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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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    Labour | 24-07
  • Burning the flag or accepting the evil
    Burning the Israeli flag in Auckland in protest over the murder of innocent civilians in Gaza is nothing to be ashamed of” said MANA Leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “Calling for both sides to stand down when one side...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Photo op disguises abysmal failure
    John Key’s opening of four Housing NZ units in Bexley today is nothing more than an insincere photo op designed to hide the Government’s failure to rebuild the housing stock destroyed by the earthquakes, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto...
    Labour | 23-07
  • TAXPAYER UNION “outrageously stupid”
    Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says a MANA billboard “appears to have been funded by taxpayers”, and calls it “an outrageous use of taxpayer money”. “But the only thing that is outrageous, is how outrageously stupid Jordan Williams was...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Green Party launches Solar in Schools policy
    The Green Party will help schools install solar and save money on their power bills by investing $20 million into solar PV systems in schools. The $20 million is expected to:Help around 500 schools install solar over three yearsResult in...
    Greens | 23-07
  • Extent of job losses at Invermay remain hidden
    Despite growing concern in the agriculture and science sectors, both AgResearch management and the Minister responsible are continuing to hide the true extent of job losses at AgResearch’s Invermay campus, Labour’s MP for Dunedin North David Clark says. “Science and...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches ...
    “MANA is launching its te reo Māori policy this morning ahead of the first reading of the government’s Māori Language Strategy Bill this afternoon”, saidMANA deputy leader and candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes. “MANA’s policy is based on a love...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Connectivity Upgrade to close digital divide
    Labour will close the digital divide with its Connectivity Upgrade to ensure all New Zealanders can be part of a growing, more connected economy and have the right to access quality broadband, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says.  “The digital revolution...
    Labour | 23-07
  • New parents deserve support – Labour will deliver
    ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    National has refused a briefing from a group of Maui's dolphins experts, whose research shows 80 per cent of New Zealanders want greater protection for the critically endangered dolphin, the Green Party said today.Dolphin campaigner Gemma McGrath and marine scientist...
    Greens | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    “Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”, said MANA candidate for Mt Albert, Joe Carolan. “A good start would be for all Labour Auckland MPs and members to join the Justice for Palestine...
    Mana | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no need for further research, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson.  “Labour backs the public call...
    Labour | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Valley School in Pukekohe was advised in an email from the...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and Expenditure Committee this morning, says Maryan Street, Labour’s State Services spokesperson.  ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has already lost hundreds of jobs, Labour says. Labour’s Social Development spokesperson and Hamilton-based list MP Sue...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must not be used as an excuse to take resources away from the capital, Wellington Labour MPs...
    Labour | 22-07
  • National out of touch with the regions
    John Key is out of touch with regional New Zealand if he believes tinkering with council regulations will restore opportunities to small towns, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “While the regions are crying out for sustainable growth and job opportunities,...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport
    The rejection of the proposed Basin Reserve flyover by a Board of Inquiry is a victory for sustainable transport in Wellington and paves the way for other alternatives to be given a fair hearing, Wellington Labour MPs Grant Robertson and...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Reo Māori Policy Launch
    MANA will be launching its Reo Māori policy at 10am Thursday 24 July, at Matangireia (the old Māori Affairs Select Committee room at Parliament). We will also be addressing our concerns regarding the Minister of Māori Affairs Māori Language Strategy...
    Mana | 22-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    The Green Party welcomed the Environmental Protection Authority's draft decision announced today not to allow the $90 million Basin Reserve flyover in Wellington to proceed."Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have...
    Greens | 22-07
  • Loss Leading could destroy Kiwi lamb’s reputation
    Meat companies that supply supermarkets and sell New Zealand lamb as a loss leader in the United Kingdom should lose their access to this valuable quota market, said Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor. “Our reputation as a Lamb producer...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Ae Marika! 22 July 2014
    The big storm has gone, but the damage that it did and the saturation levels that it reached meant that smaller storms quickly overwhelmed roading, and water-flow systems again in the north. And although certain individuals are talking up the...
