Equity markets fall; pandemic declared; NY Fed in massive liquidity operation; China lending growth weak; very few fiscal support packages announced yet; UST 10yr yield recovers to 0.76%; oil and gold down; NZ$1 = 63 USc; TWI-5 = 68.1

Equity markets fall; pandemic declared; NY Fed in massive liquidity operation; China lending growth weak; very few fiscal support packages announced yet; UST 10yr yield recovers to 0.76%; oil and gold down; NZ$1 = 63 USc; TWI-5 = 68.1

Here's our summary of key economic events overnight that affect New Zealand, with news we are heading into more economic confusion.

The lack of conviction we noted yesterday when equity markets rose is in evidence today. In early afternoon trade, the S&P500 is down a very sharp -4.6% and falling. Update: It ended down -4.9% from yesterday. That wipes out almost all of yesterday's unusual +5.0% rise and means the March decline is now -6.8% and the overall 2020 fall is -15%. From the February 19 peak we are down -19%.

The WHO has officially declared Covid-19 a pandemic.

The latest compilation of Covid-19 data is here. The global tally is now 121,600, of officially confirmed cases, up +3000 from what we reported last night. The overnight jump was from Iran, Spain and the USA. Outside the usual suspects of South Korea, Italy, Iran, Spain, France, Germany and the USA, the overnight jump elsewhere was also more than +2000. Even China saw a bigger rise than we have seen in a few weeks, but the crisis seems to be passing (despite high levels) in both China and South Korea. South Korea especially seems to have done a very good job isolating it and keeping its death rate low.

But the pandemic declaration will mean tighter global travel and trade restrictions.

And it will upend economies, ours included. Pressure will come in many forms, but one big financial one will be the stability of the financial system.

Yesterday, the NY Fed engaged in more than US$95 bln in overnight repo activity with US Treasuries, an all-time high. But at the same time they purchased another US$28 bln in mortgage-backed securities. All up, that is more liquidity support in one day than we have ever seen. Sure, some of this, perhaps even a majority, is rollover so isn't net-new. But at this level, a frightening large amount is. The Fed may seem calm above the water, but in the engine room the motors are screaming.

In China, bank lending growth slumped in February, growing at about half the level expected and those expectations included large reductions. But at least it grew. It seems to be more of a demand pullback that an unwillingness of banks to lend. Further, the quality of the lending that is being done is likely to be poor, supporting struggling businesses day-to-day needs rather than financing expansion.

One aspect that is very noticeably worldwide is the lack of major official stimulus announcements to counteract the economic impacts of the virus emergency. Canada said it would provide C$1 bln in support and the US has already announced US$8 bln. But none of this will touch the sides of the actual economic problem. (The UK is currently announcing major stimulus, but that is more Brexit related.)

Australia is reported to be readying a AU$17 bln program, however. It is reasonable to now expect most countries to ramp up such fiscal support over the coming days. But until virus caseloads start to level off and fall, consumer sentiment will keep much of it from being fully effective. There will be winners and losers from the stimulus programs as each is announced and that will distort market activity.

The UST 10yr yield is now at 0.76% up from yesterday, but still very low. The American rate curves are all much more positive today. Their 2-10 curve is more positive at +32 bps. Their 1-5 curve is little-changed at +21 bps. and their 3m-10yr curve has turned up sharply, now +17 bps. The Aussie Govt 10yr is up +6 bps overnight to 0.79%. The China Govt 10yr now at 2.68% and unchanged. The NZ Govt 10 yr is up +7 bps at 0.99%.

Gold is lower again today, down another -US$7 to US$1,648/oz.

US oil prices are still very low and have dipped from yesterday's small rise, down -US$1 to just under US$33/bbl and the Brent benchmark is just over US$36/bbl.

The Kiwi dollar will start today up +½c to 63 USc. On the cross rates we are up to 96.7 AUc. Against the euro we rising as well, now at 55.9 euro cents. That means our TWI-5 is now back up at 68.1.

Bitcoin is lower by -1.2% to US$7,770. 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.


UK interest rates cut from 0.75% to 0.25% (blamed on Coronovirus, maybe Brexit related)



Or, help we have too much debt to service. But lets blame the CV.

