When the Reserve Bank lowers its official cash rate the good ship New Zealand is usually heading into a storm that can be seen by everyone on board. Not this time.

Finance markets did not expect a cut so soon and the Herald's economic commentators Liam Dann and Brian Fallow are not alone in wondering what the bank is so worried about.

Certainly there are clouds on the global horizon, especially the big orange one over the United States which has turned dark on Iran and China again lately. But it blows hot and cold. Its menace is its