The Haka

“This is the hairy man, who caused the sun to shine again for me.”

 -Haka of the All Blacks

Position: We currently have no position in New Zealand

My colleague and former Yale Tennis star, Rory Green, introduced me to the Haka.  The Haka is a traditional New Zealand dance performed by the Maori, who performed this dance prior to going into war (and also on some other occasions).  The dance is performed by a group that is usually comprised of men and includes vigorous movements, feet stamping, and chanting.  The Haka has also been popularized by the New Zealand Rugby team, the All Blacks, as a way to intimidate their opponents before  a game.  They first performed the Haka in 1884 on their first trip abroad, and have been performing before the start of rugby matches ever since.

For you sports fans, give it a look here at the link below.  It’s pretty cool.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdMCAV6Yd0Y&feature=related

As I was reviewing the global macro news flow from Asia this morning, I was reminded of the Haka after reading comments from Governor Alan Bollard of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.  He very rationally stated:

“If the economy continues to recover, conditions may support beginning to remove monetary stimulus around the middle of 2010.”

This was an about face from the prior statement in which Governor Bollard indicated rates would stay low into the back half of 2010.  Not surprisingly, the New Zealand currency jumped almost 1.5% on the move.   Bollard pointed to a rebound in global activity, in particular Australia, China and emerging Asia as helping support the domestic New Zealand economy.

Much like the All Blacks do before taking on an opponent somewhere around the globe, Governor Bollard is doing the interest rate Haka.  With unemployment having peaked in New Zealand and house price inflation expected to hit double digits by March, Bollard is making a proactive risk management move to protect against “the hairy man” known as inflation.  The global currency scoreboard is awarding Bollard’s Haka today.

What say you He Who Sees No Bubbles (Bernanke)? Will the New Zealand Interest Rate Haka be answered?

Daryl G. Jones
Managing Director