US consumers stop spending; US factories retrench; US economic activity dives; Canada contracts; US gifts global leadership to China; UST 10yr yield at 0.65%; unusual oil pricing; gold up; NZ$1 = 61.9 USc; TWI-5 = 67.4

US consumers stop spending; US factories retrench; US economic activity dives; Canada contracts; US gifts global leadership to China; UST 10yr yield at 0.65%; unusual oil pricing; gold up; NZ$1 = 61.9 USc; TWI-5 = 67.4
Lake Waikaremoana

Here's our summary of key economic events overnight that affect New Zealand, with news the sharp decline of American economic activity is having global implications.

But first, the April US data for household incomes and expenditure reports some outsized gains and losses. The burst of stimulus in the month has had an outsized impact on incomes, and that probably indicates how precarious the average household income level was prior to the widespread lockdowns.

The CARES relief cheques and higher unemployment payments have helped to stem economic hardship with a one-time bounce of +12.9%, but those programs have not acted to stimulate discretionary spending 

Consumer spending, the American economy’s main engine, fell by a record -13.6% in April. It may have declined by a lesser amount in May, but it will still have declined and the echos of that pullback are being felt worldwide. And there are signs on deflation appearing.

One loud echo is coming from America's manufacturing heartland in the Chicago area. Their PMI fell harder than expected in May, lower than in April, lower than in the GFC, and its lowest in nearly 40 years.

Also lower than expected is consumer sentiment. That stimulus money is being 'saved' not spent, as the outlook darken further and consumers hunker down with sharply lowered expectations. Consumers are sensing what the Atlanta Fed is reporting - a humongous collapse in economic activity in Q2-2020, down by more than -50%. That is missing activity at the annual rate of -US$11 tln. For each of April and May alone, it could be as high as -US$1 tln - that's equivalent to wiping out the economies of Australia and New Zealand in eight weeks.

The world will notice, even if equity markets are still turning a blind eye to events of this magnitude.

Leading up to what will also surely be a disastrous Q2, the Canadian economy contracted at at -8.2% annual rate in Q1-2020. They currently have "a neighbour from hell" and their dependence is hurting them hard at present.

Job losses are mounting everywhere.

All those predictions of a sharp V rebound seem like just hopeful guesses now.

Separately, overnight the US have its clearest signal that it is pulling back from a leadership position, and will now concentrate on a cold war with China, without allies. That will impact us directly. It also gives permission to China to ramp up more aggressive clampdowns in Hong Kong and its Muslim west and it seems China is moving quickly to exploit that opportunity. It also threatens Taiwan's independence. The American disengagement allows China to act with even more impunity

China is moving quickly to replace, even displace US tech in their supply chain. It's a disengagement forced on them and will have very long term consequences. In fact, US tech might is based on Taiwanese companies for execution and China has its eyes more clearly focused on Taiwan.

A key metric on how China's economy is returning can be found in a survey of American companies operating there. Half of respondents’ manufacturing facilities in China are operating at full capacity in May, a 14 percentage points increase on April. It is almost a certainty that local companies and companies owned by other nations will be doing better.

Anyone who has been on Lambton Quay or Queen Street in the past week or so will have been shocked at how few people have returned to their offices. All business districts remain eerily quiet, almost dead. Boarded up store fonts are starting, and the trend will grow. Huge amounts of private capital is tied up in commercial office and retail property, not to mention billion dollar City strategies to get workers into the various CBDs. But there is little evidence 'normal' is returning any time soon. What we are witnessing in New Zealand is a global trend. Bricks & Mortar are about to become investors Bricks & Slaughter. Rent levels aren't returning in a distressed market.

The latest compilation of Covid-19 data is here. The global tally is now 5,878,700 and up +148,000 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 less than +10,000 since this time yesterday to 1,720,600. This is a similar rate of increase. US deaths are now exceed 102,000. The significant acceleration of outbreaks in both Texas and California will be worrying officials there. Global deaths now exceed 363,000.

In Australia, there have been 7173 cases (+23), 103 deaths (unchanged) and a recovery rate now just under 92%. 23 people are in hospital there (-4) with 5 in ICU (-1). There are now 488 active cases in Australia (+21).

There were zero cases again yesterday in New Zealand, leaving the total who got infected here at 1504 cases identified as either confirmed (1154) or probable (350). But 7 more people with the disease were confirmed as recovered yesterday, taking that total to 1481, so now only one (yes, one) person is left with it in the whole country.

The UST 10yr yield is down -5 bps today at 0.65%. Their 2-10 curve is a little flatter at +49 bps. Their 1-5 curve is also flatter at +13 bps, and their 3m-10yr curve is flatter too +52 bps. The Aussie Govt 10yr yield is unchanged at 0.89%. The China Govt 10yr is also little-changed at 2.71%. But the NZ Govt 10 yr yield is sharply higher, up +6 bps in overnight trade at 0.83%.

The gold price is sharply higher today, up +US$16 at US$1,731/oz.

Oil prices are higher in the US today by about +US$1.50/bbl. The US crude price is now just under US$35.50/bbl. The Brent price is unchanged however at slightly less than the American level. This is a rare situation.

