More worrying was the way the Prime Minister, Helen Clark, chose to play politics with the announcement of the scheme. She failed to brief the National Party, or anyone else, beforehand and made the announcement at the launch of Labour’s election campaign. This was unforgivable. It makes the scheme look like merely another device to make Clark appear decisive and on top of the situation. In fact, that kind of chicanery does the opposite. It makes her look shifty and manipulative. The present crisis is too serious a matter for anyone to be using it to engage in political posturing.
She did it of course, because certain lemmings were predictable enough to write articles declaring her decisive for doing so.
There are nonetheless concerns attached to the package. For one thing, it shows all the signs of having been cobbled together in considerable haste. There are huge problems associated with such schemes at the best of times, but this one has more than most. The breadth of it down to deposit taking finance companies and the fact that the smaller, perhaps shakier entities do not have to pay, risk distorting markets badly. These, and other problems, will have to be ironed out.
Someof these details are not minor. The more one gets into it, the more it does appear to have been done on the back of an envelope. The supllementary details yesterday by the Reserve Bank and Treasury helped.