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Call your broker…

Written By: - Date published: 1:12 pm, April 28th, 2010 - 61 comments
Categories: capitalism, International - Tags: ,

As recently discussed, sovereign debt may well be the next crisis point in the world’s unstable financial system. In breaking news, things aren’t looking too rosy right now:

Standard & Poor’s downgrade Greek credit rating to junk status

Fears that financial crisis may spread to other eurozone countries

Stock markets around the world plunged today after Standard & Poor’s cut Greece’s credit rating to junk status and downgraded its view of Portugal in the clearest evidence yet that the European sovereign debt crisis is spreading. Italy and Spain are also viewed as vulnerable.

In London, the FTSE 100 index closed down more than 150 at 5603, a fall of 2.6%, and there were big falls in share prices in Athens, New York, Paris and Frankfurt. …

The FTSE’s fall today was the worst day’s performance since 26 November last year when worries about debt in Dubai gripped investors. By the time London closed, Wall Street was about 125 points lower, with investors ignoring better than expected US confidence figures as the news of the S&P downgrades filtered through. In France the CAC 40 fell 3.82% while the German Dax ended 2.73% lower.

Too big to fail? Time for another good old fashioned Socialist Big Government bailout? It’s only delaying the inevitable…

61 comments on “Call your broker… ”

  1. Fisiani 1

    Thank goodness we have got rid of tax spend and borrow Labour.
    Quite right Rob another Socialist Big Government bailout is only delaying the inevitable.
    We should all breathe easier knowing we have a National government and have a safe pair of hands in Bill English as Finance Minister.

    • Pascal's bookie 1.1

      Coz tax cut, borrow, and spend is heaps smarter.

      • Gosman 1.1.1

        Ummmmm…. no.

        Tax cut and Government spending cut is much better.

        the situation now faced by Greece is the inevitable result of dodgy left wing economics. Witness all the pathetic Uniopn members up in arms that their pensions are going to be cut now. Oh boo hoo hoo you ignorant fools. If you didn’t want to suffer you shouldn’t have wasted all that money that wasn’t yours to begin with.

        • Macro 1.1.1.1

          and what money was that Gosman??
          should they have put it all into sub prime instead?

        • Zak Creedo 1.1.1.2

          Athens Olympics.. all borrowed.. debt circa $11bn back in the day.. methinks you could more justifiably add a big (dumb..?) dose of pride to those earlier Greek administrations.. all since seemingly have failed to overcome that biggie and the shadow boys have sure sheeted the debtloads in.. reardless, I would add, of inability to pay.

          But paying – in the way described above – is no longer the goal of investment banking. Is it, Gosman?

    • Jim Nald 1.2

      Tsk tsk tsk
      Satire and spoof taken to extreme limits?
      Their political faults and crimes are many
      They made sure we missed out on the best bargain sale of a lifetime
      By switching off super contributions
      They couldn’t even do one simple thing
      And continue the nation’s commitment to a long term project for our old age and future generations
      They are a Government of missed opportunities

      English & Key cost us another $18mil

      Nats ignored Treasury’s warnings on cancelling Cullen Fund payments

    • Clarke 1.3

      I think you forgot the “/irony” tag at the end of your comment.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 1.4

      I wouldnt trust Bill or his colleagues with a credit card or an expense account….oops to late. Im sure Fisiani , you sleep at night knowing they ‘paid it back’

    • Draco T Bastard 1.5

      You seem to have a strange definition of “borrow”. Last time I looked the 5th Labour government paid down debt.

      As for NACT:
      Borrowing money to give tax cuts
      Cutting essential services
      Raising GST so the poor will pay even more tax to give the rich even more tax cuts
      On top of that, they’re going to keep borrowing

      Then, once they’ve got the country in deep in the red they’ll sell everything for fire sale prices to their rich mates making the country even poorer.

      • john 1.5.1

        Yes Draco, you 100% right. I despair that Kiwis vote these Corporate b.st..ds into power. How people are suckered by the chump politics of John Key : vote for me I’m nice, charming, well dressed, cool,successful ( I made a mint on my computer as a money trader,before Merrill Lynch went down the gurgler, and have a house in Hawaii too !)Can I smile? be happy don’t worry! poised, meaning I represent the good life you all want. Beats me ! Whereas he stands for quite the opposite for ordinary Kiwis, e.g. Have an accident find it harder and harder to get the support you need, worsening to impossible if its completely privatized. This style of chump politics is an art form in the US : I am so charming, well dressed and successful like how could you dare contradict me you food stamp surviving Joe moron?! Personality con rather than issues.(The media too must be to blame partly too as news has become entertainment the presenters,Simon and Judy, more significant than the content,which is shallow to the extreme.) And people fall for it! Look at the Obaaamaaa hypnotic campaign.

