American consumers oblivious to risks, but Wall Street understands now; Hong Kong housing facing negative equity; IEA sees CO2 emissions flat; UST 10yr yield at 1.32%; oil unchanged and gold retreats; NZ$1 = 63.2 USc; TWI-5 = 69.2

American consumers oblivious to risks, but Wall Street understands now; Hong Kong housing facing negative equity; IEA sees CO2 emissions flat; UST 10yr yield at 1.32%; oil unchanged and gold retreats; NZ$1 = 63.2 USc; TWI-5 = 69.2

Here's our summary of key economic events overnight that affect New Zealand, with news equity markets have finally realised that the Covid-19 virus threat will cause very major problems for investor returns.

But first, the pace of home price growth in the American market sped up in December from earlier months, marking a full eight years of price increases in American homes for sale. Average home prices in major metropolitan areas rose +3.8% in the year ended in December, although that was down from the +4.5% growth in 2018.

And the widely watched Conference Board sentiment survey edged up in February, suggesting American consumers are oblivious to the risks ahead, and expecting the pace of consumer spending that could support their economy - even if Wall Street now doesn't believe it will.

The Richmond Fed factory survey in the American mid-Atlantic states wasn't so positive, reporting a sharp fall in activity in February.

The latest compilation of Covid-19 data is here. There are now 2690 cases outside China and in places like Iran that is probably way under-reported. A week ago that number was 1463 so it has about doubled in one week.

In Hong Kong, schools will remain closed due to the Covid-19 virus outbreak until April 20.

And staying in Hong Kong, the depressed economy is devastating their housing market. The expectations are now that large numbers of homeowners will be in negative equity situations. It is likely to be similar in many mainland Chinese cities also, although news about that is absent from China.

Some investors see opportunity in a crisis. China's margin trading is picking up as investors rush into the stock market on expectation that Chinese government will step up stimulus measures to support the economy hit by the coronavirus outbreak.

Wall Street is adding to yesterday's sharp losses today, down another -1.6% in midday trade. Update: That drop is now -2.4% in mid-afternoon trade, and sinking. That has wiped out all of their 2020 gains. Overnight European markets fell almost -2%. Yesterday, Tokyo fell -3.3% although some of that was a holiday catchup. Shanghai fell -0.6% but Kong Kong managed a small +0.3% bounce-back.

The IEA reported that CO2 emissions were unexpectedly flat in 2019 despite world economic growth of +2.9%. Increased emissions by developing countries were offset by reduced emissions by developed nations. Developing nations now emit double the carbon emissions that developed nations do.

The UST 10yr yield is lower again, now just on 1.32% and lower by another -4 bps overnight. Actually, that is a record, all-time low, even lower than in the GFC. Their 2-10 curve is less positive at +12 bps. And their 1-5 curve is more negative at -17 bps. and their 3m-10yr curve has also shifted more negative at -25 bps. The Aussie Govt 10yr is unchanged at 0.89%. The China Govt 10yr now at 2.87% and down another -1 bp. The NZ Govt 10 yr is at 1.21% and that is also a -1 bp overnight fall.

Gold has reversed course today, down -US$26 to US$1,647/oz.

US oil prices are staying lower at just under US$50.50/bbl. The Brent benchmark is also lower at just under US$55.50/bbl. It is all driven by demand fears.

The Kiwi dollar starts today lower at 63.2 USc, adding to last week's fall. On the cross rates we are little-changed at 95.9 AUc. Against the euro we are down to 58.2 euro cents. That means our TWI-5 has dropped to 69.2.

Bitcoin is now at US$9,325 which is a -5.7% fall since this time yesterday and a -8.5% dump in a week. 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.

130 Comments

10
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Yep.

