Dairy prices rise; US housing starts drop; US retail declines again; China steps up trade pressure on Australia; UST 10yr yield at 0.71%; oil unchanged and gold up; NZ$1 = 61 USc; TWI-5 = 66.9

Dairy prices rise; US housing starts drop; US retail declines again; China steps up trade pressure on Australia; UST 10yr yield at 0.71%; oil unchanged and gold up; NZ$1 = 61 USc; TWI-5 = 66.9

Here's our summary of key economic events overnight that affect New Zealand, with news China is pressing Australia hard, with trade threats for their foreign policy stances.

But first up today, we have another dairy auction. The overnight event brought a minorly positive +1.0% rise in overall prices, underpinned by a rather good recovery in the SMP price, which was up +7.4% than the auction two weeks ago. But, really, that is just a return after a hefty dump two auctions ago. WMP prices were -2% lower however - but they didn't suffer the big earlier decline. Volumes offered and sold are seasonally low although they were nearly +10% higher than the same auction a year ago. Prices in New Zealand dollars rose marginally less than in US dollars, up just +0.4%. This auction will not change any payout forecast, but it is satisfying in that it comes after two previous declines. All the same, overall prices are -15% lower than at this time last year.

The steam has gone out of yesterday's irrationally exuberant rally on Wall Street, but the pattern today is to hold. The S&P500 is up just +0.2% so far. In Europe, there were mainly falls, some sharp. But Frankfurt was up +0.2% while London dropped -0.8%. Yesterday, Asian markets generally ended strongly positive with most gains exceeding +1%. The ASX200 was up +1.8%, but the NZX50 Capital Index only managed a +0.3% rise.

In the US, housing starts fell -30% from year-ago levels, and building permits granted fell almost -20%.

The latest weekly update of American retail sales has them falling faster than last week, down another -10% this week. But not every retailer is suffering; giant Walmart is one retailer who has made big gains during the pandemic stockpiling frenzy.

In Congressional testimony earlier today, both the Fed boss and the US Treasury Secretary found themselves under intense scrutiny with lawmakers uneasy about how officials have handled their role in the crisis.

In Europe, car registrations in April were down a startling -76%. But economic sentiment indexes have become sharply less negative in the latest survey.

China seems to be stepping up its pressure on Australia via its exports to the Middle Kingdom. First it was barley. How reports suggest wine and dairy products will soon get the cold shoulder. Products like seafood, oatmeal and fruit that could be subject to stricter quality checks, anti-dumping probes, tariffs or customs delays. And there is also talk China's State media may run a consumer boycott campaign of Australian consumer goods. New Zealand exporters will be watching nervously. Wellington is also treading a fine line.

China isn't punishing the Aussie iron ore sector though.

The release of the RBA's meeting minutes has revealed the regulator is particularly concerned for the commercial property development and landlord sector. They say: "Rising vacancies and reduced rent would be likely to lead to lower valuations, which would pose challenges for leveraged property investors and developers. Retail property was already experiencing rising vacancies and falling capital values prior to the current downturn. The effect on retail businesses of the social distancing measures [will] exacerbate these problems."

The latest compilation of Covid-19 data is here. The global tally is now 4,635,200 and up +50,000 from this time yesterday which is a slower level of increase.

Now, just under 33% of all cases globally are in the US, which is up +22,000 since this time yesterday to 1,518,800. This is also a slower rate of increase. US deaths are now exceed 91,000. Global deaths now exceed 300,000. Canada has joined the US and the UK as western countries unable to get on top of their infection rates (plus Sweden of course). Canada is keeping its border with the US closed until June 21 at least.

In Australia, there are now 7068 cases (+8 since yesterday), 100 deaths (+1) and a recovery rate of just on 90%. 47 people are in hospital there (+2) with 11 in ICU (-1). There are now 558 active cases in Australia (-14).

There were zero changes to any coronavirus infection levels yesterday in New Zealand, for the ninth straight day. Our recovery rate is now just on 96% with just 40 people known to be still infected nationwide (-5).

The UST 10yr yield has held on to most of yesterday's jump, but is back -3 bps today to 0.71%. Their 2-10 curve is unchanged at +54 bps. Their 1-5 curve is also unchanged at +20 bps, and their 3m-10yr curve is also unchanged at +62 bps. The Aussie Govt 10yr yield is up +2 bps to 0.98%. The China Govt 10yr is up +3 bps to 2.73%. But the NZ Govt 10 yr yield is up +2 bps at 0.67%.

The gold price is higher today, up +US$11 to US$1,743/oz.

Oil prices are little-changed today. The US crude price is holding at just on US$32.50/bbl. The international oil price is stable at just on US$34.50/bbl.

The Kiwi dollar is continuing its strong rise, up another +1c again today to 61 USc. That is a +170 bps gain since Saturday and erases all of last week's retreat. On the cross rates we have risen as week, now up to 93 AUc. Against the euro we are up to 55.8 euro cents. These moves up mean the TWI-5 is now 66.9.

Bitcoin has held fairly steady since this time yesterday, now at US$9,674 and up less than +1% on the day. 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 daily exchange rate chartis 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.

183 Comments

22
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Over 4 million Americans are now skipping their mortgage payments:

https://on.mktw.net/2ZgtcsI

Australia is Wait and Watch

https://7news.com.au/the-daily-edition/australias-property-market-predic...

So is NZ - Wait and Watch as all indicators are that housing market will fall and the speed of fall will be greater after 6 months mortage deferral and wage subsidy ends.

Anytime is good time for FHB to buy but better time to come only if can avoid FOMO and by avoidiing people/RE Agent trying to create that fear.

24
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Interesting that the RBA have finally recognized that; "Rising vacancies and reduced rent would be likely to lead to lower valuations, which would pose challenges for leveraged property investors and developers." Yep those challenges are going to be reduced rent leading to further sales and price declines.