  2. Fisiani can you explain this?

    Net Crown debt at the end of Helen’s and Michael’s reign (taking into account ACC reserves and Cullen Super fund) – Zero

    Increase of crown debt (according to English) $250 million a week.

    Who has the safer pair of hands?

    • r0b 2.1

      Bill’s hands are too busy stuffing $20 notes into his pockets.

      • mickysavage 2.1.1

        This from the horse’s (Blingsh’s) mouth just now in Parliament.

        Net core Crown debt as a percentage of GDP as at 30 June 2008 – 5.7%

        Latest stimate – 30%

        I believe that ACC levies are not taken into account.

    • Andrew 2.2

      Easy, ill answer that one …

      recession + bare cupboard = borrowings of $250 million a week

      • Jim Nald 2.2.1

        what the Nat Govt is doing is not a plan to get us out of recession, neither is it a plan to fill the cupboard nor a smart way to use borrowings that can transform our economy and increase growth & productivity

        The Nat Govt is taking us in the wrong direction
        Axing, cutting and stabbing
        Making things fall apart
        More swiftly dividing us
        along lines of class, race and gender

      • mickysavage 2.2.2

        That is a really good CT line the nats have worked out.

        1. Give no credit to the previous Government for paying off pretty well all Crown debt as well as building up reserves for ACC and in the Cullen Super Fund.
        2. Blame them for the economic outlook and totally ignore the meltdown that occurred in overseas market. Work out some good catchy slogans like “a decade of deficits” or “left the cupboard bare” or “a decade of economic mismanagement” and keep shouting this until the stupid start to beliefe you.
        3. Give tax cuts to the rich but say the resulting deficit is Cullen’s fault.

        So no credit for what they did and blame for what they are not responsible for.

        It is an ingenious PR line. It is also a pack of lies.

      • Armchair Critic 2.2.3

        ill answer that one
        Indeed.

      • Bright Red 2.2.4

        We’re not borrowing $250 million a week. Net debt has decreased so far this year. I’m getting sick of explaining that to you underinformed righties.

        http://treasury.govt.nz/government/financialstatements

        • mickysavage 2.2.4.1

          Agreed BR

          That is why I said “according to English”.

          What do those fancy facty things have to do with a good argument based on prejudice?

        • Andrew 2.2.4.2

          I was replying to micky, those were the figures he used (according to blinglish). I would have put the exact amount down, but i don’t know how much we are borrowing at the moment.

          look, yes labour paid down debt and i think that is great, but that’s what you can do when you have surpluses. They just happened to have a lot of good years at the helm and unemployment was at a record low and debt was paid back. That’s great, but as i said, that is not the position we as a country are in now.

          We were/are in recession and the government’s income is not what it was so instead of having extra money to play with, we now have a shortfall which we have to borrow. That will get better as time goes on, but at the moment im pretty sure we still need to borrow money to pay for all those things we have become accustomed to.

          So quit with the “underinformed righties” comment you over informed pedant.

    • Fisiani 2.3

      Ever heard of a hospital pass??
      QT today

      Hon BILL ENGLISH: By the time this Government took office it was clear that debt and deficits were spiralling out of control. As I noted in the Budget last year, if there had been no policy change, net Crown debt would have hit 62 percent of GDP, and climbing, by 2023. This would have been disastrous for the economy, resulting in a credit ratings downgrade, higher interest rates for households, businesses, and taxpayers, and would have cost thousands of jobs. So when the Opposition spokesman on finance looks at himself in the mirror every morning, as I am sure he does, how can he honestly claim his party left the economy in good order?

      • r0b 2.3.1

        Ever heard of a two faced lying politician? Which Bill English are you going to believe?

        Bill English had to swallow the proverbial dead rat this morning and effectively acknowledge that Michael Cullen had done something right in his stewardship of the Government’s finances in the past nine years.

        Having condemned his predecessor for many years for paying off debt too quickly, English said: “I want to stress that New Zealand starts from a reasonable position in dealing with the uncertainty of our economic outlook.”