This could be the reckoning. Always liked Hussman: particularly his warning that the analyst advice bubble share valuations (in US) were justified by low interest rates were part of the stimulunacy of these command economies. Lowering bond yields meant a market four times bigger than sharemarkets were pricing in recession, that's lower earnings, so analysts (bulls) were recommending their clients pay more in the present to receive lower future returns :) This Frankenstein central banks have created has taken us that far down the rabbit hole.

If this is the Correction of Everything, we don't come back from this like after 2008. And there has to be a paradigm change away from the Soviet model we have based our economies on of a central agency of bureaucrats thinking they can encompass the complexity of a living organic market of billions of individuals trading with one another, by controlling the cost/volume/speed of money, and thus the value of every financial asset. There has been nothing more reckless, and immoral (vis a vis sacrificing elderly to speculators) in our Western economies than this modern iteration of central banking.

I want free market capitalism back. Unfortunately however, as witnessed daily by the comments on these boards wanting bigger and bigger government, and more and more state intrustions in our lives (securities law, tax law, the AML monstrosity), I suspect we lurch to ever greater autocracy.

Even if this proves to be just a 10% correction on technical grounds (all three US major bourses now down over 7% since Thursday), none of the above changes. Reality will reassert itself. Hubris will be, again, shown for what it is: misery.

Just some passing morning thoughts. Off to the beach with my pooch.

I want free market capitalism back.

When were the glory days of NZ capitalism? Somewhere around 1987-1994 perhaps?

Try sticking to the topic. I ain't interested in propaganda for the Big Brother state and its command economy.

Your words, not mine.

I thought you were going bush Mr Hubbard? You still can't recognise that the 'free market' was never free, but heavily manipulated by the big players. The 'free market' is a failure just like communism. Regulation is required.

The answer isn't a return to mythical free market capitalism.
The answer is debt jubilee and public control of the commanding heights of the economy / money creation.

Wow. You do realise the state already has the total control over money creation that is a big part of the problem?

Don't answer that. This is pointless. I don't understand how your thinking can happen, that's all. Total incomprehension from me.

Huh? Last time I checked, privately owned banks in NZ created money/debt ex nihilo.
Are you suggesting that the RB created the money that supports credit card debt / farm debt / the mortgage bubble??

That's the mechanism, not the origin or the authority.

Central banks are the central command agency of all Western economies: and that's nothing to do with free market capitalism. Nor are the massive size and intrusions of the modern Western state.

You can't separate the mechanism from the authority.
It's a redundant argument.

That's like saying the police aren't responsible for speeding tickets, but the the Big Soviet State is.

"That's like saying the police aren't responsible for speeding tickets, but the the Big Soviet State is."

And that would be a perfectly reasonable argument to make. The police don't set the laws.

Hmmm...interesting philosophical argument. Either way (government or no government) you're going to have people with power imposing their will on others. You're also going to get a massive lack of philosophical consistency, e.g. supposed libertarians who want to be able to control what others around them can do (ACT in Epsom), NIMBYs who oppose liberalising of how other people around them are allowed to use their own land.

Likewise you're either going to have more people being represented in control (functional democracy) or fewer - crony capitalism, regulatory capture, as in the USA (or in-crowd rule of either Right or Left flavour).

Let's try a new approach ... read what I said, not what you wanted me to say. Ergo:

'And there has to be a paradigm change away from the Soviet model we have based our economies on of a central agency of bureaucrats thinking they can encompass the complexity of a living organic market of billions of individuals trading with one another, by controlling the cost/volume/speed of money, and thus the value of every financial asset.'

Note the last two clauses.

OK - lets unpack your last two clauses.

CBs don't completely control the cost of money within a sovereign state. The NZ example being obvious with a significant disparity between the OCR and retail lending rates - a margin which I believe is the highest in the world. This would reasonable lead me to conclude that ex NZRB factors control the retail cost of money, particularly given that it's internationally floated.

They don't control the volume either as noted before re credit creation, albeit that this is because the role of private credit creation has been abrogated by legislation, so in a technical sense, the NZRB for example is "responsible" by not being allowed to control credit creation. If banks were forced to borrow from the NZRB - effectively nationalising credit - then you'd have a case.

