US jobless claims mount higher; US durable goods orders tank; US GDP dives; international trade falls; China launches ever more stimulus; UST 10yr yield at 0.70%; oil firm and gold unchanged; NZ$1 = 62.2 USc; TWI-5 = 67.7

US jobless claims mount higher; US durable goods orders tank; US GDP dives; international trade falls; China launches ever more stimulus; UST 10yr yield at 0.70%; oil firm and gold unchanged; NZ$1 = 62.2 USc; TWI-5 = 67.7

Here's our summary of key economic events overnight that affect New Zealand, with news that after losing full power to some key engines, the US economy is in serious trouble and losing altitude quickly now.

American jobless claims have now risen almost +41 mln in the past ten weeks, after another +2.1 mln were added last week. The weekly additions may be declining, but still, a backlog may be leaving many uncounted.

And US durable goods order levels are still crashing lower. In March they fell -16.6% month-on-month and in April they were down -17.2% on that basis. That leaves them an eye-watering -29% lower than the same month a year ago. Capital goods orders are down -27% on that basis. There has never been anything like these sorts of falls for American durable goods production, ever.

Things were declining in March before the April free-fall. US GDP fell -5.0% in Q1-2020 after rising +2.1% in Q4-2019. That is a huge change, and April data isn't included yet. To get an idea of what Q2-2020 will look like, the Atlanta Fed's GDPNow estimate says it will be down at the rate of -40%. Again, a collapse at this level is unprecedented. This is a world-scale economic shock.

(Just for perspective, the Massey University GDP Live tracker shows the New Zealand Q2-2020 economic activity contracting -15% in the quarter, or -2% year-on-year.)

So it will be no surprise to learn that house sales in April in the US took a massive tumble, down -34%. The realtor industry is hoping that April is the low-point.

And because it undermines his re-election chances, the White House is stopping all economic projections.

With the global economic engine stuttering, it is no surprise that international trade is faltering. Compared with the fourth quarter of 2019, exports fell by -4.3% and imports by -3.9% in Q1-2020, and now stand at their lowest levels since the second quarter of 2017. Early indications for April point to more precipitous falls in the second quarter, with Korean and Japanese exports, for example, falling -22% and -11%, respectively, compared with March 2020. It is hard to see May or June levels returning to anything but lower levels than a year ago.

In Europe, both consumer and business sentiment levels are remaining in the basement.

In China, they are ignoring US threats and have passed their opaque Hong Kong security law extensions.

At the same time, China launched NZ$900 bln of new stimulus, described as their "largest-ever economic rescue package". "We are providing water so the fish can survive", the Premier said.

Despite all this economic news, equity markets are all up again today. The S&P500 has gained another +0.8% today. European markets all rose more than +1%. Yesterday however, Shanghai was only up marginally. Hong Kong fell another -0.7%. But Tokyo was up a strong +2.3%, and the ASX200 was up +1.3%. The NZX50 however never got invited to the party, falling -1.7%.

The latest compilation of Covid-19 data is here. The global tally is now 5,931,100 and up a startling +291,000 from this time yesterday, which is rising at a much faster pace than recently.

Now, just under 29% of all cases globally are in the US, which is up +22,000 since this time yesterday to 1,711,300. This is a similar rate of increase and still more than any other country. US deaths are now exceed 101,000. Global deaths now exceed 358,000.

In Australia, there are now 7150 cases (+11), 103 deaths (unchanged) and a recovery rate of just on 92%. 27 people are in hospital there (-3) with 5 in ICU (-1). There are now 467 active cases in Australia (-3).

There were zero cases again yesterday, leaving the total at 1504 cases identified as either confirmed (1154) or probable (350). But 13 people with the disease were confirmed as recovered taking that total to 1474, so now only 8 people are left with it in New Zealand. Our recovery rate is now just on 98%. One earlier death of a 96 year old has been classified as due to the coronavirus, so official deaths are now 22.

The UST 10yr yield is back up +3 bps today at 0.70%. Their 2-10 curve is a little steeper at +53 bps. Their 1-5 curve is still at +17 bps, and their 3m-10yr curve is also unchanged +58 bps. The Aussie Govt 10yr yield is up +2 bps at 0.90%. The China Govt 10yr is little-changed at 2.70%. And the NZ Govt 10 yr yield is firmer, up +4 bps in overnight trade at 0.76%.

The gold price is basically unchanged again today, up +US$2 at US$1,715/oz.

Oil prices are back up today by about +US$1/bbl. The US crude price is now just under US$34/bbl. The Brent price is just over US$35.50/bbl. However, American inventories of crude oil leapt unexpectedly last week and that data may change these prices soon.

The Kiwi dollar has firmed overnight. We are now just over 62.2 USc. On the cross rates we are little-changed at 93.4 AUc. Against the euro we are also similar at 56.1 euro cents. That means our TWI-5 is up to just under 67.7.

