America's childish pandemic response; Fed starts another huge bailout fund; China pandemic economic hit bigger than expected; Aussie house prices falling; UST 10yr yield at 0.64%; oil and gold lower; NZ$1 = 60.3 USc; TWI-5 = 66.4

America's childish pandemic response; Fed starts another huge bailout fund; China pandemic economic hit bigger than expected; Aussie house prices falling; UST 10yr yield at 0.64%; oil and gold lower; NZ$1 = 60.3 USc; TWI-5 = 66.4

Here's our summary of key economic events over the weekend that affect New Zealand, with news the virus seems to be peaking in the West - except perhaps in the US.

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.

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. Essentially that is like encouraging some people to pee in one end of a community swimming pool ("they seem like good people to me") and claim it won't affect most people swimming responsibly at the other end. And the US is blaming everyone else but itself for having the worst public health response to the pandemic, fanning xenophobia.

The Canadians have extended their border closure with the US.

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

And the Fed has established a new $750 bln bond-buying operation for issues from investment grade American non-bank corporates.

Similarly, the Chinese have tightened their border closure with Russia, also fearing reinfection and undoing of the gains they have made.

In China, their 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.

And China's real estate market made a strongish comeback in March, down only -15% from the same month a year ago after being locked-down in February.

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 2,374,100 and up +159,000 this time Saturday which is a rising tide. Now, more than 32% of all cases globally are in the US and they are up +59,000 since this time yesterday to 742,400 and up +40% in one week. This is a similar rate of increase. Just on 9% of all US cases have recovered so far, and virtually unchanged. The US is getting the diseas spread into its heartland. Turkey now has more cases than China as cases explode there. Australia has now over 6500 cases and little-changed over the past week, but they are claiming a remarkable jump in their recovery rate to 63%. Two days ago it was only 36%. There is something very fishy about Aussie coronavirus data, but then again, most countries are struggling with reliable data.

Global deaths now exceed 163,000 and up by more than +50% in a week. The UK death rate is up to 13.3%, and only Belgium (14.8%) has a higher rate anywhere.

The 'control group' experiment that is Sweden has a death toll of 10.7% of known cases in a country of 10 mln people (although they are not diligent about testing), and a recovery rate of just 3.8%.

There are now 1409 Covid-19 cases identified in New Zealand, another +9 new cases yesterday which was little-changed the +8 increase the day before. The number of clusters is still at 16. Most of our clusters involving "overseas exposure" involve travel to and from the US. Twelve people have died here now, up 1 from yesterday. There are now 18 people in hospital with the disease, with three in ICU. Our recovery rate is now up to 64% 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.

And Canberra public policy moves seem to be following official American ones, mirroring Murdoch and FoxNews narratives. It will be an especially dangerous time politically for New Zealand as they work through New Zealand proxies here. There are already signs the New Zealand coalition government is fraying with NZ First taking up the Murdoch talking points.

The UST 10yr yield is holding 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 also unchanged. The China Govt 10yr is still at 2.56%. The NZ Govt 10 yr yield is also unchanged at 0.96%.

Gold fell hard in its final session last week, giving up all its recent gains and down another -US$22 to US$1,687/oz.

US oil prices have fallen sharply to just over US$18/bbl, down -US$2/bbl. 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 will open little-changed at 60.3 USc. On the cross rates we are soft at 94.7 AUc. Against the euro we are also soft at 55.4 euro cents. That means the TWI-5 is at 66.4.

Bitcoin is now at US$7,163 and up +1.6% from where we left it 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.

291 Comments

In the Vietnam War the US Government published a daily body count as a way of controlling the minds of people to keep them favourably disposed towards the war.

Well, we don’t want to let a good crisis go to waste now.

Perhaps the death toll will rally the people against their real enemy; their own government.

It could well do that but that will mean by then it is out on the streets, panic leading to protests leading to riots. There is so much pent up racial & social inequity, a fire bomb looking for a detonator. Out comes the National Guard and all hell breaks loose. There is so much high powered weaponry in peoples homes. And all the time the virus keeps circulating.

This is the sort of protest that's happening in the US.
https://imgur.com/Fovu3V3

There's a lot more where that came from. Some of them are crazy, some of them just want to work and not need a government handout. Of course they have probably infected most of the people in the protest so working is unlikely.

In terms of violence breaking out; that's highly likely. Most people in the US are already behind on payments and putting expenses on credit cards with the hope of some future income to pay the debts off. At a minimum I'm expecting riots.

Both sides are Patriots doing their best for th country and the ones against them are fake news communists.
Oh hell yes this is going to end in violence!

Interestingly, people are now digging out the same couple of advertising / rent-a-political-crowd agencies behind the anti-lockdown protest websites across a few states. Organised, paid agencies putting effort into drumming up outrage and protests.

Let them go. They will be doing the world a favour.

The tragic Rodney King riots gives some foretaste of the potential but that will look like a small display of fireworks, if the present crisis all erupts nationwide.

According to the world meter stats the USA recently gained another +22,692 cases and another +1,409 deaths. And their Covid-19 death toll tops 41,000. Ironically it's New York that holding counter protests to keep movement restrictions. Oh and they all want Trumps removal from office. BBC https://www.bbc.com/news/live/world-52343301

Cuomo said that lockdown was" Unamerican". Where is he now?

same place as Biden and nasty Nancy --- who all said Trump was alarmist and racist for closing the borders to the Chinese and then Europe !

Trump also said he had it under control and the USA would have one or two cases.

A "death toll" without any context, such as the age of the deceased and their state of health, is meaningless and can heighten the atmosphere of fear.

People will tolerate lots of nonsense from their Government , until it hits them in the pocket .

And its about to............... on the TAX front there is this narrative in the media suggesting those earning over NZ $70k should pay 40%personal income tax, and 60% at $150k , and 80% tax at over $300k and on top of that ..........there will be a wealth tax .

That "wealth " is likely to include your Kiwisaver , as that is an asset

Problem with taxing high earners is that you render them unable to pay the wealth tax without them being forced to sell the asset or part of it to pay the tax .The net result is that asset prices collapse with implication for Banks ( who often fund he assets) and pensioners ( who have accumulated a little nest egg )

The next problem with wealth taxes , is that they are very easy to avoid using trusts , and your offspring , undervaluing , or simply not disclosing assets such as cash , jewelry , art , boats or lifestyle assets.

And where do you stop when considering a wealth tax ?

For example , I have a valuable coin collection, that I have no intention of ever selling for gain , is that considered wealth ?

What about my yacht ? Is that considered an asset for measurement of wealth?

I can assure you , my yacht is a liability , it costs a fortune to keep , moor , anti-foul and service , so I will list its annual costs as a contingent liability .

The whole idea of taxing us into poverty is so exciting for this COL they can barely contain themselves .

Labour governments, apart from the Lange/Douglas lot’s reforms, have always seen a tax grab as the greatest panacea about. “It’s what they always do” said R. D Muldoon in parliament 1971. At the moment we already have a wealth tax in our local body rates. This they try and obfuscate by saying this divides into that and you all share the same banana, but at the end of the day if your house is assessed as more valuable than that of your immediate neighbour, same size land & structure, you pay more rates. On top of that the government takes 15% GST. Thus you have already existing the perfect mechanism for a wealth tax which they will call a land tax. The pencils are being sharpened as we speak.

The same Muldoon who brought in the 66% tax rate?

Exactly! And therein lies the both the complexity and tragedy of the man.

We better wait with making any business cost until that tax rate kicks in. If we still have a business. Plus stagflation, we might be in for a hell of a ride.

So folk want to take working folk more...Of course, they won't want to touch land tax first. Can't be taxing the folk who have made the most free money over the last decade. The property sector will want working folk to pay, naturally.

Re: "America's childish pandemic response"
The only thankful thing about Trump's deranged handling of this crisis is that it hasn't involved nuclear weapons.
He really scares me especially when he claims to having a bigger button.