The Kiwi dollar has softened marginally overnight. We are now just on 61.9 USc. On the cross rates we have slipped back to 93 AUc. Against the euro we are also slightly soft at 55.8 euro cents. That means our TWI-5 is down to just under 67.4.

Bitcoin is little-changed today and still at US$9,414. 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 ».

Daily exchange rates

Select chart tabs »

The 'US$' chart will be drawn here.
Loading...
Daily benchmark rate
Source: RBNZ
The 'AU$' chart will be drawn here.
Loading...
Daily benchmark rate
Source: RBNZ
The 'TWI' chart will be drawn here.
Loading...
Daily benchmark rate
Source: RBNZ
The '¥en' chart will be drawn here.
Loading...
Daily benchmark rate
Source: RBNZ
The '¥uan' chart will be drawn here.
Loading...
Daily benchmark rate
Source: RBNZ
The '€uro' chart will be drawn here.
Loading...
Daily benchmark rate
Source: RBNZ
The 'GBP' chart will be drawn here.
Loading...
Daily benchmark rate
Source: RBNZ
The 'Bitcoin' chart will be drawn here.
Loading...
End of day UTC
Source: CoinDesk

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.

140 Comments

Chicago is known as the shoulders of America. If they are sagging, then all is sagging. Talking to our old neighbours regularly. They are not young. Confined now more or less to their home for over ten weeks. You can sense their increasing depression and that of the entire neighbourhood, going on greater community. It is not the American way, far far from it. Fear and insecurity, while existing, do not give rise to a recovery in consumer spending.

Bit shocking to see all the rioting going on in Minneapolis, tensions must be very high in the US at the moment with mounting unemployment and Trump still has no handle on trying to reduce the coronavirus infections, they're now up to 104,357 deaths from covid-19.
The Toddler and Chief also seems to fanning the flames with saying he'll "send in the National Guard" with even more incendiary comments after that Twitter had too hide saying that; That second tweet was hidden by Twitter for "glorifying violence".

Next he's be arresting reporters, Opps too late he's already doing that: BBC article: Minneapolis protests: CNN journalist arrested live on air. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-52854980

Yeah - where does DC get his stats from? They're belated.

100k deaths is still nothing really. About 0.03% of their population. And mainly people close to the end anyway.

It’s more than the Vietnam and gulf wars combined in 12 weeks

But will this increase the yearly average death rate by a noticeable amount?

Oh my God! So many young Americans under the age of 40 killed in those conflicts....

Oh! (Wait a minute...!)

Did only Americans die in those wars?

You might want to check back in after 12 months of it

You may well be right. All I’m saying is that the current number isn’t really as big as it sounds.

so by your comments I get the impression it could have been easier to just shoot all the old people you think are near the end and it would have saved a lot of economic pain. What's a couple of 200,000 if were at it. Vote trump, all is peachy, US burns, the toddler in his bunker, equity markets up....whoo hooo

13
up

'China is moving quickly... '

Am sure world too will move quickly and hopefully democracy survives.

China on India border. China does this annually, but this year its bigger. 10,000 is getting up there.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/05/tense-india-china-standoff-himala...

15
up

Both China and USA to distract its local audience will not go down without a war.

If any country has to make a choice should definitely go with country that has open economy, freedom, democracy than supporting dictatorship.

Evident that China is trying Economic War (e.g. Australia) and where economy bully not possible will cry war (e.g. India). This is China's policy and any country ignoring it, is enslaving its future generation and NZ is in front of the que of such country. Like drug getting high now but by the time NZ realize will be too late (Even now can come out it though may have sort term pain). China = Rock Star Economy = Drug.

It is other countries that have allowed China to allow it to dictate and interfere in their internal politics and up to each country now, how to reset their economy and more importantly Souverignity.

11
up

Sometimes I feel like some commentators with USA = China = Bad. Certainly the USA bullies other countries but just with more subtlety than China who often reacts in an unsophisticated schoolyard bully way. However when such thoughts of some equality between these nations hits me I remember the colonisation of Tibet and Xinjiang and the treatment of their peoples and their religion and cultures and I plump for preferring the USA. When I consider their leaders one projects smart humility and the other is a narcissist and aims to appear more stpid than he is. Much as I have a visceral dislike of him at least there is no such thing as 'President for Life' Trump. Democracy wins.

I certainly would not classify as bullying the invasion and occupation of Iraq (2003), the US coup against the democratically elected government of Chile and installation of a murderous dictator (1973) or more recently orchestrating the constitutional coup against the first female president of Brazil paving the way for Bolsonaro and now exploding Covid-19 crisis. While you remember the colonisation of Tibet and Uyghur, I remember the ethnically cleaning of the Native Americans, the transfer of Japanese Americans to concentration camps during WWII, the refusal to welcome refugees from Nazi Germany whilst calling for other countries to take them, or more recently the systemic discrimination and oppression of African Americans. Once Trump is gone, the US will continue with the same policies that have characterised its entire history. Not sure how this results in a victory for democracy.