Bitcoin is up solidly again today, up another +2.9% from this time yesterday to US$9,467. 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 ».

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152 Comments

DOW gives up 220 points gain and turns negative with response to Trump’s interview about China.

Up over 1200 last 3 days so was it trump or profit taking.
The US housing market is up slightly instead of expected big fall in new home sales
U.S. new home sales April 2020
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cnbc.com/amp/2020/05/26/us-new-home-sal...

12
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"...The median new house price fell to USD 309,900 from USD 339,000 a year ago. Year-on-year new home sales declined by 6.2 percent."
https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/new-home-sales

Comparing Avocados with pears. 2 months economy put to sleep by order. Which means next year 12 month yoy will be massive jump

15
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It's actually comparing the same set of statistics with the ones you linked, but that aside....
Let's hope there is your massive jump because otherwise, there's a disaster in the making. (From AJ's link below)

the FAANG rally - too "will end in collapse in the same way EM and oil did in H2 2008. Indeed, the title and first paragraph above are taken directly from my weekly of 5 March 2008 with FAANG replacing commodities and EM." And just to make his point, we note that his lead in sentence was taken directly from his weekly of 5 March 2008 with FAANG replacing commodities and EM.
"I have a high conviction that before the end of this year the FAANGs will be unravelling, as the structural arguments supporting these bubbles turn to cyclical sand."

Could you please tell me when it will end... you're confident to share this advice so surely you know that. The rally has taken the companies into record territory so you must have been aware of that too BEFORE it was about to happen. But rather I recall you giving non stop advice on the train wreck of share prices only weeks ago... And also what's your accurate prediction for the queenstown auctions happening today. Now's your chance to make a valid prediction

28
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I don't make predictions; I have expectations.
That's the best any of us can have, and on the strength of those, we act.
I have. You have.
One of us will be right.
As I repeatedly say, "The secret of success is being able to afford to be wrong".
Once you've sorted that, then 'go for it' with your views, as hard as you can.

What a great piece of spin "I don't make predictions; I have expectations." You should be proud. Your "expectation" for the Dow and Nzx were complete rapid collapse, you don't say much about that now. Shame

12
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I'm with bw Houseworks - its about making risk based assessments. My assessment is that asset prices in NZ stocks and houses could fall by 50% the next few years. Is that a prediction, no. Is it a possibility, yes.

No point operating in predictions, because each is risk weighted right? Houses could go up 10%, they could go down 10%...the list goes on.

So what is the point in the predictions you're after other than a desire to ridicule anyone who isn't exactly right when nobody can honestly say what is going to happen. Bit pointless eh?

Add in the fact that the Reserve Banks have now decided we no longer have free markets and we are essentially living in a controlled regime which appears determined to ruin the future of our future generations...well there's not much price discovery going on any more is there.

12
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The rule book has been thrown out the window and then set on fire.
No one has a clue what is going to happen.

Amen to that Kezzs

Wildly inaccurate Houseworks. Lending conditions in the US have dramatically tightened. Vast numbers of borrowers in the pipeline have also been disqualified due to job loss. Your employment gets rechecked right before funding.

So you beg to differ with a report that gives facts and figures. You would probably make a politician blush Mike1. I wont ask for your proof as I dont like reading responses full of innuendo and personal bias.

I own a mortgage lending company in the US.

Me too in fact I own a whole chain of them

10
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You are welcome to call me a liar but I do actually own several licensed lenders in the US. I have mentioned this before.

My comment was not a guess. Obviously it applies to what I do and the regions I operate in but lending has tightened dramatically. Major banks are requiring a FICO score of 700 and 20% down which is unheard of in the US. What is even more shocking is the utter lack of demand. People are not even trying to get a loan. We have a product that does well in bad times and the demand even for that is very low.

And then there is the question of what will happen in the housing market when the non-eviction orders are removed;

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/04/29/which-states-are-doing-...

It wont be fun. There is a rivers of Federal money sloshing around at the moment but a lot of programs have end dates on them.

This might help:
Mortgage demand from homebuyers shows strong and quick recovery
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cnbc.com/amp/2020/05/27/mortgage-demand...

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Looks like Trump is going to pull back a lot of the trade from China and Hong Kong to bolster their domestic market. An action that will be adopted from Europe and remaining countries around the globe as globally the public are sick and tired of the totalitarian, lies and pathetic rebutals from China.

Unfortunately, the leadership of much of the west is just as bloody bad, in their own way

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Nah. We wash our dirty laundry in public, so we seem more untogether than we are. We do not need a massive surveillance state and millions in concentration camps (organ farms?) in order to keep the show on the road. They are more brittle than they seem. Unemployment is a strategic danger to their rulers, much more so than their external enemies are. They fear their people.

"We do not need a massive surveillance state"

You might want to speak to one Edward Snowden. He would beg to differ.

He's the whistleblower uncovering the NSA mass surveillance of US citizens, why would he beg to differ?

