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Market madness

Written By: - Date published: 9:02 am, January 17th, 2013 - 220 comments
Categories: capitalism, economy - Tags: , ,

There have been various demonstrations of random processes beating professional stock market analysts. Here’s the latest as reported by 3 News:

Cat beats investment professionals in portfolio challenge

A common domestic cat has outperformed two teams of humans, including a group of investment professionals, in a year-long stock market challenge. …

The professional team – comprised of Justin Urquhart Stewart of wealth managers Seven Investment Management, Paul Kavanagh of stockbrokers Killick & Co, and Schroders fund manager Andy Brough – presumably used their decades of investment experience to decide where to put their money. Initially the value of that experience seemed to be showing, with the professionals claiming the most profit by the end of September

But Orlando [the cat] was meanwhile making his stock picks by throwing his toy mouse every three months at a randomly numbered grid, where each number was allocated to a particular stock. And by the end of the year, it was Orlando’s approach that had paid off.

The cat finished the year with £5,542 (NZ$10,688). The professionals were in second place, with a total of £5,176 (NZ$9,982), while the school students had lost some of their starting capital to end the year with £4,840 (NZ$9,334).

This can be read at many levels. As a “human interest” funny with lots of bad puns (the approach taken by The Guardian). As an exposure of the empty hype of “financial experts” and the blatantly ludicrous renumeration packages that they insist that they deserve. Or perhaps most worryingly, as evidence of the madness of the markets. We are all at the mercy of a financial system that we don’t and probably can’t understand.

However the experienced investors did concede from the outset that not being a human could have some advantages. Mr Stewart told the paper Orlando would have no awareness of financial risk. “He doesn’t appreciate the need for a balanced portfolio and could end up choosing shares which really take off this year,” he said.

Shouldn’t we sack all the stockbrokers and turn the process over to random number generators? I know, better idea, why don’t we come up with an alternative to this mad, speculative system which exists to facilitate value extraction, and replace it with something that supports value creation instead?…

220 comments on “Market madness”

  1. vto 1

    Ha ha brilliant.

    But the maddest thing of all is that this government wants to give taxpayer assets over to the NZX to bolster it. Welfare for the corporate world, ha ha ha… lazy losers.

    And people like Joyce and Key and English wonder why the average manwoman in the street go nowhere near the NZX. Quite frankly this cat story backs up the wisdom of the people over the investment experts. The people and the cats win – the investment experts lose. Both in this experiment and in real life.

    lessons galore….

    • Tiresias 1.1

      “And people like Joyce and Key and English wonder why the average manwoman in the street go nowhere near the NZX.”

      The NZX returned 24.2% on capital last year. That’s unusually high but it was still recovering from a substantial drop owing to the GFC. Over the medium to long term though the NZX has shown a steady capital appreciation.

      Of course the average manwoman in the street probably doesn’t have the capital to make a 24.2% profit on – in part because they’d rather buy beer than shares in a brewery. Or a Lotto ticket.

      And in part because investing in the stock market is quite deliberately portrayed by professionals as a complicated, sophisticated, frightening thing which should only be handled, er, by those very same professionals.

      • KJT 1.1.1

        People who tout for the share market love to say the average ROI of the market went up.

        They forget to mention, it is not the same shares.

        For example. For the decade around 1987 the average ROI of shares went up, which sort of suggests that shares are a good investment. Most share investors still lost their shirts.
        I remember people telling me I was stupid not to borrow and invest in shares as the ROI was over 20%.
        Except that for any parcel of share bought in, say 10 companies, on the NZX, pre 1987 was worthless by the end of the year. You would have had to sit on the shares, of the few that survived, for over 20 years to get your money back.

        When the underlying value of the companies traded on the market remain static and their profits are flat, 24.2% profit IS A BUBBLE.

        Capital raising is considered to be another strength of the share-market.

        Well, not true, especially for the NZX., Most successful startups are either State funded, owner funded or funded by borrowing, often on the owners mortgage. When the company has passed the initial growth stage they are sold to wealthy individuals or overseas corporates, awash in “printed money” as the NZX demands too much of the business.

        Returning 24.2% on capital invested is a big ask of any company and makes the share market a very expensive source of funds. Banks in the USA will lend on a business at 5.5%.

        In New Zealand having to go to a finance company, 28% or the share market, instead of a bank, at bank rates for capital, is a big competitive disadvantage.

        Giving people something to invest savings in such as Kiwisaver is considered another reason for a share market.. Unfortunately, pension funds historically have helped push up the monetary value of shares, to the great advantage of insiders.
        And, when all the boomers sell their shares at once there will be a corresponding crash in share prices, because the share market has not increased productivity.

        Kiwi saver is another great myth. The idea of privatising power companies to pump up the NZX shows the fallacy. The next generations work will always pay pensions. Whether directly as taxes, or indirectly as higher power bills to pay Kiwi saver investors in power companies.

        The alternative is to let pensioners starve. Something even ACT is not advocating. Yet!

        I just hope I get my contributions out before the finance industry loses it, again!

        Pension schemes in the USA are already reducing, or cancelling, payments, promised to those who have saved into them for years.

    • Nick 1.2

      You want to know the best thing about this Anthony? You think this is an effective attack on capitalism, but in reality it is simply a demonstration of the efficient market hypothesis: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Efficient_market_hypothesis

      “In finance, the efficient-market hypothesis (EMH) asserts that financial markets are “informationally efficient”. In consequence of this, one cannot consistently achieve returns in excess of average market returns on a risk-adjusted basis, given the information available at the time the investment is made.”

      In other words, the finance traders cant make more money than a random choice 100% of the time, because otherwise that would be a gap in the market which would be filled. The fact that the brokers can’t make risk free money actually shows that the market is working.

      • McFlock 1.2.1

        Cool. We should ban financial traders as fraudsters and assign stock purchases randomly via the stock exchange computer.

        • Nick 1.2.1.1

          No not at all. The question is not whether the average trader can make a profit. The fact that experts are the ones who invest drives up overall returns, this efficient allocation of resources is what drives economic growth. It’s simply that the *marginal trader* cannot make more profit than the average trader. So we would expect the cat to sometimes make more than the broker.

          Think about it this way: The cat has no idea what it’s investing in. But it cannot invest in an overvalued company. Why? Because on available information there is no such thing as an overvalued company. If the company ever became overvalued someone would sell the stock, reducing it to its appropriate value. Therefore changes in stock price are only ever driven by new events and the discovery of new information. That new information is as unpredictable to the broker as it is to the cat, therefore the cat will sometimes get lucky and beat the broker.

          But this does not imply that random number generators should run our economy. If you think it does, pick up a textbook until you understand, this is well established theory.

          • Colonial Viper 1.2.1.1.1

            This is the most ridiculous load of bullshit ever. The financial markets have nothing to do with the “efficient allocation of capital”, unless you are talking about the efficient removal of capital from Main Street to Wall Street.

            Why? Because on available information there is no such thing as an overvalued company. If the company ever became overvalued someone would sell the stock, reducing it to its appropriate value.

            Would you please get with the fucking 2000’s. With HFT set ups there are some market players out there who get prices, quotes and trades far ahead of everyone else in the market. Please get your head out of the textbooks and into the real world.

            Start by reading Zero Hedge OK? And after that, would you please learn about “Dark Pool Exchanges” before you utter another load of crap about the distribution of market information.

            • Nick 1.2.1.1.1.1

              Lololol Zero Hedge. Been buying up gold there genius? http://noahpinionblog.blogspot.co.nz/2013/01/buy-gold-durr-hurr.html and note that Noah Smith isn’t exactly a huge defender of mainstream economics

              “Please get your head out of the textbooks and into the real world.”

              I am. I’m using theory to explain a real world event.

              “Would you please get with the fucking 2000′s.”

              My point isn’t that crashes can never happen, it’s that when they do they are inherently unpredictable, so the cat has much chance of making money as the broker. This doesn’t mean that the stock market is perfect, it simply means that it broadly fits the definition of the efficient market hypothesis

          • KJT 1.2.1.1.2

            Except that most trading, now, is done by computers programmed to pick up which stock is rising a few percentage points on a given day.

            Over thousands of trades daily, the players who make the most money are those who arbitrage commissions on buying and selling.

            They have no interest in the value of individual shares, because they gain from both buyers and sellers.

            Hence, the plethora of financial products designed simply to increase the volume of financial trades, without any increase in the underlying work/productivity, to make firms like Goldmen sack the world, rich.

