More slippery attacks, still no solutions

Written By: - Date published: 8:24 am, September 17th, 2008 - 70 comments
Categories: election 2008, john key, national, slippery - Tags:

Yesterday, John Key “attacked Labour’s economic record, which he said amounted to overtaxing voters so it could put money into its pet projects”

So, what are these ‘pet projects’ and which of them National would cancel?

Well, Labour’s major spending projects have been increasing the health budget, spending more on transport (including roads, unfortunately), more money for education, interest-free student loans, more State houses with lower rents, Working for Families, 20Free childcare, higher superannuation payments, Kiwibank, Kiwisaver, Kiwirail, and lower doctors’ fees.

And National would cut which of these? Well, they say they won’t cut any but Key’s words (plus the secret agenda tapes) show that National would get rid of them if they could find an excuse.

Oh and growth under Labour has been far better than it was under National – not only faster than National could manage but faster relative to our trading partners.

It’s the details that matter but Key hopes you don’t know them and that no-one will think to ask.

70 comments on “More slippery attacks, still no solutions”

  1. Janet 1

    Has anyone in the mainstream media reported/researched John Key’s links with Merrill Lynch in the light of the current ML disaster? I only heard a brief negative comment about Michael Cullen for daring to mention it. But this Merrill Lynch mentality really scares me. I certainly don’t want my country’s economy run like a boy boys’ financial plaything.

  2. Janet – you obviously didn’t see the lead item on One News last night where Guyon Espiner almost laughed in Cullen’s face when Cullen said that we couldn’t trust Key because Merrill Lynch had fallen over.

  3. Razorlight 3

    Janet…don’t show your ignorance. John Key’s links are well documentented, most recently in the New Zealand Herald’s ‘unauthorised’ biorgraphy. His links have nothing at all to do with the current ML problems and to suggest so is scaremongering and a dirty Labour/Cullen tactic.

  4. infused 4

    Yes kiwi rail. Only Labour would be stupid enough to buy it.

  5. Jeeves 5

    And fair on Guyon too. I can’t believe Cullen is so politically bonkers to say that shit. It might fly in NZ First, or the deepest darkest part of the CTU, but most kiwis of normal intelligence don’t see the link.

    Furthermore it begs the question, why don’t we critically examine the private sector jobs previously held by Cullen and Clark? Oh wait…

  6. monkey-boy 6

    I thought I’d wondered into an alternative universe and the post was entitled thus as a description of Cullen’s inane remarks in the House yesterday. I mean talk about clutching at straws.
    What about the EFA screwing the CTU, Maori, Progressive Green and Labour Party then? That was in the Herald today.

  7. Scribe 7

    Well, National certainly wouldn’t have spent hundreds of millions MORE than the market value of a rail network.

    Cullen says don’t trust a currency trader with the economy. Should we trust a history teacher?

    [should we trust a man who has been one of NZ’s longest serving Finance Ministers, under we’ve seen a record period of growth, record low unemployment, decreasing income inequality, and the future of superannuation assured? SP]

  8. randal 8

    guyon espinerer doesn’t know anything. if you prefer to take his word over a minister of the crown then you are as big a fool as he is. espinnerer was the one trying to hound cullen for a tax cut on TV so his own wages would go up. what a silly venal little twerp especailly employed by TV1 because he is ignorant.

  9. higherstandard 9

    Yes obviously Randal as the word of a Minister of the Crown is such a valuable commodity.

    Words such as “no..no..no”

  10. randal 10

    you in the same category hs…just another blog dribbler. why dont you say something tht has content and meaning instead of these vague vapid ripostes that say nothing and just waste ink?

  11. Bill 11

    Sometimes I despair.

    Was M Cullen really saying that because JK has a history with Merrill Lynch that JK was responsible for its collapse and is therefor not to be trusted as a PM?

    No.

    What he was saying was that there exists a certain mentality or head set within the financial sector ( that JK possesses) and that that mind set would not be conducive to governing a country.

    I wouldn’t have thought that would be considered controversial.

    Yet again the media spins it and dumbs it down to get a bit of sensationalism.

    Meanwhile, a topic close to the hearts of many NZ ers (nuclear proliferation)is completely missed by the media. Read my comment on “To ask the real questions you have to know the detail” at 9:07 to see what I mean.

