China records good Q3 economic growth; Japan trade data stumbles; Australia hits CFD firms; ATO reveals stubborn tax gaps; UST 10y at 0.76%; oil unchanged and gold up; NZ$1 = 66.3 USc; TWI-5 = 69.6

China records good Q3 economic growth; Japan trade data stumbles; Australia hits CFD firms; ATO reveals stubborn tax gaps; UST 10y at 0.76%; oil unchanged and gold up; NZ$1 = 66.3 USc; TWI-5 = 69.6

Here's our summary of key economic events overnight that affect New Zealand, with news data out of China has confirmed it is back growing again.

But first in the US, talks between the Congress and the Administration are dragging on in search of agreement for more stimulus for their battered economy. But few now think the Republicans will agree.

China reported its Q3 GDP late yesterday, saying their economy grew at the rate of +4.9% pa. That is less than most were expecting (+5.2%) but better than the +3.2% reported for Q2. It is currently the only 'hope' to drag the world economy out of its pandemic funk.

A massive amount of this recovery is based on debt. New estimates put China's overall leverage ratio at 270% - that is $270 of debt for every $100 of economic activity.

China also said its retail sales were up +3.3% year-on-year in September which was quite a bit better than expected. And their industrial production was up +6.9% and far better than expected. But electricity production, which had been rising for the past six months, stumbled lower in September to be only 5.3% higher than a year ago.

And Beijing is letting the yuan appreciate, now at 6.7 to the US dollar, its strongest in more than two years.

Japan has reported merchandise trade data for September and that wasn't as buoyant as expected. Exports fell -4.9% when a -2.4% fall was expected, and imports fell -17.2% when a -21% fall was expected.

In Australia, three firms trading in CFDs have been hit with fines totaling for than AU$75 mln for "systemic unconscionable conduct while providing over-the-counter derivative products to retail investors" by their Federal Court. Lose-only leveraged trading is behind the judgement. It didn't help that evidence showed that account managers for the firms were instructed to "kill your customers".

And the Australian tax authorities have updated their tax gap data. This shows that they only collect 92% of GST, leaving AU$5.2 bln being avoided by taxpayers. Earlier they had reported that large corporates had avoided AU$2 bln in income tax, small business had avoided AU$11 bln in income taxes, and sole traders some AU$8.3 bln. This data also shows that high net worth individuals are avoiding AU$800 mln in annual income tax. On a proportionate basis, they have the most problems collecting fringe benefit-, luxury car-, and alcohol taxes.

Wall Street has started the week lower with the S&P500 down -0.4% in early afternoon trade. Overnight European markets fell by a similar amount. Yesterday, Shanghai ended its Monday session down -0.7%, Hong Kong ended up +0.6%, and the large Tokyo exchange was up +1.1%. The ASX200 ended up +0.9% while the NZX50 ended down -0.4%.

The latest global compilation of COVID-19 data is here. The global tally is 40,186,000 and a record +394,000 per day. It is first-world countries that seem to be having the most difficulty containing the new wave. And Europe is locking down again and that will further embed their economic recession. Global deaths reported now exceed 1,115,000 (+4,000 per day) but clearly many are going unreported.

The largest number of reported cases globally are still in the US, which rose +41,000 in Sunday's update to 8,394,000. They are clearly now in a third wave (initial was in April, then a larger one in July, and this new one threatens to be larger again). The number of active cases is at 2,706,000 so more new cases than recoveries. Their death total is over 225,000 and still rising at +1000 per day.

In Australia, there have now been 27,399 COVID-19 cases reported, and that is just +9 more cases than we reported yesterday. Deaths are up +1 at 905 however.

The UST 10yr yield is marginally firmer this morning at just on 0.76%. Their 2-10 rate curve is unchanged at +61 bps, their 1-5 curve is also unchanged at +20 bps, along with their 3m-10 year curve, still at +66 bps. The Australian Govt 10 year yield will start the week today up +2 bps at 0.75%. The China Govt 10 year yield is down -2 bps at 3.23%. But the New Zealand Govt 10 year yield is little-changed, remaining at 0.55%.