And no way should Landlords be bailed out by Tax Payers!!!

29
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The number of times people have told me on here 'buy a rental to get ahead' and my response has been 'get ahead of what, other New Zealanders?'. Why would you want to get ahead of other New Zealander's when they could be your brothers, sisters, cousins, or even own children?

13
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Well National had to disguise all the dodgy oversea money (money laundering) that was going on being most fed through Auckland's property market, so they could enrich themselves. Forcing younger Kiwis to become neck deep in rent and mortgage debt just so they could try to compete to afford to live here.

My translation is to get ahead of where I would financially be if I never invested money in ways to try to get more money. As the actress said to the Bishop, "I've been rich and I've been poor, and rich is better." Without being specific, on average in general, that statement probably is quite accurate. I have found that the only thing money gives me is choices, and it is good to have the choice to do or have stuff, without finances being an issue.

Having money does not make you happy. Not having money does make you miserable.

Independent_Observer - LOVE this comment!. We are mortgage free and in our mid 40's - friends are constantly on at us to 'get a rental so we will have some income when we retire' as well as the old 'you'll be helping people who can't afford their own place' chestnut.

I always reply to them the same as you - why take yet another house out of the pool and push prices up so those that don't have one again miss out.

Greed - pure and simple....

Hi Amokk,

I don't think it's always pure and simple greed - A lot of people buy a home at the bottom of the market, then leverage on their existing home to move into a nicer home along the way. Most people become really attached to the small homes they have been living in, planting trees, burying lost pets, and making memories as they restore and/or eventually out-grow the home. This makes them less inclined to let go of the house and make renting an appealing alternative, making them somewhat accidental landlords.

In theory, it's great if you can find your first and last home in one purchase, but this is rarely the case these days. People end up taking more than one house out of the pool this way.

Well put and that's life cest la vie

Awww that brings a tear to my eye,nearly as much as all those philanthropists who get into property investment to provide a roof over the heads of poor people who are too lazy to work hard enough to buy their own and in doing so,stopping them having to sleep rough.
I haven't got a problem with it,but lets be honest,every one gets in it to make money,mainly through capital gain,plain and simple.
Perhaps there should be a support group for the poor 'accidental landlords',I really feel for them ;-)

18
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RBNZ is aware and also afraid that housing market will take a beating once the mortage defferal period of 6 months is over so is trying to bully the banks but from already low rates now any further will be hardly/marginal as should know the law of diminishing return.

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=123...

This is sign of storm to come.

Exacerbated by the folly of pretend economic policy (rising house prices, high-volume immigration) and plunging OCR post GFC, with no move to normalcy.

When did pleading become a tool of RBNZ monetary policy?

by Audaxes | 19th May 20, 9:42am
What Friedman told his stunned audience in 1967 was that the central bank cannot peg either interest rates or unemployment beyond the short run, and that what had occurred between the Great Depression and that time was the pendulum had swung too far in the other direction. If the central bank was thought useless or at best secondary in 1930, by 1960 it had been revived as a powerful agent to try and control those main factors.

That’s the set of assumptions we recognize today. But they still proceed from a faulty basis. He said:

“Let the Fed set out to keep interest rates down. How will it try to do so? By buying securities. This raises their prices and lowers their yields. In the process, it also increases the quantity of reserves available to banks, hence the amount of bank credit, and, ultimately the total quantity of money. That is why central bankers in particular, and the financial community more broadly, generally believe that an increase in the quantity of money tends to lower interest rates.”

But all experience shows this is not so. As Friedman detailed, that’s only the beginning of the process rather than its end. There are feedback effects, very positive ones that in the end leave interest rates moving higher; to the extent that the initial policy actually does stimulate investment and spending, it will also mean rising incomes and liquidity preferences, maybe even the price level (inflation), all of which should combine to pressure interest rates into going only upward.

The result of successful stimulus is higher rates. As back then, today everyone including central bankers seem unaware of the multistage processing. Or they are insidiously disingenuous; they know higher interest rates would confirm their success with monetary policies but in their absence keep calling low interest rates “stimulus” so as to stave off questions about their performance. Link

by Audaxes | 19th May 20, 9:49am
By buying securities. This raises their prices and lowers their yields. In the process, it also increases the quantity of reserves available to banks, hence the amount of bank credit, and, ultimately the total quantity of money. That is why central bankers in particular, and the financial community more broadly, generally believe that an increase in the quantity of money tends to lower interest rates.”

Unfortunately, fractional reserve banking/reserve money multiplier rules no longer apply to modern banking practices - hence higher reserves are irrelevant to credit creation actions undertaken today.

There were two major evolutions in money and banking that seem to fall outside the orthodox narrative. The first was a shift of reserves and bank limitations from the liability side to the asset side. The second was the rise of interbank markets, ledger money, as a source of funding rather than required reserve balancing: replacing the old deposit/loan multiplier model. Courtesy of J. Snider from Alhambra

As Lord Sumption stated, Scientists took our liberty away. Police acted like Schoolmasters. Public willingly surrendered liberty.

10
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Liberty or death...your choice

That is the corollary that is being held as fact when it is a total fallacy. Quite stupid to lose your liberty to fallacious reasoning and poor logic. But there you go, most have been sold on it. If you want to manage it, if you feel the need to think you know better, then it could be done without a loss of liberty. But I'm in charge of whether I get sick, or die from, the virus or not, no one else.

But I'm in charge of whether I get sick, or die from, the virus or not, no one else.....really?...dont tell the virus that

27
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You don't seem to grasp something very simple. Your assertion that you are free to expose yourself to this virus, but your assumption and adoption of that then imposes on others' rights not to, them having to somehow avoid you (and other not-past-the-end-of-the-nose thinkers). Your personal "freedom" does not override everyone else's and it is pretty damned clear the rest of us want to get around freely WITHOUT the risk of spreading this thing.
Just do what needs to be done, then we can talk about this. Sometimes the needs of the many do indeed outweigh the needs of the few.