        “In New Zealand we have room to respond. This is the rainy day that Government has been saving up for,” he told reporters at the Treasury briefing on the state of the economy and forecasts.

  3. vto 3

    Didn’t Standard & Poors rate all those financial institution failures as good bets prior to the headsmash? They clearly had it wrong then – why would they be right now?

    Who owns Standard & Poors?

    But nonetheless the problem definitely exists. Greece should just tell the debtors to go jump. Tell them to wait in line until things improve so they can pay, with low or zero interest. I mean, sheesh, Italy in trouble? ffs, its the 7th largest economy in the world. How can “Italy” be in trouble.

    Perhaps the problem should be more accurately defined – as the problem not of Italy but of those who lent ot a previous Italian government under a wholly different economic world.

    Perhaps the problem is that of the money system. Perhaps de Rothschilds et al should bear the brunt for creating such a system. Perhaps the Greeks should, just as blatantly but more openly (say, on live tv), do as the US and UK and other govts do … build a massive printing press right in the middle of Athens and on live tv start printing US dollars. Pile them up in a heap until there is 60billion dollars worth, then load it into a few trucks and drive north and tip it over the border.

    Expose the situation for what it is.

    • r0b 3.1

      build a massive printing press … and on live tv start printing US dollars. Pile them up in a heap until there is 60billion dollars worth, then … tip it

      That’s just crazy talk vto. Only America is allowed to do that. They call it “quantitative easing”, which makes it all OK, apparently.

      • nzfp 3.1.1

        Hey r0b,
        Any nation that has it’s own national currency can print it’s own money. Unfortunately for Greece, the Drachma was replaced with the Euro when Greece joined the Eurozone. All monetary control for the Euro resides in the European Central Bank (ECB) and not Greece. If Greece was able to print it’s own money it could monetize it’s debt and it could replace foreign borrowing with printed money for internal use. However the ECB doesn’t allow this. The best thing for Greece is to leave the Eurozone and start printing it’s own money. It should also start legal preceedings against Goldman Sachs for it fraudulent interest/credit default swaps.

        Greece is in the same boat (in the EU) as California (in the USA).

        • Clarke 3.1.1.1

          Agreed – the best (and in fact only) approach is for Greece to abandon the Euro and revert to their own internally issued currency so they regain control of their monetary and fiscal policy. And once this happens, it won’t be long before other PIIGS are forced into the same position and monetary union collapses in a heap.

        • Bright Red 3.1.1.2

          In a fiat currency, like all of them these days, a currency has no integral value. If Greece prints more currency it’s exchange rate will just plummet and inflation will skyrocket.

          The US was in a special position because it was facing deflation (making inflation not a problem), and it is the cornerstone currency (meaning everyone holds US debt, like gold, as a failsafe store of value). This meant the US could inflate away debt or, to look at it another way, put the cost of its debt on to the borrowers. by printing money it devalued the debt in US dollars held by other countries without risking high internal inflation and, by not taking this too far, not really risking foreigners refusing to borrow from it anymore.

          Greece isn’t in that position and neither is NZ. If we print money, people stop lending to us so we risk not being even able to raise new debt to replace existing debt as it expires (ie we could default), our currency collapses (Argentina) and with it the value of NZer’s NZ-based savings.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.2.1

            Actually, us printing our own money rather than borrowing is the more rational choice as it means that we would then have to exist within the limits of our own resources.

            • Clarke 3.1.1.2.1.1

              Material factoid: printing money = running a government deficit. However the key thing about a deficit generated in these circumstances is that it’s not debt, so it never needs to be repaid.

              The righties never tell you that ….

          • nzfp 3.1.1.2.2

            “Fiat” just means “let it be done”. It is a definition given to any currency defined as legal tender – which includes Gold and Silver and any other specie based currency such as the US had with the Gold and Silver certificates such as those issued by President Kennedy before his assasination.

            The definition of money is one of the central causes of division within economic circles. Money can be an accounting measure for a claim on wealth – defined by law (FIAT). FIAT currencies are as old as ancient Greece (300BC) and some estimates it is even older still. The oldest record of FIAT currency is the nomisma currencies of ancient Greece.

            Printing money can be accomplished with deficit spending, but it can also be accomplished completely independently of debt. President Lincoln financed the entire Civil War on the printing of “greenbacks” without incuring any debt. The currency was printed by the US Treasury and not by a Reserve Bank. the currency was then spent directly into the economy. Lincoln intended to continue the issuance of greenbacks in place of Central Bank borrowing (Keynesian deficit spending) but he was assasinated.

