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Away with the economic fairies

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 am, September 1st, 2015 - 40 comments
Categories: business, economy, john key, making shit up, spin - Tags: , , , , ,

John Key has been spinning so hard on the economy that he is now prepared to argue, with a straight face, that black is white:

John Key claims mood ‘reasonably positive’ as optimism hits six year low

Prime Minister John Key insists the mood of the business sector is “reasonably positive”, as confidence falls to the lowest level since the height of the global financial crisis.

Labour’s Grant Robertson said Key was painting a “dishonest picture” as there was no sensible reading which suggested the survey was positive. …

Here’s The Herald’s coverage:

BNZ grows worried about ‘near-recession’ as Key talks economy up

The Bank of New Zealand is increasingly concerned the economy is grinding to a halt following today’s confirmation in the ANZ Bank Business Outlook survey of slumping business confidence.

“As each day passes, the likelihood of our alternative scenario, of an economy stumbling to near-recession, increases,” said head of research Stephen Toplis in analysis released at much the same time as Prime Minister John Key was telling journalists it was important to “keep Chicken Licken at bay” and not talk the economy down.

However, Key’s comments were undermined when it became apparent he had either misread or been wrongly briefed on the results of the ANZ survey, which showed a net 29 percent of businesses were pessimistic about the outlook for the economy, the lowest level of business confidence in six years, when New Zealand was starting to recover from the global financial crisis. Key had claimed that sentiment was still in positive territory. …

So was Key “misread” or “wrongly briefed” as The Herald would have it, or was he just spinning (lying through his teeth) because he always gets away with it? Either way it’s unacceptable.


40 comments on “Away with the economic fairies ”

  1. Nick 1

    Lying through his teeth. The worst bit is, he doesn’t care that he is lying.

    • weka 1.1

      +1, worse still is that we have a media that lets him, and a population that appears not to notice or care or both.

      • RedLogix 1.1.1

        A form of mass self-delusion. Always ends in tears.

        • tinfoilhat

          @RL pretty much exactly what I was saying to myself during last years “moment of truth” fiasco at the Auckland Town Hall.

          I would expect that Key and English are fully aware of how grim the economy is looking, what would be encouraging is some actual action rather than trying to talk it up. Unfortunately that’s all we tend to get from National and Labour MoF’s and if we are to change that something new must be tried and from where I sit only the Green Party has a viable alternative economic plan.

          I’m also a supporter of Capital Gains Tax, Increased progressive taxation combined with a UBI, scrapping of working for families and means testing for Super – although I’m doubtful whether any party will run with those as they are all deemed to be politically toxic.

          • weston

            do u mean when you say fiasco tfh the self defeating tactics used by most of the bigger parties including labour to bring down a fledgling minor partywhich if it had flew could have been a very usefull and willing coallition partner ?A fledgling party which might have managed to encourage the youth vote which might have given some of that huge appathetic block of voters who currently want to not vote at all somewhere to place their trust ,the current goverment has all the room it wants to manuvere thanks to its spindoctors and a ready public appitite for lies Seems that you took a bite or two ?

    • esoteric pineapples 1.2

      A possible campaign song for National for the next election? – J J Cale’s “Lies” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_xbZMQCfqo

    • Raf 1.3

      Lying? But sane people only lie when they think they can fool people. You sure he isn’t simply insane?

      • RedLogix 1.3.1

        The people want to be fooled.

      • emergency mike 1.3.2

        A leading researcher of psychopathy observed that psychopaths would lie to him even when they they knew that he knew they were lying. He has posited that for them the concepts of truth and lying are a bit different than for the rest of us. It’s as if on a fundamental level they believe they can make the reality they want by lying it into existence. Black is white if they tell you it is. He even thinks that the defensive hurt and annoyance they express when their lies are challenged might even be partially genuine – you are attacking their desired reality by superimposing another one on top of it. How rude: you might need to be dealt with.

  2. Kevin 2

    Maybe his new BFF Richie told him everything was sweet and that was good enough for the Minister of the AB’s.

  3. dukeofurl 3

    “Prime Minister John Key insists the mood of the business sector is “reasonably positive”,

    Thats the thing you would say if you were “shorting the shares” on the sly

    I think we had it all wrong…. its Key who has his head up Hoskings arse!

  4. gsays 4

    the worrying aspect is that the leaders response to the survey is firmly rooted in his background as a currency speculator.

    its all about perception, so just keep talking it up and keep up the facade.

    back in 2007/2008 the financial derivative products were still being talked up, sold and rated as safe by the ratings agencies. until it it all turned to custard.

    its just like south parks officer barbrady “move on, theres nothing to see here”

    • JanM 4.1

      Even more worrying is that there is no-one in the MSM really outing him – there’s no sign of the above graph which would clearly demonstrate the BS in either The Herald or Stuff

  5. Glenn 5

    And Taranaki that is rabidly National is a great example of “reasonably positive”.


