Key misleads the house

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, October 10th, 2011 - 50 comments
Categories: brand key - Tags:

Herald political editor Audrey Young reports:

Ratings agency Standard and Poor’s has contradicted a claim by Prime Minister John Key that a credit downgrade would be more likely with a change of Government in New Zealand.

Mr Key was questioned in Parliament last week by Labour leader Phil Goff about the agency’s downgrading of New Zealand’s long-term foreign currency rating from AA+ to AA.

Mr Key claimed Standard and Poor’s had said at a meeting last month that “if there was a change of Government, that downgrade would be much more likely”.

50 comments on “Key misleads the house”

  1. Peter 1

    How does he get away with such distortions? It his favorite tactic.

  2. alex 2

    Well a CGT would do a lot more to pay off our long term debt than asset sales, so its not too much of a shock to hear that S&Ps wouldn’t mind a change.

  3. King Kong 3

    Key is correct in what he is saying. It is the same logic that if you let a two year old drive the car you are more likely to crash.

    • Peter 3.1

      It’s what he is saying but cannot be attributed to the Agency as he suggests.

      • aerobubble 3.1.1

        I thought the credit agencies are likely to look far more favorably on
        Labours tax broadening policies that obvious cut the rug out from the
        property speculator (home and farm) component of the economy.
        So ‘do nutting’ Key is lying when he says the agencies have a even
        more unfavorable take on Labour.

    • tc 3.2

      as opposed to the foetus we have at the wheel currently

    • DJ 3.3

      This government has been driving for two years and has already got demerited.

      Labour drove for nine years without a demerit whatsoever.

      You’ve got a long way to go chimp.

      • The 2008 election result was a significant demerit.

        • aerobubble 3.3.1.1

          Credit ratings was not a issue under Labour.

          Key however has the lobestone of ACT-Maori to thank for the downgrades,
          Key would not have a problem had he been in government with the Greens.

    • Blighty 3.4

      Downgrades during National’s last two terms of government: 3
      Downgrades during Labour’s last three terms of government: 0

      • McFlock 3.4.1

        Although, to be fair, the middle one was a fucking disgrace and probably counts as an ACT govt

    • bbfloyd 3.5

      kong… how much time did you spend thinking on that one? first, you reiterate a nonsense…..then, compound your duplocity by using , at best, an insulting, and reactive analagy… based on assumption born of ignorance…… oh well… you got a “heh” out of me at least….

      see if you can polish up your act… you could be quite amusing..

  4. Afewknowthetruth 4

    Key is a psychotic sociopath, worse than a psychopath.

    ‘the most successful of the global financial elite probably pose more of a menace to society than known psychopaths.’

    Fortunately for National, the bulk of the populace is so dumbed-down they believe the lies.

    http://www.alternet.org/teaparty/152639/study_wealthy_stockbrokers_more_dangerous_than_psychopaths

    Study: Wealthy Stockbrokers More Dangerous Than Psychopaths
    The findings are a reminder of why now — more than ever — we must refuse to succumb to political apathy and laissez-faire demagoguery.

    October 6, 2011

    Like most people living through this jarring age of economic turbulence and political dysfunction, you can probably recall a moment in the last few months when you thought to yourself that our lawmakers and corporate leaders are all crazy. And not just run-of-the-mill crazy, a la George Costanza’s parents, but the kind of crazy that makes films like “Silence of the Lambs” and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” so frightening.

    The good news for you is that you aren’t insane for thinking this. The bad news for all of us, though, is that according to two new scientific analyses, you are more correct in your assessment than you may know.

    The first revelation came from Dr. Nassir Ghaemi of Tufts University. In his recent book, “A First-Rate Madness,” he went beyond merely restating the old adage that anyone crazy enough to run for public office probably shouldn’t occupy that office. Instead, the book sheds light on what Ghaemi calls an “inverse law of sanity,” whereby tumultuous times like these actually reward and promote political figures who are “mentally abnormal (or) even ill.”