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Be scared Printer8, be very scared. Much better if China, Iran or North Korea claim to have a bigger button. That would be a much safer and peaceful feeling for sure.

I see what you did there!

Problem is Trump is more likely to nuke a corona-virus cluster in the US to kill it! Now if he could just put all those virus carriers in one place? Somebody should take his button off him!

Rania Khalek @RaniaKhalek - 19:27 UTC · Apr 17, 2020

The anti China hawkishness is going to drown out progressive momentum for universal healthcare and cancelling student debt. Like Russiagate, this new yellow peril will lead to greater military spending and more war. Sad so many who should know better can’t see that. Link

Yes and China will help - they've sent a carrier task group to sea. The Laoning set sail a week or so back, ostensibly for exercises. But the US has got a lot of issues with COVID on it's boats, so this could get very ugly very quickly!

'When' China goes to war with the US, Australia will be the first battleground and NZ the second. Lets hope this virus is not the catalyst for this inevitable destruction.

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I think you over rate New Zealand's significance. Putting us ahead of Japan, Phillipines, Korea let alone Brazil, Canada, Turkey, etc...

Australia and NZ are the Western intruders in China's ASIA. They can give the USA and the West a message by kicking us off the map.

Wrong China needs Australia for its mineral resources and we do pretty well with at least Milk so we are safe from being nuked but not of course from invasion.

Personally, I would rather be nuked than be taken over by China.

If China provokes the USA while the USA is in a diminished defensive capacity caused by China itself, the man at the top is quite capable of the extreme retaliation at his fingertips. One of his greatest perceived strengths ironically, is his unpredictability coupled to unaccountability. The Chinese know that and so too does everyone else. Goes something like Kissinger putting the frighteners up the Nth Vietnamese by saying he had a president (Nixon) back home who was wildly angry and he didn’t know if he could be controlled and the military would be happy to oblige.

Duterte and his First Lady Bong Marcos are currently busy accommodating the CCP into the Philippines as it is. Military action not necessary on that front.

It easily could, if all countries were run by people who were not primarily concerned with themselves and the power they hold. It is those types who seem to end up in positions of influence who endanger us all. There is no need for it whatsoever.

I made my post on facebook in the weekend. What I've mainly only said privately at this stage is wait until the proganda starts for war and the government here uses/abuses it power to conscript your children and grandchilder. All those who acquiesed to the lockdown will cry then, but it will be too late. But I guess it is propaganda because it works.

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Land wars underwritten by conscripted soldiers are highly unlikely to be waged in an age of cheap hypersonic missiles. The same with navies - they have suddenly become defenceless pieces of floating rubble.

Yes I would tend to agree with that. But that is assuming the main powers at play, or that other combatants can afford their ordnance. I tend to see this playing out as lots of smaller conflicts. Or civil strife rather than nation agaisnt nation.

Do you mean a return of the proxy war.......

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Seriously?? You say Trump would nuke his own people..... the guy that has tried to stop the endless cycle of war and killing for oil and selling arms???
If it was Hillary Clinton, oh hell yes, she is that blood thirsty she would do that and blame it in someone else while pocketing everyone's money.

Did you not know that one of the first things that Trump did when he got in to office was to see arms to the Saudi's and endless gloated about his deal making. He even had a picture board where he listed off the prices of jets and tanks. See for yourself so much for Trumps trying to stop arm sales like you claim: youhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lc8L4dQFQK8

He was doing what he dose, selling.
As for nukeing his own people that is a far cry from what he is about. Hillary Clinton is a different story

Not sure why you keep bring up Hillary it's not like she's on the political spectrum anymore or running for re-election. It's Trump we're worried about.

Unless Biden withdraws his nomination and Hillary is drafted in at the convention. Do not underestimate the dark force of the Democrats' hidden masters.

There was a choice between two people Hilalry or Trump. The world would have been in a hell of a lot worse place now if Hillary had won.

The key difference is Trump is likely less imperialistic. Unless his ego is pricked, in which case anything goes.

They're both very opportunistic when it comes to money and the White House, as Trump is showing through his stimulus shenanigans.

Cos Trump thinks by outsourcing it he has clean hands full of money.

Yes Trump even forces this State Governors to bow and scrape in order to receive aid from the White House for more medical resources. King Trump is really just establishing his monarchy. Here's an interesting article: Trump and Cuomo Mock Each Other in Real Time Over Virus Aid.
https://nz.yahoo.com/news/trump-cuomo-mock-other-real-171959952.html

> Hillary Clinton

Who dat?

Bidens running mate????

Would be a good laugh

Lol who you pay for that... no one!

Trump is about Trump. He is not about America or the world. If he thought there was anyway he could come out smelling like roses, there would be no limit on his actions irrespective of the advice he receives or who is watching.

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I'm no fan of H Clinton...but she had more integrity and honesty in a day than trump will ever scrape together in 10 lifetimes. The guy is a pathological liar at best. He would probably have the most despicable character traits of any president in USA history. You dont need anyone to tell you this..you just have to wait for his mouth to open.

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you dont know enough about Hillary then

Like I said, Im no Hillary fan. I think she lost the election as much as trump won it...but no one with half a brain can think trump is better..unless they have been watching the fox entertainment channel in which they have been brainwashed by ultra repetitive white nationalist propaganda op eds.
Point out an honest politician to me..its just not possible. However, for example...In independent watchdog surveys...Obama misinformed people 25% of the time..trump on the other hand misinforms or outright lies in 75% of the things he says. Its not about opinions or party lines..its the vile falsehoods that dribble out of his mouth on a daily basis. You would have to be a fox entertainment subscriber or a complete uneducated moron to think trump is your salvation.

Seriously??
Hillary Clinton is pure evil!

Epstein left the chat

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Trump is just the symptom of a totally deranged and dysfunctional society. He won the election so represents the majority of the voters beliefs and values. This was not just some mistake on the public's behalf, they really did intend to do that and to emphasise the point there is a high chance that they would re-elect him. The whole Republican party had their chance to get rid of him through the impeachment process, so they are totally behind his values and behaviour and are prepared to bet their election chances that the general public agree.
You only have to look at the gun totting riots that are going on there now to realise that the whole country is a powder keg of selfish and seriously disturbed people, and he is a pretty representative leader of a large proportion of the population. God help them and us. Best to distance ourselves as much as possible from them.

The US has a lot of unsound thinking processes from the bottom to the top. Stay away they are finished as a country.

About the time when the USSR collapsed I pondered the chance that the USA could go the same way. It could happen.

It was 9ne or the other. At present part of the power play is Russia distriying the US oil industry. They have not forgotten the pain that the States inflicted on them and they want blood. China and Russia are tired of the US calling the shots and being a bully. Game over for the US. They are all but over.

We might well be coming towards the low point in the oil super-cycle over the next few months with wells getting shut in, negative inland prices and fracking producers going belly up. I recall back in 2008 when it touched $200/bbl, probably be back there in 20 years.

As I recall, it got into the $120's, USD/2008. $200 was the Goldman Sachs projection, and I was that ignorant back then too. In working out why it didn't, I learned not to respect economists and economics at all; the reason oil cannot get to $200 a barrel is that society cannot afford itself at that point. Even at $60-80/barrel, debt was increasing, and debt is an expectation that there will be future energy (how many times have I stated this, which is the sme number of times the NZ MSM have avoided it.

And there isn't 20 years left in oil; exponential growth, depletion of EROEI and decaying built unfrastructure, don't let us go that long.

So how does oil stay at less than $200 while apparently there isn't 20 years left in oil?
Does demand for oil significantly drop off over the next 10-15 years or so?

Because as soon as it increases (too much) in price it stalls the economy
Consumers can only pay so much for the end products of Oil
And we are now in a death zone where no price supports continued production as well as economic growth

Do you think the West Coast coal mines would be quiet if Coal was 20 times the price?

How so?
PDK is always talking about how oil is essential for every industrial process and that we have no substitutes.
Thus implicitly, there is no reason why oil won't continue to rise above some imaginary $200 limit.

