web analytics

Granny says – you can’t do that

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, September 21st, 2012 - 16 comments
Categories: economy, exports, jobs - Tags:

The ever forward looking and even-handed Herald devotes its editorial to attacking Labour for supporting Winston Peters’ Bill to make some small changes to the Reserve Banks’ objectives to bring them more in line with Australia’s. Leaving aside the fact that the Herald hasn’t attacked NZF or the 3 other parties who support this, only Labour, isn’t it time Granny got with the programme?

You only need read the business and business opinion pages in the Herald itself to get what is happening. Of the 10 most-traded currencies in the world (and it should ring alarm bells that we’re in that grouping at all), New Zealand has the narrowest monetary policy. Our Reserve Bank considers just one thing in making its interest rate decisions – the impact on inflation. None of the other currencies have such narrowly-focused monetary policy.

Granny heartily approves. But Granny, like National, is fighting yesterday’s war. Inflation in general isn’t a problem any more. We have 1% inflation at the moment, and it won’t get above the 3% top of the Reserve Bank’s target bracket in any of the forecasts for many years. In fact, if big economies weren’t printing money like crazy and inducing some global inflation, we would probably have deflation now.

Now, lets look at those other largely-traded currencies again. These are the currencies with which ours is predominantly traded. The most-traded – US, Euro, Yen, Pounds – are all engaged in forms of quantitative easing. That means that their central banks are creating more of those currencies (decreasing their value/causing minor inflation) – which they then to buy their government’s own bonds, which lowers interest rates in their countries. Both actions decrease their exchange rate and increase ours in turn.

The rest of the top ten have wider objectives for their Reserve Banks than just inflation – they have to consider jobs and growth too. Some are also involved in forms of quantitative easing. The net effect: all these governments are attacking to keep their currencies low so their manufacturers can compete (and it certainly seems to be working for the US, which is seeing manufacturing grow to China’s cost).

Of course, when their currencies go down, ours goes up. They’re running beggar thy neighbour strategies – and we’re the neighbour.

So, what should we do? Well, we’ve got to play the game too. We could undertake quantitative easing – everyone else is doing it and the sky isn’t falling. At the very least, we should lower our official cash rate to make it less attractive for foreign ‘hot money’ to invest here. That would help bring our currency down and let our businesses compete on the export markets and against importers. But to do that, the Reserve Bank would have to be allowed to consider more than inflation – it should have to look at the whole economic impacts of its choices. We should also bring in policies to stop a housing bubble, which is bad, inflationary, and draws in hot money from overseas – policies like capital gains tax. That would allow further reductions in the OCR.

Right now, the Reserve Bank is like a doctor confronting a patient with a range of maladies. But it is only allowed to worry about whether or not a patient is hyper-ventilating – and its only remedy is strangulation. Meanwhile, other countries are giving their doctors the skills and tools to really fix their patients. And (this is where the metaphor breaks down) as they make their patients healthier, it makes ours sicker.

For some reason, Granny Herald thinks that’s just fine. Maybe because Granny Herald isn’t an exporter. Maybe because the Herald isn’t a paper that gives a damn about the 40,000 manufacturing workers who have seen their jobs disappear in the last 4 years.


16 comments on “Granny says – you can’t do that”

  1. tc 1

    WTF would granny know about Finance and economics except rabbiting from a supplied script !

    The manufactured ACC crises should leave no-one in doubt they’re part of the CT NACT spin machine, this is further evidence.

    JA and Fo’S with probably give the same telling off to labour if they haven’t already.

    I don’t bother with it anymore, plenty of other high quality stuff online like this blog…was it an unsigned editorial which effectively means it’s usually signed by A. Hollowman.

  2. Lanthanide 2

    Here’s a policy to help fight the housing bubble while also helping out businesses and directing investment towards them. This idea isn’t mine originally.

    Reduce the OCR by 1% and apply a 1% tax to residential mortgages; both owner-occupied and investment.

    This way banks will be more encouraged to lend to businesses. The government will get more tax revenue. Residential investment won’t be as attractive: at the moment you can write off your interest costs against your income; this change will reduce the interest portion that can be written off but the cost will remain the same, with the difference going direct to the government. The OCR will be lower so foreign investors will gain less return on their deposits.

