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US jobless claims fall, benefit qualifications expiring fast; Mexico cuts; China faces bad debt flood; India inflation picks up; more than 1 mln jobless in Australia; UST 10yr yield at 0.72%; oil down, gold up; NZ$1 = 65.6 USc; TWI-5 = 68.8

US jobless claims fall, benefit qualifications expiring fast; Mexico cuts; China faces bad debt flood; India inflation picks up; more than 1 mln jobless in Australia; UST 10yr yield at 0.72%; oil down, gold up; NZ$1 = 65.6 USc; TWI-5 = 68.8

Here's our summary of key economic events over night that affect New Zealand, with news China is facing a very fast-rising bad loan problem.

But first in the US, new claims for unemployment came in at +963,000 last week, which was less than expected. 15.2 mln people are claiming these benefits now a drop of -625,000 from the previous week as benefit qualifications start expiring. (In March it topped out at 22 mln.) Congress still hasn't agreed any replacement support.

Mexico is facing a strong economic contraction this year and expects only a moderate recovery for 2021. Today their central bank cut -0.5% from its benchmark policy rate to 4.5%. But inflation is back above +3% pa so the chances of further cuts are receding.

China reported an increase, admittedly a small +0.5% rise, in foreign direct investment entering the country. This is a turnaround from net outflows over the past few months.

And in eastern China, authorities at the port city of Yantai said imported frozen seafood was detected with a strain of coronavirus. It was on the packaging, not the chicken imported from Brazil shrimp imported from Ecuador.

And they have financial contamination too. Their top banking regulatory official said that the country’s banks will have to deal with ¥3.4 trillion worth of non-performing loans in 2020. That is up almost +50% from 2019 and the value of bad loans could be even higher in 2021.

In India, inflation has come in sharply higher than expected, up +6.9% in July from the same month a year ago. Food inflation was up to +8.7% with meat and fish up almost +19%. Milk products were up +6.6%. Floods in eastern India are taking the blame but if the trend continues it will be destabilising for their government.

Australia's jobless rate rose marginally in July, but employment grew more than expected. But two thirds of the growth was in part-time work. This data is before the Victorian lockdown. There are now 1 mln Aussie workers jobless.

Wall Street has started today marginally lower. The S&P500 is down just -0.1% so far today. Overnight however, European markets were lower, down about -0.5% but London fell -1.5%. Yesterday, Shanghai and Hong Kong ended unchanged but Tokyo was up a very strong +1.8%. The ASX200 was down -0.7. The NZX50 ended its day unchanged after giving up some stronger earlier gains.

The latest global compilation of COVID-19 data is here. The global tally is 20,706,000 and that is up +282,000 since this time yesterday. Global deaths reported now exceed 751,000 (+6,000).

A quarter of all reported cases globally are in the US, which is up +52,700 from this time yesterday to 5,383,400. US deaths are now just over 169,600 and a death rate of 512/mln (+3/mln). And the net number of people actively infected in the US rose overnight to 2,398,000, so back to more new infections than recoveries.

In Australia, there have now been 22,358 COVID-19 cases reported, another 231 overnight, and still very much concentrated in Victoria. But there were another +12 in Sydney and NSW can't seem to shake its small community transfer outbreak. Western Australia had +2 more. Australia's death count is up to 361 (+9). Their recovery rate is now just over 58%. There are still 9001 active cases in Australia (unchanged) indicating a rising recovery rate and as many recoveries as new infections now.

The UST 10yr yield is firmer at 0.72%, up +5 bps from this time yesterday and getting most of that jump in the past hour. But all of this movement is at the long end. Their 2-10 curve is +6 bps steeper at +56 bps. And their 1-5 curve is up as well at +18 bps, while their 3m-10yr curve is up +6 bps at +64 bps. The Aussie Govt 10yr yield is up marginally at 0.93%. The China Govt 10yr is holding at 2.98%. But the NZ Govt 10 yr yield is -9 bps lower at just under 0.65% and a new all-time low.

The price of gold is still volatile and today is up +US$25 to US$1,958/oz and a +1.3% rise from this time yesterday. Silver is up almost +2%.

Oil prices are soft today. They are now just over US$42/bbl in the US and the international price is now just under US$45/bbl.

And the Kiwi dollar fell overnight and is back at 65.6 USc. Against the Australian dollar we are also soft at 91.6 AUc. Against the euro we are down even more at 55.5 euro cents. That means our TWI-5 has dropped to 68.8.

The bitcoin price is virtually unchanged from this time yesterday at US$11,516. The bitcoin rate is charted in the exchange rate set below.

