From The Newswires: Key meets Xi (to make rhyming easy) in China & over achieves mightily. While you could fill a set of Encyclopaedia Britannica with what he doesn’t/won’t do, he is remarkably good at building trust at all levels & at responding well to political & physical crises, a point not lost on Fabulous Fran in the Herald last week in 2 glowing opinion pieces (here & here). Arguably the apogee of his premiership (prime ministership sounds ridiculous…) thus far & a perfect indication of his ability to turn what could have been a fawning grovel for forgiveness over an embarrassing fiasco with our biggest trading power into a diplomatic & trade triumph that puts us way ahead in our dealings with China than anyone else in the “white” Pacific & Europe; truly extraordinary. Can’t imagine self-appointed future lord of Aotearoa & multi-talented diplomatic genius, the hero of Herne Bay his very self, David Cunliffe being able to even understand how to do this, let alone carry it off. By way of comparison between the two, while the Gentle Leader was in Beijing marching forward to the next generation, Dynamic Dave gave a speech about wood & suggested an exciting programme of government backed economic initiatives that would sweep us into early 1980s Japan. Judging by the latest opinion polls – where Labour are now less popular than the majority of stds – his policies have yet to garner the traction with the public that his wisdom so clearly merits.

Back in NZ, Rodney Hide contemplates the Great Helmsman’s role as a PM & as National party leader and finds that by succeeding admirably at the second he has been a major disappointment at the former. I can think of at least one other member of the commentariat not 5 or 6 cm from my keyboard who has been singing this song for over 5 years now but let’s not bang on about that now…

From The Economy: Janet Yellen’s first press conference as Fed Chair was nothing if not dull. This tweet gives an indication – whenever yellen opens her mouth my sciatica acts up – but if you want more of a flavour try this 90 second video; it will be the longest week of your life. In essence, this happened: Fed cuts monthly bond purchases by $10 billion, & eliminates unemployment rate target as trigger for rate hike, & slightly raised the pace of interest rate increase forecasts by 25bps next year & the year after. Her statement was more hawkish than expected, but that simply means she turned out not to be the world’s biggest ever dove. All in all, she remains committed to supporting the US economy by any means she can but sees it continuing to improve & will therefore continue tapering at the rate of $10B/month until they are buying nothing but will keep what they have bought & let it “run off” over time.

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