Anyway, looks like another hiding to nothing the Greens have been on. Not only has much recycling been a con in that it was exported to sweatshops in China, councils around the country have all been investing in expensive new schemes that now have nowhere to go.
There is nothing much that is good about Islam but I tend to think they know how to deal with crims and maybe we should be looking at a bit of Sharia law to deal with the Curtis’s of this world instead of continuing to apply the failed remedies of the bleeding heart liberals.
“Has anyone seen this story about how recycling is falling apart.”
Re-cycling has never been anything but a looney left pipe dream, and if the mainstream media were doing their damn job, and bringing us the truth as opposed to eco-Marxist propaganda, that would be common knowledge.
Meanwhile, the Obama birth certificate issue grows ever bigger, with Obama spending hundreds of thousand to prevent the public viewing his real birth certificate, on file at a hospital in Hawaii, but unable to be released without his permission.
Its looking more and more like in one of the most notable fraud cases in history, a fake and impostor has hoodwinked the US electoral system and been elected as President. Whether he will be inaugurated is a different issue.
..and once again, the bozos calling themselves journalists, and who are the dipshits mostly responsible for the election of this fraud, refuse to report. When are these charlatans and propagandists today degrading this once honourable profession going to be subjected to some real anger for their lies and deceit and their dereliction of duty?? Pretty soon I reckon. The dissatisfaction is growing exponentially. Accountability is long overdue.
The “general debate” thread from yesterday isn’t letting me post any comments thereon.
But in any case, I would like to bring this topic forward now;
This was WELL SAID, Goodgod
# goodgod (751) Vote: Add rating 1 Subtract rating 0 Says:
November 27th, 2008 at 3:22 pm
(PhilBest)”Memo to all politicians and Reserve Bank heads:
Take your “stimulus” package figure: 1.3 trillion for the USA, 150 billion for the UK, 7 billion for NZ. Then say, assuming that is the magic figure, how could we cut taxes – and government spending – by that amount, instead of borrowing it/printing it, and pissing it into the wind.
Nothing else is gonna work.”
(Goodgod)”I’d like someone to leak the mini budget Labour had lined up. Since their argument against the right seems to be that the VRWC was just inventing an imaginary global problem to excuse the use of their favorite tactics, did Labour really believe it, or were they aware that they were screwed?
If the latter, National are playing russian roulette with two bullets instead of one. If National hesitate and use centre-left measures, they fail publicly and are blamed. If they don’t go centre-left, and things get hard owing to global factors, their right-wing methods get blamed because they aren’t the promises of the left that the general population are familiar with.
This is why I don’t think they have time to be big-noting in Peru. They have less than 3 years. There is no time for gentle change that will not result in long term economic problems. Only the blame will shift. Everyday they waste decreases their chances of being re-elected and increases the speed of NZ’s economic decline.”
AND he adds:
# goodgod (751) Vote: Add rating 1 Subtract rating 0 Says:
November 27th, 2008 at 3:28 pm
“In fact they have about 18months: it will take time for any changes to become apparent at average voter level.”
“……If National hesitate and use centre-left measures, they fail publicly and are blamed. If they don’t go centre-left, and things get hard owing to global factors, their right-wing methods get blamed because they aren’t the promises of the left that the general population are familiar with.
This is why I don’t think they have time to be big-noting in Peru. They have less than 3 years. There is no time for gentle change…….”
I would like to add to “things get hard owing to global factors”; things are very very bad in NZ itself irrespective of an international crisis, and the same goes for many other countries. Northern Rock fell over in the UK well before any signs of grief on Wall Street; similarly, NZ’s finance sector began to collapse earlier and has collapsed, proportionally, far worse than the US finance sector, and would have done so irrespective of anything similar happening overseas. This is one of the worst cases of non-coverage by our media, EVER. There was a time when one finance company falling over, was big news, you got down-at-the-mouth mum and dad investors featured on the front page. But this time, when we’ve got thirty plus finance companies gone, virtually the whole sector, what have we got? A media black hole?
I don’t get it. Are the socialists in the media that worried that people might join the dots and realise that Michael Cullen and Labour are the most to blame for our problems, not “Wall Street”?
The finance Coy sector demise in NZ is actually not far removed from the sub prime loan fiasco in the US
Consider the higher returns for investors from FC’s in NZ pushing bank lending practices to unsustainable heights and consumer credit to anybody capable of filling in an online application for a credit card so the banks could compete. And the mortgage brokers, fu#% me what fun they had
All built on the premise that house prices always go up – no they dont
Now we see Govts around the world trying getting economies going with more credit – that’s what I dont get – to use your pen – its not the real economy stupid:)
Here’s what I think has happened all over the world on around the same time frame, which has given the slimy socialist scum in the media the opening to “blame America first”, again.