          • McFlock 1.2.1.1.3

            okay.

            So we should just ban the bottom performing third of traders every year.

  2. end o times viper shorts 2

    I think the average man and woman on the street don’t have the disposable income/capital to go near the markets even if they so desired – or perhaps they show their innate wisdom by purchasing a cat

    debatable stats –
    New Zealanders are the world’s greatest cat owners, with a total feline population of 1.419 million
    28% of New Zealand households own one cat and a further 20% of households own two or more cats

    http://www.nzcac.org.nz/home/40?task=view

    [2005 quick google result] Latest figures show 23% of the 18+ population own shares directly (ie: not through managed funds or superannuation schemes). This is up from 21% when the survey was last conducted five years ago.

    http://www.sharechat.co.nz/article/53dc261a/share-ownership-levels-increase.html

    • Wayne 2.1

      This is all very amusing, but it is essentially an argument against Kiwi Saver, which millions of New Zealanders belong to. Their money has to be invested somewhere, even if the best adviser for the investments is a cat.

      Actually given the descripition of the experiment, a random portfolio (the cat approach to investment) would reflect the balance of companies on the exchange. Therefore the result would also be most likely to mirror the overall performance of the market.

      • KJT 2.1.1

        Which is why many of us advise investing in infrastructure, education, housing and sustainable development, in New Zealand’s future capability, directly funded by taxation and QE, not by paying for 40% ticket clipping, through the finance “industry”.

        Muldoon’s “think big” was not wrong, most of the projects are now returning good incomes for their private owners. Funding it by offshore borrowing was. Privatising was an even bigger cockup. Selling them just as we were starting to get a return.

        Just one example, the refinery, returned 300 million profit the year after it was sold for 300 million.
        Incidentally 300 million had also just been spent on an upgrade.

        If the USA had not promptly invaded a few countries to keep their pump prices down in the 70’s the advantages of projects such as the Clyde dam and the NZ refinery would have been more immediately apparent.

        Investment now, in wind and tidal energy, future proofing housing and low energy public transport, for example, will be paying off about the time we need it for the pension bubble.

  3. marsman 3

    Replace John Key with his cat and we’d have a better Government.

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    high Frequency Trading algorithms

    With your compsci knowledge Anthony, you’ll appreciate how these market manipulating tools have turned the financial markets into money sucking sink holes for ordinary investors. What can you expect when the big trading houses have arranged to see, manipulate and trade on security prices for themselves, before anyone else in the market.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-12-14/momentum-ignition-markets-parasitic-stop-hunt-phenomenon-explained

    http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2013-01-03/houston-looks-we-have-quote-problem-out-there

    • tc 4.1

      There’s a TED session where they hollow out skyscrapers and place massive servers, fibre, infrastructure with redundancy etc so they can trade billions in milliseconds making millions on small movements in stock prices. Effectively fully automated buying and selling.

      Making millions generating no value at all, alot of it about.

  5. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 5

    So what we need to do obviously, is not leave everything to the market. We should pick some expert to control every aspect of the economy. Who, I wonder? What’s that cat up to?

    • One Tāne Huna 5.1

      We should pick some expert to control every aspect of the economy.

      Who are you going to nominate, Goldman Sachs?

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 5.1.1

        Who do you think is up to the task? If you don’t ask the 5 million who starved to death in the famine of ’32-’33, Stalin was pretty good. We need someone like him.

        • One Tāne Huna 5.1.1.1

          Disagree. I don’t think putting too much power over the economy in too few hands is a good idea at all.

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 5.1.1.1.1

            But we are agreed that we need someone to plan the economy, right?

            • One Tāne Huna 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Nope. We just need to avoid too much power over it concentrating in too few hands. Some would argue that this has already occurred and that a correction is required.

              • Draco T Bastard

                That is exactly what has occurred and a correction is required and that correction must be the dissemination of the accrued wealth and power from the rich to the people.

                • NoseViper (The Nose knows)

                  DTB
                  Like reducing the puffed up ACC levies that Andrew Little is asking for.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      We should pick some expert to control every aspect of the economy.

      We already have that in the collusion that we see between business and government. What I’m in favour of is democracy. Let everyone know what resources the country actually has and then let them vote on how they should be used.

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 5.2.1

        Let everyone know what resources the country actually has and then let them vote on how they should be used.

        OK, let’s make a list. I’ll go first. I have:

        1. A 1984 Toyota Corolla (Hatchback)

        2. Y fronts (five pairs)

        3. Dr Martens (Greasy Gibson, size 10)

        4. Breadmaker

        5. Picture of a cat (drawn by daughter, value unknown).

        You?

        • vto 5.2.1.1

          Ok, I’ll cast the first vote.

          I vote to stick your corolla hatchback with you inside wearing y-fronts and doc martens in Te Papa. Back seat has picture of cat and stale white bread. Special exhibit price 50c (old coins only).

        • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1.2

          That’s almost mildly amusing.

    • Bill 5.3

      Do you have any particular problem with the idea of a democratic economy; goods produced and distributed via democratic mechanisms? In other words an economy where ‘everyone’ is in charge as opposed to an elite or a clique or whatever?

      • Matthew Hooton 5.3.1

        Bill asks: “Do you have any particular problem with the idea of a democratic economy; goods produced and distributed via democratic mechanisms?”

        Yes, I do. I can’t imagine how democratic mechanisms will know how many pencils to produce in any given year, but the market economy manages to work this out.

        Also, I’m not aware of any successful use of democratic mechanisms (whatever they are? Voting on how many pencils to produce?) deciding on what should be produced, how and when.

        I am however aware of apparent attempts to implement truly socialist economies. Usually, it has involved many people starving to death and/of being killed by the state

        • tc 5.3.1.1

          Simplistic and then a leap into ‘people starving to death and/of being killed by the state’

          stay classy matthew

          • Matthew Hooton 5.3.1.1.1

            So simplistic you fail to address any of it. Please name the non-market economy where people haven’t starves and/or been killed by the state? (Hint, there isn’t one)

        • felixviper 5.3.1.2

          Good thing the market-based economies are all doing so well, otherwise you’d seem a bit of a tool making comments like that one.

          • Matthew Hooton 5.3.1.2.1

            Market economies at their worst provide far better societies for which people to live than any possible alternative, and I think you know it

            • McFlock 5.3.1.2.1.1

              Really? Which market economy was the worst?

            • johnm 5.3.1.2.1.2

              Hi MH
              Your comments are so stupid I can hardly bother reply to your rwnj rubbish. OK Market economy the U$. Almost 50,000,000 Americans on food stamps. A huge Prison Gulag of over 2,000,000. A society so unequal as to be banana republic status. A revolving door between The White House and Wall Street. The American Middle class destroyed by offshoring of jobs to Asia. A Nation with astronomical debt and completely bankrupt. Poverty on the up and up. Go back to Radio Live you ignorant FW. There you can spin your Right Wing spin without anyone with any brains to tell you you’re crap!

            • Frank Macskasy 5.3.1.2.1.3

              @ Matthew. I think that depends on where you are in that “market economy” society, don’t you?

              Taking the US for example. If you’re in the top 10%, you’ll love the “market economy” society.

              If you’re in the bottom 10%, I think your enthusiasm might wane very quickly.

              And here’s a question for you; would you rather get sick in the USA or here in NZ? Especially if treatment cost $100,000 and you ran out of insurance in the US…

              • Gosman

                Would you rather get sick in the US or North Korea?

                • bad12

                  What the f**k would an air head like you know about what medical treatment is available to the average person in North Korea…

                • vto

                  Hey Gosman, how the US or Cuba? Ay? Cuba has one of the best health systems in the world (not that Ive been there but that is what I have been reliably informed). You see – it is about looking after your own. A society which lets their people rot in the streets after being subjected to market forces is a rotting society.

            • Dr Terry 5.3.1.2.1.4

              For which people to live? Undoubtedly “decent blokes” like you.

        • karol 5.3.1.3

          Once the market economy has produced enough pencils for those who need them, businesses will produce pencils with egg timers on them so that those who can afford the more expensive ones can feel superior.

          And while some people in the wealthiest countries cannot afford healthy food, massive amounts are wasted.

          Very efficient this market economy business.

        • bad12 5.3.1.4

          Utter Bullshit!!! fully 40% of the foods produced by market economies never sees a buyer, keep up the idiocy tho i need someone to laugh at on Wellington’s bad weather days…

        • KJT 5.3.1.5

          I am however aware of apparent attempts to implement truly MARKET economies. Usually, it has involved many people starving to death and/of being killed by the state.