You make many good points and thankyou for balacing remarks. I prefer to allow time to be a healer. Starting with the Jews not being held responsible for killing Jesus and progressing to not still holding modern Germany to account for the holocaust. Maybe I should have left Tibet out it was invaded 70 years ago but I am seriously bothered by the treatment of Uighurs and Falun Gong happening today which is treated with low key criticism or quietly ignored.
America is damned if it acts (especially when it acts with shock and awe and great incompetance - the Iraq war was a disaster for the people of Iraq but not of advantage to the USA) and also when it doesn't act. For political reasons the USA refused to permit the UN declaring the Rwanda massacres as genocide; if they had done then the UN was by its own rules obliged to act. Similarly the civil war when Yugoslavia collapsed stumbled along with all the EU countries making pious remarks and sending in lightly armed 'peacekeepers' and hundreds of thousands died include the massacre of tens of thousands of prisoners of war. As a European I noticed when America became involved it stopped.
IMHO NZ has to worry about both but China is the greater threat to our well being.

I wouldn't pick sides on who has the moral high ground re US vs China, and it would be great if we could decouple from both but I guess it doesn't work like that. But one thing I wonder: As a country with more political stability and room for growth, does China have greater potential to increase freedoms (and maybe pivot towards something closer to sustainability) than the US, and could the US be heading the other way with it's falling production and stability. It seems economic development is often correlated with political freedom, tho not always, and I see China developing a lot more than the USA in coming decades.

BBC UK could offer 'path to citizenship' for Hong Kong's British passport holders. "The UK could offer British National (Overseas) passport holders in Hong Kong a path to citizenship if China does not suspend plans for a security law in the territory, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab says."
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-52842303

So the government that campaigned on Brexit and retaking control of the UK’s borders is now going to take in 300,000+ people? I knew the Tories were cynical but their supporters will surely not tolerate this.

Please refer to the long negotiated 1997 deal, talks started in early 1980's.

It is absolutely the honourable thing to offer refuge to the Hong Kongers.

This is the showdown, and we'll see it enacted a lot more. Macron - like Sarkozy - gets the Limits to Growth problem. But voters want growth, jointly and severally, and they're told to via advertising and the advertising-dependent media. Thus democracy probably cannot solve our problems.

I haven’t kept up with French politics all that much lately but I’m sure Macron’s issues are more the following: he’s part of the “establishment,” immigration and crack downs on free speech etc.
I’ve never heard anyone mention anything about Macron and limits to growth?

Mega build breaks ground in Hamilton's CBD | Stuff.co.nz
https://i.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/121666055/mega-build-breaks-gr...

US in chaos and lacking leadership and direction; an megalomaniac president in which the most serious health issue in a 100 years is secondary with 100,000 deaths a day and increasing at over 1.000 each day, that to be able to make unfettered misleading and dishonest statements is to be defended, rioting as a result of police brutality, provoking tensions with China and global stability, and a domestic economy in chaos and unemployment rapidly escalating.
And the only sound bite I have heard from Biden: "He's a fool"regarding wearing a mask - wow, that's a biggie. So seemingly no strong alternative.
If it was a small dictatorial African country it could be understandable.

And the most concerning and worrying thing about the Trump speech this morning?
Whatever is coming, is so serious, that he didn't go 'off-piste', he stuck to the script.

Take a look at it if you can, An interesting bit for us is the change in Hong Kong import/export, trade hub details.

Moving details also, it's not clear if NZ part/observer in the forthcoming D10.

On the other hand we could solve for contact tracing immediately using tick tock thx ccp.

21
up

The USA got looted by Wall Street, and they know it.

My guess is both China and the USA will have to not only contend with each other, but their own internal struggles. This will mean neither gains ascendency over the other.

What would make one think otherwise?

The Banker

https://youtu.be/peX4dBEF0Vg

The Banker Aires His Views On The Right Of The Elite To Control Everyone's Lives.
A Must Watch For Anyone Who Is Angry About The Current Financial Situation!
This Is Whats Really Going On!
Performed By Mike Daviot
Written,Directed and Produced By: Craig-James Moncur

Great short film making.

The Fed says it flooded the world with liquidity, but companies sure haven’t seen it, or acted out, that way.

Those like McDonalds and Caterpillar who learned something important about the last time, GFC1, they aren’t going to count on the Fed for a “flood” of liquidity this time around.

And it’s the Fed’s data that gives us the systemic scale to this contradictory belief in action. Commercial and Industrial (C&I) loans have absolutely surged, up more than 25% in just two months. The very same two months, of course, as jobless claims.

The US data on consumer spending should not be that surprising, if you're afraid to leave your house you're unlikely to do much discretionary spending. As long as Coronavirus is burning through the US population unhindered US consumers will avoid retail experiences and instead 'save' their money.

It all comes back to handling the disease and, with the exception of a few states like New York, there is little sign this will be controlled.

12
up

COVID put to one side, I think hundreds of millions (if not billions..) of people around the world have just realised the importance of a rainy day fund and if they didn't have one, they're now trying to have one/or a bigger one in the future if they can (jobs, wages, mortgages and rents considered). How big could the contraction be from reduced spending? I have no idea...it could be a very nasty cycle indeed.

10
up

Yes was thinking about this the other day. This event has been a massive wake up call to the many people living beyond their means.

How does someone set aside funds for a rainy day when they are living hand to mouth?

19
up

Apart from being appalled by Trump and his acolytes, I am deeply saddened to witness what happened to America.