The speed of money may be notionally bounded or limited by CB tools such as the OCR, bond rates etc, govt spending etc. But realistically, given that the State does not control prices for any good or service in any meaningful way, velocity cant be said to be "controlled" by CB policies, merely influenced.

Lastly, the idea that financial instrument prices are controlled by CBs is simply not borne out by reality. Sentiment, utility and pursuit of gains drive price. Cheap money is certainly a factor but no CB is a direct price setter (outside of the direct instruments like OCR that they are mandated to set).

"the Soviet model we have based our economies on of a central agency of bureaucrats thinking they can encompass the complexity of a living organic market" Mr Hubbard, government and thus Government authority existed long before the Soviets. The purpose of Government is to reign in human excesses to ensure that all in society benefit as a whole, not just a wealthy few. To accuse Governments of being communist when they actually try to achieve that is so wrong as to be accused of being anarchist. But worse than that you are very guilty of just sticking your head in the sand and ignoring the evidence of what is happening around you. Capitalism has created a huge mess of; climate change, huge equity/income gaps, social and economic deprivation, and political power imbalances. just like communism; it has to go!

murray86 - may I suggest a slight amendment:

"(Unfettered crony) Capitalism has created a huge mess of;....etc."

Agree just as unfettered socialism creates problems.

+1

Wow. You do realise the state already has the total control over money creation that is a big part of the problem?

He quite possibly does. Many commentators on interest dot are well informed about how money creation works through institutional power (not necessarily the govt). You're not necessarily opening eyes to this.

Do you live in a cave?

The Central Bank can influence the price of money/assets, but the market sets the price. Look at exchange rate intervention by CB's, it universally never works (Soros & the BOE, 1992 Black Wednesday).

im inclined to think that people borrow as much as the bank will lend them.

free market capitalism is well dead - there is no more surplus to plunder
if we went back to free market capitalism you would soon find you don't have any viable consumers … credit/debt is paying all wages
Without the Central banks loading their credit cards it would have evident years ago
which is the big problem come next crash … no jobs and ever weaker demand

I found this today. Banking and centralisation of power go back a long way:
https://archive.org/stream/pdfy-AxcuxNfzg1UDm2Da/The%20Shetar%20how-jewi...

People are scared, Mark. Scared of climate change, scared of asset price inflation, scared of wage stagnation. So they turn to the big authority to fix things, even though most often it's that very same authority which has messed things up so badly.

But there won't be any room for their socialism once the central bank ponzi pops. And contrary to the highly upvoted comments around here, it's not capitalism which is in its death throes, but socialism and centralised authority, which are driving us to economic oblivion.

"socialism & centralised authority, which are driving us to economic oblivion.."

You mean central banks?
Don't think so
They are but an oxygen mask
The patient would be long dead
Tough to have return on capital (capitalism) when growth is dead
And growth would be well and truly dead without their extended credit

Socialism?
You are overlooking the obvious that workers are also consumers … the means of dividing up the bounty is not the core problem
Its a finite resource base issue

The only finite resource in the world is time.

Peak oil was a scam.
There's no shortage of anything, just a marginal cost of extraction which is currently too high.

The impairment of economic activities in Italy's most productive regions will further shorten the journey to a full-blown recession for the EU.

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if Germany goes into recession that will be the beginning of the end for the EU as they wont be in a position to carry the weak countries they let in.
ironic as they let them in to sell their goods to them

23
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they let them in to sell their goods to them

Also describes NZ's migration programme!

Alas, not many of them had any money....

Telsa and the zero carbon cult:
"to meet UK electric car targets for 2050 we would need to produce just under two times the current total annual world cobalt production, nearly the entire world production of neodymium, three quarters the world’s lithium production and at least half of the world’s copper production.
...The worldwide impact: If this analysis is extrapolated to the currently projected estimate of two billion cars worldwide, based on 2018 figures, annual production would have to increase for neodymium and dysprosium by 70%, copper output would need to more than double and cobalt output would need to increase at least three and a half times for the entire period from now until 2050 to satisfy the demand.

