US Fed trapped by both low rates and fiscal inaction; asset prices rise again; US loan forgiveness program dodgy; China reserves slip; Taiwan scores; UST 10y at 0.78%; oil and gold down; NZ$1 = 65.9 USc; TWI-5 = 69.2

US Fed trapped by both low rates and fiscal inaction; asset prices rise again; US loan forgiveness program dodgy; China reserves slip; Taiwan scores; UST 10y at 0.78%; oil and gold down; NZ$1 = 65.9 USc; TWI-5 = 69.2

Here's our summary of key economic events overnight that affect New Zealand, with news American policy is very skittish and uncertain, shifting daily now.

The just-released US Fed minutes show officials grappled with how to tailor their new policy framework for the pandemic-scarred economy when they met last month. Grappling is probably understating it.

New research by the US Fed shows that their inability to cut interest rates further means they will need to vastly increase asset purchases if it doesn't want to allow more major damage to the US economy. The analysts suggests they will need to double the $3 tln monetary stimulus already actioned for this recession, and take the Fed's balance sheet up to more than US$10 tln. The issue is more urgent because the Administration is blocking fiscal stimulus (although there may be a yoyoing on that).

Another burst like this will drive asset prices even higher however.

Mortgage applications are still rising strongly in the US, encouraged by very low interest rates. Unlike other recessions, American house prices have been rising, and rising at a faster pace recently.

And it is not only American house prices; it is Canada too. Toronto house prices were up nearly +12% year-on-year on a +42% volume jump. Vancouver is up sharply as well and back with C$1mln dwelling averages again, with the average house price C$1.5 mln.

The US Small Business Administration has started 'forgiving' loans made under their PPP program, an Administration action that has drawn sharp criticism because of the opaque nature of the decisions about who get this relief and who doesn't. The White House is blocking transparency, fueling suspicions there is political targeting and opening the opportunity for fraud and corruption.

In China, their August foreign exchange reserves unexpectedly fell.

In Taiwan they produced another bumper trade surplus with exports up +9.4% year-on-year, and imports down -5.4%. Both were much more than expected.

In Australia, their household savings rate leaped in the year to June to almost +20%, the highest rate since June 1974. This was driven by the record fall in consumption. Gross disposable income rose +2.2%, driven by an historic +42% increase in social assistance benefits, due to both an increase in the number of recipients and additional COVID-19 support payments.

An indication of how tough it is in Australia's huge service sector came today when the AIGroup services PSI for September which dropped from a contracting 43 pts in August to a much worse contraction of 36 pts. This is a serious backslide, and the Victorian lockdown will have had a lot to do with it.

Wall Street is up today by +1.6% in afternoon trade on the S&P500 more sure Washington will shower then with new money. European markets closed mixed last night. Yesterday Hong Kong rose another +1.1% and Tokyo closed unchanged. Shanghai is back trading tomorrow. Yesterday the ASX200 ended up +1.3% and the NZX50 Capital Index was up +0.3%.

The latest global compilation of COVID-19 data is here. The global tally is 35,947,000 and up at a faster pace by +347,000 in one day. Many countries, from India, Russia, Brazil to the UK are experiencing sharp rises in new cases. These hot-spots are all a particular risk to New Zealand. Global deaths reported now exceed 1,052,000 (+6000) but clearly many are going unreported. 

The largest number of reported cases globally are still in the US, which is up +44,000 in one day to 7,736,000. The number of active cases is at 2,567,000 so as many new cases as recoveries and no progress on that front. Their death total is over 216,000 and still rising at about +1000 per day.

In Australia, there have now been 27,182 COVID-19 cases reported, and that is only +8 more cases than yesterday. Deaths are little-changed, up to 897 (+2).

The UST 10yr yield is up +1 bp to 0.78%. Their 2-10 rate curve is marginally flatter at +61 bps, their 1-5 curve is unchanged at +20 bps, while their 3m-10 year curve is also little-changed at +68 bps. The Australian Govt 10 year yield is down -10 bps to 0.86%. The China Govt 10 year yield is unchanged at 3.16%. The New Zealand Govt 10 year yield is also unchanged to 0.53%.

