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Open mike 10/09/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 10th, 2012 - 65 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

65 comments on “Open mike 10/09/2012 ”

  1. Carol 1

    What is it with these investment types?

    What seems to matter above all to Terry Hall (as in his Stuff/Business Day Op Ed today), is the best time to invest – not whether the investment is good for most of NZers, or whether it’ll be good/bad for the economy long term?

    And it seems protests and campaigns (which reflect the fact that most Kiwis are opposed to privtisation of utilities) are just good PR for Might River Power’s asset sale….. and ha, ha, ha, ha…. stupid protesters, they are just providing this PR and not getting paid for it.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/opinion-analysis/7642726/Asset-sale-falters-as-NZ-shares-soar

    Somewhere, high up in the Beehive, someone must have said: “Bugger!” After months of planning all the ducks were in a row – the timing should have been perfect for the Mighty River float.

    Did the opposition parties and the many protesters marching through streets and writing letters demanding that the Government abandon the partial privatisation programme realise that they were actually stoking demand for the shares? And that they weren’t getting a cent for their promotional efforts?

    • Bored 1.1

      Carol, having read the investment types for years I have come to the conclusion that there is no right time to buy but there is an “advantageous moment”. For the last century and a half we have had currency devaluation (or asset valuation), look at the property market as a case in point (and not the bubble period but the last 100 years). Investment has been simple and mainly safe whilst this trend has been a constant upwards movement, the “smart” investor picks the most “advantageous moment” to buy as this has a real impact on the time frame to get a return.

      If you look at Mighty River the most advantageous moment is when he price is lowest: who is going to pay a high sum when their is some doubt about title? The low price will suit investors as they will be working on the principle that the state will uphold “private property rights”.

      PS There is good news in the trends on price: it has tracked energy availability and consequent “growth”, that is all about to reverse. Investors are going to have to learn a new game.

      • aerobubble 1.1.1

        Dams grow old and Earthquakes undermine foundations. Its always in the interest of a seller to
        be ‘helped’ by the buyer beware ideal. Secondly, its not safe to say that middle to long term
        energy companies will do better, since much of their market is heating homes, insulation,
        roof heat exchanges, solar, all add up to growing undermining of energy profits. I think
        you should question why National no longer believe energy companies are assets of national
        importance. As for the peculiar relationship of an aluminum smelter and its whole own government energy supplier. Now the smelter will start buying shares and have a seat on the board, yeah that’s really going to help drive up profits.

        • mike e 1.1.1.1

          Now National are blaming Maori water rights and trying to lump air in as well HOOten spreading cynicism again.

        • Bored 1.1.1.2

          Aero, I have a far more cynical approach to how power companies will act in the face of “competition” from insulation, solar etc. They will merely charge more, because like Telecom before them those who have to have the electricity will need to buy, whatever the price. The competitive market thing I have seen before, it wont stop what I would describe as “passive” cartel behavior.

          Another factor stopping keeping price up will be the capital cost of alternatives: those of us who can afford to buy these will leaving the less well off to bear the cost.

          A further factor that will mitigate against the fall of electricity prices will be the diminution of oil based energy, demand will shift. This is the primary reason why we must hang on to our electricity as a strategic asset. It is also a primary reason these rentier parasites want to own the generation of electricity.

          All up it says that we must NOT sell if we don’t want to become power peasants.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.2.1

            +1

            Power is a necessity and as such if a society puts it in the hands of profiteers then the poor of that society will be the ones who end up paying for the extravagant lifestyles the new owners think is owed to them.

    • blue leopard 1.2

      @ Carol

      “Did the opposition parties and the many protesters marching through streets and writing letters demanding that the Government abandon the partial privatisation programme realise that they were actually stoking demand for the shares?”

      I reckon this is fallacious political posturing because I suspect “persons” (corporate groups included) with large profits need something more secure to invest in than the speculative markets, which are in a dire state of bubbledom.

      More detail at post 15

  2. Carol 2

    Looks like there’s a”new” leftie up against Hooton in Nine-to-Noon today: Josie Pagan:
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/20120910

    Or could they just not find a truly left wing commentator, and are just recycling the old faux-leftie?