But we do have the choice of using privacy measures such as VPNs, secure communication applications, as well as being decisive about how we allow our devices and spending to record this and that. Far less so in China.

Yes it is the riddle of the current age. Chinese citizens are surveilled whether they want it or not. Where as we almost beg the Govt/Corporates to do it.

We all clamour about our privacy being invaded. Yet we sign up to everything and anything and voluntarily hand over the keys to our lives.

EDIT duplicate post

Don't democratic govt's fear their people too? Otherwise there would be referendums on immigration, abortion, death penalty, incarceration, farmers polluting waterways, foreign ownership of land and businesses. BTW my vote would be against the majority on most of those issues but it is interesting democracies are unwilling to trust the people.
As someone pointed out Stalin & Hitler could declare war within minutes without public consultation of any sort whereas the USA needs months to prepare its public for Iraq.

Yes I look at the Trump leadership model with similar standards of that of the CCP. And that is sad because of what the USA has supposedly signified in the past.

The shinning light on the hill/last stand on earth for freedom and liberty....

The US has so many checks and balances the comparison does not make sense. It's irrelevant what Trump wants there are a lot of things he simply can't do.

The checks and balances don't work so well when one party controls the presidency, the senate and congress, and the supreme court. As we're seeing now.

Hi Rick that is not accurate. There are points in time when that is true (Obama had that for a while) but at the moment Dems own Congress and the Republicans have a slim Senate majority. Several of the "Republican" senators are actually Democrats so the voting there is always knife edge stuff. The US is a very nuanced system it has almost no overlap with the way things work here so it is hard to understand from a NZ perspective. The NZ system relies on good intentions from its leaders but the US system is not built that way.

When you see stories like this in the report you wonder if Trump is any different from CCP?

"And because it undermines his re-election chances, the White House is stopping all economic projections."

14
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Sadly the US has competely lost its mandate to lead the free world. Its easy to point the bone at Trump. He's a narcissistic psychotic fool who preys on division and prejudice. But its the people and systems that support him that scare me. The US right seems to have completely lost its moral compass.

11
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The public is sick and tired and it hates the authoritarian rule for life of president Xi. On the other hand the public cares about spending money and when white goods, mobile phones, computers, clothes, pharmaceuticals, etc are cheaper from China that is where they will buy them from. The public has a conflict between high minded virtue and base greed and the latter will win.

Ah, capitalism!

The public doesn't even know where there stuff is made in order to approach "high minded" decisions! I bought some crystal glasses yonks ago, supposedly European, finally got round to unpacking them and there's the "made in China" sticker. You have to go to a lot of effort to uncover where all the various parts of something are made often too. People are lazy more than anything.
But also, if tariffs are levied on imports from China, they might not always be as cheap. Depends on currency too. There is plenty of cold war moves left on the chessboard.

31
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China tightens the noose on Hong Kong. China reinforces troops at border with India. Age old tactic. Create exterior conflict to distract interior conflict.

11
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A hallmark of dystopia too.

12
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My Chinese friend said the Chinese PLA is a corrupt joke, and they can only fight around the borders of their own country. Hence no invasion of Taiwan, or further afield.

A big joke?

People's Liberation Army
Active personnel 2,035,000
Reserve personnel 510,000
Budget $177.6 billion

10
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Like OP implied.
It's fine to march 2mil soldiers to the conflict. Getting them across water is a bit trickier, however.
Despite the show of forces China may demonstrate, they have nowhere near enough capacity to mobilise their army away from the border.

Aye, no real sea power and very tricky seasonal seas to boot. Any sea borne invasion is extraordinarily perilous, treacherous even. The Pacific WW2 speaks for all of that. Can’t do much by surprise nowadays either.

Try saying that to MH370 ;-)

They're certainly working on building up their naval capabilities though. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_active_People%27s_Liberation_Army_...

Lots of new vessels there.

2 million foot soldiers isn't that fearsome in the modern military age

11
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With a population of 1.4 billion to control under Martial law.
So, overseas forces are likely half of that at best. Even still, they have no capacity to mobilise that sort of force.

The only key strategic military resource China has is its nuclear deterrent.

Lets not forget all the other countries with nuclear deterrents. Could be a very quick conflict

Depends on their mobility. The Germans completely underestimated the vast sprawling wilderness of Russia and their logistics and mechanised transport was nowhere near sufficient. Obviously the Chinese know their own territory and a fair bit about northern Korea too. But massed troops are not effective in the mountain passes, say India and jungles say Vietnam. If they should contemplate reclaiming Mongolia then Russia will react same as 1939. So strategically if China wants to venture forth militarily their options are actually rather limited.

But 2 million relatively smart studious soldiers engaged in technological warfare is far more intimidating than what the US military drawing the majority of its intakes from desperate, thick, uneducated drop-outs. Recent reports of US Navy operational capacity and skill are pretty damning - the collision of a Frigate with a freighter a few years back was an eye-opener as to how incompetent they have become with high tech systems that they don't have technicians to maintain.