  12. vto 12

    Merril Lynch and Lehmann have been around longer than the NZ govt. How is that short term cullen?

  13. higherstandard 13

    ‘waste ink’ Randal ?

  14. Jeeves 14

    The mindset of a currency trader is to make as much money for your firm as possible. I want someone like that fighting for New Zealand’s interests. If you think he is a gambling addict or something you’re nuts.

    Newsflash: According to Labour, no one who has ever held down a job making money for their employer should be PM. Only academics and public servants are allowed.

    I don’t even know why i’m commenting here. I guess it’s that your nonsensical babble enrages me so.

  15. Vanilla Eis 15

    vto: Pardon? The Lehmann Bro’s were founded 2 years before NZ had parliament (1850 v. 1852), but Merril Lynch were only formed in the early 1900’s – we’d been governing ourselves for a good 60 years by then.

    However, one could ask how such an ancient and powerful institution such as Lehmann Bro’s was run into the ground after managing to survive (and quite nicely) for almost 160 years. Could it possibly have anything to do with those managing the company?

  16. vto 16

    perhaps the scale of the meltdown Mrs Vanilla. My point anyway was thet cullen’s comment was typical politician bullpoo.

    Jeeves above says it well.

  17. Pascal's bookie 17

    ‘Could it possibly have anything to do with those managing the company?’

    Or the deregulate, hands off and trust the market mantra…

  18. Vanilla Eis 18

    vto: Well, it could be the scale of the meltdown. It could have something to do with what PB just said. It could be the fact that in a de-regulated environment the people managing the company took stupid risks with the money they were entrusted with and then lost. I could call that gambling.

    Captcha: sacred putting (That would be on a Sunday, down at the club? I’m sure the respective managers won’t have to give up their memberships or tee-off times either.)

  19. Vanilla Eis 19

    p.s: Mrs Vanilla? Thats the first time anyone has openly assumed I’m a woman on teh internets. Interesting.

  20. vto 20

    hee hee. did i get it right?

  21. I think it was Phil who told me that I was a nutty clairvoyant when I stated some time ago when I predicted the economic meltdown of the western financial world. I thought to leave it alone at the time because of course I don’t look in a crystal ball (Although I do have one. LOL)I just read about a 112 news sites each and everyday and people far more knowledgeable predicted the current events far earlier then I. but it seemed senseless to pursue a debate on international finance with someone who so obviously has no idea.

    So now I have the doubtful pleasure of saying I told you so

    And the terrible thing is that this is only the beginning.

    Inventory2 you are a patronising asshole and Razorlight you really show you ignorance by quoting the propaganda and totally authorised puff piece about John Key in the NZ herald.

    For starters John Key is lying blatantly about his relationship with Andrew Krieger the money trader who almost caused the collapse off the NZ economy in 1987. John Key states in the interview that he worked with Andrew Krieger after the attack but that is impossible because by the time the Bankers Trust started it’s operations in NZ (August 1988) Andrew Krieger had not only left Bankers Trust (February 1988) but had left the forex trade altogether (June 1988).

    Funny how the internet never forgets(Thanks robinsod). the NY Times has it’s whole archive online and available for those who are interested and Andrew Krieger was a bit of a legend when he made US$ 300 million profit for the Bankers Trust.

    So if it was impossible for John Key to have been working with him when he said he must have been working with him earlier. In the timeline I have been able to establish in different interviews etc. John Key must have been working with Andrew Krieger in 1987 while he was attacking the NZ$. So his links are not that well established in the NZH it seems.

    So, if John Key in an earlier interview states that he sees nothing morally wrong with almost collapsing the economy of the country he grew up in and he is prepared to lie about his involvement 20 years later when he wants to become the prime minister what makes you think he’s got our best interests at hart.

    And if he is prepared to lie about this early example of callous disregard of his countries welfare than what other lies is he prepared to tell?

  22. Jeeves. A country isn’t a company, it’s objective is not to simply make as much money in the short-term as possible. Unlike owners of financial companies, we can’t just bail out when things go wrong.

  23. Vanilla Eis 23

    vto : does it matter? (and I’m not married)

  24. vto 24

    no of course not. I actually just thought the two words went well together – the ‘Mrs’ and the ‘Vanilla’. Has a nice ring to it.