Investment money from Japan, and to a lesser extent Saudi Arabia and China, has been flowing to everywhere that there were promising returns. The effects that this investment money have had, have varied a little from country to country depending on the FISCAL framework within each country; i.e., what investments provided the best return. A “good” fiscal framework would have resulted in the investment money bringing about an economic boom, with increased productivity, increased production and GDP, increased exports, and increased employment and wage increase pressure. Furthermore, to the extent to which investment flowed into property, it should have resulted in a construction boom.
But instead, the results in MOST countries, but especially NZ (we are perhaps the worst) has been to do almost nothing but pump up the PRICES of existing houses, and the PRICES of what few sections were released on to the market by our Green-belt-crazy local bodies; to absurd levels that bore no relation to income levels. And mortgage-securitized lending in amounts that also bore no relationship to income levels, drove a short-term boom in consumption that not only gave illusions of wealth but also did nothing for productivity or economic growth.
I am picking that the extent of economic pain that needs to be suffered now in any nation, will bear an almost direct relationship to the CONSTRUCTION boom that that nation experienced. If they had a construction boom, and their house prices did not inflate, they will not have a problem now with equity collapse.
The USA was not consistent in this respect. Their house price “median multiplier” went as high as 4.4 on average, with Green-belt-crazy California at 7.5 pulling it up, and pro-development Texas at 3.0 pulling it down.
Seeing NZ’s median multiplier was the worst in the world at 6.6, we are in stark, raving, denial if we think that we don’t have much worse problems than the USA, of our own bloody stupid making.
The wonder so far, is that the Japanese investment money that has inflated our lending sector, has not taken flight. Interestingly, the Investigate Magazine had an article on this in January 2007, that we would do well to re-read now.
Economist Peter Schiff, who is becoming famous for the recorded-on-video TV clips from the last few years in which he warned exactly correctly about the collapse of the mortgage securitisation sector in the USA and the flow-on consequences (and got mocked for it), and others who are similarly in the process of being proved right, are now warning that the worst is yet to come for the USA, as the investment money from Japan and Saudi Arabia and elsewhere has really not yet begun to take flight – and when it does, there will be nothing the Federal Reserve can do to stop the rout.
John McCain showed what a pathetic “RINO” he is when in a Wall Street Journal Op-Ed the day before the election, he promised Americans that he would not let them lose money through their house prices falling. DUH. The total housing stock in the USA is worth around 100 trillion dollars; a 5% drop in average value, so far, has wiped 5 trillion off that value, leading to negative equity in the mortgage security market of some percentage of that that is far too high due to crazy lending terms – nobody seems to know how much. Their GDP is around 14 trillion, and their Government’s national debt was 8 trillion and a “bailout” of the finance sector just put that to 9 trillion.
Surely others can see where this is heading? And the overseas investment hasn’t BEGUN to take flight from the USA yet?
The relationship in NZ, between total housing stock, and total mortgages and indebtedness; and GDP and the government’s revenue; are WORSE than that of the USA. The only area in which we are better off, is that our government doesn’t have a debt situation.
But the cold, cold, reality is, that movements in the value on paper of total housing stock, are far, far too big for governments to try and fix if they were FOOLISH enough to let a bubble develop in the first place. Our government may not be in a debt situation but it would be just as foolish of us to think that we have “leeway” compared to, say, the US govt, to “bail out” our mortgage equity exposure as it develops, or “stimulate” our economy with taxpayers money or borrowed or printed money. Japanese capital flight from the USA would likely be more than the US Federal Reserve could cope with even if it had no debt; but the exposure of NZ is even worse, going by the fundamentals.
The most sickening and frightening aspect of all this, is that like the Great Depression, the real causes and the real blame, are escaping the notice of everybody except a few astute, but marginalised, people.
Anyone notice how Rod Deanne – chairman of Fletchers – has supervised another disasterous overseas investment. Just before he left telecom he presided over their awful investment in AAMP (or some similar name which cost many millions).
He seems to have the uncanny skill of seeing the worst investments possible and manages to use shareholders money in these scheme that crash and burn just after the money is spent.
In the post ANZ National moves to 20% deposits goodgod at 8.46 am noted:
“You can’t save for a house if your township mill gets closed no matter how much you adhere to good bugetting and sensible reasoning skills. There won’t be too many people from Putaruru tossing their hats to the air and taking off to Auckland to join the Knowledge Wave that never happened.
