US Fed's Beige Book records tariff concerns; US housing starts drop; EU fines Google heaps; Boeing flying high; APRA spells it out to Hayne; UST 10yr at 2.88%; oil up and gold down; NZ$1 = 68 USc; TWI-5 = 71.6

Here's our summary of key events overnight that affect New Zealand, with news concerns of a trade slowdown are starting to be felt.

The US Fed's latest Beige Book update shows that manufacturers across the country expressed concern about tariffs, with many reporting higher prices and supply-chain disruptions in the wake of new trade policies. In the report 10 of the 12 Federal Reserve Districts reporting moderate or modest growth. The outliers were the Dallas District, which reported strong growth driven in part by the energy sector, and the St. Louis District where growth was described as slight.

Those factory concerns are small compared to the ones in the residential construction industry. Housing starts fell sharply in June, down more than -12 % from May, and more than -4% lower than in June 2017. There doesn't seem to be any relief coming either; building permits slid as well. A rise was expected, what they got was a level lower than the same month a year ago.

In Europe, their competition agency has fined Google almost NZ$7.5 bln for the way it launched its Android mobile system. At the core, because it gave it away free and it only used Google Search, it is guilty of market dominance. Other successful 'free' models are sure to fall foul of EU rules too. How effective the EU move is will be determined by how Google's competitors react - and the main ones who can take advantage are both American - Amazon, and Microsoft.

Aircraft maker Boeing lifted its long-term forecast for commercial aircraft as rising passenger traffic and upcoming airplane retirements drive the need for more than 42,000 new jets – valued at NZ$9.3 tln – over the next 20 years. The global airplane fleet will also sustain growing demand for commercial aviation services, leading to a total market opportunity of $22 tln they say.

In Britain, a new report suggests that a hard Brexit may drive up the cost of everyday family purchases sharply and dairy products were one item singled out. That in turn could create a surprising opportunity for New Zealand.

In Australia, regulator APRA has told their Royal Commission that banks do have a right to make a profit and take enforcement action when borrowers can't repay loans. The regulator said this was important so that depositor positions were not compromised.

The UST 10yr yield is rising and now at 2.88%, up +2 bps. Their 2-10 curve has moved higher today as well. The Chinese 10yr is at 3.50% (unchanged) while the New Zealand equivalent is now at 2.90%, down -1 bp.

Gold is marginally lower again at at just on US$1,227/oz in New York. It actually closed in London at US$1,224/oz.

US oil prices are a little higher and now just under US$69/bbl. The Brent benchmark is now just under US$73/bbl.

The Kiwi dollar is starting today noticeably firmer at 68 USc. On the cross rates however we are holding at 91.8 AUc, and at 58.4 euro cents. That puts the TWI-5 up to 71.6.

Bitcoin is holding at its higher level and is now at US$7,404 which is a little less than a +1% gain from this time yesterday.

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72 Comments

It's weird how everyone is coming together to defend the "intelligence community" the "Neocons", the warmongers, the Globalists, the elites, the media moguls, the Chinese Communists for god's sake and even Her Majesty the Queen, against Trump.

They don't realize that Trump is the resistance.

Even our own Kim.com is supporting Trump.

To quote Trump, " I would rather take a political risk in the search for peace, than risk peace in the pursuit of politics"

http://www.ronpaullibertyreport.com/archives/tucker-carlson-one-of-his-f...

Gonna need a source for that quote, doesn't match his speech patterns.

got it from Rand Paul
https://twitter.com/RandPaul

Okay, so definitely said by a speech-writer. Not this guy:

Look, having nuclear—my uncle was a great professor and scientist and engineer, Dr. John Trump at MIT; good genes, very good genes, OK, very smart, the Wharton School of Finance, very good, very smart—you know, if you’re a conservative Republican, if I were a liberal, if, like, OK, if I ran as a liberal Democrat, they would say I'm one of the smartest people anywhere in the world—it’s true!—but when you're a conservative Republican they try—oh, do they do a number—that’s why I always start off: Went to Wharton, was a good student, went there, went there, did this, built a fortune—you know I have to give my like credentials all the time, because we’re a little disadvantaged—but you look at the nuclear deal, the thing that really bothers me—it would have been so easy, and it’s not as important as these lives are (nuclear is powerful; my uncle explained that to me many, many years ago, the power and that was 35 years ago; he would explain the power of what's going to happen and he was right—who would have thought?), but when you look at what's going on with the four prisoners—now it used to be three, now it’s four—but when it was three and even now, I would have said it's all in the messenger; fellas, and it is fellas because, you know, they don't, they haven’t figured that the women are smarter right now than the men, so, you know, it’s gonna take them about another 150 years—but the Persians are great negotiators, the Iranians are great negotiators, so, and they, they just killed, they just killed us.