All just nonsense and flawed reasoning again. Until you can explain why 80% of people are asymptomatic then you know nothing. What hasn't yet been measured, and it is irresponsible not to have done so, is if a person that is immune was infectious or not. Transmission is still poorly understood. Such poor science going on that it is unbelievable.

I'm sorry but it is your thinking that is flawed.

For the greater good is an idealogy. It can't be defined, it is standardless. It is a fools game, go watch the movie Hot Fuzz for a great parody of the dopey assertion. Freedom is a principle.

We 'override' others rights in other areas, although 'balance' might be a better word choice.

For example a woman's right to a abort a baby denies rights to both the father and the baby. This is justified with the standard, 'my body, my choice'. A standard we don't allow in the anti vaccination debate and you are implying here does not apply (needs of the others/many).

When one points out this consistency it is usually suggested that an unborn baby and biological father have no specific legal rights. Implying that no other type of rights can exist. So that would beg the question;

Where is the specific legal right not get the flu?

Health Act 1956

Do you have any reference for that, the entire act is 253 pages long.

Searching for the letters 'flu' only reveals eight references, none of which grant a human right.

Section 70. You need to search for "infectious disease" which will include the flu.

Section 70 of the Act outlines the special powers granted to the medical officer of health for the purpose of preventing outbreak or spread of any infectious disease.

In no way does it grant or create a human right not to get an infectious disease.

18
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But then you'd spread it. You need to find yourself another Island in the Pacific and pop a covid 19 pill or make your way to Sweden and lick some railings. There's always a price to pay to live in a civilised society and if you don't like it leave.

I'm backing myself to never get it. I keep my immune system in top order by design, I don't leave it to accident. But then Terrain Theory escapes most on here.

There is a terrible inconsistency in thinking on these pages right now. Those who would deride the bankers and big business for socialising the losses won't apply the same reasoning to health. What we have is a subset of the population that are at high risk through their own design, obesity, diabetese, heart disease, smoking. It is a failure of risk management, yet everyone else gets to pay the price for these peoples risk management failure. These people catch it easier and spread it easier. The lesson is that you can not get rid of risk, you can only transfer it. Just like finannce and investing. If you keep adding to the level of risk, which you do by not allowing the price of bad risk to be paid, then you increase the risk. The managment of the virus is likely to make us collectively more vulnerable to the next one.

10
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All i'll say is I am glad you are not a health professional because with those simplistic views we would all be doomed. "I'm backing myself to never get it?" - that sounds like a Trumpisim if ever I heard one. Unfortunately, this virus does not discriminate and there are plenty of cases of so-called "fit" individuals falling very ill with this disease.

Fit does not equate to healthy, so fallacious reasoning again.

Pedantic much? Ok, there are plenty of cases of so-called "healthy" individuals falling very ill with this disease.

The majority of NZ are not keen for a herd cull even if they are at low risk to death (i'm calling pseudoscience on your terrain theory). A lot of kiwis have relatives who are in the high risk groups (e.g. elderly parent or grandparents) and even if some NZers don't they do give a shit.

The lock down and elimination of Covid 19 has given NZ time (risk averted for now), whether that is to develop a vaccine or formulate a plan if Covid 19 is here for good, such as developing a strategy to protect the vulnerable while submitting to herd immunity (which Sweden tried but failed to do). Wherever we end up it will be informed by science and will be subject to voter accountability.

If you want a herd cull death cult set up a party and see how you go in September. I know a lot of DGMers (the young ones at least) would like nothing more than 10,000 - 20,000 old people to die and the dead's houses to flood the market.

The science coming out around flu vaccine is that it is only somewhere in the range of 20-60% effective, but 30% of that is the placebo effect. Placebo effect falls into terrain theory. It is said the debate between Germ Theory and Terrain Theory is not over, just Germ Theory led to money making so got control of the narrative. Terrain Theory certain hasn't been disproven. In fact I'd go as far to say that Terrain Theory is the perfect explanation of the 80% that are asymptomatic, and 20% Germ Theory. The statistics are actually on the side of Terrain Theory.

"Terrain theory hasn't been disproven" says it all. That's not how scientific method works.

So - when you say the flu vaccine is only 20 - 60% effective, do you mean against the predicted flu strains for the following year, or do you mean against the specific flu strains it is designed for?

"LoOk uP tERrAin ThEOrY"

The whole idea that we can (safely) modify our body's pH by selective dieting is frankly moronic, and easily disproven. The pH of the body is tightly regulated by a whole number of different systems (brain, kidneys, liver, respiratory system and so on). You clearly have no understanding of science, or any experience working in healthcare. It is patently clear that extremely healthy people can succumb to various illnesses, infectious or not, and may in fact suffer a worse fate than those who would be considered unhealthy. Your personal experience of 'being healthy' and therefore avoiding any disease/illness is specious at best. I have never been unwell either, and am extremely fit (in my early 30s), but understand that if I were to fall victim to SARS-Covid-19, or in fact any other infectious disease, it would not be any fault of my own. There is no doubt an extremely complex relationship between pathogens and individuals' DNA that is not yet understood.

I was lucky enough to sit in front of a scientist in my 20's that had done a PhD on Longevity. His goal was to find out the common factors that led to long, and most specifically healthy disease free lives. He achieved his goal, he found there was common factors. They were broadly Nutrition, Exercise, Spirituality and Meditidation. I think if you were to dig in behind those opposing what I say you will find they've forsaken this for Mammon, or the god of money. But note money isn't on the list, it can't buy you health. Dr Ron Ware lived in Northern NSW, he was at that time 72 and surfing every day. This knowledge isn't hidden, it has been there for 50 years or more for anyone to see. I'm not taking chances on these things by palming it off to someone else.

