National Debt cracks the ton

Written By: - Date published: 12:20 pm, July 20th, 2015 - 62 comments
Categories: debt / deficit, economy, Economy, national, national/act government, same old national - Tags:

National debt

62 comments on “National Debt cracks the ton”

  1. G C 1

    The borrower is slave to the lender. Sooo… …who are our ‘Task Masters’?

    • Keith 1.1

      When National said “A Brighter Future” they weren’t lying. But what they meant was it was for banks and overseas creditors, that are by pure coincidence Keys old buddies!

  2. Colonial Rawshark 2

    The NZ Government chooses to source its NZ dollars by borrowing from overseas. As a currency sovereign it could simply decide to issue those NZ dollars to itself, at no interest charge.

    • Clean_power 2.1

      No Nobel Prize of Economics coming your way, CR. You would change New Zealand into a Zimbwawe in no time at all.

      • Crashcart 2.1.1

        You do realise that every day Banks in NZ use fractional reserve banking to create money that didn’t exist mere moments before?

        The government needs to remove the ability for the banks to create money for free and make them borrow it from the government at a set interest rate. That will give the value to the money that the goverment prints.

        • Jackp

          Look what happened to Abraham Lincoln, President McKinley, and John F Kennedy. Well, Mckinley was going to but the other two had the government print the money and give it out to the banks. After Kennedy was killed, 4 billion was taken out of circulation. Why would we just ask a bank to print money and charge interest out of thin air? It’s madness. An economy can’t run on a borrowed system. It’s better the government control the money rather than the banks. We’re seeing the results when the banks economically control the government.

      • maui 2.1.2

        Quantitative easing is also being done by the US, European Central Bank and Japan, want to call them out for creating Zimbabwe like conditions too and creating an inevitable economic disaster?

        • Lanthanide

          Big countries play by different rules.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            And Switzerland? Are they a “big country” too? How about Singapore? Another “big country” which is happy to directly intervene in the market for its own currency?

            Or is it simply that as Kiwis, we have never bothered to figure out a smart niche to occupy in the world economic system, and we keep making excuses for why we cannot?

      • Colonial Rawshark 2.1.3

        No Nobel Prize of Economics coming your way, CR. You would change New Zealand into a Zimbwawe in no time at all.

        Huh? What are you talking about? Zimbabwe has nothing to do with what I am suggesting. Which is to issue a NZ dollar at no interest, instead of borrowing one from China and being charged interest.

      • Jones 2.1.4

        There is nothing wrong with a Government creating the money supply. They are, after all, the representatives of the commonwealth of the people. It depends on where the money is spent and other policies around it, such as allowing banks to continue with fractional-reserve lending.

        • Draco T Bastard


        • Colonial Rawshark

          Yep, investment in productive capacity, useful economic infrastructure, and the wellbeing of the people will pay back massive dividends over time.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.5

        Not according to the IMF. In fact, it seems that it would stabilise the economy and bring prosperity – the exact opposite of what we have now with the private banks creating money without restrictions.

    • dukeofurl 2.2

      Where do you get info that it sources its debt overseas ?

      My understanding is that it uses the $NZ

      Could it be that the idea of a computer making up the numbers overnight doesnt happen here

      • Colonial Rawshark 2.2.1

        That is the crazy thing

        We sell NZD denominated debt offshore eg

        This will be of concern to Finance Minister Bill English who is poised to begin a visit to China. English was in Beijing recently for the signing ceremony to launch the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

        English and Treasury Secretary Gabriel Makhlouf, who is also on the trip, will be aware that if the instability spills over it could also impact on the NZ economy.

        The Chinese Government is a significant buyer of NZ Government bonds.

    • Smilin 2.3

      And bury Rio Tinto would help my power bill but they will probably find another way to milk the continuing power price hikes
      We might have half a chance of creating our own currency instead of this Fed sanctioned crap we live with, Dreams and Aspirations, can we get so people with their feet on the ground or are we doomed to walk on the moon?
      If we cut the advertising slush fund we might find our currency has some weight and real value cos thats about all this govt has done, False Advertising

  3. her 3

    And that is how you get a corner office when you go back to the banking industry.

  4. keyman 4

    does anyone know the total NZ debt including government debt some told me its a basket case

    • dukeofurl 4.1

      Not if it owns an asset. Most NZ domestic bank debt is secured by an asset ( except credit cards)

      • Colonial Rawshark 4.1.1

        in a financial crisis the value of those “assets” will deteriorate quickly, and remember there is a reason why those assets are called “collateral” by the bank. Dairy farmers are realising that now.

