No austerity but no fix either; US economy dives; Fed ponders data opacity; China struggles; Australia to shrink at least -4%, UST 10yr yield at 0.60%; oil and gold rise; NZ$1 = 58.5 USc; TWI-5 = 65.5

No austerity but no fix either; US economy dives; Fed ponders data opacity; China struggles; Australia to shrink at least -4%, UST 10yr yield at 0.60%; oil and gold rise; NZ$1 = 58.5 USc; TWI-5 = 65.5

Here's our summary of key economic events over the weekend that affect New Zealand, with news of a rolling earthquake of economic destruction.

American employment levels fell sharply in March. The official non-farm payrolls report showed payroll employment fell by -701,000 in March, and the unemployment rate rose to 4.4%. But these are seasonally adjusted results. Their actual employed workforce fell to 155.2 mln in March from 158.0 mln, and that is a fall of -2,850,000 and probably a far better indication of what actually happened. But this only the situation mid-March; the survey behind these numbers predated many coronavirus-related business and school closures that occurred in the second half of the month. The weekly jobless claims report is a more up-to-date indicator of the shock their jobs market is taking - more than 10 mln people filed for these benefits in March after losing their jobs.

Unsurprisingly, the US service sector PMIs look awful. The widely-watched ISM one showed a sharp fall, but not a contraction. (The survey was taken too early in the month to be relevant now.) The internationally-benchmarked Markit one did show a precipitous decline into a severe contraction and probably more accurately reflects the end-of-month situation.

As the crisis deepens in the US, the threat of bank runs rises (despite their deposit insurance program). Now Fed researchers are wondering if holding back information and data that was once transparent would help control such urges. They conclude it will: "a policy of suppressing information about banks' balance sheets has a significant and positive effect on deposits". The Americans will find it hard to criticise China when they do the same.

The growth in the US Fed balance sheet is just stunning. The latest data shows that in the past four weeks, they have added more than +US$1.5 tln in net support to their banking system, far outpacing anything they did in the GFC. This is what "whatever it takes" looks like - and it is also clear that this is only just the beginning, even if there is some slowing of intervention in the past few days. Officials seem determined that there will be no 'austerity' response for this crisis, but despite the cash splash, the impacts at the household and firm levels don't look any better. The US economy is now expected to shrink -5.5% in 2020.

There are now 1039 Covid-19 cases identified in New Zealand, with another +89 new cases yesterday and lower than the +71 increase the prior day. The number of clusters has been risen to 12. Only one person has died so far but here are now 15 people in hospital with the disease, three in ICU and two are in critical condition.

Worldwide, the latest compilation of Covid-19 data is here. The global tally is now 1,247,100 and up +182,000 from the 1,066,700 we had this time on Saturday. 26% of all cases globally are in the US and they are up +66,000 since Saturday to 324,100. Both Germany and France now have more cases than China, joining Spain which now has more cases than Italy, and the US. Australia has now over 5700 cases, and 35 deaths. Global deaths now exceed 68,000. Death rates in Europe are frightening; 12.3% in Italy, 10.2% in the UK, 9.5% in Spain, 8.3% in France. But they are much lower in Germany at 1.5%. The US rate is 2.8% and China is 4.0%. Death rates in the rest of Asia are modest by comparison at about 1.4% in their developed countries.

After accusing China of unreliable data, it now appears that American data is also unreliable, understating the extent of infection and death. Every country is struggling with accurate record keeping.

Japan announced it would supply a 'clearly effective' coronavirus drug free to any country that asks for it. In contrast, the Americans have banned the export of masks and other life-saving production, even to Canada. Meanwhile, China is ramping up "mask diplomacy" in the resulting vacuum.

And China has sharply cut the amount of cash that mid-sized and small banks must hold as reserves, releasing about NZ$100 bln in long-term funding to shore up their economy. They also cut the reserve requirement ratio for those banks by -100 bps, in two phases. But it is holding off cutting retail deposit rate minimums despite bank pressure to do so.

Their private Caixin/Markit services PMI hasn't shown the same full recovery that their factory one did. The Caixin survey shows a still fierce contraction in March, unlike the official services PMI which claimed an expansion. Likely the Caixin survey is more realistic.

The Aussie services PMI doesn't make comfortable reading either. And their economy is now expected to contract -4% in 2020.

And the huge Australian superannuation funds are in a liquidity crisis and withdrawals now exceed inflows. It's a sector that is about to be shaken up hard. And the expected fall in iron ore prices is starting to happen now. Prices for steel-making coal have tumbled hard in the past week and iron ore will follow.

And supply-chain disruption is seeing American dairy farmers dumping milk, even though retail demand is rising. The links between producer and consumer are breaking down.

The Asian Development Bank sees China's growth slowing to just +2.3% in 2020 but then jump to +7.3% in 2021 before "reverting to normal". But any reversion to the old normal frankly seems very unlikely. The damage being done will last a generation and alter the global economic trajectory forever.

The UST 10yr yield is holding at just under 0.60%. Their 2-10 curve is less positive today at +37 bps. Their 1-5 curve is slightly more positive at +23 bps, while their 3m-10yr curve is a bit less so at +48 bps. The Aussie Govt 10yr yield is still at 0.76%. The China Govt 10yr is also holding at 2.61%. Likewise, the NZ Govt 10 yr yield is also unchanged at 1.03% in international markets.

Gold is firmer again today, up by another +US$4, to US$1,622/oz.

US oil prices are sharply higher today that where we left it on Friday, at just over US$28/bbl, a +US$3.50 rise. The Brent benchmark is also higher at just over US$33.50/bbl. But a failed American attempt to patch up the Saudi-Russian fight will probably see these prices fall again this week.

The Kiwi dollar has been stable over the weekend at 58.7 USc after last week's cumulative loss of almost -2c. On the cross rates we are at 97.8 AUc. Against the euro we are at 54.3 euro cents. That means the TWI-5 is at 65.7 and down about -100 bps for the week.

Bitcoin is now at US$6,792 and and little-changed from where we left it on Saturday. 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.



The Worst must be over!
Shopping at Countdown last night has gone from jaw droppingly outrageous to just very expensive.
But whether or not The Worst of the virus is over, we are just at the beginning of many, many years of economic reconstruction.


This was probably the trigger that has instigated permanent change.

We were already a system which couldn't afford itself, much as folk don't seem to understand that. Energy now cannot be afforded, yet if it gets to prices where further extraction is developable, the 'economy' collapses.

Yet we are still talking about 'normal' and 'jobs' and 'income' in the old parlance. We cannot do growth without debt, and sooner or later debt will render our accounting, unbelievable. And even when there was mass belief, it was false acconting. For those whit a spare hour, here is a clean expression of a problem that seems to be beyond anyone with an economics background, to grasp.

In the old days of Muldoon and others a devaluation was thought to be the quick fix. Maybe the whole world, the whole gigantic mountain of debt now has to take a monster haircut. From Woodstock to Kojak. Pro rata write downs and write offs, come down off the mountain, and every one starts again. Perhaps an identity from outer space could be contracted to oversee it all as imagine hard to find such a body on this planet.