So how about that ETS now?
Send some Greenie girls on bikes to Putaruru to talk about the evils of logging. Send John Key down to talk about our global carbon responsiblities.
Who are those township people then? Acceptable losses in the war against climate change?”
These “township people” are the ones who were truly represented by their Member of Parliament in the FPP days. The House of Representatives was for the representation of all the citizens of a manageable geographic area with a common interest (to as great an extent as possible). The MP represented the views of the community, regardless of the individuals political preference. MMP has destroyed that representation, with physically large electorates which are difficult to manage, and with ideological representation (List MPs) pursuing a partial interest in Parliament.
goodgod correctly identifies these “township people” as collateral damage.
Putaruru, an economically important community for most of the last one hundred years, is a prime example.
As you correctly point out elsewhere on your blog, don’t rely on the police – they’re too busy serving their political masters and fitting up people for stuff they didn’t do so as to make the clean-up statistics look good to the mugs.
Where I grew up, the relatives of the first old lady he pushed over would have gone down to the shopping centre and dealt a bit of retribution. I don’t mean adults beating up a kid, I mean some adults would have rounded up some younger members of the family and made sure they didn’t go over the top as they remonstrated with the kid. And provided it was all kept reasonable, the kid’s family would almost certainly have said “fair enough” when they found out he’d been attacking the elderly.
Alternatively, if the victim’s family knew the kid’s family, a quiet word would have ensured a bit of discipline was meted out when he got home.
And whatever happened, the police would be kept out of it, because all they’d do is invoke “Bradford’s law” for a quick arrest and certain conviction of the victim’s family, thus solving nothing but making themselves look good in the papers.
Undoubtedly there’s problems at home which allow the kid to run wild, yadda yadda, and these need to be addressed too. But as a short term solution to making sure old ladies can do their shopping unmolested, the above works every time – as I say, at least where I grew up.
As an aside… doesn’t the shopping centre employ security?! A friend of mine worked for many years as a mall security guard. Aside from protecting old ladies in the car park he was kept busy catching people executing passes that would have made an All Black proud… except the “ball” was an entire leg of pork, ham or lamb and the “goal” was the supermarket entry turnstile… if you saw someone loitering round the entry it paid to go in crouched over
“The most sickening and frightening aspect of all this, is that like the Great Depression, the real causes and the real blame, are escaping the notice of everybody except a few astute, but marginalised, people.”
..and that’s why I wonder if this is just the beginning. The illusion of prosperity that is really just the smoke and mirrors of the Keynesian socialists has finally been exposed by reality, but disaster cannot be forestalled unless the truth is acknowledged. The more denial and the more lies from the socialists and their disgusting yellow media plants, the worse the recession will get and the longer it will last.
And whatever happened, the police would be kept out of it, because all they’d do is invoke “Bradford’s law” for a quick arrest and certain conviction of the victim’s family, thus solving nothing but making themselves look good in the papers.
Where can I find evidence of National’s “flying start” as reported in NBR? Are you holding back on us, DPF? I check in here most days to get (as close to) the True Gen as I can and I can’t remember any examples of flying starts – just promises of action in the future. Even TGIF’s noon edition has an NZPA mention of Gerry Brownlee dragging his feet. He’s supposed to be restoring freedom of choice to consumers over which light bulb to use.
Do you find that unimportant, Mr Brownlee? Boring, is it? You slapped Labour down with energetic ferver during their many scandals – so you could be elected. Christmas doesn’t start till the 24th for average Joe, so no holiday til then! If you’re going to release a media statement, shout it loud and clear! It’s a tough job, but we hired you to do it.
Now there may be something going on somewhere, but where’s the report? Not here – but apparently DPF knows of it. Not in the MSM, at all. And even Wishart can’t find the evidence. If there is a media blackout, National need to address it immediately, but since most National policy/media statements are immediately and loudly attacked, what are we to beleive is really happening?
Can’t resist posting THESE excerpts from the latest column by “Spengler” at Asia Times: this is a GOODIE:
“Obama’s one-trick wizards” 25 November 2008
“One wants to ask the Wall Street wizards who comprise the talent pool for the incoming administration, “If you so smart, how come you ain’t rich no more?”……..
“……Shares of Citibank, the current firm of Bill Clinton’s treasury secretary Robert Rubin, last week traded at less than a tenth of their year-earlier market price……
“…….Rubin, a transition advisor to president-elect Barack Obama, was mentor to Treasury secretary designate Timothy Geithner. Even Goldman Sachs, the thoroughbred trading
machine that gave us Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson as well as Rubin, is trading at a fifth of its peak value.