  25. randal 25

    scribe…michael cullen is more than just a history teacher. if yu want to demean him with an epithet then that is your loss. His specialty is economic history and he was a professor not a teacher. and since he has been in parliament and inpower he has had the ear of the best financail brains in the world. not just the conniving traders from some shonkey financial firm that has just gone bust.

  26. Jeeves,

    Electing a banker who worked as an upon invitation only advisor to Alan Greenspan and the privately owned Federal Reserve of New York when said Alan Greenspan was just about giving money away to create the housing bubble and the subsequent subprime crisis is like giving the fox the key to the hen house.

    He worked for the FRNY from 1999 until March 2001 just after the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act which was the final destruction of the regulation of the banks that had been in place since the great depression.

    For your information the other three advisors represented Lehman Citibank, UBSWarburg. Oh oops, together with John Key representing Merrill Lynch that would the four banks that are now mired most in the quagmire which is the subprime crisis and the collapse of the western finance system.

  27. monkey-boy 27

    “‘waste ink’ Randal ?”
    LOL
    Yes you can usually tell when randal has been on the computer because the screen is covered in ‘tippex’.

  28. Felix 28

    If you’re printing teh internets it’s a bit of a waste of paper too.

  29. Jeeves 29

    1. I never said a company and a country were the same. You know that, you’re just constructing straw men to save your stupid point that currency traders can’t be PMs.

    2. I’m no expert on US banking law, but I understand that the Regulations traveler refers to applied to stop trading banks offering investment products or advice. Nothing stopped Lehmans or Merril Lynch offering any sort of investment product, or repackaging debt (which most people credit with the causing the credit crunch).

    3. You do realise that Merril Lynch is a big organisation and has a large number of divisions? John Key was a currency trader and would not have been involved in the sorts of investments (such as asset backed notes) which have contributed to the credit crisis. I could explain how it all works, but I don’t expect you really want to hear the truth.

    3. By your logic, given that John Key was giving advice to Alan Greenspan when the economy was going well, we should hail him as responsible for that? Are you saying that he was responsible for the credit crunch? Or just the reapeal of that Regulation? Because either way you’re full of crap (and I don’t say such things lightly).

    4. When you say things like ” is like giving the fox the key to the hen house” you’re really covering for the fact that your argument stinks and you have drawn no causative links. What is he going to do? Sell the Reserve bank? What?

    5. Finally, I am going to stop replying now, because the mere fact that people are engaging in debate on this ludicrous point only gives it credence.

  30. Phil 30

    Trav,

    I think it might have been me that called you something along those lines (but I suspect not a “nutty clairvoyant” exactly…). I’m not happy with how things are going right now in financial markets, but I’m not ready to eat humble pie just yet.

    Look around, and even in this ‘crisis’ economic and financial life is still ticking along. We’re probably in a global recession, but for the most part life is not so bad. We’re certainly still a veeeeery long way off from total ‘economic meltdown of the western financial world’ like the great depression, or even the 87-crash.

    Part of the reason for this is that we do have open markets – there are a lot more floating ‘shock absorbers’ in the form of exchange rates, interest rates, derivatives, so on and so forth to mitigate some of the damage.

  31. TerryC 31

    Phil,

    do those “floating shock absorbers” you refer to also include asset prices (such as share prices and house prices) and unemployment levels?

    They certainly seem to be absorbing a fair bit of the initial shock in the US.

  32. Pascal's bookie 32

    … and fed bail outs? Currently considering AIG…

  33. Ah Jeeves,

    Sticks and stones and such. I hope that you realise that calling me full of crap says more about your arguments than about mine.

    1/ Did you read my link about John Key lying? I support this with links to the NYTimes archive and the federal reserve of NZ. The timeline John key gives for his relationship with Andrew Krieger is impossible. The fact that it is repeated twice in the NZH makes it a conscious effort to hide the truth and divert people away from the attack on the NZ dollar. Of course it would not do for the “future” prime minister to have aided such a callous attack which almost caused the collapse of the country he now wishes to govern.

    So, John Key is a proven liar.