Energy cost of metal production: This choice of vehicle comes with an energy cost too. Energy costs for cobalt production are estimated at 7000-8000 kWh for every tonne of metal produced and for copper 9000 kWh/t. The rare-earth energy costs are at least 3350 kWh/t, so for the target of all 31.5 million cars that requires 22.5 TWh of power to produce the new metals for the UK fleet, amounting to 6% of the UK’s current annual electrical usage. Extrapolated to 2 billion cars worldwide, the energy demand for extracting and processing the metals is almost 4 times the total annual UK electrical output."
https://www.nhm.ac.uk/press-office/press-releases/leading-scientists-set...
*this comment was sponsored by Horse and Pony Magazine.

You got it...but you need to get the next bit. The biggest con at present is the absurdity that electric will replace ice. The only outcome is that we will need to learn to live with less energy consumption - which means less cars and less travel. This is why building big new highways is not the best use of money.

Luddites still around in 2020!

Humanity will keep progressing, and its energy consumption will keep growing exponentially. Any slowdown now is only temporary. To wish for lower energy consumption and lower travel is to wish for a return to the stone age - you're not progressive, you're regressive!

The best way to deal with pollution is to increase our wealth. East Germany went back to the stone age and trashed its environment.

sheeeshhhh!*#

Wow. You're delusional if you believe that's our current trajectory.

I don't think that, I know that, and I know there's not a damn thing anyone can do.

You think we're going to use LESS energy when we go to the stars? Laughable.

All of those materials issues are easily worked around. There are non-cobalt chemistries for batteries that are as good or better (lithium sulphur already in limited production is 2x better, Tesla is turning to zero cobalt LiPo for longer life stationary, and there are no-copper Liion chemistries as well ), no-magnet switched reluctance works for motors at high efficiency - though adding a small number of magnets enhances it slightly. Aluminum is better than copper for most electricals in cars (lighter for same current carrying), and a relatively small amount of copper in motors.
EV's are going to dominate sales within 5-10 years - nothing holding them back now except the cost reductions that will inevitably come with increasing volumes that will make them cheaper than IC engines

Sure there are non-cobalt chemistries, if you don't mind have having your Leafs maximum range quartered.

All the others are a pipedream, always just 5 years or so from commercialisation. Maybe one day someone will make one work, but i wouldn't plan around it.

Imagine being in negative equity on a property where you do not even own the land!

15
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Still a huge number of people in denial in NZ

70 years of years years of the media and political class ramming unfounded doom scenarios down the populous throat will do that.

the good news is this could never happen here
The expectations are now that large numbers of homeowners will be in negative equity situations
and if it did our banks are safe thanks to the OBR

16
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The banks should not be insulated from supporting a stupid market . We saw a house 30km from wellington yesterday, expected to sell for 600k, it was a demo job on a small subdivided section, right beside motorway, the house is worth nothing, or even less if you take off the demo cost. Banks who loan on this kind of junk deserve to loose money, and the jobs of staff who approve such loans. Location , location, location, never applied to this site and never will.

Fair cop. Except banks have very little if any money to actually lose, it's everyone else's money that will be lost and it's been made plain the govt will step in.
Totally agree about the loan pushers jobs.

If the NZ subsidiary banks of Australian banks need capital to recapitalise and if the Australian parent banks are unwilling to inject the capital, then any new capital should be massively dilutionary to the Australian bank stakes.

The parent banks in Australia guided the lending policies of their NZ subsidiaries in NZ. They have reaped the benefits of that via dividends, and then they should experience the losses associated with that.

