Summary: Bitcoin crashed as much as 20% over the weekend as fears grew that central banks will wind down money printing faster than expected in coming months. Mixed US jobs data on Saturday morning was seen leaving the Fed on track to speed up its ‘tapering’ of Quantitative Easing ahead of rate hikes by mid-2022. 

Bubble deflation? The Nasdaq fell 1.9% and crypto-currencies fell 10-20% over the weekend on fears the end of money printing might reduce asset values. Tech stocks have fallen 5% since Fed chair Jerome Powell warned last week of faster monetary policy tightening and pulled out of central banking’s ‘Team Transitory’ group. 

Flight to quality The US 10 year bond yield fell 9 basis points to 1.36% by Saturday morning as investors sold stocks and bonds seen as riskier for ‘safe haven’ assets such as sovereign bonds. Bond prices move inversely with yields. The NZ dollar fell almost a cent over the weekend to a 13-month low of 67.5 US cents by this morning on the risk aversion trend.

Plain scanning ‘Red’ light regions’ cafes, bars and restaurants reported mostly glitch-free use of vaccine passes in the first weekend of the traffic light system, particularly in Auckland after 107 days in lockdown. There were some scattered reports some bars were not using QR readers to check vaccine passes, but most reported plain sailing. Authorities are taking a softly-softly approach to start with.

Good times "It felt like the good old days, almost back to normality. People were out, restaurants were full, people were sitting on the footpath and it was trickling down to K Rd,” said Grady Elliott, who owns the Family Bar, Club and four other bars in Auckland. (RNZ)

US on alert The US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken warned on Friday night Russia could be planning to invade Ukraine “as soon as early 2022” with an estimated 175,000 troops. Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin said Saturday China's increased military activity near Taiwan indicated a "rehearsal" of the country's future intentions. (Yahoo)

Lower unemployment US jobs data on Saturday morning showed jobs growth of 210,000 in November from October, which was half what economists had expected and well below the previous month. But the unemployment rate fell 0.4 percentage points to 4.2% and the participation rate rose, indicating a still-tight labour market and reinforcing expectations the Fed will still need to tighten faster.

Watch out later today Stats NZ is due to publish building work put in place in the September quarter at 11.45 am, which is the first major component of September quarter GDP figures. New National leader Christopher Luxon is scheduled to announce his new shadow cabinet at 1pm, while PM Jacinda Ardern is expected to hold her weekly post-cabinet news conference at 4pm.

Fresh on BusinessDesk this morning

Jenny Ruth argues RefiningNZ, Stride Property and Serko treated retail investors unfairly in recent NZX capital raisings by limiting their purchase amounts and selling much higher amounts of discounted shares to institutional investors.

Daniel Dunkley profiles former Merrill Lynch banker Christopher Walsh, who is now the founder and CEO of Moneyhub.