What, I wonder, would the founding fathers make of its descent into increasing ignorance and intolerance? Jefferson, Washington, Madison, Hamilton and others were great men, though of course, with their share of human flaws. Jefferson once said that what he valued most in public service was the opportunity to advance learning and liberty. Contrast that with today.

Agree, sad indeed. Why has it happened?
Why are so many American's ignoramuses?
Something happened after the 1970s, I think it's probably the run down of education, civil society and institutions

12
up

Yes, Ronald Reagan happened - and trickle down didn't.

As president, Reagan implemented sweeping new political and economic initiatives. His economic policies advocated tax rate reduction to spur economic growth, economic deregulation, and reduction in government spending. In his first term, Reagan survived an assassination attempt, spurred the war on drugs, invaded Grenada, and fought public sector labor unions. He enacted cuts in domestic discretionary spending, cut taxes, and increased military spending, contributing to increased federal debt overall.

Hi Kate I've just finished reading the book about Ronald Reagan by Bob Spitz (2018).

I'm personally a Ronald Reagan fan - despite many commentators calling me a communist on here even though it appears to be those who are receiving welfare in the form of accommodation supplements from tenants in their property investment portfolios.

To me, many who think they are right-wing free market supporters, are actually the biggest socialists around, but they just don't realise it. As Reagan put it, 'they know many things that just aren't so'.

They say - look at those lazy tenants who are on welfare - oh hey, give that welfare payment me in the form of rent you lazy beneficiary - while not working themselves. That is where one of our significant problem falls in NZ. We need to get those people out of that perverse industry and back doing productive work.

And I agree with Reagan about government and there being too much of it. Having worked in government departments in Wellington and witnessed the corruption, bureaucracy, inefficiency and waste of taxpayers money - Reagan's policies struck an agreement with me. Get people out of government jobs and into the real workforce (Auckland council is another example).

What do you mean a fan - a Hollywood fan or a fan of his presidency? Smaller government is why the private sector remains so poorly regulated in the US - opening up the way for massive int'l tax dodges. Reagan's legacy is too big to fail.

It was probably going to fail either way

Huxley

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xUyHA0h2jU

Great interview! Fascinating. He's a deontologist;

"The only thing that is truly good in itself is a good will, and a good will is only good when the willer chooses to do something because it is that person's duty." - Immanuel Kant, 1785

Kant - the same man who insisted that sensible concepts based on his transcendalist claims were universal? e.g. is your 'good' the same as mine?

That's the one - and yes, that's the question.

21
up

Fair point Kate - but there must be a balance there somewhere right?

Look at Auckland council - people are struggling to pay rates from jobs in the productive economy and there are 85 of the council staff getting paid over $250,000 to 'regulate' things. How is that working out?

Would you now agree that we have a lot of government again? Similar to what Reagan was trying to avoid? And yet would you agree that the private sector is out of control? So then would you say that those in government who are supposed to be regulating the private sector are either lazy, incompetent or corrupt? (i.e. they are enabling the private sector to continue distoring markets for their own benefit). Which would it be in your view?

And now we've backed ourselves into a corner because if you want more government jobs to regulate the free markets, then they require additional taxes to pay for that regulation - but the free markets aren't working because they've been distorted too much by government interventions - and I include central banks when I refer to government. So it could actually be socialism that is distorting our free markets, but those in government are benefiting from those distortions. Its all a bit suspect in my view.

Let the free markets be free - remove all welfare payments and government wage subsidies etc and watch our property market tank and rents fall through the floor. That would fix one of our biggest problems. But government is now making it worse - I think they really are their own worst enemy. Its actually cruelty in the form of kindness.

Well said

14
up

Great points. In answer to this question:

would you say that those in government who are supposed to be regulating the private sector are either lazy, incompetent or corrupt? (i.e. they are enabling the private sector to continue distoring markets for their own benefit). Which would it be in your view?

I believe the long decline in democracy started with elected representatives and regulators being incompetent - intellectually, that is - and that morphed into corruption of mind - ideologically - and that religious adherence to wrong-footed ideology, has lead to a private sector that has both morally and physically bankrupted many democratic states (most notably the US).

But take it back to NZ. We are over-regulated but under (way under) enforced - in other words, Pike River's happen because of under-enforcement. Pollution (e.g., tyre stockpiles/fires) happen because of under-enforcement. Corporate and wealth taxes go unpaid because of under-enforcement.

Immoral private sector behaviour has state regulators unable to control the corruption. We don't even recognise it as corruption, rather we see it as economic development. Take our Companies Office Register - we are lauded the world over as the easiest place in the world to start a company - yet it is polluted with shell companies and trusts dealing in tax evasion and illegal money laundering.

In fact, the wrong-footed ideology of omnipotent economic growth and "efficiency and effectiveness" in government administration, has regulators spending all their time/energy trying to fulfill that growth narrative (a large part of which is cost-savings on government expenditure), such that no type/form of growth is considered immoral or 'bad' for society. Our Environment Court, for example, gets clogged with private sector interests trying to push through 'bad' growth initiatives. Our health sector gets under-funded. And so on.

