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The Standard

The Meridian flop

Written By: - Date published: 7:29 am, October 24th, 2013 - 143 comments
Categories: privatisation - Tags:

What a disaster. Meridian has attracted only a quarter of a the so-called ‘mum and dad’ investors expected (and these ‘ordinary Kiwis’ put in $18,000 each on average). The sale raised a $1.2 billion less than National thought it would. And the cost, which was meant to be $100-$120m for the entire sales process, is now over quarter of a billion after just two sales. You’ve got to tell National to stop.

National’s trying to blame it on Labour and the Greens because they did the right thing and informed the public of their plans for cheaper power before the asset sales started. But let’s just get this straight: the decision to sell was National’s. If they don’t think they’re getting the price that they should for the sales, then they should stop them.

NZ Power has been public for six months (and the public love it), blaming it and other market conditions for the terrible result of the Meridian sale is illogical. If things are that bad, don’t sell the bloody thing and save the taxpayer a pile of cash.

Speaking of cost, the Greens’ Costwatch puts the total cost of the sales process before Meridian at $173m. The ‘buy now, pay later’ scheme will add another $50m in what is basically an interest-free loan to the rich and institutions. On top of that, the middlemen will gobble up another $40m. That takes the total cost so far to over quarter of a billion dollars. The sales were meant to cost 2% of revenue – it’s 7%. And it will just get worse and worse as dividends get paid out that should have gone into the public coffers. Already, we’ve lost $49m on Mighty River’s first dividend.

You’re going to get your chance to send National a message in the coming referendum. Make sure they hear it loud and clear.

143 comments on “The Meridian flop”

  1. vto 1

    Clayton Cosgrove hit the nail on the head with his comment;

    “If John Key was working for a bank like Merrill Lynch and the taxpayers were his client then he would have advised them not to do it”

    John Key is selling us out.

    • Ray 1.1

      One thing you can divine from this is that the movers and shakers in NZ (ie the people with money and influence) can see a government change coming

      And they don’t like it!

      “Cause it means that it is going to be difficult to be such a mover and shaker, even if they can make more money

      • King Kong 1.1.1

        One thing you can be pretty sure of is that Governments in New Zealand always change.

        The fact that you seem surprised by this just shows what terrible regard you had for the political left.

        p.s. It might not be next term though

    • Tat Loo 1.2

      Actually Clayton is misguided in this regard. These big investment banks do not act in their clients interests. They 100% always act in their own interests.

      The advice to the client would have been “of course” proceed, as there is no way that Merrill Lynch would have given up on tens of millions of commission by advising them not to.

      Some stupid and illusory rational like the need to “maintain confidence” would have been used.

      That’s how this game works, that’s how these banks continue to make billions in profits even as the global economy is running aground.

      • BLiP 1.2.1

        “If John Key was working for a bank like Merrill Lynch and the taxpayers were his client then he would have advised them not to do it”

        More to the point, if John Key was working for Merrill Lynch and carried out an IPO like this on its behalf, he would be sacked on the spot and possibly made personally liable for the losses because of the cavalier disregard of his fiduciary obligations to those he worked for.

        • Tat Loo 1.2.1.1

          Fiduciary obligations? Boy those old fashioned concepts went out the window a long time ago at these investment banks…

    • King Kong 1.3

      If NZ was Merrill Lynch and JK was running it, Cosgrove would have had the security guard with the black bin bag clean out his desk and confiscate his building entry cards, a long time ago.

      • Hanswurst 1.3.1

        So you consider Key to be an authoritarian at heart?

      • Pascal's bookie 1.3.2

        What ever happened to Merrill Lynch anyway? Oh same thing as what happened to pretty much company Key worked for.

        • King Kong 1.3.2.1

          Wildly successful when he was with them and didn’t fair well when he wasn’t there.

          I guess this could be spun a different way.

          • thatguynz 1.3.2.1.1

            Bullshit. They weren’t “wildly successful” at all. They were pulling the same shit when he was there, as what finally caught up with them and broke the company. To suggest otherwise is either naive or deliberately disingenuous.

            • Draco T Bastard 1.3.2.1.1.1

              KK is just another authoritarian follower defending his leader against all charges no matter what the evidence shows.

              • Akldnut

                “Wildly successful when he was with them and didn’t fair well when he wasn’t there.
                I guess this could be spun a different way.”