Now if PDK said that it has an upper limit because at that point substitutes become viable, that would make sense.
And that illustrates exactly why your West Coast coal analogy is so. The reason they are silent now is because we developed a viable substitute - natural gas.

and the substitute for Oil is ???
drum roll please..

Did you read the bit about how the price rise collapses demand (affordability) … because it just doesn't seem like you are getting it

West Coast Coal stopped because the price collapsed … (their mines became unviable relative to the price … Coal is still being mined heavily elsewhere
And Gas is a by product of Oil production …

Well, PDK thinks there is one if oil cannot reach $200 per barrel. Alternatively, he thinks technically recoverable reserves will increase, as they have for the past 150 years.

Or...Alternatively, he is predicting the collapse of demand which seems to be at odds with his comment about exponential growth in resource use.

So, which is it?

Your edit:
their mines became unviable relative to the price
Yes. And why is the price so low?
Because the world doesn't generate 90% of it's electricity from coal anymore. I.e we found substitutes and technology allowed access to cheaper means of extraction.
If oil gets to $150 a barrel, coal will have a surge in demand and price - because industrial synthesis becomes viable again.

Perhaps a chart will help this discussion:
https://www.indexmundi.com/commodities/?commodity=coal-australian&months...

My understanding is that India and China are building coal powered stations as fast as they can.

They could also be building powerstations that run on unicorn farts.
So why?
Is it because coal is so cheap compared to other substitutes?

I thought unicorn farts were the smell from profitless software start-ups. A massive waste of energy?

Would you spend $200 to extract $100 of oil? (the dollars signs just monterise the energy spent verse energy recovered).

But that doesn't answer why the bid price of that barrel of oil is $100 when, as PDK preaches, there are no substitutes for oil and extraction is 'growing exponentially'.

So is he predicting the collapse of society (thus demand), or the arrival of some new substitute?

Pretty much does. Eroei.

Well, no it doesn't.
Why would extraction costs rise to be double the cost of the bid price if the bid price represents the cost of energy? (the dollars signs just monterise the energy spent verse energy recovered)
Why has the cost of extraction inflated while the value of energy has deflated.

Lets try something easier for you.

If you ate only weetbix you die of starvation. You consume more energy eating it than you get from the eating of it. Is that simple enough for you?

Okay. Cool. So you believe we are going to get to an EROEI of <1 in 20 years?

But again, that isn't the argument.
The argument is why these Wheetbix will not surge in price as a result of their scarcity and neccessity. They will become completely scarce before their net energy is zero (you have to produce these, right).

Some assumptions getting in the road of this debate i think; "Why would extraction costs rise to be double the cost of the bid price if the bid price represents the cost of energy?" bid price is what someone offers to pay for it, not what it costs to produce. So the bid price cannot be the "cost of energy".

I'd suggest that before you sit back and think you know better to consider what PDK said ten years ago. He said the oil price would be extremely volatile. There would be swings higher due to scarcity and demand, then plunged due to unaffordability.

The point YOU have to worry about is when it is unaffordable as a business. When any of the extractors, transports, or refiners, are no longer making money out of it they stop doing it. When the oil industry has consumed itself out of business. That happens way before the oil runs out.

But recent price volatility has been the result of gaming by large producers, and not limits to extraction. Prices have plunged as a result of oversupply, not some decrease in the willingness to pay/overall demand.
So, I don't understand the pertinence of that comment.

Good on you for asking - try this:

Money is issued as debt. Given that banks reasonably expect a payback, that debt has to be worked-off in the future. Now there are two ways to do that; real work requiring real energy doing real stuff, or virtual stuff which society has agreed can tap into the real work/energy stream (as when a lawyer, economist, journalist etc, buys food or a Beamer.

The combined debt-bets have to be underwritten by future energy, doing future work. But if your energy is reducing in real terms (one method being the need to spend more and more energy obtaining your energy - EROEI) your future underwriting is progressively curtailed. Thus the flattening-off of 'productivity' (which to a physicist is obvious but to an economist, puzzling - the other reason is that we are running up against thermodynamic limits) and the increase in debt and the knock-on reduction in interest-rates.

Summing up (or is that summing down :) there is a 'price' for energy, which society (which is just a giant heat-engine in physics terms, as are individual cities etc) cannot afford. It has faked-it for a while, upping the 'value' of existing things (houses, collectibles) but it cannot 'afford' $200/barrel oil (or any energy equivalent at that relative 'price').

It's interesting, eh? I champion solar, have lived on it for years and realise it is the default setting - but we won't be doing BAU on it, not at any price. It's too low in EROEI terms.

Go well

Okay. But this again doesn't answer the point that current volatility is the result of gaming, not limits to extraction.

But to answer this ramble - again, what are you predicting here given your assumption that oil cannot go to $200 per barrel? It is highly unlikely that there is zero willingness to pay $200 per barrel worldwide, so there is no reason for it not to exceed this level, at reduced quantity of course.
So, again, this goes back to substitutes or the collapse of society (demand).
One makes you look like a doomsdayer, the other violates 10 years of ramblings on the non-substitutability of energy.

OMG, always and forever trotting out the same rubbish. Energy is not and never will be in short supply. It will only get cheaper. Your whole bizarre edifice of belief is founded on assumptions that have been false since the start of the nuclear age in the 1950's, and even more so since PV became cheap. As Feynman said: "It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong."

"Energy is not and never will be in short supply. It will only get cheaper"

Seriously .. this is the same old rubbish thinking
WE don't run out of ENERGY!!!!!!
We run out of viable consumers who can support the supply chain.....
Oil (or any energy) is worthless if its isn't being consumed

Net effect = we must keep extending our leverage to KEEP INCREASING CONSUMPTION so that we can serve up more NET energy
And now leverage has hit 0% interest

If PV is so cheap, why hasn't it replaced all that coal / oil / gas ? Very curious don't you think?
Because ""It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong."

When elephants play the grass gets trampled. Russia versus Saudi Arabia

To hell with the grass

Goldman was seeking bids.

Oil briefly reached USD $147 in the Oil futures market as a trapped short panicked, went to market and covered. Very few trades were transacted above USD $120. Got their clocks cleaned. The short-side who paid USD $147 to get out. The new short-side who sold for $147 ppb did OK because price subsided within minutes. Oil has never been near $147 ppb since

Indeed - often if a market maker needs to sell a billion dollars at best prices, $200 million have to be purchased first.

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Thank God we don't rely on Murdoch's media outlets in this country. There'd be a couple of hundred dead in NZ from COVID-19 by now.
US, UK, Aussie all have been cursed by Fox/Sky.

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Australia has a lower death per capita than NZ.

Only the Ozzies believe that. They are in for a massive surprise that they are not the lucky country.
They are the country where a lot of stuff is out to kill you and they just left a virus to run through unchecked. Only a couple of months till their flu season, which is when it will kick off and spread like a rat up a drain pipe.

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And our flu season? What are you talking about?

We will have the WuFlu knocked off or close to it soon.
Ozzy will be going into it with a hell of a lot more infections and community spread of both the WuFlu and the common cold etc.
NZ. The common cold virus has taken quite a beating and not so prevalent due to a slower spread due to the lock down.

they only count positive tests, i checked yesterday as to why there figures look so good against ours, so our figures are 30% higher because we count probables

Cheers.
I very much doubt that Oz numbers are even close to the real numbers. The lucky country it maybe but dose that include the ability to shrug off a virus? I don't think so!

No cause of death is put down to a probable.

What are you on about?

Has nothing to do with death rate per capita. Read mashers post then comment

Last time I checked 12 x 5 < 71 and 3 > 2

State intelligence services' stenographers at best

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On breakfast this morning the key professor modeller on behalf of the government said we can potentially eliminate covid-19 in 2 more weeks of Level 4. That’s right - eliminate. His modelling has almost been spot on so far and knowing that maybe it is worth 2 more weeks of pain for that gain.

