Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
The NZ Initiative does B this week:
It is a wonderful convenience to be able to buy almost anything we want, offering nothing in exchange but flimsy paper or an electronic claim on our bank account. We experience this convenience every time we go to the supermarket and pay by cash, ATM or credit card.
The entire system depends on the seller’s confidence that the means of payment being offered is of real value. Counterfeit cash, or fraudulent ATM or credit card transactions potentially undermine every honest person’s ability to transact.
For most of human history, confidence has been greatest in coins made of gold and silver. Ancient rulers who secretly debased their coins cheated their people and eroded that confidence.
Today, we transact in a world of monopoly government paper money, backed only by trust in government. Like the rulers of old, today’s governments can cheat their people by creating unanticipated inflation through issuing too much paper money.
The diverse interest rates paid on borrowings by banks and governments illustrate how confidence varies in the value of each issuer’s promise to pay future interest and principal. Higher interest rates mean higher risk.
The modern government-controlled central bank is banker to the major commercial banks. It accepts their deposits (which count as banking system reserves) and may lend them money or buy some of their assets when they need more cash. The perceived soundness of a commercial bank depends, in part, on its perceived central bank support.
The soundness of a commercial bank also depends on the quality of its loans, the degree to which it matches deposit and lending risks, the level and quality of its reserves, and the financial strength of its major shareholders.
In contrast, the soundness of a central bank is dominated by the government’s ability to inject more taxpayer money into it when needed.
Governments may oblige central banks to lend unwisely, perhaps by forcing them to fund government deficits, or perhaps to support institutions that have made bad loans in a politically ‘worthy’ cause, such as housing loans to uncreditworthy borrowers.
Such situations can easily induce booms and crashes, banking crises and prolonged unemployment.
These roles and pressures place heavy responsibilities on central bankers. They stand at the apex of the confidence pyramid and play a pivotal role, for better or for worse, during any general banking crisis.
Central banking has mystique, but no magic wand. It cannot insulate the public from the consequences of collective fiscal and financial follies.
Next week is C for competition!Tags: economics, NZ Initiative
QANTAS is gearing up to axe 5000 jobs and sell its terminal at MelbourneAirport to prove to the Abbott Government it can make the tough business decisions required to obtain federal assistance.
The airline may also take the razor to its budget offshoot Jetstar, slashing jobs and routes, as it lobbies the Government to provide it with a lifesaving debt guarantee.
Job cuts, previously forecast to be 2000, are now expected to be closer to 5000.
They have around 33,000 employees so that is a massive one in seven or so to go.
With the airline already forecasting a loss of $300 million, a radical overhaul of operations is being finalised, with the company determined to show real reform in order to secure the debt guarantee it has been seeking from Treasurer Joe Hockey.
Their revenue is $16 billion so the loss is only around 2% of revenue. However many of their costs such as depreciation and fuel can’t be reduced. They have 50 million passengers a year so to break even need to reduce the cost per passenger by at least $6.
Air NZ in 2012 made a $70 million profit on $4.5b revenue so close to a 2% profit on revenue. With 12 million passengers that is a profit of around $6 a passenger.Tags: Air New Zealand, Qantas
The Epilepsy Foundation of America facebooked:
Michael Poole Professional Triathlete is pictured racing the legendary Craig Alexander in Auckland, NZ last month. Poole is a world-class triathlete and so much more…all while living with #epilepsy after being diagnosed in 2009.
The 22-year-old is one of our awesome Athletes vs. Epilepsy spokespeople. Be sure to like his Facebook page and find out more about him on his fundraising page:
There’s info on Michael on his page:
Michael was born in 1991 in Tauranga, New Zealand. Growing up he played soccer and was a member of the under-12 national team. Through high school, he competed in running (winning national team titles in cross country and road running), cycling (winning national titles in road racing and time trialing; member of the national under-17 and under-19 road cycling teams), and triathlon (multiple-time high school champion in triathlon, duathon, and multi-sport events).
Since 2009, Michael has competed as a professional triathlete, moving to the U.S. in 2012. He now represents the country in one form of the sport. He has raced in over 20 U.S. cities and in 9 other countries. This year he was also second in the U.S. Collegiate Championships. At 22, he is often the youngest professional in the U.S. pro fields. Michael also loves cycle racing and holds an elite international license for that sport and will compete at state level in Florida. He currently studies full-time at the University of South Florida as a Chemical Engineering student.
In 2009, Michael was diagnosed with epilepsy. Living with epilepsy while also being involved Triathlon events is a big challenge. In addition to time spent on his studies Michael will train between 25 and 35 hours per week, involving up to six swims and normally five runs and five cycles. It involves a lot of discipline and dedication. He is medicated to prevent seizures and also takes a massive amount of care with his lifestyle and health.
Very inspiring, not letting your disability define you.No tag for this post.
The Daily Telegraph reports:
CHARLOTTE Dawson has been found dead at her Woolloomooloo home.
The popular television presenter is understood to have been found by a security guard this morning.
Dawson, 47, had long battled depression.
Police confirmed they were called to Woolloomooloo wharf at 11.18am and there were no suspicious circumstances to the death.
This is very sad. Dawson was very open about her battle with depression. Many were supportive of her, but there were quite a few who were incredibly nasty towards her on Twitter and urged her to kill herself. I hope those people who took part in her tormenting go through a period of soul searching.
I didn’t know Charlotte first hand, but know several people who did know her well, and they always spoke warmly of her sense of humour and generosity. Both her passing, and the manner of it, are very sad.
For those who may need assistance, the depression helpline is 0800 111 757.Tags: Charlotte Dawson, depression, RIP