Sadly your point is valid. We lived in a blue collar area, town capital of a county of 150k or so. A recruiting office in the main street covered, Navy, Marines and Army. What went in there to put it bluntly seemed to be what we would term in NZ as no hopers. There is a quip in the musical Jersey Boys something like when you grow up round here either you go into the military or jail.

Sad but true. Compare treatment of african-americans in WW2- considered inferior so had to struggle to be allowed to fight the enemy - and Vietnam where they were disproportionately at the front line while the wealthy dodged the draft.
[""Donald Trump avoided the military draft 5 times. The 22-year-old – who was 6 feet 2 inches tall and an athlete – had already avoided the military draft four times in order to complete his college education. But that spring, as he was set to graduate, he received a diagnosis that landed him a fifth draft deferment that would once again keep him out of Vietnam: ... 'heel spurs' which are protrusions caused by calcium buildup on the heel bone, made him unfit for service. Heel spurs can be cured by stretching, orthotics, or surgery. The president said he never got surgery for the condition. 'Over a period of time, it healed up,' he said.""]

Yeah guys that grow up hunting, fishing and snowmobiling make awful soldiers lol. Do you get that walking into a recruiting office does not make you a soldier? The military has surprisingly high quality human capital. Everyone is IQ tested in those recruiting offices if they seem serious.

Next time try to actually get to know a few locals.

You are on the money, my friends in the US military are educated, smart and ambitious. They find it challenging and rewarding.

Speak for yourself but it is impolite to speak for others. Knew and enjoyed our community immensely, still do whenever we can return to visit a lot of lifetime friends. My work encountered and involved all layers of society including those that I have described. They would have no chance of buying a snowboard let a snowmobile, not a pellet gun to even hunt a raccoon, and even if there was a stream, likely too fouled to fish.

"What went in there to put it bluntly seemed to be what we would term in NZ as no hopers."

Where exactly did you describe all layers of society in that paragraph?

Cumberland County NJ.

I meant where in your paragraph, not where in the US geographically you were based.

What makes you think China's soldiers are better? I can't see a basis on which to make that assumption.

US armed forces are also a route to a funded education without accumulating massive debt.

Are you guys really foreseeing a hot war though? In this era of cyber connectedness, hacking energy, banking, transport and communication infrastructure could cause much devastation without the requirements of a single soldier. I would think trade and cold war, with technological aggression more likely?

I don't think we will see a "Hot war" just yet. But keep in mind, the Spratley's are not being filled with radar dishes and trading ports.

Imagine those poor Chinese parents sending their only child, out to fight the foreign man.

Conventional armed forces are only useful for intimidation, minor actions or for occupations against weak opponents. Nukes put a pretty hard limit on escalation against other nuclear powers.

Thats only like 80k per soldier... not much for gear, room, and board, and any modern weaponry, much less larger machinery of war.

COVID-19 has exposed the West as a paper tiger with dependence on China on multiple levels. But the real questions to ask are the ones that haven’t yet surfaced.

What other vital supplies does the West depend on China for? And if the West was unable to deal with COVID-19 -related supplies in peacetime, how will it be able to deal with supplying its citizens with basic needs in wartime? Link

Crude steel production
Primary aluminium production
What about food security? What about pharmaceutical security?

11
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China believes that Offence is the best form of defence.

Over past years all countries have allowed China to attain a posistion that are now sucessfull in their policy to Dictate / Crush / Push countries to toe their interest or will use economy / money power and if that fails (which is failing as they now stand exposed) use Might/War

When world is fighting panademic started from China (May be by China) China is preparing for war.

Newshub: Chinese President Xi Jinping tells military to prepare for war, boosts defence budget.
https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/world/2020/05/chinese-president-xi-jinpin...

Would have been better if were boosting their budget to fight war against panedemic.

Time to reset and opportunity for countries to come out of clutch of China though may have sort term pain but will be good for long term gain. Better to deal with Democracy or face the consequences.

Well, many of us were warning of this at least 10 years ago

BBC Hong Kong: US and allies defend 'bastion of freedom'. Article quote: "The US, UK, Australia and Canada have issued fresh condemnation of Beijing's new security law for Hong Kong, which they say has "flourished as a bastion of freedom. They say the international community has a "significant and long-standing stake" in its prosperity and stability."
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-52837229

After the collapse of the Soviet Union it was quickly apparent that they would never have been able to foot it with the USA militarily. Yes cause a hell of a lot of carnage, but they would have lost in the end and they knew it. Come Russia, come Putin. The cold war becomes the covert war. Undermine the USA by technological infiltration, political subversion, anything to weaken them and their allies. China is following suit. Economic sabotage, intellectual property theft.

After Banks, now property developers are asked to bail out buyers /protect deposit :

https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/417720/covid-19-house-buyers-now-in-...

