Open mike 16/08/2023

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 16th, 2023 - 93 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

93 comments on “Open mike 16/08/2023 ”

  1. Tiger Mountain 1

    Mango Mussolini strikes again…

    With the mounting number of cases and actions, surely it is time for the authorities to require Mr Trump to surrender his travel documents and passports?–his political aspirations are likely to be extinguished at some stage–but given shame, reflection or self awareness are not his forte, perhaps he might actually campaign from a prison cell or while under house arrest.

  2. weka 2

    Someone in the past few days made a comment about a survey that showed a large proportion of NZers struggling with the cost of living, over 50% I think. Can anyone find the comment for me?

  3. Tiger Mountain 3

    Focus on this at RNZ this morning, elder poverty is a thing now, and 76% of young people felt serious financial stress in the last year.

    This is why the Greens $385 basic income and other worthy policies deserve support in light of Cap’n Chippy’s retrograde call on wealth tax/CGT.

    • weka 3.1

      this isn't a new thing, but it makes sense it would be rising. With little to no ability to increase income, the cost of living will be biting along with the general degradation of services.

      This is connected to boomer rhetoric. When we do ageism hate, people in that age bracket are affected. The liberals who connected the baby boomers to wealth ignored all the people of that generation that have never had wealth and who are now living in poverty. Many of those elderly will have been on other kind of benefits before they turned 65, some will be slipping backwards later in life.

      • Visubversa 3.1.1

        Yes, and a large % of those people will be women.

        Women who had their access to employment restricted in the days when "Help Wanted" adverts in newspapers were divided into "Men's Jobs" and "Women's Jobs" and there was not any sort of equal pay.

        Women who could not get on the proper ladder because the Trading Banks would not lend single women $$$$ to buy property.

        Women who got told they had to leave their employment when they got married.

        Women for whom there was no maternity leave and no affordable childcare.

        Women who could not afford to keep the "family home" after divorce or desertion.

        All that has occurred within my lifetime.

        "Baby Boomer" women.

        • Blazer

          Living in the past…embrace your ..future.

        • Sabine

          women who have an under employemnet rate of 11.7 % as per Stats NZ in June 2023

          women who have an employment rate of 65.4% as per Stats NZ in June 2023

          women who have an unemployment rate of 3.8% as per Stats NZ in June 2023

          Women who often don't get full support as unemployed people because they are in a relationship, making them defacto dependend on a partner for basic survival.

          All women currently.

          and for what its worth, i would put an asterix to women as these stats may include women with penises.

          • bwaghorn

            """"women who have an under employemnet rate of 11.7 % as per Stats NZ in June 2023

            Does this include woman who could work full time but choose not to, or only woand who would work more but can't?

            • arkie

              underemployment is definitionally people who want to work more but aren't able to:

              Underutilisation reflects people who:

              • do not have a job, but are available to work and are actively seeking employment – unemployed
              • are employed part time (fewer than 30 hours a week) and who both want and are available to increase the number of hours they work – underemployed
              • want a job and are available to work, but are not currently looking for a job – available potential jobseeker
              • are unavailable to start work but are looking for a job as they will be able to start work within the next month – unavailable jobseeker.


              Note: people who work 30 hours are 'fulltime' according to Statistics NZ and are not included regardless of whether they want more hours or not.

            • Sabine

              That means people who are not working full time but would if they could, same as for men, their underemployment rate sits at around 7.4 %

              this is the criteria

              Underutilisation reflects people who:

              • do not have a job, but are available to work and are actively seeking employment – unemployed
              • are employed part time (fewer than 30 hours a week) and who both want and are available to increase the number of hours they work – underemployed
              • want a job and are available to work, but are not currently looking for a job – available potential jobseeker
              • are unavailable to start work but are looking for a job as they will be able to start work within the next month – unavailable jobseeker.

              Introducing underutilisation in the labour market explains the need for underutilisation measures, what underutilisation is, and how we measure it.

          • Visubversa

            Makes the stats worthless then.

        • Single men are finding costs difficult as well, but I had a friend suffer all your list.

          My Dad went as her guarantor when she borrowed a $40000 mortgage to buy a small property for $76000. 10 years later she turned up with a fairly substantial gift, to say thank you, and to say she was mortgage free and how much it meant.

          Costs in general really depend where you live, including having access to markets, gate sales, and gardens community or personal.

        • SPC

          Yes, back in the 80's/90's sometimes two divorced women/widows would buy a 2 bedroom unit to prepare for retirement (when property was cheaper).

          This group should be a focus of government housing plans – assisting them with equity, so they do not have to keep working to pay rent (the government's equity being its asset). Women will have some KS to provide their equity.