The price of gold is down another -US$29 this morning at US$1886/oz in New York trade.

Oil prices start today lower by -US$1, now just under US$39.50/bbl in the US, while the international price is down to just under US$41.50/bbl.

The Kiwi dollar starts today lower by -½c at 65.9 USc. Against the Australian dollar we are down as well at 92.3 AUc, and an 18 day low. Against the euro we unchanged at 55.9 euro cents which is also lower. And that means our TWI-5 has fallen to 69.2.

The bitcoin price is also soft today, now at US$10,621 and -1% lower than this time yesterday. The bitcoin rate is charted in the exchange rate set below.

The easiest place to stay up with event risk today is by following our Economic Calendar here ».

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I would like to recommend readers of these comments to use a media fact checking resources when considering links posted by other members. I use Media Fact Check as it is the most comprehensive. has not been assessed there, but perhaps the website would consider submitting itself for assessment?
So for example, on Media Fact Check; the BBC is assessed as mainly factual but to have a left wing bias, which from my perspective, is pretty true. And also outrageous. The BBC should have no bias. Another one is Zero Hedge, which is a favourite of many here. It has been assessed as low on factual reporting, mainly inaccurate and assessed as reporting "conspiracy pseudo-science".


Great comment. The problem is that almost all sites/sources miss the Limits to Growth issue (the biggest existential threat overarching everything) and in that light, left/right etc pales into insignificance. From my POV, the BBC are hopelessly incapable of questioning/challenging 'economic growth'. Doesn't matter what their bias is, in that light.

Below is the post I'd penned, before I read yours. Read it and weep :)

The failure of the mainstream media, to prioritise.

Guyon Espiner – reporter-at-large for RNZ – has ‘spent the last year on the NZF funding case’.

FFS – I’m no Winnie or NZF fan, but this is orders of magnitude ‘minutiae while Rome burns’. Who sets these ‘priorities’? This is asking who ran the two-up game in Steerage, and asking it an hour after the iceberg was struck.

Further, when one writes to the RNZ CEO – a public radio public servant, not a churn-requiring Board-reporting (or is that the problem? Do we have a Board more interested in something other than journalism?) he avoids replying.

Is this orders-of-magnitude priority-failure indicative of an internal malaise? An inability to rise above assumption? Or is it purposeful; a fierce concentration on things equality-related, small and/or various degrees of irrelevant, done to avoid the bigger Systemic issues facing humankind?
We are facing a truth crisis. The getting, appraising and presenting of same has never been more needed. Pity it’s MIA.

Radio New Zealand is agenda driven

I don't think it is the RNZ CEO's mandate to reply to (undoubtedly) countless inconsequential letters from disgruntled, sanctimonious listeners.

How do you reckon you'd rank PDK?
"Left of left and lacking in facts. (Note, finite resources are not a fact ;). "

finite resources are not a fact" Really? have you been outside lately? Or do you belong to some type of religion or cult that believes the world is flat?

Anyone with the barest minimum of knowledge of our world and science would understand that the resources we have available to us is a finite supply. And going by your Nom de plume, I assume you are a farmer and therefore apply fertiliser to your land at times. Therefore why do you think resources are infinite? And that growth can be infinite?

We could run the check over 'countless inconsequential' and 'disgruntled sanctimonious'.

Might find a confirmation bias, who knows?


You may have missed the ;)
It's the one fact that trump's all, and yet as PDK would point out most media ignore it and even think anyone who adheres to it is way off centre obviously.

Yes i did. Actually i like that tongue out the side bit. But to be fair too many people still don't get it.

saw it and appreciated.


No one is qualified to report on such a large topic. And journalists are largely not interested in science, particularly science which is going to lead them down an infinite number of rabbitholes and result in no certainty or hot headlines.

That, Brisket, is very perceptive. Fully agree, and it opens up the problem of specialisation, particularly in Academia. I call it Interdisciplinary Genuflection, some call it silo-ing.

And if reporters specialise, they won't traverse wide enough; a common fault.

Buckminster Fuller said we need more Generalists.... he has a point.