          Fixed it for you.

          How many more kids do we have in poverty since the “free market” fanatics took over?

          Indonesia, Chile, Philippines, USA and now the UK with NZ to follow.

          I can think of more than a few States that were, or are, authoritarian dictatorships that claimed to be socialist. In reality most Scandinavian countries, New Zealand and even the USA, 50’s to 70’s, were much more socialist than any of them. National socialists anyone!

          However I am fine with a market economy, on a micro level, that is democratically regulated so that cheats and thieves do not prosper and increased wealth does not automatically go to those who already have it.

          The mistake that Hooten makes, is to think that what works on a local level can be extrapolated to a national or international level..

          Failing right now, in Somalia.

          A democracy has the right to decide if producing pencils is a priority, or not!

          • Gosman 5.3.1.5.1

            “A democracy has the right to decide if producing pencils is a priority, or not!”

            So very funny.

            I suggest that one of the NZ political party’s on the left adopt this as their next election slogan.

        • Colonial Viper 5.3.1.6

          Yes, I do. I can’t imagine how democratic mechanisms will know how many pencils to produce in any given year, but the market economy manages to work this out.

          Simple. Have the workers in the pencil supply chain gather information, discuss it, then vote on what they think is appropriate pencil production for the next month.

          Not that hard now was it, Matthew?

  6. felixviper 6

    Shouldn’t we sack all the stockbrokers and turn the process over to random number generators? I know, better idea, why don’t we come up with an alternative to this mad, speculative system which exists to facilitate value extraction, and replace it with something that supports value creation instead?

    No no no, just put more cats in charge ;)

  7. Kevin Welsh 7

    Why are we not surprised?

    My niece has a holiday job cleaning toilets at the Milford Sound visitor terminal to pay for her first year at university, and with the shit (NO pun intended) she has to deal with on a daily basis, I can see who makes the more valuable contribution to society.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      There was that study a couple of years ago that showed that cleaners are paid only an 11th of the value that they produce. Meanwhile, for all the millions that banksters and currency traders get paid they actually destroy seven times the value.

      • Gosman 7.1.1

        I’m sure there was such a study, however a link is always helpful ;-)

        • One Tāne Huna 7.1.1.1

          Learn to use bloody Google, Gosman.

          The study is called “A Bit Rich – Calculating the real value to society of different professions” and was published in 2009 by the New Economics Foundation.

          • TheContrarian 7.1.1.1.1

            It is tasked upon the person making the claim to provide the link

            • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Here ya go.

              BTW, I couldn’t remember which study but knew I had linked to it before on this site.

              • KJT

                Bankers lose 7 times more money than they earn. Which means that, like most politicians, and many other managers, it would be more economically efficient to pay them to stay home,

                so those of us who can actually do something useful can get on with it..

                • muzza

                  Bankers lose 7 times more money than they earn.

                  Remembering of course that the money is not actually lost, it is simply *redistributed* to another bank, hedge fund or similar corrupted entity, maybe sponsoring another *kinetic intervention*. Either way the same people *win*!

                • Colonial Viper

                  Yep. Over the 2007-2009 financial crisis the financial/banking industry lost more money than they ever made in their history. And bank executives did not have to return a single dollar of the bonuses that they “earnt” up to that point.

            • Frank Macskasy 7.1.1.1.1.2

              @ Contrarian; a suggestion that applies equally to Gosman, going by past record.

              Link: http://tinyurl.com/aqohgou

  8. tracey 8

    “and could end up choosing shares which really take off this year,” he said.”… Telling that he thought a cat flinging a mouse at aboard equates to a choice!? ;)

    In some ways it’s similar to how Key and English make decisions.

    • Macro 8.1

      I could tell a story about a Cabinet Economic Committee in the early 80’s I once attended in which a certain Prime Minister was …. Nah I better not.

  9. erentz 9

    Next an experiment to see if the size of the cat has a relationship to the success on the market.

  10. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 10

    This is actually a problem for the people who think you can plan an economy.

    • felixviper 10.1

      Don’t confuse market with economy, they’re not synonymous.

      • Colonial Viper 10.1.1

        And from what I see of the HFT techniques and dark pool exchanges in use in the financial markets, the markets are planned.

    • Matthew Hooton 10.2

      Absolutely right Gormless. But you shouldn’t expect anyone here to believe (or have heard of) efficient market theory. Of course a cat will be competitive with “a team of experts”. That’s the whole point of markets. They always know better than “the experts”.

      • johnm 10.2.1

        Hi Matthew Hooton
        The market says: You’re deficient in the Intelligence department being a well paid idiot, time for you to fold mate!

        • Gosman 10.2.1.1

          If he is being well paid for being an idiot why is it time for him to fold?

          There seems to be some real crazy leftist logic at work there. ‘You are successful so you must stop it now’.

          • Dr Terry 10.2.1.1.1

            Take great care Gosman, there is a leftist hiding behind every corner, and they all possess dangerous crazy logic!

      • Rhinoviper 10.2.2

        Of course a cat will be competitive with “a team of experts”. That’s the whole point of markets. They always know better than “the experts”.

        The cat is effectively random, not “wise”. The market, according to Friedman et al is supposed to represent the average of people making reasonable self-interested choices based on their full knowledge not only of present circumstances but also future outcomes.

        Either Hooton is trying to make a “joke”, in which case, not even being enlightening satire, his remark is flippantly worthless or, he believes that a random “oracle” is equivalent to the “rational observer” of the ideology he subscribes to… but then there was all this talk about rational choice and so on, so which is it?

        What’s the truth (I know that word is very tricky for you and an explanation to you might be as difficult as an explanation of… well, anything to an embryo)? Is the market “rational” as a collective, or are “experts” such as yourself, no more reliable than housecats?

        More to the point, since you are one of these “experts”, should you not be replaced by Twinkle the fluffy kitten?

        What should Twinkle the kitten charge its clients versus what you charge yours? Answer, abiding by market rules, remember.

        [Aside: no, I don't think that I'm satirising Hooton, instead, I think that since he obviously thinks that he's such a great wit, he should be challenged to acknowledge that wit is more than just smartarsed comebacks a la John Key. Real wit displays knowledge and intelligence, but Hooton actually has none, hence his persistent inability to support his bullshit.]

        • Rhinoviper 10.2.2.1

          …and Hooton again is notable for his silence.

          “Now”, he asks himself, “if only I could invoice my clients for saying absolutely nothing… then I’d be on to a winner and I could sleep in every morning”.

      • Colonial Viper 10.2.3

        But you shouldn’t expect anyone here to believe (or have heard of) efficient market theory.

        OMFG Hooten.

        Do you even know what a High Frequency Trading algorithm is? Get with the 2000’s please before you keep uttering this crap.

  11. framu 11

    i prefer headless chickens to the cat technique

  12. Gosman 12

    Who is this ‘we’ you write of when it comes to sacking stockbrokers?

    I very much doubt they are employed by you. If the people that do employ them are unhappy with their performance then they are able to get rid of them. If the investors are unhappy with them then they are entitled to remove their money and invest it somewhere else.

    This seems to be just another example of leftists thinking they should be able to dictate how the world works.

    • vto 12.1

      Not at all. It is merely exposing the fraud that is this game. These brokers claim something which doesn’t exist, namely an expertise.

      But as mentioned above, the wider public has cottoned onto this long before the cat and they have scarpered. The funny thing is that Key and Joyce and English and the NZX thinks this is due to something else and that the NZX needs government welfare to improve its performance. Ha ha ha what blindness and ignorance. The conservatives are always the last to cotton onto new realities.

      • Gosman 12.1.1

        They have an expertise. They have the ability to manage to convince people to let them invest their money for them even if they don’t end to beat random chance a lot of the time. That is quite a talent in my book.

        Encouraging investment in the Sharemarket isn’t a bad thing in my book. I cewrtainly would want more investment in that than say the property market.

        • Draco T Bastard 12.1.1.1

          What you describe would normally be called fraud.

        • vto 12.1.1.2

          A talent to convince people of something that doesn’t exist is a fraud. It is a talent like a talent to burgle homes without detection is a talent – a worthless, destructive, dishonest and fraudulent one.

          • Gosman 12.1.1.2.1

            Less fraudalent and more cognitive dissonance. I’m sure the investment advisers think they are offering good advice.