      • Jones 4.1.2

        I think it depends on the asset they are securing against.

        • dukeofurl

          Dairy farmers would be land mostly. Not sure about dairy cows but maybe up 50% of cow value.
          National is going to ‘socialise the losses’ for dairy farmers before the next election the way things are going. Especially if Winston pulls on his gumboots

      • Brutus Iscariot 4.1.3

        New Zealand Government debt is backed by the ultimate asset – the ability to raise money through taxation.

        Aside from that, CV’s analysis is simplistic.

        The government raises debt at auctions in which parties bid down to lend money to the Crown. There often isn’t enough capital solely in New Zealand to fund the government’s operating requirements. Unless, as you say, the Reserve Bank straight up bought all the debt that the government incurred and straight up extinguished it by printing the money. Depending on the level of the debt, down that route is inflation and massive currency depreciation.

        The commercial banks are a separate issue. They source a lot of their money offshore cheaply. The margin between those interest rates and the rates they then lend out at is quite juicy. They have to pay more to borrow from NZ depositholders (and let’s never forget that a bank deposit is a loan to the bank).

        • crashcart

          Actually the last part of your stamenet is incorrect. When you deposit your money it is no longer yours. You are trading it for an asset in teh form af a bank account. The money you deposit becomes the property of the bank. Fractional reserve means they have to maintain a percentage of the initial deposit to secure against the asset that is the account which counts as a liability on thier books. However if $100 is deposited the bank can lend out $80. Often that $80 is deposited straight back into the bank in the accoutn of another person. This of course means the bank can again lend out 80% of that deposit.

    • Colonial Rawshark 4.2

      NZ household debt is approx $150B

      • RedLogix 4.2.1

        So lets estimate total Debt at $250b this means Total Debt to GDP at about 100%. (And that may not be including all debt.)

        In order to repay all this – over say 20 years – this implies roughly a 5% hit on GDP (ie permanent depression) for at least that period.

        And given that no govt could survive such fiscal policy for such a period – my conclusion is that it will never be repaid.

        In other words we are no better off than Greece.

        • dv

          And the interest payments are in the order of 10Billion for both debts
          or about $2500 for each person.

        • Lanthanide

          Anyone that thinks any local council in NZ will ever repay their debt back is a fool.

          They’re all insolvent.

          • maui

            +1, that’s important to remember too. We’re a debt based economy and probably sooner rather than later it’s all going to go pear-shaped. When our Government and local Government both go bankrupt many people are going to be screaming hallelujah! Amidst the chaos.

        • tinfoilhat

          While there’s no doubt that the present government are poor managers of the economy we are not in quite as bad a state as Greece.

          One of my colleagues at school showed me this site which illustrates what a fiscal shambles the world is in.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            that’s because the bankers have ensured that each and very modern country accesses its monies through debt owed to the banks.

            • tinfoilhat

              Quite, I was interested to see that Japan’s debt at the moment is seriously out of control………..too big to fail ?

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Japan has a lot of problems, and the Bank of Japan is printing money at an insane rate to try and compensate. Yet wages and economic activity keep on stagnating.

                • mikesh

                  I think Japan and the US are desperately battling deflation, which they see as an even greater evil than inflation.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Indeed. The wages of ordinary Kiwi workers are experiencing serious deflation as well.

                • Ron

                  Well Japan may soon be allowed to fight overseas again. If I was China I would be a little worried. A war is always good for the economy right?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Japan has been facing bad economic news for years. And their situation is getting worse as their population ages and shrinks. Their politicians need a boost. And the USA needs an Anti-China to help balance out the rising regional strength of the Chinese. Win/win, from the western colonial stand point.

        • Phil

          my conclusion is that it will never be repaid.

          How may people do you know who used to have a mortgage and then paid it off?
          Compare that to the number of people you know who used to have a mortgage, but defaulted and lost the house.

          • Colonial Viper

            Do those mortgage holders you talk about keep taking more money out on tick every year their house valuation goes up?

          • RedLogix

            Making flawed comparisons between the behaviour of individuals and whole economies is a pretty common mistake Phil.

            But to address your point directly – increasingly people are arriving at retirement age with considerable mortgage debt and are relying on either down-sizing or selling off investment assets to remain cash flow positive.

            • John Shears

              Maybe but not all, some like my wife and I no longer own a house and live in a retirement village. We have no mortgage and have not had one for the last 25 or so years.

