The Hive on the Deposit Scheme

The Hive is very worried about the flaws in the Government’s deposit scheme:

Why, if our hand was forced by the Aussies did we not adopt the same policy as the Aussies?

In particular – why did we not match Australia’s guarantee for bank lending in the international wholesale market?

Those countries that are running large current account deficits – NZ, Australia, US etc are in competition for an increasingly scarce amount of funds on the international wholesale markets. Most of the money on offer is from Asia. Now if you were an Asian investor with $100 million to invest who would you invest it with? An Australian bank which has this loan guaranteed by the Australian Government, or a New Zealand bank that has no guarantee from the New Zealand or any other government? The answer is obvious. The money will be loaned to Australia. Why would you take a risk on New Zealand when there is no risk in lending to Australia.

I imagine we could still get some credit, but have to pay more for it.

… we are a nett borrower economy. We are not at present (maybe Key’s 40% plan for the NZSF will help right this) able to generate the funds we need to keep our economy working from domestic savings. So we are dependent on a funding stream that looks as though it is about to dry up. Before too long the banks are going to have to literally stop lending. And this will mean chaos across the economy. New activity will stop and existing loans will be affected also. Don’t expect your fixed term loan to be rolled over when it expires, even on your house.

Does Cullen know what to do? He’s done okay when faced with the best economic weather since WWII, but does he have the answers now? The fact he has reversed his stance of increased borrowing for infrastructure suggests an element of making it up on the hoof.

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