    • Professor Longhair 2.1

      I predict a re-enactment of Passchendaele. Again.

      Maybe that useless husband of hers can hold her hand when it’s over and try to stanch the bleeding.

      • Bored 2.1.1

        The identical armies fighting the old war the same way all over again with the same predictable results……..

    • prism 2.2

      Haven’t they had Josie Pagani for a while. Their idea of a leftie – my idea of a well-educated middle class woman spouting out the predictable truisms of the comfortable class whose thinking about the world is exemplified in its image of the three monkeys minus one – Hear no evil, See no evil, but feel free to Speak evil.

    • felix 2.3

      They could find one. There are plenty around and they’ve found them before. So if they don’t have one it’s probably because they don’t want one.

      • Carol 2.3.1

        And they could have spelled her name correctly, too. How many times has she been their tame leftie?

      • prism 2.3.2

        felix
        I liked Leila Harre – have never forgotten her as she was so clear about her ideas and pleasant to listen to.

        • felix 2.3.2.1

          Yeah she was good, as was Sue Bradford.

          • Bored 2.3.2.1.1

            We also had Trotter and Bomber appear briefly. Seems to me however all that happens when a “lefty” gets on the radio is that the “left” give them as much s**t as the “right” do. We are truly a house divided.

      • Professor Longhair 2.3.3

        Leila Harre always handed out a whupping to Matthew Hooton. Maybe the SPCA had something to do with her not being asked back for a year or so.

    • Carol 2.4

      So Josie is off to a good start…. praises school dinners idea, 1st….. then goes on to slam the logic of Shearer’s speech and the failure to pitch to potentially “new” Labour voters, or to recognise the long tail of failure in NZ’s education system… that 20% fail rate implied.

      Oh… no…. that % has just grown. Josie just mentioned possibly 40%!

      • Carol 2.4.1

        And what a joke! Both Hooton and Josie dishing out advice to Labour as to what they should do.

        • felix 2.4.1.1

          Nothing wrong with that, the right wingers are always giving Labour advice.

          The problem is that Labour takes notice.

          • Socialist Paddy 2.4.1.1.1

            Aye.  The right were heavily in support of Shearer becoming leader.

          • Vicky32 2.4.1.1.2

            Nothing wrong with that, the right wingers are always giving Labour advice.

            I count amongst those right wingers, many, perhaps most of the Greens, although IMO they’re sneaky barstewards! 🙂
            Faux left.

      • felix 2.4.2

        More retardedness from Pagani. She’s concerned that 40% of kids aren’t reaching the top, or even the middle.

        FFS.

        Also nice to hear her stories about sending her kids to school in France. Heartland Labour stuff that.

        • Carol 2.4.2.1

          Yes, clearly both Josie and Hooton are focused on pitching to middleclass voters (and the middle and upper sections of the middleclasses as well). The rest don’t seem to exist in their view.

    • mike e 2.5

      Hooten played the race card so many times its not funny.
      So thats the rights new policy as theyn have no policy play the race card that will move NZ forward
      yeah right.

    • Tim 2.6

      Well unfortunately the lady with “ISSSSHHHHHHyouse”, her producer or that Extemely, Utterly, Indisputably, “every-man’s BEST friend – in the-afternoon” wouldn;t know what right, centre, or left actually is or was.
      Sometimes I wonder why the likes of a Slack and others even bother. I spose his balls must have been feminised by all that cycling and Devonport living.

  3. Ed 3

    The following article is quite kind to National in giving a possible coherency to National’s authoritarian “me first” looting:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/christchurch-earthquake/7637382/The-business-of-NZ-Inc

    I suspect Jim Anderton is right in believing in cock-up theories over conspiracy theories – but the cock-ups do appear to favour Gerry’s mates.

    • Carol 3.1

      Well, I don’t think there are the contradictions that the author identifies to discredit particular philosophic approaches of the government. So called “neoliberalism” was always a PR front for the powerful elites to do whatever they deemed necessary to shift the wealth in their direction. This is indeed made easier by NZ’s top-down form of government, and limited amount of checks and balances in the system (eg without an upper house).

