America debates opening-up decisions; China Q1 GDP falls more than expected; commodity prices assume recovery near; Wall Street does too; UST 10yr yield at 0.64%; oil and gold lower; NZ$1 = 60.3 USc; TWI-5 = 66.5

America debates opening-up decisions; China Q1 GDP falls more than expected; commodity prices assume recovery near; Wall Street does too; UST 10yr yield at 0.64%; oil and gold lower; NZ$1 = 60.3 USc; TWI-5 = 66.5
Waitangi, Chatham Islands

Here's our summary of key economic events overnight that affect New Zealand, with news that it looks like pervasive stimulus is barely working yet even though markets expect it to.

In the US, their respected Congressional Budget Office has updated their forecasts for the US economy, expecting a -7% fall in GDP in 2020 and a rise to "over 10%" in their jobless rate.

Overnight, the US President declared it was up to State governors to decide when to reopen; then he took to Twitter to encourage protests in States that want to extend the lockdown for public health reasons, and goading people to break lockdown protocols.

Boeing said it will reopen its airplane manufacturing plants in Washington state next week, bringing 27,000 employees back to work under new safety protocols. This is despite continuing cancellations for its 737MAX airplane.

China's Q1 GDP fell -6.8% from the same quarter a year ago. That was worse than the -6.0% markets were expecting. And it is a huge reversal of the +6.0% rise in Q4-2019. It is the first solid indication of the sort of shift other countries can expect when they report their Q2-2020 economic 'growth' data. China's retail sales fell by -16% in March, less than the -21% fall in February but online food sales actually rose +10%. Their electricity production was down -4.6% in March and less than the -8% decline in February. Industrial production crashed almost -14% in February but actually bounced back to be just -1% lower in March. While that data may seem dubious, it is probably dangerous to think all of China suffered as Hubei Province did. Hubei only makes up about 5% of China's overall GDP.

China is expected it will release new major stimulus to right their economic ship. And it turns out the Chinese don't really fear trade trouble with the US - it is trade trouble with Japan they really fear.

In the last few days, Baltic Dry index has started to rise noticeably off its depressed base. It isn't back to anything like its September 2019 levels but it is approaching its 2020 highs. Iron ore and steel-making coal prices are staying elevated.

Worldwide, the latest compilation of Covid-19 data is here. The global tally is now 2,215,000 and up +114,000 this time yesterday which is a rising tide. Now, more than 31% of all cases globally are in the US and they are up +43,000 since this time yesterday to 683,800 and up +40% in one week. This is a faster rate of increase. Just over 8% of all US cases have recovered so far, and unchanged since yesterday. The US had its largest death toll yesterday. China's recovery rate is now 94% but they have revised their death rate higher by counting community deaths, something other countries, especially the US, aren't yet doing fully. Australia has now over 6500 cases, and are claiming a remarkable jump in their recovery rate to 58%. Yesterday it was only 36%. There is something very fishy about Aussie coronavirus data. Worldwide, false negatives in testing bedevil effective control decisions.

Global deaths now exceed 151,000 and up by more than +50% in a week.

There are now 1409 Covid-19 cases identified in New Zealand, up +126 (+10%) from 1283 this time last week, with another +8 new cases yesterday which was less than the +15 increase the day before. The number of clusters is still at 16. Eleven people have died here now, up 2 from yesterday and both in the same cluster. There are now 14 people in hospital with the disease, with three in ICU. Our recovery rate is now up to 58% and rising.

In Australia, their largest bank says (in locked research) they expect house prices in Sydney and Melbourne to fall at least -10% in the next six months as virus-triggered unemployment cuts into demand.

The S&P500 is up +2.7% in late trade today in the expectation that the US will open for business again soon, the public health impacts be damned. That is a weekly rise of +3.0%. Overnight, European markets rose even more on the same sentiment. Yesterday, Asian markets were positive too, especially Tokyo. The ASX200 ended the day up +1.3% and the NZX50 Capital Index was up +2.9% on the day and up +8.0% for the week in a very strong showing.

The UST 10yr yield is up +4 bps at just on 0.64%. Their 2-10 curve is little-changed today at +44 bps. Their 1-5 curve is similar at +19 bps, and their 3m-10yr curve is also unchanged at +51 bps. The Aussie Govt 10yr yield is now at 0.85% and a rise of +4 bps overnight. The China Govt 10yr is up +3 bps at 2.56%. The NZ Govt 10 yr yield is up +2 bps at 0.96%.

Gold is down sharply, down -US$26 to US$1,709/oz.

US oil prices have fallen sharply to just over US$18/bbl, down -US$2/bbl. Believe it or not, but that is an intra-day recovery from an all-time modern low of US$17.30. The Brent benchmark has followed it down to be at just on US$28/bbl. These levels represent 20 year lows in nominal terms and 70+ years in inflation-adjusted terms. As a consequence, the North American rig count has fallen very sharply, down to levels we last saw in 2016. And this is probably only the start of a severe pullback.

The Kiwi dollar has firmed overnight to 60.3 USc but that is about where it was over the Easter weekend. On the cross rates we are also firmer at 94.9 AUc. Against the euro we are little-changed at 55.6 euro cents. That means the TWI-5 is at 66.5.

Bitcoin is now at US$7,048 and virtually unchanged from where we left it yesterday. 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.

