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US Congress agrees $2 tln rescue package; US state govts at risk of bankruptcy; China buys cheap as economy restarts; Aussie joblessness surging; UST 10yr yield at 0.81%; oil and gold hold; NZ$1 = 58.2 USc; TWI-5 = 65.6

US Congress agrees $2 tln rescue package; US state govts at risk of bankruptcy; China buys cheap as economy restarts; Aussie joblessness surging; UST 10yr yield at 0.81%; oil and gold hold; NZ$1 = 58.2 USc; TWI-5 = 65.6

Here's our summary of key economic events overnight that affect New Zealand, with news we are entering a split world where joblessness explodes but share prices rise strongly.

The American Congress has agreed to a US$2 tln aid bill, 10% of GDP and will vote on it soon with the President expected to sign it. It is the largest fiscal support package ever but may only be the start of what is needed, especially as the American infection rate seems sure to climb sharply from here. Much of the crucial aid to individuals will only trickle out slowly it seems (helicopter money of about US$1,200 to qualified claimants), with aid to companies much faster (and including the President's own companies). So many American workers are suddenly applying for unemployment benefits, many State systems taking their applications can't handle the load, causing further delays in support.

And the Federal Administration’s decision to move the deadline for filing income taxes from April 15 to July 15 is creating a cash crunch for state governments that were counting on an infusion revenue next month to pay bills like unemployment benefits. States can't print money and may need to be bailed out themselves, creating another massive surge in Federal aid.

Research from the St Louis Federal Reserve suggests that almost half of all the American workforce could lose their jobs due to restrictions implemented to battle the virus.

Ignoring these concerns, Wall Street is in a relief rally now that the stimulus package has been agreed and will pass. The S&P500 is up another +4% on top of yesterday's very strong +9% rise. Gains on European and Asian markets were similar yesterday.

In Canada, their support payments are to be about C$2,500 each, per month, to claimants.

In Europe, Germany has approved a €156 bln rescue package, equivalent to half of the country’s normal annual government spending. But, typically German, that only amounts to about 5% of GDP and about half the levels of fiscal stimulus other governments are enacting.

In China, they are starting to buy again on international markets, especially grain, oil and gas. It turns out to be a great time for them to re-enter these markets because prices are at rock-bottom. And their industrial heartland is showing more life as firms restart operations.

In Australia, they are moving toward a broader shutdown as virus cases surge. Arguments are building over landlord financial returns from a rent freeze, and the number of jobless workers surge each passing day.


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There are now more than 205 cases identified in New Zealand, with more than 50 new cases in the past 24 hours, including community transfer. Our officials now expect our caseload to rise into the thousands before we gain control. Worldwide, the latest compilation of Covid-19 data is here. The global tally is now 441,000 of officially confirmed cases, more than doubling in a week. There are now 360,000 cases outside China and almost all of them are in five core countries. Italy is up +5000 from just yesterday morning's tally. The US is up +9,000 cases from the same time and now at 56,000 cases. The caseload is rising so fast there that later this week we will probably report that the US is the world's epicenter of the global outbreak, surpassing China which seems to have things under control for now. And Switzerland now has more cases than South Korea, up to 10,500 of them. Both Italy and Spain have had more deaths than China now. Sadly however, case numbers in the rest of the world are shooting up, up +90% overnight to over 91,000. Australia now has 2364 cases, a rise of five times in a week. The official death toll is about to hit 20,000 worldwide, but is probably much higher - as is the real infection rate.

The UST 10yr yield is softish today at 0.81% but in-between it has been volatile. Their 2-10 curve is still very positive at +47 bps and unchanged. Their 1-5 curve is more positive at +33 bps, while their 3m-10yr curve is still way out there at +86 bps. Short rates for UST bills have now turned negative. The Aussie Govt 10yr yield is now at 0.96% which is a net dip of -3 bps in a day. The China Govt 10yr is unchanged at 2.71%. The NZ Govt 10 yr yield had a massive dive yesterday, down -35 bps and now at 1.11%.

Gold is holding its price today, unchanged at US$1,614/oz.

US oil prices are up +US$1 today to US$24.50/bbl but the Brent benchmark is slightly lower at just over US$27/bbl.

The Kiwi dollar is starting today still firmer than this time yesterday at 58.2 USc. On the cross rates however we are unchanged at 97.6 AUc. Against the euro we are also unchanged at 53.7 euro cents. That means our TWI-5 is holding at 65.6 and its highest in more than a week.