I went to new world last night and a large trolley that was Just over half full cost $500. I did look at prices as I shopped especially after the $14 cauliflower quoted last week - still surprised though.

Try some cauliflower seeds or seedlings when the garden centres open. And keep growing them into the future. I'm sure you could grow your own for a few cents each. In fact, being an entrepreneur of the old school I would advocate people to grow vegetables and sell them from the front gate as soon as the lockdown finishes. This would teach the current supermarket and commercial growers a lesson in the future. And Stuff any Council regulations against this, if any.

Since the council stopped mowing grass verges years ago, I have had the thought that community gardens would be a great thing on them. A few raised beds in every street would put an end to the supermarket rort.

Not the healthiest place to grow food, not least because of the legacy of our leaded petrol.


One of the things I am amazed at is the way this Prime Minister can trash our civil liberties and come out smelling like roses, most people believe it is a good thing. I have to chastise myself for being surprised, it is all part of the process. Just wait until we get war, and we will, and they start conscripting. She’ll make that look like a good thing also and people won’t feel so comfortable then. But by then it will be too late, they acquiesed to the narrative machine.




Cabin fever I would suggest, with a little bit of sympathy though.


No, I do okay here. But the government realised their first Health Act Order was unlawful, so they put another one out this weekened to try and sure it up. The ban on swiming, hunting, surfing etc was never lawful, it still isn't but they are trying. The fact of the 2nd order is evidence the first was unlawful. So you have a government and Police acting unlawfully and restricting freedom of movement guaranteed under the Bill of Rights Act. The point I highlight is their willingness to overide statute to do as they please. If they get away with it, then what next?

Hi Scarfie, they call it the 'NZ Bonk Ban' overseas:


You are actually spot on Scarfie.
This government did it with the firearms confiscation, something that could have been avoided by proper implementation of the current law or with some minor amendments.
The oil and gas ban was in the same vein due to it sudden and authoritarian implementation.
And here we go again. Lock downs and massive wealth destruction, for the sake of not fixing the problem at it souce, the border!
Give them the ability to tax and print at will, at no cost to themselves and their bureaucracy and reap the reward (sic).


Scarfie, I'm pretty sure it is the State of Emergency that covers off the authority to prevent those activities. What are you complaining about? that the Government is trying to save lives or that you can't go surfing? Don't be so selfish.

Isn't the purpose of the lockdown to reduce the risk of overwhelming the capacity of health services and to protect emergency workers from contracting the coronavirus if they have to come and rescue someone?

If people are out surfing and then they need emergency assistance, then that:
1) potentially increases strain on medical and hospital resources
2) potential puts emergency / rescue workers at risk due to potential exposure to an asymptomatic carrier of Coronavirus.

So the moral dilemma that faces an emergency / rescue team might be (as only one available unit remaining as other units already busy):

1) stranded surfer who is drowning, etc
2) person in their own home who has had a heart attack, stroke, etc ...

Which one would you choose?

"Don't be so selfish."

This might be an appropriate reminder here - “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”

Also a reminder - your country is asking you to stay home.

Caleb has it right Murray, it is about the civil liberties and the government obeying its own laws. They aren't. You need to think about this a bit more deeply, you've been sucked in by the propagands, hence my opening comment about what other freedoms you want to so freely and unthinkingly give away.

Go and read section 70 of the Health Act 1956, it is online. There is a whole toolset that a previous, and perhaps wiser government, have given Health Officers. They've pulled out the chain saw first, when a scalpel would be the more appropriate tool. If you read the act you will also see it is information based. Collecting it, analysing it, acting on it. They've bypassed all that and, in my view, taken an unlawful interpretation as to regards lockdown and quarantine. Again in my view, any such Health Notice should be specific to and name, an individual, or locality, not an open slather state wise lockdown.

The problem that you are forgetting Scarfie is that by the time the information on COVID is available it will be too late to act. It is not about propaganda, it is about a fast acting, highly infectious virus that can spread without any symptoms being evident and ultimately can kill.

In any battle, there is the fog of war - information is inconclusive, incomplete, yet urgent action is required, and decisions need to be made under those conditions. This is the same in the battle against the virus.

Also the issue of civil liberties is one of self interest vs the national interest.

There is obviously a spectrum of extreme self interest at one end and at the other end extreme national interest.

Any genuine leadership looks at the greater good over individual self interest.

scarfie, I actually appreciate that we have a strong PM. Just remember that if National had been our leadership, our current virus figures would be on a similar level to Italy right now, since Soyaman would have buckled a the first hurdle when China tried to force NZ to keep our boarders open. That was only a few weeks ago. Also if you want to look at the countries that dragged their feet on lockdown have far higher number of infected and death rates then we do. Worldmeter:

From memory National called for tougher border controls while Labour dithered, anyway it is unknown what National would have done and irrelevan.
If the boarders had been shut down a week earlier we would be basically have it knocked on the head by now but instead we got ' I'm still going to carry on hugging people'... followed by a whoops I better act fast...
Yes stronger than I ever thought she could be but there were some serious screw ups at the start which need to be remembered. Most on here could see what was coming but a few resorted to calling BS and name calling didn't they CJ099!
The question is can Jacinda handle what is coming with the economy when her past shows that she and her merry band are not delivers.

We can now see what National would have done from the comment piece by right wing apologist in Friday's Herald, Matthew Hooton. He openly advocates sacrificing 'the eighty-plus-year-olds' to their fate and letting the economy get on with it.
Matthew Hootton is undoubtedly a National party publicist and influencer and his Herald articles (propaganda) are always given a good half a page.
The Herald also had his article online and I was going to copy it and post it but I had to do some shopping first; when I returned an hour or so later the Herald had already pulled it down.
I'm not saying he has no right to advocate this position, all I'm saying is that his article does give us an insight into National policy in regard to the Coronavirus situation; National would always put the economy first, and before human lives.
I would sum up his attitude as 'GENERATIONAL CLEANSING'. Any sort of 'cleansing' is fascist by definition, and I have no doubt that many commentators of the younger age group on this blog would hold such a position, especially FHBs.

Unbeliveable and irrelevant.

And when Ximons immediate superior, the Chinese ambassador, came knocking and demanded open borders? Pleeeeeze.....

If he had played that game he would have been gone before lunch and he knows it.

Have a look at the link I put up above, and see if you still are confused afterwards


Ah the surfers, 5 mins of wipeout then 30 mins on the beach comparing budget smugglers before it's all back to Wally's to meet the new girl and 6 new step children and have a smoke and winge about how small the dole is...

budget smugglers LOL

Cash is King right now, but that is an unusual place to stash it.

Haha. What an extraordinary sustained sequence of cliches!


I'm not sure any conscripts will be needed in any future War? It will be over before any of us hear the drones coming....
That's going to be the problem. Trying to fight tomorrow's 'war' with yesterday's beliefs. Unless we set out to redraw our economic settings, then I can't see how we are going to EVER get out of this mess.

War will come, that is how the US rolls but I very much doubt that Jacinda could send people into a front line war.


Again. What Front Line?
Do we remember those in Hiroshima who were on their way to work, and then" poof!"? And aggression has moved on a tad since then.