                Rubbish – That’s “he was the Messiah spin ”

                I see it like “He bailed like a RAT on a sinking ship”

      • georgecom 1.3.3

        Kong. It wouldn’t just be Cosgrove accompanying the security guard as Key cleans out his desk and hands over his swipe card, they’d be a massive queue tagging along. Fortunately Keys desk will be cleared next year and the PM swipe card taken away from him. One big worry, how much damage he can do to NZ before then

    • Draco T Bastard 1.4

      John Key is selling us out.

      That was his job from the get go.

  2. Steve 2

    Since becoming PM John Key has been working tirelessly for his “clients”. The problem is that you, me and the majority of kiwis are not his “clients”. To find those you need to be mixing with the kleptocrats of the international investment banking world. Once you understand that it all begins to make sense.

    P.S. Perhaps Tony Ryall could solve Auckland’s housing shortage by building a new suburb out of all those unused MRP & Meridian share float docs. Could put it between Manurewa & Papakura and call it “Prospectus South”.

    • bad12 2.1

      Yes your onto it, the ‘part-sales’, designed in such a manner so as to placate Ma and Pa in the middle class have only failed in that sense alone,

      The long term goal of these people is to have all of such assets in the hands of the international Banking Cartels, moving the assets slowly over a decadal time-scale so as not to scare the horses with the cynical knowledge from these people that the young will quickly grow to be tomorrow’s adults viewing the private foreign ownership of such assets as ‘normal’,

      The unfortunate tragedy here is that while remaining locked into today’s primitive means of supplying money to the Government the current political parties of the left are unlikely to ‘buy’ back these assets which simply sets the stage for at some future point in time the other 50% of these assets disappearing from public ownership…

  3. Te Reo Putake 3

    I’d love to see Labour go to the polls on a policy of buying the looted shares back at cost or market rate, whichever is the lower figure. The payment to be made in installments over 10 years. No interest payable.

    That would effectively mean those that have opted to rip off NZ have, instead, loaned the state their money at 0%. That should take privatisation off the political agenda for a generation or more.

    • King Kong 3.1

      Of course hate and revenge are your main drivers when suggesting policy.

      Never mind the devastating repercussions this kind of thing would have. Nobody could ever enter a commercial transaction again without fear of the Government shitting on them. Nice.

      • Te Reo Putake 3.1.1

        It’s far from hate and revenge, KK, it’s restorative justice. If I wanted to really send the looters a message, I’d be suggesting criminal charges, but hitting them in the hip pocket should be punishment enough.

        • the pigman 3.1.1.1

          That’s a great idea, retrospectively legislate to make participating in a government asset sales program a crime, and lock those buggers up. (Think KK may be leading you down the garden path?)

          Although its suggestion that “Nobody could ever enter a commercial transaction again without fear of the Government shitting on them” is rubbish, because you can’t keep those capitalists from trying to capitalize.

        • David H 3.1.1.2

          More like Demanding Criminal Charges. And a going over of the crowns books by a forensic accountant, to expose for once and for all the shenanigans.

      • adam 3.1.2

        Wow KK you do understand that economics is politics by another name. And yes if your still embeded in zombie economics, it’s going to look bad – that is the politics of self interest – dressed as economics. But, we need a economy that works – zombie economics needs to be gone,if only because it’s stupid and outcomes become hellish – it can not be flexable and relies of a mythical idea of the “unseen hand” which is akin to fairy dust and gnomes at the end of the garden.

        • King Kong 3.1.2.1

          Let’s talk again when you have left high school, got a job and experienced the real world.

        • SpaceMonkey 3.1.2.2

          By “zombie economics” you mean neo-liberialism and crony capitalism?

          • King Kong 3.1.2.2.1

            No he means zombie economics. Things like scarcity equals the brain supply over infection rates and the elasticity of demand for canned goods when cannibalism is introduced in the supply chain and its knock on effects on increased infections.

            • Naturesong 3.1.2.2.1.1

              He was talking about neo-liberalism.

              Though you are partly right, bovine spongiform encephalopathy outbreaks are a direct result of placing profit above all else.

      • Murray Olsen 3.1.3

        The Koch family made a fortune dealing with Stalin’s Soviet Union, which had violated the sanctity of private property many, many times. It seems that capitalists, just like scabs, are prepared to let other considerations overwhelm their class solidarity. As usual with KKK, the shouting is at variance with historical fact.

    • Enough is Enough 3.2

      You say that like it is an unlikely dream.

      We should be demanding that from Labour as a central policy that they will implement within the first 100 days in office. Anything less is a sell out.

      Your suggestion is more than affordable so there is no reason not to do it.

      Please Labour. Talk is cheap. It is easy to oppose everything through bluster. But will you actually now have the conviction to reverse this disaster of a policy????

      Do not repeat the mistakes of the past two Labour Governments.