            Really not much different to someone offering a good or service that the other party doesn’t like or does not get as much advantage out of it as they could have. So long as the party offers in good faith I doubt you could prove fraud.

            • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.2.1.1

              Less fraudalent and more cognitive dissonance. I’m sure the investment advisers think they are offering good advice.

              If they truly thought they were offering good advice, it’s just evidence of professional self-delusion and incompetence/ignorance.

              • Gosman

                Quite possibly correct. Just as many people here think they are offering useful advice to others when really they just spout nonsense (myself included at times).

        • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.3

          They have an expertise. They have the ability to manage to convince people to let them invest their money for them even if they don’t end to beat random chance a lot of the time. That is quite a talent in my book.

          Indeed. It’s called being a Confidence Man. Or con-man for short.

          • Gosman 12.1.1.3.1

            No, a con-man is well aware of the con they are pulling. Someone who thinks they are helping when they are not is not a con-man. Delusional perhaps but not a con-man.

            • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.3.1.1

              Get a grip mate. Investment banks have been caught multiple times deliberately dumping their shitty inventory on deadbeat millionaire clients (eg by paying ratings agencies to rate securities at AAA when they should have been rated junk), and also taking the other side of losing trades that they recommend to those same clients.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.2

      We created the position. If we’re unhappy with that position then we can get rid of it.

      The “market” is a social construct that is defined by the laws that govern it.

      • Gosman 12.2.1

        As they thought in the Soviet Union and looked how right they were.

        What is your explanation for the black market then?

        • Colonial Viper 12.2.1.1

          The Soviet Union always had markets and stores, you ning-nong. Plus see Russia now. They’ve given the fingers to the western free market concept and now they are doing capitalism with a Russian style.

          also, the black and grey markets are a small but crucial part of any economy.

          • Gosman 12.2.1.1.1

            You haven’t explained what a black market actually is though.

            If a market is a social construct that is defined by the laws that govern it as suggested then black markets shouldn’t exist as the laws that govern it explicitedly forbid them.

            • Bill 12.2.1.1.1.1

              If the acceptability of certain recreational drugs is a social construct then unacceptable recreational drugs shouldn’t exist as laws exist that explicitly forbid them.

              Except there’s a difference – because it’s not as though you’re liable to be completely shut out from access to sanctioned drugsand so be compelled to turn to illegal ones in the way you can so easily be shut out from the market economy and be forced to rely on the informal economy or black market.

              • Gosman

                I don’t follow your analogy. You seem to think that sanctioned and unsanctioned drugs are the same market. They may or may not be.

            • Colonial Viper 12.2.1.1.1.2

              So you accept that the old USSR had markets (including black and grey ones), Gossie?

              • Gosman

                They had disfuntional markets grossly distorted by state intervention. No society that I am aware of doesn’t have markets in some form or other.

                • vto

                  Every society has markets of course.

                  And no society has free markets. Distortions created by partisan intervention is rife and the rhetoric of adherence to free markets is a con. For example, the dairy farming market is distorted by Nationals govt intervention in irrigation by stealing the consents and provision of taxpayer money to the farmers.Oh, and little old lady ratepayers of Selwyn District to pay for the wealthy farmers business. Obscene. Further example, the NZX itself, surely the bastion of free market enterprise is awaiting with drool the intervention of the government by way of provision of taxpayer electricity companies to bolster their uselessness. Further example, the investment sector has been well and truly distorted by way of the retail deposit guarantee scheme, eg south canterbury finance.

                  Free markets? pffft. Lies and more lies.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Every society has markets of course.

                    Nope. In fact, most societies throughout history haven’t had them (See 5000 Years of Debt).

                    • Matthew Hooton

                      Draco, try not to be totally insane. Markets exist whenever two individuals exchange things for mutual benefit. A society can’t exist until markets do.

                    • Gosman

                      You can redefine Markets to be as narrow as you like. It doesn’t make your opinion valid though.

                      Your argument is similar to stating the cloudless sky isn’t usually blue during the day because you redefine blue to mean a particular shade.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Markets exist whenever two individuals exchange things for mutual benefit.

                      Not all societies use ownership as a basis for their society.

                      You can redefine Markets to be as narrow as you like.

                      I didn’t define them at all.

                    • Rhinoviper

                      And Hooton’s reply, typically, is disingenuous bullshit… mind you, the evidence for him being a complete fucking moron with delusions of competence is pretty compelling and he could actually, seriously, I’m not kidding you, mean some of what he says.

                      Anyway, if “market” denotes any “exchange” then its denotation is so broad as to be meaningless. So, bullshit. In terms of semiotics, if the signifier signifies almost everything it is therefore is no signifier at all.

                      if someone tries to stretch a signifier to mean everything including what they want it to mean, then you can be assured that they are trying to shift it to mean what they want it to mean. Ie., they are corrupting language. Orwell had a lot to say about that.

                      If “market” denotes “exchange with mutual benefit”, then it does not in fact really describe the operation of the market that Hooton implies is described by the rules that by a bit of jiggery-pokery, self-delusion and assorted hallucinogens are supposed to describe the financial markets as the true exemplar of any trade in good faith between individuals with full consent blah blah blah… then again, bullshit.

                      Nor is their any justification that financial markets indicate the nature of real exchange. Indeed, economists have thrown up their hands in defeat at explaining this and use the word “externalities” to mean “Jeez, I don’t understand any of this shit, so I’ll pretend that a wizard did it”… or as the great science cartoonist Sidney Harris put it:

                      http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-3lnaeVhyfHk/TrFUmH3bizI/AAAAAAAAACM/mwPgMY7wOVE/s1600/Sidney-Harris-Miracle.jpg

                      It never ceases to amuse me that economists pretend that what they do, unlike astrology and phrenology, is a “science”.

                      It’s also rather amusing to see someone who pretends to be so cynical (he calls it being “realistic” and “accurate”, no doubt) being so naive and simplistic about human nature as it really works in the real world, but then as Arthur Conan Doyle once said, mediocrity imagines nothing higher than itself. Hooton, an idiot who manages to bilk other idiots imagines himself to be a comedian (dead baby jokes – hilarious!), a political scientist (the Labour party are democratic – they deserve to be “crushed”/the Labour party are democratic, Shearer is good) a gynaecologist (you don’t work when pregnant), an anthropologist and God knows what else (I await his pronouncements on string theory).

                      Of course at one level, Hooton is a joke, but on the other, considering the very unsavoury nature of his work, he’s not very funny at all.

                      However, keep going Hooton. Your pomposity adds to the (black) comedy. I like merkwürdigliebe even more than schadenfreude.

                    • Gosman

                      True, all you did was link to an article about a book which didn’t support your view about markets at all.

                  • Gosman

                    Congratulations, you have discovered the reality of our economic system.

                    The question then becomes whether you are comfortable with more or less distortions in the functioning of the various markets in the economy.

                    The process of deciding this is called politics.

                    • vto

                      That is a question that is premature and of less importance, imo, at this stage.

                      What gets me the most about this particular issue is the way politicians say one thing and then do another. They are liars and deceivers and those examples are evidence of the lies and deceit of this government. I don’t want lying pricks deciding on what the level of intervention should be. They cannot be trusted.

                      Why do people believe what politicians say?

          • Populuxe1 12.2.1.1.2

            And what, pray, is “capitalism with a Russian style” – except that the these days the oligarchs are in bed with a corrupt and authoritarian state?

            • Colonial Viper 12.2.1.1.2.1

              except that the these days the oligarchs are in bed with a corrupt and authoritarian state?

              You’re referring to Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan executives, along side the US Fed and White House?

        • Draco T Bastard 12.2.1.2

          The USSR was exactly the same as the system we have now – top down control of everyone else.

          What is your explanation for the black market then?

          Greed and it’s just as destructive as any other market.

          • Gosman 12.2.1.2.1

            But they shouldn’t exist according to your own definition of what a market is. How do you explain this?

            • Bill 12.2.1.2.1.1

              See above.

            • Draco T Bastard 12.2.1.2.1.2

              No, they’re still a social construct and work by rules – just not ones that set by the PTB and are often in response to the rules that the PTB set.

              • Gosman

                Explain DTB rather than just regurgitating the quasi-Marxist theory you have swallowed hook line and sinker.

      • Gosman 12.2.2

        Your idea is as wrongheaded as someone claiming a river is defined by the man made riverbanks and flood prtection devices put in place to control it and fix it’s course.

