Global equity markets retreat; US CBO paints dire picture; pandemic resurgence undermines easy policies; China recovering well; UST 10y at 0.67%; oil and gold down; NZ$1 = 66.7 USc; TWI-5 = 69.9

Global equity markets retreat; US CBO paints dire picture; pandemic resurgence undermines easy policies; China recovering well; UST 10y at 0.67%; oil and gold down; NZ$1 = 66.7 USc; TWI-5 = 69.9

Here's our summary of key economic events overnight that affect New Zealand, with news investors are retreating yet again on the consequences of bad public policy choices.

First up today, Wall Street is in a major retreat. The S&P500 is down -1.9% in afternoon trade. Bond yields are falling. Oil prices are diving. The gold price is down sharply as a risk-off mood envelopes financial markets.

Investors are realising that polarised politics are a recipe for fiscal inaction, and the Congressional Budget Office issued a report showing how dire Administration policies will be. The US budget debt deficit is already as large as their GDP and similar to levels in WWII. They now say it will get twice as bad if current policy settings remain unchanged. It is mismanagement on an epic scale.

These policies have however pumped up asset prices. And on that basis, US household net worth is rising steadily - at least it was until today's retrenchment.

And the Chicago Fed's National Activity Index shows that the rebound after the pandemic shutdowns has run its course and is settling in with only 60% of the March and April losses recovered.

The rise and rise of coronavirus infections in places that had hoped to be under control now, in both the US and Europe, is threating renewed lockdowns. The inability to lockdown properly the first time seems to be unleashing ugly public policy choices. Markets are scared of what could come next.

But in Asia, prospects don't seem so dire.

In Taiwan, their export orders rose impressively in August, up more than +13% compared to the same month in 2019. And that builds on impressive June and July data.

In China, a senior central bank adviser says China's economic growth will accelerate to "around 6%" in the fourth quarter of this year, as life and production in most parts of China have returned to normal. And he says full 'normal' will return in the first quarter of 2021.

But we should note that the shares of HSBC have fallen to a 25 year low as its misdeeds seem to be catching up with it. Worse, China is threatening to put it on its new "unreliable entity" list.

In Europe, equity markets were down almost -4% in a major selloff triggered by pandemic resurgence worries. Yesterday, Shanghai ended down -0.6%, Hong Kong fell -2.1%, but Tokyo recorded a gain of +0.2%. Locally, the ASX200 retreated -0.7% and the NZX50 Capital Index fell -0.8%.

The latest global compilation of COVID-19 data is here. The global tally is 31,163,000 and up +304,000 in one day. Global deaths now exceed 962,000.

Just under a quarter of all reported cases globally are in the US, which is up 32,000 overnight to 7,019,000. The number of active cases are stable at 2,543,000. Their death total is now just over 204,000 but rising at a slower rate.

In Australia, there have now been 26,912 COVID-19 cases reported, and that is only +14 more cases from yesterday. Deaths are up slightly at 851 (+2). Their recovery rate is now under 90%.

The UST 10yr yield is down at 0.67% and a -3 bps retreat. Their 2-10 rate curve is sharply lower at +53 bps, their 1-5 curve has slipped to +15 bps, while their 3m-10 year curve is also lower at just under +59 bps. The Australian Govt 10 year yield is down -3 bps to under 0.90%. The China Govt 10 year yield is also lower at 3.13% and a -2 bps slip. And the New Zealand Govt 10 year yield is also down -2 bps at 0.53%.

The price of gold will start today down a remarkable -US$38 at US$1911/oz and a very unusual -2.2% fall. It is acting just like any other risk asset which traditionally hasn't been its role. Silver is down a stunning -8.8%.

Oil prices have taken a hard hit today and are now at US$39/bbl in the US which is a full -US$2 lower, while the international price is also down sharply at just on US$41/bbl.

The Kiwi dollar is starting today sharply lower at 66.7 USc and a full -1c drop overnight. Against the Australian dollar we are slightly lower at 92.4 AUc. Against the euro we are down at 56.7 euro cents. That means our TWI-5 has fallen to 69.9.