These facts came to mind while reading David Brooks’ November 21 New York Times panegyric to Obama’s prospective cabinet, which gushes, “Its members are twice as smart as the poor reporters who have to cover them, three times if you include the columnists.” Brooks added, “… as much as I want to resent these overeducated Achievatrons … I find myself tremendously impressed by the Obama transition.”
Has Brooks checked the markets? The cleverest people in the United States, the Ivy-pedigreed investment bankers, have fouled their own nests as well as their own net worth, and persuaded the taxpayers to bail them out. If these are the best and the brightest of 2008, America is in very deep trouble.
The one-trick wizards of Wall Street had one idea, which was to ride the trend and pile on as much leverage as credulous investors and crony regulators would allow. It has gone pear-shaped, and those who didn’t cash out early along with the cynics are poor. Fortunately for them, Obama will let them play with the budget of the US federal government for the next four years.
Failed financiers run the Obama transition team. It used to be that the heads of great industrial companies got the top Cabinet posts. Now it is the one-trick wizards. After George W Bush fired former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill, who had run Alcoa, the last survivor of the species was Vice President Dick Cheney, the former CEO of Halliburton. Obama’s bevy of talent comes from finance. American industrialists have become figures of ridicule……
“…….Stocks rallied on November 22 on reports that Obama would give the Treasury post to Geithner, the New York Federal Reserve Bank president and the architect of the biggest bailout in history. He doubled the size of the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet to more than $2 trillion, through the purchase of such risky assets as the commercial paper of near-bankrupt American auto companies. That is in addition to the Treasury’s $700 billion bailout plan. Investors like the idea of trillion-dollar transfers from public funds to private companies.
Former Treasury secretary Rubin “was an architect of the [Citibank's] strategy,” the New York Times reported on November 23. “In 2005, as Citigroup began its effort to expand from within, Mr Rubin peppered his colleagues with questions as they formulated the plan. According to current and former colleagues, he believed that Citigroup was falling behind rivals like Morgan Stanley and Goldman, and he pushed to bulk up the bank’s high-growth fixed-income trading, including the [structured credit] business. Former colleagues said Mr Rubin also encouraged [former Citibank CEO Charles] Prince to broaden the bank’s appetite for risk, provided that it also upgraded oversight – though the Federal Reserve later would conclude that the bank’s oversight remained inadequate.”
A case in point is the reported implosion of the Harvard and Yale endowments. For years, these giant funds were held up as proof that superior intelligence was the ticket to excess returns. During the 10 years through 2007, Harvard and Yale produced compound annual returns of 15% and 17.8% respectively, far better than the market, the average endowment or the average hedge funds – only to blow up in 2008 by frightful proportions not yet released.
According to a recent study , the “super endowments” sailed past their peers by loading up real estate, commodities, and “private equity”, precisely the sectors that underwent necrosis this year…….
“…….For a quarter of a century, the inbred products of the Ivy League puppy mills have known nothing but a rising trend in asset prices. About the origin of this trend, they were incurious. The Reagan administration had encountered a stock market in 1981 trading 50% below its the long-term trend. Reagan restored the equity market to trend by cutting taxes, suppressing inflation and easing some regulations. The private equity sharps were fleas traveling on Reagan’s dog. They simply rode the trend with the maximum of leverage.
Now that the stock market has collapsed, the private equity strategies cannot repay their debt, and their returns have evaporated. Note that equity investors spent a decade in the cold, from 1973 to 1983; it may be even worse this time. The maturities on debt issued to finance private equity deals will come due long before the recovery.
Over the long term, we know that the average investment cannot grow faster than the economy, for investments ultimately are valued according to cash flows, and cash flows stem from economic growth. Real American gross domestic product grew by 2% a year on average between 1929 and 2007. Whence came the enormous returns to the Ivy League? Some of them surely came from betting on the right horses, but most came from privileged access to leverage…….
“………For the 10 years through 2007, American homeowners joined the party, with returns in excess of 20% of their home equity (10% home price appreciation more than doubles with leverage).
Investment banks were levered long the leverage, so to speak. The more leverage the world demanded, the more Wall Street could charge for ever-more-arcane methods of packaging leverage, and the higher the returns to leverage providers.
