90 seconds at 9 am: NZ$ hits 84.6 USc overnight, but eases back as US stocks fall on fiscal cliff worries; NZ$ up to 53.4p as Standard and Poor's warns may downgrade UK

Here's my summary of the key news overnight in 90 seconds at 9 am, including news the New Zealand dollar hit a fresh 9 month high against the US dollar overnight of 84.6 USc as investors thought through the implications of the US Federal Reserve's plan to buy an extra US$45 billion a month of bonds for at least another 3 years.

This would further lower long term bond yields and widen the yield advantage of New Zealand bonds and other assets, making our currency relatively more attractive.

The New Zealand dollar has strengthened on a Trade Weighted Index basis to a five year high this week and is just 2.5% below its post-float record high of 76.88 set in July 2007.

The New Zealand dollar eased back in morning trade to around 84.3 USc as US stocks were down 0.6% in late trade on more talk of deadlocked negotiations over the fiscal cliff. See more here at Bloomberg.

This talk overshadowed better than expected US jobless and retail sales figures. See more here from Reuters.

Meanwhile, the New Zealand dollar firmed to 52.4 British pence after Standard and Poor's placed Britain's AAA foreign currency credit rating on review for possible downgrade. See more here at Reuters.

This weakened the British pound against various currencies.

Elsewhere, European leaders clinched a deal for common supervision of banks and UBS faces a US$1 billion for rigging LIBOR.

FYI this is my last 90 seconds at 9 am for this year and for ever. I am moving to Wellington and David Chaston will be doing 90 seconds at 9 am from now on. He returns next week for the last week of 90 at 9 for this year.

I hope you've enjoyed the last five years of 90 seconds at 9 am. I have. Best Christmas and New Year wishes to all.

(Updated with details and sign off)

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Thank you! Bernard.
It has been an entertaining 5 years and I have enjoyed them very much.
Wishing you a Merry Cristmas and a Happy New Year.


Thanks very much Bernard. You've done a great job.
Good luck in Wgtn.


Long time no post.. All the best for the move Bernard, I've certainly enjoyed your 90 at 9 over the last 5 yrs, you'll be a missed part of my daily routine. I hope you'll keep us entertained by stil providing the odd top 10... :D

Cheers. I'll still be doing Top 10s. Doing one now...

The last 90 at 9 ever  Bernard...? never say never...! and yes it has been a pleasure to have your input .
 Wellinton you say..? a tad less frantic I'd say, our brothers of another mother have not yet arrived there on mass, so you should find some nice digs at reaso prices.
I sincerly wish you all the best, and must say I have thoroughly enjoyed the good times and the bad, the banter and the odd stoush, the clash of ideals and the consensus in the common ground.
I for one will miss you, the name Hickey has become synonymous with Interest .Co and it will be hard to imagine the place without you.
 Travel well, and may fortune smile on you.
May the very best of freinds, family, food and intentions surround you at Christmas and beyond.
Cheers Bernard and thank you, your efforts have been appreciated more than you may know. 
Good luck .

Much appreciated. I always try to read your comments whenever I see you name pop up in the comment thread.
I'll still be doing Top 10s.
Onwards and upwards...or maybe it's downwards...at least in a lattitude sense

Bernard , you've had quite an effect on us here , several new terms have entered the vernacular in honour of you , " gloomsterationalysing " is my particular favourite , and the  " anti-hickeystamines " seem to have gone down well ...
... good luck in Wellywood , don't let the cold southerlies ruffle your " chicken hickey " little tail feathers !

Wow - Xmas goodbyes abound - appropriate though as new beginnings are the heart of the festivities!  So have a great new beginning. 
Having spent more years of my career in the Capital than I like to admit .. I can say, you'll love it (on a good day) lol.


Isn't Bernard a bit tall for a Hobbit?

.... what makes you think that Bernard's wife is a hobbit ?
Is it just me , or is that movie seriously underwhelming ... and way too long ... Gollum's brilliant !
Hickey's gone , huh ! .... .... excellent , 'cos David Chaston does a fine job of the 90 @ 9 too , and it's reported within the alternative energy sector that sales of solar panels go through the roof when David gets screen time here ....

All the best Bernard.  It's been great having you on the screen in tandem with my first cup of coffee for the day.  Although with you gone to Welly, who will GBH joust with now?  We may be overrun with unbridled optimism!  I perish the thought.

Bernard's gone , but steven & PDK are still here .... trust me , you'll still be deluged with tales of woe and fear mongering ....