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125 Comments

CNN comment this morning that Victoria’s CV19 current problem caused by poor border control. Suspect CNN comment tomorrow will be ditto for NZ.

Just like any Law or Regulation, having them doesn't stop people from breaking them. Otherwise, there'd be no overstayers!

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Personally, I won't be waiting for CNN to inform me about the origin of the new cases. NZ has a genome sequencing team who have been sequencing the genomes for NZ infections for months. They have access to SARS-CoV-2 data bases from many other countries doing the same. They will be able to compare the new community infections against the border quarantine cases and determine whether they are the source. This kind of data is what we need, not MSM or social media speculations.

Point taken but regardless of its “heritage“ the fox is nonetheless on the run, and the greater question is how it got into and out of the chicken house.

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The greater question usually gets lost in the crowds lack of discernment regarding the "heritage" of the fox. In our desperation to cling to news, we except any old nonsense. We could choose to wait for the best information but we jump on the first information instead.

Two things to note:
1. Not all swabs from isolation facilities have enough RNA for genome sequencing. So if it spread from one of those people, we may never get a match.
2. Swabs from other high risk workers such as on the border may not have been sent for sequencing, so again we may never get a match if they were the vector.

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Yeah but we didn't bother to test "high risk workers such as on the border".

"Prof Gorman said he believes the community "deserves better than such a casual approach to surveillance to possible infectivity among the border workforce".
https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2020/08/nearly-two-thirds-of-...

Routine testing absolutely should have been done, yes.

But, people are blowing this up into a bigger deal than it truly is. The reason they weren't doing routine testing is that they had many other systems in place, for example all staff working in isolation facilities had health checks done each day they started work, including having their temperature taken. They have strict protocols to follow and usage of PPE. If anyone did get symptoms they were tested and then stood-down down from work until they had recovered from whatever it was.

Regular testing is a last line of defence should all of those other steps fail, and it was missing and it should have been in place.

But people are acting as if testing is the first and only line of defence, when it hasn't been and shouldn't be, and wailing and gnashing their teeth about how 'incompetent' the government response has been.

Testing is an important tool in the tool box and should be used, but it is not a silver bullet and does come with logistical and plain old civil rights complications - you can't force people to submit to medical procedures in NZ. So far that's been a boundary the government has not wanted to overstep, and while it can be debated if that's appropriate or not in the circumstances, it does rather undermine the argument that the government is running roughshod over people's rights.

You were going well until you introduced the word But. Many work places are subject to mandatory testing - without a test you can't work. To state this couldn't be done for border control workers in laughable. Surely you can't be this naive?

Mandatory MEDICAL testing? Or urine testing?

So if someone has been working as a baggage handler at an airport for 5 years which had no mention of MEDICAL testing in their employment contract, now when the rules change if this person isn't willing to submit to such testing, they should be fired? Is that legal? Is that ethical?

Obviously for someone newly hired to work in an isolation facility the situation is not the same, but border workers cover more than just people newly hired to work at isolation facilities. My understanding is that people working in the quarantine facilities have been undergoing weekly testing.

The problem is not as black and white as you, or others, may like it to be.

This is true. But it's still going to be much more reliable data than CNN speculation.

.. and no swabs at all from hundreds of people who went through border quarantine untested in early June ..

Bingo

Sure, but that's not really relevant to the current situation. No one is credibly suggesting we have had undetected community transmission since then.

No was suggesting it - apart from those people leaving NZ started testing positive in other countries last month.
https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/122317608/coronaviru...
https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/422086/person-who-travelled-from-nz-...

Of which there's no *evidence* to say they caught it while in NZ, just speculation, and we know it is quite easy to pick up this disease and return a positive test in as little as 24 hours.

For the Korean case the government did do a lot of follow up testing and tracing and found nothing.

it is entirely credible to suggest that . The experts all agree that the virus may have been silently circulating in Auckland for a few weeks now.

A few weeks != 3 months, sorry.

where are you getting 3 months from ? Surely even you can count to 3 ?
They started testing everyone in quarantine after June 16th - less than 2 months before today - in fact 7.5 weeks before the latest cases .
This falls under " a few weeks" ; the experts are understandably careful not to qualify " a few " further ; we simply do not have the information to do that.

Sorry, I was using 102 days as ~3 months, which is not the appropriate comparator in this case.

In any event, 2 months != "a few weeks".

Sean Hendy's modeling is likely best, and 'few weeks' may be most likely all it is, but the thing with normal distribution combined with exponential makes the maths tricky. So it may be most likely a few weeks (middle of the curve) but remains possible that it is much longer (long tail).