    2/ Actually 1999 and 2001 were really bad years economically for the U.S. In fact the US have never come out of the 1987 depression and the dollar has been devaluing for a very long time. The only way the US economy could be propped up was by the creation of two bubbles. One the fake IT bubble and when that collapsed in 1998 the creation off the housing bubble. Not to mention the LTCM banking collapse in which the Merrill Lynch bank lost almost US$ 1.5 billion together with other big banks (also known as the Asian crisis).

    3/ According to John Key’s own website he was at some stage the European head for bonds and derivatives (deuh, the selfsame new finance products which are now causing the financial meltdown)
    In the NZ herald he was quoted: “I had a whole lot of people working for me who were at the cutting edge of delivering quite complex and new and innovative products. They tended to either be a new product or into a new market, usually the emerging markets, Russia , Brazil, Argentina. I wasn’t the guy sitting there dreaming it all up, but I was the guy who was responsible for those people.” Did he foresee the problems which resulted in the sub-prime crisis? “Was it hard to predict? Not really.”

    And then: “The products which underpinned the sub-prime boom – then bust – were hatched in 2004-2005, long after Key had left Merrill.

    This is a blatant lie.

    According to this wiki article the prices of houses in the US rose between 1997 and 2001 a whopping 124% without economic factors to support the rise.

    In other words the price rise could only have been because of more cheap money and the development of the products that allowed the bankers to get rid of the bad mortgages to unsuspecting suckers such as pension funds etc.

    In fact in that same interview JK’s New York boss G. Kelly Martin is quoted as saying “He worked with the Government of Singapore, the Central Bank of China, some of the big Middle Eastern pension funds, Shell and US Fidelity and Capital. He had a very good handle on a variety of financial products: one of the most senior client people we had.” (Being one of the most senior people in a bank means you are in a very small select group of bankers and not just a Forex dealer)

    Not exactly Forex clients and a good handle on a variety of of financial products? you tell me Jeeves.

    In fact in as early as 2004 the FBI was alerted already about the pending crisis.
    In other words at the time John Key says that the subprime products were still under development the first cracks were appearing in the trillions of dollars scam.

    So if John Key tells us that those products were only developed when the crisis was about to happen after a long build up it means he is lying.

    Why would John Key lie about while it is so easy to disprove? He is doing so because he’s an arrogant son of a bitch and counting on the NZ ignorant punters like you Jeeves. Sucker.

    Oh, and just in case you think that Wall street was were these products were developed and so John Key could not have been involved in the development of these products think again. He lived and worked off and on for 6 years according to this speech.

    Thank you Jeeves you just pushed me that little bit extra to finally have the skeleton for my part 3 answer to the NZH fully authorised propaganda piece.

  34. Arggh purgatory again. Help Iprent, heeelp.

    Phil,

    I sure as shit hope I’m wrong and nothing would give me greater pleasure than having to eat humble pie on this one but it’s not looking good.

    America’s infrastructure is crumbling, there are no more production jobs, consumerism is down and a thousand banks are expected to collapse. 10.000 houses a day are being foreclosed on every day.

    I think that NZ is a good place to be for the foreseeable future but only if we become more self sustainable in our food supply again and if we can do without trade with the US. Because the US is looking more and more like a third world country everyday. The New York mayor expects 40.000 job losses in Wall street alone. In California the funds for unemployment are running out already and cities are organising parking lots and tent camps for the new homeless the former middle class Americans.

    The US$ 86 billion currently on offer to save the system is a drop in the ocean. The total banking leverage is some 50 trillion dollars. It is an absolute bloodbath.

    As for the government bailing out AIG. They just added 5 trillion debt on the already shattering debt of 9 trillion to be paid off by the bankrupt American tax payer for Fanny mae and Freddy mac. America is bankrupt I fear and if they go than so does the rest of us

  35. Tane 35

    Travellerev, please try to keep your comments to a reasonable length.

  36. Sorry Tane,

    But it’s so much fun to give people something to think about with regards to Slippery John.

  37. r0b 37

    But it’s so much fun to give people something to think about with regards to Slippery John.

    But people don’t read long comments Ev. I’m no fan of Key and I don’t read your comments because they’re too long. You’ll have more impact if you keep it short and punchy.

    (I’m guilty of the same verbosity on occasion, I know!).