That explains how a Washington political operative like Rahm Emanuel, now Obama’s chief of staff, who studied ballet rather than balance sheets, could earn a reported $16.2 million in two-and-a-half years at Wasserstein Perella, the mergers and acquisitions boutique. At the height of the bubble, Bruce Wasserstein’s firm sold out to Germany’s Dresdner Bank for the fairy-tale sum of $1.6 billion. Even the crumbs from Wasserstein’s loaf could make a Chicago politician rich.
Without leverage, the clever folk around Barack Obama are fleas without a dog. None of them invented anything, introduced an important new product, opened a new market, or did anything that reached into the lives of ordinary people. They wore expensive cufflinks, read balance sheets, exercised regularly, sat on philanthropic boards, and assumed that their flea’s ride on the Reagan dog would last forever.
All they knew was leverage, and now that the world is de-levering, they are trying to put leverage back into the system. One almost can hear Mortimer Duke, Don Ameche’s charcter in Trading Places, shouting, “Now, you listen to me! I want trading reopened right now. Get those brokers back in here! Turn those machines back on!”
Of course, nothing excludes the possibility that Obama’s team will come up with something constructive. But there is no reason to expect a drastic change from the crisis response of the same sort of people (starting with Treasury Secretary Paulson) in the Bush administration. They will bail out incompetent, failing firms and drop money from helicopters and call it a stimulus package. And it will turn out no better than it did for the humiliated Republicans.”
GET THAT SENTENCE buried in the middle of that essay:
“…….Over the long term, we know that the average investment cannot grow faster than the economy, for investments ultimately are valued according to cash flows, and cash flows stem from economic growth……..”
“……Without leverage, the clever folk around Barack Obama are fleas without a dog. None of them invented anything, introduced an important new product, opened a new market, or did anything that reached into the lives of ordinary people. They wore expensive cufflinks, read balance sheets, exercised regularly, sat on philanthropic boards, and assumed that their flea’s ride on the Reagan dog would last forever.
All they knew was leverage, and now that the world is de-levering, they are trying to put leverage back into the system. One almost can hear Mortimer Duke, Don Ameche’s character in Trading Places, shouting, “Now, you listen to me! I want trading reopened right now. Get those brokers back in here! Turn those machines back on!”……..”
OK, that’s what “Spengler” thinks of the bailout wizards of both the Bush team and the new Obama team.
What is the John Key government in NZ going to be like in comparison?
And by the way, I hate to have to be nasty to a new National government who did NOT create the impending disaster in NZ’s housing mortgage equity. Of all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these: “what might have been”. I honestly believe a Don Brash National Government in 2005 would have done the right thing and got the overseas-sourced-credit “pump” switched over from house prices to real productive activity.
But we had 3 more years of a corrupt mob who made an issue out of share ownership on the part of their political opponents, while they themselves were sitting on investment properties that were pumping up in value thanks to those very same disastrous fiscal and monetary policies imposed by them on hapless Kiwis; all the while ignoring and mocking at the warnings from people like the wronged Don.
What you described would have happened in NZ at one time, or failing that a cop would tenderise the kid’s rump steak with a size 12.
“And provided it was all kept reasonable, the kid’s family would almost certainly have said “fair enough” when they found out he’d been attacking the elderly.”
Such a response requires the family to recognise the immorality of the child’s actions, and a lot of families don’t recognise that moral code these days. E.g. the father of the guys who killed Nia Glassie.
You might be relieved to hear the Gerry B has instructed his department to prepare the documentation for reversing the Light Bulb Law and he expects it on his desk on Monday.
Contrary to what the dim bulbs over at the Stranded say about diplomacy being all about talking nice and taking a long time to say nothing (vis a vis John Key’s utterings in Peru and UK), it would appear that this Government is actually writing a few rules of its own. One of these seems to be delivery of its pre-election undertakings.
“From the American Building Industry Association magazine 08/03/08-
“The German Nazi party expressed many of the ecological refrains we hear today. Nazis were the vanguard of conservationism—they sought to remedy the increasing alienation of people from the natural world, deforestation, urban sprawl, the destruction of ecosystem balance, the extinction of species and the indiscriminate slaughter of animals. Hitler himself was a sometime vegetarian and an animal lover, and the Nazi government implemented some of the first laws protecting animal rights.
The Nazis also blamed capitalism for destroying the European continent and believed environmental holism was the solution. They investigated sustainable forestry and institutionalized organic farming to advance experimental homeopathic cures and medicines. Nazi bio-engineers were also very concerned about construction maintaining harmony with the natural landscape—the autobahn freeway in Germany was designed by Nazis with the utmost ecological care in mind and presented as a way to bring Germans closer to nature. The Nazis also came up with far reaching land use restrictions and centralized environmental planning for the same purposes, and were very zealous about protecting wetlands and other ecological sensitive areas. Thus green building and smart growth ideas are not something new.