Asymptomatic transmission, NZ's limited testing regime (esp asymptomatic), 'surveillance' testing for appearance sake long after likely cases, 'surveillance' testing lacking scientific rigour eg for proper randomisation, minimal symptoms by most people, and a public perception that it was gone, etc, all combine to mean that symptoms may have been non-existent, missed, or put down to minor cold. In which case Covid could have been quietly wandering about for many weeks, possibly months. Also the median incubation period is just that, a median, with a very long tail for some people (though the likelihood becomes a tiny % quite quickly) and it takes a lot longer to present in some people.

If it has been about longer, and if each only passed it to a few people, and some stayed home thinking it was a cold and got better without passing it on, that would make it manageable, but if a super spreader amongst them, maybe not so much.

Either way, it may well have been only a few weeks, but we oughtn't assume it was only a few weeks.

Aye bw, there it is. Just a brief look at NZr’s attitude to, and standard of, driving would confirm that easily enough.

Given the consequences to society and the economy the penalties for breaking the rules in quarantine should have been much harsher. So much harsher that it would stop people sneaking in or out.

Yes and it's causing a lot of tension with larger countries with large neighbors, at least we have the huge advantage of being an island nation.

BBC article: Americans, go home: Tension at Canada-US border. "As the pandemic continues to sweep the US, Canadians are getting more and more concerned about what American visitors could be bringing with them over the border." https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-53742684

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The China / Wuhan flu lockdown of Akl is unbelievable. Do you not quarantine the sick? rather than a whole city. The stats are all out there. We, the people of NZ are being lied to, same goes with Australia. This must stop, these clowns are destroying people’s lives and the nations economy, and for what? Protest all over the world are against this. Only we the people can stop this.

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Tradersam...Why are they lying to us? What is their agenda here?

There's a local gathering of Juggalos at the end of the month.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GyVx28R9-s

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"Do you not quarantine the sick? rather than a whole city"

Except you dont know who the sick are.

If you were able to immediately identify everyone infected with Covid 19, including the asymptomatic cases, that would work.
Unfortunately this is a real life virus that doesn't comply.

The whole city is not "in quarantine".

Actually it is possible to identify everyone with it, including asymptomatic, that has been shown to work. Trouble is, the narrative of lockdown as the strategy locks out wider thinking. This article from a series in Mar/April is too long, but the first para explains it: https://medium.com/illumination/open-letters-to-prime-ministers-ardern-a...

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Perhaps you missed a couple of key details about this disease - it can be spread by people before they know they are infected, and can be spread by those with no significant symptoms at all. The point in the current level 3/2 lockdown is to allow some time to identify the sick, so they can be quarantined. If you have a better, faster way to identify all the sick, the government will love to hear it.

Not so much, actually. Scores of scientists tried that. They found the dominant narrative is a black hole even for discussion of any alternatives, including “better faster ways to identify the sick”

Got some examples? I must admit I haven't researched alternative testing particularly. I'm aware of a local company's (Syft's) molecular analyser being used to see if it could provide quicker testing, but it seemed fairly speculative at the time.

There are many, even scanning and covid sniffing dogs, never discussed in NZ as far as I can tell, but often they are limited to certain circumstances. At wider level, sometimes the simplest are best. One example is very simple, with existing tech. Fast-cycled all population testing.

First done in Italian town (4k) in Feb. Not limited to symptomatic so they found asymptomatic cases too (didn't know it was a thing then). Stopped it in its tracks in a few cycles. NZ could have done it in April, eliminated, and handed the virus' GPS to other countries and vaccine developers. A map showing exactly how it gets around would have been hugely valuable in April, and NZ would have been #2 for every vaccine.

But these ideas don't fit the "the way we've done it is the way we do it" thinking. Also 'backwards' project management principles prevailed, eg accepting lesser objectives because some strategies seem too hard, rather than here's the objective (which I believe should have been optimal health and economic outcomes, not either before the other) and find ways to make it happen, not tail wagging the dog. eg officials say can't do things differently because not enough tests, can't test quickly enough, must use most accurate test, etc

But, all of those were readily surmountable, with wider thinking, but were rejected without just making it work. eg UK researcher worked out how to conduct 10 million tests/day (when we were busy lauding 2000!). Also, when do fast-cycled testing (say 7-10 days), the less invasive fast test (back of throat swab, not up nose) is more accurate after a few rotations than the 'better' test. But this needs wider thinking, in this case mathematicians to calc. the chance of multiple false-positives. The 'enough tests difficult to get problem' was surmountable even in March/April when global demand soaring, per the link I gave above.