      • Chris 3.1.2

        Labour's missed such an opportunity with tax, even putting aside the CGT and wealth tax debacles. The minimum wage is barely below the current $48k / 30% threshold. Labour didn't even have the balls to use wages going up as a basis for tax reform, let alone saying anything along the lines of what the Greens or Te Pāti Māori are saying. Labour needs 3 years in opposition to sort its shit out.

        • arkie

          Labour needs 3 years in opposition to sort its shit out.

          Absolutely not, we cannot afford to have a NACT+NZF government. Labour voters that are upset with the lack of action by this government can express their feeling by voting for the reforms offered by the Greens and TPM. This is our only way of improving things, NACT+NZF represent a backwards step compared to Labours jogging on the spot.

          • observer


            "Need a spell in opposition" is one of those self-destructive delusions that recur in political history.

            Like UK Labour 1979 (the Tory government then lasted 18 years) or 2010 (13 years and still counting). Like the ALP at various times. Like NZ Labour in 1990.

            The usual outcome is a party that ends up more centrist than left, to get back to power.

      • SPC 3.1.3

        This issue has been around awhile.

        Back in 1983 when questioning Anne Hercus about plans for a surtax – she said she preferred it to making super dependent on retirement because some people were working past age 60 to pay off the mortgage on the home. Then the importance of people retiring with property ownership was appreciated.

        Of course later between 1990-2000 National increased the age from 60-65 – this after/while many older workers had lost their jobs in the late 80's/early 90's (some people lost their homes).

        There has long been a need to allow single workers over 60, no longer able to work, access to a benefit at the super rate. Also those singles with lifelong disability.

        Those in these two categories with working partners should get the basic income support payment.

  4. Incognito 4

    National and NZ First have more in common than they may desire.

    Money talks, so follow the money and ask cui bono?

  5. Dennis Frank 5

    Green market thesis:

    The market: a multi-billion dollar (and growing) global vegan and vegetarian customer base, where non-animal products are being used to make everything from pavlovas and pizzas to no-meat sausages.

    Unfortunately the crazy grazier title got snaffled by an aussie PM in the seventies, but one could use the un-crazy grazier for a generic enterprise slogan. Sell enough grass products and you'll be recognised as one.

    The report, Unleashing Aotearoa New Zealand's next protein revolution, looked at 10 kinds of non-animal proteins, from lab-based products (cell-cultured meat and milk, and precision fermentation) to plant-based proteins (greens, hemp, oats, legumes) to fungi, insects, seaweed, air fermentation and microalgae. Then it gave each one a score out of five according to its strengths and weaknesses, and the opportunities and challenges for large-scale production in New Zealand.

    Using pentadic framing in evaluation is inherently creative (but only denizens of alternative Aotearoa know that) so we get a viable basis for blue-green leading edge economy. That's because the enterprise is blue-green. Red greens having always been averse to collective economic enterprise, the field is wide open for the teal brand to scale up leverage. Since they've been flunking out for three decades of potential political leverage, success will be sufficiently incremental to underwhelm everyone.

    Which puts our resilience enterprise culture in the same square with National & Labour in the muddle through the middle, when we need Aotearoa to whack the ball out of the park by thinking outside that square.

    a few of the proteins scored four out of five, and Hatton chose four she believes deserve serious further investigation, development and funding, including money from government – grass and leafy greens, fungi, hemp, and seaweed.

    Sounds good but there's a problem:

    New Zealand has no plan, no national food strategy.

    Well, Labour & National are still stuck in market ideology. They are incapable of intergenerational resilience thought processes. I'd also be surprised if the Greens have developed such a plan – have they?

    Good news however:

    The roadmap, set to run until 2035 “will identify New Zealand’s comparative and competitive advantages related to the production of different protein sources, and suggest pathways for how we can leverage these … It aims to help us direct resources towards opportunities that will create the most economic, social, and environmental value”. It was due for release in March, but hasn’t arrived yet, Hatton says.

    It's in the pipeline!! Stuck since March. Labour's relief at having kicked that can down the road into the next electoral cycle too will be palpable. There was a real danger that it would seem progressive by proceeding. Whew! Dodged that bullet…

    • Incognito 5.1

      I’d also be surprised if the Greens have developed such a plan – have they?

      I’d be surprised if you even tried to look for it; I found it in about 5 secs.

      Your biases & intellectual laziness lower the quality of your comments.

      • Dennis Frank 5.1.1

        Your biases & intellectual laziness lower the quality of your comments.

        Yeah I know. Life as a dilettante tends to be like that, I've found. smiley

        Thanks for the good news re the Greens, which will help me view them with less cynicism…

        • Incognito

          What you gonna do about it?