The price of gold is up +US$9 from this time yesterday and now at US$1909/oz.

Oil prices are unchanged today, still just under US$41/bbl in the US, while the international price is still just under US$43/bbl.

The Kiwi dollar starts today little-changed at just under 66.3 USc. Against the Australian dollar we are also little-changed at 93.5 AUc and holding those recent gains. Against the euro we have dropped to 56.2 euro cents. And that means our TWI-5 is still at 69.6.

The bitcoin price is +2.6% higher today than this time yesterday, now at US$11,766. 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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88 Comments

20
up

“instructed to kill your customers” reminds me of the sad culture Rodney Hide exposed at IRD where there was a cartoon on the notice board picturing a tax payer skewered on a meat hook. In turn that got me thinking about how the Greens proposed that IRD be empowered to search out assets, including right of entry, that were suspected of concealment from the wealth tax. God defend New Zealand from such malevolent doctrine.

16
up

Yes the rich must not me made to pay taxes!

18
up

As Aj contributed some time ago, courtesy of Orwell, it is not so much that the socialists love the poor, it is their hatred of the rich that drives them.

25
up

Wanting wealthy people to pay the taxes they owe is not evidence of 'hatred' of the rich.

20
up

You need to know your history. What the Greens are proposing is compiling a virtual Doomsday Book a la William 1. That is why eventually the Magna Carta was needed to be drawn up and the document is the basis for civil liberties and rights in society as we have known it for centuries. Cannot agree more that all citizens should pay a fair share of tax but you cannot change our base laws to enable government agencies to transgress our basic rights. A law of such nature is not to be found in any democratically elected country since The Reich Flight tax in Nazi Germany.

The rich are the modern serfs. Need a levy for a light rail train set that is never built - there is a levy for that. Need some carbon money for a climate homeopathy - there is a surcharge for that.
"The last century has seen government proliferate to unprecedented levels. The state now owns as much of a worker's labour as a feudal lord.
...Excluding inflation, itself a form of tax, roughly 45% of everything the typical Briton earns is taken in taxes. In France, the figure is an eye-watering 57% no wonder they're rioting.
...For a typical British middle-class professional, the lifetime bill totals £3.6m considerably more than the typical house. You will spend a full 20 years of your life or more in obligatory service to the state. On a time basis, the state owns as much of your labour as the feudal lord did that of the medieval serf, who gave half his working week to farm the land of his lord in exchange for his protection."
https://moneyweek.com/518855/weve-got-plenty-of-taxation-but-not-much-re...

When I saw the payroll details for the company I worked for in the USA, I think there was about a 60% take levied on every dollar paid , shared between employer and employee which ended up in either federal, state and welfare type taxes. And then you have the VAT style state taxes as well.

al123 my view we are looking at the wrong thing, the wealthy are not the problem, its the govt ever increasing tax TAKE.
Do you think the poor would be better off with lower taxes ?
Would we all be better off without working roughly 50% of every year for the govt ?

I'm quite happy paying the higher tax rate - simply the price of admission to live in a civilised society that looks after those who have not had the lucky breaks that I have.

Thats a bit of a cop out MFD and hardly looks at the elephant in the room call govt and there ever increasing needs.
Your welcome to donate all you want to the "civilised society" but why should the rest of us pay for govt excess ?

Which spending in particular do you want to cut, and what impact does that have on the government budget?

https://www.interest.co.nz/news/105115/budget-202021-summary-all-spendin...

Note that social welfare is ~50% superannuation, you can click on it for a further breakdown.