    Taranaki is at the bottom of the economic heap according to new data released this month.

    ANZ Bank’s August regional trends report states that the region recorded the lowest level of economic activity in the country for the second quarter running….
    According to Statistics New Zealand, unemployment in Taranaki sat at 7.3 per cent at the end of June, one of the worst rates in New Zealand. The ANZ report also stated Taranaki had the largest fall in terms of job growth across the country.
    The report points to the joint economic misfortunes of the oil and dairy industries as the key reasons to why Taranaki’s economy has gone into “stall mode.”

  6. ianmac 6

    Mr Key is able to spin the opposite of that which is true because he knows that the ordinary voter will just hear “reasonably positive” and get on with the daily living. Cynical politics I suppose.

  7. ianmac 7

    From “Peter Lyons: Nothing but spin coming from our Government.”
    Peter collects all the Government spinning together for those who are blind.
    When the boom in world dairy prices was at its peak this sector was of crucial importance to our economy. Nowadays our political leaders are eager to downplay the importance of dairying to our economy. Mr English said recently we need to be aware that dairying is only 20 per cent of our exports.

    World dairy prices have plummeted and the Chinese economy has the wobbles but any mention of the ” R” word is ugly self defeating pessimism. We don’t mention recessions these days. Slowdowns are far more benign.

    Peter sounds peeved for some reason.

  8. Tracey 8

    But…but… but what IS the alternative…


  9. JanMeyer 9

    Leaving aside what is undoubtedly spin from the PM (surprsied you are suprised!), this survey will inevitably always have to record from time to time the collective view that the economy will not continue to “improve”, unless you are suggesting that there is a Labour led universe where the economy will keep on growing and “improving” at the same or better rate and the graph can always shape upwards? What policy settings could create this utopian world? And given “progressive” sentiments that reject the whole notion of permanent economic “growth” how would these policies fit with coalition scenarios on the left of NZ politics?

    • JanM 9.1

      But, JanMeyer, it’s not the economy that’s the point; it IS the spin. And I don’t think anyone’s surprised at him so much as the great unwashed that swallow this BS

  10. linda 10

    Does key know what truth looks like. ??? Or. For torries is this the way they beleave the world is
    And. Dont. Dare brake the glass. Floor

  11. infused 11

    The confidence surveys a load of shit. It doesn’t reflect economic reality at all.

    All it does is scare a lot of smaller businesses to not spend. That’s why I refuse to take part in it any more.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      Debtor applications for bankruptcy up 24% this year compared to last.

    • The Chairman 11.2

      The fact negative communications can talk the economy down, merely shows how fickle this house of cards is.

    • photonz 11.3

      In some ways it’s a more important indicator than the actual economy.

      Because it’s confidence that dictates future planning on whether companies will be taking on more staff, expanding production, buying more plant, and increasing spending with their suppliers of goods and services etc.

      Companies can have a good year, but if they’re not confident next year will be as good then they won’t be so likely to increase spending.

      • Draco T Bastard 11.3.1

        Which, at the base of it, explains why capitalism simply doesn’t work. Relying on the confidence of a bunch of egotistical maniacs ability to make a profit while they screw down the workers obviously isn’t going to bring about the best result.

  12. Blue 12

    This is classic Key. Every time he gets caught with his pants down he just insists that his pants were up and his belt was buckled and anyone who saw different was mistaken. The media duly reports that the PM’s pants may have been a bit low-riding but they were definitely never down, despite some crazy left-wing conspiracy theorists insisting they saw his arse. The public defend their poor, put-upon PM and heartily approve of the nice pair of pants he’s wearing.

    Works like a charm every single time.

  13. Mike the Savage One 13

    A PM same as Finance Minister will of course do all to not talk the economy down further than it may already be, there is no surprise in that.

    What I am starting to fear is that we are indeed at a rather high risk to head into a global recession, as China has reached its growth limits, for time being at least.

    As it is now the world’s second largest economy, this will impact on most other economies, certainly also New Zealand. And look at Brazil, South Africa, Russia and many other places, including for instance Malaysia, the picture is getting grim.

    But while power gives people a psychological boost, like our dear Mr Key, it also does lead to losing touch, the more so the longer one holds ultimate power.

    It is time for John Key to prepare his bunker, for the hard times, that will inevitably come, and lead to many losing faith in him, perhaps trying to hunt him down for what he has done to a sold out nation.

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