Into harms way then, is that better.
Even the Yanks aren't that stupid to drop a nuke, well hopefully anyway. China & Russia would fry the US in return.


The Yanks, of course, did drop a nuke or two.
And that's my point. There will be no "Front line' or "Harm's Way'.
A cynic might say we have modern warfare with us this very day? Infect the enemy; degrade its economy and buy what's left at 'fire sale' prices? Invade the defeated enemy with your 'troops' to man the stores etc. And not one bit of infrastructure damage!
New Zealand just has to be careful that it's not one of The Defeated if that is the case.

Unfortunately you are not being cynical at all. CV19 has demonstrated how easy it would to pre load a number of individuals with such a virus, jet them off to said cities, travel the subways, buses, trains, wander the malls. Walking bio bombs. Very cheap and one has to wonder just how much extremists everywhere are waking up to that.

If they haven't already and delivered.

I am asking myself what the Chinese military are up to. One US carrier is already out of action.

Murray google the Col Frank H Schwable incident 1952/3. West accused of planning dropping cholera & typhus. Oriental powers that be obviously had those sort of measures in mind themselves, freudian slip one could say.


Imagine how bad this would be in National were in power. There would be more severe restrictions at a later date with more infected and dead.

I'll have a stab at this! National....would have done exactly the same as Labour given the circumstances.
We'll never know, of course. But as a 'business friendly' Party, their incentive is to get whatever disruption is coming out of the way as fast as possible. And that is, as we've tied to do in our own way, hard and fast.


Labour were still a little late I think but I suggest National would have been later because the legacy of the Key government was to prioritise corporate power and a surplus ahead of the people. Base this for instance, on their attitude and performance during the Canterbury EQ events. Labour would have allowed much more compliance with the statutory requirements that were put in place to protect the people in those circumstances.


Brownlee would have been perfect for screwing this up. The military lockdown of the Christchurch CBD was completely overboard, and was removed far to late. At this point it's safe to say that National has a worse record in disasters.

BW - actually we do know how National would have performed.

3 mins in.

Ximon" Does JA know her role is to keep all Kiwis working"

JA " No Ximon, my role is to keep Kiwis alive"

Why the misquote?
Great that Jacinda is stimulating the economy by 0.1% for GDP by increasing the minimum wage. When you have whole swathes of the population unemployed that last thing you want is the highest minimum wages in the developed world.
Probably better she focus on the export industries that are about to vaporised. Got all keen when cushy Concert FM jobs were at risk - but private industry notsomuch.

So at the same time National would have overreacted and underreacted.

You guys need to get your lips off a certain person's ass.


My stab - National the same as Labour but with tens of thousands of Chinese students arriving in Feb and then being airlifted back home in March.


I very much doubt they'd have been sent back. The CCP Consulate would have objected to that.

But agree it's far more likely that Ximon Bridges would have left the border with China open far longer and let the students come in via exemption. The CCP Consulate was vehemently against the government locking down travel from China. So we may have been facing a much bigger outbreak here.


The "Business China friendly" party would have been a disaster.

There is no way they would have put bans on Chinese travel as early as Labour. It would have been business as usual for as long as possible - particularly for students.

They would then try and spin how we have more deaths and infections than the USA as a good thing, because "We are leading the world"

National might not have been much different in timing, but they would have been more organised on delivery with risk planning for logistics and other contingencies, and would probably have had a much more rational approach to border testing and quarantining from an early date because that is in their DNA. They are doers, with many who have had roles that required managing risk and delivering results prior to being MPs. Coalition are all talk and aspiration with a demonstrated inability to deliver anything that requires more than handing out our money.


I simply cannot believe they would have been more organised. I would table the (still ongoing) Chch earthquake response as my evidence.

To be honest. None of our political parties or people have any real ability to lead during these situations at all.

hear hear - still waiting ten years on for some of the 'anchor projects' to start


We live in a world where the post-Chch rebuild happened...

I’d be interested to know if, along side all the modelling of covid infection and death rates, the government had economic modelling correlating health impacts and ‘economic deaths’? If so, what where the numbers? How reliable are the modelling systems?

"Experts are right 50% of the time!" PIck your favourite expert and embrace what they say.

Can I be an expert? I'd love to be right 50% of the time as my missus says I'm always wrong.

I'm familiar with the modeling around the cost of a life. My technology, if implemented on a large scale, could save New Zealand upto $1.5B according to this accounting method. It is premature deaths caused by respiratory disease attributed to atmospheric emissions. In this instance the calculated cost of a premature death is about 50% loss of labour from the workforce. The rest is a combination of other losses, such as days off work sick, medical costs etc.

How the hell do you cost out this one when we are going to get a cascading effect on employment as businesses go under with the lockdown?

Michael Reddell (Croaking Cassandra) covered this off last week, I think it was Henry that posted that. Answer is there aren't any.

Here is a link to some economic modelling.

Unfortunately most "economists" in NZ are pay-per-article media wh%res and spout subjective opinion with precious little peer reviewed modelling.

"Unfortunately most "economists" in NZ are pay-per-article "

Is that accurate?
If so, I did not know that was their economic model now.
Incentives drive their behaviour ...

Eventually NZ comes out the other side of this 'war'. And among the many changes on the other side (what will those cruise liners be doing? what magazines will still be published? etc..) will be a govt coming off a war footing. Winston Churchill had a good war and then was dumped; will it be the same for Jacinda? Today she is doing a good job of selling policy and bossing the nation around - will she manage to adapt back to normal life when the nation resists being bossed?


I suspect new problems will arise. Global trade is going to be down substantially. Unemployment is likely to remain high for longer than what will be anticipated. We also haven't seen the outcome of the unstable global financial system; this is when the frauds and zombie companies will finally bleed out.

We might have to sort this out first.

Only $7 Trillion? I thought it might be more but then the meter is still running. Although noted epidemiologist Rewi W and all the farmers will be saying, "Cmon, let bygones be bygones, at the end of the day it's just a few wrinklies, let's not get into politics"

Careful, they might counter-sue re opium

This what I’m alluding to re mortality direct from covid vs long-run effects from the way governments react to minimise harm.
Politicians in a democracy have a short life in power - most will conduct policy that fits best with electorates “perceived desires” ( that is often manipulated by very same politicians) to stay in power. Hence selling short-term view with “saving lives” is a easier pill to swallow.
I suspect in hindsight, number crunchers will say a herd-strategy may have saved more lives.

Ask your self, what would a good General do in war? He looks to win it with overall minimal cost of life. Problem is, the general population is not conditioned to the fact of realising fellow man will die but for the greater good of the whole.

Lapun...Churchill had a long, chequered career with plenty of mis-steps prior to May 1940. His unsuitability as a peacetime leader was the reason he got dumped, according to my UK-based, Tory-voting grandparents, who voted Labour in 1945. Jacinda doesn't have the same baggage.

Oh he didn’t entirely quit the mis-steps after 1940 either. But the bloody great good ones he did take, thank god, were the ones that struck home.

Ardern is associated with bad times now. That link firms up every day as the economic disaster hits families.
It will be unfair in a way, but as we try to put the bad times behind us, we will tip out Ardern.