Austerity didn't really work well in the UK, they have under spent for 12 years, they needed to increase spending even without Brexit or C-19.

But it's the biggest spend since 1992. They need it.

Austerity imposed by EU along with paying them $20+B each year to get nothing back.
Need to put the blame for decline of UK squarely on EU and incompetent UK MP's who did not support the peoples choice.

Actually, the British voters chose Austerity. It was put before them several times and that's what they chose. But it doesn't matter at this stage whether it was the EU, UK politicians or the UK voter. What matters is how they move forward because that's what will help or hinder their future economic growth. I am extremely bored of Brexit rhetoric. It's over now. Can we please talk about something else?

living within your means doesn't work for anyone
we need greater deficits and more credit to keep this thing rolling


Over a period of time I have begun to wonder about the OCR, and the Banks reactions to it. I have listened to and read many of the opinions expressed in a variety of sources, especially on this site, many of which come from clearly well educated and well versed individuals, and I have come to a different conclusion.

Since the removal of the gold standard, Governments and central banks effectively handed over the control of the amount of money/credit in an economy to the private banks. The net effective of this combined with 'free market' policies has been to hand over control of the entire economy to the private banks. This is evidenced by the Banks lending practices. They prefer to give credit/lend to home/property buyers rather than business's employing people and making something tangible. This has resulted in thousands of jobs being exported, manufacturing industries being decimated, but the property market going nuts, although it produces virtually no value for the economy through employment and exports. Thus a related article (on this site) on the RBNZs concerns around COVID19 being to ensure the banks remain strong is about copping out, rather than doing something constructive. Ultimately an option that is being seriously considered is negative interest rates.

Negative interest rates do not and cannot help the economy, they just pass more power over money/credit creation to the banks, which ultimately passes more control of the economy over to the banks and out of the Governments hands. It is in effect a cop out by the Government. Having already screwed the economic structure of the country over the last 30 - 40 years they have now almost run out of options on how to manage it with out creating an awful lot of pain.


Great perspective


Nicely put.

We have been floating our way to here for 50 years. Pity we avoided having the discussion in that time.....


I have no problem with what your saying, my own perspective has been to shorten things to say the banks willingness to lend is what determines any house price not the vendor or buyer.
Trouble is if the government was to in any way clamp down on that power the banks weild, the high pitched screams of "communists" would drown out all logical debate.

True. But without governments (and via them, taxpayers) the banks and the elite generally, wouldn't be able to exist. Who pays for the courts? The policing? the delivery infrastructure?

Then you get to who pays for the physical draw-down and pollution - and it's future generations. Either way, these folk were getting a free pass. The communist screams merely represent elite propaganda, much as there's an echelon who don't realise they're being propaganda-ed to. Few pidgies coming home to roost though, methinks.

There's an enormous vested interest within our leadership and power brokers to maintain the status quote. The turkeys aren't going to vote for Xmas or reduce the value of their land assets.

You really think that much cheaper production costs in China (and rest of Asia) has nothing to do with relocation of Factories from the West? just bank lending? why banks should prefer to lend money to property owners if lending them to businesses would have had higher returns? A lot of big businesses issue their own debt any way so they do not rely too much on banks. Western economies are quite mature, with expensive labour force, expensive environmental regulations, expensive health and safety, high taxes, active, free and vocal people who know their rights and hold their leaders accountable etc.
Why on earth, if you are a capitalist, would you like to work in these conditions, when there are places with no regards for any of these (and they have hard working workers too)?

How do those western 'mature' economies make money to be taxed?

Capitalism isn't about healthy communities and societies, but about a few getting rich at everyone else's expense. So yes capitalists prefer to be slavers rather than up standing citizens.

There needs to be balance.

Murray, my point is not that Capitalism is great or socialism is evil. Just countering your argument that it has been bank lending criteria that has landed the west where we are, particularly in relation to lost manufacturing jobs. Your comment represents the banking system as the underlying cause. I just say that it is a symptom not a cause. I do not think if banks were controlled by governments the west would have been in a different spot. The reason why private banks have preferred to lend to property would have been the same for government controlled banks. Again, this is not to say banks are good or not greedy or whatever. However the notion that "if government could decide where to lend money and how much etc and then we would have been sweat" is very very wrong.

