As the economy stalls it’s a great time to be a bank!

Written By: - Date published: 10:18 am, June 24th, 2015 - 34 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, economy - Tags: , , ,

Bad news on the “rockstar economy”:

Fewer employers looking to hire, says recruitment firm Hudson

Negative publicity about the state of New Zealand’s economy has resulted in fewer employers hiring new staff, a recruitment firm says.

Let me translate that for you. “The economy is stalling, there aren’t many jobs, and the facts are being reported”. Bugger.

But it’s not all doom and gloom citizens. At least it just happens to be a great time to be a bank! Ho ho – what am I saying? It’s always a great time to be a bank.

NZ’s big banks continue record run with $1.69b three-month profit

New Zealand’s five major banks are on track for another bumper year, with profits already up strongly in the first quarter.

ANZ, ASB, BNZ, Kiwibank and Westpac made $1.69 billion of pre-tax profit in the three months to March 31, up 5.9 per cent from the last quarter of 2014.

Mortgage lending growth for the quarter was 1.72 per cent, up strongly from the previous period’s 1.26 per cent. That rate was higher than any quarter during 2014, which Shuttleworth said reflected the continued heated housing market, particularly in Auckland, and the low interest rates offered by the banks.

Let me translate that for you. “Australia’s big banks, and one NZ one, made loads of money because the system is built that way. They’re really loving those huge mortgages people are taking out in the Auckland property bubble.”

Man, The future’s so bright I gotta wear shades.

34 comments on “As the economy stalls it’s a great time to be a bank!”

  1. Paul Campbell 1

    all well and good unless you’re holding one of those mortgages and it’s underwater because the property bubble has finally burst

    • r0b 1.1

      Don’t worry about the banks! Too big to fail. They’ll get taxpayer bailouts if needed, keep paying themselves bonuses, and move on to the next bubble.

      • aerobubble 1.1.1

        Finance ad govt were merged, beginning in the eighties, as it was widely believe markets could do better. King Soloman? was asked who would get the baby, and the person who chosen to given the baby away rather than the baby being cut in half. The King being a metaphor for the harshness of reality. Now the neo-libs turn up and cry out let the baby be halved, then the guardian-paents can have what they want, the top half gets cyborg legs, the bottom half is turned into a baby making womb. Only problem is neo-libs could not command how the baby was cut and so now we find the conservative revolution exposed. As banks, still disconnected from humility and humanity, killing babies metaphorically, ignoring the best outcome, to hand the baby over to the best parent.

        But its worse. China, India, the former third world rightly argues it has to run a higher carbon budget to catch up to our standards, or better carbon foot print standards. But what’s does banker boy wonder Key say, no, he doesn’t have to maximize carbon reductions, no, we as a country have spent our carbon we don’t have a right to continue spending carbon at the same rate, and certainly a duty to seize the opportunity to use our renewable to support pushing more extreme carbon reduction measures (for the innovation, IP, etc).

        But the same market will save us belief that leaves boy wonder sitting on his hands means we not only risk the planet, but we under utilize our national assets to seize the edge in sustainable and renewable economies. You see that’s what the neo-libs did they throw out commonsense, let the market do that they say, and look wasn’t the growth they produced great. Now we know, it wasn’t neolib theory that created all the growth of the last thirty years, it was cheap high density middle east fuel, and now we have to deal with the carbon calamity its created, a slow hot summer aka nuclear winter in opposite.

        The joke is dicks like Key haven’t the backbone to come out and standup for their kids and grandkids, as it would mean admitting the last thirty years was a giant corrupt takeover of govt by big business too short of stones to actively engage with govt, or if you will their great Satan. Isis should know self destructive madness has been done already, much better, much more human destroying, by those calling or aligning with the Tory creed. Or as I like to think of it, when boring accountants and middle managers going nowhere corrupted society as it was the only way to get rich.

        • maui

          Facing humanity’s biggest crisis of all time where we have no choice but to change, we have zero leadership. Wait, we have leadership for warmongering and rebranding exercises, corruption and lies. And people think our society is so smart and advanced compared to times gone by, pfft.