But all-pop testing (say, AKL now, as we missed oppty to do entire country and be second on list for every vaccine), also needs good contact tracing. NZ has never had that. 'Gold standard' claims, blithely accepted by media without question, is nonsense. Paper based plus clunky app that makes paper a bit more efficient is barely better than useless. The 'Sam Morgan' solution just got noticed in NZ recently, but it has been known internationally since Feb/March. But again, didn't get noticed earlier by unidirectional thinking. Limiting objectives because of perceived difficulties inevitably affect outcomes. Thus, at $100m it's said to be 'too expensive', yet the simplistic/blunt instrument of 2 weeks quarantine has cost $600m+, most of which could have been avoided (and still could, with openness to alternatives for better outcomes).

But when we have a single 'solution', undeviating, unable to pivot strategy for better outcomes, and which the media and public has invested in so deeply that even if politicians now want to start thinking more creatively enabling demonstrably better health and economic outcomes, they think they can't, at least not till after the election, lest they get confusion and pushback from the intense 'already thinking' that ironically they helped create with powerful messaging, so the result is inevitable. It's why so many scientists gave up. Que sera.

Who are the sick? That is the problem and why the lock down. Haven't you learned anything from the Aussie experience? They locked down to stop it spreading, identify just who the sick are and then decide how to move forward from there.

The problem that this is starting to look like is that there has been someone sick in Auckland who has not declared it and been tested, but have gone about their business without caring about the impact on others. Thus because of selfish, arrogant lack of concern for others, a large amount of people become impacted when just a few could have been.

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Nobody learns. You can't unlearn human nature. People will always be selfish and they will always break the rules. So you plan for that.

Let's say hypothetically that continued lockdowns are the best solution for NZ, healthwise and economically, let's say we have all the data to back that up (we don't, neither side does, we need much more data and time for such conclusions) it still doesn't matter if you don't have public buy in.

Look at the world. Look at how QAnon et al have already managed to infiltrate NZ via social media. The pandemic instantly became hugely politicised and divisive. Just scan through the comments on this article. It happened so quickly!

The pandemic is therefore not just a threat to health (the degree of threat as yet unquantified), it is a threat to the fabric of society. To faith in politics and social cohesion. It's like the placebo/nocebo effect. If you force people to do something that they don't agree with, always and everywhere they will find fault with it, they will rebel against it, they will believe it does them ill, even if it doesn't and long term it is better (which we don't know either way yet). We knew about "lockdown fatigue" months ago. Western culture will only ever tolerate so much paternalism.

Great comment.

Yes, interesting isn't it? I note a stuff article that is reporting on two Chinese patients who had contracted COVID and 'recovered' had again tested positive. One was six months ago in February and the other in April.

But questions are begining to be asked;
"While it is rare for recovered patients to test positive again, the phenomenon raises questions over why some patients suffer from long-term symptoms, and whether any immunity to the disease might be too temporary to protect against re-infection.
Some studies have shown the level of protective antibodies an infected person may build up to fight the virus quickly drop after only a few months, possibly making them susceptible to the same pathogen a second time."

@murray86
Perspective. That’s two out of a few million. Did you note the word ‘rare’? And again, the original NZ lockdown was to prevent the health system from being overwhelmed. Remind me again, how many people are currently in hospital with Covid 19?
The reality, in all probability, is that we have another disease in the system with which we have to cope, influenza, tb, polio, bubonic plague, HIV. We’ve managed so far...

Agreed perspective, but these two cases are also indicators to how much we don't know. These two are just what has been reported on here in this instance, but there are many other cases reported at other times. Yes the numbers are low, but they are also indicators that there is much to learn about this virus, plus the reference to ongoing symptoms/effects even after you're 'recovered'; more about what we don't know for certain.

As to conflating Wuflu with the common or spanish flu and those others, most of the morbidities that come from them are due to clearly identifiable co-morbidities or vulnerabilities. So a lot more study needs to be done. i have no doubt that in time humanity may develop the 'herd' immunity that is being spoken about, but this may not happen for a generation or so. And this virus may prove to be so good at mutation that it is able to get around immunities fairly easily. We already know that is how the common flu and colds work. We just don't know.