Bottom line less tax means more incentive for people to work and get ahead off the doll and start a business.
Yeah be nice to get some full breakdown of the waste in that lot, be nice to see all the wasted money that got us nothing.
Fire half the MP's and associated staff would be a nice start, save on govt admin and stop the perks for life.
All MP's limited terms and no further appointments in SOE like Kiwibank etc.
Lets face it retirement is going to be off the table for most of us now, so may as well start putting the age up. We just added $60B after all to all of our tax bills. Wonder what we get for $382M for Maori development?

OK, so thats 60x, say, 300k for MP + associated costs, so $18 million per year. Add in the $382 million and you're up to $400 million saved, about 0.3% of the budget.

Agree the pension age should be pushed back progressively, but I understand that's not politically popular. I think it's inevitable. I'm sure there is waste in the system, but I doubt that there's so much that you really feel it in your tax bill. Most of what you pay for are things like healthcare, education, transport and security which are all needed whether you pay via taxes or private companies.

Even big ticket items like jobseekers and emergency benefits are only 3.5% of expenditure, which I consider quite reasonable given the alternatives of people starving, living rough or turning to crime if they find themselves without employment.

Do you think they should also be blocked from your bank account in order to tax the interest you receive on savings. Why should one person's way of storing capital be taxed while another's is not.

Of course they are blocked from your bank account balances. You declare income for tax purposes. The government does not need to know and has no right to know, what bank funds you have that don’t earn interest any more than say bonus bonds. Think about this. A trading bank may ask you to provide a statement of position, but by law they cannot disclose that information to any other party including the government unless it is under a warrant issued by a judge. Why is that? And, why do the Greens see it as necessary to remove such protection of our confidentiality.

IRD does not need a judge issued warrant for most of its information gathering. Basically they only need a warrant to enter a private dwelling so getting a SOP from your bank would only take a letter from IRD.

See http://legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1994/0166/latest/DLM350197.html

10
up

I got the following email a couple of weeks ago from a Bitcoin exchange that I use.

***
Hi lowercase capitalist

This email is something very different from normal, and to be honest it's one I really wish I didn't have to write.

The IRD has required us to provide info on ALL of our customers' activity up to 31 March 2020.

We strongly believe in privacy and would never hand over personal information unless we were absolutely required to. We sought multiple legal opinions on this one (including options for exemptions based on privacy, human rights, constitutional rights etc etc) and there are no grounds on which we can refuse.

While I know this is not going to be a popular announcement, we wanted to let you know so that you had the chance to make a voluntary disclosure, if you wish. If you owe tax to the IRD you can potentially avoid all penalties and fees if you make a voluntary disclosure before the IRD contact you about any taxes owing.
***

The IRD absolutely can access your bank and any other accounts. It seems naive to think that they don't know exactly how much money is going in to your account, how much goes out to brokerages, crypto exchanges etc. They know how much your mortgage is, how much you paid for your house etc. I don't think that a wealth tax like the greens are will require them to gather much if any more data than they already have.

What do you propose as a disincentive to economic cannibalism of investing in residential property and the subsequent "people farming" to pay the bills till you reap the untaxed capital gain? Wealth tax, yes, unwieldly, but SOMETHING must be done.

18
up

I don’t disagree, all my life the only property I have ever owned is my own home. What I am objecting to here, which appears to have been overlooked by all and sundry, is a misguided proposal by the Greens which would mean the Government having access to financial information on all of us that they have never needed before, compiling,storing, maintaining and auditing it. No thanks, not here in our good country

Perhaps people should not have jumped up and down about a CGT then, eh?

Ah yes, the obligation again falls on Joe Public, and not a highly partisan TWG or the person that appointed said TWG members.

I don’t know PA. I am a senior now and it might be that CGT would little affect me if to be subjective about it. The thing is I have paid my taxes on time as required by law and will continue to do so. It is the responsibility of government to formulate law, including that of tax. But I would suggest that the Greens in what seems to be a fervour of punitive haste, have in formulating their wealth tax, elected to disregard extremely important tenets concerning the rights of this country’s good citizens.