Not sure where you got Terrain Theory = pH level from. I agree, the body is much more complex than that. However I do know from experience that you do need the right conditions to lay down calcium in your bones and teeth. I've healed my own teeth that had cavities.

I think you go listen to Chris Martension at prosperity.com , a reasonbly balanced voice of reason in amongst this virus. He is a virologist. He states your body knows what to do with a virus, it really is that simple. If it doesn't it is because it has been mistreated.

"What we have is a subset of the population that are at high risk through their own design".

Shall we put immunosuppressed cancer patients in this subset, while we're at it? Cancer is clearly a failure of risk management. Perhaps we let the virus run its course, allow hospitals to become overcrowded vectors with the second-order effect of displacing inpatients who may have complications or die due to lack of capacity. Yes, let's socialise the losses - it sounds great. When do you run for PM?

Cancer is the one tricky one, I'll give you that. But I make a comment about a scientist that did a PhD in longevity. He was in the practice of consulting and never lost a cancer patient. Over 1000, all on their own GP's records.

It’s called Neofascism - everything within the state. Nothing outside the state.” Fascism is the ultimate form of Big Government. And who favors Big Government today? Whatever happened to Capitalism and free markets ?
The neofascists have taken a step further by using technology to track our movements, take your temperature and record the names of those we’re having dinner with to ensure compliance and control. Big Brother is not coming, he’s here.

Hint of irony there frazz? You can't even request to see the search warrant now.

I choose liberty and life.

Thanks for playing?

That's strange...I went out just before just like normal. I don't seem to have lost my liberty despite our recent health emergency.

My email communications may be under surveillance, I guess, given Judith Collins and Key massively expanded surveillance of citizens and Labour have not undone that at all, but despite the current histrionics and declarations on Facebook of all manner of things to be simultaneously communist and fascist, I still seem to have the same liberties I did before.

Bazinga!!

Of course, but reality doesn't fit the fantastical narrative spread by some blind libertarians that any move to temporarily restrict liberty means that we are now living in some type of Orwellian dystopia. Stop with your reality already, let them live in their fantasy!

The one thing we could all wish for is for more of the folk labeling everything they see as Orwellian is to actually read Orwell.

I feel that's a forlorn hope.

I believe you may have misused the word fascism. Fascism is not simply a dirty word for right wing politics.

A Fascist, observes Madeleine Albright, ‘is someone who claims to speak for a whole nation or group, is utterly unconcerned with the rights of others, and is willing to use violence and whatever other means are necessary to achieve the goals he or she might have.'

Primo Levi says a very similar thing, “Not just through the terror of police intimidation, but by denying and distorting information, by undermining systems of justice, by paralysing the education system, and by spreading in a myriad subtle ways nostalgia for a world where order reigned.”

If Ms Albright and Mr Levi are correct, communism can be fascist. Personally, I believe they are on the money.

That thinking just results in poorly designed Venn diagrams.

It may result in poor Venn diagrams, but that is not relevant to the truth of it.

Fascism's roots are in racism and scapegoating, not a particular economic system. In fact if you are going to align it with any form of ocracy, Plutocracy seems to quite well fit the bill.

That article is frankly embarrassingly poor. Why would you link it? He fails to even consider what widespread transmission would do to fatality rates if health systems were overwhelmed. He assumes the fatality rate for a country that had very few cases can somehow be used to calculate fatality rates if the virus ran rampant.

No model is perfect, but this half arsed critique was just a waste of time.

The model was crap. It predicted Sweden's hospitals would be overwhelmed if they didn't lock down - which clearly didn't happen. A public servant hiding in an ivory tower writing code in FORTRAN.
"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...
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EYFPDriXYAAlmHf?format=jpg&name=small

It's always surprising that people express surprise when projections are altered to factor in the effects of implemented non-pharmaceutical interventions. Moreover, that is already out of date given the UK is at 35k-plus deaths, not factoring any under-counting.

Sweden's hospitals are not accepting sick elderly who are effectively being euthanized with morphine (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-52704836).

Furthermore, despite no government lock down Swedes are effectively self isolating which is exacerbating the economic costs of the virus while also defeating the herd immunity goal (https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/europe/300014591/coronavirus-new-paper-cal...).

11
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Sweden,a country with about double or population yesterday alone had more deaths than we have had altogether. Do keep up

Were there hospitals over run as predicted by not locking down? Have they run up $85 k/household debt for their kids to pay off?
Is the death rate any higher than normal?
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EYFPDriXYAAlmHf?format=jpg&name=small

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-05-19/sweden-in-very-deep-e...

Economies are stuffed no matter what you do. Only difference is the number of dead.

From your link - Michael Ryan, who runs WHO’s health emergencies program, recently said, “If we are to reach a new normal, in many ways Sweden represents a future model.”

See above

Article is rubbish. The Imperial College model is publicly available for anyone knowledgeable to critique.

I take it you haven't had a look SimonP? "Since publication of Imperial’s micro simulation model, those of us with a professional and personal interest in software development have studied the code on which policymakers based their fateful decision to mothball our multi-trillion pound economy and plunge millions of people into poverty and hardship. And we were profoundly disturbed at what we discovered. The model appears to be totally unreliable and you wouldn’t stake your life on it.

Imperial’s model appears to be based on a programming language called Fortran, which was old news 20 years ago and, guess what, was the code used for Mariner 1. This outdated language contains inherent problems with its grammar and the way it assigns values, which can give way to multiple design flaws and numerical inaccuracies. One file alone in the Imperial model contained 15,000 lines of code.