Total rubbish! Next you'll be saying that FoxNews is the only truth media in the world!!

Neither should RNZ have bias! But a celebrated early morning commentator does not evidence that premise methinks. Not in the slightest. Paid by all the tax payers too.

Celebrated ? by whom

Wrt to the BBC and most of the NZ media being left leaning, it goes back to universities and education in general. It's not going to change. There is no impetus for it to change at all.

You miss the point.

Left/Right was the championing of improvements in Steerage living conditions, versus the menu-options on A Deck.

The current morph is the sinking. It is the exponentially-increasing everything; refugee-streams, standoffs, storms, fires, polarising schisms be they race, creed or whatever. It is orders-of-magnitude bigger than the L/R niggles, to the point they've become a waste of discussion-time. Indeed, disingenuous; add ever-more children within a bounded system, and you cannot solve 'child poverty'. When I challenged a reporter (ODT, as it happened; could have been any) that Child Poverty was actually 'Child access to resources and energy', the reply was "the PM calls it that". Spare me, on that basis the world is flat.

Where are you getting these "ever-more children" from PDK?

Profile, Profile, Profile.
If one wants to believe in a narrative of total societal annihilation, they must ignore much of the evidence debunking it.


Great to see populations dropping in some places around the world. It would be great to see that happen in New Zealand as well. What a wonderful place we would become.

You're right - no amount of migration can solve the poor productivity trap we're in here.

If population growth were the answer to all economic woes, wouldn't South Asia be the envy of the world right now. The region chugs out tens of millions of engineers, scientists and mathematicians each year but struggle with building the infrastructure and economic environment to deploy those skills.

So how do we know that media fact check is the most comprehensive?

Or even if they don't have their own biases? Who are they? Could be just a couple of nobodies operating out of a basement somewhere.

The website provides evidence and examples of its fact checking, so you can verify yourself. I have used this website many times and I always fact check personally anyway. In my experience, this website is pretty good, but we must also satisfy our own verification and trust issues. I didn't suggest this was the only method to fact checking, just that it is one that I have found valuable and comprehensive. I suspect many people are just butt hurt that there fave media outlets are assessed as biased and inaccurate so they want to attack the very idea of fact checking. Sadly, that is a very common behaviour online. No one wants to question their own strongly held biases and beliefs, they just seem to want to point at others and shout.

It's just an amateur web site run by nobody particularly notable ginger. Sad!

Or perhaps you use media fact check because it fits your own bias? The internet is a funny old place


And who fact and bias checks Media Fact Check? How can 10 people determine what's fact or fiction? Would they have to know more about everything than I do?
I consider "Fact Checking" organisations main stream censorship and enforcement of their chosen narrative. How can you trust them after they have shown any partizan bias? Not accusing Media Fact Check here but have a think how much bias is required to "fact check" something with the evidence: we can find no evidence to support this and then declare it false(, they could just be better journalists than you).

As for Zero Hedge I would hope those who read it and follow links to it know what it is and that almost everything contains opinion and should be treated with scepticism (they don't pretend otherwise) but once you realise that its far more interesting and educational than almost any MSM source. Learning what other people around the world are thinking and what their opinions are is important.
Don't get me started on RNZ's USA correspondent from the BBC and his TDS.

Edit: I trust our most prolific Zero Hedge poster, Andrewj, to check what he is posting (to make sure its interesting and educational) more than any organisation I have never herd of or wanted to research.

I reckon in times gone by FactCheck might have told us that the earth was flat, and anyone who told us to the contrary has to be silenced......
As Russell Brand noted "My cat doesn't know there is an internet, but there is one"

On the other hand, as per The Far Side, one dog said to the other that the good thing about it, when you are on the internet, no one knows you are a dog.

Thats a cool cat

Just run the slide rule over # stories about homelessness in 2017 vs 2020 to check local media bias.