I've paid my full share of tax all my life, deducted from my salary / purchases. This year I was landed with a bill from IRD for $5k, for underpaid tax. Great! I thought, my investments have done well. I guess I'm just used to paying my tax. If the IRD looked at my bank statements & other transactions I have nothing to fear or hide.

I accept that it's different for the rich. The pain is so much greater, and the fear of transparency palpable. Look at that poor martyr Eric Watson

I am always amazed how keen some people living in western liberal democracies are to depart with their freedom thinking that such a move will only negatively affect people they hate. It is so shocking to me that they are happy to say bye bye to their powers against a government if it means the said government can get 1% tax from the wealthy.

Aye and in spirit it translates to, the means justifies the end.

Oh how things have changed,
Last weeks celebrity real estate is this weeks eat-the-rich.

https://i.stuff.co.nz/life-style/homed/123136201/owner-of-133-million-we...

“I can’t honestly think of a new build in Wellington in that timeframe that’s anywhere near that scale,” she said....

And from the whats yours is mine...

https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/business/428680/possible-labour-greens-govern...

"For example we've seen wage claims already where the starting point's 15 percent or more, ....

It's off to the races.

Lest we forget .....
Mark Hotchin's property in Paritai Drive Auckland built using OPM sold for $39 million in 2013
The most likely buyer was Deyi Shi, the chairman and principal of Oravida Group, A price of just under $40 million had been tentatively agreed,

At least someone is getting rich from all the tax breaks we have been giving to film companies. Wait a second...

I think he made most of his money from the sale of Trade Me, being in it at the start with his sister and Sam Morgan.

Thats got to be a shout out to Stuff for completely missing that fact for why
Both Senior Reporter, who needs
MORE FROM
DAMIAN GEORGE • SENIOR REPORTER
& Editor.
A narrative changing *** of omission.

We already have the highest minimum wage as a % of our GDP per capita in the OECD and there is only so much more our businesses can shell out in labour costs, given much of our economy is built on low-value sectors.

That being said, some of the most unionised countries in the world have high productivity levels, good wages and low unemployment rates (think Frugal Four, not France).

In Austria, a fourth of their workforce is unionised (compared to a-tenth in NZ) with unions enjoying bipartisan support. Surprisingly, their public sector unions have strong political ties with the right-wing OVP.

Research suggests that there's no particular correlation between the rate of unionisation in a country & it's productivity.

The jury still isn't out on that as there is widespread disagreement over that conclusion from various economic researchers. Again, that difference in research outcome is country-to-country and industry-to-industry because there is no 'one size fit all' here.

As per this research and a few others quoted in it, increased union membership causes a 'shock' increase in productivity in the short to medium term. However, this is followed by slower long-term growth mainly due to capital decisions being negatively affected by lower profits.

https://www.fraserinstitute.org/sites/default/files/UnionizationEconomic...

Oh yes, the famously objective, neutral & unbiased Fraser Institute!

I'm being sarky. Variously described as libertarian, conservative and libertarian. Largely funded by the Koch boys, bastions of liberal thinking

Economy = Stimulus.

One reason why so much news/obsession about stimulus instead of fundamentals and stock market moving up and down.

Is this the new norm ?

"Beijing is letting the yuan appreciate"
Arguably the largest economy in the World has a managed exchange rate and Capital Controls (when and whom it suits), and yet we, with a minuscule economy in the grand scheme of things, are subject to the will and whims of others - the No 1 economy being the most obvious?
Time to sort our economy out for ourselves and de-float the NZ$ and return to Capital and Trade Controls to give us a good grip on where and what we export/import.
It shouldn't have come to this, but it has.
Fix the NZ$ at 0.5 to the US$; set the OCR at 5% and manage internal and external capital flows. There, done!

Nice joke!