I don't know if it was one of his speech writers or not, if he believed it, does it matter?

And how is Trump the "resistance"?

Trump is nothing of the sort. No doubt there will be change, Trump is utterly clueless as to what it might be, he is flapping around like a gasping fish out of water.

Don't waste your time with all that, just watch this instead. Awesome:

Tucker: The main reason Trump's Russia critics hate him

o^0

I like Taki's magazine, he's hilarious, I'm surprised you haven't heard of him.

Man you are deep into the MSM bull.

Oh right so it's only alt-media and pro-Trump media recommendations from now on? Gee that's balanced.

I was just providing the counter weight to your conspiratard drivel.

All media is flawed, but at least try to get in a broad perspective.

I don't like Trump, but I am open minded about what he may or may not achieve. I imagine that its wildly more objective than your Trump defending bias.

>Counter weight to your conspiratard drivel.

you posted what, 14 links to articles that support your point of view? Must be fun letting trump live rent free in your head.

I didn't say what my view was actually. I just posted a broad spectrum of coverage as an alternative to the alt-media stuff andrewj has taken to posting that exclusively supports his own bias.

I personally take all media (MSM and alt-media) with a pinch of salt and try to take in a mix of sources to protect myself from echo-chamber syndrome.

Very wise

In fairness, gingerninja posted sources from quite a range of different media organisations. Not just a couple of predictably Right or Left sources.

Re Trump, it would be nice to see him take and hold a consistent line on some issues (e.g. Russian interference) rather than chopping and changing at random and depending to whom he is talking. This last couple of days has been a real ship-show.

Joe Rogan podcast interview with Peter Schiff on socialism, trump and the not so good state of the US economy.

A good listen if you've the time....

http://podcasts.joerogan.net/podcasts/peter-schiff-3

By calling it "conspiratard drivel" you show your true colours. Why not say, "while they make some good points perhaps you should read some of my links to get a better perspective of things".

I do recommend the Huffingtonpost link to see the "best" signs.

Signs that say, "F*** OFF PEE BRAIN" and "I could sh*t a better President" and many others. Classy.

There was even one figure—female, I think—wearing a T-shirt reading “This Pussy Not for Grabbing,” and a large arrow pointing down to her lady garden.

“Madam,” I murmured as I passed her by, “not in a million years...”

Speaking of classy. At least it emulates Trump's defense against sexual assault claims - the "I wouldn't grope her, she's not that hot" defense.

That's what they call whataboutism..tut tut.

It's actually an ad hominem.

Ad hominem is where you attack the character rather than addressing the argument.

There's no argument being made here that I am seeking to discredit. It is merely pointing our two abhorrent and lacking-in-class statements. So it's missing a necessary component of ad hominem.

Zachary's probably more on point - I was actually pointing our the sheer hypocrisy of criticising a lack of class while making statements like that. People in glass houses, yada yada yada.

In 2002, 62% of all Britains felt they were getting something close to accurate reportage in their print and broadcast media. Today, the figure languishes at less than 30%. That is a cataclysmic fall in just sixteen years.

The large drop in trust is probably from the disconnect between what the MSM constantly claims - 'Strong economy where everyone is prospering' etc. versus what most people are actually experiencing e.g. inflation outstripping wages, poorer job prospects, reduced affordability of homes/essentials etc. The MSM is really just an extension of the corporate or ruling class so why trust the message?

I wouldn't be surprised if it's similar here.

Iraq war 2003. Blair was very polished, New Labour had set the agenda, well liked and trusted by media and public but after that war (at the time I was in favour) trust was destroyed - we knew we had been lied too. As some hotel manager once said about customers: it take years to build trust and only an instant to lose it.

