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Open mike 10/11/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 10th, 2012 - 66 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…

66 comments on “Open mike 10/11/2012”

  1. just saying 1

    http://www.thepoliticalscientist.org/?p=1108#more-1108

    An outstanding post from Puddleglum on human capital.
    Read it.

    • LynW 1.1

      This is indeed such an excellent post! The content is extraordinary, pulling together such a powerful argument for the essentialness of human social networks and connections. Thank you for the link js. I will be passing this on. Puddleglum, all credit to you for an article so full of gems and insights as you intertwine two very topical issues, the Pike River mine disaster and extended paid parental leave in such a thought provoking way.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.2

      Definitely a must read.

      It’s a great example of you can’t have your cake and eat it to.

  2. Well Shane Jones is at it again abusing the Greens and calling their minds “barren” and accusing them of “kneejerk emotionalism”.

    Some one ought to talk to him and explain that the Greens will be an important feature of any future Labour Government and that it is stupid to abuse them.

    He should be training his rhetoric on the real threat to NZ society, the National Party. 

    • karol 2.1

      Jones – who is guilty of “knee jerk emotionalism”?  
       
      I see in the article that the chairman of Northland’s Te Rarawa iwi, Haami Piripi, is also for approriate oil exploration that would create jobs, but “environmental protection is the bottom line”.  He also says:

      the consultation referred to by Mr Heatley was not satisfactory because it was being conducted according to legislation which Te Rarawa opposed “because it fails to recognise any customary interests that we may have in minerals or the environment in which the minerals may exist”.

      Seems like Jones is on the look out for another party to join.

      • Jim Nald 2.1.1

        If he is looking for another party to join AND if he has an iota of integrity, he should stop being a Labour Party caucus member squatter, continuing to live off Labour Party goodwill and resources, and just pack up and get out.

    • karol 2.2

      And Clare Curran responds, saying she has contacted Jones to say she doesn’t agree and that what he has said is out of step with Labour Party policy.  She will recommend the Green Bill to her caucus.
       
       

      • Jim Nald 2.2.1

        “.. Clare Curran, has taken her colleague Shane Jones to task ..”

        And where is the party leader in that piece?
        Is Snorer trying hard to demonstrate the point why Labour will continue still to be government-in-waiting for a long time?

        Two things, at least, need to be done with this Shame job. And quite frankly, the Labour leadership does not even need me suggesting this here, in public, if they they are demonstrating what they should be doing in the first place.

        First, have a strong word with him and give him a good telling off away from the glare of the media. Second, make it clear under the bright lights of the media what is expected from him and the consequences.

        … unless of course if Shearer condones what Shane is doing and saying. … Does that mean Shearer shares the same view?

        • Colonial Viper 2.2.1.1

          Have they deliberately given Shane Jones are long lead to do what he wants. Caucus members, even senior ones, do not get to go rogue multiple times over an extended period.

          • Jim Nald 2.2.1.1.1

            Either that or the leadership team has vetted and cleared Shane’s apparent rouge-ness.

            In either case, it reflects poorly on caucus and the party.

    • Rhinocrates 2.3

      My face, unable to bear the spectacle any more, made a suicidal leap towards my desk and was only saved by the desperate intervention of my palm.

    • weka 2.4

      “He should be training his rhetoric on the real threat to NZ society, the National Party”
       
      Or he could just join the National Party and be done with it.

    • David H 2.5

      When are they going to sack this fool?

    • Dr Terry 2.6

      Any intelligent Party which acts with integrity would frighten the pants off a creep like Jones. Clearly he is feeling threatened.

    • thatguynz 2.7

      So which side of the house does that brainless buffoon represent? Is he the modern day trojan horse of the Labour Party a la Roger Douglas’ first ACT govt in 1984?

  3. Logie97 3

    People on here might be unwise to comment on the PM’s interview with Audrey Young in today’s Herald. After all it’s only what she thinks she heard him say in his responses to her questions. If anyone takes him to task, he will deny it …

    In fact, general advice would be that, unless you acshully see his lips move when you hear an utterance, you would be best to ignore it.

    (Students of the Simpsons would know that from watching Bart’s performances of denial.)

    What John did say, because we saw his lips move, was that he learnt the use of “gay” from his son. Teachers will tell you that it is used by children in the playground as a nasty putdown because they know that it causes offence and gets a reaction.

    When Key, was asked about it in his press conference, he stumbled (despite his apparent sharp wit) to find a synonym and used the word “weird” which simply further demonstrated his limited vocabulary.

      • Herodotus 3.1.1

        How do you become intelligent? According to Key move to Aussie and your increase your smartness?
        How, by making more money. Beckham’s smart as he has made more money than “I” have.
        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10846333

      • weka 3.1.2

        Oh please, get out the violins (Audrey Young’s article). Poor, misunderstood and misrepresented John.
         
        It’s not Key using colloquial language that is the problem. It’s his behaviour. As Prime Minister. He can use the word shit as much as he likes for all I care, just as long as he does it appropriately. An insult to an international sportsperson who has done the PM’s son a favour is still an insult whether in kiwi-ese or the Queens’ English.
         
        Likewise, fuck the semantic arguments about the word ‘gay’. It’s his willful ignorance about the politics of sexuality and language that’s at issue. And by politics I mean not how this reflects on him, but how the use of words about homosexuality is still part of the homophobic nature of this country and how that translates in to prejudice and violence.
         
         

        • McFlock 3.1.2.1

          Basically, he had two fails with the shirt comment:
          1) of all the words in the English language, he used “gay”;
          2) it never occurred to him or his entire team that “gay” also means “cheerful” – hence “I was referring to the bright cheery nature of the shirt”.

