Sep 15, 2021 • 16M

Dawn Chorus: Australia's shock nuclear sub move

New nuclear deal with United States & Britain to give Australia long-range strike ability with nuclear-powered subs; Bound to outrage China; No mention of ANZUS; Plank wants 90% vaxx rate

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Bernard Hickey and friends explore the political economy together.
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TLDR & TLDL: In a move set to outrage China and leave New Zealand on the outer, Australia will this morning announce a plan to buy nuclear-powered submarines and long-range strike weapons from the United States and UK.

Welcome aboard? Today, Australia is expected to announce a plan to buy nuclear-powered subs and long-range strike weapons from the US and UK. Photo: US navy personnel pose on a nuclear powered submarine via WikimediaCommons

Meanwhile, Covid-19 modeller Michael Plank says only a 90%-plus vaccination rate would avoid swamping our ICUs, while Rob Fyfe says businesses need the Government to set an actual vaccination rate target. He suggests 80%.

Also, the vultures are circling Judith Collins after one poll found National with 21.5% support and ACT at 15%. Elsewhere, James Shaw announced the Government needs five more months to come up with its climate plan in the May Budget.


Breaking locally this morning

Covid-19 modeller Michael Plank said the vaccination rate would need to get well over 90% to avoid swamping the health system. (NZ Herald)

Former Air NZ CEO and Icebreaker Chair Rob Fyfe called on the Government to set an actual vaccination threshold, which he suggested should be over 80%. (RNZ)

James Shaw announced late yesterday the Government would have to change the response deadlines in Climate Change law to give itself another five months to lay out its climate change response.


Breaking in global politics, the economy, markets and business

Australia is set to announce a major new defence alliance with the United States and Britain called AUKUS that sees our Trans-Tasman neighbour get hold of long-range nuclear strike technology such as nuclear submarines and long-range missiles. This could enrage China. The deal is due at 9am NZT (SMH)

There is no mention of the future of ANZUS in reports overnight from the Sydney Morning Herald, Politico and the AFR-$$$, which also reports Australia is about to abandon a A$90b deal to buy conventional submarines from France so it can buy British or American nuclear submarines.

Casino stocks in Hong Kong and the United States crashed overnight after Beijing announced an inquiry into casinos in Macau. Sands China fell 33% and Galaxy Entertainment fell 20%.

The Hang Seng Index fell 1.8% overnight after the casino probe news. It is also weaker on worries about the world’s most indebted property developer, Evergrande, which is on the brink of defaulting on some of its US$300b of debt. (Reuters)

Boris Johnson announced a major cabinet reshuffle overnight, removing his Foreign Secretary and his Housing Secretary. He elevated Trade Secretary Liz Truss, who had been negotiating NZ’s FTA with Britain, into the Foreign Secretary role. She replaces Dominic Raab, who was blamed for failures with Britain’s pullout from Afghanistan. (Reuters)

Johnson also abandoned a major push to open up zoning rules for new housing in the leafier fringes of Britain’s suburbs after a backlash from Tory backbenchers. (FT-$$$)

Chinese retail sales grew rose just 2.6% in August from a year ago, which was much lower than economists’ forecasts for growth of around 7%. Global logistics grief and a fresh Covid outbreak slowed consumer spending. (Reuters)

Britain’s Consumer Price Index inflation rose to an annual rate of 3.2% in August from 2% in July. It was higher than expected, but also reflected restaurant meal discounts a year ago. Markets nudged their interest rate forecasts up a bit. (Guardian)

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Signs o’ the times news


Questions for the day

  • Whatever happened to ANZUS? Did Australia check with us first? What will China’s reaction to Australia having nuclear powered submarines and long-range missiles”

  • Why isn’t the Govt helping companies mandate vaccination and running information campaigns to counter anti-vaxxers?

  • Where is the mass pro-vaccination marketing campaign? Shouldn’t there be incentives and lotteries for vaccination?

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Comment of the day

“We simply must get that median income to house value ratio back down. I’m happy with 6 as a medium term goal. Please RBNZ stay out of housing - you’ve done a superb job at price stabilisation since the crazy 80s and 90s - we need you to keep doing that.” Dr David Wilson in yesterday’s Dawn Chorus.


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Bernard

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