Lapun 100%, that was when the penny dropped and many Brits realised we'd been played and manipulated. None of us thought Blair was a "player" initially, many were swept up in his charisma and optimism (myself included). And if he hadn't taken us into that godforsaken war, his reputation might still be intact.

This is the problem with skilful rhetoric, we are all vulnerable to its power. Ancient Greek schools of rhetoric taught on the art of persuasive argument and this is now continued by all speech writers, PR, marketing and media specialists today. In Ancient Greece the critique of rhetoricians was ultimately that pathos in particular could be used to manipulate the demos. Whilst Seneca taught the balance of ethos, logos and pathos, many modern politicians including Trump and Blair predominately rely on Pathos to curry favour. With Blair, I do believe that logos and ethos was there to begin with. With Trump who the f5$* knows. He certainly doesn't try to pretend to have logos.

The worst of it was that Blair was used by Bush to legitimise the Iraq war to the US populace. He was a useful idiot, to use Stalin's phrase. If that nice Englishman thinks we should kill them all, then it must be true. Brilliant bit of political insight by the Bush team, mind you, bringing red and blue opinion behind his bloody policies.

Gingern...
Are you implying that there is some kind of main stream media balance towards Trump.. ??
I don't see it..?
Why do u think that someone posting a link to an alt-media view is some kind of extreme position..?

Like you, I am open minded about what Trump may or may not achieve.

We all know that if any journo in the MSM supports Trump he is out on his ear. They are rabidly anti-Trump. The MSM reporting on Trump is 90% negative.
The alternative media have been hard on Trump at times. They are watching him like a hawk.

Zachary, he's a conman and a pathological liar. Any objective study of his background and statements proves this.

Yeah, yeah. Show me a politician that isn't.

Glib. Most are decent well-meaning people but they do seem to self-select for a small number of conmen and the remainder being gullible.and naive - just the wrong people to identify and eliminate the conmen and liars. Trump & Berlusconi -v- Merkel & Thatcher.

Roelof, it's not just that one off link, i've commented specifically on this issue to andrewj (who I like and previously respected greatly as a commentator) completely unrelated to Trump. He is increasingly posting links to articles with a very particular bias. Which tbh, I find disappointing.

I have been guilty of bias in my younger years and it makes me cringe to see great minds fall down those rabbit holes. I know that maybe sounds patronising, but I really don't mean it to be. It genuinely saddens me when discourse becomes this polarised because it so often leads to negative consequences.

My comments to Andrewj are not Trump specific, I have accused him of reading too much "conspiratard" media previously. There is left wing and right wing agenda conspiratard folly, I think they are both silly. I can often identify the fear and paranoia that provokes them, but I think that in our current digital age, so many extreme fringe views are disproportionately emboldened. They get so much more media attention than they warrant because of how the internet encourages and we respond to click baiting. I have followed Jordan Peterson for many years and think he offers one of the most compelling critiques of post-modernism. However, he cheapens himself by resorting to high drama attention seeking headlines and his followers now behave like a cult, in a way that is not healthy. I can't help but feel saddened that true critique and opposition becomes tribalism.

I am a fairly entrenched sceptic, who tends to step back from a particular trend, movement or zeitgeist and see a pattern of human behaviour driving it, rather than wanting to scapegoat that all on one particular movement or politician. I believe Trump is symptomatic of a predictable human behavioural pattern, and whilst I find Trump personally unpleasant, vulgar and detestable ("grab her by the pussy" etc), I think his power tells us something very important about the tide of human behaviour atm.