The bitcoin price is down -4.8% today, and now at US$10,399. The bitcoin rate is charted in the exchange rate set below.

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US in a policy fog.

Most reserve banks will be as have done most that was possible. Interest rate to zero or near and printing tons of money and now only option is to print more money and government to distribute.

Total distortation of economy never seen in history.


Plenty of examples in history - the Weimar Republic, Zimbabwe, Venezuela...

The Romans, Sumerians, Maya, Greeks, not too many Empires survive peak resource-extraction. The ones you list, were screwed by others - us. But the screwing doesn't last - exponential growth is a sod that way.


Not sure how you put the failures of those civilisations down to peak resource extraction when there are present-day civilisations in their place - surely if the resources were gone they would be desolate wastelands?

Consider, many resources are renewable, especially on a scale of thousands of years - sunlight, water, soil, forests, rivers. If we have to wait for a few hundred years for them to recover after over exploitation then it's not particularly useful for us alive today, is it?

Consider also technology. The Romans and Greeks didn't have modern transportation or communication systems, easily able to bring resources from the four corners of the globe at little cost. They also didn't have thousands of lifetimes of scientific knowledge that showed the most productive ways to do task XYZ with the resources available. We do.

There's a reason the global population went from 3b in 1900 to 7b in 2000.

Yep, PDK doesn't think technology growth/advancement is a thing.

Yet it is the one thing that, essentially, underpins the collapse of each of the civilizations he mentions. And he conflates/confuses this with physical resource extraction.

Um, how about a corrupt ruling class bereft of vision, stooped to infighting. That usually heralds the end

Shore Thing - the Fertile Crescent................isn't.

But you forget the burrowing underground, these last 200 years, at exponentially-increasing rates, the resources extracted best-first.

Romans, Greeks - Civil unrest / uprising; a lack of political control.
Sumerians - Military domination.
Mayans - Drought / climate change.

PDK, you really need to stop looking for connections in everything.
The collapses of all these civilizations you mention have nothing to do with peak resource extraction.


Read Tainter. Read Diamond. Read Wright. Heck, just read.

You make the fatal mistake, cognitively, of conflating cause with causal. The Sumerians suffered from self-induced salinity; no food, no longer an energy surplus. Just like Hitler and Trump, folk turn over wildcards increasingly desperately as the pressure comes on. The military are a last-resort control. The Maya painted themselves out of resilience - as we have; running full-noise too close to the margins. Always ask why the bl--dy unrest?

But no...... economics and technology can fix everything. Up and up forever and forever. The gospel according to the High Priesthood.

That's what happens when you paint close to the margin, I've done it on the house and it's always a mess.

Shout out for Victor Davis Hanson.
- for those mindfull read any/ all of his books.

I need to go drench some bulls, as we are fogged in still, im going to be a bit late.

Nikola, what a mess

Illustrative of the global economy since at least 2008; the time of our Last Warning.

“ Nikola’s market capitalization had vaulted to $29 billion as day-trader fans were going nuts over it, trying to get rich quick on this supernatural phenomenon…..with plenty of true believers still thinking that this is a buy. Shares are down 65% from their closing high of $79.73, and down 70% from their intraday high of $93.99:… “We have never seen this level of deception at a public company, especially of this size.”

Nikola was clearly a massive scam, Milton is the Theranos of EVs. They weren't even trying to hide it:

"The entire infotainment system is a HTML 5 super computer," Milton said. "That's the standard language for computer programmers around the world, so using it let's us build our own chips. And HTML 5 is very secure. Every component is linked on the data network, all speaking the same language. It's not a bunch of separate systems that somehow still manage to communicate."

These guys should be in jail.

My god, what a bunch of incoherent technobabble. Did he actually say this?

As an IT guy, I can assure you, this makes zero sense and is not accurate in the slightest. Virtually nothing in those sentences is accurate nor sensible.

Clearly the execs at GM were impressed by the HTML5 supercomputer.

Its time the Engineers were put back in charge of companies like GM and Boeing.