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Even Taiwan don't think they can eliminate it with 395 cases and 6 deaths. Elimination is a very, very expensive vanity project paid for by young people - who are not at risk. "Covid-19 is becoming flu-like. It means that since it is highly contagious with many mild or asymptomatic cases, and can be transmitted through droplets and contaminated areas, we won’t get rid of this virus totally. "
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/science-and-disease/taiwans-vi...

Well we are in a position to eliminate it in the short term (and this is really a time buying exercise until vaccines are available for the vulnerable).

But it isnt just about elimination, once youve done that you need to be super vigilant at the borders or else youve wasted all your effort.

I reckon our borders will be close to closed for 18 months while the rest of the world goes through wave after wave before a vaccine is produced.

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Taiwan is a densely populated country making elimination much harder.

Population densities (per sq km)
Taiwan 1210 Taipei 9918 (27,418 in Daan district)
NZ 18 Auckland 1210

New Zealand has a very good shot at elimination which is the best outcome for both health and the economy.

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Profile and Yvil need to give their pro virus PR a rest.

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Besotted with self interest I would suggest.

Worried about going under, what they don't get is that this is only the start. If they can't handle it when it's warm, they will fry in the heat that is coming.

That's the interesting thing about this virus. Directly its an attack on human immunity, indirectly its an attack on the foundations of modern capitalism.

The more we try to advance modern capitalism as we know it, without the virus contained, the more its going to destroy itself as an economic model.

Out of this we all have learnt the vital importance of putting money aside for an emergency fund. Fom now on everyone from the business owner to the homeowner and worker will be saving like never before.

Yeah. As a household we will be more cautious on discretionary spending.
And of course, in aggregate, that's not altogether a good thing when you want people spending to restart the economy...

"Out of this we all have learnt the vital importance of putting money aside for an emergency fund"

Many of the current generation of employees and business owners are learning firsthand, the same lessons as those learned by previous generations.

Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.

There are many stories of those who experienced the Depression in the 1930's (parents, grandparents, great grandparents, etc of the current generations) who changed their spending habits, and their children saved an emergency fund for a rainy day.

It is also an attack on civilisation as we consider it to be acceptable. Of course that is by direct consequence of infirmity and death but indirectly we are seeing the emergence of elements in society suggesting that broadly it should simply be allowed to run its course and if that means that the vulnerable and elderly are culled, then so be it, they were ready to pass anyway. To me that is repugnant, no person in our society has the right to proclaim who lives and who dies by reason of what their life status may be anymore than their religious beliefs. That type of evil doctrine came to its peak with the Nazis and was destroyed as they were. Appreciate there are life and death decisions, case by case, in hospitals every day everywhere but that is not in the context of society as a whole.

Foxglove, Name me one person who isnt including yourself. Because of your age and higher risk level you demand everyone else to change their whole life to suit yours and damn those who think differently. Youre not alone in that. The virus is well under control in NZ. Numerous extra measures have been put in place since mid march when case numbers were increasing. Border controls, distancing, hygiene, business procedures. It's time to start easing up imo.

Not at all, we need to be seeing both sides of this debate. Both have given some very useful insights (and some bad ones; but we are getting a lot of that from pro lockdown too).
I find the whole thing fascinating, especially how much the facts seem to deviate from some of the media articles. And I think the possibility of full elimination is the most important question. IMO Level 4 is only warranted if it is likely to result in elimination, and it does seem unlikely. Otherwise it is just a very expensive way to buy time.

The plot thickens. From the telegraph link..

"In early December, there were cases reported from Thailand, Hong Kong, and Japan – all patients who did not go to the market."

If any country in the world has leadership within the context of pandemic response it's Taiwan. Jacinda should follow and learn something instead of continuing to spout rubbish about creating her own path.

https://www.google.co.nz/amp/s/www.bbc.com/news/amp/world-asia-52088167

WHO doesn’t recognise Taiwan. China influence in plain site.

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Two words bother m: ‘potentially’ and ‘modelling’. Those two words have also been applied to the unemployment forecast of 23%. Epidemologist have nothing to gain reputationally by underestimating. Every last one of them wants a piece of this action. We need balanced views which take all outcomes, risks and long term effects into account. Strikes me too many people are willing to sacrifice a generation of young people for little reward.

well "modelling" is pretty much a dirty word after the ridiculous climate change models that didnt play out

Dirty word after successful propaganda against them, much more:

https://skepticalscience.com/climate-models.htm
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-00243-w

The propaganda has been successful to the extent folk who absorbed it will probably never come around to seeing anthropogenic climate change as a real problem.

"...that didnt play out."
Parts of the country still in drought like conditions and fools say this. Ostritch/kiwi cross breeds.
Folk only absorb this info when the opposite impacts their way of life.

Because there were never any droughts in NZ before this?

It's not the problem Rick. Do a search on intergalacial periods and in particular Eemian epoch. You'll soon realise man had nothing to do with a warming earth unless there were cars and buses, planes 125,000 years ago. We can't control it as much as the climate science community would like you to believe. we can control carbon tax though right.

Gosh the air has been great the last 4 weeks ah?

We should be well past climate denial by now.

As we should be well past debating the Limits to Growth.

And I have long note the denier of one will be deniers of both, with vested interests in obfuscating the debate. I often wonder whether their kids/grandkids will push them the way Rod Carr's did (if I remember correctly).

You must be skim reading? Tell me how we can control the natural cycle of the earth? I’m not saying C0’2 ppm is not high. What I’m saying is, what is happening now has happened before and more than one time before the start of the Holocene epoch. Pollution disappearing is not going to alter the natural cycle of the earth. It will continue to warm and then we’ll enter into the next ice age. The issue I have is you think we can control it?

So, do you all deny that the Eemian period happened? Do you deny that the temperature during the end of this period was hotter than it is now? On average 2-3 degrees hotter in the northern hemisphere higher lattitudes?

Climate change has been a persistent feature of earth. And every time the climate changes, there is mass extinction and mass changes to what life looks like. The question shouldn't be whether the Eemian happened (it clearly did) but why the Eemian happened. There are proposed causes for the Last Interglacial warming but as far as I understand, none of these are occurring now and this is partially why the prevailing theory is that the current warming is man made (but also that there is causal evidence of human impact). There is scientific consensus that the current warming is man made. I certainly don't deny that climate has changed many times, without mans influence but the question is whether this era of climate change is on us, or not.

I don’t believe there is consensus. The question remains unanswered along with the question why a significant and prolonged cooling period follows the interglacial period.
@ PDK Throwing ‘your a climate change denier’ is a childish retort.

Nature doesn't care what you believe, but thank you for the correct description.

Alle same religion, alle same economics

"The retreating mountain glaciers of Norway have revealed a host of rare archaeological finds and uncovered a lost mountain pass at Lendbreen in Innlandet County. The finds tell a remarkable story of high-altitude travel and long distance exchange c. 300 – 1500 AD with a peak in usage c. 1000 AD during the Viking Age.

A team of archaeologists from Norway and Cambridge have published details of these artefacts today in the journal Antiquity."
https://www.arch.cam.ac.uk/news/melting-ice-reveals-lost-viking-mountain...

Very interesting. So would you say the ice has retreated, then advanced, then retreated again?

God put those artifacts there along with dinosaur fossils to test our faith.

And he did it all 4,000 years ago.

Then he invented GDP

Happy to offer two more weeks but I want to get this done, all confirmed or possible cases to be actively managed so anyone with the virus and people in that bubble are separated into hotel rooms and those facilities are to be overseen by medical staff.

Taiwan, the best in the world at dealing with Wuflu, with the lowest numbers and 3 out of last 6 days with zero new cases, has just had 22 new cases today. Wuflu is established in NZ, there have been a reasonable number of cases of community transmission, somewhere between 50 and 80% (maybe more) of cases are undetectable (asymptomatic), and we have severely deficient contact tracing compared to Asia. We can suppress it greatly, but it is highly unlikely that we can eradicated it. And this lockdown is costing NZ ~$3-400million per day.