There are a couple of different websites that offer media fact checking. Over the years I have personally found Media Fact Check to be reliable. They also provide evidence of their assessments and so you can verify these yourself, and fact check the fact checkers. Awareness of media bias is important to me, so I tend to double check and verify most sources myself anyway. There is opinion, which is subjective, then there is information presented as factual and objective, when it is not. And this is what fact checking is addressing. In regards to opinion, I agree that is important to seek out a broad spectrum, however, when seeking opinion, it is also wise to be aware of bias. Media Fact Check assesses the political bias or agenda of the opinion and separately fact checks. So it is helping on two levels.

Some people want to drink the Kool-Aid and don't like to let issues of accuracy get in the way of their ranting and value based biases.

That's fine. We all have our own preferences. I'm just pointing out that some people clearly have no interest in fact checking or verification, so to bear that in mind when links are shared.

PDK, I agree that there is indeed a form of bias where an issue is ignored (for instance the sustainability of growth). Within academia it's referred to as "publication bias" but the same issues exists within the media and indeed within our minds.

I agree with many of your posts regarding the sustainability of growth in the future, however, I have a different opinion, on how to address the issue.

Would love to hear your opinion Ninja on how to address sustainability. The medicine PDK proposes wouldn't be swallowed by the patient, which unfortunately makes it no medicine at all.

If you can personally fact check the fact checker do you need the fact checker at all?
If you trust them that's fine but I and everyone else has to as well. It could be your personal beliefs and bias align with Media Fact Check.

Sure if your wanting the earliest or most detailed news for a particular event that your MSM of choice is unlikely to have you can google for the news and check the various sites you find using a fact checker that good but using a "fact checker" to say someone else's news source is wrong and you should believe me and my news source instead is over reaching the ability of just 10 people and their ability to be absolutely correct and factual. For example, there is no fixed definition of the left right political spectrum and choosing one requires bias.

It's very indicative of the times that making a suggestion about fact checking has become controversial. Some appear to be quite triggered by it even.

It became controversial when your media fact check indicated BBC was factual

Point out some examples of BBC lies then. There's a difference between 'having a spin on things', which all outlets including the BBC do, and reporting falsehoods. There are many on this site who are so committed to the anti-woke Trumpist narrative that they'll reject the whole MSM as worthless for daring to criticise him. It's sad watching smart people detach themselves from any kind of consensus reality to protect their emotional investment in a foreign sociopath.

"It's sad watching smart people detach themselves from any kind of consensus reality to protect their emotional investment in a foreign sociopath."
Are you insinuating that I actually care for foreign politics? or smart for that matter?

I’m almost certain he wasn’t insinuating that about you.
I certainly wouldn’t

The point I took from your post was that you should fact-check assertions, and btw thank you for the reminder.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? That pronounces the BBC to have a left wing bias may simply tell us where the owners of stand on the political spectrum, and that gingerninja cites mediabiasfactcheck as authoritative may tell us something about gingerninja.

I fact checked Media Fact Check. Result:

The website has been described as an amateur effort..
... its method is in no way scientific
its founder's only qualification was a degree in communications.

Haha owned.

So much irony in this thread.

So much irony the CCP has bought shares in it

To all the critics of Gingerninja's recommendation; has anyone fact checked the fact checker and found they were wrong? If not, why the criticism? If so put up the evidence here?

These media sources have a slight to moderate liberal bias. They often publish factual information that utilizes loaded words (wording that attempts to influence an audience by using appeal to emotion or stereotypes) to favor liberal causes.

The fact that ginger decided to leave out the 2nd sentence raises my suspicion. I prefer my journalism unbiased (if that even exists)

Every article on zero hedge is carefully crafted to conclude that buying gold, bitcoin and guns is the best course of action.

This could actually be quite factual the way things are going.

The problem with the likes of Zerohedge is that they are sometimes right, and sometimes cover important stories that *are* being neglected by the MSM, so it's unwise to ignore them completely even they're 90% conspiratorial nonsense.

Thanks for the PSA GN
And all of your other valuable, insightful and intelligent comments
And some of the beautiful pithy burns

Wonder what it says about Granny Herald. That it's the nearest truth to the Dead Sea Scrolls?

