as people are becoming more private about their personal finances.

In general 75% of people live pay to pay (Regardless of income). So either form of money shock causes immediate financial hardship.

I think last international version I saw it was over 80% of USA couldn't handle a $200 ad-hoc expense. 85% couldn't survive a pay period without pay.

Conversely less than 10% of the populace could survive 3 or more months without income, or absorb a money shock of about $10k.

Salary is not an indication of Financial aptitude either. Many people earning >$100k still live pay to pay, usually due to Mortgage debt. Often these people can survive an ad-hoc expense (Re-mortgage, run up the credit card more than normal) but are in immediate hardship if they were to lose their income.

A bit scaremongering tune here about the black swan/sheep etc. - No Force can stop China, to save the world & force the world to source everything they need from China. Why & How? - the past 40-50yrs China managed to use it's lower caste population base to produce things cheaply for the world, and mostly the more advance world economies just rely on that one factor, which China do understands: Money & greed, hence the title..'world factory' - shifted the all productions to China. Imagine if Gordon Ramsay or Jamie Oliver managed to do just that; Make the world to outsource all their restaurant needs.


5 more flights arrived into Auckland airport from China yesterday - why are we not stopping them coming here??

I thought the govt suspended flights from China?

There is a flight arriving from Beijing about 7.20pm tonight - - send a reporter out to interview those coming off the flight about the NZ coronavirus vetting procedures

Be careful there bb - the local Chinese authority already gave a stern warning about this, any of your logical health measure.. can be treated as Xenophobia towards China. They already said the same thing to US of A.

My apology to re-post this light reading, to those that interested & bit bored when being lectured by RE up beat news:
Beijing team disclose three infected patients findings to the world, study their lungs liquid (Bronchoalveolar Lavage).
They divided the liquid into two;
First one for potential isolation of Pneumonia causing particle.
Second part is to isolate the genetic material, of questionable bug/s.
To prove something that causes damage to the lungs; they took lung cancer cell from recent surgery case to test the regrowth of lung cell, in controlled environment, mixed with the lung liquid from the above patients then push it into filtration towards the sample lung cell & other body tissue cells. Then monitor the Cytopathic effect (the damaged lung cells but not on any other tissue cells). Bingo! something caused 'things/inflammation' to the lungs. But what is the form of this 'things'?
They check the genetic material using the latest NGS/next generation sequencing technique (multiply the available genetic samples) to do the comparative sequencing against database of germs (bacterial, viruses & fungii), what do they found? the material which close resemble to RNA type, coronavirus that caused SARS (2003) & MERS (2012) both originated from Bat coronavirus, but this one experiencing the genetical recombination (at this stage you may call it as 'mutated/adaptable'). It's 'similar BUT not identical'. One thing for sure, they're carrying the same back bone of molecular structure, Bat_SARS-like_coronavirus|bat-SL-CoVZC45. Genome of coronavirus wuhan 2019-NCov is not idential to coronavirus SARS & MERS.
This is where the case get interesting. Coronavirus got two important genes; Firstly, RDRP gene (RNA dependent RNA polymerase). This gene is functioning to multiply the RNA virus for the virus itself. When you check, the structure still the same. But there's a distinctive differential in one gene that play important role for the infection, we called gene S (spike). Corona virus naming is based on multiple horns which resemble crown. These multiple horns or Spikes is the actual coronavirus protein which functioned to attach itself to the target cell.
The 'original Bat coronavirus is unable' to infect human as their S gene structure protein coding is unable to pair up with the surface of human cell protein. But after 'further adaptation process'/mutation? things get more interesting.
The base of coronavirus wuhan 2019-NCov contains S gene structure that has key to 'unlock human receptor protein' that able to target human cell. That is the critical differential sequence for those clever scientist to study & develop an effective Vaccine or Inhibitor that able to block the infection process.
In the case of SARS coronavirus, the gene S structure code able to tie up to human receptor protein ACE2(Angiotensin Convertase Enzyme), We prove the correlation by re-engineered the Mice which no longer has ACE2 protein on their cell surface, and it's protected from SARS coronavirus infection. Cell that don't have ACE2 protein reception has avoided SARS (Severe Acute respiratory syndrome).
For the case of MERS coronavirus, the gene S tied up to human receptor protein DPP4(Dipeptidyl Peptidase 4).
As well as HIV/AIDS virus, it tied up to infected Human T cell via combination of specific receptors which are: CCR5/CXCR4 (CC chemokine receptor).
The scientist hold the spread of HIV cell infection in human AIDS patient by variant of cell transplant within the gene structure of CCR5 code barrier.
This coronavirus wuhan (now named 2019-NCov) only resemble of 68% match to the other coronavirus Bat variant (including SARS & MERS), which means? there are around about 30% structural gene S differential that able to target the host protein. Why differ?
RNA virus such as coronavirus usually have the level of 'typo error' on their level of replication process/to enhance their genetic numbers (Don't tell me as to why humans do have urge to procreate and why the bugs need to be using the same principle), as compare to the normal DNA virus, which knowingly has a proof reading enzyme. That 'typo error' is the answer as to why they are prone to mutation/better word is 'adaptable'.
From deduction of isolation process on their genome back bone structure, it is 'closely estimated' that if SARS came from Bat, MERS came from Camel, then this NCov-19 closer probability is came from Snake... And please, don't give advise to them not to eat anything with fangs or spitting around. Some of us already received a 'wak yu' reply.