I went to bed last night with US futures pointing up 0.5% and the euro open flat. I’d sold many of my shares on Friday so am keenly interested in the direction of the markets and a bounce looked possible. It remains possible but for now it looks like the “buy the dip” punters are disappointed with the S&P500 down 2% and falling.

The thing confusing me right now is golds’ fall. Anyone speculate on that?

Yep - confused me too. Most markets recording big losses and then gold drops 2%?

10
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When markets fall you often don't get to sell what you want, but what you can.
Those who have stored their firepower in gold may have to sell to meet margin calls etc. If the market continues down, expect more of the same.

BW, have your relatives sold their development property? How were the prices?

Nope! Still got all 5, and are now waiting for 'the right time' to sell.
The only family one to go was the Deceased Estate in Northland, thank goodness, as looking after a small heard of cows, from a distance, into this weather would have been taxing emotionally.

Gold has not dropped 2%

spoofing by the big boys with futures contracts. Don't worry about it, the gold bull run will become unstoppable.

Spot on. I'm actually seriously looking at what I can unwind in the next few days to buy physical PMs, if nothing else but as a short term hedge.

Could be cashing up to meet near-medium term cashflow needs?

You can't eat gold.

Or cash, bitcoin, stocks, houses, art BUT sawpping them for food is very possible.

There is not enough Gold to cover the entire worlds bet on it. No matter how thinly it is spread. There maybe heaps.....but all that glitters is not Gold.

Houses are worth more than Gold..(Some say)....it puts a roof over your head, not a safety blanket backing money ....Anymore.

I tried buying a loaf of bread and other foods, with a gold coin, but they preferred a Credit Card. How daft is that. ..I should have used Crypto-nite.

In terms of here and now you are correct. I betting that, that will change in the very near future. We all have our views on the future
... ......
Did you offer them Bitcoin???

Holy moly. Since posting less than an hour ago the S&P fall has accelerated it’s fall. Down 3% now! Panic is setting in.

Looks like they tried to contain it but people are reading this (wu flu / fall out) playing out worse than the press / Gov't is letting on.

I suspect gold is falling because it's rigged / cornered paper market.
Instos are taking gains on panic.

Conected to the tipping point....yip!

Massive speculative long position on COT report starting to be unwound?

The conspiracy theory is the US government encourages the New York banks to control the price of gold by repeated pump and dump as shown by the alligator jaw steadily opening and then rapidly closing. It assumes that you can control the gold price via futures, which seems to work for them in normal times. They have pumped to their max though, so maybe physical buying in Asia will overwhelm them one day quite soon.

The people to watch are the commercials, as they know what physical demand is like and in a gold bull market they are very happy to buy their forward sales back and be unhedged. Only the indebted actually need hedges (ie those who have just built a mine) and most gold miners these days have plenty of cash on hand and have strong cash flows.

I'm not a futures expert, just re-telling a story I only partially understand.

I’m with you victim on that re gold - it just doesn’t make sense. The only thing that comes to mind is the possible rise in the US dollar.

Historically gold and silver seam to take a hit early on in a drop and then increase in value a year or two later. GFC 2008 gold and silver didnt peek umtill 2011.
Guessing it'll be faster this time though, we're in a compleatly different ball game. Joe Blogs is going to want to cash up and go into something with gains asap. If PM prices go up fast at present it will only esulate the market fall, so price control by the powers that be will be in full swing. The question is how long can they contain it...
This US market drop is only on overseas info / fear. Once a death or two hits the States and the numbers can't be hidden, we'll see a serious drop.... already reports that the States is not testing / prepared / back log in testing.

15
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"That has wiped out all of their 2020 gains".

Then they weren't gains, were they?

They were just bets which assumed the music would keep playing.

Then, by your own logic, the recent falls aren't really falls, "they are just bets which assumed the music would not resume playing"

They are most definitely "falls," which is quite different from "gains": the realization of monetary value, which can only result from the execution of a trade.

Some people would have sold when it was at the peak.