“Sweden will outperform its Nordic neighbours as well as escaping the depths of recession expected to befall the eurozone and US, according to forecasters at Danske Bank.
They predict Swedish GDP will shrink less this year and grow more next year than the rest of Scandinavia and Finland.
The 3.3pc contraction in Sweden’s economy this year compares to the 5.8pc decline Danske predicts for the UK, the 8.3pc contraction for the eurozone and the 4.3pc fall in US GDP.”

How does that work out in kroner per death from covid?

Do you really think the economy and health outcomes are unrelated? In the NZ case:
"In contrast, if the death toll would otherwise have been four flu-shocks or less (so 3500 or fewer deaths), shrinking the economy by ten percent would reduce life expectancy by 1.4 years, in order to avert a risk that otherwise would have produced a 0.6 year decline in life expectancy. In other words, this mix of risk and response would take almost one year off the expected life span of everyone in New Zealand. The apparent kindness of doing everything possible to limit deaths due to Covid-19 would, instead, be killing more people by making them poorer."


The article you quote from was written six months ago (minus a few days). Relevant knowledge about COVID-19 and associated numerics have moved on a great deal in those six months.

Hi Keith
The base data on health outcomes vs GDP has not changed in the last six months. We now know it is a virus the kills people at the end of their lives. The median age of death in Oz is 86 years - higher than average life expectancy. Are we destroying out economies for an illness that kills mainly very old and very unhealthy people - and reducing life expectancy in the process? We didn't destroy our economies in 1958 or 1968 - what is the justification for doing it now?

"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."

And for those who don't die, the on-going health impacts? Death is not the only negative impact Profile.

"Economist Tim Harford examined the numbers collated by the ONS to assess the current risk. Tim, who presents the BBC Radio 4 statistics programme More or Less, said: “Covid-19 currently presents a background risk of a one in a million chance of death or lasting harm, every day. “The risk of death alone is one in two million.”
“But on average it is similar to taking a bath, going skiing, or a short motorbike ride, and considerably less risky than a scuba dive or a skydive.”

Influenza also has complications.
"Both COVID-19 and flu can result in complications, including:
Respiratory failure
Acute respiratory distress syndrome (i.e. fluid in lungs)
Cardiac injury (e.g. heart attacks and stroke)
Multiple-organ failure (respiratory failure, kidney failure, shock)
Worsening of chronic medical conditions (involving the lungs, heart, nervous system or diabetes)
Inflammation of the heart, brain or muscle tissues
Secondary bacterial infections (i.e. infections that occur in people who have already been infected with flu or COVID-19)"

The powers that be have a lot invested and at stake, in this crisis.

"Both COVID-19 and flu can result in complications...." What about the incidence of those complications? Are they at the same rate and degree? There is a lot missing here.

Your link to the Stanford article and interview with Levitt is also more than five months old. The data has moved on. However, one area where the data remains very weak is what happens if there is no control pogram - be that elimination or flattening the curve. Sweden went for flattening the curve, but as their Chief Epidemiologist said a few days ago, the current trend is in the wrong direction. Also, their Chief Epidemiolgist has said multiple times that their policy is definitely not one of letting the virus run its course. No developed country has let the virus run its course.


I linked to the Stanford article to demonstrate that even an old article can prove to be rather accurate. Swedish deaths today sit at 5,892 (vs a prediction of 5-6,000). Deaths are in single figures since mid July. Deaths would have been a lot lower if the rest homes had been protected - that, and the median age of death, is probably the key bit of data that has "moved on". Though one could argue it was common sense to protect the vulnerable. I am not advocating letting the virus run the course either.

I am waiting to see what happens over winter in Europe before I get too sure of anything.
One of the most important advances has been that dexamethasone is now known to be very effective on patients who are severely ill. Ironically, dexamethasone (a powerful corticosteroid) is not recommended in the early stages of infection as dexamethasone actually weakens the immune system. (Hence it was surprising to see this being given to Donald Trump, unless he was indeed severely ill.) For people who are very ill, and heading towards a cytokine storm, then dexamethasone can be a major saver of life.
Given that elderly people in rest homes require assistance from carers, it is exceptionally difficult to protect these people from infection if there is infection in the community.
Once hospitals get overwhelmed, then everything changes.