And the Doctors in charge of the hospitals

NZ National is pledging $1.29 billion to ensure 90 per cent of households have uncapped ultra-fast broadband, introducing a fast-track technology skills visa, creating a Minister for Technology and offering 1000 tertiary scholarships a year for STEM-focused degrees.

Their target is to double tech exports to $16 billion while creating 100,000 more jobs in tech.


Oh, fast-track visas - what a novel idea! No way that could go wrong.

Remember Clarkes Knowledge economy, Keys financial hub , one day one of them could be right but pretty sure National ain't got what it takes, just barking up random trees ,seeing if they can shake something out like dog chasing squirrels.

Even the CE of NZTech wasn't overly impressed with this announcement and is convinced that NZ's tech exports are on track to double in size before 2030 with or without National's policies.

A fast-track tech visa is unnecessary since we don't exactly get first pick when it comes to global tech talent due to the high living costs, low pay and fewer career options, compared to other locations. First and foremost, we need functioning policies that channel the flow of skills and capital into high growth tech ventures.

Sloppy copy Shore ting
Technology skills visa.

We all know MOH IT wizards could have done with more, some, any intellectual muscle.
Look at the number of firms almost bankrupted by even putting in a Microsoft ERP, anything

The joint needs help fast.


Weren't the existing visa programmes supposed to help plug those skill gaps? Aren't international students coming here to study at our 'world-class' institutions not talented enough to handle this kind of work?

NZ National leadership is so desperate to get into power that they now risk contradicting their own predecessors, who persistently lied to us that the migration programme is functioning wonderfully.

Advisor: Re para 1.
Existing visa programs do not help.
Anecdotally specific software, product knowledge never verified.
Means new arrivals fudge cv, and when on site, in constant messenger with friends overseas.
The client & contracting company never know...

- there is a great lack of software product technical knowledge.

The students complete study with no specific product knowledge hopeless on site.
Remember often the client has internal BA's self taught, no product certification, & calling the shots.

Your second paragraph seems just an emotional brain dump. Whats the event that has cut you so deep to trigger such?

Your comment doesn't make sense. Currently, employers are free to sponsor overseas talent on temporary 'essential skills' visas.

You say this visa allows migrants to game the system and the employer, but haven't said how a fast-track visa would be any better at filtering out candidates with fudged CVs.

And on the last rant, Simon Bridges suggested a fast-track 'primary sector' visa to help alleviate skill shortages in that field of work. If the current visa system isn't helping us bring the right skills, why not fix them first before adding more streams for migration?

We use generic visas instead of addressing our broken education system that doesn't produce enough skilled workers for our industries, and now want specific visas instead of addressing our broken migration system that doesn't bring the right kind of skillset, despite record-breaking influx levels under normal circumstances.

Fast tracking.
For those claiming expert product knowledge, an entrance exam.
Verification of certification.
Can be done before getting here.
Thats the beauty of the cloud.


Same old economic policy: pump house prices and rents; high-volume immigration to keep wages down and inflate nominal GDP.

Nothing to offer younger Kiwis.

Have we not had this ultra fast broadband going on already? So what is new? Nearly all the youngsters I know are some sort of IT expert, so all this is happening already.

This is a doctor in Sweden talking about covid, I really think we have ended up on the wrong side of this battle.
Time to turn the ship around and admit fault, which is okay, no one is perfect, just don't keep making the same mistakes, this is an expensive one.

Did that teach you anything, AJ?



the power of fear to control masses

yes he is very clever and a threat to the establishment. He is also right about cholesterol . This is by a Swedish specialist, not him.

"He is also right about cholesterol'. Care to elaborate @Andrew?


I got interested in health after a back injury, I cut out sugars refined carbs and ate more fatty meats, lost 10kg and felt the best I had for years.
I started to notice years ago that much of what was considered normal in farming practice, was in fact just an experiment we have been running for 50 years or so, results unknown.
Breast cancer rates in the UK are now 1 in 8. My wife has friends going through various stages of treatment not just one friend but multiple. Breast cancer almost unheard of in China, is now becoming common as they move to a more western type diet.
Big Pharma is a monster and they know how to fight, a lot of what is common practice today I am sure won't be sustainable long into the future.