    This also has the advantage over capital gains tax in that the revenue streams are immediate, based on present capital value (via the mortgage) and there’s no distortion around ring-fencing in or out specific types of assets.

    • deano 2.1

      variable mortgage levy was supported by cullen in 2006 but the Nats and the Herald shourted it down.

      Better (because it applies to all consumers, not just those with mortgages – and it makes them save rather than taking their money and giving it to banks and savers) would be complusory Kiwisaver with a variable contrbiution rate

  3. captain hook 3

    granny has become senile just like armstrong and venal like sullivan and is turning into an alltogether nasty thing.

  4. BernyD 4

    If their workers were in a Union they’d be able to do something about it 🙂
    If the editorial policies make us sick, imagine actually working there …. ick

  5. BernyD 5

    Y’know I recall sometime in the 80’s when they were discussing a “Hypocratic” style oath for Reporters to live by, Ultimately the response was “Don’t put your evil censorship/contraints on us buddy”, but today I can see why the civilised people of the 80’s pushed for it.
    Holding a grade average of A++ in the mathematics of nuclear fission doesn’t make them good people nor does it inspire confidence.

  6. All the Herald says is –
    You cannot go back to Muldoonism, because that is what the proposal means.
    He stuffed the economy, by taking control of the Reserve Bank and manipulating it (very badly) – hence the 1986 Reserve Bank Act.
    Douglas had to sort it out.

    • BernyD 6.1

      If Muldoon was alive today he would most likely have sworn off politics.
      No one wanted him to regulate, so he stole our pensions instead, bad for his heart, but necessary.

  7. captain hook 7

    when douglas realised that the Labour Party would never make him him PM he decided to do as much damage to the country and the party that he could because when it came down to it he was personally financially secure.
    He swallowed the 80’s reagan ideology whole and thought he could make up rules that would last forever.
    not so.
    the essence of being a human being is the ability to adapt to the environment and at the moment New Zealand is not adapting at all. and in fact is compounding error upon error by trying to rely on someone elses rules instead of generating new alternatives.

  8. millsy 8

    The Reserve Bank 1989 has succeeded at elimintating double digit inflation but at huge social costs.

    The reduction and slow growth in wages and conditions (esp during the so-called ‘boom’ years — that is what happens when you loosen credit — people burrow to the hilt to buy houses and imported goods), the consistent erosion of social spending starting from Ruth’s cuts back in 1991 and the consequent reduction in edcuation and health services (ie hospital closure) and reductions and pay and conditions for education in health staff.

    Thanks to the RBA, the entire post war 1935-84 welfare state has been dismantled so the rich can enjoy lower mortgages and tax cuts.

  9. mike e 9

    Fortran if we keep importing fuel in the amounts we are ,we are going broke sooner or later we will pay the price!