Latest data on house price with exception of few suggest that though house price is soft but has not fallen significantly but for how long as all indicators / news points to fall so is wait and watch at least till September/October.

House news from US
U.S. new home sales April 2020
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cnbc.com/amp/2020/05/26/us-new-home-sal...

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Ah, the ol' "revise down last months figures so we can show a rise in this months"
Statistics. Wonderful things....
"...the increase left the bulk of March’s 13.7% plunge intact. March’s sales pace was revised down..."

Morning bw, and this...
Mortgage demand from homebuyers shows strong and quick recovery
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cnbc.com/amp/2020/05/27/mortgage-demand...

12
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And as Albert Edwards suggests in the links on here today, didn't we see a jump in mortgage applications ( to subprime borrowers, of course) back in 2007 as well? And we know for certain what happened after that.
What happens now? We're about to find out.

tick tock, tick tock, tick....

Did that upset you enjoying your morning cornies.

Sounds like from your denial of all the daily negative economic data you might have too much skin in the game? Might be time to downsize that Greenhithe property?

Houseworks. you're heavily into property right? High leverage or nah?

Nah unfortunately fortunately

It seems a lot of the world is hanging their hopes on a vaccine, but this research institute say that a vaccine isn't likely to work on those that a vulnerable. https://www.buckinstitute.org/blog/covid-19-and-the-aging-immune-system/...

No it doesn't. The strongest statement on that page regarding vaccines is that aging "limits our ability to respond to vaccine as we age". There is no link to any studies or data, just speculation that vaccination may be less effective (not necessarily ineffective) for the elderly. Is there another page you read to give you a stronger impression?

Regardless, the estimates I have read suggest herd immunity starts to arise at ~70% - so long as supply is adequate and the rest of us step up and take our vaccines it doesn't matter if it's not fully effective for the most vulnerable.

stir the pot aj -- lol - the post mortems are getting about as tedious as social distancing
should've, could've, would've, didn't
Norway is very homogenous - their R levels were always going to be lower.

AJ, I would take this with a hefty dose of salt. It's from the Spectator, a right-wing rag with a history of misleading articles that's principal reason for existence is to support the UK Conservative party. The important thing here is the timing of the article. The biggest story by far in the UK at the moment is the coronavirus-riddled Dominic Cummings and family driving the length of England potentially spreading the virus. Having initially tried disputing the facts, the right-wing press is now attempting to minimise the seriousness of Cummings' actions and, more widely, the UK government's pathetic virus response and current misguided attempts to substantially ease lockdown. Hence this article, "Lockdown not necessary. Carry on. Nothing to see here."
The reality is very different. Ignoring the UK's appalling death toll and reams of stats from all over the world, the editor of the Spectator has grasped whatever straw he could find and misrepresented the data to fit his narrative. The hastily copied and pasted graph, published without even translating from the Norwegian, paints a very different picture to the one he describes. There is an initial fall in the R value. This is not a surprise. Simple steps such as hand washing, disinfecting and staying away from sick people reduce the chances for a virus to transmit. But the R value plateaus above 1 and only falls below one after "the most comprehensive measures were implemented on March 12". Furthermore, cases and hospitalisations increase for a couple of weeks after March 12, just as would be expected, and just as seen in other countries where strong lockdown measures were implemented, NZ included. The graph in the article shows lockdown worked and likely was necessary to get R<1. If you want further evidence look next door to Sweden, a very similar country to Norway with a per capita COVID death toll ten times higher. That's a lot of Swedish famililes wishing they'd taken the Norwegian route.

I've been reading the Spectator for over 40 years. Your description as "a right-wing rag " is not what I would consider my politics although you are correct in saying it is generally right wing. It would be a rag if it followed right wing public opinion slavishly as one might say describe the Guardian being left wing. The Spectator was certainly not a 'right wing rag' when it was alone pushing for the laws against homosexuality to be repealled or when it was against membership of the EU when every other newspaper (except maybe the daily worker) and magazine (and me) were for the EU. Currently it is against the mass of public opinion campaigning for illegal citizens to be given residency. I read it often with gritted teeth because it has articles that surprise me, excellant book reviews and a great puzzle.
I agree with you this article is not entirely convincing but it does make you think. I would recommend the series of articles it has published by Dr Lee on Covid-19. I recommend you reading it but skipping the editorials (and in my case the poems too).

I realise my description of it as a rag is inflammatory but there are two reasons that I think justify it. Firstly, being repeatedly pulled up for similar misleading stories but continuing with inaccurate reporting nevertheless, e.g. their persistent climate change denial. Secondly, misrepresenting cherry-picked data to promote a false narrative, which this editorial is a sad example. The motivation behind this piece is clear. That it comes from the editor is damning.
I won't argue with you regards the Guardian. They have published misleading stories on the left. I could add the Indy, which I used to read regularly 20 years ago, but which has descended to little more than left-wing clickbait.
Sadly, reading media, from any bias, requires critical thinking. What's their source? Does the raw data match? What's their motivation?
As for John Lee, I read a couple of his articles early on in the crisis and dismissed him as his arguments did not match the available data. I don't know his motivation but his articles haven't stood up well over the last couple of months. He was arguing that lockdown was an overreaction early on because coronavirus "isn't necessarily much worse than a seasonal flu". This contradicted all recognised experts at the time and has clearly turned out to be nonsense. Yet the Spectator still carries his articles. Perhaps they can't find any other medically qualified people to fit their echo chamber.