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Great comment.
It's amazing how far people will go into the realms of implausibility to avoid admitting uncertainty, that no one is really in control, that we can't say what exactly is happening or will happen.
I will say, I have been proud of our national response -- and I'm as far from a flag-waver as you'll ever find. It's not even about whether it was the *best possible* response, maybe the Swedish approach will prove to have been better when we look back in a year. It's pride that we were, on the whole, willing to make personal sacrifices for the greater good when it was necessary. When I look at the USA, I see a bunch of absolute babies, unable to make even the smallest personal sacrifice for the greater good, and taking it as a personal affront that you'd even *ask* them to do so. It's not a healthy society.

You're on fire today Gingerninja. (No pun intended with reference to your nickname)

The G'ninja is going off today.

Can someone explain why anyone from the team of 1 million would buy a crib here while this island the size of Japan goes bananas over 17 cases? Asking for a team member.

I am not a team member, but have had contact with many of them over the last few years. Japan has uncountably more bad reasons to be a bach owner in than NZ . Gross and total corruption, overcrowding, racism, nationalism, practically total obedience to the government. Just a few.

Are you talking about Auckland or Japan?

& what is the team of 1 million?

14
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Sweden median age of death is 86. 75% of deaths in care homes. A care home tragedy paid the price for herd immunity.

“So now we know: Sweden got it largely right, and the British establishment catastrophically wrong. Anders Tegnell, Stockholm’s epidemiologist-king, has pulled off a remarkable triple whammy: far fewer deaths per capita than Britain, a maintenance of basic freedoms and opportunities, including schooling, and, most strikingly, a recession less than half as severe as our own.”
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/08/12/swedens-success-shows-true-c...

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"Sweden’s strategy of letting Covid-19 infection spread in a controlled manner in order to achieve herd immunity has failed, according to a study published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine."

Sweden’s strategy of controlled Covid spread fails in achieving herd immunity

From your link “results from a recent sero surveillance study showed that only 15 per cent of the country’s population has developed antibodies.”

Other research stated herd immunity could be reached at 15% – which is backed up by Swedish daily deaths falling to single figures.

“Our inferences result in herd immunity thresholds around 10-20%, considerably lower than the minimum coverage needed to interrupt transmission by random vaccination, which for R_0 higher than 2.5 is estimated above 60%.”
https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.07.23.20160762v1

This was predicted by Levitt back in May.

"If Sweden stops at about 5,000 or 6,000 deaths, we will know that they’ve reached herd immunity, and we didn’t need to do any kind of lockdown. My own feeling is that it will probably stop because of herd immunity. COVID is serious, it’s at least a serious flu. But it’s not going to destroy humanity as people thought. "
https://www.stanforddaily.com/2020/05/04/qa-nobel-laureate-says-covid-19...

The western media has massively distorted what’s actually happened in Sweden. They created a “failed” narrative for the entire country, without exploring further, eg the care home element (which the Swedes frankly admitted handled poorly) is very different from the full population results. Media also use high flu herd immunity rates, which Sweden has not reached, to reinforce “failed” narrative, yet as you say some evidence suggests covid herd threshold may be fundamentally different than for flu. There is still much more information needed (eg immunity duration, retransmission, etc) but the narrative which creates a simple “we (lockdown), you (any other approach) is wrong” just limits our own thinking, and the prospect for better evidence informed outcomes.

Even the WHO have come around and are recommending Sweden's approach now https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/science-and-disease/exclusive-...

Great things about Sweden:

- Koenigsegg
- Meshuggah
- Herd Immunity

Yes. You post this every single day.

""far fewer deaths per capita than Britain"" - 572 per million instead of 609 per million is not what I'd call 'far fewer'. More likely related to rest homes and prevalence of diabetes and obesity. Compare number of cases per million and Sweden is 8,297 compared to UKs 4,620.

On the current data you cannot say Sweden right and UK catastrophically wrong.

But he'll say it anyway.

"Flu and pneumonia are killing five times as many people as coronavirus at present, with Covid deaths at their lowest since the end of March, figures show.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that overall deaths were below average for the time of year for the seventh consecutive week, while deaths from Covid-19 were at a 19-week low.

...While fewer than usual died in care homes and hospitals, 676 more died at home than in the average week. Experts fear that this is a consequence of people staying away from the NHS out of fear."
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/flu-kills-five-times-more-than-c...

Pneumonia is the final killer for a lot of diseases, such as strokes, dementia and terminal cancers. So that is a bad comparison.

Au contraire. It's the perfect comparison for exactly the reasons you state. The age and comorbidity data for covid deaths is very clear now, and it's exactly the groups you mention.

https://www.primarydoctor.org/is-there-a-pandemic

Is there any data on overall death rate instead of just calling the Covid bingo numbers daily?