      • King Kong 3.2.1

        My God. Your inability to think through the consequences is frightening. Ask one of the “non crazy” left kids on here, who are conspicuous by their silence, what they think about this.

        • bad12 3.2.1.1

          What consequences are these???…

          • felix 3.2.1.1.1

            The consequences are that King Kong won’t vote for Labour O MY FUCKING GOD!!!!

          • King Kong 3.2.1.1.2

            I said one of the “non crazies”

            • mikesh 3.2.1.1.2.1

              King Kong
              You still haven’t answered Bad12’s question. What consequences?

              • bad12

                Don’t waste too much energy on KK that one has no intention of entering into any debate requiring anything more intelligent than a dribble of drivel,

                More fun can be extracted from other ‘wing-nuts’ although the numbers of them appearing here at the Standard seems to have plummeted much in line with National’s recent poll results…

                • King Kong

                  Honestly, I am wasting my time. It is like explaining a sunset to a blind man.

                  But here’s one to mull over. What do you think might happen if the Government was to take an action that would crash the value of all NZ’s listed and unlisted companies.

                  Now I know this is where the envy and vindictiveness gets the better of you but ask yourself this…

                  Would it only be the hated rich guys that would suffer or might there be horrible consequences for the other 99% (according to the popular myth).

                  • dv

                    KK
                    OH I get it, Like the US banks did in 2008.

                    • King Kong

                      Exactly.

                      And of course no one at the lower end of the socio economic scale lost their jobs or homes because of that, did they.

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    In that case, KK, I’d take the approach Bob Jones used in the 87 stockmarket crash. He bought back the shares in his own company dirt cheap and walked away laughing. Nationalise the lot, I say. When the dust settles, sell off the non-core businesses and bank the profits.

                  • McFlock

                    What do you think might happen if the Government was to take an action that would crash the value of all NZ’s listed and unlisted companies.

                    All that would happen is that the next time tories try to sell the family silver, they’d make an even bigger fuckup of it than they did this time.

                  • mikesh

                    “But here’s one to mull over. What do you think might happen if the Government was to take an action that would crash the value of all NZ’s listed and unlisted companies.”

                    A company’s value depends on its earning capacity. This would not change just because the government renationalized the electricity companies.

                    • King Kong

                      What do you think happens to the value of a company if there is a risk (and this is the key word) of it being nicked off you at some stage with no or low reimbursement.

                      And you can’t tell me it doesn’t apply because the precedent will have been set.

                    • King Kong

                      Lets follow that up with a real world example. Lets say that Shell and PDVSA (state owned Venezuelan oil company and victim of nationalization) are the same size and get the same return on the same amount of oil sold.

                      The Venezuelan govt decide that they would like to sell this company back into private ownership and PDVSA is listed on the same exchange as Shell.

                      Which company is valued significantly higher and why?

                    • McFlock

                      Lets follow that up with a real world example. Lets say that Shell and PDVSA (state owned Venezuelan oil company and victim of nationalization) are the same size and get the same return on the same amount of oil sold.

                      The Venezuelan govt decide that they would like to sell this company back into private ownership and PDVSA is listed on the same exchange as Shell.

                      Are you saying that renationalisation is a bad idea because it would lower the income that might be gained via future re-privatisation?

                      A hidden bonus to renationalisation, from my point of view.

                    • King Kong

                      No I’m not. But of course you knew that.

                    • McFlock

                      then why the comparison value between two companies that are identical apart from one being privatised, renationalised, and is then on the privatisation block again?

                    • King Kong

                      To show what effect the spectre of nationalisation has on the value of a company.

                    • lprent []

                      Actually no. It is the spectre of the government regulating an infrastructure industry in a semi-monopolistic position in the economy. All of sudden the scavengers found the prospects for easy monopolistic profits diminished.

                      Nationalisation is all in your delusional fantasies.

                    • McFlock

                      Lowers the value of the company, do you reckon?

                    • King Kong

                      I know. We just saw it with the Meridian float.

                      $1.2bn in destroyed value as the Greens so gleefully confirm.

                    • lprent []

                      Yeah, National destroyed it by being a pack of moronic fools. The Greens are quite correct on that.

                    • McFlock

                      indeed.
                      So lower expected value means a lower return to the government from reprivatisation?

                    • King Kong

                      I think you have gone a bit chicken and egg on me.

                      Why not remove the threat of Nationalisation and bank another yard.

                    • McFlock

                      Why not remove the threat of Nationalisation and bank another yard.

                      because privatisation is a bloody stupid course of action that costs us billions over the medium and longer terms. The country gains a “yard” of beach space that is quickly eroded by lost income and lost governance.