    Mana | 21-07
  • 2014 Roger Award nominations now open
    The Roger Award is for The Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand in 2014 Nominations are now open please visit the website to nominate the worst TNC in Aotearoa. You will need to include reasons why you think your...
    Mana | 21-07
  • Labour will revive the regions with new fund
    The next Labour Government will co-develop Regional Growth Plans for every region of New Zealand and will invest at least $200 million in a fund to create breakthrough opportunities for jobs and sustainable growth, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 21-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood: Weekend at Bernie’s lll – ACT in Epsom
    While no one will be surprised by yesterday’s deal to prop up ACT in Epsom, the audacity of it is still astounding. ACT is a political corpse. Their sole MP has been found guilty of electoral fraud and bides his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • So how’s all the ‘ Labour Party man ban’ hysteria working out for you...
    Remember all the screams from the media at the so called ‘man ban’ of the Labour Party? Labour’s attempt at gender equality was really just more evidence of Labour’s man hate,  feminists were taking over, heterosexual red blooded men burnt at the stake....
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Paul Henry; the issue is you, not flag-burning
    There will always be reductive, dangerous and reactionary responses to different forms of oppressive violence by our western, often biased, mainstream media. These reactionary responses purposefully distract from the real issues and those who are at the root and the...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Oh now John Armstrong and Vernon Small want to talk about policy?
    The audacity of the mainstream media seems to know no end. This week both John Armstrong and Vernon Small had the hilarity to demand a focus on policy and not ‘gotcha’ politics… John Armstrong: The ‘gotcha politics’ disease is afflicting...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira  Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press Releases“I’m sorry I can’t be at parliament for the valedictory speeches of Tariana Turia...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Burning the flag or accepting the evil
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: Burning the flag or accepting the evil Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press ReleasesBurning the Israeli flag in Auckland in protest over the murder of innocent civilians...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • TAXPAYER UNION “outrageously stupid”
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: TAXPAYER UNION “outrageously stupid” Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press ReleasesJordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says a MANA billboard “appears to have been funded by taxpayers”,...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches ...
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches te reo Māori policy  Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Annette Sykes, Press Releases, Te Hamua Nikora“MANA...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Green Party launches Solar in Schools policy
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Green Party launches Solar in Schools policy Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 | Press Release Our Solar in Schools policy will allow them to save money on electricity – money which can be...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Media Release: New report on GP costs for 6-17 year olds
    MIL OSI – Source: Child Poverty Action Group – Headline: Media Release: New report on GP costs for 6-17 year olds 24 July 2014 Free doctor’s visits should be extended to all children under 18 as GP charges are a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • 3 reasons why I can’t care about Gerry Brownlee’s airport security fias...
    I find it very difficult to get upset about Gerry Brownlee barging through airport security for 3 simple reasons. Firstly I think airport security in this country is a total farce. Why we need to be conditioned to security searches...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • How the Opposition win Epsom now Key has cemented Goldsmith into place
    One fear I had this election would be that National listened to Matthew Hooton and removed Goldsmith from the ballot box to leave the race open enough for David Seymour to ensure an ACT Party victory. Thankfully National Party hubris...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Now Conservative Party has been killed off, is a vote for NZ First a vote f...
    Are Winston and John Key new Best Friends Forever?   Colin Craig and his Conservative Party have been cleverly played and tricked and trapped by National. Whatever promises and flirtations Key made with Craig last year have eventuated into nothing....
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away ...
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Best National Party Billboard
    Best National Party Billboard...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Annette Sykes to launch campaign for Waiariki Annette Sykes, MANA candidate...
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: Annette Sykes to launch campaign for Waiariki Annette Sykes, MANA candidate for Waiariki Posted on July 28, 2014 by admin in Annette Sykes, Press ReleasesAt midday tomorrow, Annette Sykes will officially launch...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Something Fishy About Nick Smith’s Game.