          Here’s a suggestion: lift your game and do a little research before you comment to correct your own cynicism – less is more.

  6. newsense 6

    Whaddya know?

    As with film incentives and almost every other Treasury report there were a whole bunch of people who disagree with the economists.

    And from the perspective of healthy eating. Imagine if the Herald or Stuff had a journalist on pay roll who thought to get such a perspective on the policy before calling it stupid. Rather proves the point of discussion capture by a narrow band of thought.

  7. Anne 7

    I was sitting in a café yesterday alongside a couple of white male boomers. They were discussing the election. One said "they've had six years to sort it all out and they've done nothing". He almost sounded like he was going to cry with rage. The other concurred. I heard the word "chaos" time and again. Everything was a repeat of the Lux boy's slogans. Nothing was an original thought of their own.

    I left feeling a bit depressed. Is it any wonder we end up with too many awful and useless politicians.

    • Mike the Lefty 7.1

      It kind of makes you laugh (silently) at those who had (virtually) free education, have subsidised buses, medical treatment and dental treatment complain about how cruel life has been under Labour while they sip their lattes and discuss their past and upcoming overseas trips.

      If National wanted them to chant "four legs good, two legs bad" they would do it like good little sheeple.

      • Anne 7.1.1

        You forgot to mention the significant subsidy on their winter power bills. I'm sure I heard the Lux recently announce they would be wiping that subsidy – along with other assistance packages for those not as well off as themselves.

      • Anne 7.1.2

        "… while they sip their lattes and discuss their past and upcoming overseas trips."

        Exactly. laugh

    • Dennis Frank 7.2

      You could look on the bright side: no mention of co-governance. I'm intrigued by their focus on chaos. The big world out there seems to be actively promoting awareness of it as a happening thing so seems rather unfair to blame our govt.

      When I got my head around chaos theory back in '89 after reading Gleick's best-seller about it I was struck by how it explains creativity in nature as inherent in boundary regions where the competing influence of a forceful domain is in dynamic balance with another forceful domain adjacent. Same principle applies to social domains.

      The other factor that comes into play is the indeterminant trajectory inherent in any complex system. Small changes can trigger large systemic shifts via cascading influence spreading. In political systems the seemingly negligible influence of a single activist can scale up dramatically if they achieve resonance with others in their operational context (ecosystemic relations view). Gives us a sound basis for hope…

  8. tsmithfield 8

    I thought I would let you all know about a fairly dramatic situation I was involved with a month or so ago that really shook me up, and motivated me to get my heart health checked.

    I work with my brother who is four years younger than me, and incredibly fit in that he does extreme mountain biking.

    I stepped out of the office for a couple of minutes to get a cup of tea. When I returned, he was slumped over his desk making a gurgling sound. He was unresponsive and had no pulse. It was very fortunate that I was not out for any length of time, because it is unlikely he would have been noticed otherwise.

    Luckilly, there was a number of people in the building with first aid training, so we got CPR onto him straight away. The hospital must have sent out a message, because a guy in the immediate vicinity turned up with a defibrillator within a couple of minutes. Then within 10 minutes we had three ambulances, a fire truck, and two police arrive on the scene. Lol.

    It turns out he had a cardiac arrest. He had several stents put in at the hospital, and has now made a full recovery. Last week he had a meeting with the specialist and was told he could resume driving and mountain biking again.

    What freaked me out was that it drove home to me how vulnerable we are, especially if we are in the middle aged or older group. If there hadn't been a team of us immediately available, there is no chance he would have survived. So, he had is event in very favourable circumstances. It drove home to me that the only real defence we have is to take care of our own health, and get regular check ups.

    So, I arranged for a doctors appointment, got blood tests, and also a treadmill test. Fortunately, everything seems fine thus far. But this is probably something I will do every year or two. The treadmill test cost around $300. But, it is well worth it if people can afford to get that done.

    • AB 8.1

      Pleased to hear your brother is OK and that you got yourself checked. Our two-tier health system (the insured and uninsured) means we are heading back towards a time when you got the healthcare you could afford – along with the housing, food and warmth you could afford. Human rights were not inherent in the person, but merely whatever you could grab for yourself in a competitive labour market. A Nat-ACT government will tend to accelerate that decline.

    • Muttonbird 8.2

      Yeah, might want to thank the government for the health system that saved your brother's life.

      • tsmithfield 8.2.1

        Certainly am very greatful. For all its faults, it is there when it is urgently needed by and large. I would far rather have our system compared to what they have in the US.