                      Lowering the short term returns of privatisation makes it less likely.

                      That’s another reason why renationalisation is a good idea. Another nail in the coffin of me-ist neoliberalism.

                  • bad12

                    So for ‘consequences’ we can only take it that as you have made ‘stupid shit up’* as a reply to what these consequences supposedly are then your original view of said consequences was also stupid shit you had just made up,

                    * Stupid made up shit by you= ”what do you think might happen if the Government was to take action that would crash the value of all NZ’s listed and unlisted companies”,

                    Simply put, having no answer to your original stupidity you change the subject by doubling the stupidity…

                    • King Kong

                      I guess that is the closest thing to a concession that I can expect.

                    • bad12

                      Yes KK, i concede, that you are stupidly and with the actions of a simpleton attempting to divert the Post off into the fantasy realm in which you reside…

                  • But here’s one to mull over. What do you think might happen if the Government was to take an action that would crash the value of all NZ’s listed and unlisted companies.

                    That’s actually an interesting point, but perhaps not in the way you meant.

                    Of course, it would be unlikely that investors would assume from a ‘buy back’ of state assets that there would be wholesale government purchase of companies that were listed on the exchange and which had arisen from the private sector.

                    That’s because a Labour/Green ‘buy back’ is just that – a buy back of assets the state recently owned. It is not a buy out of firms on the stock exchange that arose from the private sector. So investors would be irrational if they pulled out of listed companies.

                    But the odd thing about New Zealand’s stock exchange is that it is dominated by ex-state sector assets rather than private sector entities. So, maybe there’s something in what you say.

                    The ‘kicker’ in that insight, however, is only because the stock exchange (and, presumably, the private sector as a whole) does not seem to be able to generate or nurture private sector entities as viable and profitable as ones that originated in the public sector.

                    Not a good look from the point of view of supporters of private enterprise, I would have thought.

                    Oh, and why would unlisted companies suffer?

                  • felix

                    Oh KK.

                    You had me at “sunset”.

              • halfcrown

                “What consequences?”

                Like when in 89 Air New Zealand was “privatised” and the major share holding was bought by Briely Investments. We were told that it had to be privatised otherwise in a decade it would be a third rate operator with debts of 500 million. After a decade of privatisation, and bungy jumping by the spivs in 2001 the then Clark government had to re nationalise Air New Zealand as it was a third rate operator with debts of 880 million

            • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1.1.2.3

              Yep, I’m keen to know what these consequences will be too.

            • Naturesong 3.2.1.1.2.4

              I tend toward the left, and am considered by my family, friends and work colleague to be not-crazy.

              a policy of buying the looted shares back at cost or market rate, whichever is the lower figure

              … is not going to work, mainly because the fault does not lie with those who bought shares, but with the idiots running the government. Just as you would not blame vultures for the murder of the corpse they were feeding upon.

              Much better to have the Cullen fund slowly buy back all the shares at market price, when that market price is at or below the initial ipo price.
              Then have the Cullen fund sell them back to the government at cost, at which point they can be changed back to being a public utility (cost plus pricing model) instead of a SOE which must return a profit based on the valuation of the assets.

              I’d like to see that with all similar infrastructure (critical to the nation, natural monopoly).
              Chorus is an obvious choice as well.
              As is removing the infrastructure (track mainly) from NZ Rail so the planning focus changes from what is profitable to NZ Rails books to what profits New Zealand as a whole; the closure of the Napier – Gisborne line being a good example of what is good for NZ Rails books is definately not in the public interest.

              • Tat Loo

                You can take steps to gradually depress the share price as well. Like capping the profits that the generators can make.

                • Naturesong

                  Yup

                  I would suggest the market not be depressed too much though, lest the Labour / Green govt be seen to be vindictive.
                  Keeping it at ipo level is fine.
                  Investors come away with their dividends and no loss of capital, and focus is rightly kept on the wankers that sold them off in the first place.

              • Draco T Bastard

                None of that make sense. All you’re saying is that the Cullen fund should buy the shares back slowly over time which would cost us more in lost dividends.

                Much better to have the Cullen fund slowly buy back all the shares at market price, when that market price is at or below the initial ipo price.

                The shares are already below IPO and the government can legislate the entire buyback at the current share price.

                • Naturesong

                  I’d agree with simply buying back the lot if they remained at below ipo level.
                  I’m not concerned about lost revenues for a year or two. Remember that NZ Power is designed to keep them from getting out of hand.
                  And all blame for lost revenues can be rightly placed at the feet of the National Party

        • Enough is Enough 3.2.1.2

          I will admit I have this inabilty you speak of.