145 Comments

Man Trump is split personality, I cant see him getting re-elected. Will be less angst in the world after he has gone, we will not worry about the cave man and what he says and does.
"Overnight, the US President declared it was up to State governors to decide when to reopen; then he took to Twitter to encourage protests in States that want to extend the lockdown for public health reasons, and goading people to break lockdown protocols."

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Trump isn't causing the angst, he is a result of it. The trend is happening around the world.

Yes and in Trump land the yokels are getting restless, even though the US just recently added another +2,232 deaths from the coronvirus. BBC article: ‘Liberate’ states protesting against lockdown, says Trump. Quote: "Donald Trump has appeared to endorse protests against stringent lockdown measures in several states." https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-52330531

It's a slick move. The people want a lock down lift, they force the Governors into it and it is not Trumps fault.
Man it's going to get very ugly on a few different levels.
Civil unrest with hillbillies bringing out their shooting irons.
Increased infections and then deaths.
Clogging up of hospitals over all of the country, increased deaths from that.
Unemployment.
Currency doing who knows what...
Elections this year in the States but guessing that will be canceled.

Wasn't it Trump who wanted to order the US workers back to work by Easter and fill the churches for Easter Sunday! Sorry but it is Trumps fault that the US is spinning out of control fueled by his lack of concern about US citizens. Remember Trump only cares about himself and the stock market.
The irony is that he's quite happy to let even his own voting demographic to be cut down by the corona virus by pushing them to get back to work, and it's not just older people dying from the corona virus especially if they can't afford health insurance. BBC Tracking the global outbreak. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-51235105

I'm not agreeing with what he's doing, I think it is the worst mistake ever to go back. I said it's a slick move and the people's choice and not on Trump.

Ok just the "It's not Trumps fault" bit was what I couldn't agree with you on (Almost coughed on my morning coffee), There's enough evidence to show that Trump is supporting the protesters to lift the lock downs because that's what he wants. But all your other points regarding Trump I do agree with you very much so.

In a nut shell as I see it.
The people want the lock downs lifted and the Governors actually sign the paper work or the riots start. Slick move, not Trumps fault.
In court.
Governor. You had the authority to stop the lock down and you signed the paper work to lift it but you blame President Trump... It was your decision and your decision alone but now it is someone else's fault???

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You are right, Scarfie. The real news is on Fox News. CNN and CBSN are the main televisors / contributors of Fake News in the USA. I hope the US elections wont be delayed until next year as Biden will forget that he actually won the Democratic Nomination process. Footage has shown Pelosi was in Chinatown after the lockdown. She was hugging all the locals as if she was campaigning - very scary and completely inappropriate for herself and the females around her.

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The real news is on Fox News. Are you being serious?

He's being sarcastic surely...

What formats do you two view ???

Interest.co.nz

Good honest comment Franz. In regards to the US press, I remember an item on the first death in the US and whether it was male or female. Trump was advised by the respective agency that it was a male and made the public statement. Then the agency retracted the statement saying it was female. They apologized profusely. I viewed the whole episode on Fox who let the whole item flow. On 3 news in the evening - a good three hours later -Tom McCrae stated the item but only mentioned the first section with rye smile. Of course you wouldn't expect anything else as they CNN's major contributor and probable owner. The thing is when you do investigate articles like this on a global basis it makes 3 News look incompetent. As a consequence, I only watch One news which offer a far more balanced broadcast both for internationally and domestic news items.

The only benefit of watching TV1 & 3 is to get your head arround what the majority are being fed and make investment calls arround what is really going on.

But, but, but, we like our regular opioid "news". How else will we know what to think?

Yeah, it's taken with a grain of salt.

TRUMP...his daily mantra is to blame, attack, insite, obfuscate, put downs ...then go play golf

If you can, and you get away with it, why not? Shame the average bloke can't do that in the lockdown.

Tis the way of the Strong man, straight out of the Stalin playbook

Trump couldn't care less about your poor lock-down blues or his wife to be honest.

Houseworks
He does not have a split personality - simply egocentric as regards his re-election chances and for that he needs a strong economy no matter what the cost.

He should not be giving different messages as he did, and in doing so is encouraging mayhem and anarchy. No longer the United states they are sitting ducks vulnerable from all sides. US needs a leader not an anarchist maniac. That's regardless of his motivations whether it is an egocentric agenda or simply old age senility

The other choice was Hillary. Thankfully enough of the US could see that was a worse mistake than Trump.
There are two games going on with Trump. What he comments on and that gets public attention, while what is going on he is working away on something completely different unwatched. It's a game of disception. Only portions of what he says are the truth.

Up until now he has got away with his untruths and indiscretions simply because he was elected as such, somehow he got away with scandals of hugely higher magnitude than those that had ruined other contenders, Gary Hart, John Edwards for example. None of those actually had hurt the ordinary folk though and there was a backlash against the establishment in full swing that Trump rode in on. Now though things are serious, much more serious. Ordinary folk are not only hurting, families are losing loved ones right across the land. Lies and BS previously overlooked now sink in and become unbearable, intolerable. On top of that of course Americans will always blame the top man when their own home and back yard becomea mess.

Trump has been selling this as a Fed screwup. The bankers will be at fault.

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America is becoming a failed state. The writing was on the wall after the GFC and nobody went to gaol but its had to wait till Trump to crystallize the descent.