Bitcoin is now up to US$6,702 which is a daily rise of less than +1%. 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?

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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.

133 Comments

Antonia Watson having a wee gloat here:

"There is no concern in New Zealand about the safety of the banks or their ability to keep getting money. The ATMs have got loads of cash in them. There is lots of cash in the system. The Reserve Bank is prepared to implement quantitative easing, so I think we're in a really good position."

https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/business/412609/banking-system-in-new-zealand...

Replete with the delusion that QE money ends up in the economy:

"We've had action by the Reserve Bank on monetary policy and talks about quantitative easing, so we have money in the economy."

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We should just give everyone who needs it an emergency loan at the cost rate of interest. To be paid back much like a student loan. If students can do it so can most households.

Loan v UBI?

Or.... everybody get their cash out of the bank incl future cash and see if anything she says actually holds true.

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Cruella is so much a symbol of the Pre CV era. Her involvement in the Hisco house bung and then promotion to ANZ boss made me realise the system was broken and needed resetting.

Is this the reset?

Yep pretty sure this is the reset.

I'd hope so. We're well overdue.

the re-set framed here:

https://www.resilience.org/stories/2020-03-25/an-overview-of-the-systemi...

"Ultimately, the virus is laying bare many of the problems that have built up over decades: chasms of inequality, the use of virtual debt to paper over physical world problems, ecological/systems ignorance, addiction, obesity, globalized just-in-time (and fragile) supply chains (especially for basic needs), and fractured political governance— all in service of the growth dynamic, as described in this paper, and this video. We have chosen economic efficiency over resilience. We have substituted technological stimulation and money for social interactions. We have substituted dopamine and supernormal stimulation (most of us, including me) for physical health. The game has been the plan, and the game has changed so rapidly that we have no plan".

The Banksters will always look after the Banksters first. The Hisco / JK backscratching deals are an obvious indicator of the favour go round in banking.

Yes "capitalised " Meaning what?
Share value of ANZ was down 40% in 2 months last week.
It was 20% down pre virus
Banks share price rest son their equity based on their loan book and 60% of that is in house values.
So, guess what will happen when house prices drop......

Experts discussing the comatose patient:

"After a lifetime of a high inducing economic growth to mars rockstar lifestyle the patient has succumbed to the debt virus, which has unfortunately mutated into a parasitic tumour eating away from the inside out."

"We've spent decades treating the patient with numerous medications, even resorting to unconventional voodoo magic. We don't understand why the patient isn't responding."

"Now the patient has caught pneumonia, again."

"We'll combat the pneumonia with all the antibiotics and medication we have and we can expect a full recovery."

Pats on the back, job well done.

Public announcement to the people:

"The priests are certain they can find the cure, we must be strong and keep believing. Have faith my people, Economic Theory is the Truth, the way, the saviour."

Move along people, nothing to see here.

Prince Charles now has the virus. Something funny going on with this virus if you ask me. Idris Elba, Tom Hanks, Harvey Weinstein, Greta Thunberg...
It's going to be very interesting to see what happens in India.

I am thinking the same thing. Coronavirus should be out of control in Africa and India and yet no spike in deaths. So i'm thinking this could have got a bit overheated, or thousands are about to die in these countries.

Check the median age in 3rd world countries.
Typically 20ish.

Italy's is 47.

Yes but still huge numbers of old people in those countries. It's not necessarily percentages of deaths but actual numbers of deaths. There should be tens of thousands dying in India over the next three or four weeks. I reckon there wont be.

Is it herd immunity that has built up by huge recoveries in the young? Would it be too early for HI?

If this virus has actually been around for a lot longer than they say. If half of India got it and just thought it was a cold then HI could have been reached.

Speculating here but there may very well be differences in susceptibility between ethnic groups depending on the cell surface receptor structural variation or receptor count. If genetic variants exist that restrict the viruses from binding this could greatly lower it's virulence in some groups. Caveat: This could equally be irrelevant for this particular virus though.

I think we need to give India some more time though. Whether or not their climate helps too would be interesting to know.

There is strong speculation that the virus thrives in cold and DRY climates. Which would explain a lot.
Auckland will be safe! (Half sarc)

India's numbers aren't remotely realistic, unless WuFlu absolutely detests curry. They do have a lowish median age of 28, which is pretty helpful. But more likely it is the old story of don't test don't detect.