As far as executive salaries in central and local government - they reflect the private sector's happiness with the 'hands-off' market-rules political ideology. When there were protests about the CCC's CE's pay rise - you didn't see the city's corporate businesses out on the streets... look at the consultancy contracts that would have been placed at risk if OPUS, or KPMG, or Fletcher's joined the chorus.

In terms of your last paragraph - I don't think we would need the degree of social welfare assistance if we had better regulation of markets. I think we've been chasing the wrong ideology and it has near-irreparably harmed people and the environment.

I'm not for bigger government, I'm for government of the people, by the people, for the people - not of the corporate, by the corporate, for the corporate. Personally, I think our current government here is NZ is very aware of a need to return to the former.

11
up

Great exchange of thoughts - thanks Kate.

Agree, thanks to you too. Dialogue is the most wonderful thing.

Just wow! Awesome, thanks.

"Pike River's happen because of under-enforcement." Too simplistic, Kate. PRCC was actively prevented from venting their mine the obvious way: more vents, up through the several hundred metres of overburden into clean air, directly above the roads in the coal seam. They were forced to make do with a single vent shaft, at the bottom of an upward-roaded mine, and a single vent fan to service the entire shebang. The coal seam was known to be gassy.

So what caused this disastrous design?

DoC would not allow extra vent shafts......the surface of the overburden is conservation land, directly adjacent to a National Park (Paparoa)......

You often use the "too simplistic" card. That's pure and simply excusing blatant failures of the regulator to regulate. My point still stands. Mining inspectors (i.e., all .. what was it ... two of them nationwide at the time!) under-enforced, i.e., failed in their monitoring and subsequent lack of enforcement actions). Given as you point out the ventilation shortcoming, they should therefore have exercised their powers to close the mine based on that issue alone - and particularly on proper inspections (if I recall there were few) that showed the gassy risks - not to mention all the other breaches of mine safety practice.

Why did they fail so tragically? That brings us back to my original points about following a wrong-footed ideology.

It's not feasible to expect Mine inspectors(MBIE) to influence DoC decisions about conservation land protection, years before the mine actually started being worked (the stone drive to the coal seam alone took north of two years). The mine design was faulty because of that DoC attitude - a "wrong-footed ideology" which privileged a few hectares of montane forest above the lives of miners.....And the reason is essentially structural - Gubmint departments just aren't very good at right-hand-left-hand comms channels.....

11
up

In my experience the US has a vast regulatory apparatus. The tax dodge side of things is big corporations buying laws that benefit them.

They not only buy the laws through their political donations but they write the laws as well!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Legislative_Exchange_Council

10
up

They definitely write the laws. That is very literal not just lobbying. It is why the regulatory state is a brutal burden for small businesses and smooth sailing for large organizations. Every law is designed to strangle small operators.

Yes, we are very much on the same page.

so glad we are even having this conversation.

If you haven't watched it yet - check out 13th - also on Netflix;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krfcq5pF8u8

Yes, thank God for free speech.

Yes, it's one of those docos that after seeing it, one needs a double dose of prozac washed down with a double shot espresso. So sad :(

this is good too

The house I live in
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlPNRaXj2OQ&t=428s

Also it's not just a black problem, when you get stuck on 101 and the beggars come out, plenty of white faces.

"Man look who’s breaking out the windows in Downtown Houston right! Look at what the media won’t show you! "

https://twitter.com/i/status/1266544307621826564

Angry Bernie supporters?

Thanks for the recommendation. Really incredible documentary.

Independent Observer: "I'm personally ... a communist on here"

You back the govt ramping up the state house building program dont you.

Btw dont forget before you give credit to phil twford, the current state house build was started under national

I don't believe I've ever said that nor is that my current personal view - did you just make that up?

I have said that I've noticed that landlords and property speculators don't want the likes of kiwibuild to succeed because it might drive the price of houses down. They appear to be the most vocal about it - more so than those who would likely benefit from its success. Landlords and speculators appear to want the problem to get worse for their own financial gain. i.e. they are happy to see the quality of society to deteriorate further for their own short term financial gain. I'm sure you wouldn't be guilty of such a sin of course.

Socialists and communists only want state houses provided free to those who SUCK off the state. Capitalists esp community minded ones only want kiwibuild. Eg habitat for humanity help low income to BUY an affordable permanent home for their family.

I don't even have the slightest glimpse of understanding of what you might be trying to say above, nor can I be bothered trying to right now.

Enjoy your Sunday.

That makes a change from having to see the frequent angry ravings of yourself railing against all and missing the mark by a mile. The overpriced house bubble, the kaput economy, share prices stuffed, nzd plummeting, gold a winner. Houseworks 5, Ind Observer 0. Keep working on your aim IO aka IOU

It's like the ravings of a drunk dude high on his own self created reality. Create a straw man, then defeat it, then claim that someone else was the strawman you created.

Bubbles. You have that entirely wrong. IO aka IOU constantly banging on about the housing ponzi, I think he is the one who put up the strawman. And boasting about his smart investment hedges ... which just so happen to be turning out badly FOR HIM. Perhaps if he didn't keep shooting his mouth off I wouldn't need to point out how wrong he is.