          Please advise us of these consequences, other than some rich pricks being left a little bit out of pocket, and the nations wealth being returned to its rightful owners!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Rogue Trooper 3.2.1.3

          “crazy” is in da house!

    • Chooky 3.3

      Te Reo Putake….+100

    • Draco T Bastard 3.4

      +111

    • Murray Olsen 3.5

      I’d nationalise the generation companies without compensation, with the following observations:

      1. Anyone caught buying stolen goods has them confiscated. Whether they are bought on the stock exchange or out the back of the pub should not make a difference.

      2. Anyone who wants to get richer from increased prices so that they make a few bucks every time a poor kid catches rheumatic fever deserves nothing.

    • dave 3.6

      far better to introduce nz power destroy the share price then buy them back

  4. Philgwellington Wellington 4

    Xox
    Like your thinking Te Reo. That would stir the pot! Just read some nonsense from a Jamie
    White, in The Herald, proposing
    economic mumbo jumbo. The
    tory’s must be getting desperate to seek out this economic tripe from a Cambridge, I think the appropriate term is educated(?) economist RWNJ. Have a read and a good laugh.

  5. Will@Welly 5

    I signed up to buy shares in Mighty River Power just to get the Tories all enthusiastic, but with no intention of buying. With Meridian, I didn’t even bother. Publicly they will never admit defeat, but gee, talk about the proverbial hitting the fan – this is real egg on the face. First, the mum’s and dad’s don’t really show up – how can they, they don’t have the dosh – then the share prices plummet, and in the second float, no one turns up. What mugs – creditability lost. Let’s hope the people remember.

  6. lez howard 6

    The problem is the People have said NO to Asset sales But National is not listening. When was the last time National had three terms?

    • Tat Loo 6.1

      1990-1999 Bolger and Shipley

      National has always had at least 3 terms in power, since it’s formation.

      If Key takes the Blue ship down in 2014, it will be a historic, record breaking 2 term defeat for National.

      • Richard Christie 6.1.1

        2 terms only … of course, the MMP environment would also to have considerable bearing on such a result, would it not?

        • Rogue Trooper 6.1.1.1

          pleasantly so

        • Puddleglum 6.1.1.2

          Yes, since Muldoon would have probably been only one term if MMP had been around then (depending on who Social Credit would have gone with).

          • Puddleglum 6.1.1.2.1

            In fact, if both Social Credit and Values had coalesced with Labour in 1975, Muldoon would never have been in government. Probably unlikely given the public – and media – mood, though.

        • Tat Loo 6.1.1.3

          Yes it would have a bearing. However both the Clark govt and the Bolger/Shipley gov were both 3 term governments under MMP (although the latter was only partly under MMP).

          So 3 terms is very do-able on the MMP environment.

          • BrucetheMoose 6.1.1.3.1

            The only thing I remember from that era was Bolger’s anesthetising personality and Jenny’s grand pastel suits, that for some odd reason, always gave me the impression they were made with cardboard backing.

        • felix 6.1.1.4

          “2 terms only … of course, the MMP environment would also to have considerable bearing on such a result, would it not?”

          Indeed Richard, if Key fails in 2014 his will be the first ever MMP govt of either stripe to not win a third term.

  7. lez howard 7

    Thanks for that, Lets hope its with all hands

  8. Natwest 8

    Hang on! – they got the float away, $1.9bn – so where is the flop? They were probably looking around $1.55 to $1.60 per share, but with all the political threats from the left, $1.50 was a very good result under the circumstances.

    • Te Reo Putake 8.1

      Read the post, the answers are there. In summary, sold for less than value, to very few kiwis, and sales costs higher than budget.

    • framu 8.2

      “The sale raised a $1.2 billion less than National thought it would.”

      theres the flop you idiot

      • Richard Christie 8.2.1

        No, the object wasn’t to raise capital, that was merely the excuse given. The object was, and always has been, to transfer control away from the commons.

        Nats consider it a success because it is concluded. Considerable success.

        The rest of us can scream as much as we like, they will just smirk.

        • Puddleglum 8.2.1.1

          Sadly, I think that’s true.

          This is not about the fiscal management of the government’s books; it’s about ideology – or, better, it’s about undermining the presence of the public sector as a buffer against private profit for major players from essential public infrastructure.

    • QoT 8.3

      “political threats”

      You mean “being open about their policies”? It’s not Labour and the Greens’ fault that investors know they’re going to win in 2014.