              We have owned 7 houses all family homes. The first was bought using the Family Benefit capitalisation scheme,we had 3 children, an interest only loan for 5 years and a bank overdraft it wasn’t easy but it worked.

              We bought our first house in the late 1950’s when the home ownership was the low and the Govt. of the day , National, recognised that they needed to help young couples own their dwelling.
              The present lot can’t see that. yet they are also National.

          • Crashcart

            It doesn’t help that when you do have a mortgage you seem to get regular phone calls from people who know you by name and know you own property who can get you into an investment property for no deposit what so ever just using the equity in your home.

            Bring on the debt go round.

  5. mikesh 5

    A cash injection is a cash injection, and will be just as inflationary if it comes from overseas as it would be if it came off the RB’s printing press.

    • Colonial Rawshark 5.1


      but it will not be inflationary if the economy has plenty of competitive, productive capacity to spare (and with 250,000 unemployed and under employed people, that is certainly the case here in NZ)

    • Stuart Munro 5.2

      It depends where it goes – foreign capital that builds new capacity doesn’t cause much inflation. Foreign capital that enters the housing bubble does.

      Treasury is like a 7 year-old’s joke: When is capital not inflationary? When we don’t include housing bubbles in our stats.

  6. Atiawa 6

    Since becoming the government “borrow & hope” is the one policy that hasn’t been made up along the way.
    Credit where credit is due eh!

  7. upnorth 7

    Stats NZ says only 39.5% of GDP which is very good in real terms – but our lowest has been 17% in 2007 but that was a very shonky number back then as ACC was reported as $7B in assets was was no where near.

    The data hub being used above is poor analysis because the debt has reduced over the last few years – I am really sorry but this data is about useful as the last name basis for property in Auckland.

    I think it is best to use treasury data and not some spin the wheel forecast projection.

    I think you have to seriously back out the CHCH rebuild.

    I am more worried about private debt rather than govt debt because govt debt by our own standards and international standards is in a good space.

    happy to be referred to other reports (no links just titles please) dont want to get in trouble with the Mod)

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      perceptive – private debt is by far the most dangerous to an economy

    • dukeofurl 7.2

      “very shonky number back then as ACC was reported as $7B in assets was was no where near.”

      Now ACC assets are $25 billion.

      That makes it highly likely the 2007 figure was very conservative at $7B, you dont triple it in 6 years any other way.
      After all the GFC reduced global asset values sharply , but those who held good value assets recovered fairly quickly, probably to their true value of over $15B.

      THose in the know about then ACC Minister Nick- What happened to my vacant land- Smith claim about the big hole in ACCs accounts can disregard it as the musings of a clueless dropkick

    • Pat 7.3

      the two have to be considered in tandem….if government debt is secured by the ability to realise tax and the private debt is secured by tangible assets (i.e farms and houses) then if either suffers a serious setback it significantly and negatively impacts the other.

  8. b waghorn 8
    Clear as mud to me but might make sense to some here

  9. Smilin 9

    TRUE CONSERVATIVE GOVT you save in prosperous times instead of givin 7 billion to the rich and crow about a Rockstar economy which is generally crash and burn except for those who have been at it longer than Key has been out of nappies cos he probably nearly shat himself when he was 7
    What a bunch of idiots we are to allow this 9/11 financial austerity crap to lie to us about what we have for a PM
    A Right wing yuppie creamer of the honesty of the masses labour,and the nations wealth for the benefit of Mr Kite and a corrupt democracy in short
    The show must go on but who pays ?

  10. Keith 10

    Is this what it takes to be a “Rockstar” economy?

  11. Mike 11


    Gross debt in the most recent government financial statements was around $85.7b, net debt (which is a fairer measure) is around $60b

    And if you’re including private debt in the ‘national debt’, thats about another $250b or so

  12. Dave_1924 12

    Yip its really bad, time to cut government spending… must be 5% they can trim off and put to debt repayment surely…

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      that would destroy money out of the economy and worsen the coming dairy recession

  13. Mike the Savage One 13

    Which is relevant and which is true? Perhaps it is not as bad as the post suggests, so far at least:

    Remember Key in 2011:

    It is not government debt we should be worried about, but private debt:

    But who cares, we can always sell real estate, our skills and work and services, for the future, as so many have, being tenants and servants in our own country, let us “party” on, John. That is the partying of the top percentages at the expense of the rest of us I presume.

  14. Sable 14

    Watch out for tax creep as we all end up paying for years of economic mismanagement by National and Labour…..

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