  38. higherstandard 38

    r0b

    You may be no fan of Key but it’s a safe bet that that if Eve is convinced he’s Satan that the truth is probably somewhat different.

  39. Phil 39

    Lots to respond to…

    Terry;
    A better way to word that question would be; what would the level of unemployment be doing now if we still had old-style centrally-structured markets. I contend it would be much higher than it is now. You’re likely to say the opposite. With asset prices, I’d say it’s fairly clear that housing has been ‘overpriced’ for a while now. Having them decline is exactly what they should be doing now.

    I guess that’s the beauty of economics; every answer to every question should include “on the other hand…”

    PB;
    Fed Bail-outs – Given that we can’t turn the clock back, would it be better to let the AIG fail (a-la Lehman Bro’s) or have the Fed bail it out and not have others go down with it? Theres a balance between macro-financial stability and moral hazard… I personally think the Fed is doing it about right.

    Trav,
    Glad to see we agree on something – I hope you get proved wrong too!
    🙂
    The US still generates about 25% of global GDP – might be slightly lower with the recent growth of China – but is still the single largest economy on the planet. Saying they’re bankrupt is a little bit like saying that putting a hydro-dam on a river means it’s running dry.
    Even if they go into recession, the massive cashflow they generate is still more than enough to service their debt on a national level. The drop in oil prices will help in this respect to.

    In terms of banks – 1,000 sounds like a scary number, but in terms of the total number of banks in the US, that’s actually pretty small. The impression I got from the link you posted yesterday was that these banks would not ‘fail’, but be swallowed up in a rationalisation – similar to what is happening here where finance companies are buying up and merging with smaller competitors. This is a good thing.

    Cap: ‘Goldman recalled’
    But not Sachs…?
    Spooky

  40. Pascal's bookie 40

    Phil, didn’t say anything like that. I was saying that the bailouts are acting as a buffer to systemic meltdown. So really I agree, but I think that we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that what we’ve got here is a pretty large market failure. The derivatives that were supposed to save us, have not. No one could work out what the paper was worth. Who comes to the rescue? That would be the poor bloody tax payer.

    For the best part of 30 years we have been fed a line that the market knows best that regulation is red tape, and that neoliberal ‘reform’ is a necessary and ongoing process. (ref any paper from the CIS, BRT, Heritage foundation, AEI etc in the last 3 decades). Well here’s your results folks. Governments are kind of handy aren’t they?

    I’m waiting for some mea culpas, but not holding my breath.
    What I don’t want to hear about for the next 30 years from those folks is one damn word about the moral hazard involved in welfare payments. Deal?

  41. r0b,

    I have no problems with longer posts, must be your sound bite trained attention span, try reading a book once in a while.

    Higherstandard,

    Dipshit, You should try some of the links that actually support what I state. I do not put anything here that is not supported by for example Newspaper articles about Andrew Krieger and his career timeline. Online archives are a great resource.

    John Key = Satan. No, more like a foot soldier for his money masters.
    Lord Ashcroft and the centre for Independent studies on whose board we find the likes of Ruth Richardson, Robert Champion de Crespigny AC who also sits on the board of Cosby and Textor and banking and mining ceo’s who are all hell bend on getting their hands on the NZ resources and assets.

    But hey smartypants, keepem coming, the more you ridicule me the more smart people take me serious. This month my blog will probably attract some 10.000 hits and most of them kiwi’s. Not bad for an anonymous tulip who only started a short year ago.

  42. Phil,

    I do a lot of research but I don’t claim to be a specialist on financial crashes. I have never been in one other than the recent ones and we seemed to survive just fine but this is a different cattle of fish.

    The wars, the finance world, the fact that the US has off shored most of it’s production jobs. A national debt of $ 9 trillion and the added debt of Fanny mae and Freddy mac.

    And the fact that the US has to borrow from abroad at a rate of $2.43 billion a day to keep it all together. The moment China says Neh, I don’t think so
    that’s it. US gone.

    I don’t know how the GDP is build up but if profit of Big Corporations who make their profits by producing something in China and selling it in the US is part of it than that would not really reflect on the ability of American citizens to earn a living. The wages of American middle class have eroded and the only way they could keep up their lifestyle by working longer hours. just about everybody is mortgaged to the hilt and their Credit card debts are stupendous.