        • Colonial Viper 12.2.2.1

          Which by the way work to secure farm land and cities across the world, instead of having the uncompassionate vagaries of natural forces have their way.

      • Matthew Hooton 12.2.3

        No laws govern markets except those which are developed after the markets develop. And of course they are “social constructs” in the sense they take at least two people to create but they ate far less a “social construct” than the absence of markets. Markets develop whenever human beings meet and interact. The complete absence of markets requires a Pol Pot to start killing people, and I bet ever he didn’t eliminate markets. Markets are so universally beneficial to society that they always develop whatever communists, fascists or karol have to say.

        • vto 12.2.3.1

          ” Markets are so universally beneficial to society ”

          That is from far far away land that one.

          You describe how markets arise whenever there is a meeting and exchange, and that is certainly a correct broad definition. However, what about when a strong dominant party and a weaker less resourced party meet and an exchange is required lest the weaker is killed by the stornger?

          What happens then is that an exchange takes place (the market), because without that exchange death results from being killed, but that exchange is so terribly one-sided that the weaker is taken to a point just above death, when they should be left alone. This market exchange is clearly detrimental. And of course all exchanges sit on a spectrum with the killing example at one end with myriad others in between.

          So markets are absolutely not universally beneficial to society.

          Or, to put another way, if you were correct and every exchange is of benefit to society then of course society would be amazingly superior and wonderful and heavenly by now due to the continual upward trajectory of hundres of thousands of years of market exchange. This is clearly rubbish.

          (I am reminded of that saying ‘better to remain quiet and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt’)

        • Pete 12.2.3.2

          Well, yes. But even Adam Smith, the champion of the free market recognised the importance of a living wage and fair treatment of working people by capitalists:

          “A man must always live by his work, and his wages must at least be sufficient to maintain him. They must even upon most occasions be somewhat more, otherwise it would be impossible for him to bring up a family, and the race of such workmen could not last beyond the first generation.”

          He went on to write:

          “Whenever the legislature attempts to regulate the differences between masters and their workmen, its counsellors are always the masters. When the regulation, therefore, is in favor of the workmen, it is always just and equitable; but it is sometimes otherwise when in favor of the masters. ”

          So a little more support for working people and little less propping up of monied interests might not be such a bad thing (e.g. the brouhaha over the Commerce Commission’s ruling on Chorus).

        • Rhinoviper 12.2.3.3

          No laws govern markets except those which are developed after the markets develop.

          Bullshit.

          If you talk about “laws”, then me a proof from an actual scientist. A real scientist.

          Have you actually even heard of anthropology, ethnology or even psychology (which at least draws, post-Freud, on neurology?

          Stop pronouncing as pseudo-scientific facts that spring from what is really no more than a vague mush of pseudoscience as if it were as fixed and as resilient to (ha!) “externalities” as physics.

          Stop trying to pretend that you have a Grand Unified Theory (you can look that phrase up, moron) of human behaviour that is as simple and as direct as, say, Kepler’s laws of planetary motion.

          The fact is that you’re a fanboy as devoted to the “market” as any trekkie is devoted to their fantasy. That other idiots in suits pay you to spout it means not a whit.

          Otherwise it’s masturbation.

        • Rhinoviper 12.2.3.4

          The complete absence of markets requires a Pol Pot to start killing people, and I bet ever he didn’t eliminate markets. Markets are so universally beneficial to society that they always develop whatever communists, fascists or karol have to say.

          Wow, what an amazing mish-mash of gibberish and non-sequiturs from Doctor Hooton. However did he get his professorship at the Ivy League institution he teaches at?

          First there are markets everywhere, governing everything and that anyone who receives a benefit from someone by an exchange is participating in a market… but then Pol Pot was doing things that somehow didn’t involve benefits between participating individuals – oh, so those who supported him didn’t receive some benefit for their support? So that wasn’t a market? But you said that any exchange with a mutual benefit was a market?

          Hooton, you really are a fuckwit, aren’t you?

          • Rhinoviper 12.2.3.4.1

            I suppose there’s a bit of a Godwin involved there too with the Pol Pot stuff – another sign of Hoots’ intellectual weakness.

            • Rhinoviper 12.2.3.4.1.1

              …waiting… waiting… but once again Hooton scuttles away under the fridge when the light is turned on – just like the cockroach he is.

          • QoT 12.2.3.4.2

            If you define “market” as “any time one person has a thing they don’t need and exchanges it with something someone else has which they also don’t need” then Matthew Hooten is absolutely correct. And I participated in a hell of a lot of unregulated shiny-sticker markets as a six-year-old.

            • Rhinoviper 12.2.3.4.2.1

              The funny thing is, when talking about these markets, idiots like Hoots tend not to think so very deeply about why anyone would desire the things that they have or be willing to exchange the things that they desire less, or what would determine their own judgment of the relative value of these things. Those value judgements are all… uh… “rational”, meaning that they met exactly one criterion: economic worth (which is a a bit of a tautology, if you ask me) – and of course completely without coercion, as if that answered it.

              Still, the cockroach has scuttled away and is well and truly hidden under the fridge, so we’re unlikely to see any answer now.

              • Colonial Viper

                “Markets” are a kind of supernatural diety worshipped by these types, you can hear it in their voice….The Goddess “Market” was the forerunner of all that is good and just in human civilisation, all kneel before her magnificence and tremble!

        • MrSmith 12.2.3.5

          “No laws govern markets except those which are developed after the markets develop.”

          Every market that develops has to abide by the laws of the land it which it develops Matthew.

          • Gosman 12.2.3.5.1

            Quite wrong as evidenced by the existence of black markets.

            • Rhinoviper 12.2.3.5.1.1

              Bullshit. Black markets have their rules too. They might be called “externalities”, which are measures of peoples’ willingness to accept intimidation, the availability of guns and so forth, but the suggestion that these too are not subject to rules (explicit to implicit) is, politely put, naive.

              You just assume that because these factors can’t be quantified in terms of dollars on the open market, they aren’t rules. That’s simply idiotic.

      • @ Draco : “The “market” is a social construct that is defined by the laws that govern it.”

        Correct.

        • Gosman 12.2.4.1

          Explain the Black market then Frank using Draco’s definition.

          • TheContrarian 12.2.4.1.1

            Gosman, I am usually sympathetic to you but in this case…

            …The black market runs using the same laws as a legal market. The black market usually pertains to illegal goods being sold and bought by the same methods as legal goods. The same laws of exchange, willing buyer/willing seller generally apply.

          • Pascal's bookie 12.2.4.1.2

            “Explain the Black market then Frank using Draco’s definition.”

            A ‘black market’ is one that society has said will be not protected by the courts, and that participation in it may well be punished by the courts.

            For example, a society might say that the market for some drugs will be a ‘black market’, and that participating in it will risk jail time or fines. These aspects of the market will shape and mold it in various ways that absent society constructing it as a ‘black market’, it would not otherwise take.

            ergo, black markets, like all markets, are socially constructed outcomes of laws.

    • framu 12.3

      isnt the “we” part of a pretty generalised hypothetical statement?

      you know how it goes on to mention random number generators?

      overly precious much?

      the term “we” is used in all sorts of statements all the time to illustrate a desire, concept whatever – especially when talking of societal, or large group, level stuff.

      Do you seriously think that anytime “we” is used in this manner the person using it is claiming a definitive legal right or ownership?

      overly precious, deliberate manipulation or village idiot? – you decide gossie

      • Gosman 12.3.1

        No, the term ‘we’ here implies to me that the author thinks that they have a valid case to interefere with what someone chooses to do with his or her work life and money just because they think what they do is pointless. It is this mindset which I have a problem with.

        • framu 12.3.1.1

          i see youve chosen village idiot

          you seem to think the author thinks they have a legal claim over the employment status of someone they dont employ – when its far far more likely they are speaking in a pretty generalised way about what we should do as a society

          normally you try a bit harder than this – whats up?

          • Gosman 12.3.1.1.1

            No, the mindset that society should dictate what people should and shouldn’t do economically is what is at issue here.

            If someone chooses to use investment advisers, even though it probably doesn’t give them greater returns than pure chance, then that is there right. ‘We’ don’t have to tell them to do anything.

            • Draco T Bastard 12.3.1.1.1.1

              And we wouldn’t be. We would just be setting out new rules that bring about better use of our resources – rules that preclude the use of financial advisers, banksters and currency traders.

              • Gosman

                As far as I’m concerned you are living in a dream land DTB. Some practical examples to back your case might help though.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Go read some books with actual research rather than the delusional BS that RWNJs usually read.