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Don't obsess with Trump because that stops you seeing what the USA is nowdays. A religious country where you can find folk who believe just about any screwy idea you could think up.
Even their 'responsible' media comes out with looney stuff from time to time.

It's a screwed up nation.

vs. what nation that isn't? China's looking like a 'golden child' compared to the states though right? Aside the fallout at present because of the virus, don't forget the mismanagement and lack of transparency by the source country of this pandemic. Dare I say the name of that Country in fear of being labelled a Xenophobe?

It isn't a comparison, both are messed up countries.
Don't think you have to follow one or the other that is what they will try and sell you but do you don't have to make a choice.
China kills it's own people, the US kills other countries people. That dose not make one better than the other, they are both cold hearted killers that don't give a crap about anyone or anything that is in their way.

Think about what he might want out of this. If the virus continues to plague the US as it gets close to the election time, he may call for the election to be postponed. At which point I would suggest it's likely he will either continue as president "for the foreseeable future, until the virus is bought under control" which he will extend for as long as possible, or he will attempt a power grab either by changing the constitution (most likely as he could claim "the constitution wasn't written with pandemics in mind") or through the military (who seem to love him).

I agree with your power grab idea, however I think there would be a Coup d'état if he went too far.

" I cant see him getting re-elected." - could you see him getting elected in the first place ?
I could not BTW.

Trump will have bigger opposition from Biden who is gaining momentum than he did from Clinton. But I wont say never.

If you look at Biden's "moments" on You Tube you will be horrified that the next election is between him and Trump. Is that the best they can bring forward? Aren't there any Kennedys still alive?

If Biden gets in the most important decision he will make will be who is VP.

exactly .. it is begging to look just like the last US election - not a pretty sight with both candidates simply terrible.

As soon as the election starts legal papers will be served to Biden and he will pull our. He admitted on video to screweing another countries political system, the very same the Dem's accused Trump of.
His son Hunter Biden the crack head will be dragged into court about his business dealing and how he got the job with no qualifications.
Biden hasn't got a chance.

Good odds available with the bookies if you genuinely don't think President Trump will have a second term.

Safe money.
I juat attempted to understand the odds system. Yep, I'm not gambler, can't figure it out, don't want to.
If it was 10 / 1 I put in 1 and get 10 in return if Trump wins I would take that or higher but I'm not playing it for a 25% return or loose the lot...

"The S&P500 is up +2.7% ...ASX200 up +1.3%; the NZX50 up +2.9% " etc..all into the face of multi-generational economic uncertainty. (ie: US oil prices have fallen sharply to just over US$18/bbl,... but that is an intra-day recovery from an all-time modern low of US$17.30. Global deaths up by more than +50% in a week.)
I suggested some time back that we were headed towards Nationalisation of our industry.
I reality, that's already happened.....

Just Be aware !!!
This applies to NZX 50 as well.
https://www.google.co.nz/amp/s/www.marketwatch.com/amp/story/guid/8824AB...

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Yes, after the 1929 crash, Wall Street posted an impressive Bear Market rally. "From the November 1929 crash lows, the S&P 500 rallied over 48% before it peaked on April 10, 1930"

https://www.forbes.com/sites/tomaspray/2020/03/29/anatomy-of-a-bear-mark...

Its the ultimate symptom of denial.

Thats how the rich get easy money from the gulliable masses buy at bottom sell them back and repeat too easy.

Repeat until you run out of gullible masses to sell to (everyone wises up), then the whole thing crashes.

Thats how the rich get easy money from the gulliable masses buy at bottom sell them back and repeat too easy.

It is not "the rich". It is the Wall Street Banks. We need wealthy people, most are decent, honest people who are an essential part of the business ecosystem. This us versus them stuff is extremely dangerous propaganda that we are continually force fed by the sociopathic media, its purpose is to keep us squabbling so we don't look any deeper.

The US has been betrayed by its primary New York banks which have funded the de-industrialisation of the US by corporate America, under cover of bank funded academia and bank funded politicians (especially Democrats).

"Overnight, the US President declared it was up to State governors to decide when to reopen; then he took to Twitter to encourage protests in States that want to extend the lockdown for public health reasons, and goading people to break lockdown protocols."
This is consistent with Trump's values where economic factors are secondary. This has been the case throughout his life.
To clarify; people are third and his self-interests are first.
Trump is prepared to undermine State decisions simply for the sake of the economy to enhance his re-election chances. In his failed business ventures - such as apartment developments and Trump University - this was always the case; his interests firsts, secondly the economic viability involved, and not giving a dam about the human cost or casualties thirdly.
This tweet is not primarily about the economy, dealing with the virus, or people.

Agree Trump is 'me first' and spouts nonsense a lot of the time however, which recent president or even presidential candidate hasn't done 'whatever it takes' to enhance or secure re-election or election? H Clinton? Obama? Bush?

Have always thought Trump would leave the Whitehouse in cuffs or a box,whether that happens this term remains to be seen.

China's Q1 GDP fell -6.8% from the same quarter a year ago. That was worse than the -6.0% markets were expecting. And it is a huge reversal of the +6.0% rise in Q4-2019.