    Now comes a new study from Switzerland’s University of St. Gallen showing that the most successful of the global financial elite probably pose more of a menace to society than known psychopaths.

    As the website Newser reported, the researchers “pitted a group of stockbrokers against a group of actual psychopaths in various computer simulations and intelligence tests and found that the money men were significantly more reckless, competitive, and manipulative.” Even more striking, the researchers note that achieving overall success was less important to the stock speculators than the sadistic drive “to damage their opponents.”

    The findings build on similar research in the recent past. In 1996, investigators at Glasgow Caledonian University discovered connections between psychopathy and successful financial speculation, concluding that “with the right parenting, (psychopaths) can become successful stockbrokers instead of serial killers.” Likewise, in 2004, researchers at the University of British Columbia reacted to similar findings and created a test to help firms detect “corporate psychopaths” within their ranks. That same year, the award winning-documentary “The Corporation” used World Health Organization metrics to show that if companies really are “people,” as our Supreme Court insists, then many of them are mentally ill.

    Obviously, these results reflect the not-so-surprising fact that the extreme nature of the modern political process and of today’s casino economy inherently self-select for certain kinds of traits. And no doubt, wholly changing that dynamic may be impossible or undesirable — or both.

    However, the findings are a reminder of why now — more than ever — we must refuse to succumb to political apathy and laissez-faire demagoguery. Indeed, it’s time to redouble our commitment to strengthening checks on political and corporate power because that power is often being wielded by the most unstable among us.

    So what does that mean in practice? It means that when we see a wild-eyed White House ignore the constitution and claim the despotic right to assassinate American citizens without criminal charge, we demand that Congress stop the madness — rather than quietly acquiesce. It means that when we see a spontaneous grassroots movement physically occupy Lower Manhattan and challenge banks’ deranged rapaciousness, we applaud the effort as long overdue — rather than scoff at it as unrealistic. It means, in short, that we refuse to stay silent in the face of insanity.

    And frankly, if we have scientific proof that the inmates are running the Wall Street and Washington asylums, this is the least we should do — and we really should do a whole lot more.

    ————————–

    David Sirota is best-selling author of the new book “Back to Our Future: How the 1980s Explain the World We Live In Now.” He hosts the morning show on AM760 in Colorado. Email him at ds@davidsirota.com , follow him on Twitter @davidsirota or visit his website at DavidSirota.com.

    COPYRIGHT 2011 CREATORS.COM

    David Sirota is the author of the best-selling books Hostile Takeover and The Uprising. He hosts the morning show on AM760 in Colorado and blogs at OpenLeft.com. E-mail him at ds@davidsirota.com or follow him on Twitter @davidsirota.

    • mike 4.1

      Nice post. Recommend a doc I just saw ‘Orwell rolls in his grave’. Explains in detail the sickening relationship between the media and politics in the US. How democracy there is gone. And the mentality of those at the top fighting for the status quo. Lots of insider perspective from both media people and politicians. Good stuff.

  5. Here’s the exact excerpt from the Hansard:

    Hon Phil Goff: Is it correct that New Zealand’s credit rating with those two agencies is now the same as Spain’s—a country that National has constantly derided as being an economy in trouble?

    Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I cannot confirm that. It may well be; it sounds logical. But let me quote this from Fitch Ratings: “New Zealand remains well placed amongst the world’s highly-rated sovereign credits, with its creditworthiness supported by moderate public indebtedness, fiscal prudence, and strong public institutions.” But I will say this: when Standard and Poor’s was giving a meeting in New Zealand about a month ago, what it did say was that there was about a 30 percent chance that we would be downgraded. That is what happens when one is on a negative outlook. It did go on to say, though, that if there was a change of Government, that downgrade would be much more likely.

    Here’s what Standard and Poor’s sovereign rating analyst Kyran Curry, who attended the meeting in Auckland, said:

    “In Auckland last month, I might have talked about the importance of the Government maintaining a strong fiscal position in the medium term but I would never have touched on individual parties. It is something we just don’t do,” Mr Curry said. “We don’t rate political parties. We rate Governments.”