Bank lending criteria is a 'symptom', and is indicative rather than being the cause. Banks are private business's and have and will always act in the best interests of the business, not society or the country as a whole. My comment was not about them being the underlying cause, that is actually Governments letting go of the economic controls that they should have maintained, without some kind of regulatory control in their place, while introducing economic policies (free market) that effectively meant open slather to the big players.

The entire comment is about Government and central bank failure. The likely introduction of negative interest rates is a continuation, even entrenching, of that failure because it opens the door to private banks opening the door to charging ordinary people for having money deposited with them. This on top of the plethora of fees they already charge. This is already happening in Europe. Once that starts do you really think the banks will stop charging those fees, irrespective of where the OCR goes?

Wealthy capitalists don't pay much tax do they? I thought they employ Mossack Fonseca et al. to create and invest in shell companies to avoid it.

Sheesh, that's just for rewarding corrupt politicians, the drug running mafia and their friends the secret services (in return for black funds and the odd hit job). It was all set up by the US in the Cold War for that very purpose, at least that is what Michael Hudson reckons. Why do you think they are where they are?

Real capitalists prefer somewhere more respectable, like London, Ireland, Luxembourg, Singapore or Geneva.

In many cases - none! And then they crow about their charitable activities. It's all about control.

I think you are saying the Boomers didn't save at all …

and youre right

Debt debt and more debt is all the Bankers know. I watched a Nuggets News youtube video last night where he interviewed Raoul Pal - Partner at Real Vision Finance - they discussed your points and both believe it will not end well.

Call out to regulators. Basile.
Risk weighting of home loans v GDP lending.
Regulating in belief of fractional reserve, rather than money creation.

Are Americas cuts related to Brexit too? There is a pandemic and the world has been using debt like coolaid. The GFC is nothing compared to this.

Exactly! So why are people out buying houses! Yes some may be cash buyers but many will be taking on massive debt which will keep the bankers happy but what happens when we get GFC2 or worse. Jobs will be lost, businesses will fail and House prices will collapse.

Because it is all they know. They vote for the same reason, small minds.

GFC was the trigger for massive house price inflation over the last 10 years.

Think about what happened during the GFC. The government indebted itself to bail out the banks, who were giving loans to people who couldn't afford them. So what really happened? The government paid mortgages of those people who couldn't afford mortgages in the first place. This money was just printed, so didn't affect the "real economy". Ever since then, that money has had to be kept out of the real economy, else there would have been huge inflation and potentially a currency crisis.

That "two stream" economy has had to continue existing for this reason, however the central banks and impotent government have accelerated the financialised economy by printing ever increasing amounts of money, either through direct printing or via fractional reserve printing. There has been some leakage from the financial economy into the real economy causing huge asset price increases as a result of the ever lower rates needed to maintain the system.

If the same cycle repeats, mortgage holders may be bailed out by the government yet again. So buying houses to become a future beneficiary of government money printing may not be a terrible idea, particularly if you can maintain >50% equity. Either the people taking out mortgages now are very stupid, or very smart. Only time will tell.

Not sure what you mean by this happening during the GFC:

So what really happened? The government paid mortgages of those people who couldn't afford mortgages in the first place.

They bailed the banks, not the mortgagee home-owners. Had a friend in the US who was foreclosed on. Property went to auction and it was bought by a bank (at a much discounted price, of course). It was sold twice again inside a year to two other banks. Remained empty. Don't know what happened after that, as she committed suicide a month or so later.

PS - wasn't that she couldn't afford her mortgage (i.e., hers was not a 'liar loan') - rather she lost her job.

Hi Kate, sorry to hear about your friend.

The government still paid the mortgages of people who couldn't afford it (even those who were unemployed). It's just that they didn't protect the mortgage holders, they protected the banks. This has set a precedent since this time - you don't support people in need, you support corporations, in the hope that trickle down is not a joke and to "ensure the proper working of the financial system". Is this morally repugnant? Most likely. Do we continue to support the system that props up corporations at the expense of individuals? That's the million dollar question. I have been raging against this since the GFC, unfortunately people are trapped in a malaise based on the debt feast that is continuing to this day.