Yes sadly it seems that King Trump wants to build an empire for himself based on the oppression of knowledge: BBC Trump signs executive order targeting Twitter after fact-checking row. "Trump has signed an executive order aimed at removing some of the legal protections given to social media platforms." https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-52843986

'V' allowing the Clinton's to extend their evil empire.
Two choices and Trump was less evil than Clinton. Time for everyone to get over it, we know he's spoon and sick of hearing about it.

Those forefathers had great insight, the content of the Declaration of Independence shows that. However I am sure the same insight meant they knew it wouldn't last forever, they just built something they hoped would endure a few generations before it was bastardised.

Here is the text

https://www.businessinsider.com.au/full-text-donald-trump-executive-orde...

What do you think about the CCP firewall and us tech that helped build it?

Goebbels would be proud.

Not so sure about that.
The way I see it, cause the MSM and the likes of Twitter, Facebook and Google/YouTube, are anti Trump, I think it's helping freedom of speech by limiting their influence.

anti trump ….or exposing the truth about a totally disgusting, incompetent, immature, dishonest, ignorant and corrupt regime?

linklater01 - I'm reading Benjamin Franklin by Walter Isaacson at present.

While going through independence and drafting their declaration of rights, Franklin suggested that:

'the declaration of rights discourage large holdings of property or concentrations of wealth as they pose "a danger to the happiness of mankind". This ended up being too radical for the convention'.

But how right Franklin was. Their independence was in part the intention to distance their country from the corruption that occurs when wealth concentrates too much to too few - and the influence then that those groups have on politics and policy to the point that it becomes perverse. Modern capitalism in my view is probably now as perverse as the system they were trying to escape when they moved for independence.

The US Founders were not democrats. They set up a representative political constitution that restricted the franchise to a select few. I suspect that the US Founders would blame the current state of affairs in the USA on it turning its back on the natural aristocracy they set up, where men of their calibre ruled with the greater good in mind. By democratising, the USA opened up the doors to majority rule and inevitably spiralled into Tyranny. Like in Ancient Greece, the working classes in the USA, surfeited with cheap, imported Chinese goods and stupefying reality TV, have turned to a demagogue who promised them the moon and instead has continued the looting of the national wealth (as previous administrations have done).

Personally, the expansion of the US franchise should have been accompanied by a change in the political structure, which was designed to restrict and thwart democracy.

Reminds me of the New Zealand Company.. building debt into the start of a new colony ensured privilege to an earlier elite.

Our demand in the US has collapsed. The first lead I looked at today said they normally get $12k per month rental income but the processor has a note that the customer is refusing to provide bank statements.

'and will now concentrate on a cold war with China, without allies'

Really?

prepare for a war.

NZ should go through intact.

choose the side or not wisely.

18
up

What a shame so many people will suffer because the CCP just can't stay inside its already huge borders. Greed is a sickness.

you must be Pompeo, accusing so shamelessly about others being greedy while you spread your people across the globle by slaughtering, slaving, and poisoning others.

....... but I am not in the CCP?

Western culture can't exactly take the moral high ground on all things - we've done some pretty bad shit over the years. Not saying the CCP is good from that perspective either but hey...

13
up

Xing.
China playing the hard game of force as a bully, that isn't going to cut it.
The people are sick and tired of bullies!

like trump?....countries with misguided egos this big and immature only spells trouble

10
up

Sorry Xing did you just say prepare for war?
Um did they let you know where the CCP will invade next?
What is the propaganda saying?
Who is the major villain in the war movies they produce?
I am very curious...

‘Bricks and Slaughter’, a catchy phrase. Having racked up 10 weeks working from home and at least another four to go, I can see how this will change the Auckland CBD. Not unlike Christchurch where the demand to rebuild to was a lot less than what was destroyed. The commuter buses still seem empty for the Eastern Suburbs and early bird car parks are $10 at Sky City. The Greens must be crestfallen

The Greens made the mistake of assuming BAU, just without ecological impact. That, unfortunately, is a total oxymoron - an impossibility. But it led to them thinking of 'going to work' ecologically-benignly, while forgetting to ask what the problems were with 'work'.

As did everyone else, of course......

The same thing applies to a future without disease. The ride downhill very much includes it, so the answer isn't running away to hide from it or trashing civil rights(our Green & civil rights party let the voted them away). The herd immunity built up from about 1850 to 1980 or so is slowing fading away and will see all the infectious diseases make a return.

Nothing is going boe be a fairy tale end that is for sure.

Crestfallen : sad and disappointed

Why would the greens be sad and disappointed there are thousands of people no longer taking un-necessary trips into the CBD daily?

Maybe because there's no climate protestors holding up the wicked and evil traffic?

Maybe because the Wuflu has done more for the global environment than the green movement has ever done. Time will tell how the younger voters will vote but I'm guessing that they will choose employment over green.

Not sure about that. You won't believe how many of them think the world is going to environmentally collapse in 15 years time. Who cares about employment then?

Because the business case for public transport is now uncertain, existing services are under funding pressure and private cars will be used more.

Private cars will be used more? ... but you said the carparks are offering earlybird specials because they are still empty.

Seems like private cars aren't being used more at all.. infact quite the opposite.