    • Anne 8.3

      After the age of 60 it is a good idea to have check-ups with your doctor every six months if needs be. The doctor will know how often it should occur. It doesn't ensure that you will not get a serious health issue but it significantly reduces the odds.

      A very unpleasant experience ts.

      • Tony Veitch 8.3.1

        Just like my car, I go for a WOF every six months too.

        To Smithy – good to hear things worked out well.

    • Glad it ended well for you both.

    • joe90 8.5

      , got blood tests, and also a treadmill test

      You might consider coronary calcium screening, too.

  9. gsays 9

    Your brother is fortunate, get him to buy a Lotto ticket for you.

    The mention of defibrillator reminded me of a typical short sighted, money centred decision made recently by Mid Central Health.

    A few years back there was a roll out of several of these life-saving machines by MCH. We ran wee awareness evenings in Cubs and Scouts.

    I have learnt that the Health PTB have decided not to renew the contract for the upkeep of these machines because … Neo-Liberalism.

    Once again they remind me of The Machine That Goes Ping.

    • tsmithfield 9.1

      After this event we ordered a defibrillator to keep on site here in case of a similar situation. The doctor at the hospital told me that getting that administered as quickly as possible is a key to a successful outcome in this situation.

      The other thing I think is good to have on hand is a good quality blood pressure cuff. We had another staff member who was feeling unwell. I happened to have my blood pressure cuff at work at the time. He was tested with that and found his blood pressure was really high. So, he ended up in hospital where they discovered some issues that needed attention.

      A lot of our workforces are aging, so likely to become more of a need in the future.

  10. Sabine 10

    This shit could have been ended a long time ago by Labour, consisdering their full majority.

    In essence it represents a case of taxation but no representation, and yes, it not only affects women – who may be the majority of these cases, but it also affects males.

    The man, whom Stuff has agreed not to identify, has health conditions that limit the work he can do. He lost his job as Covid hit, and now at 63, he is finding it hard to get another.

    He and his partner had to give up their $450-a-week rental property in Christchurch and move to a smaller centre, where they found a cheaper place. She works and pays for their rent and food, and Andrew says he is left with nothing.

    “I’ve applied for a benefit and because my partner earns just over the threshold, I don’t receive any money. I don’t even get a Community Services Card.”

    Once a couple jointly earns $160 as week, it affects the amount of benefit they can get. A couple with no children receives no Jobseeker Support once they earn $981 a week jointly, before tax.

    thing is, this was an issue under Helen Clark, then John Key, and now again Labour.

    Median rent in CHCHC is 460 according to this, so they did not live lavishly to begin with. here

    If people can prove that they paid taxes they should be entitled to unemployment benefits in their own name, this is simply shameful. But i guess changing that was in the too hard basket.

    • Incognito 10.1

      please don't use a lot of bold, we need it for moderation.

    • Tiger Mountain 10.2

      Yes, unemployment benefits (heh, “Job Seeker Allowance”) should be personal to holder, regardless of relationships, partners being employed or who else may live at your dwelling. Unemployed advocates have long supported this.

      The Social Security Act had its roots in 1964 before blended families, and wide spread “defacto” relationships and sole parenting. Get the state out of citizens bedrooms!

      During peak COVID the Govt. managed to deliver a second tier benefit to predominantly middle class people–$490 a week, where one of a couple had lost their job or income, their partner was allowed to remain in work! So it can be done.

      The Greens are on the right track with their proposed $385 basic income, UB payments should be made direct by IRD and sadistic MSD/WINZ retired for good.

      • Sabine 10.2.1

        That is nice of the greens, but for now we just want unemployment benefits for those that are actually unemployed for a start, have lost their jobs and paid taxes, and can prove that as required by Winz. You know, their earned benefits as a tax paying citizen/resident of this country.
        There are many reasons our economy does not do well, and denying people their earned due is one of them. Consider that this is not the only case of this State abuse of unemployed people in this country.

        Labour has a full majority, and could have fixed that to the thunderous applause of the Greens and TPM i would assume but for some reason did not.

        Just pay the earned benefits to people who have worked, can prove that they have worked and paid taxes.

        • weka

          We don't have user pays welfare in NZ, and people don't have to 'earn' their benefit, it's a legal entitlement. We have, still, just, social security. Anyone is entitled to that support irrespective of how much tax they have paid.

          • Sabine

            well i guess that dude then is shit outta luck and pays taxes for nothing, cause the greens will need a few more years for their UBI to become realiy.

            • weka

              I suppose his taxes are for nothing if he never does things like drive on roads, or uses GP or hospital services.

              Not taxes without representation is an Americanism, but it doesn't make sense in this context. Weirdly, you would rather not vote than vote for a party that would solve the issue for the man you are so worried about.