Some interesting UK news: BBC Coronavirus: PM admitted to hospital over virus symptoms. He was taken to a London hospital on Sunday evening with "persistent symptoms" - including a temperature. It is said to be a "precautionary step" taken on the advice of his doctor.

I can't believe that anyone considers Ardern and her cabinet have done even an adequate job. The lack of preparedness when there was so much warning, the total failure to institute any effective border measures is nothing short of scandalous and has led to NZ being in a hugely worse position incurring enormous economic destruction and costs and with a worse prognosis than if they had done their damned job properly. Their incompetence has cost NZ 10's of billions!!! And the huge failure in provisioning of testing in March - and all the lies they have told regarding that.

Bookmark for later 13/3/20.

"Liberty" and "authority" subjective rather than objective notions. Inevitably the people who pontificate hold neither balanced nor informed views so struggle with what is blindingly obvious to the remainder of society.

Turn off the Joe Rogan podcast, put away the bowl and stop trying to be "profound".


Thanks Andrewj, note this great comment beneath the blog post:

Apr 5, 2020 at 3:05 pm
This is how deflation begins. People who are asset rich, and cash poor begin to liquidate assets to raise cash.

This increases supply of assets, and puts pressure on sellers to lower prices to sell. You will see this happen with all assets from used cars, to real estate, equities, and even gold and precious metals.

Look especially for assets which require money to maintain to drop quickly in value as the selling begins. Speculation assets quickly become financial drains when it takes money to maintain them.

The need for cash going forward will be huge, and people will be desperate to raise it….

^^^ this is exactly what is already happening and will spread like a contagion.

he's back with more wisdom'
Apr 5, 2020 at 2:58 pm
When government tries to help, it often just makes things worse. In this case, they are taking a short term view, of a long term problem.
The simple truth is, they cannot bail out everyone, and by moving the problem up the ladder, they are creating much bigger problems..
If left alone, the businesses and landlords would have probably come to some kind of compromise, as they are co-dependent.
By doing this the business owners will feel entitled to free rent. The property owners will get behind on their mortgages during a time when property values will plummet. Soon pension funds who by Mortgage Backed Securities will get hammered as well as banks. Like I said, the governments can not bail out everyone, but their mismanagement of this situation will ensure everyone is in need of a bail out….

""a rolling earthquake of economic destruction"" - another great headline but not as snappy as "It's a wreck".

I actually think this is a total wreck, do you really want to write off the economy? Break it up and sell of the parts?
Lots of people have not realised yet the downstream effects, Councils gone, Insurance companies gone, ACC gone, Pensions gone and on and on, our world will be turned upside down, and it wont come back in a hurry.

Tim Morgan's latest post describes the problem well - although he appears to hint the process can be orderly …

Critically, de-growth doesn’t simply mean that the economy will become quantitatively smaller. It also means that much of the complexity which has developed in parallel with past economic expansion will go into reverse.
This de-complexifying process will have profound consequences. …

.... As utilization rates fall, the per-user share of fixed costs rises, and any attempt to pass such increases on to consumers is likely to accelerate the pace at which utilization rates fall.
The second operative trend is the critical mass effect. This describes the way in which supply processes are undermined by the lack of access to critical inputs. ...
Both the utilization and the critical mass factors introduce considerable uncertainty into the rate at which prosperity will deteriorate, but an even bigger imponderable is the combined impact of utilization and critical mass effects. It is easy to picture how these are likely to interact, with, for example, falling utilization rates removing inputs in a way that accelerates the loss of critical mass."

One wonders how we will pay/allocate for a healthcare system after this.
‘Is this serious enough to warrant putting most of our population into house imprisonment, wrecking our economy for an indefinite period, destroying businesses that honest and hard-working people have taken years to build up, saddling future generations with debt, depression, stress, heart attacks, suicides and unbelievable distress inflicted on millions of people who are not especially vulnerable and will suffer only mild symptoms or none at all, like the Health Secretary and the Prime Minister?’
Lord Sumption

You weren't 'paying' (wrong word; you should have been allocating energy and resources) enough even before (thanks in part to the neoliberal shyte being applied to health - all things are there to be made a profit of, according to the --ckwits).

The proof is that we have had to lockdown not to eliminate the virus (it will run it's course and the odds are against a vaccine, statistically) but to save the health system from overload. In short, we did not 'spend' enough on it to make it big enough to cope with an entirely predictable event.


Oh Lord Sumption, your privilege is showing! AGAIN. Another self, interested, invested wealthy person who gave zero f%$ks about suicide, mental health, the health system or anything beyond his own elite club until suddenly his own privilege and wealth is threatened and then we are expected to believe he is genuinely concerned? Also... it's amazing how many of those suddenly facing personal losses have rushed to express similar concern and posing the same false dichotomy on the economy (the models show what happens to the economy if we don't aggressively suppress the virus and its much worse).

"the models show". Let us trash an economy because the "models show". As a real life example rather than model - South Korea - is on top of it and didn't lock down but let's just ignore that and hide under the bed covers because "models show". What do the models say about suicide and unemployment? Sumption has given quite a few f%$ks about suicide in his career btw but don't let facts get in the way of a good rant.

There are other always to combat the virus other than lockdown that don't involve trashing the economy that pays (sorry - allocates resources) for the health system. Many industries already face far higher risks in their day to day jobs than this virus and can work in isolation - at no risk to others - yet are locked down due to "models show".

Model vs. Data. "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."

FYI, some data, based on the death rates reported so far. Here is the number of people who have died from COVID19 per 4,822,223 people (i.e the population of New Zealand)

1) New Zealand: 1.00
2) Australia: 7.00

3) South Korea: 17.21
4) Singapore: 4.95
5) China: 11.15

North America
6) US: 139.89
7) Canada: 35.39

8) Sweden: 191.47 - self responsibility approach, no lockdown currently
9) Germany: 91.17
10) Ireland: 154.30
11) UK: 350.48
12) Switzerland: 398.98
13) Netherlands: 497.00
14) France: 596.78
15) Belgium: 602.07
16) Italy: 1,267.09
17) Spain: 1,303.78

Exactly what I been saying from the start. People who thought they were immune from this are starting to see the lag.It will impact everyone, yes even Pensions. How this government thinks it can afford pay increase out of work benefit increase in minimum wage, whilst companies that pay the tax are laying off staff (PAYE) will post massive losses for next few years (no tax). GR needs roll out a message of a plan...asap..or do they really have no idea. Again companies won't borrow millions at your cheap rate to pay O/H Grant, they only borrow if they can maintain or increase T/O. So lets see the Big Think projects, is it a national cycleway from one end of NZ to the other (hate these but it has potential to give every region an instant project- they can all work on it at once)..upgrading bridges, building Hydro dams...what is it.

think Big projects are last century … the future has to be about Think Local / think Small projects
ie .. how do we set up localised food supply / labour / movement of people etc etc etc ..with PREDOMINATELY local inputs only
far simpler but far more resilient

Sorry, FCM, Dams (even tiny ones) upset Snails.

"Break it up and sell off the parts..."

We do that already.