Pre Covid 19, I took the bus Into the CBD 5 days a week and the X5 was used maybe one day in the weekend. Now the X5 is out every day because I don’t want to sit in my house 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I don’t need to pay for parking where I now drive to. Similarly, where I would fly the family to for a holiday is now a long drive. Overall, my private car use has increased. Luckily fuel prices are more reasonable.

and somehow you think that the lack of rushhour traffic is something the greens will be crestfallen about... weird.

Hard to sell doom and gloom green politics when the environment is doing better.

Business, commerce & people adaptable, flexible & innovative.
All the private sector elements of response first class (aged care, supermarkets, export production, processing)

Questions the massive transition infrastructure a small set wish to install. Small set, massive cost.

https://youtu.be/L-D2wu01UW8
McGuinness Insitute

St Heliers full of commuter parking in all the usual places making parking for those of us that want to use the shops etc Much harder. I usually end up parking a good 10 minutes walk away as all the 2 hour plus parking closer to the centre is full by 8:30.

On a nice day, I walk over the hill into the village but had to drive there last week a few times and managed to find some parking in the angle parks next to the dry cleaners. I understand that the parking next to Vellenoweth is often full of commuter parking but given the 774 is all but empty now I’m not sure if the Tamaki Link is the same. It’s a special area that could do with sympathetic intensification.

Sobering weekend read.. For many people the last two months have been a profound experience. I think some are re-evaluating life priority's. For some this is a disaster, for others a revelation.
On a global scale.. good grief, warning lights flashing everywhere.. and the feeling the fat lady has not even taken the stage yet.

I’m taking it as a revelation and am trying to get ahead of the curve but it’s clear others have acted more quickly e.g. It’s hard to get cash, particularly foreign notes, precious metal coins and even some models of Rolex. Anything perceived to be fungible across borders is in short supply.

Has NZ decided to kowtow to China already? Has 5-eyes just become 4-eyes?

https://globalnews.ca/news/6996764/joint-reprimand-china-hong-kong-law/

As we are so small they probably just forgot to mention us! Have to say though that friends who bully and carry on heinous acts in their own country are not really the friends you want. But it will take brave politicians to stand against China.

Emptiness engulfs the US

This reminds me of the movie The Neverending Story, "The Nothing is everywhere", "Fight against the sadness, you're letting the sadness of the swamps get to you!"

The real economic impacts are coming soon and default led credit crash will follow despite the Pollyanna tv reporting

There's no need for the government employees to go back to their sky-scraper buildings in Wellington central, right above a potentially disastrous earthquake fault-line; with 5G internet imminent, now would be the perfect time for the various government departments to walk away from those high-rise death traps and decentralize to provincial centres around New Zealand where land would be much cheaper enabling low-rise buildings to be economically advantageous. This migration of government jobs to the regions would give a much needed fillip to these local economies and reduce general congestion in Wellington as well as averting a potential bloodbath there.

There's no need for the government employees to go back to their sky-scraper buildings in Wellington central, right above a potentially disastrous earthquake fault-line; with 5G internet imminent, now would be the perfect time for the various government departments to walk away from those high-rise death traps and decentralize to provincial centres around New Zealand where land would be much cheaper enabling low-rise buildings to be economically advantageous. This migration of government jobs to the regions would give a much needed fillip to these local economies and reduce general congestion in Wellington as well as averting a potential bloodbath there.

Bob Jones might be feeling a mite uneasy at present.. doesn't he own most of Wellington commercial stock??!

I agree, what part of risk planning do we as a nation not understand? Stop developing Wellington and spread the risk across regional centres.

Auckland rentals close to 5200. Lots of places not shifting. Quite a few places reducing rents.

The founding fathers, those that wrote the constitution, would indeed be horrified. One of the most important aspects of the constitution was money, "only silver and gold", and "no privately owned central bank!" Print the money, and you can control the rest.
America Grates again.
I wonder how Iraqis, Syrians, Libyans, Iranians, Vietnamese, Cambodians, Afghanis (the list goes on and on) feel, watching American cities being torn apart?
It wasn't that long ago that the occupy wall st movement wanted to behead the elite 1%. Looks like the anger and frustration has met with the many other frustrated segments of the community.
But don't worry, all those massive lovers of the Grate US of A.
The fed will carry on printing (transferring even more wealth to the 1%), and the police force can go on indiscriminately killing (especially now they have the backing of the home guard), and those that follow the MSM tripe can carry on in their delusional little worlds.
The West will begin to look smaller and smaller, and unless it throws off it's elite masters, it will continue with the sham otherwise known as democracy.
If we continue to seek national sovereignty, we'll fail to develop or even understand the concept of individual sovereignty, and it is that concept which I believe the founding fathers held close to their hearts.

I don't recall the call for beheadings. I do recall the call for social and economic justice. The street they choose to occupy being the height of social and economic injustice. Well, that's my recollection anyway - never saw a guillotine.