    If the earnings of the financial sectors is included we are talking about the most dangerous bubble because the derivative trade is worthless because of the subprime asset backed junk bonds. That is what is deflating at the moment and that is very scary indeed.

  43. Bill 43

    Hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s out of work we go…

    from http://english.aljazeera.net/business/2008/09/2008915183931742758.html

    “I think the worrying thing is when this hits the real economy, when this hits people on the streets who are going to have less money in their pockets, who are going to be put out of work, who potentially are going to be put out of their homes.”

    (Andrew Critchlow, managing editor for Dow Jones Middle East in Dubai)

    “…you’re talking about $700 trillion worth of debt in the global economy. The entire GDP [Gross Domestic Product] of the world is something like $60 trillion, so this has a long way to go as you deflate all of this debt back to something more sustainable.”

    (Max Keiser, prediction markets analyst in Paris)

    “… I do think this was a revolution which has now run its course. It’s a revolution which is now eating its children and a very big change in mindset has to be under way.”

    (James Galbraith, economist and professor at the University of Texas at Austin)

  44. Bill,

    Read the link. Yep, that’s the one.

  45. Bill 45

    Anybody care to comment on the NZ government throwing away it’s ‘principled’ stand on nuclear non-proliferation?

    I commented on it this morning with the relevant links. But there’s been a deafening silence.

    Is NZ enabling nuclear proliferation of no interest?

    Well, maybe someone would like to comment on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) which NZ is negotiating on. It’s being done in secret.

    Potentially far reaching consequences for net users like yourself.

    Or do undemocratic back room trade deals matter no more than nuclear proliferation?

  46. Bill,

    A friend of mine told me that a midwife friend of hers had told her of a horribly deformed dead born baby.

    Something she has nightmares about it so was so horrible. The description remined me of the pistures of Depleted uranium deformed babies and I thought it was perhaps the stillborn baby of one of the NZ troops who had come back from Afghanistan. Just google depleted uranium babies or “Beyond treason” a film about US soldiers contaminated with the stuff. In Afghanistan alone they have used over 2000 tons of the stuff. which turns into a nano particled ceramic dust when it burns up. Low emitter Alpha particles take about 5 years to do terrible damage and the particles can travel through long tissue and lodge anywhere in the body.

    Why keep up a nuclear non proliferation pact if you send your soldiers into one of the most depleted uranium contaminated countries and have them come back bringing it with them?

  47. Janet 47

    This is an interesting thread. Getting back to the beginning, the economy is about people, real people who get hurt when those playing financial games stuff up. Yet those who do the playing always seem to walk away unscathed. I agree with Cullen that we don’t want any gambling with our economy.

  48. hi Janet,

    Glad you like it and yes, I agree with you this is about real people.

  49. RedLogix 49

    travellerev,

    Good work as usual. One upside I can think of is that we are likely to hear less from those ranters who gloated how “capitalism won” after the World Bank cynically bankrupted the Russian govt in 1990.

  50. Bill 50

    travellerev.

    depleted uranium tipped armaments are a particularly effective way of dispensing with your nuclear waste…not just externalising costs but making a profit at the same time. That’s one thing. People? Health problems? What? Show us the money!

    Allowing nuclear technology to be sold to India with no inspections of their military facilities… with India and Pakistan having already fought three(?) wars since ’47 and having threatened each other with nuclear weapons ie, contemplated their use ;and given that they are currently engaged in a low level war right now…

    Given that the US is embroiled in the region and wants a counter balance to China (a nuclear India?) and Pakistan are now firing on US personnel entering Pakistani territory from Afghanistan.

    Talk about throwing a box of matches into a petrol soaked room full of kids with pyromaniac tendencies?

    All NZ had to do was say ‘no’. They had the veto.

  51. Rose 51

    Janet………seriously! wake up! Merrill Lynch is not in trouble because of JK. he left the company 8 years ago! they were doing great then!
    Cullen however is just a history teacher who paid far to much for his train set!

  52. Draco T Bastard 52

    Merrill Lynch is not in trouble because of JK. he left the company 8 years ago! they were doing great then!