OK, two red flags from the outset.
Firstly, RT is not the most trustworthy source. It has a very poor rating on Media Bias Fact Check, https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/rt-news/
That's not to entirely dismiss RT, it did after all give a platform to Jonathan Pie, possibly the most inciteful commentator on UK politics, but certainly raises flags.
Secondly, if an article has a link at the top to whatever book the author is flogging, then read with caution.
Somewhere in the back of my head the name rang a bell so I looked him up. Turns out he is beloved of anti-vaxxers, giving some dubious medical gravitas to their outlandish conspiracy theories. But to his opinions on COVID, and he has a lot. He seems to relish attacking the mainstream whenever he sees a chance. Of course this strategy never holds up well over time. Among the gems on his blog, which I won't link for fear of someone following his advice, I came across a post from March where he came up with this regarding choloroquine and hydroxychloroquine,

"If you, or a loved one, is seriously ill, I would urge you to ask for – one or the other – to be used. Hydroxychloroquine has fewer side effects (drug related adverse effects)
ADVICE – Ask for one of these drugs if you, or a loved one, is seriously ill with COVID-19."

Of course we now know that one of those side effects he so easily brushes aside is death. This is not someone to be taken seriously, or arguably to be allowed a platform at all.

Anyway, to address the piece you linked. It's ... er.... awful.
He makes the statement "If Covid-19 killed 30,000, and lockdown killed the other 30,000, then the lockdown was a complete and utter waste of time. and should never happen again." Leaving aside that the number of 30,000 lockdown deaths is nonsense, as briefly alluded to elsewhere in the article, the statement is designed to confuse and leaves out the most important figure, the number of lives saved by the lockdown be it 100,000 or 1,000,000. I assumed his 'Doctoring Data' book was an expose rather than a manual but perhaps not.

He's a well respected Scottish doctor and on Vaccine board. He is pro vaccines but recognises they are not a cure all. He thinks Measles is naturally weakening and the Plague was probably some form of ebola. He's straight and honest but won't get printed in MSM, so ends up on RT.

What?!
He thinks the Plague was some form of Ebola??
Seriously?!
If that's the case you need to stop reading his stuff. The Plague is caused by a bacterium. Not being funny here but that's been known since the 19th Century. I can't believe a qualified doctor would come out with that nonsense.
https://www.drugs.com/health-guide/plague-yersinia-pestis.html

but no one really knows, right?

I think there was a 14th century hypothesis about witchcraft. Don't know if it was ever scientifically debunked so yeah, I guess....

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US GDP tanking while DOW pumps in April then falters.

Patient flatlining while the doctor keeps using the defibrillator. At what point is the defibrillator out of juice?

The problem is the doctors think its a heart attack when its an overdose of adrenaline.

More like Meths.....I am afraid to say.

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Such is the confidence that the government will bail everyone out at any cost. Is it even a market anymore?

It is very interesting watching this all play out, can they keep the boat floating when it has so many holes or will they run out of fingers...

Indeed the HMS Fiat isn't in good shape. What's the name of the life boat tenders though because there's not many left? Rich Dad Poor Dad says RNLI Gold, RNLI Silver and RNLI Bitcoin. https://twitter.com/theRealKiyosaki/status/1265666900266070021

Yes to those three. Maybe even add some Monero. I'm wondering if now is the time to convert my kiwisavers from growth to cash, this is surely the top of the stock markets?

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Get away from CCP Mainland China - NOW!
People of Hong Kong have NO choice, we do. We need to make the right one.

As with people so with countries; violent abusive bullies and sociopaths should be ostracized.

I think China might be well positioned to become the next expanding empire

well avoid buying Chinese made where ever you can

If everyone did it would send a message

I can't blame them, tbh

Quite one thing to be angry at awful police, but using it as an excuse/cover for going on a massive stealing/looting spree is inexcusable. Wanting luxuries is not a valid reason for stealing luxuries. All they are doing is destroying their local community and economy and making their lives worse in the process. Will the businesses they wreck come back?

Blameless

Don't forget the "temporary suspension" of gold convertibility in August 1971, almost half a century ago. Link

The American people don’t care how many angels can stand on the point of a pin.

But what we want to know is whether or not the ARRA plus QE and ZIRP (and all the other Fed “liquidity” programs) helped establish and maintain a recovery. To do that, we’ve got to calculate the economy’s overall performance during the next phase. Read more

Is it just me, or are "they" desperate to find any covid-19 deaths they can scrape up. Wasn't one woman called a covid-19 death without being tested?