                  • Gosman

                    So your ideas are all theoretical then. Good stuff. I look forward to them never coming to fruition then.

                    • McFlock

                      because markets work so well in practise?

                    • Gosman

                      Markets simply do what markets do. Whether they ‘work’ or not is a value judgement.

                    • McFlock

                      Yeah. It’s not like markets have objective measure for efficiency, like whether people are spending resources for “services” that are actually less effective at fulfilling investment objectives than a cat is.

                    • Gosman

                      There is a market for Homeopathic remedies. The people who provide these remedies claim they are effective at helping people with various aliments. The evidence suggests that they don’t in fact do much, if anything. However the market still exists for them. I presume you would regard that as an example of market ‘failure’ would you?

                    • McFlock

                      Nah.

                      Regulation fail.

                    • Gosman

                      Blame the Greens then. The last time there were moves to tighten the regulation in this area they jumped up and down and tried to stop it happening.

                    • McFlock

                      I do.

                      Just as I blame nats, lab, and most of the european and north american government for not regulating against financial actors who long ago ceased being facilitators and are now just parasites sucking the teat of a corrupt and almost neo-feudal system.

                  • TheContrarian

                    Ahh Draco, you are my favourite person to read on The Standard.

                    Never change.

            • framu 12.3.1.1.1.2

              “No, the mindset that society should dictate what people should and shouldn’t do economically is what is at issue here. ”

              maybe in your conversations with others on this topic – im only talking about your assertion that the author thinks they have a legal ability to hire and fire people they dont directly employ. Which i might point out, as far as the discussion between us is concerned is based solely on your INTERPRETATION of one line in the post.

              whats your position on people who conduct economic activity that is legal currently, but damaging to society – cowboy loan operations for example?

              problem with you market purists – theres always far too many examples where the ideology doesnt fit and a decision is required from the majority (or the govt given powers to represent) to enforce change and rules

              for christs sake – theres lots of things you could do, but weve deemed them illegal, or restricted who can do them, for one reason or another

              • Gosman

                “for christs sake – theres lots of things you could do, but weve deemed them illegal, or restricted who can do them, for one reason or another”

                Such as?

                • framu

                  illegal – well “meth cook” springs to mind

                  restricted…
                  lawyers
                  doctors
                  financial advisors
                  fire arms dealers
                  drivers (public transport and HT for example)
                  nurses
                  teachers
                  builders
                  gas fitters
                  inspectors of many varieties
                  and on and on and on

                  the point being we already exercise some controls as a society over what people might choose to do in an economic sense

                  its not that hard to get – for most of us

                  • Gosman

                    Noone here is arguing for an entirely unregulated market environment. You seem to have created a strawman argument so you can show how clever you think you are.

                    • framu

                      you are – *ahem* –

                      “No, the mindset that society should dictate what people should and shouldn’t do economically is what is at issue here. ”

                      no straw man at all – you made the purist claim that that society attempting to dictate what people did in an economic sense was bad – i simply showed that we already do it for some obvious reasons. Which leads us away from your rather black and white statement to something with many shades of grey

                      and its not hard to look clever when talking to you – you do make it pretty easy afterall

                • McFlock

                  selling mung beans as cancer cures.

                  • Gosman

                    Like many proponents of CAM do then. They seem to get away with some of their claims. Should we crack down hard on them as well?

                    • McFlock

                      when they go to far in their claims, fair trading act comes in. Or, indeed, practising medicine without a license.

    • Dr Terry 12.4

      Gosman, have you ever thought to look up the word “paranoid”?

  13. tracey 13

    Gosman you may well consider it a talent… It is a pointless and empty one however.

    • Gosman 13.1

      As are many professions. Take Chiropractors for example. There is little evidence that they do any good yet there are thousands of them around the world earning good money.

      • One Tāne Huna 13.1.1

        Have to disagree there, Gosman. Ever had treatment for sciatica? Anecdotes are not data, sure.

        When you say there is “little evidence” – and Wikipedia says there is “moderate quality evidence” – and includes a citation, who should I believe?

        • Colonial Viper 13.1.1.1

          surgeons who work on knees make a pretty good living too…but look – knee surgery may be no better than other much cheaper treatments. Are they going to stop doing knee surgeries for arthritis now?

          http://www.healio.com/orthopedics/arthritis/news/print/orthopedics-today/%7B2481EF40-E016-4426-A808-437C567F52CA%7D/Research-disputes-effectiveness-of-arthroscopic-surgery-for-knee-OA

        • Gosman 13.1.1.2

          You are a good reason why investment advisers and Chiropractors sttill have jobs and earn good money. Just as you wouldn’t want someone taking your right to visit a Chiropractor so to shouldn’t people be denied the right to use the services of investment advisers.

          • Bill 13.1.1.2.1

            Except that unlike the chiropractor, investment advisors are engaged in an activity that has the effect of (metaphorically) breaking people’s legs by promoting and condoning as ‘good’ the vast disparities in wealth and access to resources they help to bring about. And then they tout themselves as a solution to a lack of wealth and access to resources.

            • McFlock 13.1.1.2.1.1

              like retro-phrenology, to drop a Pratchett :)

            • Matthew Hooton 13.1.1.2.1.2

              Bill says “investment advisors are engaged in an activity that has the effect of (metaphorically) breaking people’s legs by promoting and condoning as ‘good’ the vast disparities in wealth and access to resources they help to bring about.”

              But that’s not true is it?

              In fact, it’s the opposite of what the initial post was all about.

              The post suggested that financial markets lead to a transfer of wealth from clients of investment advisors to cat owners.

              (Incidentally, this is what most financial market theory would predict and is evidence of why markets are so efficient.)

              • felixviper

                “The post suggested that financial markets lead to a transfer of wealth from clients of investment advisors to cat owners.”

                It’s ok Matthyawn, no-one expected you to understand the post.

                • Matthew Hooton

                  Do you have a point of should lprent refer you to the rules?

                  • TheContrarian

                    Matthew, you should know the rules don’t apply to the lackeys

                  • felixviper

                    Yes Matt, there is a point. It might take you a couple of goes though.

                    • Gosman

                      Are you going to change your moniker at any stage soon? It is just it seems a little redundant. Kind of like wearing a ‘Free Nelson Mandela’ t-shirt now. Unless you are using it in an ironical way.

                    • felixviper

                      I don’t know who Nelson Mandela is, sorry.

                  • Rhinoviper

                    …and when defeated by it being pointed out that he’s deliberately missed the point, Hooton gets all prissy about his privilege. Funny, that.

                • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                  Matthew, changing peoples handles in an amusing way is Felix’s particular shtick. It is indulged here by the moderators in much the same way as a doting parent indulges a slow child’s love of finger painting.

                  I often chuckle when I recall the day he called me “Oleoleshitbucket”. Oh, how we laughed.

                  • felixviper

                    lolz, that’s a good one but I don’t think it was me, was it? I think your name is awesome enough already.

                    edit: it WAS me! I remember now. What a day, what fun we had.

            • Gosman 13.1.1.2.1.3

              As the people who use investment advisers are generally the one with surplus capital it could be argued that they are merely redistributing wealth away from those that have it to the wealth advisers themselves. That is not the same as what you claim they are doing.

              EDIT: Mr Hooten has put this far more eloquently than I.

          • Colonial Viper 13.1.1.2.2

            You are a good reason why investment advisers and Chiropractors and bank economists sttill have jobs

            FIFY

          • One Tāne Huna 13.1.1.2.3

            Gosman, except that I haven’t needed one since about 1998. My sciatica was associated with mis-alignment of vertebrae (clearly visible in X-rays) and therefore it is hardly surprising that direct manipulation of said vertebrae was an effective remedy.

            I don’t know what you imagine a chiropractor does though. Perhaps you think it’s some sort of faith healing.

            PS: I haven’t said boo about anyone using investment advisers. Please stay away from Mr. Strawman.

            • Gosman 13.1.1.2.3.1

              Chiropractic care is esssentially the same as faith healing. There is little evidence that they can re-align vertebrae beyond only a very small and temproarily manner.

              • McFlock

                So they provide a small and temporary benefit for their service.

                As opposed to financial speculators, who are paid to provide a less effective service than pure luck.

                A bit like if chiropractors were less effective than just randomly twisting your own back in the hope things will improve. You might have a point about them, in that case.