Here’s what China just reported: real GDP in Q1 2020 declining by 6.8% year-over-year, a little worse than expectations (but not that far from them; see what I mean). Within GDP, for the entire quarter industry shrank by 8.4%, fixed investment by 16.1%, and consumer spending (retail sales) down 19.0%. At the same time net exports (exports minus imports) collapsed 80% and the “rebalancing” service sector dropped about 7%.

How does that all add up to -6.8% in real terms? Link

Jo Nova relays a raft of allegations that the WuFlu was accidentally leaked from the Wuhan P4 lab, may have been man-made, and that all evidence, data, samples and research materials were ordered to be destroyed on Jan 1.

The pity of it all is that we will never know what happened in any detail, least of all from Emperor XI and assorted minions. RTWT.

Brave to interrupt the scheduled China bashing there Audaxes,

The research paper referenced in the above article can be found through this link:

http://www.chinaxiv.org/user/download.htm?id=30147

Thank you.

Nothing like Russian revisionism....

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From the Times ..........For two decades the conventional wisdom has been that China’s economic rise comes at no political cost. Indeed, it was argued, prosperity would bring democracy.

The pandemic has laid bare our mistake. First, the death and destruction caused by the coronavirus stem directly from the deceit and bullying that is the hallmark of the Chinese Communist Party. The authorities have given no clue to the outbreak’s origins, other than to quote conspiracy theories blaming an American military delegation that visited Wuhan in October. They have silenced brave local doctors and journalists who tried to give warning of the danger.

The mainland regime’s obsessive desire to make Taiwan into an un-country meant that the World Health Organisation, supine towards Beijing, ignored the offshore Chinese democracy when on December 31 it sounded the alarm, telling the UN body that something more than pneumonia was spreading there.

In mid-January, the Chinese authorities were still denying that there was any clear evidence of human-to-human transmission. Worried about losing face, they let a huge festival go ahead in Wuhan that drew tens of thousands of people. When the Beijing authorities did finally lock down the plague-stricken region, they banned air links with the rest of China — but not between Wuhan and the outside world.

For two decades the conventional wisdom has been that China’s economic rise comes at no political cost. Indeed, it was argued, prosperity would bring democracy.

Is this an example of anglosphere democracy that we so revere? : Where the Skripals are today: No one knows but their British and American jailers

Three Quarters of a Trillion In Three Weeks, And Bill Yields Are Down Again

Hold all the congratulations. Jay Powell is, with a huge assist from the financial media, trying to pre-empt what comes next by taking a premature victory lap. The Fed isn’t just your central bank it is your friend. The amount of pure propaganda being put out lately is understandable if still disgusting.

March was a good month to include in the annals of central banking? Who knew?

Reuters writes today (thanks M. Simmons) about how the Federal Reserve is saving lives. Saving lives!

Traders Face $400 Billion Headache as Libor Angst Hits Crossroad

There is more and more evidence pointing to it being man made. Even Western intelligence organisations are claiming this now.
The question then becomes, was it released by incompetence or intent?
Just to be even more conspiratorial... look at what the great Chinese scholar (and master) of war, Sun Tzu said, ”The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”
Now ask yourself, has this happened?

This is not unfamiliar territory for China. Not to be forgotten they got their hands on the horrendous Unit 731 that the Japanese established in NW China WW2. During the Korean war if you read of the Colonel Schwable incident, accusing the USA of planning to drop typhoid and cholera onto
N Korea, bio type warfare was included in their strategies long agao.

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Anyone see the Duncam Garner interview with the greasy Chinese ambassador yesterday? Garner didnt pull any punches at all.

https://www.magic.co.nz/home/news/2020/04/chinese-ambassador-defends-chi...

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Don't be surprised if Duncan suddenly goes off air as a result. Free speech is no longer 'a thing' in NZ and questioning China's authority in NZ is simply not acceptable. Don't you agree Simon?

Doubt he will go off air. Not at least until this virus has passed. Free speech won't be a thing IF people keep saying its no longer 'a thing'. The real issue is whether or not media can freely speak, Freely ask questions without governments intervening and censoring.
Censor = an official who examines books, plays, news reports, motion pictures, radio and television programs, letters, cablegrams, etc., for the purpose of suppressing parts deemed objectionable on moral, political, military, or other grounds.).

The Ambassador will be traumatized by such questioning!
I think there could have been some more detailed questions concerning her wanting there to be free travel between NZ and China.
Questions directed at her own personal judgement failures.

I really don't think any other country would have done better than China. Think about it:
Early December there was a potential talk of pneumonia from unknown causes. At that point, they had no idea what they were dealing with. Only be the end of December did they notice their first community transmission of a virus that had the same characteristics as previous ones and at that point they knew they were dealing with something serious. Within a few days they had a whole bunch of experts working on it and the WHO was involved.

By the start of January they were telling lots of other countries what was happening. YES they shouldn't have had banquets etc for Chinese NY, but you have to understand China is huge and local governments act like separate states in America and you can see what is happening there. The Chinese didn't know that it was going to go crazy at that point, hindsight and our blame instinct makes us what to believe they did, but almost certainly they didn't, or they would have been in shut down. They were still just learning about it and it is likely they had no idea asymptomatic people were contagious. It's only with the benefit of hindsight that we now KNOW they should have shut down earlier. At that time they simply didn't know and I think claiming they did is one hell of a reach. By the end of Jan, WHO had declared a Global Health Emergency and all governments should have been acting accordingly.