Got to fill the air time with something..why they even go to a broadcast to announce nothing is beyond me..maybe they record it and watch it later with a glass of red and a sly smile on the face, happy they have a secure job in the beehive fortress. Pass us the caviar grant..sure Ashley..

Yes it is just you (oh actually there are probably a few more of your ilk lurking around, this being the interest.co.nz comments section and all.....)

The one from yesterday was "covid related" which does not imply that she died of it, she had been cleared, but it's entirely possible that her bout of it, left her compromised, so while not directly the cause of death, it did have an effect. I know there was something similar earlier on but I cannot recall the details.

Yeah, it's definitely you. It's time for your vaccination against the effects of 5G.

They didn't test some of the elderly folk with dementia. If they had symptoms and had been in contact with confirmed infections they were "probable".

One 96 year old lady had recovered from the virus and then died a few weeks later. There was an article in the Herald where her family were very insistent that she be counted as a Covid death so she was included as number 22.

NZ consumer sentiment seems to be incredibly mixed.
What I hear - people still very active in the property investment market, the events of Covid seem to have gone completely over the head of some investors. Property continues to be a fetish they can't get enough of.
What I see - cafes, restaurants and bars are attracting patrons. It was difficult to find a seat at one last weekend. Whilst the amount that can be served has decreased, the prices have remained the same. And in the north island that means $12 a beer. Not cheap stuff. But many are obviously not struggling enough to give these luxuries up.
What I read - economic data is bleak, knock on effects are yet to be felt. Most people have no idea of whats about to hit.

Obviously the govt. stimulus will be masking a lot of people's deficits, but what I see and hear just doesn't currently reflect an economy about to go into recession. We've come out of lockdown with the same attitudes as when we went in. I feel those who were already struggling (the silent lower class, not quite on full time govt. support but close to it) are the ones who will be struggling moreso now. The upper class seem relatively untouched, and the middle class will continue to spend to look like they're upper class until there's no free money and stimulus left to keep the party going. Roll on post-september.

Independent economist, Tonyl Alexander...... Really is he....... Also note how the so called independent unbiased economist avoid any mention of word like Fall, Downturn....

Email from Trademe Property :
As buyers continue to scour the market for homes, valuers polled by independent economist, Tony Alexander, say prices haven't moved from pre-Covid levels but the heat has gone out of very strong markets. What Bayleys’ National Director, Johnny Sinclair is seeing around the country are buyers who are very motivated and vendors who are meeting sellers in the middle.

Yes, trademe is hardly independent either...

It's not cold in my rental, it's just that "the heat has gone out".
It's not raining outside, it just stopped being dry.
It's not vendors discounting their properties, it's just them "meeting the buyers in the middle".

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41 million of 165 million Labor force out of work in 10 weeks in US = 25%

How the stock market keeps going up is crazy, yet seeing how it’s been pumped by the Fed, well it makes sense but is it (morally) right?

Geopolitical tensions getting nasty between China and India. As usual Trump support’s India behind the scenes.

India are fierce when it comes to defending turf e.g. Pakistan

Systems people will get this..

NCTS, is National Contact Tracing System.
(It would be helpful to know what DHBs were not yet on boarded to the system)

"Seven of the DHBs are now using the NCTS, with four still to be onboarded, with Southern PHU going live tomorrow. We will continue to work with the remaining PHUs to support and onboard them when they are ready to do so."

https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/417767/review-highlights-need-for-co...

But its all good.
"In cases where a PHU is not using the NCTS this is generally because they have developed contact tracing systems that have important integrations with the local system, or the PHU requires additional functionality to be developed to support local variation.

"We are working through these with the PHUs concerned and are also working with these PHUs to build a direct data feed to enable monitoring of performance and uploading, or entering, of close contacts.

"Regardless of what technology system the PHU is using, the Ministry and the PHUs have the capability to continue contact tracing as the need arises."

"are also working with these PHUs to build a direct data feed to enable monitoring of performance and uploading, or entering" needs a Translation:

"We have discovered, quite Unexpectedly despite the Verrall report, that several PHU's have such antiquated systems, so few well-trained analysts and code-cutters, and are so short of Munny, that they have been quite unable to pass on any useful contract tracing data in a usable electronic form. So we have belatedly decided to do it ourselves, at scale and pace, and achieve Gold Standard status sometime this year or so..."

It's the train wreck/tragedy hiding in plain sight.

There has never been a current tense contact tracing system, talk of a gold standard anything is delusional.
Add this to the flu vaccine administration, and the ability to order & store PPE, it beggars

Watch out NZX from today, as it’s going to be nasty coming weeks.

Why ?

Geopolitical tensions between China and India plus ongoing COVID wars between US and China. Expect something nasty from Trump 2moro
Also mystery surrounds Kim Jong-Un

https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1287711/kim-jong-un-news-defector-n...