Yes, if you look. And mortality displacement is evident in the overall death rate for the USA, UK and some other European coutnries. I've posted on that but haven't seen July data. But the long term trend in death rate turned in 2014 after over 100 years of decline, it is heading back up. I posted that a couple of weeks back.

As I have posted before, the European data is easily available and quite up to date. The covid spike is unlike anything seen in recent years, and the death rate is now back to normal - no sign of undershooting due to deaths 'brought forward' just yet, although I would not be surprised to see that happen at some point.

https://www.euromomo.eu/

One thing is for sure, the overall death rate is the only data to trust.

serious flu cases have dropped by up to 95% in many western countries this year.

Murdoch paper. Not to be trusted, much like our very own Herald, with overuse of words such as bombshell, shocking, plus it’s shameless dog whistling and allowing those with a right wing agenda to pose as columnists.

The accusation of dog whistling is always made by some one who has a feeble mind.

Like the accusation of virtue signalling.

Crazy how fast the naritive changed yesterday.

Yeah and they've still got to go through Brexit fully yet in December (If they haven't moved the date), but oddly enough the Pound still keeps going up because Boris has pulled a false economy trick borrowed from John Key, by attracting the wealthy HK Chinese to the UK in exchange for visas and property.

SCMP article: Demand for UK property set to rise as Boris Johnson promises visa shake-up to benefit Hongkongers fleeing Beijing’s security law. "The prime minister promised Hongkongers ‘one of the biggest changes in our visa system in British history’ if Beijing pushes through the national security law widely seen as a threat to the city’s autonomy". https://www.scmp.com/business/article/3087329/demand-uk-property-set-ris...

The people voted for Boris and Brexit to stop immigration. Boris won power, pushed Brexit through, then offered 2 million HK'ers residency. Who said that politicians can't be trusted?

It was an astonishingly authoritarian thing to do. At least as authoritarian as the Chinese when you think about it. Such a decision should surely be decided by referendum in a free society but Britain is not free, far from it.

I'm surprised the Chinese didn't welcome it with glee and send all their riffraff over to Britain.

Riffraff? Hardly. You mean those who won't toe the line of an authoritarian regime. Britain's move isn't as authoritarian as the Chinese, no matter how you think about it.

I mean their slum dwelling and criminal element. Cuba was accused of doing this to the US.

Has Boris ever been honest? It would be surprising if the British were surprised at his actions.

Boris is a proper sociopath. But so are many if not most world leaders.

Extend & pretend.
- that was never 100 days.

Problems at border, testing declined.
Problems in community, tester declines GP test referrals.
Problems with contact tracing & the APP.
Minister of Health needs check his last months mail. (Or the new one should).
- part time Health Ministers are rubbish, they & whoever thought otherwise, goneski.

https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2018759445...

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Priceless & Clueless - at the sametime

Moving to mandatory testing of staff at the border was a relatively heavy handed thing for a government to do, Hipkins said. "We went to that two days ago but hadn't done that until that point."

Yes Minister, bye Minister.

Henry. In similar vein Bloomfield makes a cabinet level decision that forced quarantining for C19 is like herding sheep and we won't be doing it but a few hours later a U turn under political pressure and we are. And then todays 'oops should have thought of that' response to the astonishing revelation that most C19 front line control staff were not being tested. Ardern's adoring media is selling a story of 'exceptional leadership' when the reality is a govt stumbling in reactive mode from one threat crisis to another and the country up until now avoiding a major outbreak largely by dumb luck.

Well they do learn some things. At least this time they moved swiftly on isolating the retirement homes. Still makes it strange though the failure to do so in time, the first time round. As you say oops should have thought of that one

It is ALL about leadership, from which lower level commitment, culture, sound process and excellence in execution flow. If it is lacking there will be repeat stuff ups which is exactly what we are observing. NZs C19 response leadership is still scattered as multiple actors parade across the stage. It's an open secret that our earlier C19 debacles were a result of lack of clear demarkation of responsibility and over sized egos jostling for supremacy. Media is well aware of what was going on but nothing of this has been reported as it doesn't align with the desired construct of 'gold standard' leadership. I've spent my working life observing and being part of executive teams. I recognise the symptoms of ineffective top level management. Given it is you and a conflict analogy will resonate - how about the rampaging egos kneecapping Englands defence against it's greatest threat ie the early battle of the Atlantic, where infighting between Whitehall power jockeys prevented the right aircraft being deployed, almost bringing the country to its knees.

What a damning interview.

Why is the mainstream press not calling this?
Better chance than average that I would I be correct in saying that the mainstream press would be all over this wanting heads to roll, if it was National in power.