It's probably fair to say that watching George Floyd being killed inflamed my own emotions. Kate,you have such an optimistic view of govt and legislation, which I respect. I do not feel that the answers can be provided by the system that is responsible for the mess society is in, and while it's never mattered what I, or any one individual, think regarding that, I certainly empathise with those in America that are completely sick of the system.
Losing sides tend to sit down and analyse what happened, like what happened after the fall of communism in the Soviet union.
The West "won", and carried on without a thorough review of it's own workings.
A single vote every 3 or 4 years is not a voice, and there is an assumption that capitalism and democracy are one in the same.
NZ has it's own problems, yet they are largely the same as the others. Huge degree of poverty, a rapid increase in the gap between the rich and the poor, just to get started.
Just as I find the executives at Boeing complicit in murder, and the FAA, that were so easily bought, so I also think that the time has come for some serious measure of accountability, and the powers that be are incapable of the task.
So you tell me Kate, while you don't recall a guillotine, don't you think that something is deeply wrong with the system, and those that administer it? And isn't it time for a massive change?

Absolutely it is time for a massive change - especially so in the US.

A favourite scholar of mine researched instances of social change throughout history and found that almost always it emanates from actions in civil society. As I understand it, Nelson Mandela tried for many years to mount peaceful resistance, and gave in to violent resistance when all else looked lost. Perhaps that is where the US is moving now. But, I was there in the 50s-70s - and just as you think change must happen after this (i.e., with each monumental awful thing happening with an uprising)... people go back to the comforts of consumerism and their daily routines.

I was hopeful when Obama was elected POTUS. I was hopeful when the Occupy movement took hold. I was hopeful when Trump was elected on a platform of 'Drain the Swamp'. I was hopeful when Colin Kapernick took a knee and others joined in. I was hopeful when #blacklivesmatter took hold. That Police officers are speaking out in full uniform against the officers involved in this incident gives me hope.

My biggest worry in the US as far as the fundamentals of tripartite democratic governance is concerned, I can accept that they have a hopeless Executive branch; I can accept that they have a hopeless Legislative branch; this leaves only the Judiciary. And they have allowed their judiciary to become partisan as well, or co-opted them into the corruption of the state - is my biggest worry. Judges need to rise up against injustice, but they don't. It would be career limiting.

So what's left? Civil Society. And this time (given the Depression upon them) they hopefully won't have the comforts of consumerism or their daily routines to return to.

So, yes I'm hopeful - again!

but looks who's causing trouble in Portland

"Looting still happening with impunity in downtown Portland. They clear the businesses of goods and then someone goes in with a chemical agent to start a fire. "
https://twitter.com/i/status/1266658264608997381

Solidarity. The entire population has had enough. I'm not condoning lawlessness, but the police, the governments, the courts have been amoral and lawless for decades. Don't get me wrong, this is my country but somethings got to change.

Scary stuff, Soros called it at Davos in Jan

https://twitter.com/i/status/1266667139353710592

Those are just white middle class criminals who need to be arrested and face justice. Imagine the gun sales next week, going to be a record.

Possibly. But why imagine that just because they are white they are middle class? What is it - 40% of Americans out of work? And someone once said: we are only 9 meals away from anarchy.

Something has gone wrong and it's going to rock our world. I don't trust the autopsy report, and I'm the sort of guy they need to believe it. Hispanics were doing well around us probably due to close families, but the unemployment was hideous, after this virus id hate to think. Things like student debt are just out of control. While private jets scoot across the sky. I was in Washington DC in the late 80's and we used to walk out two year old in the rockway, every night police would come through and move us on before the homeless turned up, many were woman with children. Shocked us back then, be worse now.

You've lived there more recently than me! Whenever I open my mouth, people ask me - where are you from? I always say, Chicago was home, but explain that Reagan hadn't even become president when I left. No kidding it will be worse now. Acceptance of poverty is a scourge on each and every one of us. It's why I would never move back to the States - and why I'm desperate NZ does not follow suit. Jacinda Ardern taking the child poverty portfolio ought to be reminded again and again and again about that matter being on her shoulders.

And ps - good on you for your emotions being inflamed by what we have all witnessed in the US. Mine are too, for sure.

Cheers Kate.

11
up

Some good stuff above posters. Thank you. I feel more connected having read through all the interest.co posts. Not that I agree with them all, but they always inform. It's also good to know what others around you are thinking. Today, posts are an extension of the article itself, & crucial ones at that if the whole story is to be told. It's certainly getting harder & harder to believe what I read these days, even on sites I once admired.
Point: Don't write off America. That's my angle today. These guys (& gals) are still the most creative on the planet, that's why the Chinese hackers spend day & night trying to get inside. No one wants this moment to come. I don't. But it has to happen. And it may not be very pretty. In fact, it won't be pretty as you can already see. Both systems have problems & opportunities. How they are handled & used will be the key difference. America's recent form in its military endeavours is not great. China's is unproven. Both sides have massive issues with internal corruption (although of different nature) which will be fascinating to watch unfold. Let's hope the individual's freedom fighters win.

I believe that you should start reporting Cardano (ADA) as well as Bitcoin. Cardano is explained here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMrVrWK1mjA

It is not just a Cryptocurrency, it is an essential part of certifying a contract, that is any exchange of any value between parties. This is set to become an extremely valuable item going forward.

I'd like to shout out to interest.co for consistently being a thought provoking and well-rounded news site. I'm always blown away to see discussion of such a range of views in the comments, it's great to find a site that isnt just an echo chamber. For those who are able, let's show interest.co some support.