Yes Modis India has shown it has absolutely no interest now in the welfare of its Muslim population and it has never had an interest in the untouchables and lower castes.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.economist.com/leaders/2020/01/23/narend...

Average coronavirus death age in Italy 79.5, most with other health issues. First Italian victim out of hospital, recovered.

*millions

Fixed that for you.

but by now it should be showing up

Depends entirely when it started spreading in their country, doesn't it.

Also depends on statistics being gathered and reported. A lot of people were highly suspicious of China's numbers being underreported, where's the same concern now?

Hate to say this but for developing countries disease outbreaks are kind of their norm. Having lived in Africa, even a post colonial semi functional part of Africa, the personal hygiene is... basically nonexistent. They may have better immunity as such?

Returning to the west, appreciating modern plumbing was like omg, thank the lord for running water, and I am no religious zealot I can tell you.

I must admit you have have a strong constitution to survive in the first place, went to India and managed to lose 25 kgs in 8 weeks, till I bounced back. No hygiene, electrical wires hanging out everywhere gave me a healthy respect when trying to plug things in , that was a quick learning curve.

My friend went to New Delhi 2 years ago. Caught dysentery, Salmonella poisoning, and his hepatitis came back. Had to be sneaked onto plane to go to nearest decent hospital in Bangkok.

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Yeah, its almost as if the virus doesn't care how famous or important someone is. It's almost as if the virus is an unthinking self-replicating piece of RNA that's not alive and simply carries out its mechanistic programming in any host body that it is compatible with.

Almost. Actually we know this is truly a conspiracy by the lizard people.

The funny thing going on with this virus may be our interpretation and reaction to it. Remember when AIDS was going to kill us all? We will learn a lot over the coming weeks.

Yes, your lack of understanding that this is by far the fastest and most contagious pandemic since 2000 is funny. And sad.

Watch this and educate yourself: https://youtu.be/n4no04822NQ

Jump to 3:37 to see the daily death rate from COVID-19 in blue vs swine flu in pink.

So no dissenting thoughts allowed? No discussion? Hysteria doesn't exist? The witches must be burned!

Also I am saying "may be" and "we will learn". You're being an idiot.

From YanKiwi's link below:

The mortality profile remains puzzling from a virological point of view ...

You're uneducated. Not dissenting. The data is available, you're not trying to debate it, you just don't know it.

Yes, the mortality is unlike other similar diseases in that it is virtually killing no one under the age of 10 at all. That has nothing to do with how deadly or infectious it is overall.

I am trying to debate it. My opinion of you remains unchanged.

You've vaguely suggested that it's strange a diverse group of famous people have an incredibly infectious disease.

That's literally all you've done.

Actually it is to be entirely expected, given how contagious it is. It would be strange and surprising if 0 famous people had caught it.

Exactly, especially as 'famous people' are much more likely to travel and be meeting new people regularly.

And when we do catch it, then we will all have our own 15 minutes of fame.

2 stats which have been repeated and undigested ad nauseam. Avge age of Italian Coronavirus victims,79.5. Most with other health issues. The famous cruise ship passengers and crew spending 2 weeks in enclosed place with coronavirus; 80% of them never caught it. my suspicion is that our species will survive it.

This is the greatest web site. The articles are relevant, interesting and much better than other MSM ( yes Interest I think you are MSM). The best part is the repartee amongst the commenters. Makes me think of the Jews arguing amongst themselves at the arena in Life Of Brian.
Was just about to hit the support button then remembered my main grouch and that is the unbalanced bias in a lot of the authors. The site like all MSM seems to support pro farmer, National, RE, China posters. They no longer seem to post from NZ Initiative thank god which is progress I suppose.

Why are you trying to debate cold hard facts?

Lanthanide, "the data is available" to support either view you want. You or Zach are not "more right" than the other, it's just which data you choose to support what you believe

" You're being an idiot." - there you go Zach , name calling well done

Thanks mate. Lanthanide is being a typical "expert", taking every comment super literally rather than the random thoughts they mostly are, dismissing people as sad and uneducated. Well the child in The Emperor's New Clothes was "uneducated".

Really don't see why we cannot "debate" it. It's not like I'm advising people to lick door handles. And I'm not alone with my doubts and questions.