Thanks, it was all so unnecessary - and I'm with you in terms of my disgust with the handling of it, and during the Obama administration, which one would have thought would have been the last Pres. to allow what did happen to happen.


Dow down just shy of 1,400. If there is sense in the markets, they'll double that before the close.
This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to shake some sense into the financial and social markets, and if we let it pass by with a 'Market always bounces back and end up higher than they were!' attitude, then we'll find ourselves in a far worse place than that which we think we are now.

Already number of new confirmed cases has peaked and is in decline. I remember way back in January when everyone was freaking out about WWIII, well that didn't happen. Three months time, this will all be history and I will be laughing about how wrong everyone was.

Several countries have now stopped reporting those who are infected but not symptomatic, which will have slowed down the number of reported cases.

80% of infected don't show symptom or normal cold like symptom. You and I could have already got it.


At the risk of repetition:
"Covid19 isn't the reason, it's the excuse" ( that was needed to recalibrate asset markets)

Exactly , but many cannot see this point of view.


Korea has managed to get on top of it through vigorous tracking. China is likely declining, but unclear as their data are all fabrications (official document leaks showing this). Iran has millions infected, their data are worthless, and most of the rest of the world skyrocketing. So which imaginary earth are you talking about?

Can you link to the "Official Documents"? I am genuinely interested, as it is something I suspected to happen but haven't seen proof as yet.

look at epochtimes and china in focus. https://twitter.com/EpochTimesChina https://twitter.com/ChinaInFocusNTD
MSM will not question Chinese state propeganda.

Whilst I somewhat believe in the sentiment.. Peak is yet to come, cases up 6,700 today so far which is the biggest increase since the outbreak?

Infectious Disease Expert Michael Osterholm Explains: Around 96 million #coronavirus cases and some 480,000 deaths could occur over the next 3 to 7 months https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZFhjMQrVts

Some numbers now low, because at the beginning.
Linear thinking not helpful.

Just listening to that now

Just listening to that now

If 100million are infected then over 5 million die - there is no hospital treatment at that scale

"Already number of new confirmed cases has peaked and is in decline" Can you please name these countries?

Some countries that found it earlier have defitnitely begun to plateau, but it doesn't look like it's in "decline"

"Three months time, this will all be history"

I wish!

Probably in big debt. I will pray for them.

Except the dead folks - they are literally the history you refer to, and they won't be laughing.

Yes, change of thinking, change of behaviours around public health here and now.


The awareness of these travellers poor.
The other view is she and her companions could have thanked the airline for the care and attention.

Highlights the massive comms job in front of govt. And lack of progress they have made since Februart 2nd.
It's all in front of us now.


I think we need to just do it, stop going to events that are packed with people, wash hands etc. Don't wait for govt to 'help'.

Certainly our approach.

Getting NZ into a 2-4 week lockdown now would be a very powerful means for getting whole population to adjust their thinking to the new normal we need to maintain until vaccine is available. Leaving it until hospitals are nearly overwhelmed as in Europe is just idiotic/irrational. A stitch in time saves nine.


Ok so the WHO have finally admitted its a pandemic about 2 weeks to late. Its game on now. The numbers look staggeringly bad how can this possibly not end badly for the USA ? This is looking like an epic market correction to me.


Also, why is everyone assuming that C-19 is just going for one ride around the global merry-go-round? There is no reason to assume that. It could re-visit in waves, it could mutate. This is a new virus mutation so we don't know how it will behave. It's way, way too early to make predictions about when it will die off.

I think that is the big danger. If you look up Zoonoses and Zoonotic you get an idea of the danger. Michael Osterholm touched on it yesterday, in China they had live chickens on top of Ferrets.

2.2 million views is shaming our MSM.


That's a super interesting interview with Michael Osterholm, well worth a look.

Everyone should watch it. Most informed interview I've listened to.

Another good listen, Jolly swagman podcast with Yaneer Bam-Yan, (https://josephnoelwalker.com/yaneer-bar-yam/) from about 1hr 12m in is all about CoronaVirus. The bit before is also interesting, but I need to listen to it again when not otherwise occupied to digest it all.