Try unravelling that tangled, buggy mess, which looks more like a bowl of angel hair pasta than a finely tuned piece of programming. Industry best practice would have 500 separate files instead. In our commercial reality, we would fire anyone for developing code like this and any business that relied on it to produce software for sale would likely go bust.

The approach ignores widely accepted computer science principles known as "separation of concerns", which date back to the early 70s and are essential to the design and architecture of successful software systems. The principles guard against what developers call CACE: Changing Anything Changes Everything.

As a result, Imperial’s model is vulnerable to producing wildly different and conflicting outputs based on the same initial set of parameters. Run it on different computers and you would likely get different results. In other words, it is non-deterministic.

As such, it is fundamentally unreliable. It screams the question as to why our Government did not get a second opinion before swallowing Imperial's prescription."
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2020/05/16/neil-fergusons-imperia...

You just supported Simon's point - that the article is incorrect and the model is indeed available for review and critique. And there is plenty of robust discussion of it out there among qualified people who work in the same or related fields. Here's one interesting part lifted from one of these discussion which seems particularly aplicable:

Funny you should say that. I work in a competing lab (Neil Ferguson is actually a huge dick, so no love lost there). We've got a staff of 45, of whom probably 30 are CS programmers, 10 statisticians and epi, people and the rest medical. Weirdly enough our models were very similar to those done by Imperial. Hey, so are the models by most of the other labs, like Northeastern, Columbia, Penn, Harvard, Oxford, Iowa State, plus Los Alamos and the CDC. Funny the bmog post left that out. Hey even weirder, models made by amateurs and independent data scientists like this guy all perform surprisingly similarly. Plus you didn't really need a model to tell you that social distancing will save lives.

I try to put myself in the shoes of people I respond to and not attack them, but it's hard in your case. I can't imagine speaking with such certainty and authority about something I know so little about, especially something so important.

One of the biggest problems we face is the ease with which villains can muddy the waters. Bury the truth under tons of self-propagating nonsense and eventually reality itself becomes "subjective".

You find this blogpost, you don't fully understand it, but it lines up with political views so you commit to it and repeat it across social media. Other like-minded individuals see your post and do the same. It gains a life of its own, spreading, ironically very much like a virus. It seems more and more credible the farther it goes, and eventually it is 'fact'... "Oh yeah, everyone knows Ferguson is totally discredited." Nobody checks the original source, nobody cares, it doesn't even matter.

This kind of thing has dominated our political process for 20 years. It is the reason that the truth doesn't matter anymore. And you're part of this problem.

Yes Rick I am aware the model is available for critique (eventually - after much prodding) - hence I posted a critique published in the Telegraph.

"Neil Ferguson is actually a huge dick"

For myself, I have found it more rewarding to judge a person's argument on the basis of their argumentation and not their penis size.

I'd suggest boning up on the English language (pun intended) as that is neither the criticism nor the argument made.

You are right, cheap character attacks are not an argument. And nor is quoting them.

I'd say FORTRAN was old news when I studied it at university in 1971.

Indeed, and there is plenty of good robust discussion of it vs. other models with no connection, noting far more in common across epidemiological models. The ranting against it necessarily ignores much of this.

This sentence in the article doesn't make sense:
"The gold price is higher today, down -US$111 to US$1,743/oz."

Double negative...

Yikes, you are quite right. Sorry. It was up +US$11 to US$1,743/oz. Fixed now.

Freudian slip

This actually happened the other day but was kind of correct. Gold fell in USD, but went up in NZD!

A LGBT of silver on TM the other day went for $1300, $40.40 per oz. The spot is one thing, physical is another.

So much for the market determining the price huh?

Oh thats right, EFTs.

Gold miners on the NYSE (GDX) looks to be taking off.

Gold miners on the NYSE (GDX) looks to be taking off.

Topped up on GDX y'day. OceanaGold also had a standout day on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Good catch.

20
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I suspect the West is going to have to restructure it's export markets away from dependence on China. The world is full of food, there is no shortage, it's a buyers market, Brazilian meat is %40 less than ours, we are a high cost commodity producer.
We have very little economic power, if China decides to stop buying our dairy products it's going to get ugly fast, we will look more like Argentina.

Who will buy our expensive meat? Fiji?

20
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Definitely more self reliance. I mean, seriously, do we really need foreign corporations to pick up our rubbish and park our cars. We have to stop hemorrhaging money to overseas for things we can do here perfectly well.

One of the great achievements of the net has been to allow the likes of Uber and Booking.com to insert themselves between supplier and buyer and take a huge cut.
There's a NZ made page on (oh dear) FB that is amazing in it's diversity and volume and especially quality.
There's no way we can compete on price but if we keep sending exporting money we won't exist too compete.

Please can we have a link, there are several pages come up from a generic FB search, very interested

There's some really awesome looking stuff on it, thanks

"The world is full of food,"

Not quite
The world is full of capacity (courtesy of industrial output …)

But capacity is useless without customers who can pay a reasonable price
And that capacity can be hobbled easily by any financial system problems

I suspect in the near future we will see food shortages and rationing

It may come to NZ sooner than we think for some grocery lines. Southern potato grower: We usually leave some in until October, but we might not be able to do that." https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/better-business/120635581/past-two-week...

I can clearly remember reading that one of the worst famines in India - they occurred regularly in my youth before the green revolution - happened in a year of bountiful food profuction; the cause of the famine being poverty that was in turn caused by crop failures in the two previous years. Get the picture peasant farmers in debt unable to feed their children with protruding bones and swollen stomachs.
I am concerned that NZ will pat itself on the back as virtuously increasing our refugee inake and refugee family reunion and ignore the fact we will be producing mountains of food which hundreds of millions simply cannot afford at any price.