Joke?
China already does exactly that, so does Hong Kong ( if it's still one country!) and Singapore and a range of others.
In fact, ALL economies are subject to control, it's just that we've been conned into thinking Monetary Policy isn't control, but a smoothing exercise.
Fix the NZ$ and Set the OCR; Bring in Capital and Trade controls and bring the manipulation of our economy out into the open so we can all see it and make our business plans accordingly.

You know what happened the last time NZ did that, right?

I certainly do. And I can also see what the 'freedom' of a floating exchange rate and the absence of trade and capital controls has brought to us as well. I can also look at what a managed exchange rate has brought to Singapore over the same timeframe since we Floated.
As I wrote, it shouldn't have come to this, but it has.
Those who have had the responsibility for running our monetary and fiscal accounts for decades should hang their heads in shame.
It's time for a set of rules to return; one that tells those who have repeatedly failed us so badly how to behave.
(NB: I've worked in several economies with fixed exchange rates etc.; even one that had two exchange rate running parallel at the same time, and what happens is - everyone gets used to it and adapts to the circumstances.)

does this work in a country that runs deficits?

It's a slippery slope and last time it almost bankrupted our country.

Not a joke at all, a high currency generates consumption, a low dollar generates productivity, and best of all the currency speculators can go somewhere else, instead of nicking dosh of the families of NZ

Having worked with quite a few currency speculators, I can tell you they are usually very smart people. But their job is thoroughly pointless and most of them know it. Making margins from trading currencies might make you rich, but you don't actually add anything to the world (despite them thinking they are an integral part of trade). Imagine if those really smart people could be re-deployed into something productive...

Which is why I had such subsequently misplaced high hopes in voting for John Key.
Key may be many things, but an idiot isn't one of them. He knew, and knows, what he had to do to stabilise New Zealand - he told us all in his speeches of 2007 and many since. But he didn't follow through.
In years to come, as he ages and looks at what New Zealand has become, he'll look back in despair and think "I should have made a difference, and I didn't". Even though he may not know it today, that increasingly louder, nagging thought will haunt him to the grave.

Like Prime Minister?

As bw alludes to, I suspect JK is a very smart dude, however will regret not doing better. Instead of doing the right thing, he put the economy onto a destructive path of importing as many people as possible, pretending high house prices is a good thing and sell as much milk to China and stuff the consequences. Then he wasted an enormous amount of energy trying to change the colours of the flag. I bet he really resigned because he realised he was anticipating more future regret if he stayed on longer.

You need to think blobbles, both parties have allowed and encouraged immigration. Winston jump up and down about immigration, yeah did nothing.
JK wasted $23M on a flag, well at least that was democratically voted on unlike Labours deals. JA spent $60M of covid money on art, a NY person got $50k to "think about art". You got to realize they are as useless as each other these politicians.

I aren't saying that Labour is any better - they definitely aren't. The subject at hand was John Key, not the current Labour government, who in the past 3 years have simply been caretakers of the economy National drove through. Caretaker governments mean we keep walking into horrific crises and don't have anyway out because we all want to act like we all collectively pretend we aren't in that crisis. Be it Climate Change, Overshoot, Biodiversity loss, Inequality, homelessness, house prices... whatever crisis you choose. Neither Labour nor National have the policies or people to sort it out because they two sides of the same coin - one side "extend" and the other side "pretend" .

Which is why the world should go back to a "gold standard" system where the entire world is based on a single currency. This removes the 5 trillion Per Day in forex transaction that is literally an inefficiency in the system and is a drain on productivity.
Hard money eats soft money every time, its only a matter of time #Bitcoin.

That the rate of interest will be lower when commerce languishes and when there is little demand for money, than when the energies of commerce are in full play and there is an active demand for money, is indisputable; but it is equally beyond doubt, that every speculative mania which has run its course of folly and disaster in this country has derived its original impulse from cheap money.

– The Economist, 1858 (h/t Jamie Catherwood)

https://www.hussmanfunds.com/comment/mc201016/

Negative yield? You’re soaking in it!

