90 seconds at 9 am with BNZ: Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway books US$412 mln loss on ChCh quakes; Chinese factories slow; New Aussie jobs; Gold record

90 seconds at 9 am with BNZ: Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway books US$412 mln loss on ChCh quakes; Chinese factories slow; New Aussie jobs; Gold record

Bernard Hickey details the key news over the weekend in 90 seconds at 9 am in association with Bank of New Zealand, including news that Warren Buffett revealed at his annual general meeting extravaganza in Omaha, Nebraska that his Berkshire Hathaway reinsurer posted its first ever insurance underwriting loss last year.

This followed earthquake and Tsunami losses of US$1.08 billion in Japan and losses from the Christchurch earthquakes of US$412 million (NZ$515 million).

Meanwhile, Chinese factory activity as measured by its Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) fell in April from March, suggesting the Chinese authorities' attempts to slow the economy may be working.

However, this could be problematic for the New Zealand and Australian economies, which now depend on continued growth in China.

Elsewhere, Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan said next week's budget would include a forecast for 500,000 new jobs and an unemployment rate of 4.5% within two years.

This is a worry for New Zealand, which is losing around 140 citizens a day to live permanently in Australia.

Meanwhile, the gold price hit a record over the weekend in US dollar terms at 1,570/oz on renewed inflation and US dollar devaluation fears.

However, the price in New Zealand dollar terms is still below its February 2009 peak of NZ$1,941/oz when the NZ dollar hit 49 USc. Back then the gold price was US$942/oz. See our interactive precious metals chart here.

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3 Comments

wayne swan is sugarcoating a harsh budget--the aus economy is not particularly rosy at the present time--my view is that unemployment will rise significantly in the near future if the building industry is any guide--it,s dead in the water----swan,s problem is that the tax take is down significantly and the stimulus package,s have come home to roost--the mining industry is the only one holding the fort at the present time-----tourism is shot--the r/estate industry has done a 180 ---anyone listing their housing at the present time has a better chance of winning lotto than selling it :)

http://www.smh.com.au/national/few-magic-numbers-in-budget-20110429-1e1as.html

 "From November 1, all cattle on farms and lifestyle blocks need to be tagged with approved radio frequency identification tags under the National Animal Identification and Tracing (Nait) scheme, so they can be tracked in the event of outbreaks of disease and to give consumers information about where their meat came from. Deer will be included at a later date." stuff

Fabulous windfall of profits for those flogging the tags and related clobber....who said it wasn't possible to make cash cows out of farmers....

Just one small matter.....who is going to tag all the wild pigs and wild deer roaming the country...and the possums and ferrets and stoats, hedgehogs and rabbits and seagulls...all of them disease carrying animals....or is it a case of the tag drive having Eff all to do with disease control and everything to do with milking the famers.......

And I wonder whether 'consumers' realise they in the end will foot the bill for the bull.

The biosecurity thing is a nonsense, or they would require tagging of sheep. Its all about the methane tax.

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