10
up

Kezza. The MSM has been widely subverted by a leftist agenda. Journalists are these days the product of universities which are dominated by progressive political thinking. 75% of US tertiary staff are leftist and it's thought that 25% hold views that would be categorised as marxist. Ours are similarly slanted. Much of the advocacy 'journalism' dished up in our media is hopelessly polemical with even the infantile garbage passed off as cartoons in our main papers relentlessly biased to the left.

75% of US tertiary staff are leftist and it's thought that 25% hold views that would be categorised as marxist. Ours are similarly slanted.

Could it be that there's a correlation between higher learning and left-wing outlook on life?

No, just a power grab.

Yes. Academia teaches one lesson and real life teaches another that contradicts it.

The correlation is there .
The causation is between having a tenured job for life and not having to deal with reality outside academia much , leading to left wing views. It is reinforced by "affirmative action" in hiring and academic environment being rabidly intolerant of anything but lefty views.

That is a full connect of the nail on the head.

History reveals the extremes that ferment and percolate from these exalted places of learning. Philby, Burgess, McLean, Blunt et al. So much intelligence, intellect and energy input to a doomed regime, no better in anyway than what they were rebelling against

Not to mention our own William Ball Sutch .

You are kidding right? The MSM in NZ definitely has a centre right bias, that is dominant in major players such as the Herald and Newstalk ZB.

Yes stuff is totally a centre right outlet....

An academic carried out a study of media after the last election establishing that over the critical lead in period when swing voters decide, NZ media published a ratio of around 70/40 photos of Ardern vs English. Guess who was portrayed mostly in mother Teresa mode bestowing smiling blessings on the adoring masses and who was pictured in sombre suit and tie looking serious. Ardern will favour a C19 digital campaign knowing she will be subtly promoted by a majority of media.

People perceive a lack of cheerleading for right-wing parties as meaning the media is left-wing biased. Very Trumpian attitude, come to think of it.

Nevermind the hatchet job the MSM did on Cunliffe when he was leader of Labour. A prominent member of the MSM personally apologised after the election for his actions.

Just watch the first 3 segments of TVNZ1 news every night
Everynight they have articles on government failures - night after night - it's so boring - where do they get them from - they don't seem to have any trouble filling up the magazine of 45 pounder - is some of it made up - they certainly do the heavy-breathing breathless thing extremely well

I thought about TVNZ, but I think they are centrist and fairly balanced.
My beef with them is not political bias, it is rather that news readers shouldn't be 'entertainers'. Also, a one hour news programme is a joke, and means there is a lot of material that just isn't news. And the lack of international content versus trivial local garbage.
One presenter, and thirty minutes - please.
But I know I am very much in the minority - most kiwis seem to love the format, including my dad (he was devastated when he heard Wendy Petrie would be going...)

It's the multiple weather bulletins that get me. One before the news starts, a pre-break roundup, and then the 'main' weather bulletin. Somehow they squeeze 3hrs of aimless weather content into a one-hr bulletin. Enrages me unreasonably.

Iconolclast. It's not as if there's been shortage. The CoL has provided a rich supply of incompetence stories. And the flow of ammo for the 45lber locker continues with the latest round of C19 bungling.

2014 MAssey study found that NZ journos self identified as left:right wing at a 4:1 ratio. Don't pretend there is balance in NZ media. A very few balanced or right wing voices in a vast pool of left wingers that skew the scrum on everything they touch.

The MSM suck up to whoever is in government, actually.

America is never going to win another war. They've pathologized self-interest. Insitutions like the AIER are not 'conservative' any more, they are nihilist.

Andrew, hows the dog fairing after his insole feast last week?

Yes, time for an Update from the Spring Growther sector. We await, panting with anticipation .... or something.....

Dog is fine, god knows what else has gone down her throat since. We are getting rain , not lots but enough, so happy on the feed front. Cattle are starting to really gain some weight. I am meant to be in the South Island tomorrow talking to farmers, on hold because I'm worried about getting stuck down there, need to catch up with my seed supplier and stock agent I buy cattle off, don't like dealing with people without them meeting me at least once.
Stock agent in Canterbury told me he is dry too but Nth Canterbury got rain. Don't normally complain about being dry this time of year but after last year, bit jumpy.
The problem will be if we get a couple of weeks of dry Norwester over equinox, it's going to dry up fast. I'm finishing fencing streams which has taken a while and a lot of money. Fence still bites, girls are all back in NZ, hopefully we get through covid okay. Daughter from Ca thinks she already had it as it is so widespread in States.