              • Sabine

                If he paid taxes and he is now unemployed he should be entitled to a job seeker/social welfare benefit. Being married/in a partnership should not ruin the families finances to the point of couples splitting up.

                • weka

                  It's nothing to do with him paying taxes. He is entitled to a benefit regardless.

                  And this election, there is a party to vote for that has been campaigning on individualising benefits so that couples aren't penalised.

        • Craig H

          In theory, that was one of the points of Unemployment Insurance as it provided a higher level of social security as a product of paying taxes/levies.

          • weka

            it provided a higher level of social security for some people. Which is why it was a shit idea, it was going to entrench the disparity between workers and the underclass even further.

            • Craig H

              The Greens' GMI policy is a better way to deliver general social security IMO, but without a significant increase in TAS that I haven't seen, is still going to fall short for middle to high income earners who are not eligible for mortgage or income insurance.

              • weka

                that's not a good reason to introduce a two tier system. Is the driver for unemployment insurance the high cost of housing in NZ? Mitigating that by looking after the middle classes at the expense of low income people will make society worse.

                • Craig H

                  The cost of income protection insurance is a function of income (it usually pays out a percentage of income – similar to ACC), not costs, so house prices have no impact on it. Mortgage insurance obviously does get impacted by house prices.

                  That said, not eligible for insurance is not the same as unable to pay for it. Consequently, we already have a two tier system – the state system, and the private system.

                  I'm not sure how income insurance would look after the middle classes at the expense of low income people though? People pay in based on their income and are paid out based on their income, and the system would be independent of other state support which should continue to be available to low income people.

                  • weka

                    If people want to buy private income insurance, they can. But the government bringing in a scheme whereby some people get looked after when they can't work and others get forced into poverty, that's fucked up. Labour's position on poverty is to protect the middle classes from dropping down, pull up those they can, and too bad about the rest.

                    As you point out, the Greens have a better solution. The GMI for people who can't work due to illness/disability is much higher (80% of min wage plus supplementary benefits. For those that can work, the GMI functions like a UBI, you can earn on top of the GMI without most of the current WINZ punitive bullshit, although there is a still a threshold for abatement. But the GMI has the option of supplementary benefits too.

                    My point about housing was that if costs weren't so high, the middle classes wouldn't be so precarious around job loss.

  11. Dennis Frank 11

    Gordon Campbell points to a potential hinge of this campaign:

    Off hand, I can’t recall a single mainstream media article this year querying National’s tax proposal on social equity grounds. Here we are, less than two months out from the election, and National still has not released either the details of its tax cut carrot, let alone how it proposes to fund it.

    Timing is the key to the effect of a political tactic. That National are waiting to play this card is interesting. Leaving it until a couple of weeks prior to voting could be their plan but that depends on prior polling trends for effect maximisation. His point re equity is a good one but I dunno about whether it works well with mainstreamers to try and explain what the word means in respect to tax. They're confused enough already.

  12. Muttonbird 12

    Look at this shit. Willis flouting WCC laws on hoardings is framed as being due to, "a change in advice". Nats say WCC changed advice but nowhere is that evident in the article, or from the statement by the WCC.

    National deputy leader Nicola Willis forced to take down double-sided billboards following change in advice

    Grant Robertson is right, she is a liar.

  13. Descendant Of Smith 13

    Plenty of research to show that the neo-liberal reforms did nor result in the promised 20% to 40% cost savings. It did lead to stupid shit like this though.

    He said at the moment one person would mow lawns but would not empty rubbish bins even if they were full, because that was contracted to another person.

    Good on Christchurch rolling it back.

    • gsays 13.1

      In Feilding, the local council changed contractors for rubbish and recycling. Probably 5 years ago.

      They like the recycling bins facing a certain way, which one day my elderly Mum got wrong.

      Someone wrote in vivid marker on her bin a curt, abrupt message about what to do correctly. That gave her the yikes and she hasn't used it since. That's the private sector's efficiency for you.

  14. Dennis Frank 14

    So, the big one?

    Michael Burry, the “Big Short” investor who became famous for correctly predicting the epic collapse of the housing market in 2008, has bet more than $1.6 billion on a Wall Street crash.

    A medical doctor who morphed into financial whiz kid:

    an American investor, hedge fund manager, and physician. He founded the hedge fund Scion Capital, which he ran from 2000 until 2008 before closing it to focus on his personal investments. He is best known for being among the first investors to predict and profit from the subprime mortgage crisis that occurred between 2007 and 2010.

    He has Rusyn ancestry… earned an MD degree from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine… Despite not practicing, Burry has kept his license as a physician active with the Medical Board of California, including continuing education requirements.