Rubbish J.C. if "the realization of monetary value, which can only result from the execution of a trade" applies to falls, then it also applies to gains and vice versa. Same thing

10
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Iran is a massive issue, it already has 17 deaths and at a 2% death rate that would indicate at least 750 are infected. There are reports of 50 deaths in one city alone. Their deputy minister of health just diagnosed with Covid19 and a number of other officials too. In spite of all this they are only reporting 90 cases

New cases in Spain, Iraq, kuwait, Bahrain & Oman all lead back to Iran

Iran has a population of 80+ million and it looks like it is out of control

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/24/world/middleeast/coronavirus-iran.html

And for live updates on twitter

https://twitter.com/COVID_19NEWS

and models suggest >18300 infected in Iran

https://twitter.com/DrEricDing/status/1232387615875268612

Ind for info from within China

Beware! Scary stuff! people being cremated alive, demolishing buildings overnight, sealing of a building after 1 person convermed with Covid 19

https://twitter.com/jenniferatntd?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp...

You're really getting off on talking Covid19 up!

Who knows what the facts are, or what facts people are happy to accept.

Viruswise we didn't get SARS the way Singapore did, and you can see how that experience has shaped Sing public health response.

We do have first hand M Bovis experience, and that's gone well, you think?
Think back to the English outbreak of foot and mouth, terrible images.

Hope for the best, plan for the worst.
Understand how risk management works.

"Understand how risk management works."

Yvil owns residential real estate which does not get marked to market second by second.

If they don't own anything in significant size relative to their net worth in financial markets, they may not understand the meaning of your comment above.

and commercial property and 2 businesses

Thank you for your clarification.

Ignore it at your peril

Ive already stocked up on food, other essentials & cash

Hopefully PM's as well.

OMG. Nurse discussing it with driver on camera: https://twitter.com/EpochTimesChina/status/1232302592526635011

HELL!
That says it all.

Here is MoH media briefing.
It's from this morning, dated yesterday, talking about Monday.

Dr Bloomfield said more than 100 have been tested for COVID-19.

The real test number would be helpful. Implying no community testing. $3 million have be made available for virus spending.

Dr Bloomfield said there’s been an increase in cases in Italy, Iran and South Korea. As a result, we’re following this closely and have asked our Technical Advisory Group for advice, in the first instance, whether the case definition should be expanded.

https://www.health.govt.nz/news-media/news-items/covid-19-novel-coronavi...

Did he mean the definition of the confirmed and suspected infections? It's interesting because China had a big jump on the stats when they did it.

Boom!, doesn't matter what you call it, how you select to definite it, ....
If you're not testing for it.....

How much you going to find?

Question: How many people have been evacuated to NZ and put into quarantine here? Is it more than 121?. Has everyone in quarantine been tested?

Basis Dr Bloomfield, it sounds like not everyone in quarantine has been tested!
China and Singapore experience tell us that at risk folk need be tested several times.

Dr Bloomfield said 121 people have been tested for COVID-19….all returning a negative test.

https://www.health.govt.nz/news-media/news-items/covid-19-novel-coronavi...

He told media the Ministry is taking advice from the COVID-19 Technical Advisory Group, which will make a recommendation later this week around the current case definition.

Note the table:
Number of Intensive Care and High Dependency Beds (including cardiac care) and Negative Pressure Beds across all 20 DHBs as of 25 February 2020

Dr Bloomfield also mentioned
More than five-thousand people have now registered with Healthline as being in self-isolation.

No comment as to how many of these have been tested.

And we have no comment as to how many test kits there are in NZ now, or the type if test kit.
Overseas false negative is not unusual.

These 100,000 apartments wouldn't go amiss in NZ.

Foreigners are set to account for as little as 10% of purchases in 2020, down from a fifth two years ago, consultancy Agency for Real Estate Affairs estimates. Chinese buyers used to provide the bulk of overseas interest but are now hampered by the travel curbs and economic havoc sparked by the disease.