Recent Comments

Recent Posts


  • September benefit figures disappointing
    The Government is out of touch with the reality that fewer people are going off the benefit and into employment or study, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.  “The quarterly benefit numbers for September are concerning. They show that ...
    3 days ago
  • MFAT officials refuse to back Prime Minister on Saudi sheep claims
    An Ombudsman’s interim decision released about the existence or otherwise of legal advice on the multimillion dollar Saudi sheep deal shows MFAT has failed to back up the Prime Minister’s claims on the matter, says Labour MP David Parker. “The ...
    3 days ago
  • Nats still planning to take Housing NZ dividend
    Housing New Zealand’s Statement of Performance Expectations shows that the National Government intends to pocket $237m from Housing New Zealand this year including a $54m “surplus distribution”, despite promises that dividends would stop, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “After ...
    4 days ago
  • Parliament must restore democracy for Ecan
    Parliament has a chance to return full democracy to Canterbury with the drawing of a member’s bill that would replace the Government’s appointed commissioners with democratically elected councillors, says Labour’s Canterbury Spokesperson Megan Woods. “In 2010, the Government stripped Cantabrians ...
    4 days ago
  • Police struggle to hold the line in Northland
    Labour’s promise of a thousand extra police will go a long way to calming the fears of people in the North, says the MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis.  “Police are talking about the Northland towns of Kaitaia and ...
    4 days ago
  • Urgent action on agriculture emissions needed
    Immediate action is required to curb agricultural emissions is the loud and clear message from Climate change & agriculture: Understanding the biological greenhouse gases report released today by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan ...
    5 days ago
  • Super Fund climate change approach a good start
    Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson and Climate Change Spokesperson Dr Megan Woods have welcomed the adoption of a climate change investment strategy by the New Zealand Super Fund. “This is a good start. It is a welcome development that the Super ...
    5 days ago
  • Raising the age the right thing to do
    The announcement today that the Government will leave the door open for young people leaving state care still means there is a lot of work to do, says Labour's Spokesperson for Children, Jacinda Ardern "The Government indicated some time ago ...
    5 days ago
  • Coleman plays down the plight of junior doctors
    Junior doctors are crucial to our health services and the industrial action that continues tomorrow shows how desperately the Government has underfunded health, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “Jonathan Coleman’s claim that he has not seen objective evidence of ...
    6 days ago
  • Inflation piles pressure on National and Reserve Bank
    While many households will welcome the low inflation figures announced today, they highlight serious questions for both the National government and the Reserve Bank, Labour’s  Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson said.  "While low inflation will be welcomed by many, the ...
    6 days ago
  • Officials warned Nat’s $1b infrastructure fund ineffective and rushed
    Treasury papers show the Government rushed out an infrastructure announcement officials told them risked making no significant difference to housing supply, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Like so much of National’s housing policy, this was another poll-driven PR initiative ...
    6 days ago
  • More cops needed to tackle P
    New Police statistics obtained in Written Questions show John Key is losing his War on P, highlighting the need for more Police, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “New Zealanders expect serious action on P but today’s hodgepodge of half-measures won’t ...
    7 days ago
  • MBIE docs show country needs KiwiBuild, not Key’s pretend “building boom”
    John Key’s spin that New Zealand is in a building boom does not change the massive shortfall in building construction as new MBIE papers reveal, says Labour Party housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “We can fix the housing crisis, by the ...
    1 week ago
  • 1 in 7 Akl houses now going to big property speculators
    Speculators are running riot in the Auckland housing market making life tougher for first home buyers, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  Newly released data from Core Logic shows a 40 per cent increase in the share of house sales ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour mourns passing of Helen Kelly
    Helen Kelly was a passionate advocate for working New Zealanders and for a safe and decent working life, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.  “Helen Kelly spent her adult life fighting for the right of every working person to ...
    1 week ago
  • Andrew Little: Speech to the Police Association Conference 2016
    Police Association delegates, Association life members and staff, representatives from overseas jurisdictions. Thank you for inviting me here today. The Police Association has become a strong and respected voice for Police officers and for policing in New Zealand. There is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1,000 more police for safer communities
    Labour will fund an extra 1,000 Police in its first term to tackle the rising rate of crime, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “Labour will put more cops on the beat to keep our communities safe. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Call for all-party round table on homelessness
    Labour is calling on the Government to take part in a roundtable meeting to hammer out a cross-party agreement on ending homelessness.  Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford said the country wanted positive solutions to homelessness, and wanted the political parties ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Working people carrying the can for the Government
    Today’s announcement of a Government operating surplus is the result of the hard work of many Kiwi businesses and workers, who will be asking themselves if they are receiving their fair share of growth in the economy, Grant Robertson Labour ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Breast cancer drugs should be available
    Labour supports the Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition’s campaign for better access to cancer treatments as more patients are denied what is freely available in Australia, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “In the last three years, PHARMAC’s funding has been ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Community law centres get much needed support from banks