NZ may find it has it's own home grown 'economic' refugees unable to feed them selves and their children, which should be a priority.
Potato prices increased 38 percent in the year, the largest contributor to the annual rise in food prices......
https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU2005/S00459/potato-prices-reach-all-ti...

Yep...just like we had to do away from the UK in the 70s...you think we would have learned not to rely too much on any one market...esp one that is on the wrong side of our fundamental ideological beliefs!

Queensland will not open its border with NSW anytime soon, maybe we need to bubble with states, you have OLD, NT,SA,ACT,WA,TAS are where we are so could open in june
NSW and VIC still need to stop community transfer
VIC now have a driver that may have spread it to twelve mcdonalds
NSW are trying to hunt down an outbreak in the penrith area

RNZ reports Nat party coup underway. Will it succeed? Early predictions coming true.

MH is going apoplectic on the radio this morning, its unthinkable they will lose
he even told his sister company the herald off for running the most popular pm story, how dare they
so they ran this story to put a smile back on his dial
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12333249

Hosking or Hooton? Oh, never mind.

hosking and even better, SB called his deputy paula benefit on the radio this morning,
SB has to go, the word is its muller and kaye

They'd be a good pair to lead ze gnats I think (from a non blue voter), both smart, young and fresh, both have green leanings which will make it harder for Lab/Greens.

They'd also pick up a lot of swing voters that the likes of Ximon or crusher would lose.

Do they have any other ideas except opening the borders to a flood of low skill immigrants and Chinese money looking for a safe haven in NZ property?

His nerves will be frayed to a frazz, his fingernails chewed to the elbow

The Nats were bound to lose this election even if it looked close before COVID, its a long time since we had a one term government, crises improve government ratings, and Jacinda is a strong communicator (if limited elsewhere and despite a weak front bench who have been gagged from media).
Hosking was unhappy about the claims of 'most popular PM in a century' - clearly bollocks, but parroted by those unable to fact check and hold the information provider to account, core media responsibilities, neglected by most.

Needs to happen.

Does it matter?

Exactly. It is irrelevant who leads National. They will take a beating in the upcoming election. Do other people not see that Judith Collins, because of her corrupt Chinese connections is totally unelectable. That chap Muller with the photo of his worn shoe sole looks like a proper Kiwi on that alone!

What about mullet man? True blue kiwi....;)

Tobacco lobbyist?

WMP. Down 0,5%. Not -2%

Now is not the time for Jacinda to poke China if that is possible. Sometimes you just have to suck it up and this is definitely one of those times.

Yeah, as vulnerable as we are it is better to just quietly set about 'doing' rather than publicly 'saying' and creating diplomatic stoushes. They probably learnt that lesson from the Huawei screwup a year or two back.

We need to hold China to account but we can be smart about it and keep trade going. Australia helped us by putting their name in the spotlight and sponsoring the investigation. A bit like the gullible kid at school who you used to make buy the beers while everyone waited in the car sniggering.

If it was up to me we would be standing firm, shoulder to shoulder with our ANZAC brothers, or are we not like that anymore because we care more about money from China?

We are a spec of dust on the international radar. Best to stay out and be Switzerland.
Standing with our ANZAC brothers... yeah Ozzy would need to reciprocate that in the good times for that to happen.

Switzerland has a big independant army.

Like when they told Kiwi's to go home during the Covid lock-down, that sort of brotherhood?

And sending 'Kiwi'criminals to NZ when they had never been to NZ. They were a product of Ozzy but somehow NZ's problem. Or how they treat the Aboriginal?
Ozzy is hard nosed in their dealings, NZ needs to be as well.

I'll second that comment.

I say lets all huddle in the playground and let the school bully rage on incoherently (trump)….and so protect ourselves....or maybe... we should wait until the actual facts come out through an international investigation? That's the difference between a reality show and diplomacy. Personally I do not watch nor pay any attention to reality shows. Mainly because they actually have nothing to do with reality.
What's the point in raging against China and destroying the relationship with one of our biggest trading partners until you have the facts. And even then people are acting a little pious all of a sudden as if they did not know they were trading with a communistic, human rights abusing, product dumping regime....come on, seriously?????
Absolutely we care more about the money or we would not be trading with China to start with. More people were probably killed in China in the last hour for their opposing political views than were killed by Covid in NZ in the last 3 months. Why do people suddenly care?

That's a good life lesson to all the kids in NZ. If you are being bullied just accept it and don't say anything about it to anyone for fear of upsetting the bully further?

All in due time. Better to wait and fight from a strong position.

There is not going to be one, believe you me!

The US as always needs a war.
NZ needs to keep it's head down and slowly move into other markets quietly. Pokeing the bull isn't smart.

If the US starts a war with China it will involve the Pacific. We'd be involved whether we like it or not. Let's hope it never gets to this but we will always have to take sides at some stage.

Join one bully fighting with another bully.
Both of them need their heads pulling in. The rest of the world needs to wake up and tell both of them to stop being a'holes. Both of them want to be the biggest bully on the block.

You're delusional if you think any nation on the earth can "pull their heads in", let alone NZ.

If Trump starts a war with China, someone should shift his office to a small boat just of the coast of China. And they should put a really big flag on it to make targeting easier too!

You just spread rumours about another bully and that they came from the first bully aka Xi thinks Trump is dumb. stand back and don't get caught in the middle.

Bulls tire quickly when many swords are shouldered. Not a Chinese proverb but something they will no doubt realise if there is a united front (no pun intended) against their bullying. NZ can and should support the resolution for an investigation with 60+ other countries doing the same. WTO are going to be busy...

Ah, definitely with you on the other markets thing.

Yep...you have diplomacy...wait and intelligently work behind the scenes for your own advantage.. ....or a bombastic fool and trump-et it over the airwaves for everyone to see that you are not holding a full deck.