          • gsays

            hi maui, i agree with a lot of what you post but i must pull you up here.
            a good friend once said dont look to wellington for leadership.

            i look at my comminity (manawatu) and i see leadership all around.
            the local shared gardening initiative that is driven to build resilience locally.

            i accept that you will not get much from government but what can you expect from a three year cycle where the aim is to have the same job after the election.

            • maui

              Local leadership is good, and you could say that is for the people to lead and Governments to follow (as what often gets bandied about). The problem to my mind is that we’re short on time. I would like to be proven wrong but I can’t see a local group saying we’re going to ban all unnecesssary driving in our community, or that catching on.

              I think we need a Government to make the tough calls and also show us where we need to be heading. In the Hot Air documentary National Environment Minister Simon Upton tried to get a carbon tax up and running in the 90s to no avail. With regulation in place though we can ban some polluting industries and greatly incentivise others, and that will turn the tide. The scientists are saying we have to reduce carbon emissions globally by 10% each year, and I think that is to even have a 50/50 chance of our climate not going beserk. It is a massive task, that’s not a big enough word really we need to be on a war footing for this challenge and all hands to the pump. The only way we can get this change is through Government regulations.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                wasting time waiting for a central government which is never ever going to deliver more than a fraction of what our nation needs is wasting time. As gsays suggests – it is time to build up local activities, local communities, local parallel systems of being.

                And when those local networks are built up strong and wide, we force the followers and the laggards (i.e. political parties) in Wellington to deliver.

      • Tracey 1.1.2

        aren’t financial services 27% of our GDP?

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.3


        The system has been set up so that banks cannot fail. First they get to charge interest on money that they create and then, when the risk calls due, the taxpayer stumps up the money to keep them afloat in bonuses.

    • Sable 1.2

      Yes lets play negative equity roulette…..

  2. Colonial Rawshark 2

    Large bank profits are a direct result of financial extraction from the rest of the economy. Big bank profits come from banks skimming off the income and savings of households and small and medium businesses – including farmers.

    That Labour and National both allow financial sector profits to climb and climb is an indictment on the pro-financial sector outlook of both parties.

    The financial sector is meant to be only a tertiary component of the economy in the service of the rest of the economy, not the most profitable part of it.

    • Tracey 2.1

      this is also a pointer to what Greece is about right now. NOT about more jobs, better standards of living, better health for the people but finding a way to get those who are working paying the interest owing so they and their shareholders live as they expect.

      More and more I think Greece should default. Do what so many wealthy folks do when they run their business badly, declare bankruptcy…

      • Save NZ 2.1.1

        Very interesting perspective worth reading…

        Greece is a sideshow. The eurozone has failed, and Germans are its victims too
        Aditya Chakrabortty

      • Puddleglum 2.1.2

        And here’s another Guardian opinion piece:

        Creditors’ economic plan for Greece is illiterate and doomed to fail

        If the ‘Troika’ were subject to a ‘three strikes’ policy they’d be on their last roll of the dice right now …

      • miravox 2.1.3

        “this is also a pointer to what Greece is about right now. NOT about more jobs, better standards of living,”

        You’re certainly not the only one who thinks that Tracey.
        We have created a monster

        …countries cannot reduce their deficits unless the economy grows. It simply doesn’t work. We mustn’t forget that neither Germany nor France, which were both deeply in debt in 1945, ever fully repaid those debts. Yet precisely these two countries are now telling the Southern Europeans that they have to repay their debts down to the euro. It’s historic amnesia! But with dire consequences.

        It’s time for us to think about the young generation of Europeans. For many of them, it is extremely difficult to find work at all. Should we tell them: “Sorry, but your parents and grandparents are the reason you can’t find a job?” Do we really want a European model of cross-generational collective punishment? It is this egotism motivated by nationalism that disconcerts me more than anything else today.

        I heard Picketty speak a couple of weeks ago. He particularly highlighted the interest rate differentials in Europe, with Greece’s rates making payments impossible to meet, and the weighting toward the German (largest economy) austerity/neo-liberal economic model. This decision-making, he said, needs to be changed to a more European-wide population-weighted consensus. This way, the southern and smaller countries will have their opinions considered.