IMO the liberal, left wing discourse has gone waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too far, and spending vast amounts of energy on fairly trivial issues (there are much bigger, pervasive, widespread issues that would be better addressed). The liberal left wing have been engaging in Orwellian behaviour, just as much as the right wing ever has. Globalisation was not undertaken democratically on the whole across the globe, and some of the unbalances it has caused are driving dissatisfaction and disenchantment, which is then feeding into political and media agendas.

sometimes i post stuff just to make one think, even I am fairy sceptical. however Taki is a great guy to follow if you need a laugh.
I try not to get biased but it sort of sneaks up on you, I think a simple life is happier, healthier and better for most of us. This new world of information is making the world interesting and troubling at the same time.
One of my issues with the MSM is whenever I have been involved in events and the media report on it, often it is wide of the mark, an example my daughter was involved with the rescue of some canoeists who got into trouble in Wellington harbour, the press got onto it, she told me when she read the paper it was like a different event, she wondered if it was somewhere else with someone else.
If we find the media inaccurate when they report on issues we have some expertise in, why do we then expect them to accurately report on the rest of the news?
My experience in the USA left me deeply sceptical about any recovery in their economy, at least any broad based recovery. Although my children thrived in the eduction system, there was an armed sheriff present during school hours and they experienced several 'lockdowns' mostly an over reaction, does this effect children's outlook on life?
One of my friends teaches code, he is almost doing it for free, trying to get schools to let him teach code to intermediate aged children, he has had great success but has been unable to break through the old thinking in the school system. So mostly only teaches once or twice a week in several schools, even though many pupils have written glowing reccomendations on how how he changed their lives.
I have no doubt we are on the cusp of great change, just a matter of not being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
My attitude to Trump is, he got voted in by the people of America, they have given us another interesting choice for president, but it is their country and there choice and we need to respect that.
Take care Andrew

Many of these sources are just cashed up mouth pieces pushing a calculated agenda. These are not bastions of fair and balanced reporting.

Verizon (owns Huffington Post) donated half a million to Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Hillary Clinton's top donors in 2016. Notable mentions are Comcast (NBC, CNBC) and TimeWarner (CNN, Time magazine). CNN have even staged rent-a-crowd protests: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ObbTX_nMGk

And there are plenty more...including Routers

And then there are the hippie outlets like Vox who go around defending the actions of one George Soros.

I'm not saying Trump is a saint but you might want to post some better sources. At least half the links are propaganda.

By chance we were at the site of the demonstration and march for several hours (leaving the National Gallery and heading to a show) . The reality didn't fit the description at all. It was mature and good humored and inclusive of a wide section of the community. We were very impressed. Most well mannered demonstration I've been aware of.

"The Trade Consequences Start" the headline blares.

Yet we see that all 12 US Federal Reserve Districts report economic growth. Unemployment is low and things are humming.

Some concern has been expressed. Some supply disruptions that maybe, possibly, caused by tariffs. That's it? That's pretty much the consequences.

The US is not as trade dependent as perhaps Germany and China who, remember, need to incur massive trade surpluses to keep their economy growing. I don't see how a country like the US, currently losing hundreds of billions of dollars each year in trade deficits, will not benefit from a trade war.
The tariffs make up less than 0.1% of US's GDP but make domestic production and non-Chinese imports a lot more appealing. US offshore investments are rushing back and a pick up in capex investment will be clearly visible.
China may talk big but the regime has suddenly eased its stance on credit tightening as cracks begin to appear in the Chinese industrial sector. We should take China's statistics on surging household consumption with a grain of salt.

The comment re CAPEX is interesting David, is there anyway that your sources will provide some indication tat can be reported here?

Interesting that we are seeing history replay the 1930s ...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoot%E2%80%93Hawley_Tariff_Act
"The Tariff Act of 1930 (codified at 19 U.S.C. ch. 4), commonly known as the Smoot–Hawley Tariff or Hawley–Smoot Tariff,[1] was an Act implementing protectionist trade policies sponsored by Senator Reed Smoot and Representative Willis C. Hawley and was signed into law on June 17, 1930. The act raised U.S. tariffs on over 20,000 imported goods.[2]

The tariffs.. under the act were the second-highest in the U.S. in 100 years, exceeded by a small margin by the Tariff of 1828.[3] The Act and following retaliatory tariffs by America's trading partners were major factors of the reduction of American exports and imports by more than half during the Depression...

Mind you they'd been doing that for years -the Monroe Doctrine and the Platt agreement (with Cuba) come to mind.....

They've always been Rough Riders.......

our dollar looks like it is waiting for the next event to hit another dip, charting all points down

"The massive quantitative easing program has generated very significant imbalances and the risks outweigh the questionable benefits.

The balance sheet of the ECB is now more than 40% of the Eurozone GDP.