Sorry I'm with Lanthanide on this one. Lets keep to the facts and try and keep the "theories" for another time, I have too many shape shifters in my family for that. I come to this site for expert knowledge and good updates, waffle can go on stuff.

Whatever frazzy.

Jeez, there's nothing shape shiftery about saying there is something odd about this virus. Even experts agree!

OK Zachyywhacky,,post some hard facts from your "experts" then.

See YanKiwi's link below as an example.

I had a read through the link, an interesting different perspective (hat tip YanKiwi). You're similarly welcome to debate the (now) mainstream opinion, but from what you've posted today I'm not sure you're bringing your best game...

I was strongly on the side of 'this is a major disaster waiting to happen' from a month or two ago, but willing to reconsider as more evidence appears. I think sometimes I get bored with opinions as they become the dominant view anyway, much more fun to explore something controversial.

One frontline link on the infection rate and absolute importance of distancing.

https://metro.co.uk/video/intensive-care-specialist-explains-coronavirus...

Oh that's just disrespectful. The virus should know that the rich, powerful and famous aren't supposed to be picked on! /sarc

A bit more sarc for ya... It's an elite virus only selecting the very best of hosts, it can tell real Prada form fake, and diamantes form diamonds. It's a privilege to be infected as it means you are a better kind of human.

Yeah, its almost as if the virus doesn't care how famous or important someone is.

That's why the world is stopping. Most other problems can be passed off onto the unimportant poorer folk.

Yes, same with the financial system and politicians, when they see it could affect them as well, then they start doing stuff that all the independent reports they commissioned over the years told them to do proactively.

PC has the virus.
Is this Queenies crack SAS hit squad back in action after taking a well earned break from a big job in August 1997?

She had only been hanging onto the job so as to not have to hand it over to someone who talks to flowers.

The growth in positive tests still shows uncontrolled transmission. With large proportions of the global population in lockdown it'll be interesting to see what happens to the growth rate.

Not sure if it's been reported here or not but apparently in Japan 80% of people are wearing masks and there is next to no Covid-19. We might need a cultural rethink in relation to masks.

you are right there , even I put on a mask and gloves yesterday somethimg I never thought I would do

Are you sure it wasn't just because you were robbing a bank? :-)

I hope there's a serious cultural rethink of China's wet markets

And the wealthy elite who bribed/lobbied the CCP to allow the wildlife trade again.

Along with poached ivory

The things we suffer for China's wealthy elite's flaccidity.

At a bare minimum, covering your mouth with a cloth at all times reduces the amount of droplets you sneeze or cough out, it also reduces the likelihood of your hands touching your nose and mouth and then contaminating surfaces.
Masks wont stop you from getting it as it is respiratory transmitted disease, but it does help reducing the chances to some extent and as it is a very cheap measure, even the smallest amount of benefit is likely to outweigh its cost.

Watching some of the discussion on twitter there are people fabricating masks with two layers of cloth with a paper filter in between. While not perfect previous research has indicated that with the paper filter the mask can be 73% effective. A big improvement over no mask.

The power plays are getting to be a concern as this situation is unfolding. It'll be interesting to see what principles are put aside to cosy up further to China, if it potentially means a better financial outcome in the short term.

https://www.ft.com/content/efdec278-6d01-11ea-9bca-bf503995cd6f

The perversity of central bank interference.
Another instance occurred in the US today - Fed reverse repo (RRP) draining operations (-$97.411bn) overwhelmed diminished TOMO(+$13.155bn)+POMO(+$68.953bn) system "liquidity" injections today.

The Federal Reserve conducts reverse repo operations (RRP) daily, and has for more than half a decade. These are very different from the “liquidity” operations the central bank has been deploying since last year’s rumble in the repo market; the latter merely mimic a repo transaction and are intended to push bank reserves the Fed creates on the spot out into the Primary Dealer network.

A reverse repo, as the name implies, is the reverse of that transaction. Its purpose therefore is not bank reserve-type liquidity but to establish a floor for depository institutions. Those who are cash rich have the option of “lending” that cash to the Fed receiving in return SOMA holdings as collateral.

Given that option, who in their right mind would ever lend into money markets at a rate less than the RRP? That’s the floor. As far as risk goes, you’re never going to do better than lending cash to the central bank on pristine collateral.