Frequently that is the best course - in these days of neutered schools and police who can't effectively censure kids from some sections of the community (eg gang affiliated), if you try to use external agencies to stop the bullies it often just leads to even worse reprisals.

Yes, Huawei software coding standards were proven to be atrocious but China made it into a political storm instead of fixing their coding practices.

Unfortunately it's our foreign minister whom she seemingly has no control over that's doing the poking. Although he does seem to have reigned it in a bit this week.

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China has become something akin to nazi Germany. We dont want to be in the middle of the stoush. But we do have to pick sides now. Despite my dependence on the meat trade, I pick Aussie. We have to back them up. If it hurts, it hurts.

Now is the time to heal the wounds NOT the time to fight.
We don't even know the facts yet. The US is hardly blameless in regards to manipulating the world.
If anything NZ should be the voice calling for calm to fight the virus and heal the masses bit to add more destruction to the mounting heap. Jacinda is the ideal person to front such a movement.

We need to secure peace in our time.

Calling for a fight in this current world of pain is mindnumbing.
If the US wasn't out there creating war after war by destabilizing countries the world would be a much better place. In some respects China a product of the US created environment. Both of them need to grow up and consider their people instead of being a'holes.

I wouldn't just credit the US. The CCP and China have been angry and struggling with a combination of inferiority and superiority complexes for well over a century. As the best country and the best people in the world it's only their right to take control of whatever they wish, especially after how they have had to suffer indignities from others.

Although...on "peace in our time"...Chamberlain was not really fairly credited for what he did do while pushing for peace in the meantime. I read an interesting book a while back that suggested he knew just how unready Britain was for war and he was massively ramping up investment in armament and military capability, stalling for time while preparing for the inevitable.

He was instrumental in the RAF's arming with fighters (including the Spitfire), to the point that by 1939 rearmament was 21% of Britain's GFP - and 40% by 1940.

https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2018/04/did-neville-chamberlain...

Perhaps that is the lesson for now. Even if we stall for time to preserve peace in our time, use that time strategically. Not to literally arm (in NZ's case) but to reduce risk.

He was obviously not helped by Churchill writing most of the history...

Agree with everything you are saying Kezza

The facts are the CCP infected the world. Cowering in fear of China is what got us here.

A good example of how the market controls China, not China controlling the market. https://www.theverge.com/2018/4/17/17246444/rare-earth-metals-discovery-....
CCP is doing a lot of poking at the moment as well. Poking just about every country across the globe by way of the pandemic. Time for a coordinated poke back.

How South Korea protected their rest home -
"In Gyungsang-do, the region with the second highest recorded rate of COVID-19 cases in South Korea, 564 care homes were quarantined to prevent the virus entering the home, local media report.
Staff were stopped from leaving the facility for two weeks with financial incentives to keep them going."

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8284151/Coronavirus-deaths-care...

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China seems to be stepping up its pressure on Australia via its exports to the Middle Kingdom. First it was barley. How reports suggest wine and dairy products will soon get the cold shoulder. Products like seafood, oatmeal and fruit that could be subject to stricter quality checks, anti-dumping probes, tariffs or customs delays. And there is also talk China's State media may run a consumer boycott campaign of Australian consumer goods. New Zealand exporters will be watching nervously. Wellington is also treading a fine line.

This is exactly the situation that has to be avoided in future (Reset) Bullying as many believes that offence is the best form of defence. Check history.

May find thousand faults in Trump but not on his stand against WHO and China as something is wrong somewhere and unless one gets to the bottom of it will be hard to prevent future attack.

What? Appeasement isn't wonderful? Who knew?

Fletcher's just emailed staff - 1,000 to be made redundant

Unfortunately, the size of the market slowdown that we anticipate means that these measures only form part of the cost reductions we need to make. In light of this, we are proposing to make the difficult decision to downsize our business and reduce the number of people we employ.
As a result, this week we will begin the process of consulting with some of our people and unions about reducing our New Zealand workforce by approximately 1,000 roles. We will honour our obligations under the Government Wage Subsidy scheme by retaining our people through the 12-week subsidy period ending 26 June 2020. We confirm that no one would leave the business before the 26 June 2020, unless an earlier date is agreed between employee and manager. In Australia we are undertaking a comprehensive review of our operations and expect this would result in a workforce reduction in the order of 500 roles.

Real sad.

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Ironic considering Fletchers have spent the last few years blaming project overruns on the lack of skilled worker availability.

Maybe they meant skilled leaders?

how many are on a work permit, and do we help them leave

One of my best friends is affected by this

So big cuts by Fletchers, cuts by Auckland Council.
This is getting ugly.
Lives destroyed.

Air NZ, too.
In the region of 800 cabin staff are getting the cut.

How very sad. So many lives are about to be ruined. I do not blame the government as I don't think it is their fault, but we do need to start recording and publishing the numbers of people who take their own lives as a result of this economic crisis. These numbers are just as relevant as the people taken directly by the virus.

Why?

Because its a relevant statistic that is too often swept under the carpet. If we are not aware of a problem then we will not have the appetite or funding to try and fix it. This number is just as relevant as the number 21, and could become much larger if this economic situation becomes a depression. Why would we ignore it?

Fixing something requires exploration into causation, not just recording numbers.

So to say that we have high suicides as a result of an economic down turn, then you need to ask, why did we have this economic down turn? Do you then blame central banks or governments (current or past) for poor governance/economic management for an individuals circumstances and mental health? The world is extraordinarily interconnected and interdependent. Identifying causation would be extremely difficult.

As far as I'm aware, suicide stats are recorded and they were bad before this crisis. What are you as an individual going to do about it because that is what is important ('be the change you want to see in the world' or 'butterfly effect') - or are you just going to look at some numbers on a spreadsheet?