The governments of the Eurozone, however, have not prepared themselves at all for the end of stimuli."

https://www.bbntimes.com/en/global-economy/the-eurozone-s-coming-debt-cr...

The deflationary impulse that swept through the global economy in 2012 was real and massive, not something that QE3 and QE4 in the US could ever have handled (it didn’t). Mario Draghi’s “promise” that same year was a similar sideshow. All they accomplished was creating false expectations, the distance between economic reality and increasingly forlorn hope in commodities first before everything else following in 2014 and 2015.

http://www.alhambrapartners.com/2018/07/16/how-to-totally-misinterpret-d...

Media silent as Pacific powers prepare for showdown with China

Gulp, guess what NZ is one of those Pacific powers. Time to get nuclear weapons?

From the comment section:

Like the Dutch farmers in South Africa, the people of New Zealand and Australia do not belong in that part of the world. They should start heading back to Europe now or become war refugees later if a major war with China breaks out.

Project Fear continues with the Guardian and the LSE. I think people would risk a potential cheese disruption in return for making their own laws and negotiating their own trade deals. People voted to exit the EU. Terms like "hard" and "soft" are constructs. May needs to get on and quit the EU and secure some trade deals.

"However, in addition to the EU, the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand have already expressed interest in signing bilateral or multilateral trade agreements with the UK. Agreements with these four countries and the EU would cover more than three-fourths of the UK’s current agricultural trade.

Finally, the UK has the additional option of signing trade agreements with several trade blocs, including ASEAN and Mercosur, and joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership. These relationships would enable the UK to find cheaper sources of agricultural and food imports and new export markets for British agricultural commodities, processed food, and beverages."
http://www.aei.org/publication/what-brexit-means-for-the-uks-agricultura...

Project Fear is equal on both sides of the argument. Both sides use that tactic.

They are both sabotaging and waylaying the Brexit negotiations with their tantrums and media whoring.

Oh how I wish that both sides should stop their nonsense and get on with the making their own laws, negotiations and trade deals.

I never get why the Yanks need to demonise Russia so much. Russia doesn't do anything that's worse than anybody else, and don't seem much of a threat to the Yanks anyway. And just for example, their role in Syria is both skilled measured and constructive, if you read beyond the yankee media.
I think the Yanks just need an outside something to blame, and combined with their inability to deal with each other internally, perhaps they have to.

Who is a better option than Trump.
If Trump goes (which he will sooner or later) then the U.S will resort to those ass kissing politicians who have got them into trouble.
Too many toupees and dyed hair in American politics.
Gone are'''greatest country in the world'' and ''not on my watch''' and ''leader of the free world'''
Change needs to happen Trump has tried to start it,they need someone else politically intelligent to carry it on.

"Who is a better option than Trump".
You could start with Kermit the Frog and go from there.

But .........he's green

Profile's masters would have apoplexy

Ok, so what is the down side?

Pass :)

How about the voice of Kermit the Frog, Jordan Peterson?

https://youtu.be/PESYQ6TGwhQ

How would Kermit be any better than any other President.
They are all being manipulated by other people,Kermit no exception there thats for sure.

David Goldman's Open Letter to Larry Kudlow (and the rest of the US) is worth a read. An excerpt:

The United States is absolutely right to restrict Chinese access to US technology. I have proposed even more stringent measures, for example, 100% US content for any high-tech goods bought by the military. That just buys a little more time. We need to worry less about what technology China may have stolen in the past, and more about what kind of technology it may invent in the future. If China leaps ahead of us in quantum computing—which it is trying hard to do—they will secure an advantage as big as America’s advantage in semiconductors during the 1970s and 1980s. That will be game over.

As is Richard Fernandez' go at explaining 'why populists'. Essentially, the Great Unwashed have spotted something the Elites are not seeing....

By contrast the Chinese elites were both strategically restless and uninhibited. They didn't stop in the middle of a thought and ask "is this gender neutral"? The only question China asked was: does this work for China? They saw the in the 21st technology not a perfection of destiny but an obvious opportunity to leapfrog and break away. A race was on and only China, among the major powers, seemed to hear the starting gun. The Western public heard it too, but their ruling elites did not.