    Not just real clever, but also a healer ethos. Interesting combination.

    Burry is making his bearish bets against the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100, according to Security Exchange Commission filings released Monday. Burry’s fund, Scion Asset Management, bought $866 million in put options (that’s the right to sell an asset at a particular price) against a fund that tracks the S&P 500 and $739 million in put options against a fund that tracks the Nasdaq 100… using more than 90% of his portfolio to bet on a market downturn, according to the filings.

    In the mid-2000s, Burry was famous for placing a wager against the housing market and profited handsomely from the subprime lending crisis and the collapse of numerous major financial entities in 2008. The event was chronicled by Michael Lewis in his bestseller The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine and later adapted into a film where Burry was played by Christian Bale… He is a fan of heavy metal music, including bands such as Obituary, Lamb of God, Amon Amarth, Slipknot, King Diamond & Pantera.

    Big play by the metaller! Time to expect market crashes tends to focus on October due to tradition, so he's getting in early. Big market plays shift market values (the principle of reflexivity according to Soros) so watch for any reported herding from now on…

    • joe90 14.1

      So, the big one?

      Or another swing and miss

      Adam Khoo



      A look at all of Michael Burry's recent predictions. In 2005, Predicted the collapse of the subprime mortgage market -> Housing market crashes in 2008, Global Financial Crisis. On Dec 2015, he predicted that the stock market would crash within the next few months. -> SPX +11%… Show more

      • tsmithfield 14.1.1

        The market is not so likely to be performing well when interest rates are rising. That is because investors can make a fairly safe and reasonable return just by leaving their money in the bank rather than investing in shares.

        So, a market decline wouldn’t surprise me at all. Whether it will be a crash is another matter.

      • Dennis Frank 14.1.2

        Yeah clever folk often misread situations due to burgeoning self-confidence warping judgment. Now AI is a player in the market:

        "It wouldn't take much of a shock to send the market into a tailspin," says Jason Mountford, trend analyst at, an artificial-intelligence-powered investment platform. "Right now, I'm watching very closely for anything that could provide this shock, such as additional weakness in the banking sector or even macroeconomic or political events globally."

        Here's an inside look at the seven most significant stock market factors in play right now:

        • High inflation.
        • Volatile housing and construction trends.
        • Recessionary shadows.
        • High interest rates.
        • A "narrow" stock market.
        • Election cycle.
        • Technology stocks.

        Gotta watch them recessionary shadows! Using a heptad for framing is magical thinking due to 7 being the magic number.

        • gsays

          "It wouldn't take much of a shock to send the market into a tailspin,"

          I am surprised that these things don't fall over more often. Considering trust is at the heart of it, and so many participants are untrustworthy, greedy and afflicted with FOMO.

    • tsmithfield 14.2

      That could become a self-fulfilling prophecy, if enough investors are influenced by the positions Burry is taking. It would be interesting to know whether his put options are close to the money or well out of the money. Those that are a long way out of the money tend to be very cheap because crashes are reasonably rare. But, the ROI is huge on those if the market does crash.

      • Dennis Frank 14.2.1

        This market update has the focus on China, not USA:

        NEW YORK, Aug 15 (Reuters) – Global hedge funds "aggressively" sold Chinese stocks amid heightened concerns over the country's property sector and a weak batch of economic data, a Goldman Sachs report on Tuesday showed.

        All types of stocks were sold in early August, but A-shares, those listed in the domestic stock market, led the sell-off, comprising 60% of it, the bank said. "Hedge funds have net sold Chinese stocks in eight of the last 10 sessions on the prime book through 8/14," it said, adding its clients divested both their long and short positions.

        This is the largest net selling in Chinese equities over any 10-day period since Oct 2022 and one of the steepest moves in the past five years.

  15. Anne 15

    Profoundly sad outcome but to be expected.

    Following the verdict, Dickason's parents said it was a debilitating mental illness which resulted in the deaths of her three young children.

    In a statement, her parents Malcolm and Wendy Fawkes said their beloved Lianè, Karla and Maya were taken from this life as a result of the "crippling disease" that is post-partum depression.

    "There are no winners in this tragedy. We would like to encourage families and individuals around the world to be aware of the symptoms of post-partum depression as early as possible, both for yourselves as well as close family and friends around you. If treated early and managed correctly, people can experience a full recovery.

    "The person experiencing depression and those closest to them may not be able to recognise the signs or how serious post-partum depression can become."

    They thanked the people of New Zealand, South Africa and from around the world for their support and understanding.

    • Kat 15.1

      Not the outcome/verdict I expected Anne…..I wonder what the jury saw as the motive. I see the judge advised murderous intent was motive enough.