Was that the professor that "modelled" 40,000 deaths in NZ, but "forgot" to include the beneficial impacts of contact tracing, isolation and distancing practices?

"We found that OSRG’s model run resultsgrossly overstated the number of deaths,because they made an assumption about the critical tool in the Ministry’s arsenal. It was assumed that there would be no tracing and isolation of cases, or alternatively that the Ministry was so ineffective that their efforts could be disregarded. This led to an explosion in the number of cases and deaths. The reporting of therange of deaths was also inflated by the simple expedient of excluding the model runs that produced low numbers. One of theirsix scenarios showed just seven deaths over a year.But that is not what the public saw. The 31March Stuff report on the modeling read as follows:Up to 14,000 New Zealanders could die if coronavirus spread is uncontrolled, according to new modelling by the University of Otago, Wellington."
http://www.tailrisk.co.nz/documents/Corona.pdf

"Satisfied that his advice had been heeded, Ferguson revised down his projection of total UK deaths due to Covid-19 from more than half a million to “20,000 or less, two-thirds of which would have died this year from other causes” (in other words, a net 6,700)."
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/coronavirus-the-economic-legacy-of-lo...

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Things are going to get worsebefore getti g better.

Health and Economy crisis will bring out the beast as well as best in human - social behaviour will change.

What going hard and early looks like. " ...This time when we knew there was an atypical pneumonia – meaning an infectious lung disease without known cause, where the patient is isolated and there is likely human-to-human transmission – we implemented on-board quarantine for all passengers flying from Wuhan. ...Despite its proximity to China, it has seen just 395 cases and six deaths. In an exclusive interview, Chen Chien-jen, the country’s vice-President and renowned epidemiologist, explains Taiwan’s coronavirus battleplan and the lessons it holds for Britain and the WHO."

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/science-and-disease/taiwans-vi...

Essential reading.

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https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/science-and-disease/taiwans-vi...

Best thing I’ve read. From a politician who's a renowned epidemologist in a country that has contained Covid pretty well.

Update: just seen the above posts. Aren’t we a well read bunch!

Thanks for share. Good read.

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Anyone losing faith in the NZ Met Service forecasting? All summer/ autumn the amount of rain has never achieved the level forecast.

Last night was typical. Allegedly 30/25 mm forecast in two areas I have interest in. We got 0.2 and 0.0. Just wasting their time

Yep I am. Loads of rain predicted bit never arrived, put off spraying because of it too.

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We had 12 ml forecasted over the weekend but got nothing but strong drying winds. No rain in forecast now till May. My ridges are starting to brown off again. I hear some suppliers to small grocery shops and butchers have effectively been wiped out. Seed potato guy was stressed as all orders had been cancelled. Do people realise that farmers work around the seasons and cannot just magic food up?

I'm probably remembering wrong but seems to me they struggle with weather coming from the West for us. It's often during weather dominated by highs, so during dry summer weather which you really notice the absence of moisture therefore notice more when they get it wrong.
Another ten mm or so over the weekend and got the rest of the annuals in. Growth is probably above 30kgs/day which is the best for 4 months.

Only once the shelves are bare will they realise AJ

Sometimes when it is raining their website shows sunny weather (and vice versa) and that is not predicting, it is stating the status :). I know that these are machine updates, but it is still very funny that they cannot even tell you the current weather :)

Not just Metservice. I use another service which also has forecast rain on many occasions, only for it never to arrive, or be a light sprinkle. Put off buying water on several occasions until I panicked at the start of April and got some. Guess what happened? It started to rain. I’m in north Rodney, by the way.

You need two water tanks Pietro or else your screwed these days. Get another water tank mate its going to be the same thing year after year now with climate change. We are in Puhoi and just scraped through without the need to buy water.

We're putting in a third tank. Having to wait several weeks for a water delivery is an experience I'm not keen to repeat.

What we find is that they are not correct for the entire area but are for parts of it. e.g. we were supposed to go to 0deg last night. We were 6.8deg but over the hill it was 0 deg. Same with rain - 10km away what is forecast can occur but not here and vice versa. I believe micro climates within areas are becoming more marked.

A though-provoking read, in light of where we are

https://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol20/iss3/art6/

A conceptual framework.
Oh great. So no actual empirical evidence on causality.

Intereting read, PDK. The key takeaways:

"...many of the most severe problems that humankind now faces, such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and nutrient pollution involve the provision of global public goods... Because property rights for these goods are nonexistent, unclear, or shared, the market institutions that have become the primary mechanisms of human innovation often cannot generate an adequate response..."

"As researchers consider how the form and incidence of major crisis is changing, the causal role of the global energy system deserves special attention. Only enormous inputs of inexpensive high-quality energy can create and sustain the unprecedented connectivity and complexity of human civilization, including the connectivity described here among this civilization’s diverse component systems. As a provisional hypothesis, therefore, it seems reasonable to propose that the global energy system helps to synchronize these systems’ behavior and to stimulate simultaneous crises within and across them."

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Trump is his own countries worst enemy. I have a suspicion though that now he knows he can't control the virus, he is going to use it to delay the election and try to become an American Putin. You can imagine what is going through his head: If the virus is around forever, you can never hold elections. I can be president forever!

Complete nonsense. I have never heard of a dictator wanting to get people back to work, free movement, and socializing with friends and family i.e. back to normal.

No one said Trump was a dictator. He is just a wannabe-dictator. Same as Orbán and Bolsonaro. Get all power via populist ruling first, then go berserk as supreme leader.

I've definitely heard of plenty of dictators wanting to put the population to work. Especially when it means pushing wealth upward.

Hilarious, his idea that he has absolute power over and above state rights.

I read somewhere that Trump is the best QA of the American constitution has ever had. His actions will highlight all the rules and loopholes that will have to be changed and fixed once he's out.

Excited having the level 4 LD lifted on Wednesday : )))

Possibilty that may announce that we are going to Level 3 from Monday for two weeks.

Not confirmed yet Yvil don't get too over excited : The Cabinet will meet at 10.30am Monday and the PM will announce at 4pm whether we are coming out of alert level 4 lockdown this Wednesday at 11.59pm.

listened to WP on the radio yesterday and he is pushing for level three, so we will see this avro whom is really in charge

NZF is a Labour muppet now after National said no way we work with them.

Agree! Has to be level 3

Read Pietro's link Yvil and then get back to us

Yvil gets one thing correct and now believes he calls it right everytime.
It would be silly to lift it with no proven Virus tracker app in place.

post recalled.

by Yvil | 31st Dec 19, 2:24pm
- I stand by my Sept 19 prediction that house prices will reach new all-time highs in NZ in March 2020
- The recent pick up in swap rates will reverse and interest rates will still fall more
- Inflation will pick up (surprising most, not me) but the Reserve Bank will NOT rise the OCR in response
- Governments will still print money and do whatever is required to keep the party going

Yvil, you reckon the government and reserve bank will choose to substantially devalue savers' (young folk and pensioners) wealth in order to push up or hold up the property sector?

Essentially a significant wealth transfer from pensioners to asset holders.

Kezza, I also got this one for you about calling the OCR cut by 0.5% in August 2019

by RickStrauss | 7th Aug 19, 2:19pm
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Yvil, good on ya, you called it right (over and over, per my teasing).

Shall I keep them coming?

Yep, full of it.
How's this call. You should have sold your motel.
No lvl 3 this week.

I imagine Yvil pacing around the forecourt of his deserted motel party horn in mouth, excitedly looking at his wristwatch every 5 minutes anticipating the minute the lockdown is officially lifted. Just spent the weekend turfing out his emergency housing tenants and giving the rooms an extra dose of cleaning in preparation for the flurry of tourists that'll start piling in at 1 minute past.

Nzdan
1) I own the Motel but I don't work in it, only at it, I live in Auckland.
2) We've been fortunate to house the homeless and also other people in need of emergency accommodation
Thank you for your concern

But then I couldn't look after the homeless and people in need if emergeny accommodation as I do now

Kezza, well done, you got this one right!