    That’s because the FED was printing lots of dollar bills not because ML were actually practicing sound financial management. When the FED stopped printing all that money the whole shebang fell down and they, and all the other banks and financial institutions, had the audacity to look surprised that the myth based schemes they were operating didn’t work.

    You can’t make billions of dollars in profits when only millions of dollars in wealth are being created.

  53. Janet 53

    Rose and others
    I know John Key left Merrill Lynch a few years ago. That is not the point. The point is that his life experience, fortune and personal ethos has been formed through being a player in the financial markets game – gambling and taking risks with big amounts of money that are not his own – and incidentally firing many people in the process who got in the way of his goals. It is the Merrill Lynch mindset that worries me when applied to a country with 4 million real people in it.

    On the other hand, in my experience historians are very wise because they know where we have come from and so have insight into where we are going. And re the train set, it is a very sound investment if we look to NZ’s future needs, based on studying history.

  54. Pascal's bookie 54

    One of the Gippers famous laugh lines was that the words ‘I’m from the government, I’m here to help’ are the most frightening in the English language.

    It’s good rhetoric. Serves it’s purpose, gets a laugh, and makes the audience feel like Reagan is on your side agin the evil government that can only fuck things up, and is actively trying to keep you down. The GOP has been running that basic storyline ever since, to great electoral success.

    Funny in it? All those GOP folk seem awful quiet about how the government is bailing out the private sector to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars already, with plenty more to come. Don’t see the the Wall St bankers who laughed along with dear sainted Ron, running away in terror when it’s them with their arses in the fire and the government comes along to help. Nope. It’s all phew, and could you be so kind as to extend another line of credit please, and who could of known, and it’s no ones fault and my bonus is banked in the caymans.

    The whole big myth underlying Reaganomics just collapsed around their ankles and not a peep of ‘sorry’ or ‘we wuz wrong’ from a one of them.

    Wankers.

  55. Felix 55

    Rose

    Dr Cullen has a PhD in Social and Economic History.

    But “history teacher” sounds better, doesn’t it?

    A bit like saying Mr Key once had an office job at Merrill Lynch.

  56. Why thank you RedLogic,

    For that compliment. Now if only I could convince people that I and thousands of others: scientists, architects,pilots ex military and fire fighters have applied the same amount if not more of rigorous work and research of the events of 911 and that it is really something everybody should look into.

  57. Rose,

    Let me give you some advise. If you want to comment it pays to read through some of the stuff already put in a thread. I may prevent you from placing dumb and uninformed comments.

    Bill,

    I had a conversation with a man called Doug Rokke not so long ago. He is one of my heroes and a full time DU activist. He became an activist when he came home from Iraq were he had served in the military as a health physicist for the U.S. Army Depleted Uranium Assessment team in Iraq and he and his team became ill after they were contaminated with DU. His team mates have all died and he is also slowly dying. He told me that now every bullet and every other projectile is made from DU and that the US gives it away. It is truly horrific. Iraq and Afghanistan are contaminated for the next 4.5 billion years and the found DU dust on the space station. In the weeks following up on the first wave of bombardments of Afghanistan and Iraq the readings spiked in as far away as London. For those of you who want to know more about the effects of DU watch this film Beyond treason and realise that little over a thousand New Zealanders to date have served in that toxic environment in Afghanistan.

  58. Phil 58

    Felix,

    Wasn’t the PhD honorary?

  59. Felix 59

    I have no idea Phil. Perhaps he got it in a weetbix box. Those Social and Economic History Doctorates are just handed out willy-nilly aren’t they? I find a few every time I clean behind the couch…

    But really, I have no idea. From his Wikipedia entry:

    “…attended secondary school at Christ’s College in Christchurch, and achieved an MA in History at Canterbury University. Receiving the Commonwealth Scholarship he then gained a Ph.D. in Social and Economic History from the University of Edinburgh. From 1971 to 1981 he was a lecturer at Otago University, with a term as a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University from 1975 to 1976.”

    So yeah, he was a history teacher. And Key was a desk jockey.

  60. Rose 60

    Janet.
    If you are worried about gambling of other peoples money then maybe you should go and ask everybody’s favorite historian “what happened to our super fund??”

  61. Phil 61

    Let me give you some advise. If you want to comment it pays to read through some of the stuff already put in a thread. I may prevent you from placing dumb and uninformed comments.