      • Anne 15.1.1

        I find it difficult to believe he would send her to a prison. She may not have been clinically insane but the level of depression would indicate she was very unwell. But I'm not clued up on such matters so maybe I am wrong.

        • Craig H

          Insanity defenses are hard to prove because the bar is so high. has the details, particularly (2):

          No person shall be convicted of an offence by reason of an act done or omitted by him or her when labouring under natural imbecility or disease of the mind to such an extent as to render him or her incapable—

          (a) of understanding the nature and quality of the act or omission; or

          (b) of knowing that the act or omission was morally wrong, having regard to the commonly accepted standards of right and wrong.

          Someone suffering from severe clinical depression will not usually meet that standard as depression does not usually reduce their reasoning to a point of not being able to understand what murder is or that murder is wrong.

          Infanticide is another defense that was tried here which significantly reduces the maximum sentence, but obviously the jury rejected it.

    • Molly 15.2

      I didn't follow this trial closely, so won't comment on the verdict, but thought this article/post may be of interest to you:

      "I am continually seeing posts written in defense of Lauren Dickason, the South African mother who killed her three children shortly after immigrating to Timaru, New Zealand. Despite trying to strangle her children with cable ties, and, when that didn’t work, smothering them to death with towels, Dickason has a bizarre string of compliments to her name. Apparently, Dickason was a “loving mother”. She was, in fact, “a good mother who was always organized and provided her children with everything they needed and wanted.” She also “had the prettiest home” and was very “quiet and humble.”

      Lauren Dickason’s defence team has argued that the killings were out of character. They maintain that she was insane at the time of the killings, and, more specifically, that her mind was disturbed due to the effects of childbirth. These kinds of defences have been used by other mothers who killed their children, notably Andrea Yates. On reading about these cases, however, a very different picture emerges- one that makes Dickason look very much like a murderer…"

      • Anne 15.2.1

        Thank-you for the link but I chose not to read it all. I'll tell you why. I believe her parents. Parents usually know their children better than anyone else.

        • Blazer

          'blood is thicker than ..water,.,,'very unreliable premise you mention..Anne.

          • arkie

            What We Say:

            Blood is thicker than water.

            The Original:

            “The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.”

            The saying means that chosen bonds are more significant than the bonds with family or “water of the womb.” More directly, it means that relationships you make yourself are far more important than the ones that you don’t choose.


            • Blazer

              My post relied on the generally accepted understanding of the..term.

              • arkie

                Sure. Just showing that the generally accepted understanding of the phrase is as unreliable as the understood premise, as you note.

                • Blazer

                  Generally accepted terms are quite reliable…because they are …generally accepted.

                  I should have used the word generalisation instead of premise…perhaps.

            • Molly

              Thanks, arkie.

              Something new.

        • Molly

          "Thank-you for the link but I chose not to read it all."
          All good. Others may find it of interest.

          • Anne

            My apologies Molly. I didn't have the time to read your link "Lauren Dickason, The Devouring Mother" yesterday. I have now and it is an eye-opener.

            I had the experience of one such woman 30 odd years ago. In this case the victims were people she knew well. I was one of them. She was clever at disguising her real nature and much of her activity was covert. She was selfish and malicious. She destroyed friendships, relationships, people's careers and damaged property where she could. Some well known people were among the targets. She also committed unlawful acts such as stalking, breaking in to property and covertly harassing her targets. In my case, she also attacked two of my pets. Because of the covert nature I was not able to identify her at the time.

            She was prone to resentments, frustration, jealousy and a desire to control people. She lost her bearings when she didn't succeed….

            Time will tell where on the scale of things this current case will fall.

            • Molly

              "My apologies Molly. "

              No need for apologies, it is a very distressing case and I understand your reluctance. I'm glad you found it of interest. As I mentioned, I thought it worthwhile to share – even though I didn't follow the trial closely. I'm sure more in depth articles will be written now the trial has finished.

              "I had the experience of one such woman 30 odd years ago."

              As life progresses, the chance of meeting such people unfortunately increases, but we don't necessarily recognise it at the time. The devastation caused can be significant and widespread. I'm sorry you have had that experience.

              "Time will tell where on the scale of things this current case will fall."

              True. There will always be unanswerable questions about cases like this.

      • Anker 15.2.2

        That's an extraordinary article Molly.

        The defence of insanity is based on a person experiencing delusions and hallucinations as illustrated by the other cases the author mentioned.

        Although some of the experts implied Laureen was experiencing psychosis, psychotic symptoms were never clearly showen.

        I think it is so hard to imagine that a mother killed her three children, that the only explaination is that she was out of touch with reality.