    I’ve written a formal complaint to the Speaker of the House concerning John Key misleading the house.

    • Jumbuck 5.1

      Not wishing to support Key’s claims as true, but Kyran Curry’s comments neither confirm or deny. He says what his job is, but doesn’t specifically say “In that meeting we did not discuss future governments influencing the rating.”

      Why not? In fact he even suggests that he knows his comments were misinterpreted or that he wished them to be ambiguously supportive by saying “I might have talked about the importance of the Government maintaining a strong fiscal position in the medium term…” in real world terms this says to me “Yes, we want National to continue, why else would I say “strong fiscal… medium term…” but I can’t say that publicly can I?”.

      This is the kind of politics that does my head in. No one is telling the truth, or is too scared to tell the truth and nothing can be absolutely proven. In the meantime, there is only implication and suggestions and possibilities of interpretation and everyone else suffers. To challenge the well known ambiguities of political and diplomatic weaselling is still not allowed in wider business dealings. Until that happens, no certain proof can be assured.

      • thejackal 5.1.1

        I don’t believe Kyran Curry is lying or that the NZ Herald has misreported what was said. It appears to be another clear case of John Key lying. He has told his lie in the House of Representatives, which is a sackable offense.

        Complaint to Lockwood Re: PM

        I write to you as Speaker of the House about a most serious issue. On the 4th of October 2011 a Parliamentary debate was conducted in the House of Representatives…

      • Blighty 5.1.2

        “I would never have touched on individual parties.”

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.3

        in real world terms this says to me “Yes, we want National to continue, why else would I say “strong fiscal… medium term…” but I can’t say that publicly can I?”.

        Total made up delusion especially considering that he seems to hold National policies at least accountable for the present downgrade.

  6. Jumbuck 6

    Make your complaint by all means. What I’m saying is that the proof to suggest lying isn’t very firm. Even if someone at the meeting, with knowledge of the relationships between the participants, comes forward and says, yup, Curry means this when he says that, or there was a lot of nod nod wink wink going on… there is no solid proof. All Key has to say is that he made a best interpretation of the information presented. No one will hang him for that. I remember a while ago there was a video on youtube of Key of saying he would not support amendments to S59 of the Crimes Act and rattling off a long list of whys, ruling it out completely. Then 6 months later he contradicts them. Now that is much closer to lying and easy to prove with video evidence. He did not make his comments in the House, but you get the point. There is proof and there is proof. All things considered, it would be closer to the fire if the title of this entry was “S and Ps colludes with National party…” And if you complained about that to whoever took those complaints, most optimistic imaginary result might be Curry reassigned to Siberia, but otherwise all other business would go on as usual.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      I remember a while ago there was a video on youtube of Key of saying he would not support amendments to S59 of the Crimes Act and rattling off a long list of whys, ruling it out completely. Then 6 months later he contradicts them. Now that is much closer to lying and easy to prove with video evidence.

      No it’s not you moron. It’s evidence that he changed his mind possibly due to evidence.

  7. tsmithfield 7

    I don’t see any contradiction. What Curry said is that they don’t rate political parties. Key referred to “a change of government” which is not rating any particular party either.

    So, it is quite possible that both are telling the truth.

    Anyway, it is quite reasonable to infer what Key said from Curry’s comment:

    “In Auckland last month, I might have talked about the importance of the Government maintaining a strong fiscal position in the medium term but I would never have touched on individual parties. It is something we just don’t do,” Mr Curry said. “We don’t rate political parties. We rate Governments.”

    My understanding is that Labour proposes to increase borrowing in the medium term and then offset that by income from a CGT much further out. This being the case, then Labour would be maintaining a weaker fiscal position over the medium term even if it was able to generate income further out in the future from a CGT (assuming their projections are correct which I have major doubts about). Thus, according to the criteria stated by Curry, a further downgrade would be quite likely if Labour was in power after the election.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      Then your understanding is wrong. Labours position is to increase borrowing in the short term and increase income over the medium to long term. In other words, to actually have a plan to get us back to balance.