  9. dv 9

    Just a point about the NATS excuse that the proposed NZPower caused the problems.

    All that really highlighted was the political risk in the market, what the Nats didn’t do very well is manage that risk.
    The drop in the MR share price will not have helped.

    It will be interesting to see if the Meridian price shows the same trend.

  10. Draco T Bastard 10

    The sale raised a $1.2 billion less than National thought it would.

    Well, there goes the 2014 surplus that National was banking on.

  11. AmaKiwi 11

    A digression, but perhaps helpful.

    I was in Turkey. Petrol was $8 a liter. Why so expensive, especially since Turkey borders on two of the world’s largest oil producers, Iraq and Iran?

    Turkey has a growing middle class whose standard of living is comparable to NZ. But it also has a significant number of rural subsistence farmers who have no power, no indoor plumbing, no cars, and probably no bank accounts.

    The petrol tax is a Turkish alternative to income taxes. If you are rich enough to own a car you should pay to support all public services.

    When our government owned all the power companies, it also effectively set the power prices. It could have increased power prices ten fold and done away with other major forms of taxation. Or it could have cut power prices to virtually nil and upped other taxes. Power prices were a source of government revenue similar to taxes.

    For Key and others to think we would turn over pricing of this essential monopoly to private owners so they could make huge profits for themselves was wishful thinking. For them to complain is the height of arrogance.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      For Key and others to think we would turn over pricing of this essential monopoly to private owners so they could make huge profits for themselves was wishful thinking.

      Key and co don’t care about what we want, they only care about themselves and their rich mates making government guaranteed profits.

  12. vto 12

    Dontcha get the feeling that John Key is walking around with embarrassment today at such a flop?

    You see, he aint gonna get there is he. He is going to stall and fart just before he reaches the peak and tumble in full view al the way back to the valley floor of the commoners… It has already started.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      Dontcha get the feeling that John Key is walking around with embarrassment today at such a flop?

      Psychopaths don’t feel embarrassment or guilt.

      • Naturesong 12.1.1

        If you plug in answers to this levinson test that are consistant with John Keys public persona he rates higher for primary pschopathy than 98% who have taken the test.
        http://personality-testing.info/tests/LSRP.php

        • King Kong 12.1.1.1

          I started plugging in details about what is publicly known about Cunliffe into this one Narcissist test

          Unfortunately the internet blew up before I got to the end

          He scored scarily high in this one too Are you a pedophile?

          [lprent: More likely you were projecting your own character on to the screen since you don’t know actually know him personally. That is usually what happens under those circumstances. The screen becomes your mirror as you project the worst of your own nature on to your enemies.

          It wouldn’t surprise me at all. ]

          • vto 12.1.1.1.1

            missed… you need to sharpen your aim and improve your humour

          • King Kong 12.1.1.1.2

            So you would have the same opinion of those on here that call John Key a psychopath using the same method?

            [lprent: Mere opinion doesn’t interest me. But I tend to notice linked pseudo-science crap like that when I’m doing moderation sweeps. But yes the same principle applies. Why I’m interested as a moderator is because it falls under the flamewar starter where people start claiming pseudo-authority from their subjective entering of characteristics. ]

            • Chooky 12.1.1.1.2.1

              @ King Kong….I think John Key is going to buy up all the power companies and stuff them into his own private blind trust handbag

              ….he is really an octopus who has got his finger suckers into everything and he is going to gobble NZ up

  13. captain hook 13

    check the share register and see who got paid off.

  14. Nick 14

    “National’s trying to blame it on Labour and the Greens because they did the right thing and informed the public of their plans for cheaper power before the asset sales started. But let’s just get this straight: the decision to sell was National’s. If they don’t think they’re getting the price that they should for the sales, then they should stop them.”

    Let’s change the context of the Green Party talking points

    Democracts are trying to blame it on House Republicans because they did the right thing and informed the public of their plans to defund Obamacare before the government shutdown started. But let’s just get this straight: the decision to vote against spending bills was Senate Democrats. If they don’t think the government should have shut down, then they should have voted for the Republicans spending bills.

    In other words, it doesn’t matter who makes the final decision. National ran on a platform of partial privitisation. Labour stuck the knife in knowing full well that National wouldn’t change its mind. And this policy was all about the sabotage. I don’t believe that Labour/Greens genuinely thought think this policy is a good idea, no one with any credibility takes it seriously http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1308/S00083/labour-greens-power-policy-is-bass-ackwards-wolak-says.htm

    • richard 14.1

      Try to do some research before going off half cocked and repeating half truths.