What's the difference between "a rolling earthquake of economic destruction" and a growing wave of "creative destruction"?

We had a wreck only we kept adding new parts and holding it together with debt tape.

Councils gone? Doesn’t sound so bad. I’d be more than happy to retain 10k+ of rates. We don’t hear much from councils efforts yet to abstain from spending. Consenting set to move sharply negative once out of the lockdown from the lofty highs of the past few years. Council layoffs imminent. Rates revolts probable especially if property asset values
dive and said assets (commercial and residential) cannot be sold.
I know of three residential properties in my local area (I walk for exercise now in the lockdown and for years prior to it) vacant for the last 2-4 years which now have for sale signs up. All just before the lockdown. I attended the auctions with all properties purchased by Asian individuals. Suspect the purchasers want to get $ out ASAP or it’s just coincidental right?

GR needs to give some sort of hint as the what sort of recovery efforts the Government will roll out to give a heads up to the sectors they want to lead the recovery. Is it a massive infrastructure spend- technology driven or what? All we are seeing is massive economic doom, paying a wage subsidy helps people from drowning straight away but the life jacket has a hole in it and people are slowly sinking. Give these companies/unemployed a heads up so they can start planning, give them some hope, some detail GR, not meaningless media talk.

FCM - rather than hammering on in the one unbending direction, have a wee think.

Take the time to listen to the link I put up above, and make a conscious effort to listen dispassionately (I suspect that will be harder for you than most).

Then see if you still want to make such comments. I'll be genuinely interested....... but I suspect you will avoid?

Whats your big plan PDK just to pay people to sit at home- collect benefit that will not go very far in NZ..nice..I'm sure you will be there to pay their mortgage or electricity bill if three-four you wont.

You're even more condescending than usual in this thread. Not exactly persuasive.


Well put!

And there you have it. If there was ever a sadder sack of pseudo-intellectual gasbags I’m yet to see it!
Collectively this great waste of breath represents a single broken ideology:

-open borders;
-extreme immigration;
-financialisation, Dutch disease and de-industrialisation;
-wage and industrial relations destruction, and
-above all, interests!

Not one them can hold his or her head up as the virus exposes the follies of all. It doesn’t matter if they come from the fake left or fake right. It’s the same thing. Failed globalism, property bubbling and de-industrialisation.

Superb piece.

Thanks, great link. I like that the author also provides some micro and macro prescriptions to fix it. Pretty relevant to NZ as well. I'd really like to see inter-governmental planning under ANZ-CER expanded in the post-Covid recovery phase. We should stop thinking of our two economies in terms of competition and instead focus on greater cooperation (regulatory harmonization). For example, if we extended this to harmonizing our boarder control measures and our immigration rules.

Border measures are already aligned.
International borders are Fed.
Scott was the one pulling NZ into travel bans.

State border control is all different.

The flaw in your thinking is that NZ and Australia would be 1:1.
The pressure from Aust. Would see NZ at more a State level, and the way Australia thinks, somewhere between SA and Tasmania.

You may not realise the large differences between State regulations as it stands. So what you ask for does not exist.

Thinking has it it that NZ could not credibly compete with the States/COAG bare knuckles events.

I think when this is all over we will see countries have much more strict border controls
We may need a visa to enter another country
When I did my OE in the 70s I had to carry a vaccination booklet with me and you would have to show that at border controls before they would let you in
Even when we get a vaccine there will be millions who are unvaccinated and who wants to let them into your country in case the virus has a second wave

If and it is a big if, NZ manages to eliminate Covid-19 then we may be the only reasonable sized country to do so. But the rest of the world will be in an economic and medical crisis maybe for years. It gives NZ the opportunity to sell residency - obviously after extensive testing and quarantine. As the only country permitting the rich elderly to move around safely without facemasks and to attend concerts and sporting events we could name our price - my guess about $10m per person.

Not sure about that! "In China, there are 4.4 million millionaires", and that's just China.
We'd be overrun with rich, elderly.

Then make it $100m. Those most interested will be the eldest so few kids and only a short actual life in NZ. With money up front it would be a better deal than we made with Peter Theil.

It's not an if, it's an impossibility.

It's April, it's shocking some people haven't understood that this thing is going through every population on the planet. No, you're not spared in Westport or Gisborne, there is no containment. It's only a matter of slowing it down.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.....

That sort of safety is priceless. Flogging it off for pitiful amounts of cash sounds like a pre-existing National Policy.

Haha that's right and the $10 million is a National Party donation!

In fairness, that would improve their per-list-seat earnings.

NZs population is already more than the land can cope with. We don't want or need anymore until we can provide for those we already have.


Spot on! Roger Douglas advocated this in his book unfinished business. This way it would eliminate low wage immigrant labour and allow for job creation and opportunities for kiwis if managed well. Instead they opted for the education route and that has destroyed the social contract of NZ.

This approach appeals to me. If we sold 2000 NZ citizenships per year at one million dollars each, that's $2 billion of revenue.

They could have sold them for $1m last year; now worth much more. It is beyond the many joys of NZ life. We have minimal commuting on public transport compared to most developed countries. Don't forget our govt is less indebted than most; we export basic agricultural items that will remain in demand; so our govt should be able to keep civilised life up and running when other countries go to the dogs.

Yep, I've still got mine; 'Dept of Health NZ - international certificates of vaccinations/certificates internationaux de vaccination'. Mine shows I was vaccinated for cholera and typhoid (but not yellow fever or smallpox). It was a precious little book. As important as your passport.

What New Zealand needs to do ASAP to rebuild our economy is:

-Fix the NZ$ to the US$ ( again!), and
-Reinstate Exchange Control to oversee the flow of capital and goods.
-Revisit the flow of immigration
-Return the creation of debt to the RBNZ, and strictly oversee the activities of lending by the Commercial banks

Now I could be wrong on all of that, but if we are to look at what the emerging superpower of our day does, China, it's ALL of those things; and yet we reckon we can go forward into the Brave New World with a different set of tools?

China has a slave labour market, no regard for human life, no regard for environment, no regard for the poor. Ideal location for "industrial" "manufacturing"hub. Pretty much like the up and coming industrial UK, US etc. Those policies would work in such environment. Not in a country where minimum wage is the third expensive in the world (right after Luxamburg and Australia).

I wouldn't want to attach to the USD when they are in for some very hard times in the short and medium term.
If it is knocked on the head in NZ, we maybe due for a large number of expats returning and overseas cash entering our system. 660k kiwis in Ozzy and it looks like a massive down turn is going to hit. The people that relocated to Oz did so for a better environment and if that crumbles, they are prewired to jump the ditch again. I'm picking a return of at least 100k expats and that may turn into a million if second and third waves hit.

"Emerging superpower"

As my Chinese friend puts it, Chinese are wealthy peasants. They will grow old well before they grow prosperous. Their demographics are awful, and their rise is built on debt not unlike the Japanese. They're a paper tiger, nothing more.

I'm still not quite getting why you want to follow in the footsteps of the greatest failure of a nation the world has ever produced. I mean that wholeheartedly. So much talent, intelligence, education and resources, and China is the dumpster fire it is today. They're no one to follow.