What environmentalists offer today, instead of the racist German National Socialism that defined the Nazi party, is an international environmental socialism, an amalgam of Nazism and communism—an international environmental socialism with a centralized planning scheme.”
Saudi Arabia is having problems getting students into New Zealand and onto Tertiary study.
and they want their students in the Waikato at Hamiltons Waikato Institute of Technology.
Now, the question is, who would be STUPID enough to turn down influence from oil rich Saudi Arabia??
Answer: The Communist labour Party!
Those feelthy steenkin commies got Wintec full of Chinese. this is because they kiss Chinese butt.
The good news is… No more. Those boys are gone burger and now we have a brand new capatilist, freedom loving, democratic National government
I predict a turn to common sense and renewed fortune to our now male lead and hopefully PC diminished nanny state. I predict big oil money filling our coffers, less anti social, non communicating Chinese, scared of their own shadows and shining examples of what a totalitarian state does to people. Instead, we will have wealthy, enterprising, outgoing free citizens who may well inspire the Saudi royal family to have their children educated in our newly communist free shores!
Just ignore my cut and pastes, bearhunter, and keep on watching cricket; all our arses are on fire but that needn’t concern you.
HERE is a cut-and-paste I’ve been meaning to do for weeks and have only just got around to it. THIS IS DYNAMITE, it connects a whole lot more of the dots that I’ve been warning everyone about:
This was in “Investigate” in January 2007 – GET THAT, January 2007.
“The Uridashi Timebomb” by Selwyn Parker
“……..Until three years ago, nobody worried too much about uridashi kiwis. Indeed Mr. Cullen and the Reserve Bank welcomed these torrents of yen; all small countries need as much foreign investment as they can get. But as the uridashi flows grew bigger and faster, they prompted well-publicised panic visits to Tokyo to try and stem the torrent. But still it’s kept on coming, like the overflowing water in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. At November, about NZ$40bn was held in uridashis. It’s nearly all short-term money with a life of one to three years. Over NZ$10bn worth of uridashi bonds are due to be redeemed – effectively cashed in – during 2007.
THESE are uncharted waters. New Zealand has never been in this situation before, and nor has the rest of the world. Reading between the conscientiously objective lines of a central banker, Reserve Bank governor Dr. Alan Bollard and other senior staff are worried. Citing the “high level of ‘cyclical’ liquidity” in our foreign exchange markets, Dr. Bollard explains how delicately balanced is the situation. “Given the reliance on foreign capital [i.e. uridashi kiwis and the related but longer-term eurokiwis], any rapid change in global perceptions of New Zealand’s credit-worthiness would dramatically alter the cost of capital” he warned in November’s financial stability report.
That’s central bank-speak for “there’s a problem out there”.
In short, uridashi bonds are hot money and, when or if they turn, they will likely turn fast with dramatic consequences for New Zealand. As the Reserve Bank points out, just one consequence would be higher interest rates all around on everything from mortgages and credit cards to farm loans and hire purchase. Another would be a sharp fall in the equity markets.
Beyond New Zealand, some even forecast a melt-down as the yen carry trade runs out……
“…….Even sober pundits like Morgan Stanley chief economist Steven Roach see bubbles resulting everywhere from the global, carry-trade borrowing that has blown out prices for assets – that’s, everything from kiwi dollars to commercial property in central London. In the City of London, where many billions of cheap yen have been converted into sterling and other currencies and re-invested in these assets, you can sense the growing nervousness. “Yen carry trades are a risky game”, warns currency market expert John Authers of the Financial Times.
Another small nation has already been through it. Iceland had run short-term rates even higher than New Zealand, up to 10.75 per cent, and been flooded with yen-based speculation on its krona. When credit-rating service Fitch down-graded Iceland’s sovereign debt in March, in part because of concerns about the carry-trade, the money promptly fled. As a result the stock market plunged 20 per cent in a day and the krona collapsed eight per cent in 48 hours.
There’s hardly a single respected authority in The City or in the central banks who doesn’t think the yen carry trade will unwind sometime next year. The question is when, and how violently. The big worry is that nobody knows the size of the yen carry trade and therefore the effects of a collapse are unpredictable. Measured in US dollars, it’s certainly billions and possibly trillions. Most authorities hope for an orderly phase-out but some fear the worst. “The entire global financial system is on the verge of disintegration, as a result of the imminent collapse of the yen carry trade”, predicted the Daily Telegraph, not normally a doom-saying newspaper, back in February…..