“The demand from foreigners may disappear in the first half following the outbreak,” said Sopon Pornchokchai, the consultancy’s president, adding that there are 100,000 vacant condominiums in and around Bangkok. “We’ll need to rely on local buyers, but that won’t be easy.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-02-23/bangkok-has-100-000-e...

Once the virus had gone tbrough there wll be no housing shortage.
Rest home espically will be able to be used as housing.

Good to see you happy, positive with a good outlook on life

Always a silver lineing somewhere. We can also back off on the eco world talk as well because out of this will come inovation and more sustainable alternatives.
Yes we can focus on the negitive but at present we need to sift through what we are told and apply logic. From that you form your own view and act acordingly. From what I see, its going to be a shocker so I'm preparing dollar / health too iliminate my families exposure as I have limited faith in the Gov't. You may call it doom and gloom, I call it being a realist.

12
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Consider: 20 out of 35 OECD countries are now reporting cases, but zero in Africa and South America, a miracle! Not remotely likely is it? Like Iran that went from almost zero to inferred 1000's almost overnight there will inevitably be large and growing outbreaks in 3rd world that have not come to light yet. Hang on to your hats the ride is about to get very bumpy.

That absence has bothered me too, especially given the enormous temp work migration of Chinese specialists to Africa for development projects.

not testing, don't have kits.

Spot on. The mild infection could look like normal flu, and people could recover from it without problem

BUt of course with an R0 of between 3.2 & 6.7 it would represent when alot of chronically ill and dying turn up at hospitals at which point its too late. Sort of like what Iran has at the moment...

Given the population and ideology mix in Iran, I wouldn't be surprised if there are individuals deliberately trying to spread the virus.

Given the already palpable worldwide fear, it won't be long until some terrorist group or other starts to propagandize, threaten to, and then actually deliberately infect individuals and send them out to spread.

Whether deliberately engineered or accidentally transmitted from bats, what is now in circulation is for all intents and purposes a bio-weapon.

It's all very well dealing with individuals who submit to mandatory or voluntary quarantine - how will authorities deal with individuals who either rebel against that, or actually try to infect other people. What law covers that?

Say some guy on a train starts walking up and down the train sneezing on people deliberately or even, as reportedly happened in China, spitting on people to infect them. What is that? Common assault? Attempted murder? Terrorism? Somewhere in between?

Dark thoughts today folks.

Why do people love talking about bad news sooo much? It doesn't make them better off at all. There's some kind of obsession with "apocalyptic" news. Imagine how much happier these people would be if they spent the same time and energy focussing on the good aspects of their life… No wonder there are so many miserable people

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Evolution. People who stress out over risks are more likely to prepare and survive. Relaxed unconcerned types die off first when the excrement hits the rotary air moving device.

I very, very, very much disagree with this common misconception. When we stress we are at our worst to make good decisions, it's very much the opposite, it's when we are relaxed that we make level-headed, good decisions. Think about it peeps

Wait a month, then make your call then.

Some of us don't stand to lose as much from an economic crisis. Some of us would like to see major corrections in stocks and property - it's in our interest.

If you've leveraged yourself up the wazoo then of course you don't like seeing the current turmoil in markets.

I get the feeling you think only people with mortgages will be affected? If that's the case you have little idea

Nope, not sure where you got that feeling. I said I don't stand to lose as much, not that I would profit.

Anyone highly leveraged is in a very bad position. In NZ that is mostly due to property.

Yip exactally what is going on bro.

Its not a time to worry about stocks or house prices but how you can protect your family.

Most people right now have the "she'll be right" attitude but once it reaches NZ and we see community transmission I suspect many will chance their tune, albeit a bit late to prepare

NZ is pretty well set up to weather it. We have mostly low density housing, huge local food supplies, few users of public transport and easily controlled borders. Self isolation/curfew/quarantining is easy to arrange. Nursing homes are the most at risk.