        She certainly had a significant depression, but failed to prove that she didn't know what she was doing and that it was morally wrong.

        The saddest of cases

        • Anne

          Agree Anker.

          I have to confess I didn't follow the trial closely. Too distressing

          It is true she appears to have had a desire to kill her children. But she was so totally out of touch with the consequences of what she was doing that she must have had a serious mental dislocation at the time.

          An indication will come at the time of the judge's sentencing decision.

        • Molly

          The saddest of cases, indeed.

  16. Anker 16
    • Indeed Anne. I can understand why you didn’t follow the case
  17. Muttonbird 17

    Should patients who are seriously mentally ill be held accountable for ensuring they take their prescribed medication? In some cases they are just as dangerous as those who kill and maim when they are on methamphetamine or alcohol.

    • Molly 17.1

      I don't know if there is an existing line in the sand, even if it is a de-facto one in terms of the justice system.

      I envision it'd be hard to outline a definitive threshold there, that can fairly and consistently address that circumstance, given the issues we have regarding access to appropriate mental health assessments and treatments.

      Perhaps it is easier to look at it from the consequence side. That is, if the judgement is not guilty in terms of some form of mental psychosis, does the resulting treatment take in not just the medical factors and effectively treat them but acknowledge the harm caused as well?

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    New Zealand has  a chance  to  rise  again. Under the  previous  government, the  number of New Zealanders below the poverty line was increasing  year by year. The Luxon-led government  must reverse that trend – and set about stabilising  the  pillars  of the economy. After the  mismanagement  of the outgoing government created   huge ...
    Point of OrderBy tutere44
    7 days ago
  • KARL DU FRESNE: Media and the new government
    Two articles by Karl du Fresne bring media coverage of the new government into considerations.  He writes –    Tuesday, November 28, 2023 The left-wing media needed a line of attack, and they found one The left-wing media pack wasted no time identifying the new government’s weakest point. Seething over ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    7 days ago
  • PHILIP CRUMP:  Team of rivals – a CEO approach to government leadership
    The work begins Philip Crump wrote this article ahead of the new government being sworn in yesterday – Later today the new National-led coalition government will be sworn in, and the hard work begins. At the core of government will be three men – each a leader ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    7 days ago
  • Black Friday
    As everyone who watches television or is on the mailing list for any of our major stores will confirm, “Black Friday” has become the longest running commercial extravaganza and celebration in our history. Although its origins are obscure (presumably dreamt up by American salesmen a few years ago), it has ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • In Defense of the Media.
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    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Top 10 news links at 10 am for Tuesday, Nov 28
    Nicola Willis’ first move was ‘spilling the tea’ on what she called the ‘sobering’ state of the nation’s books, but she had better be able to back that up in the HYEFU. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Here’s my pick of top 10 news links elsewhere at 10 am ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • PT use up but fare increases coming
    Yesterday Auckland Transport were celebrating, as the most recent Sunday was the busiest Sunday they’ve ever had. That’s a great outcome and I’m sure the ...
    7 days ago
  • The very opposite of social investment
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    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Giving Tuesday
    For the first time "in history" we decided to jump on the "Giving Tuesday" bandwagon in order to make you aware of the options you have to contribute to our work! Projects supported by Skeptical Science Inc. Skeptical Science Skeptical Science is an all-volunteer organization but ...
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  • Let's open the books with Nicotine Willis
    Let’s say it’s 1984,and there's a dreary little nation at the bottom of the Pacific whose name rhymes with New Zealand,and they've just had an election.Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, will you look at the state of these books we’ve opened,cries the incoming government, will you look at all this mountain ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Stopping oil
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Don’t accept Human Rights Commission reading of data on Treaty partnership – read the survey fin...
    Wellington is braced for a “massive impact’ from the new government’s cutting public service jobs, The Post somewhat grimly reported today. Expectations of an economic and social jolt are based on the National-Act coalition agreement to cut public service numbers in each government agency in a cost-trimming exercise  “informed by” head ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    1 week ago

  • New Zealand welcomes European Parliament vote on the NZ-EU Free Trade Agreement
    A significant milestone in ratifying the NZ-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was reached last night, with 524 of the 705 member European Parliament voting in favour to approve the agreement. “I’m delighted to hear of the successful vote to approve the NZ-EU FTA in the European Parliament overnight. This is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Further humanitarian support for Gaza, the West Bank and Israel
    The Government is contributing a further $5 million to support the response to urgent humanitarian needs in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel, bringing New Zealand’s total contribution to the humanitarian response so far to $10 million. “New Zealand is deeply saddened by the loss of civilian life and the ...
    2 weeks ago

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