          • nzfp 3.1.1.2.3

            “If we print money, people stop lending to us so we risk not being even able to raise new debt to replace existing debt”

            But this is how both Argentina and Malaysia got out of their economic woes in 2003 and 1998 respectively. Have you seen Malaysias brand spanking new capital city? It was built entirely on printed Malaysian currency – worked out great for former Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Tun Mahatir Bin Mohammed.

  4. nzfp 4

    Hey r0b
    “Time for another good old fashioned Socialist Big Government bailout?”

    You meant “Fascist” instead of “Socialist” right?

    Timothy Franz Geithner 75th United States Secretary of the Treasury (January 26, 2009 – Present), 9th President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York
    Henry Merritt “Hank” Paulson, Jr 74th United States Secretary of the Treasury (July 3, 2006 January 20, 2009). Former CEO of Goldman Sachs
    Lawrence Henry Summers 71st United States Secretary of the Treasury (2 July 1999 20 January 2001), former Chief Economist for the World Bank, Obama administrations director of the White House National Economic Council
    Robert Edward Rubin 70th United States Secretary of the Treasury (January 11, 1995 July 2, 1999), 5th Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations, 12th Chairman of Citigroup, 26 years at Goldman Sachs serving as a member of the Board, and Co-Chairman from 1990-1992.

    • r0b 4.1

      You meant “Fascist’ instead of “Socialist’ right?

      Different way of looking at it – it is public money they are pillaging to prop themselves up…

      • nzfp 4.1.1

        Yes, in this case it’s a fascist corporate control over Government – hence all the references to Goldman Sachs et al. Isn’t our Prime Minister a former Merril Lynch banker?

  5. freedom 5

    New Zealand is one of so many bedraggled tourists hanging out at the Casino, credit cards screaming for attention and the buffet of ignorance getting six visits a day.

    The dice have been rolled too many times and everybody thinks they have worked out a system.
    The simple truth is, the Pitbosses are being given pink slips and the owners are planning a merger

    Complain all you want but the game is and has always been fixed

    Some of us didn’t even book a ticket.
    We just woke up on the bus and were told the destination is not quite as pretty as it once was but there is plenty of shopping to keep your mind of the guys with the guns

  6. tsmithfield 6

    I am reasonably familiar with the Greece situation. Anyone who wants to find out more can find plenty of excellent articles here.

    Greece is an example of a democracy that has overspent due to excessive government size (approx 30% of employees employed by the government), excessive social benefits (e.g. retirement at 62), and inefficient tax collection. In other words, socialism on steriods. Plus, they fudged the figures to get into the EU in the first place. So other EU countries aren’t that keen on helping out. Especially Germany. Even if Greece is bailed out they still can’t afford the bail-out loans at the proposed interest rates. So, bailing out Greece is just kicking the can down the road.

    What I think is likely to happen now is that the creditors of Greece will probably have to take a hair-cut. The short term debt is likely to be restructured over a longer term.

    This is the way it should be IMO. If Greece gets bailed out, then there will be other Euro nations following with their hands out. The whole world has got into this mode that there is no risk anymore because if an economy or country gets into financial trouble, someone will bail it out. Its called moral hazard and it can’t lead to good.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 6.1

      You forget the previous Greek government , that got them into trouble was a right wing one ( just like Ireland). They were the usual right wing nostrums, spend and borrow.
      Of course Bush had the same policies. He was president when the sky fell in 2008.
      Explain all that TS. Or was Bush a ‘socialist too’.

      • tsmithfield 6.1.1

        I think the distinction between right and left has become considerably blurred over the last few decades. There are a lot of “right wing” governments, including the current NACT one that I would regard as very socialistic.

        So far as Bush goes, he decided to piss the money away in wars. He would have been better to give it to the poor IMO. At least it would have done good rather than cause misery. Perhaps we would both agree on that score.

    • Bright Red 6.2

      Countries that have survived the recession the best – Norway, Denmark, Finland, Sweden – are all notable for their high government spending, high portion of workers employed by the state, good welfare, and equality of income. these factors cushioned the impact of international recession on the domestic economy.

      Greece’s problem was reckless borrowing, starting with the 2004 Olympics. There’s nothing wrong with high level government spending (in fact, it’s great), if you’re willing to pay the tax for it.