    NICK SMITH’S crude intimidation of the Fish and Game Council points to the bleakest of environmental futures should National be re-elected on 20 September. It is now considerably clearer than 60 percent of New Zealand’s lakes, rivers and streams that...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Minister shouldn’t stop Fish and Game doing its job
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Minister shouldn’t stop Fish and Game doing its job Monday, 28 Jul 2014 | Press Release Fish and Game is supposed to advocate for clean and healthy rivers, it’s the law. It...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Key’s odd personal hypocrisy in Epsom, his kiss of death to the Maori Par...
    Aside from tricking Colin Craig into running in an electorate National can crush him in, John Key has announced three things in his election deals that are ill thought out. The first is his deal with the Maori Party. At a time...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Public deserves electoral integrity
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Public deserves electoral integrity National’s deals with spent political forces ACT and United Future will be met with a deepening sense of unease over the manipulation of MMP, Labour Leader David Cunliffe...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Out of control costs raise questions about National Science Challenges
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Out of control costs raise questions about National Science Challenges Amid strong criticism of the value of the National Science Challenges from some of the country’s senior scientists, new figures show administrative...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Low build numbers and faulty repairs: what has Brownlee been doing?
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Low build numbers and faulty repairs: what has Brownlee been doing? Despite being a man in a hurry new figures show just 2160 new homes, thousands fewer than needed, have been built...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • UNEMIG: Disgraced hotel operator still hasn’t learned
    MIL OSI – Source: First Union – Headline: UNEMIG: Disgraced hotel operator still hasn’t learned A publicly disgraced Auckland hotel is still not paying their workers the minimum wage, according to the Union Network of Migrants (UNEMIG). Last week the...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Christchurch CHEP workers walk off the job again
    MIL OSI – Source: First Union – Headline: Christchurch CHEP workers walk off the job again Workers at Brambles-owned CHEP Christchurch have walked off the job again today to protest the employer’s refusal to negotiate an improved pay offer, according...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Why it’s all over for the Conservative Party
    Whatever flirtations were made months ago to Colin Craig by National strategists, the polling must have come back showing them too much of their soft urban vote would walk if Key was in Government with Colin Craig.  The necessary inside muscle to...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Balance in the NZ Herald and has something gone terribly wrong at the Heral...
    So the ‘balance’ in the NZ Herald this year for the election will be… Guest columnists will include the acerbic Cactus Kate from the radical right, former Labour candidate Josie Pagani and broadcaster Mark Sainsbury. Right, so that would be...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Joyce’s heavy hand stifling innovation
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Joyce’s heavy hand stifling innovation Monday, 28 Jul 2014 | Press Release “The heavy hand of Steven Joyce is destroying New Zealand’s innovation economy.” The National Government should allow scientists and businesses...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • CERA spends almost $2m on 7000 flights
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: CERA spends almost $2m on 7000 flights CERA has spent $1.8 million on 7286 flights from Christchurch to Wellington in three years – a huge waste of money as Cantabrians still wait...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Nick Smith oversteps the mark yet again
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Nick Smith oversteps the mark yet again Nick Smith has yet again completely overstepped the mark as a minister – this time with a threat to muzzle Fish and Game if they...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Phew – National Party hubris seals strategy
    The National Party are bot listening to Matthew Hooton. Phew. Hooton has crunched the numbers and based on past polling National always drops 6 points come election day. National aren’t listening. Barging through the need to cut deals with all...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Noam Chomsky on the TPPA
    Noam Chomsky on the TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Unacceptable secrecy around labelling people terrorists
    It’s good to see the Sunday Star-Times attempting to get more information from government agencies about Daryl Jones, the Kiwi killed in a US drone strike in Yemen.  The paper is right to complain about the government’s refusal to provide...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • A critical deconstruction of John Key – what’s behind the facade?