              • One Tāne Huna

                little evidence [citation needed]

                I repeat: “There is moderate quality evidence that spinal manipulation is effective…”

                “very small and temproarily (sic) manner.”

                The acute pain and stiffness which I was experiencing, and subsequent alleviation of said stiffness and pain after one twenty minute treatment, were anything but “small”. The loud noises the Chiro got out of my back were similarly marked by their non-smallness.

                The advice given, that I would be back unless I started doing something to strengthen my back, lends weight to your assertion of temporary relief. Which is what I wanted. The back-strengthening exercise did the rest.

      • Dr Terry 13.1.2

        If you can’t beat them, join them!

  14. McFlock 14

    Actually, and I hate to agree with Gos, I think the religious delusion of stock market speculation is evident from this experiment. Not because of the actual results, but because stock market professionals participated. And even allowed publication of their firm’s name.

    Basically, there was little benefit in it for them (“yay, you beat kids and a cat”), but a real risk that they could have been beaten by both. As it is they’ve simply advertised that hiring their firm is less effective than tossing a coin.

    But basically, they believed that they did add more value than just random picks. So they participated, and thought it would be good advertising for the company.

    But they’re still touting for a pyramid scheme.

    • Gosman 14.1

      It isn’t a pyramid scheme. They aren’t suggesting you only get a return after you get more people to join in.

      All this really proves is that the return is far more dependent on factors such as the underlying state of the market and the economy than anything complex that requires interpretation by specialists over a short term basis.

      • McFlock 14.1.1

        Actually, you only get a return on the market if people constantly put more money, resources and ultimately more energy in.

        It’s not a simple pyramid scheme, or a small one, but it has the same problem: eventually it hits a limit where it can’t fool enough people into putting more resources in, then collapses. And then everyone loses (except the 0.0x% of people who are big enough after the fact to be near the top of the next pyramid – funnily enough, most of them are similar to the people who were at the top of the previous pyramid).

        • Gosman 14.1.1.1

          You can make returns ona Share market via a number of methods beyond more people putting up more capital in the market. Ultimately it is underpinned by the real economy. Changes in that will flow through to the various values on the Share market at some level. If the economy is doing well then share prices will tend to go up and vice versa.

          • McFlock 14.1.1.1.1

            But the changes to the real economy are not as significant as people’s perceptions of what other investors perceive the sharemarket will do.

            Solidly investing long term in reliable companies where the only return expected is share dividend revenue paid out on the basis of the company’s success: what percentage is that of share market activity? As opposed to buy now because you think it will be worth more in a little while? Don’t even get me started on short-selling.

  15. erentz 15

    To be honest this is an experiment that only attempts to demonstrate that speculating on the markets is stupid. They were changing their portfolio every three months, they were only in the market for one year. They weren’t investing in the long term success or failure of a business. If you want to invest in a company because you believe it’s a good company that will be successful, grow, and you want to reap the rewards of that in dividends, and capital gains, then the idea of a stock market isn’t unreasonable. (Though truth is that by the time a company makes it to the stock market, it’s probably a dinosaur anyway and best avoided.) Problem with all of our markets these days is purely down to speculation about how the market will behave itself. It’s nothing short of gambling really, but the game is really huge.

    • tc 15.1

      Good points and also with globalisation/consolidation cashing out on an acquisition/takeover has proved pretty fruitful also.
      Moa was a good float because that’s just what Geoff Ross and co will do, a repeat of 42 below, grow the brand sell to the big players.
      However this reduces the players and the diversity/competition, the NZX will always be a cowboys club for those reasons. It’ll never ever have the scale or integrity as the horse has long gone. New game time people.

  16. Draco T Bastard 16

    More market means more welfare state

    Few conservative misconceptions are more deeply rooted than the idea than the welfare state competes with the market for resources. In fact, modern business and the modern welfare state have grown up together – and both have grown at the expense of the family.

    The alternative to passing on the costs of elder care and child care, in an industrialized society in which most people are wage earners, not family farmers, is to socialize them. While the breadwinner wage system passes the costs of care on to consumers, the welfare state passes those costs of care on to taxpayers.

    Can’t say that I agree with all of it but it certainly something to think about.

    When it comes to retirement security, progressives stand for honest, efficient, low-cost socialism, while conservatives stand for dishonest, inefficient, high-cost “middleman socialism” that would further enrich mutual fund managers and other rent-extracting financiers.

    That is something I certainly agree with though.

    • kiwi_prometheus 16.1

      “further enrich mutual fund managers”

      And the NZ finance industry has about the lowest international performance rate for fund growth. I remember one of the fund managers was quoted as making the quip “We manage your money until there is none left” – referring to the fees they siphon off so they can live in Remuera and send their spoiled brats to private school.

  17. kiwi_prometheus 17

    Which brings up the issue of kiwisaver – compulsory worker savings handed over to the under regulated blood sucking NZ finance sector – described by Gareth Morgan as a nest of snakes.

  18. millsy 18

    Personally I see nothing wrong with people just putting their savings in the bank and earning interest. It worked for our parents and grandparents. It was kicked off from an early aged with school banking. We set up savings banks and trustee banks for that purpose. At least the money would be lent out to first-home buyers or businesses instead of feeding KP’s nest of snakes.

    • kiwi_prometheus 18.1

      Problem is that you need more ROI than an interest bearing bank account – think of inflation / hidden inflation + bank fees + tax on interest eroding that savings. Especially if it suppose to be your retirement fund.

      Savers are getting punished by low interest rates – “financial repression” – no sign of interest rates going up anytime soon, luckily inflation is staying low.

  19. PlanetOrphan 19

    The Cat is contributing to “Good Inflation” ?

    Financial advisors are contributing to “Bad Inflation” ?

    And the School Kids are learning how to donate to inflation ?

    • McFlock 19.1

      the school kids are learning that even if they try their best, they’ll be fucked by financial professionals and blind luck.

      A harsh lesson, but probably better for them in the end.

  20. Saarbo 20

    Remember when we had TV7 (not the shithouse TV1 plus 1 hour, but the awesome public service TV7!, I miss it), on Thursday nights at 10pm there was a programme with Michael Sandel called Justice discussing topics with a large audience, those were the good old days…anyway, I havent got around to buying his book “What money cant buy”, but this is a link
    (http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/may/27/michael-sandel-reason-values-bodies) to a review on it and the excerpt below which for me explains one of the major fuck ups of the market economy.

    Excerpt from the review in The Guardian by D Aitkenhead.

    Sandel leads us through a dizzying array of examples, from schools paying children to read – $2 (£1.20) a book in Dallas – to commuters buying the right to drive solo in car pool lanes ($10 in many US cities), to lobbyists in Washington paying line-standers to hold their place in the queue for Congressional hearings; in effect, queue-jumping members of the public. Drug addicts in North Carolina can be paid $300 to be sterilised, immigrants can buy a green card for $500,000, best man’s speeches are for sale on the internet, and even body parts are openly traded in a financial market for kidneys, blood and surrogate wombs. Even the space on your forehead can be up for sale. Air New Zealand has paid people to shave their heads and walk around wearing temporary tattoos advertising the airline.

    According to the logic of the market, the matter of whether these transactions are right or wrong is literally meaningless. They simply represent efficient arrangements, incentivising desirable behaviour and “improving social utility by making underpriced goods available to those most willing to pay for them”. To Sandel, however, the two important questions we should be asking in every instance are: Is it fair to buy and sell this activity or product? And does doing so degrade it? Almost invariably, his answers are no, and yes…….

    ……..A fascinating question he addresses is why the financial crisis appears to have scarcely put a dent in public faith in market solutions. “One would have thought that this would be an occasion for critical reflection on the role of markets in our lives. I think the persistent hold of markets and market values – even in the face of the financial crisis – suggests that the source of that faith runs very deep; deeper than the conviction that markets deliver the goods. I don’t think that’s the most powerful allure of markets. One of the appeals of markets, as a public philosophy, is they seem to spare us the need to engage in public arguments about the meaning of goods. So markets seem to enable us to be non-judgmental about values. But I think that’s a mistake.”

    Putting a price on a flat-screen TV or a toaster is, he says, quite sensible. “But how to value pregnancy, procreation, our bodies, human dignity, the value and meaning of teaching and learning – we do need to reason about the value of goods. The markets give us no framework for having that conversation. And we’re tempted to avoid that conversation, because we know we will disagree about how to value bodies, or pregnancy, or sex, or education, or military service; we know we will disagree. So letting markets decide seems to be a non-judgmental, neutral way. And that’s the deepest part of the allure; that it seems to provide a value-neutral, non-judgmental way of determining the value of all goods. But the folly of that promise is – though it may be true enough for toasters and flat-screen televisions – it’s not true for kidneys.”