Satin Nation

Your reply didnt mention the word cholesterol once.

Thanks for the links AJ, I'll have a read of his papers. I also share concerns about the dietary fat / heart disease link. I suspect sugar and metabolic disease have a role to play in the way our bodies process dietary fat. In fact I often wonder if sugar may be the tobacco of our generation.

NZ's own Prof. Grant Schofield has similar views

First I have heard of "the cholesterol denialist movement." Isn't the internet a wonderful place.

Did you see the link from AJ yesterday about the Belgian Doctors? It is damning about lockdown, in fact all aspects of Covid management. So damning it is almost justification that anyone still believing could be called a moron.

How about you comment on what the link says rather than a fallacious attack. All you do is call the wiki into serious question.

I haven't seen the link @scarfie but interested in understanding your comment, "So damning it is almost justification that anyone still believing could be called a moron".

Believing in COVID?

Believing in the management of Covid. Here, I suggest you read it.

Hmmm, I just picked one sentence:

"If we compare the waves of infection in countries with strict lockdown policies to countries that did not impose lockdowns (Sweden, Iceland …), we see similar curves. So there is no link between the imposed lockdown and the course of the infection. Lockdown has not led to a lower mortality rate."

No lockdown:
Sweden: 88,237 cases, 5865 deaths. 0.8% of population caught it, 0.057% dead.
Iceland: 2,377 cases, 10 deaths. 0.65% of population caught it, 0.0027% dead.

Australia: 26,912 cases 851 dead. 0.1% of population caught it, 0.0034% dead.
NZ: 1815 cases 25 dead. 0.036% of population caught it, 0.0005% dead.

I would suggest these are comparable countries. And if you agree, firstly the sentence "Lockdown has not led to a lower mortality rate" is completely wrong. "So there is no link between the imposed lockdown and the course of the infection" - also completely wrong according to the percentage of population who caught it. Though I think they are very careful with their words here, YES the shape of the graph is the same, but the MAGNITUDE of the numbers are different. If smart people equate the two they are trying to confuse and mislead readers.

median age sweden 41.1 years
median age iceland 36 years

Nope, sorry that doesn't pass the logical thinking test. The article needs to be taken in it's entirety, most of all the principles behind the practice of health and the practice of civil liberties.

I suggest you revise your logic engine. Every sentence that forms a conclusion needs to be backed up by the evidence. If I was able to pick a random paragraph and easily prove that the statistics do not support the assertions, then it doesn't pass the objective truth test. If truth goes against logic, then the logic needs revising, not the truth.

Saying that the entire article is true even when parts of it are completely false is a bit weird. You will note scientific papers are often analysed to the nth degree, if one piece is found to be inaccurate, the paper is withdrawn and submitted again, or updates made to it.

This isn't finished yet, that is the logic. Overall mortality is the only statistic that is going to be in any way trustworthy. I've just seen mortality for Sweden going back to 2015. That is overall mortality all causes for the first 33 weeks of the year. Same this year as all years going back to 2015. Your figures are manipulated bullshit that can't be trusted (any more than mine can, I'm not there so can't really tell).

Please give a source for that claim because FTs has that data and it shows the opposite. Not that FTs is a rockstar reference but what is yours?

Well my figures come from googles covid tracking tool as of this morning, combined with population statistics. If you are suggesting these are somehow manipulated and there is some great conspiracy at play, I expect you can provide evidence? Huge claims require huge evidence...

Scarfie, have you seen the local GP, being taken down in the press here?

I've been out taking the Belgian Doctors advice & taking a complete path to improving my immunity. Including the physical & psychosocial. Is: I've been surfing the last week& it has been epic. I'm starting to get good, racing around the waves with guys & gals 20-30 years my junior :-)

I'm largely keeping away from Covid commentary Henry. The evidence is overwhelming that something else is going on with the management of it. Not sure exactly what yet but I'm expecting it is part of a trend & won't change anything by worrying about it. Propaganda is effective for a reason right? That fool most of the people most of the time thing. I'd though some here that are captured were smart enough not to succumb, I've been wrong about that.

Do you wear your tin foil hat while surfing?