New Mantra to boost stock market besides printing and distribution of money is to to forcast in extreme like expecting unemployment to be 1.1 million

But first in the US, new claims for unemployment came in at +963,000 last week, which was less than expected.

Overshadow high 963000 unemployment data to allow stock market to move up.

Yet only 60% or less of the US population is actually working. Many still didn't get work after the GFC and there's a large population of boomers that are retiring there. The stock market will move but their economy is looking pretty bad.

US unemployment was down to near historic lows last year. So don't think what you are saying there is a reasonable take on long term situation. Though admittedly this year is awful.

I started looked at the actual number of people employed in the US long before the virus. I believe they may be hitting peak retired population soon which seems to be a source of a lot of economic problems. At least they seem to be following the trend of Japan just 30 years later.

There economy has faired worse than ours in terms of GDP so there seems to be something else that's also adding to the lack of resilience. I'll get back to investigating what it is when I'm not so busy but I think I'll be looking at the make up of their GDP which is apparently 50%+ Government spending.

e: one of the main reasons for looking at actual employment is because their unemployment figures are distorted by a large number of questionable tactics. The 60% US employment prior to covid is comparable to NZ at 79% employment at the same time yet our unemployment percentages were comparable.

Dictator - Seems to me that one of the main distortions in the unemployment stats is that, as things get worse, a stream of people just give up, so they don't count as unemployed anymore (they are not registered unemployed). So as more people drop out of employment, the unemployment stats just reflect the fluctuating pool of people who happen to still be looking.
Is that correct?

Hmmm.. according to nobel prize winner Eugene Fama - part one.

Frankly, I think this is just posturing. Actually, the central banks don’t do anything real. They are issuing one form of debt to buy another form of debt. If you are an old Modigliani–Miller person the way I am, you think that’s a neutral activity: You’re issuing short-term debt to buy long-term debt or vice-versa. That’s not something that should have any real effects…That’s why I use to say that the business of central banks is like pornography: In essence, it’s just entertainment and it doesn’t have any real effects.

The market seems pretty good. It held up even though the economy is deep in the bucket. This is a good example of how forward looking the market really is: It’s looking past what we are going through now, and it’s saying that the future doesn’t look that bad. Link

Part two

So based on classic monetary theory, you don’t really know what’s determining inflation at this point. There is no control over the stock of what qualifies as money, since reserves aren’t really money anymore because they are paying interest. That means you can’t control the currency supply. In other words: Inflation is totally out of the control of central banks. Link

Agree that is just passing the parcel / debt for as long as possible to avoid the inevitable in absence of fundamental.

Wait and watch.

BOJ paying banks to boost pandemic relief, compensates for negative interest rates

“This is one of the most effective policy moves the BOJ has made in recent years,” said Takehiro Noguchi, senior economist at Mizuho Research.

“The BOJ will likely continue to take steps to alleviate the side-effect of its monetary easing... The BOJ thinks negative interest rates is something it should not have done.”

Silver price going hard. Spot up almost 8% in USD last night.

These fluctuations are huge. Must be a lot out there pocketing some serious coin.
Keep your money in the bank at 2% pa or make over 10% a week??? Wishing I was playing it as well but waiting on the conclusion of another deal.

If you belong to the minority that identifies as Covid positive - you will be removed forcibly to the re-identification facility.

Room 101

Despite what Chinese nationalists may say, China is not in a good spot right now. America may be in decline but so is China.They are going down together.

There's a comment meme that's a coupla decades old now, to the effect that the Berlin Wall coming down didn't mean the Victory it was taken to be. It signalled the start of a slow turning for democracy and communism alike. That's certainly played out in the decades since.

there is no doubt this has spread amongst us for a coupe of weeks and the most important thing is find how, the first family that came forward could be third of fourth generation infected which means it could be wide spread.
i think auckland will go level 3 for at least 14 days , the problem is if it got out of auckland hopefully not.
it is interesting watching australia and what is happening in Victoria against NSW and the difference in approaches

Now in Tokoroa.

Coming to a town near you.

Can Interest.co.nz find out more info and give us a piece on the genome sequencing being done here , who is actually doing it , its there a task -team co-ordinating it , who is the project leader ?

How is it interfacing with similar projects overseas and how are we paying for it ?

And the friendly traveller from Australia who recently tested +ve in 2nd, 12 day test.

Also is there any sewage testing taking place. I understand the test is very quick and can show if the virus is in the general population even if the specific person cant be found.
I wonder if the sewers were showing activity and that is what caused the comments last week that there would be a second wave and the push for more testing etc.

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