This goes for money markets and money equivalents alike. A 4-week T-bill, for instance, is a money equivalent in this sense. Why would anyone lend to the US government at a return less than what they would get at the RRP? These are near equivalent transactions; in the former you are left holding a 4-week bill while in the latter you’ve received government debt as collateral. Link

In the America: Money seems to matter more than lives (WTF). CNN: Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick: 'I'm all in' on risking my health to lift social distancing guidelines for economic boost. "His suggestion directly contradicts recommendations put forth by government agencies and public health experts".
https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/23/politics/coronavirus-texas-social-dis...

A comment made by friends in the US is that the states with a Governor that believes Trump's gibberish are basically stuffed. They are also expecting the Federal Government to be next to useless.

"Dr. Deborah Birx on NYC/coronavirus: “56% of all the cases in the U.S. are coming out of that metro area… to everyone who has left NY over the last few days... you may have been exposed before you left … everybody who was in NY should be self-quarantining for the next 14 days”"

There are cases in every state. Some states have a lot less due to not testing. No doubt that NYC has helped spread the virus everywhere, and I'm not looking forward to seeing how bad the peak is there. Wall Street is pretty happy with the stimulus package even though it will be mostly ineffective as it's either an effective tax break for companies or the rich and the financial system bailout.

There are some data that suggest that the risks from CV may be overstated. Here is one such viewpoint.

https://swprs.org/a-swiss-doctor-on-covid-19/

dated 14th March. The world has changed since then.

Actually updated at the bottom. Please read the whole thing.

Oxford have come out with research that suggests the mortality rate may be way lower than has been thought.

Calling it research is going a bit far. Its a model, with some parameters that haven't been validated against actual data (because no-one has the data to validate it against yet)

Lapun, your comment reminds me of why I have to discount so much of what I hear/read from many people. They look at the headline and reflexively form an opinion without actually reading the entire article and evaluating the data and conclusions drawn from the data.

Yes, they would have addressed the sound bite generation better by placing the most recent update first. For me, reading the evolution of understanding with time provides an increased understanding of the thinking involved.

Add: went back and looked at the top of the article, which states right next to the publication date that it was revised as of 25 March. There are also quite a few other updates between the two dates which can be found via reading the article.

From the 22nd. From the grim stories I am hearing about suicides here perhaps < 60 years should be segregated and carry on working. "This unintended experiment in coronavirus spread will help researchers estimate the number of fatalities that would occur in a fully infected population, Levitt said. For instance, the Diamond Princess data allowed him to estimate that being exposed to the new coronavirus doubles a person’s risk of dying in the next two months. Most people have an extremely low risk of death in a two-month period, so that risk remains extremely low even when doubled."
https://www.latimes.com/science/story/2020-03-22/coronavirus-outbreak-no...

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china may get back to producing, but who are they going to sell too. apart from medicals the rest is going nowhere
meanwhile all those that decried NZ as a primary producer can now see our huge advantage , people will still want our meat and milk and fruit and vegetables.
also you can see why many of us are uneasy about foreign companies (owned by their government) take over ownership of these companies and farms, the comeback is yes they cant take the land or factories back to their country BUT they can take all the supply in a time of need

I remember a comment on stuff a couple of years back, the poster I think must have been late teens/ early twenties judging by their other posts (it's hard to tell now as a lot of people never seem to get out of the adolescent stage ever)

In all seriousness they said " All farming should be made illegal, it's not relevant anymore" ...moron.

Unfortunately, that's the kind of propaganda that certain institutions and politicians spew. Now we see who's really valuable in these trying times. The rent-a-protester bunch have been awfully quiet...

YDBROKE - CV is the here and now focus. We (most of us) will get over it. Climate Change however is something we (all of us) will never get over.

How do you survive climate change without food? While we are on the subject, maybe we should just ban all air travel and coal power since we've had a big drop in emissions already?

I assume they were talking about farming animals. It's relevant until it's not. So until lab-grown meat, with dairy a work in progress I believe, comes along and kicks over primary industry....there'll still be lambs to the slaughterhouse.

lambs, beef, chickens, pigs, venison, even horse meat at the moment we supply the world with enough left over to feed ourselves.
as for factory fake protein we still don't know if its safe for human consumption, and who knows down the line what we find out

Enough left over to feed ourselves? Don't we just get the scraps that "the market" won't pay a premium for but we will coz that's "the market"?

Why don't we feed ourselves first and feed the rest of the world with the leftovers? Supply and demand rules suggest we could quadruple the premium to the moon with lower export supply.