      Key’s NZ Inc can operate easily in this environment, while continuing to mouth a lot of neoliberal free-market PR. Both running the government like a business, and the need to deal with regular elections, make for a short term approach. Anyway, running the public sector like a business has been integral to the “neoliberal” shift.

      Klein’s disaster capitalism is also consistent with this: it involves having an underlying philosophy that favours the elite, and the willingness to be opportunistic in the face of unexpected disasters.

      Of course, with the likes of Brownlee in charge of some things, cock-ups will also happen…. and these do sometimes provide openings for the opposition to make the running….. they aren’t doing this as well as they could.

      • Bored 3.1.1

        Two comments:

        First: Business is fundamentally the same for the players regardless of whether we are neo lib or Keynesian or whatever in terms of government. Business rules toward profit apply under any regime and the pathology of the resulting relations to production (to coin Marx) will be the same. Interestingly this approach also applied to Soviet enterprises, with the same predictable social results.

        Second: good point on running governemtn like a business. The end result is that you cease to be a citizen with citizens rights: you become a client, a consumer and a tax payer. The relationship fundamentally changes to one measured not by your rights but by cash etc. Public servants become managers,….it sounds subtle but it is significant.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2

        This is indeed made easier by NZ’s top-down form of government, and limited amount of checks and balances in the system (eg without an upper house).

        An upper house is not a check on abuse of power. If the same party controls both houses then both become a rubber stamp for what the government wants to do. MMP is a better check on such abuse but we’ve essentially ended up with a single party in power ATM and so the abuse has become more obvious than normal. If we want checks and balances on the abuse of power then those need to be in the hands of the people and not the politicians.

        Anyway, running the public sector like a business has been integral to the “neoliberal” shift.

        Agreed and, after 30 years of doing so, the inefficiencies are really starting to show through.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      Quoting article:

      A top-down corporate approach to running New Zealand – one people united under a single business plan – sounds reassuringly centralist and commonsense.

      It promises to move us beyond the stale old political dichotomies of Left v Right, or liberal v conservative.

      A top-down corporate approach is full on conservative and antidemocratic. I think the liberals will have something to say about that.

      “The problem with New Zealand democracy is that we don’t have very good checks and balances on central government power.”

      That’s true. In fact, the lack of limits on executive power is clearly shown with NACTs sell off of our assets against the will of the people.

      Edwards suggests this centralising tendency has a lot to do with New Zealand’s legacy as a settler colony – the need for a strong hand to carve out a new country.

      Bollocks, it has to do with a few peoples desire for power and nothing else.

      This is also what the Auckland super-city merger was about, she says. With globalisation, cities too are in international competition for people and investment. So the same NZ Inc logic of intervening to foster the conditions for more rapid growth applies.

      “The goal is to create space for business to flourish. It is about freeing up the resources for certain actors, the bigger corporates, to have more opportunities. It isn’t about the little local businesses. With actions like the Roads of National Significance, it is about how it will benefit the larger players.”

      Got to agree with that. This government has always been about catering to the big multi-nationals while ignoring the local community.

  4. Carol 4

    Green MP Kevin hague is continuing on the ACC case. Press Release from yesterday:

    http://www.greens.org.nz/press-releases/truly-independent-medical-assessments-must-be-top-priority-new-acc-board

    The newly constituted ACC Board needs to demonstrate its commitment to culture change in the organisation by immediately changing the way it commissions the services of specialist medical assessors, Green Party ACC spokesperson Kevin Hague said today.

    There is no doubt that ACC has a standard practice of using specialist medical assessors who are likely to make an assessment favourable to ACC,” said Mr Hague

    “The many claimants’ stories I have on file show, in particular, it is common for ACC medical assessors to have views which are unusual in their specialty, and who are willing to offer opinions outside of their recognized scope of practice.

    “Dr Du Plessis, who was interviewed in Melanie Reid’s story is far from unique.

    “The Green Party has suggested several ways of doing this to the Minister. One is to engage with the specialists’ professional colleges to have them appoint medical assessors. Another is simply to extend the contracts ACC already has with District Health Boards so that DHB specialists make the assessments,” said Mr Hague.