What makes you think that currency controls will have a stabilising effect? especially against the USD who is basically in a live experiment with bailouts everywhere using trillions of newly created USD's
Exchange control sounds protectionist, and rarely has that led to prosperity
Immigration policies are simply pushing Nationals agenda for higher property prices and rents
Last point - possibly, nowadays debt is sold to either central bank or other financial entities who then securitise it and on-sell it to retirement funds with the credit rating agencies blessings that it is low risk...

Basically debt runs systems now, where the people who get mortgages, then have banks profit massively from their mortgage (reserve ratio banking), they securitise it into bonds and sell it back to the retirement funds of the people who took the mortgage in the first place

I'm a little astounded that the Fed is proposing that they should 'cover up' banks losses to avoid bank runs... they've already changed the reserve ratios so banks will effectively not have to meet minimum liquidity requirements - so they already are covering up losses!!

Unbelievable that we are entering a phase where the Fed thinks it's acceptable to simply hide issues with listed companies balance sheets
I'm wondering if this breaches any SEC rules around disclosure?
The whole point of disclosure is to be able to 'see' issues so you can make more informed decisions

So, "Buy!" isn't a word that comes easily to you lips?!

Lol, I trade long and short so it makes little difference to me - what worries me is that the rules of the game are being changed on a whim without consideration of erosion of confidence in the long run


"After accusing China of unreliable data, it now appears that American data is also unreliable, understating the extent of infection and death. Every country is struggling with accurate record keeping."

I don't think the too are even comparable. The CCP lied and covered up the outbreak as well persecuted anyone that dare speak up. The US, and I suspect like us, is trying to catch up to the infections. I doubt our figures are 100% either.

I know it is fashionable to try and make the CCP and the US moral equivalents but that is just BS.


Totally agree with you. The massive difference is US has a free population with access to media. China is the exact opposite. So even if US government wishes to do exactly as CHina, they simply will never be able to. Covering up death numbers to the magnitude CHina has done? forcing fake death certificates? not recording the dead? what China can do requires a suppressed and oppressed people.

How do you know if anyone in China died at all? We simply just don’t know the China situation.

Uh, no. The US took over the baton of #1 Empire from the Brits. The history of South America (read up about what Kirk thought of Nixon killing Allende) under US thuggery, is the same as the history of anywhere that Britain annexed (like, all of India). The US is engaging in, and has engaged in, more pre-emptive wars than anyone else, this last 100 years.

Those who re-write history (always for self-satisfying reasons, usually denial of transgression) do us no favours; the further you wander from the truth the more you are in trouble as a society. We see that now with our belief in money, that it could fix all things if we only had enough of it. That missed the point that it was the pursuit of money, which was the cause of all the problems....

But the fact is that the US of recent times, has been the biggest global thug.

The point of difference is, us to us people compared to china vs china people. I have no doubt that as invaders, US has a terrible record. But have they ever, over the past 100 years, treated their own people as China has done its own people?


None of that comes close to what China has done and still does.

Really baffling to see so many equate the US and China around here. The propaganda has been very effective since 2016.

I don't equate them in any way. Just pointing out that the US Government has persecuted its own citizens too.

It's a big world with myriad problems, but it makes most sense to focus on the worst not the near-to-best in trying to improve things.

"Near to the best"....

200 odd countries in the world. OECD ~36 countries and less than 20% of world population, all members of OECD (sadly now excepting Turkey) are democratic and answerable to their populations with free press and pretty comprehensive human rights law. They are near to best.

You just did.

Kate, so China and US are the same on how people are treated? COME ON! Chelsea Manning would have been freed from the prison if she was a chinese citizen. The US would have massacred students the same way in Tiananmen Square.
I know US has many many vices but in a very specific topic of how it treats its OWN people vs how China treats its own people, there is no contest. Your problem Kate is that you have never lived under an authoritarian, despotic regime (like China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, etc) so it is very easy for you to compare them with US.

Believer u r unbelieved.

True. I grew up in the US. And indeed, I would far rather live there under a Western liberal representative system of governance than an authoritarian, despotic one as China presently is. But the US I grew up in has changed. Any number of the principles of Western liberal representative democracy have eroded;

Civil society - voluntary civic and social organisations form the basis of a functioning society
Market economy – goods/services are exchanged at a price determined when a buyers bid prices match a sellers asking prices (note: now largely referred to as a ‘free market’ economy)
Pluralism – affirmation and acceptance of diversity
Political pluralism – multiple and distinct political parties
Universal suffrage – all adult citizens have the right to vote and to participate regardless of race, gender, belief or social status
Liberal freedoms – freedom of expression; freedom of the press; freedom of association; equality before the law and due process under the rule of law

I have no problem whatsoever with your criticism of the west. I use an example to explain why I was annoyed by your initial comment. Some western feminists, in their criticism of the societies they live in, go so far that they praise Islamic traditions (relating to women)! Sure, there are lots and lots of things that you can rightly be critical about as a woman living in Sweden or NZ. But how on Earth this would drive a woman, and a feminist one at that, to praise Islam and its traditions is really beyond me.
You are doing it with social and political values of the West. You seem so disappointed with their erosion that you end up defending the very antithesis of what you seem to love.

Thanks so much for the conversation/exchange. I don't read many works in the feminist tradition for exactly your observation - lots of it I just plain old don't 'get'.

And yes, I do love democracy - from its ancient Greek origins/history to its modern Western liberal tenets (as above) and application. But I think it the responsibility of every citizen lucky enough (and birth is pure and simply a matter of luck) to live under a democratic system of governance to call out in harsh terms any evidence of the erosion of those tenets. I don't mean in any way to defend any other system of governance, quite the opposite - I hope my criticism is a defence of democracy itself.

Perhaps look at the history of most non-white people in America. Rosa Parks mean anything to you? Whites only signs? That was a bit more recent than 100 years ago. How about indigenous Americans even today? And i'm not sure Latino Americans are exactly all that happy with the way they are treated now either.

Life expectancy lifted from 43.73 in 1960 to 76.24 in 2016? (oh, Chinese data is not reliable, why anyone would bother?)

Martin Luther King could have answered that.....

I note you go for 100 years. Funny. But then they were still treating the indigenous as s#_@ the last hundred years. Oh and the Japanese Americans, oh and when did segregation end oh and......


That is simply not true and you point to esoteric nonsense. The CCP has killed more people (mostly it's own) than any other country ever in history. No country comes close.

Here is a simple fact the refutes your nonsense. How many people flock to the US compared to China or anywhere else for that matter. Unlike East Germany the US is actually building a wall to keep people out. The CCP has made the country a prison.

It's not even close so please stop this nonsense. It hurts our society when people are "useful idiots" for brutal repressive regimes.

Could not agree more with what you say. The previous leader of Labour Party in the UK, would have preferred to side with Iranian Regime! why? because they are in conflict with the US!