100% agree! I cannot fathom why China is claiming they are over the curve and are reopening factories (apart from the necessity to just carry on and save the economy) - surely they can't expect to function at anywhere near the same capacity for the next 6 months?
It leads me to question whether they really are seeing less cases, or if they're just saying they are to promote a sense of calm. Based on the images coming out of Italy, I think what China was and still is going through is a LOT worse than what we were told.


Not only are they late. They are criticizing the world for it's lack of action.

This is the same organisation that pleaded to the world not to enact travel bans against China.

WHO? - Should be WHY bother.


Ironic that WHO finally declared it a pandemic after the markets collapsed - it’s obvious they we’re under pressure by the elites to keep the game going.


USA has to do massive scale quarantining or it is toast. Scandanavian hospitals are a few days from being overwhelmed. Persian Gulf states are in terrible trouble. The abyss is opening up all around. So I predict NZ Govt will talk more and do nothing about the quarantining we need.

What do you mean? USA is doing a terrific job. You can't be sick if you're dead.

How do they work out the cost of providing health care to those who can not afford it, with medicial costs that are insane?



Petrol in Victoria has dropped 25% to $1.20 / litre. How bad are the NZ fuel companies malfunctioning- we have probably seen about a 5 % drop.

How much of that $1.20 is tax?


As far as I can see about 46cents (tax + gst on the tax). Tax in NZ I believe is about 74 c plus 10 in Akl plus gst. So roughly the same ballpark % of the total price.


Good point, with % duty & tax, tax receipts another reason for overseers being relaxed about price reductions.


Falling fuel prices may not be part of the wished for govt narrative.
Economically significant, like a stimulus or a tax reduction, but Shaw & Co may well prefer not, as it slices through their fossil fuel psychology. What they want believed (how can something so bad, now be cheaper and helpful?).

How good an economic administration do Activist politicians make.

Similar thing going on with political wish for massive group events to continue this weekend in face of now pronouned public health realities.

Given the government collects $1.06/L on 91 that's just not possible here.

thats a huge knock to companies and individuals trying to compete with low priced economies where energy cost makes a big difference.

the government collects some of that as a percentage so as the price drops so does that portion, the other potion is per ltr so that wont change
if simoon nobridges wanted to give NZ a meaningful tax cut and boost take the GST off petrol, they already collect duty and fuel levy to pay for the roads. GST is icing


We get slammed with such a high cost of living in this country

Nonsense. This generation - globally and locally - is a million miles away from paying its way.

It is in total draw-down, total avoid-pollution mode. And totally overshot.

And you're away back there somewhere drivelling about cost of living?

Spare me.


"Sniveling about the cost of living" yea man i know the nerve of people wanting food and shelter honestly.

Says the guy who probably benefited from cheap housing, free university etc etc
Easy to throw stones from the ivory tower ey?

He benefited from the fossil fuelled growth era but now he wants to pull up the ladder because "eco friendly"

Yes I have no time for the double standards.or maybe I am wrong? Maybe he has always been a hippy, never bought a house or.motor vehicle, never had kids, never went to university for free, never worked in jobs supported by the modern economic paradigm

Sometimes I wonder if its worth living here

$175 billion overnight assistance to US Banks - just announced on CNBC


it's always about the banks. It never flows into the real economy in anything more than high asset prices.

Such is the advantage of regulatory capture.

CNBC is calling the current Dow as a drop large enough to declare a bear market. The trading behaviour has been bearish for quite a while now. The US market has a long way to fall as their shares are extremely overvalued.

The Fed has injected $175b into repos but that's just a part of what's been going on since September. I don't see US banks wanting to lend much other than to prop up the financial system so they don't collapse themselves.


The Fed blew the biggest bubble in history and the correction could be massive.

There's a long way to go. There's a lot of smug dividend investors out there. When the flow of dividends falls away there will be a second round of panicking.

If they have bought great companies or ones that thrive during certain periods, then they should be fine.

companies like berkingshire or apple that have massive cash reserves will now begin looking for opportunities to invest some of that cash.
it will be interesting to see who they buy

I think you mean Berkshire.

That's the second recently-registered persona making placatory mutterings, in the last 24 hours.