    Aspiring national leaders need a popular narrative of their rise to power.  Once in office, the narrative can be refined to fit the requirements of leadership and re-election.  Such is the purpose of John Roughan’s John Key: Portrait of  a...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Radio Live – off Mark
    The Top Marks lasted five weeks on Mediaworks radio station The Sound. This may have something to do with last being relevant in the mid-1980s when there were only two commercial FM licences in Auckland and they were on one...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Wellingtonians say ‘No!’ to Israeli aggression
    .   . Wellington, NZ, 26 July – About 600 Wellingtonians, and from further afield, met at the Cuba Mall Bucket fountain under a wintery sunny sky, to protest Israel’s continuing aggression in the Gaza strip, which – at the...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Greens call for shipping lanes backed by Maritime Union
    MIL OSI – Source: Maritime Union of New Zealand – Headline: Greens call for shipping lanes backed by Maritime Union The Maritime Union is backing the Green Party’s policy to implement compulsory shipping lanes for coastal shipping, announced 27 July...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Government needs to get Fishing reform bill passed now
    MIL OSI – Source: Maritime Union of New Zealand – Headline: Government needs to get Fishing reform bill passed now The Maritime Union is urging the Government to push through a Bill reforming the fishing industry. Maritime Union of New...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Georgina Beyer to stand for MANA in Te Tai Tonga
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: Georgina Beyer to stand for MANA in Te Tai Tonga  Posted on July 27, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press Releases“It’s great to have Georgie on board” said Hone Harawira, MANA...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Israel/Gaza conflict: Questions and Answers
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Israel/Gaza conflict: Questions and Answers What does Amnesty International think of the resolution passed by the UN Human Rights Council on 23 July? What should happen next?Amnesty International welcomes resolution S-21/1...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • Green Party launches plan to protect our beaches from oil spills
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Green Party launches plan to protect our beaches from oil spills Sunday, 27 Jul 2014 | Press Release Like New Zealand chose to go nuclear free, we can add to our national...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Shasha Ali – I am an indigenous person but I will never call ...
    Yesterday was indeed a politically hectic day in Aoteaora New Zealand, especially if you are an activist that cares about both human and non-human animal rights. Protest actions were organised to demand an end to factory farming from about noon, and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • Pro-Israel, Pro-Palestine or ‘Pro-Peace’?
    Latest protest for people of Gaza in Auckland In the past couple of weeks I have heard a lot of people say that they are neither Pro-Israel nor Pro-Palestine; they are pro-peace. This is a stand that I respect. Everyone...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • So we can’t feed the kids, the poor OR the sick now?
    Let me get this straight. We can borrow $10 billion in tax cuts over the last 6 years for the richest NZers, but we can not feed the kids, the poor or even the sick now? Revealed: Warning over hospital food...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • Kim Dotcom has said it, Laila Harre has said it and now David fisher says i...
    Fascinating piece by David Fisher in the NZ Herald breaking down how many opportunities the Government had to listen to officials and stop KDC entering the country and concludes KDC should never have been allowed in… It prepared papers for the...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • You, Me and the GCSB Public Meetings
      The GCSB and TICS legislation rushed through Parliament by John Key represent the largest erosion of civil liberties this country has seen since the 1951 Waterfront Lockout. In the post Snowden world we now know a mass surveillance state operating...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • A feminist takedown of Whale Oil
    Whale Oil does it again. How many more times is he going to attack and discredit Tania Billingsley publicly? In a short blog published on Wednesday ‘Nothing to be sorry for‘ Whale Oil also known as Cameron Slater, is defending John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Ares Rolinson – New Zealand First – We’ll Be Back
    Earlier this week, Bomber penned a missive which set out in some detail why he thought my people, New Zealand First, wouldn’t be making it back into Parliament later this year. Being a pugnacious, vindictive sort who’d never let such an...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • The changes teachers DO want
    “Oh you teachers, you just want everything to stay the same – what’s wrong with choice?  Bloody teachers.  Typical that you don’t want testing – trying to hide that you’re all useless. What about our poor kids?  Gnash gnash rant rant...” That’s...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • A feminist take down of Whale Oil