Yes, the UK Labour party is in smoking ruins. Thx JC.
David Starkey.
Terrible business about anti semitism.
Momentum is a massive problem.

dispassionate research tends to get to the truth, more often than pre-ordained beliefs do when they set out to self-justify. I do not defend the Chinese leadership, merely point out the fact that you canna'e run the planets biggest Empire without repressing a few million who happen to live atop the resources you require

The US has also helped the Soviet Union and Communist China quite a lot. I'd say the US is complicit in their crimes too. It is melodramatic of people to claim that the CCP "killed" people when it was largely the result of famine, poor nutrition and general incompetence. People weren't being systematically executed in great numbers.

People were also being systematically executed in great numbers. Look at what they are doing to the Uighers, concentration camps, murders for body-parts. Tibet was no better, and they really haven't changed their behavior over last 60 years. PRC are Han supremacists.

From the wikipedia article on Mao's great leap forward ""Not all deaths during the Great Leap were from starvation. Frank Dikötter estimates that at least 2.5 million people were beaten or tortured to death and one million to three million committed suicide.""

Well, that is really good, scientifically speaking. Compared to Mongols that is practically nothing. And may I ask you, scientifically, how many lives are saved because US invented drugs? us invested farming methods? us invested technologies? us invented institution?

Given our level of overshoot, was that a good thing?

B1980 - unwind, let go, and download one book. Catton's 1980 epic, Overshoot. It won't cost you much and you'll never regret the effort spent. Nor will you ever make such comments.......


Surely it's time we think about going local big time. For example, councils should dedicate large parts of reserves to food production. Imagine if local communities could attain a large proportion of their plant-based diet locally? Healthier, cheaper, more sustainable and community building.

Yes. Every nation in the world should be thinking about local/in-country connectedness as opposed to international connectedness.

Kate from memory you teach at Massey? What would you like to see in NZ to come from this?

I teach but I'm not what I class as an academic - I tried to finish a PhD but didn't have the commitment, determination and self-discipline, nor in my opinion the 'raw' intellect needed to get the qualification. I couldn't get past the literature review stage ... the more I read/researched the more I realised the less I knew, and all I wanted to do was read more :-). Ethics and their connection to our worldviews, particularly on environmental decision-making, is my greatest area of interest.

So, it's not my qualification talking - it's just me - just like everyone on here.

I'm still formulating my own hopeful vision of the future. I'm a definite utopian - as a grandparent, I have to be :-).

So: I hope in the future our actions are guided by ethics, not economics. I hope we teach Aristotelian virtue ethics as a core part of the curriculum, so that children as future leaders have a different framework (different to teleology/consequentialism and deontology/rules-based) , or 'lens' under which they can view (and hence guide) society.

I think we'll get (economically speaking) a recession/depression of significant magnitude, but I'm hoping history records this shock/transition period as a Great Leveling, ethically (and economically) speaking. This is one article I've come across that begins to enunciate that vision;

Here's an example of headline news in the economic tradition (and from a central bank, the global purveyors of our current demise!);

We've got to knock these institutions and their economic framework off their perch.

Thank you Kate. I think this is a brilliant answer and also provides a view towards economics too. The nutshell I believe is here "Ethics and their connection to our worldviews". Too often I think people forget ethics. And economists in particular seem to love taking an academic perspective, trying to sound superior (and likely believing it too). I also think that sometimes the less you know, the more likely you will see or express the truth. It is evident so often in the comment streams on this site, that people get buried in detail and lose sight of the big picture. I feel sometimes that people hide behind words like "theory" or "academic" as a way to avoid responsibility for consequences. I often wonder if an economist were to be held accountable for the consequences of their advice, or for that matter a politician for the consequences of the policies they enacted even 20 - 50 years down the track, whether they would be a little more careful about what they said or did?

I want to rephrase my question Kate and put it out to all economists. Given an opportunity, taking all the lessons learned from history how would they design an economy that was to the benefit of all? Can they merge or even put aside theory to recognise practical reality and human psychology as taught to us by history?

I'm not studied at all in economics - so answered above instead.

In the beginning - my very first economics lecture, the lecturer discussed economies of scale, and used the example of bread baking and bread bakers. It didn't make sense to have one single large-scale bread-baker in Auckland supplying bread to Kaitaia and Awanui in the north and Rotorua in the south, because in distribution you are transporting large quantities of air, which should encourage small cottage-style hot-bread shops on nearly every corner. In my local town there was one, but in the brief time I've been here, it has gone.

In and around 2001, while living in Australia there were one or two hot-bread-shops in every shopping strip and every shopping-centre open 7 days a week, and bugger me there were supermarkets in Tasmania importing packets of potato-chips from Holland. Lots of air. You wanted canned or bottled asparagus in Melbourne they came from China. Lot of water. Canned mangoes? yep came from Thailand or Philipines. None from Queensland. Want bananas? Plenty from Ecuador and elsewhere. Yet they grow them in Queensland. Ever see bananas or mangoes from Queensland in NZ. Tinned peeled tomatoes (plus water) from Italy at 50 cents a can

In my Quality lectures it was highlighted that smaller batches were more efficient too. Just goes to show how far off the rails it has all gone. Unlimited growth in a finite system bunkum. Time to change!

Didn't we believe in that only a generation ago? Laws enacting the 40 hr week to encourage family time, a massive home building program with room to grow food. Been there done that and we sold out.

A decentralised power model like Germany perhaps?

" For example, councils should dedicate large parts of reserves to food production.."

I went and talked around 5 years ago to our council about exactly this ….
Of course after the laughter subsided, discussions went back to extending the airport runway, heritage buildings & subdivision growth...
Planning has always been about more of the same ….

Speaking of earthquakes, let's really hope/pray that a major earthquake does not strike in the next 5 years.
We shouldn't ignore the possibility, we should plan for it. No matter how scary the prospect.
Alpine fault, Wellington...

Can we clear a path for the funny round building to slide straight down to the harbour?

Oil price may blowup again this week and start next leg down for markets etc.
Also keep an eye on milk price this week in may take a hit.

Expect a false flag and a drone strike on oil fields somewhere in the world by the US. oil up again, how convenient....


"a policy of suppressing information about banks' balance sheets has a significant and positive effect on deposits"

It beggars belief that things like that are even being written. Welcome to our new reality.


Actually it is much, much worse. this is about the banks, big corporates and the mega rich protecting their personal interests in the short term at the expense of everyone else!

...and the builder has turned up again at the end of the street. This time with a large trailer load of cut timber, fairly sure Bunnings is only open for emergencies. WTF

This is a kiwi builder. All the Asian builders have shut down a long time ago.

One of JA's "idiots". Surf must be flat.

he may have bills to pay.

At least he's qualified unlike the underpaid migrant "builders"

he is also keeping working to make sure he can make his commitments.

Something that seems to becoming increasingly rare these days


The Government's failure in planning has lead to far wider shut down in the economy than necessary to achieve good social isolation. There are huge numbers of workers and businesses that can and do work in effective isolation, and with fairly minor modifications to their activities they could be working with no adverse impacts even now. The impact of that pointless shuttering of much economic activity will cost NZ more billions.

Disappointed to see the number of Coronavirus tests performed yesterday had actually decreased. We will have to see what today brings but I would remind the health service that the Virus doesn't take weekends off. The window of opportunity created through lockdown is getting smaller, there will never be an easier time to nip this in the bud.