Someone didn't see the need to placate coming, and got themselves registered so they could comment, did they?

Let's hope they're not RBNZ or bank-associated. Or fund-associated, of course.


That's a bit rude. I registered just under 4 months ago.


Low rates create Chaos. Central bankers are making a big mistake. We will end up like Japan where house prices are still %50 below peak and stuck in permanent low growth economy.


The banks calling recession now but I'm calling worse. The big D is on the way.
I don't know how this is going to play out for those with obly 20% in their house.. badly I'm guessing. One thing is sure it will be the boomers fault!


Dow panic as virus hits New York.
Down 1600 today and still going
No buy dip this week
This is no ordinary correction


it was no ordinary bubble, lowest interest rates for 5,000 years had consequences.

The Banksters like you to bet your assets on their behalf.....or should I say...their B-Total.

This funny money is no laughing matter.


Here we go again. The Fed underwriting bubbles.


This crash has been heavily signaled, so govt should stay the hell out of it.

Interesting comment.

Actually, if the Govt had stayed out of it, the global system would have imploded in 2008, and you would be working in local food-production now. The so-called free market never worked without socialising the costs (public funding and/or future generations being hamstrung). The problem is that the ideology was based on a myth (that growth could be had indefinitely within a bounded system).

what this has to do with "free market"? why do you mean by that? a free market is just a mechanism to determine price of something. And it is the best mechanism that we have for that purpose. Economic growth and growth based economics and free markets are not the same thing. If we were the "local food growing" economy with 1m people on the whole planet, free market would have still be the best mechanism to determine the price of goods that you needed to trade. How many cabbages for that rabbit you hunted?
Powerdownkiwi, trading and labor specializations are not the product of the last 2,3 centuries. Ditto markets. Free markets, money and all the other elements that underpin and accommodate trading between humans are great things.

great things..... to manipulate and monopolize to advantage.

Come on man. A monopoly is definitely not a free market :). Market manipulation is obviously not what I meant. Can it happen? sure as hell. But that does not mean markets are not great. Free thinking and freedom of speech can (and had) result(ed) in terrible and devastating things. Does that mean free thinking and freedom of speech is bad when you look at the them through out the human history? Free markets are the same. They can be abused, manipulated etc to benefit some people to great expense of others. But they are still great, and really how else are you going to counter monopoly and market manipulation? by creating a true "market". Accumulation of wealth (whether they are gold coins, oranges, pigs or whatever) happens under any system tried by early humans to us today. That has nothing to do with the exchange mechanism used.

What, is trillions in debt not enuff.

Keep borrowing more, keep spending on Houses, keep putting yer rolls royce and yer wife's Ferrari on the rise of your Mansion.

Your Key Largo, your Air-force-one..Oh! sorry they are mine...I forgot.....

But do not forget to put all your money on Facebooks and Twitter shares first. Then spend the Rise, out of the Rise, out of the Rise I am taking out of all youse Investors...



Foyle - same position if/when this turns to full blown recession, people lose jobs, FHB's default on loans and NZ housing market tanks by 50%? (all hypothetical but definitely not impossible).

No, I am talking about sharemarkets. Keeping people from starving and losing homes is sensible. I am wondering if mortgage and rent holidays might be part of package that governments will employ to get population through quarantining period. (Yes I realize that will be very unfair to many, but need to figure out simple and effective measures that can be enacted quickly)

I don't think you can necessarily just talk about the share market in this instance? (but then I've been struggling to drink the cool-aid that is NZ house prices never fall). To me, it would just look like another instance of where we don't want to support business, we just want to support house prices? What about the people who have been struggling since the GFC and house prices climbing so quickly? Shouldn't now be their opportunity if government lets house prices fall and correct back to some safer level (much like the share market is most probably going to do?)

Can you really see the Government telling the banks not to demand payments on mortgages or landlords not to demand rent? That pathway will effectively just lead to subsidies for the wealthy rather than helping the people.

I don't know, the inter dependencies are all complex, and to come up with any non-distorted fair measures is just impossible. Analysis paralysis is a real risk, rome will burn if we organise another working group. We need to have partial solutions that are administratively simple and that can be enacted super-quick with simple acts of parliament. Maybe case by case assessment of hardship and support would work, farm the work out to NZ's accountants so that they would only have to do a few hundred cases each. But it is a monster problem to solve in a hurry.