It takes time for medical science to work. It simply wouldn't have mattered where this happened it would have broken out. The nature of the virus (that it can lie dormant for 4-14 days during which time you may or may not be infecting others, but it looks like you are) and how globalised we are, means it would have spread everywhere very quickly.

Blaming at this point is pretty silly. It could have been India/US/NZ/Europe... it could have been anywhere. We are all HUMANS that are vectors for viruses. She does make a point - do we blame others for HIV/H1N1? Nope! It simply isn't helpful to blame everyone for human problems.

I will leave you with this. America KNEW by late January that the virus could be carried by asymptomatic people to their country and was likely being spread around despite their travel ban, because that was what happened in China. Why didn't they go into complete lockdown in early February to kill the virus? There was around 40-70 days between when America knew it had a KNOWN virus and it went into near full lockdown. Once China realised it was dealing with a big problem (roughly the start of January) it went into full lockdown on the 23rd, about 20 days later. So who is acting slow?

Bobbles, you need to clarify the last paragraph for me.

China (entire country) did not go into full lock down. One province did (Hubei province). If they were so fast in acting why did they allow hundreds of thousands of Chinese citizens to leave the country after Chinese new year (Jan. 24 - 30). If they were in 'full' lock down on the 23rd then they are complicit in spreading the virus to the rest of the world?

I think you will find pretty much everywhere went into varying degrees of lockdown, everywhere that the virus was found. My friends in Beijing were in lockdown 2 days after Hubei, other friends in Kunming Yunnan by the end of Jan. Other friends in other provinces without any cases have never been in lockdown, just voluntarily staying at home. It's really hard to lock down an entire country, which is why its done province/county level. Sorry, I didn't mean to say/insinuate the whole country was in lock down as I know that didn't happen.

Closing borders is not exactly easy, I am sure you will appreciate. Could they really have told a million people to stay in their country because 100 of them may be virus carriers? Even with China's ability to restrict freedom of movement, they likely would have had mass riots if they had tried to close the airports to stop a potential worldwide outbreak. Then they would have had mass gatherings and people still getting infected. At that point they weren't sure asymptomatic people were carriers, this was only starting to come out end of January.

Sure they are complicit in spreading the virus. Anyone who traveled was complicit in spreading the virus. But the normalisation of international travel makes it virtually impossible for countries to simply shut borders, without some warning and without having ample evidence that it is the right thing to do. Even now, who has shut their borders completely?

This is a human problem which was bound to happen considering the normalisation of international travel and the nature of viruses. Blaming China is simply scapegoating. Yes it started there but they responded probably faster than anyone else would have. I would consider us lucky that it started there as it is a country that can react swiftly to control it's populations movements. It's one time when an authoritarian government is good to have.

Since I am answering your question, answer mine! "There was around 40-70 days between when America knew it had a KNOWN virus and it went into near full lockdown. Once China realised it was dealing with a big problem (roughly the start of January) it went into EDIT: appropriate lockdown on the 23rd, about 20 days later. So who is acting slow?"

I am no fan of the PRC regime (as opposed to the citizens), but frankly I think that they did a pretty reasonable job in the circumstances.
You have to understand that for better or worse they are a totalitarian regime, so the underlings are always very loath to report bad news to their superiors. This is even common in the most egalitarian NZ companies. People think that it is better for their careers and security to only say positive things to their superiors. I think that the commentary at the time was that this occurred in China. Once the leaders appreciated what was going on, you can only say that their response was spectacular. (of course it easier with the power of a totalitarian state.) As the ambassador says, and it is a fair point, contrast China's response with that of the countries of the west who did have the benefit of a reasonably early warning. Some are still floundering round without any meaningful plan.
If I have a criticism it is with the WHO. They were down playing the virus in the early stages and reluctant to raise an adequate warning when it was obvious to anybody with half a brain that it was a serious risk. However, none of this blame game is very productive or useful at this stage. What is needed, is for everyone to work as a team as much as possible so that we can all get through this as quickly and safely as possible.

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Trump is a dangerous narcissistic sociopath enabled by a complicit Republican party.
One can only hope the veil falls from enough Americans eyes to show him the door in November. Sadly, so much damage will already be done and so many lives will already be lost by then.
This is truly an End of Empire story

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Arguably, End of Empire came with the words "I did not have sexual relations with that woman - Monica Lewinsky"
From that second on we all knew, what Clinton has admitted since, that the President of the United States of America stared his people in the face and lied to them, and the rest of the World.
Once he did that, all else since has just been a progression.
Watch it again, and tell me differently.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMu-2tXfPQI

Since then it's been Bush ( don't get me started!); Obama ( what a wasted opportunity. Like his mate SIR John Key "woulda, coulda, shoulda") and now Trump. What's the real difference expect delivery of the message?

You probably have to go back to Jimmy Carter to find some scruples...

The p-nut farmer Carter administration was a trainwreck of spectacular proportions

Worse than Trump...come on?

Errrrm and Nixon was a champ?

only if you were silly enough to believe in endless growth, could you say that.

Did you ever question Reagan's 'Morning in America?

I assume not. The flaw was it assumed a day........