      • Clarke 6.2.1

        The real problem for Greece was not the borrowings for the Games per se – it was that they were forced to borrow in euro rather than the local currency, due to their membership of the EU. This means they can only repay the debt by generating export receipts in euro, rather than by running an internal (and completely benign) government deficit.

        For reasons known only to the Greeks, they have shackled themselves to German monetary policy decisions and ceded their currency sovereignty. This will not result in anything other than poverty for their citizens.

    • Clarke 6.3

      ts, you’re barking up completely the wrong tree with that line of argument.

      For starters, your numbers are all over the shop. According to the notoriously left-wing OECD, total Greek government outlays are projected to make up 49.9% of the total economy in 2010 – a little less that the Eurozone 51% average. The Greeks are projected to run a budget deficit of about 9.8% of GDP this year, in comparison to the 11.8% deficit of the United States. And the Greek tax and non-tax government revenues comprise 40.1% of the economy, barely any different to NZ at 40.0%.

      In other words, Greece’s current woes have nothing to do with these alleged structural imbalances, but everything to do with their compliance with the arbitrary and capricious rules of EU membership. And the IMF/ECB austerity program that will soon be meted out to Greek citizens will achieve nothing other than their impoverishment.

      • tsmithfield 6.3.1

        I wouldn’t put too much faith in those figures Clarke. Their projections have generally been considered way too optimistic by most commentators, and it turns out that last years deficit is higher than was thought

        Follow that link I gave in my post. There are heaps of good articles on the subject

        • Clarke 6.3.1.1

          I wouldn’t put too much faith in those figures Clarke.

          So you prefer to trust random bloggers rather than the OECD? Good luck with that. So let’s have a look at Greece’s total government outlays for past years compared to the Eurozone average, then, when the figures aren’t in dispute:

          2009: Greece = 51.3%, Eurozone = 50.7%
          2008: Greece = 48.3%, Eurozone = 46.9%
          2007: Greece = 44.4%, Eurozone = 46.0% (oops, that rather blows the ideological position)

          … and so it goes, all the way back to 1992. Greece’s minor variances from average Eurozone ratios simply don’t bear out your hypothesis.

          Follow that link I gave in my post. There are heaps of good articles on the subject

          Oh yeah, the link to Seeking Alpha – the site that specialises wild-assed conjecture and half-baked theories from a grab-bag of random commentators. Have you actually checked their About page recently, where they boast:

          Seeking Alpha differs from other finance sites because it focuses on opinion and analysis rather than news, and is primarily written by investors who describe their personal approach to stock picking and portfolio management, rather than by journalists.

          Translation: “No actual facts were checked in the writing of these articles. Likely to be uninformed bullsh*t.” Best of all, they have transcripts of Jim Cramer’s stock picks, the genius who was recommending investors buy Lehmanns three days before it imploded. Yet with rubbish sources like these, you’re trying to diss the OECD?

          • tsmithfield 6.3.1.1.1

            That comparison against other Eurozone countries is a little misleading because the average figure includes the other PIIGS countries which are in the shit in a similar way.

            Also, as I pointed out, it has been found already that deficit estimates from last year were wrong. So, I wouldn’t put too much trust in future estimates of deficits. You will find that most commentators think they are being way to optimistic, which is why their spreads are widening so much.

            So far as your adhom about the Seeking Alpha site is concerned, did you actually bother to read any of the articles? If you did, I think you would find that the material is generally of very high quality. Sure there is plenty of divergent opinion. However, if you want to get a good understanding, that is usually a good thing.

            • Clarke 6.3.1.1.1.1

              The comparison between Greece and the rest of the Eurozone is completely valid as it holds over a long period of time – the historical figures from 1992 – 2009 demonstrate the same thing; that Greece is not significantly divergent from the Eurozone averages in either its deficit levels nor the government involvement in the economy. The source data is here (caution: xls download) so you can do your own comparisons. Unfortunately these comparisons are unlikely to support your ideological position.

              The reason the spreads are widening on Greek debt has nothing to do with the government’s lack of right-wing orthodoxy, and everything to do with a speculative play against the Euro. The consensus is that only Germany and France have the economic and political wherewithal to defend the Euro, and the market is betting heavily that they can’t or won’t prevent a Greek implosion. The very real issues for Greece stemming from a lack of currency sovereignty are now being used as a speculative opportunity, with Greek citizens as the primary losers.