Even for those who learn this lesson, it turns out that applying it is far more challenging than one might expect. Between 2012 and 2017, the Federal Reserve made that situation nearly excruciating, making attention to part b) of the above lesson absolutely critical: “provided that investors are inclined to speculate” – or equivalently – “provided that investors are not so risk-averse that they view low-interest liquidity as a preferred asset in itself.” Easy money doesn’t reliably support stocks when investors are inclined toward risk-aversion. But when they view low-interest cash as an “inferior” asset, look out. Once interest rates hit zero, so does the IQ of Wall Street.

Suppose investors are willing to pay $80 today for an expected $100 payment a decade from now. It’s easy enough to calculate that they can expect an average return of just over 2% annually over the coming 10 years. If an investment of similar risk has historically been priced to offer much higher annual returns, one might be tempted to think that the security is overvalued, and that the price will somehow “fall by its own weight.” But if investors are inclined to speculate, and the Fed insists on pouring fuel on the fire, investors may very well drive the price all the way to $100. At that point, sure, the return on that security over the coming decade will be zero. But the short-term outcome, in the rear-view mirror, is that the security will have gained an additional 25%, and speculators will be doing nothing but patting themselves on the back about it.

Worse, speculators might even become willing to pay $110 for the security, in which case passive buy-and-hold investors will be facing average annual returns of -1% annually. Yet at that same moment, they’ll be even more exuberant about it than when their long-term return prospects were zero.

My hope is that it’s clear how all of this works. See, while Wall Street seems excited about the possibility that the Federal Reserve may eventually drive rates to negative levels, passive investors should recognize that the Fed has already engineered negative rates – for the first time in U.S. history, including the 1929 top.

Unfortunately, it’s in their portfolio, and they don’t realize it.

The RBNZ is steady in its determination to buy negative yielding government debt in its quest to lower interest rates via QE - who extended that mandate other than our new Labour government?

thanks for the link Andrew, a sobering read, with plenty of data

Lots of grass on the farm but it looks like the sheep industry is falling part. I wonder if we are heading to difficult times?

So I talked to a calf rearer ,he does 2000 calves a year for the bull beef industry, this year he hasn't raised a single calf. He said all his acquaintances in the industry are the same. That means there is going to be the most god awful stock shortage. Beef prices are falling, up to .20c off schedules at the weekend. $60 -70 in one weekend off your per head value.

There has been a lot of $200 lambs sold the past few years that is back to $130 but still weakening? Christmas lamb could be $100 and you must remember the wool market is negative. If we getting falling prices on top of a massive stock shortage it's going to very painful, banks will feel it, we all will stop spending.

Meanwhile my local rates go from $5600 to $7400 and yet we get told there is no inflation. Road user tax up %10, they did some work on the main road around here and one of the workers told me it cost three times above budget.

Don't miss my link to Hussman

Dairy, sheep, beef and horticulture exports should be our economic saviour in these times but if what you say is correct we're in trouble.

Just thank god the Greens don't hold the balance of power because that would have been death knell for farming in this country and the economy.

delboy - that's an ideologically-twisted comment. The Greens don't profit from their actions and, in environmental terms, merely presage what the planet will inflict anyway. Farmers will wilt, burn, degrade nutrient, trash biodiversity and take themselves into oblivion, without any move from environmentally-aware people. They merely warn, and fight a rearguard to protect.

Farming is the process of turning fossil energy into food energy. That's it, in a nutshell. It has therefore sounded its own death-knell. Wear it, don't blame-shift.

"Farming is the process of turning fossil energy into food energy"

Its wider than that though.
The Economy is the process of turning fossil energy into waste/consumption.
No point singling out farmers - they actually produce something difficult to do away with ... unlike most jobs

Those big indebted coporatish farming businesses are where the devil is buried.