    Mr Hague has also raised with the Minister ACC’s intention to now exercise greater control of the clinical “gateway” into the scheme.

    But with Rebstock in charge, can we expect the ACC Board to listen to the Greens?

  5. joe90 5

    The Atlantic on the extortion of taxpayer money by professional sport.

    http://theatln.tc/PTZLjd

    • tc 5.1

      The Glazers are good at this, threatened to relocate their NFL team if they didn’t get a shiny new stadium.

      Their takeover of Manyoo has been a masterclass in bleeding out the cash cow also.

    • NickS 5.2

      And you can probably guarantee the owners are regular “welfare BAD” republican supporters…

  6. prism 6

    Jokey Hen after Russia disappointed he couldn’t bag a free trade agreement. Jokey Hen at the pacific forum denigrating China our present hope for survival. This man should have duct tape applied to his mouth every morning. I understand there is a comedian who makes a good living from an act like this.

    We have a long trading association with Russia. Even when they were awful ‘Reds’ and their money wasn’t freely exchangeable internationally we traded with them – our butter for their larders (whoops I mean Ladas, cars that is. Incidentally a USA woman living here was very upset then because they were produced by prisoners who weren’t receiving wages. Doesn’t this happen now in the USA and perhaps here?)

    Anyway I digress, but just make the point that we have found ways to trade with Russia and it doesn’t require our Prime Minister to hang all our hopes on his high political contacts and acumen. Hah!

    Radionz 8.20 this morning – http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport
    NZ – Russia deal has great potential, but huge pitfalls
    New Zealand firms will have to wait for at least a year to get free access to the Russian market, and there’s no guarantee it will ever happen. (6′40″)
    Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

    • Janice 6.1

      Hopefully the interpreter understood all Johnny Boy’s fractured words and got them correct, it would be awful if we were also committed to Russia’s contexts!

  7. captain hook 7

    Vlad says kweewee is just trying to get another notch on his belt.
    in other words it is just more tory weasel words.

  8. joe90 8

    Exceptional upward mobility, a myth.

    http://www.psc.isr.umich.edu/pubs/pdf/rr12-766.pdf

    ABSTRACT

    We study the role of parental wealth for children’s educational and occupational outcomes
    across three types of welfare states and outline a theoretical model that assumes parental
    wealth to impact offspring’s attainment through two mechanisms, wealth’s purchasing
    function and its insurance function. We argue that welfare states can limit the purchasing
    function of wealth, for instance by providing free education and generous social benefits,
    yet none of the welfare states examined here provides a functional equivalent to the
    insurance against adverse outcomes afforded by parental wealth. Our empirical evidence of
    substantial associations between parental wealth and children’s educational success and
    social mobility in three nations that are marked by large institutional differences is in line
    with this in line with this interpretation and helps us re-examine and extend existing typologies of mobility regimes.

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    Good write up on the TPPA by Gordon Campbell:

    Arguably then, if we do see our future trade interests as being part of Asia, we should detach ourselves from the TPP as discreetly as we can. Because, to repeat:

    (a) The TPP is little more than a Washington–led security alliance in the guise of a trade pact, and is being directed tactically against a China that we should be seeking to befriend;
    (b) US farmers will ensure that the TPP cannot deliver us the freer agricultural access that would be the only worthwhile quid pro quo for the level of concessions the TPP will require of us. And of course;
    (c) The TPP negotiations and the level of concessions they entail pose a genuine threat to our national autonomy, and;
    (d) The negotiations are being conducted amidst a total secrecy blackout that makes a mockery of Parliament and the democratic process.

    The TPPA is getting worse for NZ by the day.

    • Bill 9.1

      You might find this article kind of interesting DtB. http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/NI08Ad02.html

      The People’s Republic of China has decided to counter-program against the TPP with the RCEP – the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, a proposed free trade zone encompassing ASEAN, China, Japan, India, Australia, and South Korea.

      • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1

        Quoting article:

        Staunch US ally New Zealand stood boldly ready to hedge its bets:

        I LOL’d 😈

  10. gobsmacked 11

    Yet again, communication failure from Shearer …

    Newstalk ZB –

    A Maori claim on commercial wind use isn’t sitting well with the Greens.

    Ngapuhi member David Rankin, along with two colleagues, has lodged an application with the
    Waitangi Tribunal for the commercial use of wind and has lodged a pre-emptive claim for any commercial wind farms in Northland.

    Green Party Co-Leader Metiria Turei doesn’t think the claim has merit.

    “It undermines the very serious claims that are going on at the moment around water. I don’t think it’s a wise claim to make, and I don’t think it’s justifiable.”

    Labour leader David Shearer says at first glance it looks peculiar to him as he’s never thought of wind being anything other than the wind.

    “I’d have to have a look at what they’re trying to do but at the moment, I guess I’d be sceptical about it.”

    Meanwhile Prime Minister John Key says those sorts of assets are there for the entire country.

    “My view is pretty clear. No-one owns water, no-one owns wind, no-one owns sunlight, no-one owns the sea. I could give you quite a long list if you like.”

    So we can see that …

    1) The Greens get top billing, because Metiria Turei is clear.

    2) Key is repeating his familiar line – it’s deliberately misleading, it’s a dog-whistle, but .. it’s clear.

    3) Shearer doesn’t know what to say. He sounds surprised.

    The possibility of a wind claim was being discussed last week. So, did nobody in Shearer’s office say “Here’s what will happen, so be prepared. What’s your response?”. Or did they tell him and he forgot?

    Again and again – basic Labour failure to anticipate and communicate. Why?

    • Morrissey 11.1

      Your analysis of Shearer’s muddled “statement” is spot-on.

      We used to keep being told how Shearer was tough and would eventually develop into a smooth and competent leader. After all, they said, he had “faced down warlords in Iraq”.

      Who came up with that line? Was it those PR masterminds John and Josie Pagani?

  11. Tim 12

    I’ve not YET read any of the above but i am currenlty watching Skoi News Srtay Lia.
    Needless to say they’re on about “boat people” AGAIN!

    Firstly………can SOMEONE inform our politicians and media that seeking asylum IS NOT ACTUALLY ILLEGAL. IF Jonky or Joolya think it is, then perhaps they should FIRST rescind by whatever means it talkes, the international law both countries signed up to. IF gubbamints under a Gillard or a Jonky want to change the rules – then they should first have said they no longer want to be signatories to the international law that those who preceeded them signed up to. Simply trying to implement tactical solutions out of expediencey and panic never really works, as they may come to learn soon enough.

    Secondly …….. Elsewhere on some other soshul netwerking blog (I’m not an addict of soshul netwerking), I predicted that there would be proposed legislation that (at least past) pot-smoking [illegal activity] ferral Kapiti redneck has proposed. Sure enough – it’s come to pass. Cheers Nafe..

    Thirdly ………I’ll make another suggestion. It IS that Jonky (in his bid to provide some sort of relief to Joolya’s itching undercarriage) has already made certain promises – or at least given her an “understanding”
    !700 refuge seekers have arrived on AUstralian Territory (which in itlelf could be challenged).
    I’ll make a predication. ONCE the law has passed where people obeying already entrenched international law, and law that both NZ and OZ signed up to becomes overwhelming – Cnut likker, Putin likker, ANYONE likker if there’s a dollar init…… will “offer assistance.

    WE actually bailed out the Austrralians once before – under different circumstances agreed. Something they’ve NEVER had the decency to accknowledge and something they’re desperate to forget!

    I made the first comment -where-ever it was when Jonky and Joolya were kissing as he visited OZ. The timing was very interesting. VERY shortly after – we began having little exercises …… We were PRACTICING what we’d do if we (as NZers) were to be inundated by those bloody “illegal”, pesky Ali Gill soilim seekers roiving on boats.
    It’s not just Pulla Bent that licks a keezus…….. old Nafe is desperate to get respectable too.