If they had only made bats out of vegan protein, then we could have been spared all this.

Only to be undone at a later date due to mutant vegetable protein, probably a carrot. Will have to start a "Bring back Bats' campaign.

As one meme puts, if they can't get their food from the supermarket, they will have to go hunting again, but they don't know were the Dorito's live.

I'm sure factory foods will have their place, especially given the amount of people we have in the world now, but it will be to feed the middle lower class most likely.

However, there will still be a demand for the real thing. Diamonds haven't gone out of fashion even though most people can't tell the difference between a good fake and real.

Factory foods already have a place in our society. The Doritos, Dominoes, in fact all the American corporate multinational factory longlife preservatised takeaways are already here. Luckily, only a certain sector of us think they are actually food. The rest of us eat proper stuff. None of those "produced" foods, including hydroponic, have any of those funny little trace element things that we need, and most of the time are unaware of. They are only present in naturally grown dirty natural things. Which explains these people's obesity, pimples etc, etc.

Walked dog early morning , me and thirty others, lucky no cars on road so everyone spread out

I do it at midday. Fewer people and better Vitamin D (good for immunity and mental health)

There seems to be this pervading attitude amongst some that we must all be miserable during lock down, an attitude I find kind of disturbing. Can't do this, can't do that, seems like some think we have got to be miserable the whole time. Stuff that! I'll be stripping down to my undies and sunbathing in the backyard. Beautiful day here in Napier, hardly a cloud in the sky. Later in the day I'll be playing old 70s YouTube music videos and sing along while enjoying a beer or two. And I'll enjoy browsing the comments section of the latest articles here in Interest.co. I get it that I can't go to the beach or for a walk up Te Mata Peak, and that's cool, I get it and will absolutely respect the rules....but geeez, it doesn't mean we all have to be sullen and miserable and sanctimonious and all those other horrible things so many people seem to think the next 4 (at least) weeks has to be all about. It doesn't!

Our society, if you haven't noticed, is addicted to FOMO (yes we appear to be addicted to a fear...).

Being stuck at home means you know you can't miss out so its causing all sorts of cognitive dissonance.

People also have to live with themselves (if that makes sense). They can't avoid dealing with their own personalities (and those of their spouses/children). It might actually be quite beneficial for our society, from an individual and collective perspective, in the long term. Bit like sending children to their bedroom for a few hours to think about things before returning to the house/society.

yep my thoughts too IO

The issue then is how many people have the tools, the "education" to manage this?

I wonder if this person is the Traffic Officer who doles out a speeding ticket for being 4ks over the limit on a bright sunny day.

Yeah its really nice being out there without all those diesel utes and SUVs driving past.

Dogs having to socially distance? No butt sniffing for a month.

The bankers might be able to relate if they shut down

Since you need more revenue DC, if you don't want to make Interest "pay only"maybe you can limit the comments section to readers who contribute towards Interest?

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I like the free speech model here where the poor can argue with the wealthy. Tenant vs landlord, bear vs bull.

We don't want this to become as corrupt as say our National (and perhaps NZ First) politicians, taking $$ from wealthy interests in order to push a certain agenda would we?

Its the open, free speech that attracts me to this site - if it was only those who could afford it making comments, then the conversation becomes distorted (it might become like American politics and that would be ugly - and I'd be gone).

(Just my thoughts)

The free speech model here works well, for the time being, as the comments doesn't fill up with too much crap usually.

But for my few bucks a month I would love to have more advanced features for exploring the comments... a way to hide all comment *ahem argument* chains once they get 10 replies deep would be great.

Agreed, though I would love to see some bonus features for those that do contribute — for example an option to highlight new comments since your last visit (an enhancement to the comment highlighting feature already available), or perhaps an option to have an ad-free experience if your contribution is high enough.

IO, I made my original comment to flush out the non-contributors, you've been found out

Or a feature for paying customers to hide certain commentators. I'm sure most of us agree that there are at least 5-10 commentators whose contributions amount to a waste of electrons. I'm sure we all have different lists of who those contributors are, but I think most of us can think of a handful of posters who we'd quite happily never see a post from again.

Fully agree, as a founding (and perhaps sole) member of PETE (People for the Ethical Treatment of Electrons)

Now knowing this, I've just started a home for unwed electrons.

When the Domestic Electrons benefit is introduced your home will become redundant. Just saying. Has happened in the past.