"We are providing water so the fish can survive"

Wow, he's the premier AND a poet....

What he doesn’t realise is that he filled the freshwater fish tank with salt water

Nah, Chinese culture has many proverbs/idioms/metaphors that are often used to illustrate a point. Don't think he's a poet.

Once apon a time we would use the bible in the same way. I've been a determined atheist for 55 years but still find the tale of the good samaritan says more than a million articles about racism.

The best part apart the good Samaritan? He didn't force his views or beliefs on the man he helped.

Hmmm "... because it undermines his re-election chances, the White House is stopping all economic projections." And within hours, Trump signs an executive order to regulate social media - and William Barr is tasked with its enforcement. The Ministry of Truth just around the corner?

Holy cow. Very frightening move from Trump, he is wanting to control all narratives.

As I have repeatedly said, he is wanting to become a dictator and will almost certainly find a way to stop the next election from happening if it looks like he is going to lose. Surely "regulation of social media" falls under a breach of the 1st Amendment?

What a crazy world we live in eh? Social media companies are inserting unasked for messages into people's conversations advising them that what they are saying is not true even if it's only an opinion or, more bizarrely, a prediction. Trump wants these companies to stop trying to manipulate users and just provide a messaging service. Whatever next.

This is a good watch from a year ago warning actions like this would happen if Twitter kept up with censorship type tactics.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZCBRHOg3PQ

Social media companies have been inserting unasked for messages into people's feeds since they started. It's called advertising. When those advertisers subvert information to try to do things like, I don't know, influence an election, we are all up in arms about it right?

So we should just accept the intrusion of unasked for material into the platforms if corporates, bad actors or politicians are behind it? I didn't hear a chorus of anger from the right when that was happening when it helped Trump to come to power... But when those same platforms attempt to inject links to evidence and truth into dubious opinion pieces by politicians, we should castigate them? Think you have this morally backwards.

Trump is clearly trying to build a full on propaganda machine where he can espouse any view which his rabid followers will take as truth. It's a major step towards dictatorship - control of information given to a sycophantic crowd.

Sigh...

Platforms are immune from lawsuits. Publishers are not. If a platform (like Twitter) wants to control the narrative by editing content they become a publisher.

Nice one, thanks for the distinction. I aren't completely understanding of the 1st Amendment (as I aren't American and haven't fully studied it). Although even social media bosses consider themselves publishers, not platforms. I believe this means they can monetize anything put on their sites without being subject to copyright issues? But of course that right swings both ways - it means that they cannot knowingly publish false information, which is what they regularly do.

I see Twitter's move as a good one, swinging back the other way so that they can push back on any clearly false information that goes out to a wide audience.

Well I bought gold bullion over the last three weeks as an alternative investment. I know its a slow and steady investment but all I can say is that is the last time I listen to Peter Schiff!!

The big problem I see with gold is that the big investors will want to sell it en masse once the indicators are good, which will result in a quick drop just before the average Joe is about to sell. I'm an average CourtJester, probably always a step or two behind the guys with big money, so I got KiwiBonds instead.

Nobody has factored in that in the USA 1% of the population own 60% of the wealth. Is the other 99% of the USA population going to continue to lie down and let the likes of the 1% continue to get away with this ad infinitum. Should they demand that that 1% contribute more or are they allowed to yet further enhance their wealth at the expense of all the losers in the Pandemic.
This situation increasingly applies to all free-market Western countries including NZ, it's just that USA is further down the track. What sacrifices and contributions are our Fortune 500 making or do we all declare them untouchable. The only Western country that I know of that tackled this problem in the past was Britian immediately after WW1 where it made the bloated landed gentry sell off large portions of their estates to help fund the economic regeneration......and it worked.

Although the 99% is poor as dirt compared to the 1%, at least half of them thinks they'll once be in the top 1%. We are all just temporarily embarrassed millionaires.

Small countries like NZ has no choice but try not to upset China as entire economy of NZ depends on China...courtsey national government, who have allowed China to peneterate not only in economy but also in political system

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/121667644/new-zealand-missing-...

Is it advisable for NZ to go with dictators than Democracy only for money. Is this the only mantra that NZ has of being Rock Star Economy that to become a colony of China as supported and promoted by National government.

Like drugs, China throws money to penterate and once hooked will dictate. One thing to appreciate of China is that they have been very successful .....can anyone now imagine NZ without China.

It was Helen Clark's Labour government that signed the free trade agreement with China that opened the door for more trade with China.

Meanwhile NZ potato growers request emergency measures to ban imports of EU potatoes. https://www.freshplaza.com/article/9219657/potatoes-nz-request-emergency...

I never thought the day would come when I would feel Existentially Threatened by a Potato....

Ooooh, homogeneity! Is there anything that white ethnonationalism can't solve?

Puh-lease...