Yep..a few of us are running a competition on how big do you think the Drive through line will be at Maccas or KFC....my vote was 1.5k...

Well, my butcher was closed so I had to suffer through Countdown steaks. Also, those round my way had panic bought all the Maldon salt.

Until schools and childcare (ECE) are open fiddling around with more minor elements will have little positive impact on the economy.
Govt needs to figure out a way of doing school with classroom sized 'bubbles', perhaps country school like arrangements with all kids from each family in same classroom (many families in one class), because it seems likely we are going to have to keep up isolation for many many months, and that is our greatest vulnerability.

DP

Here's some further interesting news regarding what's going on in the Australian property market at the moment. The New Daily: Why the coronavirus could slash property prices by 30 per cent. "SQM Research chief executive Louis Christopher has described the coronavirus pandemic has an economic “tsunami” that could slash property prices by up to 30 per cent".

"Such an outcome is based on Mr Christopher’s worst-case scenario, where Australia either experiences a second wave of infections after restrictions are lifted, or its new case count never reaches zero".
https://thenewdaily.com.au/finance/property/2020/04/12/coronavirus-house...

Again, ‘could’, ‘based on’, ‘worst case scenario’. Weasel words and not worth reporting.

Well lets see how seriously the Ozzys handle preventing a second wave of infection, a lot of that would rely how well they handle international flights in the near future. They are a much bigger country after all so there's more opportunity for reinfection from overseas travel.

I fail to see how Oz numbers are not taking off with their relaxed 'lock down'.
They maybe the lucky country but can they shrug off a killer virus.

Yes agreed, Hopefully they're more sensible then the Americans and their virus number do seem to be stabilizing. Hopefully they can eradicate it as well. Worldmeter Australia's coronavirus data: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/australia/

It is not a killer virus !
How many people in australasia have been killed that have average health?
None
You can test positive to the virus and have no symptoms, so how is that a killer?

If it left it over rins hospitals, then more people die.
As I see it the Ozzy lock down is t enough and they will lift it soon and it will do a lot of damage there.

So many unhealthy people in the USA, been a time bomb for years.

https://www.europeanscientist.com/en/article-of-the-week/covid-19-and-th...

If the US is a time bomb, we don't fare too well. 1 in 3 over 15 years old are obese.
https://www.health.govt.nz/nz-health-statistics/health-statistics-and-da...

Hows your waistline looking ...average kiwi is overweight - love their meat and dairy and chups.

Certainly OSA and COPD are risk factors for over weight people. Add coronavirus to those and you can see how C19 compounds morbidity.

Looking good. Workout everyday in lockdown. Body fat was 10% last time I checked.

I suspect there are going to be a lot more fitter people after the lock down. Not sure how the small gym/yoga centres are going to survive? Less Miles a dripping bacteria festival but caters more to the 20 somethings.

There sure will be and lots of people cooking at home will surely improve their diets. I've made a dozen loafs of bread since lockdown and intend to make rather than buy. Aside from the lack of equipment, there is lots of good exercise you can do at home.
The one piece of equipment I would recommend to everyone is kettlebells. A set of kettlebells can be used to train the whole body in a the garage rain or shine. There's a plethora of different routines and exercises that you can do. I really enjoy it.

An indoor rower is also a good piece of equipment to work the major muscle groups.

its a shame the seats on them are so damn uncomfortable

Bellicon Rebounder for me

Wow 338 Euros for the most basic model... $600 plus delivery. They look good but man that's a lot of money.

Certainly OSA and COPD are risk factors for over weight people. Add coronavirus to those and you can see how C19 compounds morbidity.

That's interesting - perhaps part of the reason why Japan and SK could keep their death rates much lower than UK and US.

Clearly, we underestimated the potential death rate because these East Asian countries managed local outbreaks so well.

Agree with you about USA but....is the ratio of obese/ diabetics/ alcohol&drug abusers is any different in NZ? Not from what I see.

There is no way authorities can limit the coronavirus and restore global growth and debt expansion to December 2019 levels. This is not what people want to hear, but it's the reality we will have to deal with.

An apt analogy for the global financial system is an airliner.
Airliners are optimized for flying at high altitudes at speeds of between 500 and 575 miles per hour. This is their envelope of maximum fuel efficiency.
While an airliner is physically able to fly at 500 feet, its fuel efficiency will be greatly reduced. Airliners cannot reach their maximum range flying at 500 feet.
The airliner is optimized for a very narrow envelope, and once it leaves that envelope, bad things happen: its engines flame out, it runs out of fuel, etc.
The global economy is optimized for a vast, steady expansion of debt to fund an equally vast and steady increase in consumption. Once it slips out of this narrow envelope, it crashes.
Central banks and governments can mask this in the short-term by substituting bailouts for revenues, but bailouts are not sustainable replacements for revenues, incomes, profits and debt service. The global economy has already fallen out of its sustainable envelope, and the only questions are its rate of descent and how long the remaining fuel will last.

(CH Smith)

Tks Gareth, sobering indeed. Wasn’t there an old story about some maniacal Emperor fiddling while Rome burned.

What do you make of this Scarfie? "The ELISA assays for IgG and/or IgM antibodies are known to give false-positives due to the other Corona viruses that give us the common cold. It is known from European studies that the common cold in the winter time can cause roughly 3% positive Covid-19 ELISA tests – just about what was measured in this study. In order to get meaningful results a second test (neutralization test that is not sensitive to the common cold viruses) needed to be done on the positive samples. The scientifically correct conclusion of the study would be: the Covid-19 prevalence is between 0% and 4%. It seems irresponsible to put the study on the web and have people, including politicians, jump to hasty and possibly wrong conclusions".

Thanks, appreciate that. Lots of misformation flowing in both directs methinks, the fact it was put on the web just shows the need for attention even amongst scientists. There is a German one about that looks more reputable, with numbers that appear more relistic. I'm still wondering about guy I picked up hitchhiking outside a hospital that had been in for two days with "pneumonia" He had been equipped with a face mask and was wearing rubber gloves. That was a week or two before the lockdown and wasn't a reported case. I'd love to be tested to see if I have antibodies, I reckon I have.

Confirms less is known than what is known re community spread. It is this sort of researched info that swung me firmly into line with the article by Keith Woodford on line here, and its recommendations.

That's may hopefully cost Trump his presidency. Apparently the Democrats are starting to gain ground and votes. Article from The Hill (quote): Democrats gain new momentum in fight for Senate majority. "The battle for the Senate majority is tightening as the coronavirus threatens to plunge the economy into a severe recession and as President Trump’s handling of the crisis comes under increased scrutiny."
https://medium.com/the-atlantic/a-new-statistic-reveals-why-americas-cov...

The Democrats may have done better if they'd followed democracy and put Sanders up against Trump, following such a crisis. Biden will be interesting...

I think Trump’s comeuppance fast approaches. His mantra was to have fixed, supposedly, the economy. CV19 has shafted that. The citizens will put up with BS & lies, even the outrageous antics of Trump even though nothing like it had even been accepted before, if they are not directly affected. But now if people are hurting and families are losing loved ones coast to coast, then the worm turns and the those lies and BS suddenly become stark and unbearable and intolerable. The last sitting president to be turfed out was Bush senior who had had massive popularity through the first Gulf war. Popular still internationally, he and the economy tanked at home and the electorate turned and out he went. Think Trump is about to receive a far greater force of dissent.

Masher - that is not correct. In fact, NZ and Australian death rates are fairly similar. According to worldometers, Australia’s death rate is currently 3 deaths per 1 million people, while NZ’s rate is slightly, lower at 2 deaths per million people. NZ also highly likely not to be undercounting. I don’t know about Australia.

they only count positive tests, so it does make you wonder if they are checking certain deaths to double check like we did in Invercargill.
it would be so unlike an aussie to bend or fudge something to make out they are the winner

we are running about a week behind Australia in evolution of the pandemic, and deaths lag infections by a few weeks so as active cases drop away it is likely we will catch up to Aus.