Been listening again to Robert Shillers recent book "Narrative Economics'' - he talked about the influencee of pandemics (including the possibility of what we now have). The narrative is playing out how he proposed.

Here's one of his recent interviews:


Just sold my house. I am getting a rental in remote west coast. I am sitting this one out. This is BAD.

How lovely - I've always wanted to live in Karamea just to experience the sheer remoteness of it.

Is Covid-19 deadly? Yes, it can kill people. Do we need precaution? Obviously we do. Is the bug new Black Death? NO!

If the internet was as ubiquitous as now in 2009, H1N1 would have caused the same level of panic at least.

It was. It did. 20% of all people alive at the time got it. This is worse.

Stay calm and move on. Panic is not to solve anything.

Once hospitals are overwhelmed 5-10% of infected will die. Italy is already there (currently about 6-7% death rate):
Wuhan was similar, and much of OECD will be in that state in another 1-3 weeks.
Panic is good, it will motivate, not kill, complacency is the real danger.

Good on you. I simply sense the pure panic from some of the comments put in here during past few days, which is not good. I guess some people never imagined the bug would reach to our shore this fast.

Come on, make up your mind.. is the number of reported infections way understated, or are 6% of people that get it dying. You don't get to inflate both figures, and poo-poo every official stats release. You're getting into conspiracy theorist territory.

Here's the exact text, bolding preserved, of the face of the pamphlet handed to all incoming international air pax (as of Monday midnight, anyways). Read it and weep...

"Important message from the New Zealand Ministry of Health
Kia ora, welcome to New Zealand.
If you get sick within a month of arriving in New Zealand, please seek medical advice as soon as you can.
Telephone the free Healthline on 0800 611 116 or contact a doctor. It is important to tell them that you have been outside New Zealand recently."

Yep, that'll work.......

We're doomed.

Asymptomatic: what's the chance.

Dr Bloomfield told media that for a fourth consecutive day, there are no additional confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 to report in New Zealand.

He said New Zealand still has five confirmed cases two probable cases....


Dr Bloomfield used the opportunity to promote how critical it is not to put yourself or others at risk if you’re unwell.

He said that includes not going to work or being out in public if you are sick.

He said this is a particularly important message to remember for concerts and large gatherings we have coming up, including Polyfest and the one year memorial for the Christchurch mosque shootings this weekend. Please stay home if you’re unwell.

WHO says what



Sporadic Cases - aim to stop transmission & prevent spread of #COVID19 by:
-Enhancing emergency response mechanisms
-Communicating risks & prevention measures with the public
-Enhancing active case finding, contact tracing & monitoring; quarantine & isolation of cases.

And Eric Crampton, as usual ahead of the pack, enlarges upon something that GingerNinja and others upthread have referred to - what if a WuFlu season recurs - annually, with mutations, just like - y'know - Flu?

I prefer the scenario that could come the the US at the moment, election year and all;

Doctor; Good morning Mr/Ms ...... We have the tests for COVID19 back for you. Unfortunately you have come back positive. We want to keep that quiet for a while though. Would you like to meet the President? you must remember to shake his hand, but giving him a hug would be better....?

And please can you tell us the people you coughed and sneezed over and where they are now...and please can you ask them all to do the same...Ta everso...Dr Doolittle.

Oh, FFS. There, I've said it.

Please also check you haven't forgotten any food items, plant items or animal items that you were meant to declare. And if you're a backpacker please don't crap on the roadsides or laybys.

The ~5% of people who get seriously ICU sick from wuflu get severely damaged lungs and sometimes other damaged organs. The lung damage is pulmonary fibrosis and most people with pulmonary fibrosis die within a couple of years (maybe wuflu will be an exception?) Maybe 1-2% case fatality rate with good treatment is not representative of the true death rate - and in reality it will just produce a long terminal convalescence.

That is an interesting new angle on it, thanks.

My husband and I are instructing the kids today, that if we go down with this one, we wish to go straight from morgue to ashes - skip the funeral, you are only adding to other vulnerable people feeling obligated to go out into a crowd.