    • mik e 7.2

      Tsm you forget the other not so small factors is that by holding on to the four most profitable companies will give us more income to pay down debt something you and Nactional don’t want the public to know.
      As well as CGT will reduce long term indebtedness another fact Nactional doesn’t want the public to Know.
      Savings which National has abandoned
      Retirement funding another area which Nactional doesn’t care about as PenoKEYo has said it doesn’t worry me.I’m retiring in 2025
      The ratings agencies have identified these areas retirement age and people on high incomes that shouldn’t be getting the pension plus lack of savings for the baby boom bulge
      So now i suppose your calling the ratings agencies liars to.
      Borrowing BillS english who could have put a reconstruction tax on to pay for CHCH saving $ $5BILLION.

    • mike 7.3

      S&P quoted on TV3: “At no stage have we said that a rating downgrade was more likely if there were a change of govt.”

      Kaey said they said: “if there was a change of Government, that downgrade would be much more likely”.

      Can you see a contradiction now? Hello?

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    Quoting linked article:

    The stimulus undertaken by the Government had weakened the balance sheet and the earthquake had weakened it further.

    There you go, a part of the reason for the downgrade was the policies of this government.

    • tsmithfield 8.1

      Sure. Some stimulus was required due to the world economic conditions. As I understand it the left wants even more stimulus. So, how would that make S&P happy?

      Anyway, you need to read that comment as a whole. The weakened position due to stimulus might have been acceptable. However, the unpredictable impact of the earthquake on government finances might have been the tipping point that lead to the downgrade.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1

        It was possible to provide a stimulus that A) actually provided a stimulus and b) didn’t massively undercut the governments position the way that Nationals tax cuts for the rich did and the earthquake could have been dealt with as well by a small levy.

        Everything that National has done has undercut the nations position.

      • freedom 8.1.2

        or it could have been the hundreds of millions a month they borrowed and borrowed and borrowed and admitted they did not need it but it was so cheap to do so. An action any credit agency would have looked at more critically than a natural disaster.

        • Draco T Bastard 8.1.2.1

          Having the country borrowing money that it doesn’t need is the actions of a government using whatever means it can get its hands on to transfer the communities wealth into the hands of its rich mates. There can be no other reason to so over-borrow.

          • travellerev 8.1.2.1.1

            For those of you who think that this is rubbish here is a link to an interview with John Perkins who acted as an economic hitman to get poor countries in debt so the US could get their hands on their resources. Only in New Zealand would people be so naive and uninformed to vote for an economic hitman as their PM

      • Ed 8.1.3

        On RNZ this afternoon their was speculation that as well as unnecessary spending to pay out depositors in SCF, the government has paid money or awarded contracts to support MediaWorks and Telecom – both of which were supported because government did not want them to fail. The policies are too close to allowing the wealthy to ‘socialise’ losses while invoking ‘free market capitalism’ for the poor – with the resulting   unstable economic management being part of why S&P are looking for better stability by government. Cronyism is not good for credit-worthiness.

  9. Chuckles 9

    Good grief. More wilful ignorance from The Standard crew.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      the wilful ignorance only comes from the RWNJs who seem to be incapable of accepting reality.

  10. mike 10

    You’ve got to love John Key’s argument here. NZ gets twice downgraded under National, and he’s saying, ‘Watch out! If you elect Labour we’ll get downgraded!’

    Brilliant.

  11. mik e 12

    tv3 said key had a credibility downgrade

  12. illuminatedtiger 13

    He lies and he lies and he only backtracks when he’s been caught in a lie. We deserve so much better New Zealand.

  13. Well if anyone votes for this creepy lieing slime bag after last nights TV3 interview they deserve everything they get. Trouble is everyone else has to suffer .

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