We're so lucky that we had the opportunity to learn from the GFC.....
CEOs, not the unemployed, are America's real 'moral hazard'

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/18/coronavirus-stimul...

share buy backs are crazy. Share transaction must be limited between shareholders and potential shareholders no company should be allowed to buy its own share (unless the scale is trivial and necessary for some administrative purposes). Otherwise, what the above article describes happen. Equity is the most expensive form of finance, so if debt is cheap it make (corporate finance) sense to use it to replace equity (what has happened), This is true even before you take into account the incentive for personal gain for the executive team.

Share buybacks used to be illegal. I wonder why?

I can't help thinking that mega salaries and shareholder returns at any cost have something to do with the pathetic ability for many companies to ride out a financial downturn.

Before the coronavirus outbreak, corporations were borrowing money like mad, capitalizing on the Fed’s bargain-basement interest rates. Total business debt topped $16tn last year.

Corporations used much of this debt to buy back their own shares of stock. This raised the earnings of each remaining share, creating a bonanza for big investors and top executives.

Indeed, the focus has shifted from companies achieving their core mission to extracting wealth as quickly as possible. Boeing provided a great example of this, with management choosing financialisation (per Clay Christensen's criticism of the business sector) over building the best planes.

Every country ought to be seeking ZERO deaths. Ones too many and comparing ratios to other poor miserable countries don't excuse anything.
I'd be surprised if it's not two more weeks of level 4.

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Are you going to come back and add in the suicides from lost jobs or failed businesses?

If this a cry for help for help there is a lot of help out there.
But I suspect it is just an attempt to clutch at straws to get back to making money at other people health risk.
Please post your business name so we can vote with our feet and not use your business.

Interested to know what you do. A 'recession proof' government job?
You seem to imply, in a very abstract sense, that it's only businesses and their owners that suffer with business failure.
Totally forgetting their employees.
Bizarre.

Me?
A builder / small scale property developer.
We have ups and downs historically, it was clear we were due a down. People need to wake up and know it is coming and plan / deal with it.

In short we are going into recession and this one is going to be a particularly bad one.
If this virus get a hold in NZ we will have the worst of both worlds. Better to take a hit now and recover fast than stretch it out over a few years.
Virus free is a sellable item and we must use that to our benefit.

NZ 100% CV 19 free.

Kezza, do you think there is a lot of help out there that will successfully eliminate the 'social impacts' from the tsunami of debt the tax-payer will have? Christ, we have not been able to adequately cope in the past/present let alone after this blows through!
Continue to put your head in the sand. Ian Harrison put it aptly, there is no equanimity in death (death of a child is a tragedy; death of a 95yr old is sad)

Surprise there was going to be a major down turn one way or the other. That is what happens. You either knew that because that is what always happens and you planned for it or you will be in trouble now.
It is that simple.

This is the Fox news line I'm talking about.

That's not very realistic Tim.

Perhaps zero deaths of those that are not metabolically compromised. That's a target that could be aimed for. Also zero collateral damage deaths?

carefully Zach, the herd are already skittish....

Quite right. Let’s outlaw fags, booze, fatty food, sugary drinks, lower the speed limit to 20kmh, and fence rivers and the sea. Oh, we should ban old age, too.

don't forget the world has the Darwin awards ...... some people just can't be helped.

Not booze!!!

You will need to go a lot further than that to ensure no one ever dies of anything. The Matrix?

More people will die from road collusions than the WuFlu this year and the year after. The world involves risk and the fact is most of us after a while get used to it and move on.

Really can I catch bad driving virus from you Step up?

Really.. how many people died in the 2nd round of Spanish flu again?

It's a noble target. But just read stories of elective surgeries being cancelled and understand that in the health service the backed up numbers of those waiting treatment is now getting even bigger. Its a lose lose situation we are in right now. And even if we win, how will we know with certainty that we actually won?

The big question is: Is eradication possible for a disease with such a high proportion of asymptomatic carriers and significant numbers of people who get 're-infected' ie virus flares up after they get better. There are many viruses that are not curable (warts, herpes....) they just float around in your body in equilibrium with your immune system for the long term. Possibility of eradication, without fantastic contact tracing and a huge amount of testing (neither of which NZ has) seems to be low. Continuing to pursue it at incredible cost is likely to be very bad policy.

Do two more weeks at lvl 4 and see if we can beat it.
Or we just give up like muppets.

What is the long term logical outcome of lockdown and elimination? Where is the modelling on that?

There is something not quite right when you hear Govt. advisors say that the elimination of this virus is more important than saving of the economy as if they are mutually exclusive when every other mortality type is influenced and factored into 'life,' both human and economic.

And I will always be initially sceptical of people that say that money doesn't matter when they are being 'paid' to say it, in that they can financially afford to indulge such higher Maslow Hierarchy of Needs thoughts, as their water, food' shelter, and financial wellbeing are unaffected (and sometimes enhanced) by the crisis they are commenting on.

If lockdown and elimination is the answer (what other country is going for elimination?), then this rational should be applied to help lower all deaths.

This lockdown has also lowered the road toll, so if coming out of it, the road toll starts to rise, then we should lock down vehicle movements to help eliminate the road toll. This has been put forward as policy, in the 'one death is one too many' road toll policy the Govt. has been promoting. Maybe now they can prove that by closing down traffic movement.

Yet we also know that the lockdown will increase poverty which has a known increase in deaths, and also suicides, also deferment in medical treatment that will result in other mortalities etc, so we should be moving out of lockdown to prevent more of these deaths?

The point is, it's about balancing all deaths with economic activity as they are linked. We can calculate this now, has anyone seen the modelling on this?

I question too the assertion that the path we are on is the better economic one. Have economic "models" been run now that we know more about the pathology of the virus?

I'm sure the models have been run, but like most models, there will be widely divergent end scenarios depending on the inputs.

There is two models I would like to see, 1) what is the TOTAL expected CV10 deaths and economic expense expected over time based on this lockdown and elimination model. And 2) the TOTAL ALL DEATHS expected over time based on the same, and TOTAL ALL DEATHS if we had just done our standard virus response as we did with SARS and MERS.

Michael Reddell estimates about $300million a day in lost GDP during lockdown. If you assume average life lost to Wuflu is worth about $1million (mostly very old who die, and Pharmac Qaly model would certainly put the price lower) then that is about 300 lives a day that would need to be saved by this measure for it to be justified. Most modellers are now saying a worst case scenario of only 10-20k dead, so only 1-2 months of this would be economically justified. Seems pretty clear that the lockdown/eradication approach has been the wrong one.

At present it is an ethical problem because our lack of preparation means a case of Covid-19 is not just bad luck for the victim but a serious threat for those working in the health service. Note the numer of cases involving cleaner/care support, nurses & doctors. Get an efficient testing and tracing systems in place and that changes and then risk assessment models etc are worth considering.
It is not binary lockdown -v- anything goes but a spectrum and a matter of judgement which restrictions are worthwhile.

I agree with that summation. I am continually disappointed in the slow response of the govt to changing circumstances - and failure to institute necessary measures quickly, continues to amaze me how slow they have been to ramp up things like great contact tracing. Blame the contrast between a responsive private sector approach that I am used to and the glacial public sector way of doing things - and the huge cost that has created (each week that the govt delayed instituting arrival quarantining has cost us more than a week in lockdown + $2-3billion in lost GDP)

Exactly. The road roll analogy is an excellent one. 'Why don't we just lockdown the country to eliminate all road deaths'.

Michael Reddell's constant plea is to have the official papers made available for public scrutiny, so we can all see what sort of advice is being considered, from whom, with what evidence of peer review, using what statistical basis, using what published models and datasets etc etc. Y'know - the usual sort of cost/benefit advice one would expect of a $2 million project, let alone a $20-50 billion one.

So far: zip/zilch/nada.