Its Ok Im sure you can easily counter with deluded tales of infinite growth on a finite planet....or of how maths, geology, physics and nature are all left wing conspiracys to stop you getting what you know you are worth.

The British government has just lifted their moratorium on fracking ;  the UK is set to be deluged with cheap natural gas , hundreds of trillions of cubic feet of the stuff , a one or two century supply ! ... abundant cheap fuel for industry and consumers alike ..... wow !!!
..... OMG , the world just gets better & better ..... life is good , friend , very very good ...

ah yes - Wellington on a good day etc !

Easy there SL - we are not in need or welcoming of those displaced by foreigners hot money.

HI Bernard
I will miss your 90 seconds a lot. Best wishes to you and yours.
You will love Wellington. There is a vibrant social dancing scene there. Many of our forefathers/mothers danced their way through good and bad times. Tango, Ceroc, Jive, Rock and Roll, Salsa, Salsa Rueda, West Coast Swing, Swing, Bachata...
It is helpful to be three dimentional in our increasingly 2 dimentional; world. 
All the best, you have been a light

Learn to social
I might just shake my booty in the capital! I'll be hard to miss doing the lambada down Lambton Quay!

Well done Mr Hickey, to keep it up for five years is a fair accomplishment.

Good luck with the move Bernard. Hard to believe how long you have been here, I was here when you first started, been along for the ups and downs, remember the Biffo from Crafar's manager, the terrible camera with shocking sound, and all the housing threads going on for ever. 
We lost some great commenters along the way. Hope you enjoy Wellington, if ever I see you on trhe street i will stop and shout you a Latte.

cheers. Please do. I'm told the coffee is better in Wellington ;)

so Bernard are you quitting Interest.co.nz?

You could call it a claytons quitting. He has quit but will still be here :-) Look for the new venture over at http://journalism.org.nz/

Talk about bowing out on a high. Any chance of taking the dollar south?

I wonder if National are negotiating on FED actions when it comes to free trade agreements with USA... ????    I just can't see how any trade deal could be equitable??
Anyway... Many thks Bernard...
 This site is a great connectedness of news.... and many of the posters here ( comments) are intelligent and I've learnt from them
Since it is xmas... I'll give u credit for that..  
Not sure what u are up too in Wellington..but good luck...  politics..???   job at treasury..??... reserve Bank..??  policy analyst...???

I am a bit Jealous of your Wellington move Bernard, in my opinion the pick of New Zealand cities. I hope it fares well for you and your family. 
I am still waiting with great anticipation for your farewell from GBH :-)
PS. get yourself "A Timeless Way of Building" before you buy or rent. Part 2 is called "A Pattern Language". One hint is to make sure there is natural light from two sides in every room.

It's Friday yay.....!
 I couldn't let you get away without the last hurrah now could I Big Guy...eh ..?
This one is just for you Bernard, leave em smiling.
 But not everyone is as lucky as I  am...... 


The economy is so bad  that I got a pre-declined credit card in the mail. 


I  ordered a burger at McDonald's, and the kid behind the counter  asked,  "Can you afford fries with that?" 


CEO's are now playing  miniature golf. 


If the bank returns your cheque marked "Insufficient Funds," you have to call them and ask if they mean you or them. 


Hot Wheels and Matchbox  stocks are trading higher than GM. 


McDonald's is selling  the 1/4  'ouncer'. 


Parents in    Beverly Hills and Malibu are firing their nannies and learning their  children's names. 


A truckload of  Americans was caught sneaking into Mexico. 


Dick Cheney took his  stockbroker hunting. 


Motel Six won't leave  the light on anymore. 


The Mafia is laying off  judges. 


BP Oil laid off 25  Congressmen. 


Congress says they are  looking into the Bernard Madoff scandal.  Oh Great!!   The  guy who made $50 Billion disappear is being investigated by the  people who made $10.5 Trillion disappear! 


And,  finally...


I was so depressed last night thinking about  the economy, wars, jobs, my savings, Social Security, retirement  funds, and our bleak future, that I called the Suicide Lifeline and  was connected to a call center in Pakistan .   When I told them  I was suicidal, they got all excited, and asked if I could drive a  truck.

Cheers Christov. I laughed until I cried.

You helped us with the 'steerage' through troubled waters over the past five years.
And along the way you attracted some interesting followers - who have posted some amazing links.
All the best for the future. Cut back the hours, look after the family and enjoy the freehold house!
Absolutely aimlessly Rudderless