Bernard Hickey zooms out to lunch with Kiwibank chief economist Jarrod Kerr to talk about America’s factory output slump, the weird arrival of negative oil prices, and negotiations over rent relief for shops and offices.

Bernard and Jarrod talk first about a record fall in US factory production in March, which indicates the US economy is in even worse shape than many feared and falling faster than at any time since the 1930s and 1940s.

They they go on to talk with Newsroom’s commercial property law correspondent (and lawyer) James Elliott about the intense debate around who should take the pain when businesses are forced by Covid-19 lockdowns to suspend revenues.

They talk about the experiences of some tenants of Kiwi Property in particular, which has taken a hard-nosed approach, and what the Government could and should do about rent relief.

Bernard then brings in Newsroom columnist Rod Oram to talk about the strange phenomenon developing in some oil production and storage areas in the United States where oil prices have effectively fallen to US$0 per barrel, and in some cases even lower.

In a strangely physical echo of negative interest rates, they talk about why some storage facilities and producers may actually want to pay others to take their oil off them.

This is part of a daily ‘Bernard and Jarrod Zoom out for Lunch’ webinar series during the lockdown. 

Kiwibank is a foundation supporter of Newsroom.

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