The Republicans were complicit certainly but mostly because they were terrified Trump would run as a independent if he didn’t get their nomination, and split the GOP vote. The USA is on the brink of a depression, even if it escapes that there are to be severe societal and economic consequences close to that. The last president in these circumstances was Hoover. He was in fact quite capable in most regards but obviously got overwhelmed and then wholeheartedly blamed and pilloried. Trump is on the brink of that and he knows it hence the thrashing around like a harpooned whale to get thing moving again regardless of consequences. His mantra was to be that he had fixed the economy. Quite the reverse now unfortunately for Trump, it has been undone by CV19 lock stock and barrel.

I received 3 emails from different organisations linking the details for operating construction sites at Alert Level 3 (it's lengthy and detailed). I'm assuming there's a reasonable likelihood that construction will resume shortly. Especially given the low infection rates that we are seeing.

Builders and other tradies can start work again at L3 as long as they maintain 1m separations (with each other and 2m from owners) is my understanding. Not sure about what their access to large type supplies are. Presume it is allowed.

https://i.stuff.co.nz/business/121053698/coronavirus-updated-level-3-cov...

It's going to vary. There are going to be a number of supply chain problems. Ordering large quantities of products from overseas manufacturers usually has a long lead time. Longer if everything is stuck in a container somewhere and the containers aren't being delivered. Who knows how long it will take to sort out logistics problems.

There are sign in procedures to track people on site but disinfectant procedures on top of that.

There is also a massive problem with council inspections. In Wellington for example all inspections are on hold and no bookings are allowed. Presumably work that has already commenced will be front of the queue, but there will be quite a backlog. Not to mention that potentially some work in progress had to be left semi exposed?
I have two consents granted. One nearly finished and one about to start. My builder was due to start the first week of lockdown but there is no way that even at level 3 I am risking work. A. we are all at home, which we wouldn't usually be, the kids have a full school schedule and we need to earn money, so having building work commencing while we are stuck in the house isn't viable. B. the risk that we could go back to level 4 again during winter leaving work exposed and a massive wait for an inspection. My neighbours had to down tools leaving all their work exposed and all the scaffolding up around an empty property. No thanks!

The council's may go to photos / video of the work.
Basically it is on the builder for 10 years anyway.
I am a builder but will not be going back to work at Level 3 as I understand it, if you can stay at home, stay at home. I don't really want to send the kids to school until things are more certain. I don't know how that plays out with my boss but that's basically where I am at and if I get the sack not a problem.

I can't imagine Wellington council ever agreeing to photo or video inspection. Not any time soon anyway. But it changes nothing for me. There is no way I am risking major work starting (3 extensions and a veranda rebuild) during a time of uncertainty like this (supplies, inspections, labour). Will wait it out till after winter and reassess then. I would worry less with better weather.

I would wait and get it done cheaper when there are more unemployed builders arround and cheaper materials.
Wellington inspectors are hard to deal with, Lower Hutt inspectors are very good to deal with.

Wellington are still working on consents albeit at a slow pace within the current restrictions. Level 3 would allow for both work and inspections but subject to the restrictions that will need to be in place in each construction site.

I already have my consents. It's the delays getting an inspection done that I don't fancy dealing with coming into winter.

Will those companies who received the 12 week, lump sum $595 per staff member per week return the unused balance to the government if they return to work next week, or the week after. I think that the government made a big mistake in handing this out as a lump sum.

What an opportunity for Japan:

Abe, who chairs the council, said he wanted high value-added product manufacturing bases to come home to Japan.

Every country should follow. The enormous waste of of energy and loss of productivity continuing to 'supply chain' raw materials and finished goods around the globe.

did trump not say the very same thing when he was running for office, and he was called all sorts by everyone, now internal manufacturing capabilities are more important than ever

The Revival of the West?

Let's face it, all of China's neighbours hate the CCP, even if they don't say it out loud. So do whole regions of China. Perhaps the moderates will mount a coup and then simply dissolve the CCP. The USSR did just that.

If the world decides not to retreat away from globalisation, there are other countries just waiting in the wings to become the factory of the world. It would take infrastructure investment, but that will be part of any post-covid plan anyway. China isn't the only source of cheap labour.

Personally, I think the global structure was too vulnerable, and the pandemic is simply revealing that, so hopefully nation states will see the value in re-localising some of its production.

Trump is unlikely to have verbally attacked China and WHO without knowing something was going on .

There have to be consequences for China for this if it turns out the virus came from the lab

I think I read those looking at that theory think it's unlikely.
There has to be consequences for China regardless.

Then Chian stands up and says..
Could you have done any better at stopping the spread? You knew it was coming and failed to contain.
Case dismissed.

If it came from their lab? The CCP virus was released by the CCP. Pretty obvious now. Looks like their Hong Kong problem is sorted now. Im a little angry about the CCP, as you can tell.

yes, we do seem to have forgotten about the Hong Kong revolution. Its likely still incubating and ready to hatch. Thankfully HK was not put behind the great firewall of China otherwise the 'black shirts and masks' would certainly be imprisoned like a few outspoken Chinese journalists have been recently.

Yeah that's HK thing has all been sorted now. BBC Hong Kong: High-profile democracy activists arrested. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-52338493?intlink_from_url=http...

Gosh, peak cheap oil is here, cheapest in 70 years. Who would have thought? Enjoy.

Not in New Zealand , the price of petrol is still over $2 a litre ................clearly we are hopeless disconnected from reality here in NZ

$22 a barrel or $100 a barrel. Petrol is still $2 a litre here its insane.