“…….THE kiwi soon acquired the doubtful accolade of one of the carry-trade currencies of choice, largely because of its high official rate. This is largely driven by New Zealand households’ insatiable appetite for debt but uridashi investors don’t really care about the factors that create high official rates. They are just looking for high-yielding assets in a world of low inflation. By late 2004, about NZ$4bn worth of uridashis had been issued. In general the Reserve Bank still welcomed the foreign investment. After all, Japanese investors had been here before with the samurai bonds of the mid-nineties. And it’s generally good for debt markets to be liquid.
But in 2005 it all started going through the roof. By the middle of the year, the value of uridashis was approaching NZ$8bn. By the end of 2005, it was NZ$10bn. Over August, October and November, more uridashi bonds were issued in kiwis than in any other currency, more even than the mighty greenback and the much more stable Aussie dollar. In October alone, an incredible NZ$2.5bn of uridashis were snapped up, the highest monthly amount on record. Clearly, something was going on; foreigners were hardly buying the kiwi dollar for its long-term prospects and underlying strengths.
It was about now that the Reserve Bank began to worry about the de-stabilizing effect of all this short-term money. By the end of 2005, nearly NZ$45bn of uridashis were outstanding….
“……WHAT makes the kiwi more vulnerable than its big brother across the Tasman is New Zealand’s massive current account deficit, standing at 9.5 per cent of gross domestic product. Even the Reserve Bank calls it “very substantial”. Some of the worst savers in the western world, New Zealand residents have spent – and, admittedly, in some cases invested — more than they have saved in every single one of the last 33 years. Like any household that has overspent and faces a “funding gap” in finance talk, this hole has to be filled somehow and it’s foreign debt that has done it. By November, New Zealand’s net foreign liabilities stood at around 80 per cent of gdp, a truly alarming number by the standards of conventional economics. And the percentage continues to rise.
As the Reserve Bank and everybody else acknowledges, this puts New Zealand in a precarious position from what is known as “rollover risk”. What if all those uridashis are not refinanced at more or less current rates? An added danger is that a lot of our foreign debt is short-term. “Around half of all New Zealand’s debt liabilities have maturities of less than one year”, noted the Reserve Bank’s financial stability report in November. Right now, there’s an overhang of uridashis looming over the market, with about NZ$10.2bn of uridashis coming due over 2007.
It’s not all bad. About 40 per cent of all that foreign debt is held in New Zealand dollars, which protects the kiwi somewhat against the vagaries of international currency movements. Also, some of the debt has been raised by the overseas-based parent banks of our local institutions and they are skilled at managing down interest rates to competitive levels.
But the important point is we’re in the hands of foreigners. If in the coming months, they take a view that lending to New Zealand is a riskier proposition, we have to expect an abrupt, possibly crippling, rise in domestic interest rates as uridashi investors take fright….
“……But there’s a bigger and more menacing picture and it’s called leverage. The yen carry trade is based on it. Mr. Watanabe may be quite happy with his six per cent margin between the yen and the kiwi, but the hedgies aren’t. They “gear up” massive yen borrowings to multiply the interest-rate margin in the search for “alpha” – vastly superior – returns. Assume a hedge fund has US$100m in capital to invest and it borrows US$1bn, giving it a ten-fold increase in available funds. The financial scientists now buy their US$1bn worth of yen at, say, 0.35 per cent and buy kiwis at 7 per cent for a return before charges on swaps and other instruments of 6.65 per cent. Multiply that by ten and you get 66.5 per cent. That’s leverage.
But of course, leverage applies in reverse. When the worm turns, massive gains turn into massive losses. And that also could already be happening, as the relationship between the yen and the greenback shows. This link is a big factor in the carry trade, even for uridashis, simply because so much of it is based on the US dollar.
Since the beginning of 2006, the yen is up 1.9 per cent against the dollar, which erodes much of the carry-trade profit. That makes it hard for hedge fund managers to sleep……
“……..Similarly, a drop of a percentage point or two in the value of the kiwi would make (Japanese investors) nervous…….
“……..That creaking and grinding sound you hear could be the breaking up of the world’s financial ice floe, with important consequences for over-borrowed, big-spending New Zealanders.”
FOOTNOTE: Selwyn Parker is a former senior writer for Metro magazine, now based in London
AS I keep saying, we have problems here in NZ that are effing nothing, nada, zilch, zip, to do with Wall Street and greedy Yankee capitalists.