I few weeks ago I drove past Reporoa during a storm. The cows were all lined up on the southern boundary, butts towards the wind, looking thoroughly miserable. No shelter in sight. I'm not a cow expert, but things like that put me off buying dairy products. I never buy milk these days. The danger for farmers is that if they are so busy vilifying environmentalists, they will ignore the well-heeled thinking consumers & also public relations in other countries, leading to long-term consumer reactions. I am careful to only buy eggs that I know are free-range etc.

I think we are just starting to face up to the problem of alternates really cutting into returns. I used to drive past farms on the main road and see cattle with no grass, in a cold southerly all in a corner. I have farming friends who have constantly contacted MPI and RSPCA over some of the farming practices around here but nothing ever changes.

Some personalities push things to the limit, they get burnt in a climatic event and then go right back to doing it again. I still believe the worst offenders are the big corporates who also just happen to have all the debt. Basically indentured workers who are tied to a farm by limited flexibility due to short term work visas, trapped and poorly treated. I don't think it is as common on family farms , my shepherds became part of the family.

Working in the plant milk industry most cafes are doing 50% plant based milk sales these days..and rising. Cows milk consumption is declining - time to move to other high value products or get left behind. But yes you can always blame the Green Party for the being anti Farmers if it makes you feel better.

True, the farm I passed looked like a corporate. Still, all ended up tarred with the same brush unfortunately.

Prominent local dairy farmer here still thinks it's ok to dump his rubbish in the river bed where the next 10 year flood will take it away. I thought those days were over, but apparently not. I am waiting to see if his farming friends haul him up on it being unacceptable, or if the council get him first.

TVNZ1 would love to see that - fill up a hole on their news

That only hurts the whole industry. Ideally another farmer will tell him to pull his head in and make a rubbish pit somewhere on his large farm. He's known as an arrogant entitled sod though so we will see.

Repeated iPhone videos on TV news, of winter-grazing with cows up to their hocks in mud in Southland put paid to that - been banned - two of my neighbours have ceased the practice this year. Surprised when my favourite ag contractor was on the phone to confirm a time to mow and bale - usually I chased him. When we arrived here there was a large copse of macrocarpa's 10 metres from the sea, that hid 80 years of rubbish of everything you could imagine - Took two of us 12 months to clear it up

I feel for the road repairers. ..not stop battle over the trucking industry damage. Add in earthquakes, floods/slips, and impatient drivers speeding on 30km zones...must be a huge bill every year.

Add in thin-pavement roads, laid over geologically unstable country, or across ex-peat-swamp most likely with the old fascines still at the bottom of the layers. Roads I used to grade in Southland included one where the cartloads of river run gravel - elliptical-shaped heaps of goolies - were there if one dropped the blade a little deep, and one where the sleepers of an old bush tramway were visible through the topcourse.

keeping "commodity prices" up so that producers remain in business ....
thats where things will come unstuck

thats why reserve banks are allowing the leveraging the hell out of property to drain every bit of blood out of the stone

Andrewj, you are lucky. We have no grass, crappy spring, no paddocks closed for silage, trying to wean ourselves off PKE but going to have to wait until after mating finished. Our store market is gutless, good steers under $2.50kg, meat works are planning to take advantage of grass shortage, $5.00 schedule by Xmas? Farmers talking themselves into a drought. Local calf rearer -1,100 calves has done alright, week old calves were cheap buying but he didn't rear many Friesian bulls for first time. Don't have sheep up here so no comment. Fonterra doing okay though, my guess forward buying as overseas buyers pick up on weather commentary.
Know a bit about council rates - pay $10,000s per year. Lot of costs in meeting increasing government demands. Probably every council now employs a climate change policy advisor. Why couldn't we do it once in NZ and "cut and paste"? Every council will be employing someone to map areas of significance. The list goes on. The costs are unlikely to be operational apart from infrastructure.
The PGF fund and the Infrastructure fund have encouraged a "do it now" culture at any price. And to compete councils are being forced to do the same. If you ask your local council for a copy of their procurement policy you will likely find 'price' is only around 50% of the criteria for selection.