Talking to friends in Canada is $0.67 a litre. Was $1.60 when ours was $2.30. Its dropped circa $1 ours has dropped circa $0.30. Go figure.

...and now the cartel of bastardos that run Marsden Pt are playing the Tiwai Pt card.

Until an agreement is reached and we put this difference between peddled narrative and physical reality behind us, such comments as the two above deserve rebuttal.

Even with 10 years of trying to re-start the dead motorbike, global finance has only been able to increase it's worshipped GDP by increasing debt, without understanding the problem. Parallel with that, they still misunderstand what ' productivity' is (even when it's put under their noses :). As for EROEI, that seems to be a bridge far too far. Thus, the Emperor still is clad in raiment faire.

The reality is that consumotion requires work, which requires energy, and the remaining sources are getting so low in EROEI, that there was already a widening gap between bets on future output, versus future output-capability. Economists tell us that the price of oil is the same as anything else, but it isn't. Without it, there IS nothing else. So it Boolean algebra territory to try and 'price' energy.

The simple truth is that to repay debt would require more energy than is available, and if we got our 'economy' in a position to do said repaying (absent a step-change down in the value of ' money') the ' price' of energy would collapse the 'economy'.

One interesting bit of information I came across had the EROI for coal as really high, only beaten by hydro. It was from a green oriented website, not a coal one. I look out for unexpected bits of data as they contain more information than expected bits. I'll post the link if I find it. I find your focus on EROI seems sound, as we have taken on the Wall Street banks' propaganda that everything can be measured by money. Real physical data is much stronger and allows better analysis. Money flows tell you where human energy is going, but the data is not fully dimensioned numerically. What's your take on coal EROI?

Not found the site I got it from, but here is the chart:
https://rogerwitherspoon.wordpress.com/2020/04/18/eroi-coal-and-hydro-ar...

Coal is high EROEI in big plants, not so good small (good in e-grids, not so good in locomotives and smaller, not so good mobile, really)

It has the CO2 problem, but in big plants maybe has the chance to carbon capture (with attendant loss of EROEI).

But the biggest problem is Peak, and finiteness. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_coal

So by the time you gear up, it's all over. In NZ, I think we should go with the grid we've got, ditch Tiwai, put some serous effort into transmission upgrading, add local solar.

From that wikipedia ""Peak coal was the year in which demand for, and therefore production of, coal was greatest, namely 2013"" which is not the same as when do we run out of coal.
Same article ""The estimates for global peak coal extraction vary wildly. Many coal associations suggest the peak could occur in 200 years or more, while scholarly estimates predict the peak to occur as soon as the immediate future. Research in 2009 by the University of Newcastle in Australia concluded that global coal extraction could peak sometime between the present and 2048. A 2007 study by the German Energy Watch Group predicted that global peak coal extraction may occur sometime around 2025 at 30 percent above the 2005 rate.""
I can understand disaster and collapse from emissions and pollution but the idea that we have a limited energy supply seems odd. There is coal, solar, wind, nuclear, etc - where you do have a good point is the price of energy - we are moving from almost free (dig a hole in Saudi and put it in barrels) to some 'peak price' which will depend on many factors (who knows what nuclear fusion might do?) with resulting pollution maybe being the biggest.

Thanks PDK. It seems coal is the energy of choice for electricity in developing nations, despite the pollution. Not sure where it fits in NZ, but diversity of supply seems a good thing, especially as we can dig it up ourselves.

By the time you sequester your carbon, you won't be doing it.

Secondly, if you're down to lignite (at the oasis?) your EROEI is not worth the effort (note Waymad has gone off that dream and on to the thorium-in-seawater one).

Thirdly if everyone on the planet digs it up and burns it all, those Aussie bushfires will look like a guttering candle.

But I suspect we collapse globally, and any coal-digging will be small, desperate and local.

$1.74 / litre here in Napier before the standard 6 cents / litre "discount" meaning it's effectively $1.68 / litre for 91 octane.

Enjoy? We basically can't enjoy as we can't drive anywhere

Soon we will be able to enjoy travel in our own bubble again. Odd how we all knew on some level that public transport was bad for us, despite the propaganda.

True

Far, far more infections out there than previously thought. "These prevalence estimates represent a range between 48,000 and 81,000 people infected in Santa Clara County by early April, 50-85-fold more than the number of confirmed cases. Conclusions The population prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in Santa Clara County implies that the infection is much more widespread than indicated by the number of confirmed cases."

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.14.20062463v1?__cf_chl_j...

So again highly suggestive that the mortality rate is much much lower than the scaremongerers make out.

and potentially why we will continue to see 'waves' of virus infections (C19) come and go over the next many months. I surely hope we don't keep bouncing in and out of Levels for the foreseeable future.

Because mass graves are necessary normally? Man oh man.