So much for 'open and transparent'..

And that seems a totally reasonable proposition.
Yes so much for 'open and transparent'
I made two OIA requests last year, and it was a waste of time. Huge chunks of reports redacted.

The Japanese government has allocated $2.2bn to assist their multinationals to leave China. It is the first G7 country does it. $2.2bn is not a lot, but it sends a signal. Japan has a massive investment in China, especially in the manufacturing sector. All the major Japanese automobile marques have joint-ventures in China. Under the current legislation, the Chinese authority cannot stop them if they are to leave.

This is just a trailor.... Before the movie.

A very good indication of what is going to happen.

Not sure. I think the way this is building we are highly likely to see higher-ups in politburo ousted in a scape-goating effort to try and rehabilitate PRC in eyes of world, PRC control of western media and compromised politicians might make that enough to buy their way out of the dog box. But the deeper the economic upset gets the less likely it is that the world will accept it. I expect that PRC will lose much or all its offshore assets in fines for their wuflu lies/deceit. But long term the pull of cheap manufacturing is hard to resist - it would take many many years for other countries to fill the gap it would leave if China was no longer the world's workshop.

Quite remarkable that companies who outsourced to China for lower costs now get welfare payments to onshore again.

Indeed, almost as if governments somewhat encouraged outsourcing and now feel some responsibility.

Haha, good one...

Yes, they encouraged it through Working for Families tax credits.

So anyone who disagrees with the government's approach is parroting "Murdoch talking-points"?!? That's complete nonsense. The evidence is clear that the WuFlu was never ever going to kill 80,000 NZers - that was scare mongering at its worse. The death rate looks like it will be around 0.1% to 0.5% - which is around a normal flu to a bad flu.

The evidence suggests that 50% of people are asymptomatic; the rest range from very mild with only 2-5% needing medical treatment. The idea that our first case was from Iran seems almost impossible given the extensive connections we have with China compared to Iran. Therefore, we need to start anti-body testing to sample the population to know how many have had it. Similar tests in other countries have shown 3-15% infection rate. It is highly likely that the first case arrived in NZ late December early January.

I heard Sir Peter Gluckman state that elimination does not mean what the normal word means. It does not mean there is no virus in NZ just that when identified we will quickly isolate it and it does not spread. Which seems to be where we are now.

Finally, the WuFlu shows people's different values. For me, and many others, there are worse things than death.

There were some nasty 'summer colds' going around in January. I had one. There's a chance that might have been covid.

Yes, it is possible but who knows unless you get tested for anti-bodies.

Yes, i had one too. It was a very nasty sort the worst I've had in a long time, could barely open my eyes.

The talk of elimination is silly, the flu, polio, AIDS, SARS and most other Pandemic diseases are still out there, just under varying levels of control. We just need to manage the level of Covid infection so our health system can cope, which I seem to remember was the original goal. And hopefully, soon there will be an effective treatment, possibly a vaccine. Then of course, there’s the next one waiting in the wings (of a bat?).

The evidence suggests that 50% of people are asymptomatic

Where's this? Curious to have a read.

Too many have bought the doctor speak around infectious disease in general, there is no elimination, only suppression. Immunity does not exist, all pathogens still exist in the environment and infections still occur, only, because of the inoculation of individuals symptoms do not occur or are limited, there is no such thing as "herd immunity", only suppression of symptoms. We do not yet have some serious crop affecting agents in NZ simply because we actively prevent the importation of risk elements, as a set of remote islands we can do this, but not forever as we have already seen plenty of times. We could do this for Covid as well but, North Korea Much?????

I dont get the oil price dynamic in NZ , either we are being shafted , or the market mechanism is simply not fucnctioning

Oil is a commodity like meat , oranges or coal . When there is an oversupply , prices drop to a "clearing price" and oil is now $18 /barrel ( it has been over $100/ barrel ) . There is clearly more oil than we can consume , and world markets show this

Petrol in Aussie was circa $2/ litre , now under $1 , and wholesale petrol in the US is 12 CENTS /GALLON , thats about 4 CENTS A LITRE .

The happens everywhere on the planet ................excépt in New Zealand , where petrol and diesel is pretty much at pre-lockdown prices .

What on earth is going on here ?

Importer margins were rising prior to lockdown. This just hasn't been passed on. Are we being fleeced or aren't we, and if so, where is the clear statement of rebuke?

Nothing is really competitive in NZ given it has a very small population that is spread over a very large area and is faraway from most places. Airtravel, supermarket, telecom, fuel, building supply, furniture. homeware, power, you name it, not real competition. The best you get in NZ is a duopoly. NZ has one of the most terrible consumer market characteristics in the world and it is no bodies fault really

One assumes this is a stock they'd already paid for? I'd have ecpected they'd have to clear that, buy more at the lower price before passing that on to you.....

But if we valued fossil energy on behalf of future generations, it would be approaching an infinite price per litre.

If you can dictate the price as your stock plus a margin, as opposed to be price taker, that is definitely a very strong indicator for a non-competitive market. Oil companies do that, because they can.

In today's time - have media trial and media lobbying - trying to put pressure and unfortunately many time for biased vested interest.

https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2020/04/coronavirus-financial...

Headline as decession ti be made today.

it just goes to show the last twenty years of bad policy and housing costs getting out of control, and now we are seeing the outcome

In my opinion, things are only going to get worse once we start 'getting back to normal'. When government support lifts and companies actually have drop wages/clear staff, only then will the picture become clearer. Might be wrong.

We arent even 1/10th into how bad this is going to get.
Currently most of us are still getting paid.
Anyone with loan issues will be on a payment holiday.
Itll be 6 to 8 months till this really kicks in and if the States continues to fall apart it will be even worse than anyone can imagine.

I agree if the wheels fall off in the USA the ripple effect this time will be a tsunami not the wave we saw in 2008. People like to hope for the best but they don't plan for the worst and that has been clearly on display since this started.

More options for companies, along from "companies actually have drop wages/clear staff":

  • Go bankrupt
  • Sell (probably at a fire-sale price, take the proceeds and retire/go fishing etc
  • Be acquired by a Bigger Fish
  • Lobby for Mo' Munny

My pick is that we will see all of this and more, and that little will be especially public.....

So the question is , do we have a glut of petrol , diesel (and unrefined oil ) in New Zealand , or not ?

Its clear that very few of us are using fuel , so whats the backstory in the retail fuel market ?.

the refining companies buy a few months out … and they were caught with a lot of AV gas which currently has no home …and storage is limited
if you have no customers, you have no customers
Slashing prices now makes their cashflow even worse

Australia has 7000 people contact tracing covid cases. (Was stated at Epidemic Response Committee hearing last week) Dr Bloomfield said recently we have 200 at National contact tracing centre in Wellington but we also had some in the regions. To match Australia we should have around 1400 contact tracers in NZ. Do we?

It cannot be that hard to train new tracers and we have enough under-utilised teachers - if there is a case to be traced then the local schools should be shut.

‘We Needed to Go’: Rich Americans Activate Pandemic Escape Plans. Interest in New Zealand bunkers has surged.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-19/-we-needed-to-go-rich-americans-activate-pandemic-escape-plans

For goodness sake, this is just going to encourage Hosking and Bridges to start singing about selling the best of NZ land into foreign ownership again. Stuff Kiwis!

Under National I'm picturing wealthy frightened Americans on their estates dotted along the coast of NZ all living 11ft underground while cows graze on the pasture above.

Just hope one of the said cows finds the air vent and takes a dump......

Is pouring concrete over the exits and entombing them out of the question? Asking for a friend. :)

Swap the US out for Chinese.

All the talk of big tax rises is irrelevant.
Just write all the debt off.
It’s called Quantitative Easing (QE)
It means the rest of the world drops our dollar value.
We all pay more for the cars and luxuries we import.
The farmers will be happy because they get a bit more for their produce even if the tractor costs more.
Saves having to frighten the greedys with 50c per dollar tax at $150k and up.