I am amazed, I thought you were sharing the weather. We just had an incredibly mild winter then it went dry but 40-50 mm fell last week, West Coast got it too. Store market has no confidence here either, if I had bought better cattle they would be worth what I paid for them in July. I have friends who have traded lambs and only covered costs.
I hope you get some of the rain due next week, La Nina is starting to kick in, you can see it here
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjeJfCuO7Fk&t=350s

New estimates put China's overall leverage ratio at 270% - that is $270 of debt for every $100 of economic activity.

So don't call it a 'growing economy', David - call it a ticking time-bomb. The question is not whether debt is repayable - globally we are well past that possibility - but what happens when belief in it falters. Ween nobody believes in debt being repayable, what is money then worth? About as much as a disincentive to stealing would be without courts and policing.

So don't call it a 'growing economy', David - call it a ticking time-bomb

Wrong. It will be a ticking time bomb if debts were suppose to be repaid.

Housing Market continues to Boom.....news comming shortly.

Wait for the headline.

Yep, partner's parents place went on the market last week, sign up Monday, a viewing Friday, open homes Sat & Sun, and pre-auction unconditional offer Monday, contract signed Monday night.

And Beijing is letting the yuan appreciate, now at 6.7 to the US dollar, its strongest in more than two years.

And there is the worlds inflation driver for the next decade. China will likely continue to appreciate the yuan, as they reach the end of their 30 year industrial expansion. Their least tumult inducing transition is now to appreciate the yuan and increase internal consumerism.

And the West is printer-go-brrr.

China reported its Q3 GDP late yesterday, saying their economy grew at the rate of +4.9% pa. That is less than most were expecting (+5.2%) but better than the +3.2% reported for Q2. It is currently the only 'hope' to drag the world economy out of its pandemic funk.

China has now displaced the U.S. to become the largest economy in the world. Measured by the more refined yardstick that both the IMF and CIA now judge to be the single best metric for comparing national economies, the IMF Report shows that China’s economy is one-sixth larger than America’s ($24.2 trillion versus the U.S.’s $20.8 trillion). Why can't we admit reality? What does this mean? Link

Big shout out to Eric Watson and his Mother.

She is either guilty by compliance or incompetence.

Poor old Eric. Just wanted to be rich and have lots of pretty girlfriends, parties, nice cars, flash properties and the like. And of course not really do any work to get all these things. And now they're trying to send him to jail. Unfair for someone so gifted as him. Not his fault his mother raised a narcissist.

Eric will finally find love (in prison)!

Yesterday, farming was described as a sunset industry
If farming is riding off into the sunset what will replace the export income required to feed Bunnings and Mitre 10 plastic outdoor furniture, plus the importation of Ferraris, Maseratis and Lamborghinis so desired by non-domestic money launderers. The strategic planners should see the need to cut back on the demand for these things and eliminate mass-immigrtion

Could you provide a source for your statement re "sunset industry" please.

My wife bought a new Toyota the other day, we got chatting to the sales manager. Apparently when you buy a new car - even with folding notes - you don't need to complete any money laundering paperwork whatsoever. Compare that with buying real estate.

So if you had $500k to spend, you just go and buy 10x $50k cars (from different places), take them down the road, sell them for say $40k, and voila, you've got $400k of clean money.

Hang on, but IRD and MOJ will catch up with you for running a dealer without proper licence.. (limit of 6 cars per year)

Where's the investigation into the origin of Covid 19? Is anyone following this up?

Scientific communities' consensus is SARS-COV-2 originated in China, but it was not made.

I posed a question over the weekend along the lines of "Have the First Class passengers been told to get into the lifeboats?"
Maybe....
"Sir James Dyson has agreed to sell his Singapore penthouse at a loss, just one year after buying it.... he accepted an offer for $62m Singapore dollars ($47m; £36m) ...The sale price is lower than the reported purchase price of S$73.8m."
https://www.bbc.com/news/business-54596893