Vote for a government that works to fix underlying causes - like reducing rather than growing numbers dependent upon welfare, and growing rather than stagnating economy (rising tide lifts all boats), Suicides have risen about 13% to highest levels ever since this 'Kind' govt who pretend to be focused on such things came to power - suggesting they are not doing the things that matter.

You refer to the symptom of dependence on welfare, but not underlying causes of this.

So far we've not seen an alternative prescription for economic growth, only a return to the same tactics of cheap labour and selling NZ to foreign ownership, factors that did nothing to help reduce suicide across the last decade. Suicide is potentially a lagging indicator of NZ's economic malaise over the last decade - including the reliance on cheap labour and pushing up house prices, making home ownership in accessible for many.

Rising tides just drown people..

Direct and indirect consequences.

CCP needs to be the cause of death on the death certificate. That Mad Butcher kid is heartbreaking.

Sounds like Air NZ cabin crew have been emailed as well. Hard to tell numbers but perhaps 1,000 - 1,500?

https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/travel/2020/05/hundreds-of-heartbroken-ai...

That is a lot of lost income that will flow through to rents, mortgages, general spending in the economy.

Only because they believed what they were told.

That false narrative - base-line message you can have infinite growth on a finite planet - was peddled by politicians, the elite/business, the MSM. All are to blame, and I've come to regard information-repression as having the same impact on readers, listeners, viewers, tax and ratepayers, as outrignt lying to them.

Thus those mantra-swallowing masses believed, and believing, the borrowed. Against a future which would pull the pin on the growth, 100% guaranteed. There will be jobs, more than enough, but not as we know them (as a source of íncome'). No political party, no mantra, no course of action can usurp physics and physical realities. I'm waiting for the leadership; we have a leader but we don't have direction.

Yet.

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Why don't you show some empathy for a change. Is that too hard?

Messiah's, like gods, cannot show empathy.

Greeks considered that empathy between humans and the gods was not possible. The experience of being a god (messiah) is so different from the experience of being a human that there is no possibility for either of them truly to understand the other.

Jung said "thinking" is very difficult which is why "most" people don't do it

People might do it for a brief moment, but it is tiring, so they revert to automatic ways of responding

It takes much less effort to have an opinion than to think something through

Jung also said: I shall not commit the fashionable stupidity of regarding everything I cannot explain as a fraud.

Seems more pertinent in this case.

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I do that to the point of living in a low-impact way. I do that by writing/warning, and pointing to where we have to go.

But after decades of being belittled, ridiculed, ignored, silenced and messenger-shot, I'm not too worried about empathy. We should have been beyond growth, beyond interest-charging, beyond debt-issuance, beyond population control, well into a Steady-State economy.

The best change is that Governments everywhere (some less ept than others, for sure) are taking back control from the faceless planet-destroying machine. So there is some hope. But not a helluva lot of time. We need to make our housing-stock far less energy-demanding, our transport far less ditto, our food-production far more local and far less FF-reliant, our whole societies more regenerative.

There was always going to be carnage if we pushed it too far - and we've pushed it too far. The Pandemic, Climate Change, plastic oceanic soups and debt are all interrelated. I'm currently listening to a Derek Handley/Naomi Klein discussion - looking forward, not backwards.

A good clearing-house site for such forward thinking is: https://www.resilience.org/

Go well

“Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one.”
― George Orwell, 1984

You are quite a nasty man really, full of his own self worth.

No, it's just common old Millenialist/ neoluddite religious zeal founded on naive and long discredited economics.

Oh, too bad he's right, then?

IMO, Auckland council could have saved some jobs through further % salary cuts for the 1500 staff on over 100k p/a. 5-10% salary decrease is a token gesture. And there is noting that I have read stating anyone employed by the council is taking a voluntary 10% cut. Its 7.5% for those over ~200k. Once again the council just don't seem to be able to empathize with rate payers (shareholders not customers) in the Auckland council districts.
The marketing team at council keep sending out hundreds of thousands of pamphlets (printed in colour) desperately trying to justify expenditure. there is no intention to save every $. Go to black and white printing and put it all on one page.
1.5 billion on water, wastewater and storm water and our reserves in Auckland of water are at 44%? The CEO of watercare should be sacked.

Sounds like they're out of touch with reality. Need a wake up call perhaps?

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I worked at Carter Holt Harvey when Graham Hart bought it.

He took one dept from 54 people down to 4. And funnily enough one of the mills that all those people were 'looking after' started making money almost immediately after the gravy train was stopped.

Would love to see what someone like him could tidy up at the Council.

Admittedly I to wouldn't want to take a pay cut so I do understand its a difficult decision. I think they are fully aware of and are very in touch with reality. Those working in consenting, assessments, inspections and planning would surely be realising the writing is on the wall.

I recommend you watch the following video, its pretty long but it pretty much outlines the bigger picture of whats going on. Your never going to see any of this in the MSM.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-rsQT4HScA

Found this short clip of the 60minutes interview with Jerome Powell interesting (Fed's view on negative interest rates):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5RXQLAgdDk

Interesting 'opinion piece' in the herald yesterday:
https://i.imgur.com/dgMoZY1.jpg
Sorry, did I say interesting? I meant disgusting. Is this an open threat from CCP? "Chinese Taipei" meaning Taiwan of course...
And no, I didn't take the picture. I wouldn't touch the herald with a ten foot pole.

Watching Documentary about different political leaders and dictator :

Many may not know full details so the entire series is interesting and below is on China and will help to understand that war and voilence is a part of their policy as documentary below. To understand China better one must watch their history

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WxaWmqgmJxs

Old saying "Politics is war without violence and war is politics with violence".

As he's a PR consultant by trade I do wonder whether this is his own opinion or simply a paid PR piece. Doesn't really sound like he sounds a lot of the time, and he does use strange CCP-approved terminology.

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