Your dogmatism is getting very tiring.

ditto

These "mass graves" Ginger? ""Since 1980, 68,955 people have been buried in mass graves on Hart Island," notes the Project, which is dedicated to telling stories of those laid to rest there. ...It doesn't mean New Yorkers have resorted to just dumping bodies into unprecedented mass graves, and journalists should not imply that it does. (Cue The Guardian: "Aerial video shows mass grave on New York City's Hart Island amid coronavirus surge.")
You have to feel sorry for Guardian readers.
https://reason.com/2020/04/10/no-nyc-is-not-running-out-of-burial-space-...
"What they are doing on Hart Island is not new, it is not shocking. It is a shift in the timeline of what has been done for ages on a designated burial site, from 30 to 14 days, because we’re in a state of emergency. That’s all. This is not the apocalypse."
https://twitter.com/juliakite/status/1248587619056979969

The psychology of pandemic denial. https://www.psychologytoday.com/nz/blog/mood-swings/202003/the-psycholog...

COVID-19 skeptics and deniers: Why some people stick to deadly beliefs https://neurosciencenews.com/covid-19-belief-16015/

TLDR They can't help it but it's very predictable. Unfortunately, arguing with them on anonymous forums won't help. But eventually enough time and the sheer weight of evidence will bring them to acceptance or else, they will just wallow in some kind of extreme cultic milieu like anti-vaxxers do.

Guardian reader Ginger? Calling out your mass grave alarmist BS isn't denying there is a pandemic. So lame.

Profile the straight-shooter

tui

This study has a number of problems: for starters, they advertised it as a COVID-19 antibody study on Facebook, so may have attracted participants who thought they had been exposed and could not get tested any other way; their raw positive rate (1.5%) lies within the margin of error of the false positive rate.
See https://medium.com/@balajis/peer-review-of-covid-19-antibody-seroprevale...
and look at the ad for participants:
https://twitter.com/mattsheffield/status/1251285817735208962

Bill Gates to save the world anyone??
https://www.instagram.com/p/B-s-9ZjH0YP/?hl=en

While every body was reacting to the large adjustment to the death tally in China, it appears that something similar has occurred in the USA figures. Before going to bed each night I have recorded the statistics for a number of countries as reported on the Worldometer web site. Up till last night here are the daily figures
23644
26064
28554
34641
Note the seeming 6000 odd deaths yesterday. This despite their reporting only 2176 deaths for the day. They don't add up do they? Currently the figure is 37135, so it was not just a one off error last night.
Note as I predicted they are starting to gather together in armed protest. This will get a lot worse.

Here we go Gen HunHub.
They are going to dust off the shooting iron and get to work. No two ways about it.

Those scared, low educated 18 year old sitting on Humvee with a 50cal machinegun against an angry mob of Hill Billes and preppers. That's when it all kicks off. Not long now, Trump has called for a revolt against the lock downs.
The Fed can not print supply chains or food from thin air.

11
up

Note that the Japanese have doubled the pay rates for ICU nurses from US$750 to $1500 per day. That equates to NZ$500,000 per year. Given that that our nurses are treated like dirt by our government you could not blame them if they left to take up work in Japan or anywhere else.

Essential workers in NZ and the west have been dealt a shit hand under the neoliberal paradigm of the last 30-40 years.
Needs to be seriously redressed.

Rest homes need a better eye on them for scamming the system. They pay extremely low and work their staff hard while making big money.

No nurses in my family. But Jacinda should match the Japanese. And similar for the cleaners.

You have a link for that claim?

https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Health-Care/Japan-doubles-payments-to-h...

Even the standard rate before the doubling equates to at least NZ$250,000 per year!!!!!!!
Those annual figure are based on only working 200 days and probably could be too light. If consider the holiday pay, sick pay and statutory holidays the whole year will be paid. That is NZ$325,000 before the increase and NZ$650,000 after the doubling.

This paints a picture of govt. decision making all by the PM, the PM and a little bit of GR.
Has Henry got it right with his view, given he is seeing the mechanics day in day out.

https://i.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/121095795/coronavirus-jacinda-ar...

It's as if the cabinet has disappeared.
Is it really a kitchen cabinet of 1 1/2?

My guess is either level-3 or if things look rather bad then varying levels by region and road blocks between regions.

Just like Clarke and Cullen, really. Are the rest almost, but not quite, completely useless?

Who would you pick as the better decision maker, JA or HC?
And any comment the better leader?

Not fit for purpose...

The report, by University of Otago infectious diseases physician Ayesha Verrall, was understood to be damning of the ministry's tracing approach at the time of the audit.

The delay in publicly releasing it indicates the ministry is still scrambling to improve its tracing capabilities before Monday's Cabinet meeting.

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said on Wednesday he had received Verrall's report and officials were "furiously" responding.

https://mobile.twitter.com/kirsty_johnston/status/1251365402300448769

Behind closed doors at the Ministry of Health, scientists recruited to help officials on Covid 19 are sounding alarm bells about our readiness to move out of level 4. @isaac_davison and my story here:

This is will be very disappointing.

Pretty serious trolling there mr tull

These folk - all of them - are doing the best they can with the hands they have been dealt.

Just remember Woodhouse had 9 years to put some resilience into public health. He chose to do something other than that. Credits - including negative ones - where they're due, eh?

Only in your mind.

And
https://mobile.twitter.com/gnat/status/1251371041965764609
I wonder why they haven't deployed a Perl, Python, or Ruby programmer to solve this problem. Interoperability with uncooperative systems is an entire genre of program.

And
I think one thing that will come out of this will be that NZ has too many DHB's.

One person I know who works for a larger one said that they needed board signoff to spend more than $100k on something.

And one of the trolling rules is having the last post, right?

It is?