What spot you been surfing?

Shippies. My first go around a bit further at "The Pines" also. Caught my biggest wave to date there, 1 1/2x overhead and I'm 6'1".

Correction, this is a doctor in the UK talking about a Doctor in Sweden.

For a counter view on Sweden responding poorly this article from the BMJ is worth a read


But your link is from a peer reviewed high-impact medical journal. Why should we listen to research like that when we could just go on Facebook or read some random outlying doctor's blog post to confirm our views?!

Or come to place like this site, clearly full off old bastards looking to protect their privilege. But at risk by virtue of their & so completely full of bias they've lost their objectivity. Yeah we'll get balance here right?

The article is from June & out of date.

"Four months into the COVID-19 pandemic, Sweden’s prized herd immunity is nowhere in sight". This was published in August.

Did you actually read the Belgian Doctors article? It is quite comprehensive, much better than this linear tripe you keep coughing up. This is far from over, we'll be counting the deaths from lockdown for years to come.

If their claims are factual then they can publish in peer-reviewed journals. If this is the case I'll happily change my tune. The 'linear tripe' is peer-reviewed research, it's kind of how the scientific method works...

@Bazil. That BMJ is over three months old. A long time ago in the development of this saga.
Kendrick? Not interested in his view but if the Sweish doctor exists, thats informative at the very least.
Statins? My GP who is top line and an educator says the view has changed. Only useful when there is underlying stuff. Blanket use is - so last century.
Go figure

Yer nah Andrew stick to feeding ya bulls, rather than us
Malcolm Kendrick is a GP, conspiracy theorist author, cholesterol denialist and low-carb diet advocate. He is best known for his controversial claim that high blood cholesterol does not increase the risk of heart disease.

Kendrick dislikes the medical community and argues against the use of statins.[3][4

You say low-carb diet advocate like it's a bad thing. You know how they make Japanese Sumo put on weight (or chickens, or beef cattle for that matter?) No, not fish. Or meat. Carbs. Check out Dr Shawn Baker

Last paragraph "So, to conclude: COVID is over in Sweden. We have herd immunity. Most likely, many other parts of the world do too, including England, Italy, and parts of the US, like New York. And the countries that have successfully contained the spread of the disease, like Germany, Denmark, New Zealand, and Australia, are going to have to stay in lockdown for at least another year, and possibly several years, if they don’t want to develop herd immunity the natural way."
How long are we prepared to wait?

Well it's bullshit anyway. Firstly vaccines are going to be rolled out en masse in Q1 of next year.

Secondly even if the vaccines turn out not to work, there are other choices than to let it run rampant, instead a programme of deliberate innoculation with a weak dose of the virus can be rolled out. You know exactly who in the community has it, they can stay isolated for the length of their infection and you can avoid giving it to people with known risk factors.

I highly doubt vaccines will be available by early next year, the reality is even the flu vaccine is of limited use. My wife has friend in UK, one has a 95 year old farther in a care, Covid went through residence and didn't kill one person.

Two SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, which might be used in New Zealand in the near future are discussed briefly below.

The Australian government has recently signed agreements with: (i) University of Oxford and Astra Zeneca, (ii) University of Queensland, and (iii) Commonwealth Serum Laboratories (CSL) which has a long history of vaccine production in Australia. These agreements will allow CSL to produce 30 million doses of the AZD1222 vaccine, developed by Astra Zeneca in collaboration with the University of Oxford, and 51 million doses of the V451 vaccine, developed by the University of Queensland. It has been suggested that these vaccines will have completed immunogenicity, safety, and efficacy testing, and be available for use, in early 2021 (AZD1222) and mid 2021 (V451). New Zealand may have the opportunity to purchase one or both of these vaccines manufactured in Australia.

The AZD1222 vaccine, developed by Astra Zeneca and University of Oxford, contains 5X1010 chimpanzee adenovirus viral particles, each of which carries the gene for the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. After vaccination the adenovirus attaches to and infects cells, which then use the gene as instructions to synthesise the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. The AZD1222 vaccine was given as a single dose to 533 healthy adult volunteers, and shown to stimulate antibody responses that were similar to those seen in patients who had recovered from COVID-19 illness. The vaccine commonly caused pain at the injection site and other mild to moderate systemic adverse effects in the two days immediately following vaccination8.