    Whale Oil does it again. How many more times is he going to attack and discredit Tania Billingsley publicly? In a short blog published on Wednesday Nothing to be sorry for Whale Oil also known as Cameron Slater, is defending John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • On so called Labour Party ‘distractions’
    The right wing of the Labour Party are constructing a narrative that Labour need to stop chasing distractions and focus on the real issues that matter and not these silly GCSB, inequality, domestic violence, media bias, TPPA issues. It is...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • We are going to campaign harder
    “It was great news to learn that John Key says I am his recommendation for Epsom. While the Prime Minister is an important person and he is my pick to remain Prime Minister, John Key is just one voter. I...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Why Green isn’t the best colour for water
    Why Green isn’t the best colour for water Ian Mackenzie is Federated Farmers Environment spokesperson and was on the reference group for the National Objectives Framework. An opinion is also running in the New Zealand Herald. The Green Party recently...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Rainbow Wellington General Election Candidates Forum
    In many ways the transgender community is in a similar position now to that faced by lesbians and gay men a generation ago. It is having to face many of the same difficulties, often based on the same ignorance and...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Defence Lawyer Disgust!!!
    “ The Sensible Sentencing Trust is horrified by Defence Lawyer Steven Zindel's comments at the Sentencing of a Man Jailed for the Rape of his 4 year old daughter .”...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Ōhāriu deserves better than a rort
    The National Party's deal with Peter Dunne is a rort and shows the people of Ōhāriu are being taken for granted, Labour candidate Virginia Andersen says. "Peter Dunne has been placed on political life support by the National Party. His...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • FMC Backs Fish and Game’s Role on Freshwater
    Federated Mountain Clubs today reinforced its strong support for the New Zealand Fish and Game Council's statutory role in advocating for anglers and hunters interests in freshwater. FMC President Robin McNeill stated that the Federation's 17,000 members...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • The Letter: Key Gives Nod for Seymour in Epsom
    This afternoon the PM acknowledged the importance of Epsom to National’s re-election prospects when said he wanted National’s supporters in Epsom to vote for ACT’S David Seymour. We always thought David could win Epsom, for which he has been campaigning...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Forest & Bird supports Fish and Game’s freshwater advocacy
    The independent conservation organisation Forest & Bird is concerned over allegations the Fish & Game Council has been threatened over its advocacy for freshwater quality....
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Time for Epsom to say “no deal”
    “Epsom voters will be disgusted by the deal announced today to try and once again gift their electorate to the ACT Party”, says Labour candidate for Epsom Michael Wood....
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Petition for release the of seven Bah
    At the invitation of the Honourable Annette King the New Zealand Bahá'í community is presenting a petition to the House of Representatives asking the NZ government to demand the release of the seven former leaders of the Baha’i community in...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Capital gains in the capital city
    Victoria University will today be hosting a public debate on the merits of more comprehensive capital gains tax—a step which taxation expert Associate Professor Dr David White considers would be beneficial for New Zealand. Organised by student group Beta Alpha...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Te Kupenga supports efforts of anti-violence campaigner
    Te Kupenga Whakaoti Mahi Patunga – National Network of Stopping Violence Services (Te Kupenga) wholeheartedly endorses statements made by DJ, Kickboxer and Anti-Violence Campaigner Richie Hardcore this morning on TV3’s Firstline about the role of men...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • iPredict Ltd2014 Election Update #28
    The chances of a fiscal surplus in 2014/15 continue to plunge and are down to 50%, according to the combined wisdom of the 7000 registered traders on New Zealand’s online predictions market, iPredict. The forecast surplus is now just 0.22%...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • TPPA is a bad idea
    “Currently New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam, the USA, Japan, Malaysia, Canada, and Mexico are still negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. Officially talks finished last August, but the reality is that they keep...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Getting privacy right in our data future
    Privacy Commissioner John Edwards welcomes the release of the New Zealand Data Futures Forum’s report....