Bills keep rolling in, I have two truck loads of cancelled orders to put away and cannot do business. It would have been better to have shut down the arrivals back in January and then i would still be in business.

Man I can't get my P deliveries out there, let alone supplies in. I wonder if there will be support for my business, and my customers.

Can someone explain to me how a country (like China, South Korea and more to come...) "recovers" from Covid19. I mean the virus is till out there, it hasn't been eradicated. Short of having a vaccine how can a country "recover" and go back to normal life?

I have been thinking this too. All you would need is one case that you didn't know about, travelling around after any lockdown ends and its just as bad as it would have been.

A very large percentage of the people that get this virus, never show ANY symptoms. There is now rather convincing evidence that some places have already achieved herd immunity.

Please share that evidence...

I'll have to hunt that down. This is something to think about while I look: https://www.wsj.com/articles/is-the-coronavirus-as-deadly-as-they-say-11...

Add (inserted in middle): look here for "60% never show symptoms. I strongly suspect that percentage will be increasing with time. This will be a function of testing capability.
We seriously need serology testing to understand things better. See: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/03/people-with-mild-or-no-symptoms-c...

We know the numerator rather well. The denominator appears to be a couple orders of magnitude larger than the official numbers suggest. That has two aspects, one is that the death rate is much lower than the official estimates (most that get infected are asymptomatic so don't get tested under the no symptoms/no test paradigm so never get counted in the total. The other is that herd immunity is reached when the official infection rate is only around a half percent infected...

WSJ is paywalled. what reputable data is the claim referencing to support the position that the CV19 isn't as bad as the common figures suggest?

Here is an article that isn't paywalled:
https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/is-the-coronavirus-as-deadly-as-...

I will have to hunt down the asymptomatic population testing that Iceland did a week or so ago. They tested an asymptomatic representative subgroup of the public, and the result was that there was an order of magnitude higher positive rate than the official confirmed positive rate in Iceland. Iceland has been doing a very high rate of testing per capita compared to almost any other country. Found it: https://www.government.is/news/article/?newsid=c65cf658-6eb6-11ea-9462-0...

We know the numerator rather well. The denominator is not known with any precision.

Great links for those open to different views, thanks Yankiwi

Hong Kong thought they'd recovered and I understand might be heading back into lock down after cases started climbing again.

Could well be the case in China at some point as well (but whether they give accurate data is another question).

Two things need to happen here in NZ quickly.

Firstly the BS has to end at the Intl airports. Flights are still coming in. These passengers need to go into govt quarantine now. A relation came into AKL yesterday. Minimal changes from SOP reported.

Secondly the army has to be mobilised. The police dont have the capacity. I have little faith in kiwis to not do a NO 8 on this. Khaki on the street will focus attitudes better than platitudes from TV saying that we can trust people to so the right thing.

That doesn't answer the question

You shouldn't be asking questions Yvil. Trust the authorities.

Good question. I've been thinking a lot about this. I think we MAY have a chance of stamping out the virus internally in NZ with this lockdown (though I think it might take closer to two months than one). But NZ will have to remain isolated from the rest of the world (in terms of people movement) until a vaccine is produced and can be rolled out on a mass scale. In the absence of a vaccine, I can't see NZ being opened up to movement of people internationally, even if the current lockdown succeeds in stamping out the virus. And we're told that a vaccine might be 12-18 months away ...

Thanks for all the replies, sadly it looks like no one has a credible answer/solution. If there is truly no solution and we just have to "wait until we all get it and become immune" why not stop all lockdown, carry on normally and avoid ruining the country ?

The reason why that is not a sane choice has been explained many many times. People dying in hospital corridors because of a lack of doctors, ventilators, drugs, PPE... ring any bells?

You could possibly quarantine all the elderly, say over 65. A sort of half measure.

Pragmatist, people die, especially the elderly from numerous causes, people will also die as a result of the stress caused by locking down a country and isolating people, losing their jobs and businesses, think suicide, domestic violence etc... In addition there is absolutely no evidence at all that isolation will work, that is why I'm asking "what happens after isolation?"

Not Good: Eurodollar Futures Curve Sells Off, At The FRONT

If the Fed has promised to print an unlimited supply of money, then why are inflation expectations at crisis lows and falling? At the same time, there are still-growing signs of illiquidity and an interbank crackup. Bazooka after bazooka, yet they don’t seem to be having much effect.