Actually what you are talking about is capacity constraints. When cannot continue to work lab staff 24/7 without consequence. It will take time to train enough staff to have the capacity required, plus there is other testing required too, some as critical to life or more so than COVID.

Exactly. This is where resilience beats economics, every time.

Resilience asks: What's the biggest load we might reasonably expect to experience in the life of this health infrastructure? And it would build capacity for that.

The economist says ' what's the bet, per year, that we can get away with this? And they pare it to the bone. When the inevitable hits, they're found with their pants down.

T'aint exactly rocket science - but we do need to ask which approach is the stupider? Well we did - it's rapidly looking like the question has answered itself.

Average age of the Italian deaths from this pandemic is 78. The majority of those having 1, 2 or 3 pre existing medical problems. Of those with existing medical problems who died the majority had 3 pre exisiting conditions.
This information is readily available from the Italian Health Ministry in English. Also regardless of the cause of death if a patient has Covid 19 and dies that is recorded as the cause of death rather than " died with Covid 19".

I know this is unpopular, but perhaps this whole economic mess is a result of over-reactions in governments to the Covid-19 threat?

I'm not a fan of Trump, but his statement that 'cannot have the cure be worst than the disease" is a fair one, we are seeing the world economies shut down, basic rights & freedoms such as hiking & surfing taken away, people in lock down, economic systems frozen and massive financial damage being done everywhere.. which ultimately affects everyone

I agree massive testing at borders should be implemented, - it is the cases you don't know about that cause the most damage -
Protections put in place for those most at risk of fatalities

This economic crisis is causing a massive spike in unemployment and causing lasting damage the productive sector of NZ which cannot absorb such losses indefinitely

At the risk of sounding insensitive (not intended), we have had a single death to date - the normal flu did more than that last year...This is NOT the 1918 influenze pandemic that killed 9,000 in two months, causing more NZ deaths than WW1,

Nothing is positive and at the moment everything seems to be going from worse to worst with no end in sight.

As everything is shut and many businesses and activities are on hold will know the severity of the situation only after the lock-down.

Businesses, banks, people, government will struggle and housing market will fall - only to be seen if it will just fall of the cliff or come rolling down.

One thing is definite that this fall in business and housing market will be something that has not been witnessed before as we are in tottaly dark unknown territory. Will come out it for sure, hopefully but will be a while.....

So many people on here wasting their time on worthless dribble. The only question and discussion now is how do we exit this mess with the minimum of pain because every different scenario in my head points to a nightmare.

The problem is simply the time to get a proven vaccination out to the masses and we simply cannot stay in a lockdown situation until it arrives so we are really going to have to get smart in the way people are gradually released back into the workforce. The government simply have to come up with a plan and put a light at the end of the tunnel for the people to work towards, simply trying to implement an endless rolling lockdown will not work.

Yep need to look forward. I and many others have been through the failures of the approach to date, ad nauseam.
Everything should be on the table, including 'out there' ideas such as selling citizenship.
We are going to have to stretch boundaries, big time. Unfortunately we are ruled by a government and bureaucracy that are very poor at being creative, unconventional and brave.

unfortunately until People are slapped in the face with compulsory change, no change is possible

Its too late for a nice way out of this mess

Carlos67, we are not yet to halfway in the lockdown. No need to panic yet. After four weeks the figures should be looking very good concerning new infections. At that point there can be a relaxing of the lockdown. Maybe areas that still have a cluster will need to stay locked down for a bit. Everyone will still need to change their behaviour and the elderly and sick will need to be especially careful.

The model to follow will be Taiwan which is doing exceptionally well. We don't hear much about them for political reasons which is very stupid and hopefully will change after this all blows over and everyone becomes a bit more inward focusing. We can all reassess national self sufficiency and start to think and act locally.

I view things a bit differently.
I agree we shouldn't panic. But I think great urgency is required in terms of the development and delivery of a recovery plan.
There's too much uncertainty and businesses are falling over every day because of that.
Obviously the situation is volatile. So you need a plan that is agile and flexible, but at the same time gives some fairly firm steers.

4 weeks in to Italian lockdown they still have new infections 2-3x the rate that they were at when lockdown started. South Korea is still getting new infections at about 20% of their month-ago-peak. Eradication is not going to happen. And the rate of reduction in lockdown (unless it is super strict) is very slow.

Carlos67, you are correct as no one can fathom what future holds for them.

We are in middle of health crisis and once this is over, everyone has to prepare for the biggest economy crisis of the century never witnessed by any living person, be it government or so called experts.

Governments, Banks and so called experts/economist can only guess and hope that if this happen will do this or if that happen will do that and till than anything that has to be done will be done by corona virus.

So have no choice but to wait for corona virus storm to pass before rebuilding starts, which too will be painful and time consuming.

Even in earlier recession, no government or reserve banks were as helpless as they are today.

So people with cash / deposit should hold tightly and wisely with their money to get the most out of it unless they want to take chance of being either brave or stupid.

it's sort of a management vs leadership crisis. Lets manage our way out of this (badly) is present option, then they will try blaming someone else. Welcome to modern politics.

Not a good sign.

This week she also planned to announce stricter border restrictions around quarantine but would not give further information.

Why the change?
Plausible answers below please:

Not sure why you read that as a bad sign. It was simply well overdue and there has been a chorus calling for this.

Because they haven't thought of an actual plan just yet, and are kicking for touch....

Because after pretending that they were organised and prepared for the last 4 weeks (when in reality they had done none of the homework they should have been doing in the preceding month) they finally, nearly, have a plan for how to do what they should have been doing a month back.

Everyone is an expert huh

Obviously more expert than our government, when they are at long last making noises like the are finally going to do what so many of us were pleading for 4-6 weeks back (proper border controls/quarantining). Too late to have much impact, but still.

Listen at around the 29 minute mark.
From the remarks, imagine how contact tracing has, has been done till now.
It is today's.

Not great news for the rest home. Ex rest home probably.

Numbers coming in are now so low that they can actually manage the numbers with quarantining them?

Pretty sure some of the other commentators on here (in hindsight i'd add) think that the govt somehow could have magically had the facilities, staffing and infrastructure to quarantine the thousands of people arriving daily before now.

No magic required just a modicum of aptitude for getting stuff done ie not current government. Campervans, Caravans, Tents, Shipping containers, supported by NZ armed forces.

Well considering we have around 300,000 people arrive into this country each month up until very recently, where do you think they can quarantine a city sized population?

Unless your an advocate for concentration camps and if so how would you prevent the disease in an thing like that?

B&T agents are sending email to all with subject line 'PROPERTY UPDATE : Auckland property market went into lockdown on record high'

RE Propoganda is on to prove otherwise. Though true but ......

Someone should tell them that even stock market went into lockdown on record high lol.

Today if they try to argue otherwise will make a fool of themselves as housing sector fall is imminent and may also lose trust of buyers who take them on their face value ( Not many but still).

Harder they or anyone try to prove otherwise, bigger fool will they make of themselves.

Interesting Scenario - If it happens

Must see as possibility

What do we make of this.

Maybe, comment after the day in court.