      New Zealand’s network of community law centres, who operate out of more than 140 locations across the country, have today received a much needed boost, says Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.  “After more than 8 years of static funding ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Just 18 affordable homes in Auckland SHAs – It’s time for KiwiBuild
    New data revealing just 18 affordable homes have been built and sold to first home buyers in Auckland’s Special Housing Areas show National’s flagship housing policy has failed and Labour’s comprehensive housing plan is needed, says Leader of the Opposition ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Pasifika wins big in Auckland elections
    The Labour Party’s Pacific Candidates who stood for local elections in Auckland came out on top with 14 winners, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio. “Our candidates have won seats on one ward, four local boards, two ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Seven7 hikoi to stop sexual violence
    2 weeks ago
  • Road toll passes 2013 total
    The road toll for the year to date has already passed the total for the whole of 2013, raising serious questions about the Government’s underfunding of road safety, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “According to the Ministry of Transport, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay principals slam charter school decision
    A letter from Hawke’s Bay principals to the Education Minister slams the lack of consultation over the establishment of a charter school in the region and seriously calls into question the decision making going on under Hekia Parata’s watch, says ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government needs to act on voter turnout crisis
    With fewer than 40 per cent of eligible voters having their say in the 2016 local elections, the Government must get serious and come up with a plan to increase voter turnout, says Labour’s Local Government Spokesperson Meka Whaitiri. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Inquiry presents solutions to homelessness – Govt must act
    Labour, the Green Party and the Māori Party are calling on the Government to immediately adopt the 20 recommendations set out in today's Ending Homelessness in New Zealand report. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A good night for Labour’s local government candidates
    It has been a good night for Labour in the local government elections. In Wellington, Justin Lester became the first Labour mayor for 30 years, leading a council where three out of four Labour candidates were elected. Both of Labour’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More contenders for fight clubs
    Allegations of fight clubs spreading to other Serco-run prisons must be properly investigated says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister runs for cover on job losses
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell’s refusal to show leadership and provide assurances over the future of the Māori Land Court is disappointing, given he is spearheading contentious Maori land reforms which will impact on the functions of the Court, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwisaver contribution holiday not the break workers were looking for
    The number of working New Zealanders needing to stop Kiwisaver payments is another sign that many people are not seeing benefit from growth in the economy, says Grant Robertson Labour’s Finance spokesperson. "There has been an increase of 14 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fight Club failings
    The Corrections Minister must take full responsibility for the widespread management failings within Mt Eden prison, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Rethink welcomed
    The Labour Party is pleased that Craig Foss is reconsidering the return of New Zealand soldiers buried in Malaysia, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “For the families of those who lie there, this will a welcome move. The ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Disappointment over UN vote
    Helen Clark showed her characteristic drive and determination in her campaign to be UN Secretary General, and most New Zealanders will be disappointed she hasn't been selected, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. "Helen Clark has been an ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Māori need answers on Land Court job losses
    Māori landowners, Māori employees and Treaty partners need answers after a Ministry of Justice consultation document has revealed dozens of roles will be disestablished at the Māori Land Court, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Key’s ‘efficiencies’ = DHBs’ pain
          John Key’s talk of ‘efficiencies’ ignores the fact the Government is chronically underfunding health to the tune of $1.7 billion, says Labour’s Acting Health spokesperson Dr David Clark.       ...
    3 weeks ago
  • More than 1,300 schools to face budget cuts
    The latest Ministry of Education figures reveal thousands of schools will face cuts to funding under National’s new operations grant funding model, says Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Speculation fever spreads around country
    House prices in Wellington, Hamilton and Tauranga are going off as a result of uncontrolled property speculation spilling over from the Auckland market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Speculators who have been priced out of Auckland are now fanning ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand lags on aid targets
      The National Government needs to live up to its commitments and allocate 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income on development assistance, says Labour’s spokesperson on Pacific Climate Change Su’a William Sio.  “The second State of the Environment Report ...
    3 weeks ago
  • War on drugs needs more troops
    The Minister of Police must urgently address the number of officers investigating illegal drugs if she is serious about making a dent in the meth trade, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “Answers from written questions from the Minister show ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Doctors strike symptom of health cuts
    The notice of strike action issued by the junior doctors today is the result of years of National’s cuts to the health system, says Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Dr David Clark. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government starves RNZ into selling Auckland asset
    Just weeks after TVNZ opened its refurbished Auckland head office costing more than $60 million, RNZ (Radio New Zealand) has been forced to put its Auckland office on the market to keep itself afloat, says Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government must be more than a bystander on the economy
    Despite what he might think John Key is not a political commentator, but actually a leader in a Government who needs to take responsibility for the conditions that mean a rise in interest rates, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “John ...
    3 weeks ago