      Frank Wolak was on the Market Surveillance Committee of the California Independent System Operator which bought about the conditions for Enron to grossly overcharge for California’s electricity. So he is hardly a credible analyst of NZ’s electricity market –
      http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/blackout/interviews/wolak.html

      As NZ has a fetish for overseas experts, no matter how flawed they are, The Commerce Commission asked him to look at NZ’s power setup. In 2009 he did this report report for the Commerce Commission. I know, there’s a lot of reading there, so here’s a bit from the Commission’s press release:

      By comparing the actual wholesale prices with hypothetical competitive benchmark prices, Professor Wolak estimated that the wholesale prices charged over the period 2001 to mid-2007 resulted in an extra $4.3 billion in earnings to all generators over those that they would have earned under competitive conditions. This suggests that wholesale prices were, on average, 18 per cent higher than they would have been if the wholesale market had been more competitive, and the gentailers had not been able to exert market power. Less competition was especially evident in the wholesale market during the dry years of 2001 and 2003, when additional earnings attributable to the exercise of market power are estimated at $1.5 billion in each of those years.

    • Draco T Bastard 14.2

      I don’t believe that Labour/Greens genuinely thought think this policy is a good idea, no one with any credibility takes it seriously

      Actually, it’s only the sociopathic types that don’t take it seriously. The people who believe in Randian Super-Heroes.

      • McFlock 14.2.1

        The sort of people who blame the other side for calling their bluff, rather than taking responsibility for the game of brinkmanship that they themselves started.

        Especially when they go through all of that and still give the other side it’s initial asking position for lack of an understanding of the word “negotiation”.

    • Murray Olsen 14.3

      Please take your TeaBagger type rubbish elsewhere. Your scenario suggests that the opposition’s only responsibility is to cheer the government on.

    • Pascal's bookie 14.4

      In other words, it doesn’t matter who makes the final decision. National ran on a platform of partial privitisation. Labour stuck the knife in knowing full well that National wouldn’t change its mind.

      Laugh.

      Once again, the classic right wing version of personal responsibility, where it’s all every one else’s fault. National simply had no choices. Oh Noes, they lost the ability to make decisions! They turned into mechanical beasties!

      there was nothing, repeat, nothing, stopping John key making a speech along the lines of::

      “Ok this L/G policy changes things. We don’t like it and we think it is stupid, but the polls say a lot of you like it.

      And they show that a L/G govt is quite possible by the end of next year. Now that creates uncertainty about the future value of these companies. The responsible thing to do therefore, as we see it, is to go to the country and let you make your choice.

      We were elected on a policy of partially selling these companies. That is what we think the best thing is to do. We stand by that belief still.

      However, given the uncertainty, the price the Crown gets for these assets would be diminished.

      We are not prepared to waste that money. We think L/G are not serious about this policy and that it is aimed at sabotaging the price for political reasons. We find that abhorrent, and irresponsible, and that’s why we are giving you the choice. Vote for us again, to do what we said we would do, or vote for them and their wacky stalinist devilbeast.”

      It’s not the Greens or Labour’s fault he didn’t say that. It’s his fault. His choice.

      But he didn’t make that choice. Coz the MOM policy is a dog and everyone knows it. It’s a half arsed privatisation riddled with political considerations that reduce the price the Crown gets and dilute whatever slim benefits there are to be gained from moving away from an SOE model. He knows what would happen if he went to the country, and wants to makes sure he at least gets these sales done before he gets thrown out. It’s the stupidest sort of ideology driven process imaginable.

      And it is nothing like the US situation. There are no legislative roadblocks here. there is just a policy that a lot of voters apparently like and is quite possibly going to become the law.

  15. chris73 15

    At worst Labour will buy back the shares at the price they were sold at which means I’ll lose 2/5 of f all plus I’ll get some dividends in the bargain and it’ll take some time for them to work out to do it so its all good

    At best Cunliffe will use his previous weasle words to say why the buy back won’t happen and then the share prices go up because there’ll be certainty

    Of course this can only come to pass if Labour manage to form the next govt

    So all in all its going to be exciting for the next wee while :)

    • ScottGN 15.1

      Except that Labour and the Greens will most likely just enact the NZ power policy they’ve already outlined which, if Mr English is to be believed will further depress the share prices the energy companies can command. Interesting too to see that former British Conservative PM John Major has urged current PM Cameron to regulate and tax the super profits being generated by energy companies in the UK. Maybe we should look at that here as well.