What about foolish, greedy, Kiwi borrow-and-spenders; who it is beginning to appear, are worse than American borrow-and-spenders?
Although in all honesty one would have to admit that in Kiwis case the need to borrow is much more driven by the circumstances resulting from onerous, burdensome big government soft Euro-socialism that we (unlike Sweden) can’t afford; rather than the Yanks “big boom” attitudes as a result of sustained high economic growth.
Wikiriwhis Business, you are better informed than many on Kiwiblog, but you badly need to read “Future Jihad” by Walid Phares and “Ivory Towers Built On Sand” by Martin Kramer, to find out what are the strings attached to Saudi money invested in your tertiary education system.
How are people who think that you should phase out non-energy-efficient lightbulbs equivalent to Nazis
Because they have done so by removing freedom of choice.
That’s what this is about. Freedom to choose. It was never “ok, we need to make some changes, but you must decide.”.
It was always “Here’s the solution, it’s poisonous, dangerous and not the best option, and we aren’t going to admit that, but you’ll damn well have it. Right now. We know best.”.
And what makes it even more obscene is that the reason “we need to make changes” is because they further enforced a lie of energy scarcity. Labour’s wholesale refusal to realistically plan for the energy requirements of NZ were kept well out of the picture – they were going out of their way to halt energy production with tools like the RMA. And their bedfellows in crime, the Greens, still think everyone will be happy one day peddling an old Raleigh Twenty to charge a battery in the garage so the one Hg eco bulb in the kitchen can be used and to hear the news on the wireless at 6pm.
Then when they discovered the health risk of their myopic anti-freedom stance they lied again. They poo pooed the research of competent scientists, and instead, the Greens leader said she had used eco bulbs for 15 years and had no problem with them so they weren’t poisonous or dangerous or not the best option after all.
There’s the cult of personality that every wrong headed political movement needs to replace fact and reason.
That’s what it’s about. That’s what is so serious about an insignificant light bulb.
National need to sell the big message that they are re-installing lost freedoms and halting any further erosion. Becasue that’s the only selling point they have come 2011 and it’s the only thing simple enough for people to remember.
Kiwipolemicist: Yep, in NZ. In what was considered a “rough” area but one where people had a moral code of sorts. For instance when some idiot tagged my parents’ home my daughter – who knew most of the would-be gang members in town – recognised the tags. She didn’t hesitate to identify the culprits because she knew she was at no risk of ostracision – everyone else would condemn what they did.
So it was then a simple matter of my intercepting said ratbags, dragging their sorry asses (with a bit of “accidental” bumping of heads) down the street and standing there while they cleaned up their mess. Their “mates” drove past laughing at their stupidity.
Sure you might tag the mall and the pub and maybe the bus shelter (not that I’m condoning that) but old people, children and (to many but sadly not all) animals were well out of order and if you caused them any harm you expected to be kicked firmly between the big toes. And you took it without running to your social worker. This wasn’t so long ago, either… 10, 15 years tops.
I would like to question how effective the british “air miles” tax will be in reducing emissions. The tax is proportionate to the distance travelled, so long-haul flights (such as Britain->NZ) will attract the largest taxes. However the NZ Herald has alleged that the main reason for an increase in carbon emissions in air travel over europe is a leap in short haul travel, which will be only minimally penalised by the suggested tax system. Taxes are most effective at changing behaviour when an efficient alternative is available. For travel across much of Britain and Europe, fast mass transit by way of bullet train is available, so a tax maybe effective at altering behaviour. However for travel outside of Europe, aircraft are the only viable means of transportation, so a tax is far less effective at discouraging consumption, and will only do so by forcing travelers to change destination from one outside of Europe to one within Europe.
The dominant effect of the legislation must therefore be considered protectionist rather than enviromental: it attempts to force Europeans to holiday within the European Union, and does not address the root cause of increasing air polution within europe: incrasing numbers of short-haul flights.
There is also a reasonable chance that some country in or near europe will realise that they can jackpot by not applying this tax: much of the international traffic will then travel to them, at which point the passengers get on a (minimally taxed) short haul flight for the remainder of their journey. Ironically this sort of behaviour would actually increase the number of miles travelled (as it will encourage planes to take a detour rather than the most efficient route).
As a final note, the intellectual giants at “the standard” have criticised John Key for being un-diplomatic in the way he criticised the Gordon Brown in his trip to Britain. They seem to have forgotten certain outbursts from ex-Furher Clark, such America not invading Iraq if they had a democrat president, and the subsequent anti-American rubbish that dominated much of the 2005 leader’s debates.