The Western publics sensing the erosion, with a dread amplified not only by the indifference of the elites but by a lack of a clear conception of the threat and alternatives to it, attempted to enter any port in the storm. Populism presented itself in the motley attire of borrowed, half-baked political finery. Because it was half-baked it appeared to its opponents in bewildering guises. Few noticed one crucial common factor: it arose in the West through elections. Neither Russia nor China produced anything similar.

Waymad... This reminds me of a very insightful speech Charlie Munger gave in 2003. He forsaw the higher order effects of free trade with China. ( Ricardo never saw beyond the idea of comparative advantage )
It is a speech worth printing out.. and studying.
https://www.tilsonfunds.com/MungerUCSBspeech.pdf

Another example of not thinking through the consequences of the consequences is the standard reaction in economics to Ricardo’s law of comparative advantage giving benefit on both sides of trade. Ricardo came up with a wonderful, non-obvious explanation that was so powerful that people were charmed with it, and they still are, because it’s a very useful idea. Everybody in economics understands that comparative advantage is a big deal, when one considers first order advantages in trade from the Ricardo effect. But suppose you’ve got a very talented ethnic group, like the Chinese, and they’re very poor and backward, and you’re an advanced nation, and you create free trade with China, and it goes on for a long time.
Now let’s follow and second and third order consequences: You are more prosperous than you would have been if you hadn’t traded with China in terms of average well-being in the United States, right? Ricardo proved it. But which nation is going to be growing faster in economic terms? It’s obviously China. They’re absorbing all the modern technology of the world through this great facilitator in free trade, and, like the Asian Tigers have proved, they will get ahead fast. Look at Hong Kong. Look at Taiwan. Look at early Japan. So, you start in a place where you’ve got a weak nation of backward peasants, a billion and a quarter of them, and in the end they’re going to be a much bigger, stronger nation than you are, maybe even having more and better atomic bombs. Well, Ricardo did not prove that that’s a wonderful outcome for the former leading nation. He didn’t try to determine second order and higher order effects.

If you try and talk like this to an economics professor, and I’ve done this three times, they shrink in horror and offense because they don’t like this kind of talk. It really gums up this nice discipline of theirs, which is so much simpler when you ignore second and third order consequences.
The best answer I ever got on that subject – in three tries – was from George Schultz. He said, “Charlie, the way I figure it is if we stop trading with China, the other advanced nations will do it anyway, and we wouldn’t stop the ascent of China compared to us, and we’d lose the Ricardo-diagnosed advantages of trade.” Which is obviously correct. And I said, “Well George, you’ve just invented a new form of the tragedy of the commons. You’re locked in this system and you can’t fix it. You’re going to go to a tragic hell in a handbasket, if going to hell involves being once the great leader of the world and finally going to the shallows in terms of leadership.” And he said, “Charlie, I do not want to think about this.” I think he’s wise. He’s even older than I am, and maybe I should learn from him.

Well done Charlie Munger. Interestingly Michael Hudson suggests that Ricardo was essentially a banker and a very effective proponent of a banker's world view.

It would be a bit of useful fun to come up with a cartoon of the underlying thought process of these different world views. It seems to me you could describe much management philosophy, in America and elsewhere, as "Plantation Owner", or "Work The Bastards Until They Bleed". Amazon and Foxconn come to mind.

Similarly a cartoon of modern banking might be "Debt Farming - How To Keep Your Livestock Happily Competing Against Each Other For A Better Barn".

I have been trying to get a grip on how the US took power from Great Britain via banking. Clearly the first world war was the key point, by lending money for warfare (the way banker's get really, really, rich) and then not cancelling the loans. Previously the general understanding was the allies that won would cancel each other's debts on the basis that those who contributed more treasure had usually contributed fewer lives. Then by destroying the Empire Free Trade Zone (which is why we kow-tow to China, I suspect).

Just how rich do banker's become?
https://www.google.com/search?q=rothschild+family+palaces&client=firefox...
Of course this excessive privilege leads to the inevitable backlash, be it the French guillotine or the German death camp, or the Soviet gulag. Scary stuff indeed.

There is an obviously blithering idiot in the White House and yet people continue to praise him. Says as much about them as it does about him.