    Sandel makes the illuminating observation that what he calls the “market triumphalism” in western politics over the past 30 years has coincided with a “moral vacancy” at the heart of public discourse, which has been reduced in the media to meaningless shouting matches on cable TV – what might be called the Foxification of debate – and among elected politicians to disagreements so technocratic and timid that citizens despair of politics ever addressing the questions that matter most.

    “There is an internal connection between the two, and the internal connection has to do with this flight from judgment in public discourse, or the aspiration to value neutrality in public discourse. And it’s connected to the way economics has cast itself as a value-neutral science when, in fact, it should probably be seen – as it once was – as a branch of moral and political philosophy.”

    • Olwyn 20.1

      I used to love those Sandel lectures on TV 7 – I think you can still find the on the internet. “Market triumphalism” I think is the key to the problem. When one major feature (they used to be called estates) of a society becomes dominant, it tends to become tyrannical, whether it is commerce, bureaucracy, the military or the church. The people who shout “well socialism didn’t work did it!” are usually pointing to societies that came to be dominated by a central bureaucracy, but their own favourite, commerce, is at least as bad in an overly dominant position.

  21. Afewknowthetruth 21

    The present Ponzi scheme is dependent on:

    1.ever greater extraction of fossil fuels (particularly oil) from underground and conversion of the carbon into CO2 which is wrecking the fundamental systems that make life on Earth possible for humans

    2. an ever expanding population

    3. ever faster ‘printing’ of money’

    Anyone who thinks any of those is possible is either a madman, a banker, an economist or a politician.

    Needless to say, the Ponzi scheme is collapsing (along with the environment). However, the trickle up system is still working fine. Indeed, as conditions deteriorate rapidly for most inhabitants of this planet the members of the looters-and polluters club will ensure that the poor and powerless get driven off the cliff first.

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    Greens | 14-10
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    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • Government must lift social housing supply, not shuffle the deck chairs
    National's decision to shift the state provision of housing to third parties is a smokescreen for the Government decreasing the provision of affordable housing, the Green Party said today."What National should be doing is increasing the supply of both social...
    Greens | 06-10
  • Election 2014 – the final count
    While we have to wait for the final booth level counts we can now see how well we did in the specials and look at electorate level data. First off special votes (and disallowed/recounted votes etc). There was a change...
    Greens | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • MANA’S CHALLENGE TO THE 51st PARLIAMENT
    Ten years ago I led 50,000 Maori on the historic FORESHORE AND SEABED MARCH from Te Rerenga Wairua to the very steps of this parliament, in a march against the greatest land grab in the history of this country –...
    Mana | 03-10
  • Is this really necessary?
    No one denies chief executives should be well paid for their skills and experience, but it is the efforts of all employees which contribute to company profits, Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker says. “Salaries paid to chief executives come at...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Lyttelton Port workers also deserve pay rises
    Hard slog by Lyttelton Port workers contributed to strong financial growth for the company and they deserve to be rewarded for their work as much as its chief executive, says Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker. “Lyttelton Port chief executive Peter...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Māori Party must seek guarantees on Māori seats
    Labour is calling on the Māori Party to ensure protection of the Māori seats is part of its coalition deal with National which is being considering this weekend, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “For the third consecutive term,...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Donaghys job losses another blow to Dunedin
    The loss of 30 jobs from Donaghys rope and twine factory is yet another blow to the people and economy of Dunedin, says Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran. “Donaghys was founded in 1876; the company has survived two world...
    Labour | 02-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Labour and ‘special interests’
    The media narrative of Labour is that it is unpopular because it’s controlled by ‘special interests’. This ‘special interests’ garbage is code for gays, Maoris, wimin and unionists. We should show that argument the contempt it deserves. The next Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Here’s what WINZ are patronisingly saying to people on welfare when they ...
    Yesterday, a case manager from WINZ called to tell me that I needed to “imagine what I would do if I did not have welfare”. I replied “Well, I guess if I couldn’t live at home, I would be homeless.”...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • David Shearer’s ‘no feminist chicks’ mentality highlights all that is...
    Mr Nasty pays a visit Shearer’s extraordinary outburst last night on NZs favourite redneck TV, The Paul Henry Show, is a reminder of all that is wrong within the Labour Caucus right now… He said the current calls for a female or...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0
    Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – A Tale Of Two Cities
    Sunday was surreal. I went for a drive and ended up in a different country. It wasn’t intentional but those days of too many literally intertextual references seldom are. There is no doubt that the Sunday drive this week had...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Comprehensive plan needed to end child poverty
    Child Poverty Action Group says it is vital the newly re-elected National government takes a planned and comprehensive approach to reducing child poverty in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Metiria Gets Feed the Kids
    Yesterday the Speaker of the House advised that he had accepted my request to transfer my Feed the Kids (Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment) Bill to Metiria Turei of the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
    In 1989, a group of young people in Auckland got together to form a support group for LGBTIQ youth. They called it Auckland Lesbian And Gay Youth (ALGY). After 25 years, several location changes, a name change, a brand reboot...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Outdated Oath shows need for Kiwi Head of State
    MPs are sworn in today and New Zealand Republic has written to MPs asking them to talk about why 121 New Zealanders elected by the people of New Zealand and standing in the New Zealand Parliament swear allegiance to another...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Council shouldn’t revenue grab from windfall valuations
    Auckland Council should state clearly they will not try and capture revenue as a result of the latest valuations and needs reminding that the City’s skyrocketing property values doesn’t change the level or cost of Council’s services, says...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • EPMU endorses Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    The National Executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union unanimously endorsed Andrew Little for the role of Labour leader, at a meeting held yesterday. “I have been speaking to our workplace delegates at forums across the country over...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology
    The UN has stated that agroecology is a major solution to feeding the world and caring for the earth....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Labour Names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Contenders for Labour leadership debate for first time
    The contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party debated for the first time on TV One’s Q+A programme today....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • UN Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme
    New Zealand's United Nations Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully
    Murray McCully says New Zealanders can expect a 5-10 year engagement against Islamic State if we join military action in Iraq and the government will take that “very carefully into account”...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Julia Gillard
    Julia Gillard says there is “sufficient evidence” to fight Islamic State and does not think it will increase the risk of a domestic attack...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • NZ businesses to make child abuse a priority conversation
    Many leading New Zealand businesses have partnered with national child advocacy organisation Child Matters to participate in the fourth annual ‘Buddy Day’ - New Zealand’s only child abuse prevention awareness day....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Tribunal decision significant for SMEs
    The Human Rights Review Tribunal decided this week in favour of an employee’s right not to work on Saturdays for religious reasons. The decision may still be appealed but the Director of the Office of Human Rights Proceedings, Robert Kee,...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… New Zealand has been elected to the United Nations Security Council, but what happens next? Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully from New York about our goals for reform, what America wants from us...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • 1000+ supported by Te Arawa Whanau Ora
    Over 1000 individual whānau members are leading happier, healthier, more successful lives as a result of eight passionate and committed Māori organisations working at the coalface to help whānau find success....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Nomination for Board Members Now Open
    CRF’s objective is to create opportunities for people from refugee backgrounds to lead fulfilling lives and contribute to every area of New Zealand society. It is an organisation that undertakes advocacy work using the strengths-based approach,...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Anglican Family Care Otago staff to take industrial action
    Social workers, family workers and support staff working for Anglican Family Care in Dunedin and South Otago will take industrial action after their employer refused a pay increase that would keep up with the rising cost of living....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Use UN Security Council role to overcome inaction and injust
    Amnesty International welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the UN Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use the role to ensure the body lives up to its role of safeguarding global peace and security....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Grisham’s ‘child porn’ comments ignorant
    World-renowned author John Grisham has come under fire by advocacy group Stop Demand Foundation, for comments it says trivialises the global child sex abuse trade....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Latest leak of TPPA intellectual property text confirms risk
    On the eve of the latest (non)round of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) yet another version of the intellectual property has found its way to Wikileaks ....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • New Zealand awarded UN Security Council seat
    International aid agency Oxfam New Zealand welcomes New Zealand’s election to the United Nations Security Council, saying it gives an extraordinary opportunity to make a lasting contribution to international peace and security and improve the lives...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
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