              As for Seeking Alpha, I did read some of the links you provided. While the commentary on Greece isn’t too bad, the credibility of some of the “commentators” is truly appalling – such as this nut-job, who is (still) busy predicting a blow-up in the Japanese bond market despite all the evidence of the last 20-odd years pointing in exactly the opposite direction. I’ve seen astrologers with a more scientific approach than some of these clowns.

              • tsmithfield

                Clarke, had a look at that download.

                The figure you want to look at is “gross financial liabilities”. Doesn’t really matter what they have been borrowing on a yearly basis as a percentage of GDP. What matters is that they can’t pay it back, so total debt is ballooning.

                The spreadsheet you linked to shows Greek debt, as a percentage of GDP, at 115% last year and tracking towards 130% in a few years from now. This is the situation as I understand it.

                So far as your comments re Seeking Alpha is concerned, I agree, there are some commentators to avoid as with any online blog type format. However, a lot of it is very good. If you want to stay safe and sanitised you can stick to the articles that have been recommended by the editor, which are usually of very high quality.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 6.4

      So socialism = debt (which one current account or government debt?). That must make George W and Reagan pretty big socialists.

    • nzfp 6.5

      ts you said “they fudged the figures to get into the EU” but lets just be very specific about who “they” are. We know that Goldman Sachs ‘profited at clients’ expense’ and we also know that bankers, led by Goldman’s president, Gary D. Cohn, held out a financing instrument that would have pushed debt from Greece’s health care system far into the future. The Daily Finance reported in an article titled “Senator Levin: Goldman Bet Against Its Own Securities” that the US Senate subcommittee found:

      “For large fees Goldman helped run a conveyor belt that dumped hundreds of billions of dollars of toxic mortgages into the financial system,” Levin said. That provided the lenders with liquidity so that they could issue still more bad loans, he said. Goldman Sachs used financial engineering to turn the high-risk mortgages into investments that were granted AAA ratings, selling them to pension funds, universities, municipalities, insurance companies and banks throughout the world, according to Levin.

    • Akldnut 6.6

      ts – I am reasonably familiar with the Greece situation.

      I don’t think so – you need to read the real reason.

  7. freedom 7

    David Rockefeller, founder of the Trilateral Commission,
    in an address to a meeting of The Trilateral Commission, in June, 1991.

    “We are grateful to The Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity during those years. -But, the work is now much more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national autodetermination practiced in past centuries.”

    capcha: game
    set and match

    • MS 7.1

      freedom – haven’t seen that quote before. frightening.

      i seem to recall the last bilderberg group meeting was in athens, greece.

      capcha: begun
      we’ve only just…

    • vto 7.2

      freedom, that last sentence of rockefellers is typical of so many in the world today. Follow a reasonable line of thought, or logic, etc and then BANG throw in a big whammy that makes no sense but accomplishes what the speaker intends.

      Nick Smith and other politicians are expert at this technique. Sensible logic, yes yes, makes sense makes sense, whammy – I guess the idea is that because all else makes some sort of sense then the ludicrous crux point gets caught up in that chain and gets credibility by association.

      Oh, and btw the whole thing makes me cringe. Perhaps Rockefeller will be the next Marie Antoinette etc

    • Quoth the Raven 7.3

      and unsurprisingly many of the social democrats here are supportive of the idea of a world government and were not so long ago championing the Euro and proposing a world currency. When will they learn?

  8. As I predicted long long time ago we are heading for a huge collapse. I hate being right sometimes.

    Today Spain was downgraded and I predict Italy and Portugal will be next.

    Further down the line there will be California, UK, US and yes even NZ will go down

    Captcha: commercial. LOL

  9. The Chairman 11

    TARP Watchdog Says Criminal Charges May Be On the Table For New York Fed Over AIG Coverup

    http://www.businessinsider.com/sigtarp-says-criminal-charges-may-be-on-the-table-for-geithner-and-co-over-aig-deals-2010-4

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  • Digital hub to boost investment in forestry
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  • Speech to inaugural Countering Terrorism Hui
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  • Farewelling sports administrator and philanthropist Sir Eion Edgar
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  • Humanitarian support for Bangladesh and Myanmar
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  • Progress towards simpler process for changing sex on birth certificates
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  • Arihia Bennett to chair Royal Commission Ministerial Advisory Group
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  • Speech to the New Zealand Medical Association General Practitioners' Conference, Rotorua
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  • Speech to APEC business event
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  • Pukemiro School to close
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  • Consultation on exemption of new builds from proposed tax rules
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  • Speech for Predator Free 2050 Conference
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