Obama bailed out the banks and AIG, but let the ordinary folk fall over.

Bush claimed WMD when it was all about access to oil.

Clinton repealed the Glass-Steagall Act. He'll be remembered for a misquote, though - he actually told Monica 'Sack my cook' .

Bush went to war over oil

Reagan declared it was 'Morning in America' - the year Catton wrote Overshoot.

Carter got resource constraints, but urged a greater effort. All square with the card.

Ford ?

Nixon was abut as straight as a corkscrew.

LBJ? I recon he was well aware he was about to become top dog.

Kennedy? Read Seymour Hersh's Dark side of Camelot.

They haven'T had a well-meaning President since Eisenhower - who often got it wrong but at least tried to do the right thing.

There is indeed a precedent.

Powerdownkiwi , your timeline is incorrect

The more I study ike the more I like, that was a great man and a real President IMHO. Though Obama wasnt too bad at all considering. Yes he let ordinary folk fallover, yes but really how constrained was he? His biggest failure for me was not cleaning out the banks. They should have been nationalised, boards and ceo's sacked and even jailed this was essential for it not to happen again, instead it will.

The matters that can be commented on in this story can be relatively wide. But please ensure they have more than just a passing relationship to the New Zealand economy and the influences on it.

I want to clean out the culture wars commentary and comment, especially the stuff that has no relationship the items in this daily review, no relationship to New Zealand (and especially the stuff that tries to import the ethnic and nationalistic tensions of other, far-away places).

If such irrelevant (that is irrelevant to interest.co.nz) comments just disappear from these threads in future, this is the reason. There are plenty of other websites where you can have those arguments and push those barrows, just not on interest.co.nz - please.

Comments on all other stories should relate to the subject of the story.

That's interesting, David.

Sad, though. You raised the topics of the US, along with Europe, Britain, Australia.....

Surely robust journalism starts with robust debate? The moment you start to close that robust debate down, we're in trouble. The mainstream media in this country are - to an extent not realised by the citizenry - choosing to shut down debate which is inconvenient to the 'growth is good/possible' mantra-chant. (personal experience of this on request! You wouldn't believe....) I appreciate the pressure that can be applied by those who might sponsor/advertise with you, and perhaps from others with other agendas but again, if journalism can't be above such pressures, what is it? No more than mantra-chanting and infomercials, I suggest. Sad epitaph for the Fourth Estate...

Perhaps a more proactive approach would be to have a daily 'open forum' - throw up a few links as you do and leave us to it. I(t doesn't take long to identify the schills for left, right and vested-interest, that's a bit of the fun). Journalism would be better for it, and believe me journalism needs all it can get.

Interest.co probably cannot continue to grow if it remains ideologically a "Fourth Estate" enterprise. Such entities are steadily declining. The recent push for reader financial contributions highlights this. Somehow it must have some connection and relevance to the "Fifth Estate", outlier publications on the Internet, where a growing number of readers are spending more and more of their time.

This doesn't mean that it should be an absolute free for all in the comments sections as I think that would result in things rapidly becoming a madhouse. Moderation is required. Perhaps look at it as a way of developing your writing skills. Can a somewhat incendiary or dissenting comment be crafted more subtly, more cleverly?

Commenters should imagine themselves ascending a podium to address a broad audience. The subject should be on point and free of petty bickering. It is never a one on one conversation. These are the comments I wouldn't mind seeing deleted.

It's a tough job to moderate these forums and must be tiring. Mistakes will sometimes be made by moderator and commenter alike. Having your comment censored shouldn't be taken too seriously, perhaps see it as a good thing, especially if it was civilized and not too barbaric.

You mean become yet another echo chamber?

Really just trying to reach a compromise. Comments should seek contribute, to entertain and to inform above all else.

One major problem is the huge divide between the humour of the Left and Right. The Left tends to enjoy crudeness and the scatological while the Right is more ironic and sophisticated.

Ive wondered long on why journalism has got so bad. The answer I think is in what is happening on both Facebook and Youtube. ie advertisers do not want their products advertised for say gun, or weapons in general related channels on youtube and Facebook bans these groups on the slightest pre-text. It comes down to money I think, journalists want to eat and they eat only if companies advertise, hence undue influence is put on media.