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Conference on Democracy, Ethics and the Public Good
    Conference on Democracy, Ethics and the Public Good A conference is to be held in Wellington on 1 and 2 August with the aim of starting a NZ-wide discussion about the quality of our democracy. The conference is hosted jointly...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Paddock to plate, and smart roads possible
    New Zealand’s international brand and exports could grow significantly with the creation of a data sharing ‘eco-system’ according to a paper released by the NZ Data Futures Forum today....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Ngapuhi wants to overthrow Maori King
    Ngapuhi is planning a hui for the end of the year – organised by iwi leader David Rankin – in which the future of the King Movement will be discussed....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Housing warrant of fitness little help for sick children
    A housing warrant of fitness has been promoted as a way of preventing sickness among children in poverty. The attached report shows that such a regime would have little impact on health outcomes but would come at a considerable cost,...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Upcoming Fabian Events in Auckland
    Sue Bradford ’s PhD thesis, 'A major left wing think tank in Aotearoa—an impossible dream or a call to action?' looked at why no major left wing think tank has developed in Aotearoa and whether the left in 2010-2013 was...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Senior Citizens, Not Senile Citizens
    The Taxpayers’ Union is questioning the merits and costs of the “ No car? No problem! Getting around your community without a car” brochure, released by the Office for Senior Citizens. The brochure’s purpose is to explain to senior citizens...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • NZ Troops Hone Their Skills in Queensland
    Around 260 New Zealand troops are on a 25-day Australian-led warfighting exercise in Townsville, Northern Queensland....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Maritime Union backs Green Party call for shipping lanes
    The Maritime Union is backing the Green Party’s policy to implement compulsory shipping lanes for coastal shipping, announced today....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Auckland Council Bypasses Public, Ditches Rodeo Ban
    Auckland Council Bypasses Public, Ditches Rodeo Ban The Auckland Council has announced that they are abandoning the rodeo ban on council land, put into place in 2008. This was done with virtually no consultation, says SAFE, the animal advocacy organisation....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Tolley and Coleman urged to meet West Papuan visitor
    Ministers Tolley and Coleman urged to meet West Papuan visitor Police Minister Anne Tolley and Defence Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman have a rare opportunity this week to gain first-hand knowledge about Indonesian police and military activities in West...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Minister Right to Give Fish & Game a Serve
    Reacting to Radio New Zealand’s report concerning allegations that Conservation Minister Nick Smith warned the Fish and Game Council that it acts like a 'rabid NGO', Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Government needs to get Fishing reform bill passed now
    The Maritime Union is urging the Government to push through a Bill reforming the fishing industry....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Ivory trade laws look set to tighten following petition
    A petition mounted by an Auckland schoolteacher has won the support of a powerful Select Committee and has moved the New Zealand closer towards a fully enforceable ivory trading ban....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Bilingual guide a demonstration of leadership
    “Waikato River Restoration: A Bilingual Guide” to the Waikato River that saw Tainui Waikato, Landcare Trust and the Waikato River Authority working together is a demonstration of rangatiratanga or leadership says Race Relations Commissioner...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Georgina Beyer to stand for MANA in Te Tai Tonga
    "It's great to have Georgie on board" said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP. "She's strong-minded, stands up to be counted, and has fought for the rights of those who haven't had any - and won. That...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Q + A: Sir Bob Harvey
    SUSAN Sir Bob Harvey was behind the transformation of Norm Kirk, and one of New Zealand's most popular Prime Ministers. He also advised Bill Rowling, David Lange and Helen Clark, the latter as Labour Party President. Wild Westie a new...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Q + A: Rod Drury
    Xero boss Rod Drury told TVNZ’s Q+A programme what the political parties are offering at this election is ‘all too small.’ “There's no policy, all it is a bunch of incremental stuff. “All too small. What we want to do...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Q + A: Gerry Brownlee
    Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee Rules Out Fastracking Auckland’s City Rail Loop Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee told TV1’s Q+A programme this morning that he won’t be bringing forward an Auckland City Rail loop based on new figures showing...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Owen interviews Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey
    Lisa Owen interviews Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey Headlines: Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey suggests “we can move on some” changes to welfare for New Zealanders in Australia New Zealanders “brothers and sisters” who make “a massive contribution”,...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Flavell and Harawira on The Nation
    Lisa Owen interviews Maori Party leader Te Ururoa Flavell and Mana leader Hone Harawira Headlines: Hone Harawira says realistically his Mana Party can take three Maori seats, Te Ururoa Flavell sticks to prediction that Maori Party will win all seven....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • The Nation 26,27 July: Flavell & Harawira, Joe Hockey
    On The Nation this weekend…. With the Maori seats primed to play a pivotal role this election, Torben Akel reports from the key battlegrounds and meets the top contenders. Then the Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell and Mana Party...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Announcement of New Zealand First Candidate for Rangitīkei
    New Zealand First has endorsed Dr Romuald (‘Rom’) Rudzki as the candidate for the Rangitīkei Electorate in the 2014 General Election....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Labour Offer Len Brown a Hotel Tax
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the Labour Party's plan to allow councils to levy new 'pillow taxes' and regional petrol taxes. Reacting to this afternoon’s NZ Herald report Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union ,...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Cell phone evidence a first
    Cell phone evidence a first Evidence gathered solely from a cell phone has been used for the first time to convict a Hastings man for possessing child sexual abuse pictures. Michael Lawrence Worsnop, a 29-year-old orchard worker pleaded guilty to...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • New Zealand Aid Worker Helping in Gaza
    A New Zealand Red Cross nurse working in Gaza says she has never experienced anything like the current conflict in her long aid work career....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Parking officers deserve safety at work
    The union representing the Auckland Transport parking officer severely beaten on July 17 says everyone has a right to go about their job without fear for their safety....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Caritas Aotearoa NZ to provide Gaza humanitarian aid
    Caritas Jerusalem is providing medical assistance, food and other necessities to the thousands of vulnerable people affected by the escalating conflict in Gaza, and Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is contributing an initial $20,000 to support the humanitarian...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • ALCP challenges parties to support Charlotte’s Web
    The leader of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party Julian Crawford is calling on all other political parties to state their position on using cannabis oil to treat pediatric epilepsy....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Oxfam accepts cheque from Pacific Corporation Foundation
    Oxfam New Zealand has accepted a cheque for almost $1000 today from the Pacific Corporation Foundation toward recovery efforts in the Solomon Islands, following April’s flash flooding that left thousands homeless....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Draft report and decision – Pūhoi to Warkworth proposal
    The Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Wellsford Road of National Significance: Pūhoi to Warkworth section Board of Inquiry has released its draft report and decision....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • New Zealanders willing to pay tax to protect dolphins
    A report released this week shows a large majority of New Zealanders want Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins protected and they are prepared to pay for it....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Stop Smart Meters
    “The Democrats for Social Credit Party (DSC) wholeheartedly endorses the Stop Smart Meters campaign for a moratorium on installations of smart meters until the technology is proven not be a risk to health, and until home owners are given a...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Maori Roll Electors Urged to Vote Strategically
    Voters enrolled in the seven Maori electorates must learn to maximize their influence by voting strategically, according to the Maori Party candidate for Te Tai Tokerau, Rev Te Hira Paenga....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Politicians Ignore Families’ Concerns on Street Prostitution
    Family First NZ says that politicians are ignoring the concerns of families, lack the will to take appropriate action, and are happy to drag the ongoing problem of street prostitution into the next parliamentary term....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Plunket celebrates Te Wiki o te Reo Māori
    Plunket is proud to celebrate Te Wiki o te Reo Māori (21-27 July), with Plunket people across the country among several thousand New Zealanders taking part and increasing their kete of knowledge in te reo....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
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