That’s true domestically but more so offshore. You may have seen references to something called the OIS-FRA spread recently as it has gone vertical and refuses to normalize no matter what Jay Powell announces. It’s really much the same as the TED spread, only substituting the Overnight Index Swap (OIS) where TED employs the 3-month T-bill.

Both are measured against 3-month LIBOR which is the main offshore unsecured interbank eurodollar rate. OIS is a futures market that prices what participants think the Fed is going to do with short-term interest rates into the future. Right now, the market is certain there will be ZIRP for the foreseeable period.

The 3-month T-bill is, well, the best repo collateral around therefore flirting constantly with sticking on the other side of zero (as all the bill yields will have to reach that level first; and they are now close).

But what does LIBOR tell us? Unlike fed funds, LIBOR is straightforward: what rate banks might lend into the eurodollar market unsecured by any collateral if they were to lend. Going back to March 9, it is clear the banks included in the LIBOR survey began to change their mind. Since March 12, they absolutely have.

Will jobless claims kill the rally? Interesting also is gold being the same price when it moved down & up 3.5%.

It will be the bad statistics that come through, then news of company's collapsing that will beat the market to much lower levels.

From a trend trading perspective the overall trend is down. Not a buy signal for the trend but a buy signal for a long trade to be closed in the short term. Traders shouldn't be in long positions for the next leg down.

Ray Dalio's latest post (about an hour ago):

The Three Biggest Questions We Need to Answer Now Are 1) What is the Value of Human Life Relative to A Unit of Economic Activity, 2) What is the Value of Necessities Relative to Luxuries, and 3) Who Will and Should Benefit From All the Money That is Being Created?
The recently-announced changes to fiscal and monetary policy will produce a huge amount of money and credit which will be great for many of those who don’t have enough money. It will support many businesses that would otherwise be shut down, hospitals and other necessary organizations, people lacking the resources to buy essentials, and, with time, respirators and other things needed to fight the virus. Those entities that aren’t on the government-specified list to be supported or aren’t creditworthy enough to be within the legal reach of the fiscal/monetary system will not be able to be saved directly. The production of money and credit will devalue it, which will reduce or reverse deflation which is a mixed blessing though at the moment more good than bad. But, importantly all this money still can’t buy having normal interactions in a healthy way. So, our attentions must now turn to that.
We are now facing a choice between having more economic growth with more sickness and death or having less of these. Though I have my own thoughts, I will let others weigh in on that question, which I believe should be openly debated. However, I would like to point out that an equally-important related question we need to answer when considering how to allocate our resources is whether this money should be spent on luxuries or necessities. I think we should all be able to agree that 1) luxuries are not as important as basic necessities (like human health, education, and basic maintenance), 2) that it’s no big deal to reduce our luxury spending, and 3) if we shift our luxury spending to our necessity spending there is enough wealth to take care of our necessities. If we agree on those things then we should make that our goal and figure out how to best get there.
I presume that we could also agree that we wouldn’t want the rich to get richer from this and increase their spending on luxuries while the poor are suffering without having adequate necessities and while the debts we are building up are being passed to the next generation. If so, we need to think hard about what types of economic growth get what for whom in exchange for the costs of getting it. I worry that this could be the economic downturn that leads us to terribly waste money and/or be at each other’s throats unproductively fighting over how to divide the pie. I believe that this crisis has created the compelling necessity to look at how capitalism should be reengineered to cost-effectively both increase the size of the pie and divide it well.
I dream of a day that we can discuss this well in an open and bipartisan way, and I fear a time that we be at each other’s throats fighting to get what we can. So I believe that now is the time to think hard about how we should be with each other to most appropriately allocate our resources.

Surely the US markets will tank once hundreds of thousands of people die there.

Counted 60 out surfing, sumner beach very busy...sigh this only day 1

I can tell you know this aint going work. Shut malls, restaurants, large areas where people meet. But can see kids at basketball court, heaps people out bikes, walking etc..people on websites complaining about neighbors having visitors. There are that many exempt businesses is ridiculous. If they serious the army would be stopping people moving between towns, checking if they had paperwork to work or not. Damn me there bunch builders down road completing a house...a half ar** approach. Do it right or not at all government.
Its going to be the most expensive xmas break the country has ever seen...maybe someone should tell Jacinda just cause she says it does not mean people will listen, if her child was older she would know this.

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