    Hey – brings me to another point…….i..e. Public Servants would actually do themsleves a favour if more blew whistles. The ones that don’t have obviously NOT woken up to the fact that our Public Service (Including SSC) is no longer politically independant.

    I await the first load of (ex-AUSTRALIAN) “illegals” “boat people” ” queue jumpers” etc.
    (NONE of the caracterisations are actually true – shame ter is not 4th Estate left).

    And – if Public Servants are in any doubt…….perhaps they cudda shudda wudda been watching 60 mis last night.

    For me (as an ex PS) it was the BEST thing I ever did. Though the revelation that certain CEO’s and Snr Mgmnt are often lying, incompetent. bigoted, state security risks on a cruise, ….though that reevelation is sometimes recognised, it actually show JUST how fragile the system is.
    If you can embarrass them – they’ll react.

    John Fucking Key aye! Oi Oi Oi. They actually really operate on EGO.
    The were Poe Bronsons and various others that stepped in his shoes way before he ever did.

  12. Tim 13

    Oh…..PS
    Oifer Dole Unce His twear frens in Stray Lia en thear Priom Minsta of the re sint loss of Jool lears far the.
    Es bruths en ssssstas, your pain is ear pain. In the ENZEK sprit, we stend ferrrm with you.

  13. Tim 14

    Hey watch Joolya ditch Jonky though when she wakes up to the fact that the guy is a total pratt.
    Enuff Fnear tho. Earta here

  14. blue leopard 15

    I hope that more of us become more savvy with regard to the derivatives market. I find it difficult to understand this subject, (as I believe most do) yet we need to engage with it. I suspect this sector is pivotal to addressing the major issues arising in our country and world-wide and needs to become central to our dialogue.

    If I am understanding correctly,

    ~any tangible asset is likely to sell like hot-cakes due to the state the derivatives market is in (preferable to have your name on something tangible in the event the derivatives bubble bursts)

    ~the derivatives market is not regulated and has ballooned becoming 10-20x larger than world gdp

    http://www.siliconvalleywatcher.com/mt/archives/2008/10/the_size_of_der.php

    ~and is effecting real world prices.

    “In the past, prices were based largely on supply and demand, but they are now driven up by investors placing self-fulfilling bets on higher prices for oil, wheat and other products.
    The study finds strong evidence of a direct causal link between speculative buying and selling, and changes in commodity price curves resulting in increasing prices.”

    http://money.cnn.com/2012/03/21/markets/oil-gas-prices-speculators/index.htm

    • yeshe 15.1

      Blue Leopard … if you haven’t already, find The Big Short by Michael Lewis; an amazing book from last year on how the whole banking and markets system functions — it is beyond belief, and beautifully written .. reads like fiction, so extraordinary it is.

  15. muzza 16

    For sure this would have been put up, I managed to miss this takeover.

    Kaipara District Council Supplied Four government-appointed commissioners will replace elected councillors of the heavily indebted Kaipara District Council.

    “It is likely the commissioners would be required until 2015. For this reason, the Government proposes to defer the 2013 election for Kaipara District Council until October 2015.”

    1: Corruption
    2: Payoff for corruption
    3: Govt commisars sent in to cover it all up
    4: Possible deferred elections

    Nah we don’t have corruption in NZ eh bro,

    Mr McKerchar, 61, was chief executive when the council illegally struck rates and was also at the helm in the lead-up to its debt blowout.
    He had refused to discuss whether he contributed to the council’s poor financial health.

    Argh, the brothers strike another blow for the rest of us!

    • Draco T Bastard 16.1

      Last week it was reported that the former chief executive of the council, Jack McKercher, had received severance payments totalling $240,000 when he quit.

      So why did Mr McKerchar get a quarter million payout if he was in charge when dirty deals going down? You get fired for that and then put in prison.

      • blue leopard 16.1.1

        perhaps too ‘big’ to jail?

      • muzza 16.1.2

        Its just another very clear signal of the direction we are allowing this country to be taken in!

        Was the payoff was hush money, these bros always stick togeher!

        People, don’t care, or don’t know, does this guy just get to hang out without any consequence of his actions?

        What does this say about out society, and what is it telling people to behave like!

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