The University of Queensland vaccine (V451) contains the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, plus an adjuvant (MF59). This vaccine has been shown to induce strong neutralising antibody responses in animals, and immunogenicity and safety studies in human volunteers have started in Australia.

A large number of other vaccines are under development9. One, the Russian “Sputnik V” vaccine has recently been distributed, without first undergoing large studies of its efficacy in preventing COVID-19 disease. The Sputnik V vaccine is very similar to the AZD1222 vaccine, in that it uses adenoviruses as vectors to transport the gene which codes for the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein into the cells of the vaccinated person, which then synthesise the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, and thus stimulate immune responses against the spike protein10

It seems likely that some vaccines, which have been shown in large studies to be safe and efficacious, will be available for purchase by the middle of 2021. Hopefully New Zealand will be able to select a safe effective vaccine to purchase. And hopefully we will achieve successful vaccination in at least 70-80% of the population, and thus prevent community transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in New Zealand.

Vaccines can take years to develop and if the virus runs its course over the next 6 months and the numbers of cases decline then its entirely possible there won't be such an urgency to find a vaccine.

Do you mean that in 6 months herd immunity can be reached? Reported infection numbers don't support that. At current infection rate (under 40,000 per day) USA is looking at 20+ years until it has spread through the population.

We had a friend in Brazil in his 50s - hadn't had a day in hospital throughout his adult life - got it - died.

I lost a friend 10 years ago to a virus, young family. Also I think Rod Macdonald of the Greens died from a virus too, bloody dangerous things.

AJ - try to be accurate, eh?

Donald was his surname and it wasn't a virus.

No, I just checked it was food poisoning, really sad i liked the guy. We sometimes take life for granted till shocked.

Well we'll see, won't we?

Bill Gates, who has invested billions in COVID vaccines, says COVID will be largely controlled in developed countries by the end of 2021 due to vaccine availability, and by the end of 2022 in developing countries.

Note I said vaccines would be available, I didn't make any claims about efficacy.

"Note I said vaccines would be available, I didn't make any claims about efficacy."


Your second option is a more controlled version of what is argued for here:
Let the young and healthy get it and protect those vulnerable.

I doubt early next year, probably looking at 2022 now. The Oxford vaccine we were pinning most of our hopes on has has 2 cases of transverse myelitis. This is an incredibly rear illness that can paralyze you. If they get a third case the vaccine is toast.

Where this leaves us is anyone's guess. I doubt our tourism industry will be in good shape with 2 summers of no tourists. If we don't accept Covid we may have to accept poverty, mass unemployment & social unrest.

If uk, Italy and Sweden have herd immunity, why are their covid cases doubling every week at the moment?

Surely if they have herd immunity they should have zero cases?

Sweden's cases are not doubling every week. Looks very steady with very low fatality rate.

Why is increasing if they've supposedly achieved herd immunity?

I don't think "herd immunity" means that no one gets it. It just becomes a lot more manageable and cannot spread like wildfire. Just like what we see in Sweden today.

To an extent but if you achieve true herd immunity the disease wouldn't spread around a population at all.

No herd immunity means it does not spread as there is no one for it to spread too. The herd is immune

You can have covid but not even no it unless tested. You don't always feel crook.


Time @andrewj considered establishing his own blog

He would definitely get more readers that way, than from people lucky enough to read his comments by scrolling 3/5ths of the way down this page.

Yesterday morning on Breakfast Briefing at 9:00 am @andrewj comprised 30% of all posts

Im odd

As long as you don't go totally down the conspiracy rabbit hole and go NZ Public Party or NZ Advance on us...

No you are safe there,

Im still trying to figure out which camp I am in.

"The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence."

- - Charles Bukowski

These policies have however pumped up asset prices. And on that basis, US household net worth is rising steadily

A separate breakdown of the change in net worth, as also discussed previously, one which looks at median net worth by age of head (of household) shows that the oldest Americans - those 65 and older - have seen gains in their net worth by over 60%. Everyone else is either flat or down!