Sweden’s gross domestic product (GDP) tumbled 8.6% in the second quarter of the year, according to a flash estimate from the country’s statistics office on Wednesday, recording its largest single quarterly drop in modern history
they have double the population of NZ
The absence of a full-scale lockdown has coincided with the country recording more Covid-19 infections and related fatalities than all of its Nordic neighbors combined — Finland, Denmark, Norway and Iceland.
To date, Sweden has reported 81,181 cases of the coronavirus, with 5,747 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

The CNBC article was a "flash" estimate from August 5th. The Danske Bank data I linked is from this week. "The 3.3pc contraction in Sweden’s economy this year compares to the 5.8pc decline Danske predicts for the UK, the 8.3pc contraction for the eurozone and the 4.3pc fall in US GDP."

Moisture map ominous.. however the weather experts are saying a la Nina pattern is on the way from next month.. let's hope so.

I'm just taking advice from this guy, whether to have another cup of coffee or not, that the big question this morning.

New research by the US Fed shows that their inability to cut interest rates further means they will need to vastly increase asset purchases if it doesn't want to allow more major damage to the US economy. The analysts suggests they will need to double the $3 tln monetary stimulus already actioned for this recession, and take the Fed's balance sheet up to more than US$10 tln.
Japanification here we come!!!! If you have to do it more than once it's hardly quantitative. Inflation Targeting: You Can Me Al

I missed it: did anyone ask Chairman Jay Powell how in the world he’s going to be able to create this “hot” inflation he already needs to balance out a decade without it (meaning: recovery and growth) in order to satisfy this newfangled average inflation target? And though he makes it sound like it’s a new thing, especially adding the word “flexible” before the term, it’s actually not new at all. But is sounds better if you think that it is.

To have any chance the Fed will first have to close the output gap. Yep, slack. That’s what’s been missing since 2008, in that we haven’t actually missed slack – it’s been persistent slack all along. Economists and the Fed (same thing) have tried to come up with all kinds of ways to explain away the participation problem in the labor market.Link

Reserve bank and Government world over are in a fix, they have to continue with fiscal and monetary stimulus or will be disaster specially if stock and housing market corrects will be bloodbath.

This stimulus will continue till eternity along with QE till economy recovers but with all stimulus / more medicine - side affects may be worse than cure.

Why is QE called QE and not inflation?

We took all of our money out of a Blackstone owned business here in Australia in March this year.

Their account manager called yesterday stating its a great time to get back in. The fund however is 78% made up of subprime mortgages in NSW & Victoria.

Yea nah.
if we go 28 days with no community transmission WA may open to us
Speaking to Radio 6PR, Dr Robertson said he would provide further advice to the state government on border restrictions in the next “couple of weeks”, including considering interstate travel bubbles.
“New Zealand is obviously being considered at this stage, or at least allowing New Zealanders into Australia, so that’s another consideration that’s being looked at at both a national and state level,” he said.
“I think Queensland is 29 days without community spread, New South Wales is halfway there, so that’s great to see and certainly those things are being definitely factored into our considerations.

A very young property investor - holding 75 units in short span of time and a youtuber : as per him house price crash is not a predection but writting on the wall based on data and economy situation, though holding 75 units would like to believe otherwise :

Andrewj, This has happened not only in Canada but even in NZ. Many Zombie companies along with small and medium size company have been benifitted by governments generousity at the cost of tax payer and ignoring sector and regions where that money could have been better used.

Agree with National party that government in a hurry and no expertise framed policy which allowed many to expolit and now the government though been aware are unable to act and crying on trust and moral - what about trust that people had on Jacinda Arden givernment and what happen to their moral of distributing tax payer money in charity to companies not needed.

Tony Alexander and REINZ do accept that more properties will be hitting the market (why?) but at the same time want the FOMO to continue so suggesting that price rise will continue (Vested / Biased interest so one has too allow them for their analysis)

Unemployment data and number of people on Mortage holiday along with number of businesses shutting down along with people working on reduced hours is the Key data to watch out for.

NZ Stats discontinued the Payday Filing release with the last publication on 23 September 2020

Did anyone else watch this? on cannabis referendum