Now the next discussion for us is - do we wish to be intubated?

I don't know how many mechanical respirators we have in NZ but at my age I certainly don't want to take up time on a scarce resource, if indeed they are few and far between.

For completeness, here's the pamphlet verso. Based on that (especially that last symptom - confusion) then not a few Interest commenters should qualify after a hot chili meal....

"Tell the health professional if you have a temperature of 38° C or higher and one or more of the following symptoms:

  • ongoing coughing
  • difficulty breathing
  • ongoing diarrhoea
  • ongoing vomiting
  • skin rash
  • bruising or bleeding without injury
  • looking obviously unwell
  • confusion


What? Confusion? I don't understand. I'm.......

Not sure if already mentioned, but the National Guard was sent into an area overnight in NY to enforce a containment order;


Trump has just stopped all travel from the EU to US for 30 days

Smart actions today, reduce the spread tomorrow.

Trump on Fox News.

Breaking news; Trump is suspending all travel between the US and Europe for the next 30 days (National Radio)!

Thus is HUGE!

Too late, The USA already has too many cases running round on the loose. But it plays well with his crowd, they like blaming things on foreigners. And their govt structure with all the states making their own rules isn't going to help, its going to be a fractured and inconsistent response.

It is becoming very clear, if it wasn't already, that there are two viruses circling the globe. One is called coronavirus & the other is called fear. One originated in China, the other has been used by our friends in the media to disseminate fear. We should sue both of them.

PS: I didn't mean that really. The media are not our friends.

The media, politicians, academia - and economists.

That's the beginning and end of the blame'em list.

The history of propaganda/advertising/think tankery is a fascinating one but the media were the wrong side of that, increasingly. And falsehood begets falsehood, to the point where the social narrative is essentially wrong.

Interesting times.

I would like to meet the idiot who came up with this idea , or more importantly I would like to see the business case for it , because some things just make no sense whatsoever , and I dont know if I should feel sorry for Phil Twyford , because he really does set himself up to fail

The latest hare-brained thing is the launch of a COMMUTER TRAIN TO HAMILTON / AUCKLAND , that takes ......... wait for it ............ 2 hours and thirty minutes (one way )............ so you will take an eye-watering 5 hours commuting each day ...........to get to work to do 8 hours of work .

You may have to get up at 4am to catch the 5 am train to get to the station so you can arrive fresh and ready to work

And that is conditional on you being able to get to work from a station in a reasonable time , and not take buses adding more time and cost to your daily commute

So your 8 hour day becomes 13 hours leaving just enough time to sleep for 8 hours and make 2 meals , have a quick shower and maybe throw the ball for the dog for 10 minutes.

Its going to cost a staggering $200 a week per person which only includes the main leg , so its going to be real costly if you need a second or third bus or train

I will take anyone a $50 bet that the whole thing will be an under-utilized loss-making fiasco that National will have to can within a year of them taking office .

What's your costing for the tidal-wave of private commuting, park-requiring etc etc car fleet and it's attendant road material maintenance?

But ultimately, both of you are missing the picture. Work is about to be redefined. A lot of what thought it was, wasn't. There's won't be that much commuting.

Donald Trump has just announced a ban on travel to Europe

read my above comment 'act now'. The USA has to move fast it only has hours left.

And Morrison has just announced a $750 handout for Aussies , I have no idea what such a small sum is going to do to the average persons finances , but if I was getting it I would not spend it , I would save it , or if I had any debt , pay the debt off in whole or part.

It's more than one thing.

It's maybe 2 supermarket shops (stocking up) + petrol.
A lot of people hand to mouth.
It also psychological.
Many Aussies are bush fired out.

Australian Hollywood news


Actor Tom Hanks says he and his wife, actress Rita Wilson, have been diagnosed with coronavirus.

In a statement posted to Instagram, Hanks said he and his wife were traveling in Australia when they were tested after exhibiting symptoms like tiredness, body aches, chills and "slight fevers."

"Well, now. What to do next? The Medical Officials have protocols that must be followed. We Hanks' will be tested, observed, and isolated for as long as public health and safety requires. Not much more to it than a one-day-at-a-time approach, no?" he wrote.

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