The South Korean case was spread by one woman, who infected
her church congregation ...

The UK case was one guy who shared a chalet with his skiing buddies.

A single person in China infected a number of their family members at the same gathering for a meal.

A single person infected the cruise ship in Japan.

Any social activity where people are in close proximity, and that happens in NZ.

The issue of super and superior spreaders.

@Yvil, if you have a choice to wear either a rose tinted pair of glasses or a dark tinted pair..
which one will look cooler?

PS. if you are into some fancy parading on Ponsonby Road then choose the rose colour one

A clear pair of glasses that allows me to see good and bad in equal measure, I will then focus on how to improve both the good and the bad.

Have you ever noticed if your wife's pregnant, you seem to see more pregnant women, if you ride an e-scooter you notice more people riding e-scooters, I've started looking at vegan meat recently and all of a sudden I notice billboards advertising vegan meat, I realised Burger King offer a vegan pattie. We all find and attract what we focus on, good or bad, therefore we better be very careful what we continuously focus on.
If we focus on happiness, health, wealth, family, that's what we'll find.
If we focus on misery, illness, poverty, loneliness, that's also what we'll find

Nope, I won $50 on Lotto the other day and I didn't see any rich people around me..

Negative equity housing visting New Zealand very soon I hope people can keep vacant Air BNB and rentals occupied otherwise they will be forced to sell at a loss and to top it off sharemarket looks like taking a big hit today maybe upto 6 plus percent as yesterday was a joke compared to rest of the major stock exchanges.

Loggers are pretty close to shutting up shop at this point, the employment prospects of their staff don't look that bright.

which is ironic as CHH are closing their mill in Whangarei as they cannot get logs at a cheaper price as they were priced out by exports, this was before the virus
will they now reverse that
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/economy/news/article.cfm?c_id=34&objectid=123...
Harris said the company was reluctant to shut it but the sawmill had been facing log shortages for some time.

Owing to the nature of the assets there is likely some elasticity on maturity dates. Finding a price currently may be difficult as the bid and ask drift.

I wonder how much health and safety, resource consent requirements weighed on management decision?

Professor Michael Baker from the Department of Public Health University of Otago was interviewed on TV3's The Project last evening. He Is very pessimistic about the outlook for NZ (and the rest of the world) with, he thinks, about 60 % of our population contracting this plague this winter. He didn't hold back. He's the first NZ expert to give an unconditionally gloomy prognosis.
We should all be focused on what's going to hit us around winter.
In this crisis, all petty political point scoring must cease right now. For instance, Peters, Bridges and others should giving up their petty politicking and join with all other politicians to plan for the arrival of this plague.
The likes of Shane Jones should show us that he still exists and do something useful for once. Maori and Pacific Island MPs of all parties should be out in their electorates right now educating them on what precautions to take, and perhaps planning for or even setting up make-shift triage and quarantine stations within communities. Maori and all Pasifika peoples are going to be worst hit, as well as the elderly of all races.
Supermarkets and the like should have contingency plans as to how people can safely shop in their stores. The list of things to do are endless.

Ideally we should send our Minister of foreign affairs on a fact finding tour through Wuhan and Iran. Even better let him take his whole party with him.

That for once, I would be very happy to chip in my hard earned cash. While we are it, can we invite the Aussie bunch too?

Ideally we should have the Defence Force in active preparation for a realistic worst case - field hospitals to bolster the public health service beds, transportation of people & supplies, security for when it starts to get lawless.

Not being dark, just pragmatic. And it's probably good practice for civil defence preparedness besides.

I wonder what Nouriel Roubini thinks about COVID-19 .He has predicted all manner of economic outcomes , some positive , some not so .

Famous for outlining the case for the GFC well before the event , he has some interesting insights into cause and effect

So in summary;
How to bring the whole world economy to a grinding halt?
Lets have some bat soup!

Enough Black Swan, lets get on with the real events. X