      • chris73 15.1.1

        “Except that Labour and the Greens will most likely just enact the NZ power policy they’ve already outlined”

        – I’m not disagreeing with you (unless Cunliffe realises he can’t do it but thats a different issue) just that I don’t think it’ll happen as quickly as people on here would like it to

        • Tat Loo 15.1.1.1

          Agreed; I can’t see NZ Power coming into consumer affect until Q4 2015 or Q1 2016, at the earliest. There would

    • BM 15.2

      If Cunners ruled that the shares will be repatriated,I’d actually say you’d do quite well

      He may utter the words of some deranged mad man but the fork tonged rich prick from Herne bay knows how the game works.

      Repatriate the shares with no compensation and money will flee the country faster than water going down a plug hole, so to placate the foreign investors the shares will be brought back at something like $3.00 a piece.

      Sucks for the tax payer but great for the share holder, you’d be mad not to buy as many shares as you can.

      • chris73 15.2.1

        I don’t know it’ll be that generous (it’d be nice) but I imagine that the quickest way to make sure that foreign capital doesn’t invest here is to take overseas share holders shares without fair recompense I mean if Labour did that why would an overseas company invest here…

      • Murray Olsen 15.2.2

        But weren’t they all sold to Kiwi mum and dad investors? Where did all these foreign investors come from, and why do they have other money hard at work exploiting us? Did Key tell porkies?

  16. Dumrse 16

    Treasonous talk of nationalisation has cost the country billions. Cuntliffe won’t repatriate shares, he’s not that stupid.

    • Draco T Bastard 16.2

      It’s actually selling the assets against the will of the country that is treasonous.

      • Dumrse 16.2.1

        So it’s just a pissing competition to see who was treasonous first. Let’s start here… Something that’s not hard to find.

        Labour sold a total of 15 assets…….

        What this shows is that National have acted entirely properly with their partial asset sales, and in fact it was Labour that did everything they accuse National of doing.

        There’s politicking and there’s just fucking dribble…..

        • richard 16.2.1.1

          Zzzz

        • Draco T Bastard 16.2.1.2

          And the RWNJ comes back with the <Labour did it toooo whinge. Yes, Labour did it too and they were just as wrong.

          What this shows is that National have acted entirely properly with their partial asset sales, and in fact it was Labour that did everything they accuse National of doing.

          Didn’t you teachers ever teach you that two wrongs don’t make a right?

          BTW, I’m not a Labour supporter.

        • thatguynz 16.2.1.3

          You’re a fucking muppet, in fact – clearly you picked your nom de plume well.. I challenge you to find one post on this site indicating support for Rogernomics (which is precisely the basis for your argument).. Shouldn’t be too hard right?

  17. Gruntie 17

    John Key is a cunt

  18. finbar 18

    Understand capitalism.Dump cash on that for the next while get a few bucks,look they are selling for 6 50,look how much business has been around them,got to get some of them,short term profit there.Who!s this 1 60,be dead by the time they pay me a return.No like the 6 50 one its playing and might return a buck.

    Ain!t the capitalist mind a conundrum of profit, never mind the cost on the producer.

  19. Outofbed 19

    The Brits sold of power cos they said it would be cheap competitive power for all
    what happened?
    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/oct/23/sketch-major-marxist
    Seems like old people freeze in the winter unable to afford heating whilst profits soar

  20. Ross 20

    +1 Dracos right
    Tory treason alright. Sale irrationally driven by greed and pig headed mess. Selling an asset that should never have been fir sale, and at far below its true market value is the real destruction of value here. Basically reckless trading. Hmm That’s familiar.

    The people said no ,were ignored, and did a no show for the ipo. And thats on the back of the MRP epic fail many months earlier.

    Watch out for a desperate early election call as it all turns to shit for Quiche and the Nats….actually it already has.

    Bring on 2014

    • Draco T Bastard 20.1

      Watch out for a desperate early election call as it all turns to shit for Quiche and the Nats

      Nope, won’t get one. The Nats will hold the election on the last possible date so that they can continue to give our wealth to their rich mates.

  21. Bruce 21

    And yet again we have another Dumb and Dumber moment. Right wing: We have done it your way for at least the last twenty-three years. Stop selling our assets. You’re selfish just admit it.
    Your policies send Kiwis to Australia, and worse you campaign to stem the flow or bring them back.

    • Tat Loo 21.1

      1984 to 2013…29 years now…lots of young adults have only known a NZ post-Rogernomics, post-Ruthanasia.

      The gift to our young from today’s middle aged voters.

  22. Ad 22

    God this last sale makes me really angry.

    So many decades of tax gone into that asset from millions of people, to be sold to a crowd that would hardly fill the stand of the Gisborne Rugby ground.

    I simply want a competent government.

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