This underscores just how endemic poverty is in America, even in times of economic expansion. While incomes have increased, so has the cost of living, with consumer prices rising 20% since 2009. Meanwhile, while financial assets - those which have grown the most in the past decade - soaring thanks to the Fed's generous monetary policy and benefiting those who own financial assets, this turns out to be a tiny sliver of the population. In the CBO's latest, if somewhat dated, Trends in Family Wealth analysis published in 2016, the budget office showed a breakdown of the net worth chart by wealth group, which sadly shows how the "average" American wealth is anything but, and in reality most of that $100 trillion belongs to just 10% of the US population. The distribution has only gotten worse since then.

Here is how the CBO recently explained the wealth is distributed:

In 2013, families in the top 10 percent of the wealth distribution held 76 percent of all family wealth, families in the 51st to the 90th percentiles held 23 percent, and those in the bottom half of the distribution held 1 percent.

Average wealth was about $4 million for families in the top 10 percent of the wealth distribution, $316,000 for families in the 51st to 90th percentiles, and $36,000 for families in the 26th to 50th percentiles. On average, families at or below the 25th percentile were $13,000 in debt.

In other words, roughly 75% of the $7.6 trillion increase in assets went to benefit just 10% of the population, who also account for roughly 76% of America's financial net worth. It also means that just 10% of the US population is worth roughly $90 trillion, while half of the US population was virtually no wealth, and if anything it is deeply in debt.Link

We bail out dot com bubble, we bail out the reckless in 2008, then we keeping halving interest rates as you point out ,and oh look it's all gone to the top, who would have thought that.

Sanity emerging?

Germany’s most celebrated virologist has some trenchant advice for countries contemplating a second national lockdown: hold your nerve, and don’t succumb to the pervasive mood of mass hysteria.

“It is time to stop all this alarmism. We can outsmart the virus using all our knowledge,” said Professor Hendrik Streeck, director of Germany's Institute of Virology at Bonn University.

When I read what the Belgian Doctors say I think back to the discussion a while back about entropy, and how an organism (including a city) can not live in own byproducts, it's own shit. Yet here we have it being mandated by wearing a mask:

"Our Labour Code (Codex 6) refers to a CO2 content (ventilation in workplaces) of 900 ppm, maximum 1200 ppm in special circumstances. After wearing a mask for one minute, this toxic limit is considerably exceeded to values that are three to four times higher than these maximum values. Anyone who wears a mask is therefore in an extreme poorly ventilated room."

Who is running New Zealand? Answer - The Lobby Groups

Australia has 250 Registered Lobbyists
On a comparative population basis NZ should be 50
Australian lobbyists have to be registered by the government before they can peddle their wares

Not so in NZ - anyone can be a lobbyist - Check out this 2017 list
"List of lobbyists with access to Parliament to be reviewed by new Speaker"
That is a list of 100 people who have a swipe card that gives them Government access

Nearly every day a Trawl through the daily media sees a number of never heard of before groups demanding government funding for their special interest group. And none of them appear in the swipe-card list above

New Zealand has 27,000 charities. Most of them apply pressure on the government

David Farrar and his 'market reserarch company.' Laughable. How on earth is he on the lobbyist list?

Flatten the curve, deferring the curve.

But fatigued, PNG Prime Minister James Marape is now unwilling to keep his nation's economy in the freezer, saying his citizens will have to learn to "live with the virus".

Effective border closures have so far papered over the shortfalls.

So on other matters that pertain to economic and lifestyle. On Saturday I had a pretty cool adventure when I walked and then surfed a spot with five twenty somethings. Of the six of this surfing this spot I was the only kiwi. You see they come here for the surfing because it is uncrowded compared to other countries.........

We were lucky, other breaks on the way had 30-40 people trying to surf them. I'd hate to think what I would be like if not for Covid, so some small bonus's in the mix. It is a regular complaint from older experienced surfers that the breaks are crowded.

Still I had a great time, most surfers are good company and I made some new friends.