        In today’s Guardian there is news that Tsipras has been ‘summons’ to Brussels by the IMF. Lagarde apparently has strong reservations about the proposed agreement because she does not think the agreement will put Greece on the road to recovery (fair enough), but also on “ideological terms ,opposed to the hard-left Tsipras government.” I thought this agreement was about logical economic decision-making. Silly me /sarc – it’s about politics and an ideology that syphons money from from countries and people to banks and business. Greece needs a Marshall Plan, not an austerity plan.

        • aerobubble

          Greece has no major industry, its one of the poorest areas in the EU, so clearly union means eventual second class citizen status for poorer regions of Europe.

    • Macro 2.2

      Am currently reading “Caring Economics – conversations on altruism and compassion, between scientists, economists and The Dalia Lama”
      Is economics solely driven by materialism and self-interest? It focuses on how empathy and compassion may be the path to a healthier world. Much along the lines suggested in the recent encyclical from Pope Francis.
      “There is a need to seek other ways of understanding the economy and progress.”
      “We have to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.”
      You and I know there is a better way – and there are more and more saying it too. It takes time, and the more we say it, the more it will eventually gain hold, but will it be too late?

      • Colonial Rawshark 2.2.1

        The problem we have in this civilisation is that the top 5% of society which has the most power and the most wealth, is also that part of society most insulated from the deepening systemic failings of our economic paradigm. They are also very aware of the privilege they get from continuing current arrangements for as long as possible.

        • Macro

          Yes exactly. And they control the media, and to a large extent governments. I’m not sure how it will all turn out. The current extinction of species, and the degeneration of our biodiversity – upon which our whole existence as a species depends – has apparently only 2-3 generations left.

          I won’t be around – but it is no joy to me to think of what the future holds for my children and grandchildren.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            Any kid in primary school today is pretty screwed.

          • Jim Nald

            it is no joy to me to think of what the future holds for my children and grandchildren

            Of course, regardless of what one might personally belief, if indeed we have many future lives that include being reborn as human beings on this planet, we might be coming back as our grandchildren … and we will be living out the consequences of our actions then that we have brought about (or failed to have brought about) now.

  3. Tracey 3

    So, the banks are making great profits, and that was just for 3 months… CEO’s will get bonuses and I assume their workers (all of them) will be getting big pay rises to reward them for their hard work and productivity resulting in larger profits? Right? RIGHT???

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1

      I can’t pay my bills with your ghost pay-rises, Tracey. The market will provide.

      • Tracey 3.1.1

        I’m liking the Romanian saying more and more…

        “I pretend to work for my boss and he pretends to pay me”

        Work to rule was always a wake up call for businesses

  4. Capn Insano 4

    In the wake of the GFC I’ve been very wary of politicians and the like saying we need to be a financial centre [Like the US apparently wants to be]. I find myself wondering what hard, physical benefits these bankers and stock brokers are bringing to societies as a whole as opposed to people who actually design and manufacture things or grow food for example.

    • Save NZ 4.1

      They take the goods for practically nothing, put them into bits of paper and then trade them. Once the goods go under, you trade bits of paper of the debts, when the bits of debt paper go under, you call on the government to bail you out. When there is not much profit to be made you create it by privatising the government so the taxes collected just go straight to business and cut out the middle men. Since that is such a good deal you create forced trade agreements so you can’t reverse the process.

      Capitalism of the last 10 years made simple and our exciting future prospects under the secret TPP agreements that have Groser and Key salivating.

    • Colonial Rawshark 4.2

      I find myself wondering what hard, physical benefits these bankers and stock brokers are bringing to societies as a whole

      The track record of Wall St bankers is that they are good business for hookers, coke dealers, and Porsche franchises.

  5. Save NZ 5

    I know gotta love the banks, (mostly Australian) cos while closing those branches in little towns and making people redundant 1.69 billion profit in 3 months!

    • Colonial Rawshark 5.1

      We are in an economy where getting rid of Kiwi workers and ripping off Kiwi consumers is the most profitable thing to do.

  6. Gangnam Style 6

    & now Corin Dann says a couple Aussie banks want to get into the nz social bonds racket, nice work if you can get it!

  7. Reddelusion 7

    They will be Funders rather than providers, the former could be people that can make a real difference but for lack of funding. If it achieves the right outcome, what’s the problem,

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