    This made my day just a little bit brighter
    🙂

  62. Ms M 62

    I don’t claim to know much about the world of finance, but in 1999, the new glamour boys and girls on the block were equity and credit derivatives traders and the new play field was the internet.

    Where did Key get positioned after FX trading .. London, trading in European bonds and derivatives, and setting up the e-commerce division there, until 2001. Eventually leaving Merrill Lynch the same year, after a short stint in Sydney where he was to set up the e-commerce division for the Asia Pacific (Pacific Rim).

    In this quote from 1999, when he was the managing director of debt markets at ML, he said,

    “The initial thought was that, yes, the Internet’s great for foreign exchange because it’s vanilla. But there are applications that are just as wide in many other areas: corporate bond trading, government credit, equity underwriting, credit derivatives-it’s endless.”

    You know, the same type of unregulated finance and investment products offered, like sub-prime.

    Key may not have worked at Merrill Lynch for eight years, but he has always supported the power of e-commerce in offering products like this. The article also notes Key as saying “that banks can either boost their volume and expect to make a smaller margin or else lie down and accept that they will make less money”.

    “We want to embrace the change that is happening,”

    Glass-Steagall Act anyone?

    “E-commerce will provide an awful lot of flow on benefits from an efficiency point of view and allow us a much greater global reach than we have today. So we see this as a great opportunity to increase our distribution.”

    Merrill, whose trades range from $500,000 to $5 billion, recently announced a new on-line portal for equity and investment products, and the bank plans to roll out continuous enhancements to the portal over the next two years.”

    In the same article,

    “But perhaps of principal concern is speed. As a comparison, FX differs from stocks in that when buying a share, an order is placed and confirmation is obtained when the deal is executed. With FX, however, customers want to see prices prior to the deal so they need an immediate response to their inquiry. The Internet has yet to show that it can of fer this immediate information. Graham Moat, a foreign exchange dealer with HSBC, a bank with 100 corporate clients for on-line FX trading, adds:”We would want to get a price back to customers in less than two seconds, and I’m not sure the Internet can do that.”

  63. Really?

    Phil perhaps you should do the same.

  64. Ms M,

    Very interesting. Do you have a link to said interview?
    According to my information John Key was global head of Forex for Merrill Lynch from 1999 until march 2001 and as such advisor to the federal reserve of New York and the biggest player in the current crisis Alan Greenspan. He was part part of the the a href=’http://www.newyorkfed.org/fxc/members/members_past.html’>Foreign Exchange committee with only three others one for Citigroup, Lehman and UBS Warburg. The 4 banks most hit by the subprime crisis.

    A link to your interview would help me greatly with part three of my response to the NZ Herald propaganda piece. You might want to read my first response here.

    In the NZH John Key claims he was involved in new products for emerging markets like Russia, Brazil, Argentina etc. This links him to the Asian crisis and the collapse of Russia.

    See Phil,

    Getting educated is what it’s all about, and of course the perception that no one in power can be trusted ever.

  65. Oops,

    Sorry for wrong link. Here it is again Foreign Exchange committee

  66. Ms M 66

    Treasurers log on to on-line FX
    Global Finance, Nov 1999 by Joelson, Daniel
    BNet
    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3715/is_/ai_n8869409

  67. Ms M 67

    Treasurers log on to on-line FX

    BNet, Global Finance, Nov 1999 by Joelson, Daniel

  68. Thanks Ms M,

    I’ll have a read.

  69. Friggin hell Ms M,

    How the hell did you find this?

    John Key: Managing director of debt market of Merrill Lynch in 1999.

    You nailed it girl. John Key caught with his fingers in the worlds financial till.

    HIGH FIVE.

    All of youse read the link of Ms M. Awesome, we are so going to nail this guy.

    Captcha: Men LOVER. So much nicer than “get fucked” vto and T-rex

  70. higherstandard 70

    To quote the immortal words of D4J……

    “Talking a bloody cold day and war. I spotted a red electioneer Mannequin in town. It continually screeched National and USA very bad in a deep voice, then in an angelic voice frothed comrade Putin and Labour very good.

    Did it breach the EFA?

    I couldn?t find a rock big enough to shut it up.”

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