          No, he had to make up “weird”. Tool.

    • Dr Terry 3.2

      The word “gay” is not defined as “weird” in my dictionary. All we can be sure of is that Key knows there is such a thing as a dictionary, he never appears to look into it.

      • David H 3.2.1

        But as soon as he said that Gay means Weird he immediately alienated the whole gay community. Good one John Keep up the good work, I hear there’s a Grey Power meeting tonight you can go to and give a talk.

      • felix 3.2.2

        Dictionaries are just like lawyers and scientists, I can always find another one to provide an opposite definition.

  4. muzza 4

    Following on from Prisms post – http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-06112012/comment-page-1/#comment-543706

    Auckland Council reports NZ$233 mln annual loss after tax; Has now lost NZ$343 million after tax in its first 20 months

    A council spokeswoman told interest.co.nz the NZ$167 million hit to the bottom line from interest rate swaps on loans stemmed from a combination of new swaps and swaps inherited from legacy councils. She described the contracts as “forward starting fixed rate paid (borrowing) interest rate swaps.”

    “The contracts are spread across a number of banks as you would expect with a diversified portfolio. The physical debt portfolio is currently NZ$4 billion in size and projected to increase to NZ$8.5 billion in size. It is prudent to hedge a portion of this increase in projected debt to reduce council’s risk to an increase in interest rates,” the spokeswoman said.

    Who knows where the Auckland Council takes it financial portfolio advise from?

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      These derivative contracts are sunk local governments all over the world. Scams by bankers perpetrated on the people.

      Whoever in the council recommended or signed these off need to be fired now, and the contracts with the banks immediately renegotiated – or abrogated.

      • Jim Nald 4.1.1

        “Whoever in the council recommended or signed these off need to be fired now” …… and their assets traced and seized.

      • muzza 4.1.2

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/sunday-star-times/latest-edition/6671255/Government-in-112b-barney

        By the time these explode at central govt, as they are designed to do, its going to be very bloody bad!

        One would assume that it would be the CFO responsible for ALL financial positions, and happenings at Council, which would make it Andrew McKenzie, as a place to start to unravel the local govt fraud..

        • Herodotus 4.1.2.1

          Treasury functions would have set parameters to operate under as to e.g. the % of debt to be covered by such instruments, the length that SWAP’s or other means of fixing debt. And such instructions should be under the guidance of the board or directors with the implementation by those in charge of the treasury function of the organization.
          With councils there is never any comment in the LTCCP of debt maintenance or even reduction of debt in $ terms. But we have apologists who then try to reframe the topic by indexing debt to GDP, Income(Rates collected), Net Assets, etc to justify that in $ terms an increase in debt is actually a reduction.

          • muzza 4.1.2.1.1

            Cheers H – Thing is though, set parameters implies that those making the investment decisions understand the down-side potential of what are levereged instuments, so it requires that there are “skilled” hands at wheel.

            It also implies that those making the investments , or the decision on behalf od councils etc, that they either do not know that the markets are totally rigged, or that those making the decisions are corrupted.

            Either way, this is really not good, and it is going to be a some digging to do in order to understand who inside council is authorizing this stuff, as I assume it could sit under the ACIL possibly.

    • muzza 4.2

      This Link
      Was put up by someone here recently too, which is directly related to the above.

      Claims banks missold interest-rate swaps to businesses and local authorities have been making headlines around the world.

      Interest rate swaps are a derivative financial tool used by sophisticated businesses with skilled treasury functions to limit interest rate risk.

      But it is becoming clear that in places such as Britain, Italy and America, interest-rate swaps were sold by banks to organisations that did not understand the risks they were taking.

      In case after case, interest rate swaps often sold in 2007 and 2008 as “protection” against interest rates rising sharply have served mainly to protect bank profits by locking businesses and local bodies into high levels of interest ahead of those rates falling.

      In July, an investigation by the Financial Services Authority in Britain concluded that it had found “serious failings” by banks, including Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland in the way they sold interest-rate hedging products to small- and medium-sized businesses leading to a “severe impact” on their finances.

      • RedLogix 4.2.1

        Exactly muzza.

        I recall Steven Keen showing mathematically how the finance sector should consist of no more than about 5-8% of GDP in order for an economy to remain stable. There is no question that these people have exploited their trusted and privileged position to parasitically consume a larger and larger share of our prosperity.

        Recall the $30Trillion of cash hoarded in banking tax havens around the world by a mere 50,000 odd people. That’s around U$4000 for every other man, woman and child on the planet. The inequality of wealth (and rights) across the planet is far more extreme than most people imagine, and much of this has been enabled by the banking industry.

        Frankly it’s a shame these new-fangled electric lamp posts don’t have convenient gas-lamp holders the way the old ones did.

        • Colonial Viper 4.2.1.1

          Steve Keen also says that banking needs to, once again, become the most boring, unmaginative, straitlaced, rule bound industry in the world.

          No more financial engineering, no more whiz quid PhD ‘quants’, no more multilayered hypercomplex executive bonus schemes.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.2.1.2

          I recall Steven Keen showing mathematically how the finance sector should consist of no more than about 5-8% of GDP in order for an economy to remain stable.

          I thought it was 2% to 3% for stability with them presently taking up 5% to 8%.

          • RedLogix 4.2.1.2.1

            Well in the UK the finance industry has mestatisized to the point where the City of London was almost 50% of the UK GDP, and in 2007 some 50% of all US corporate profits were made by them.

            And the point is that even here in New Zealand where the banks should indeed be a minor component of the economy … they are the ONLY industry consistently able to make 20% returns on equity.

    • prism 4.3

      Thanks for giving us that update Muzza. It forms part of the anxiety I have about our NZ accumulated capital from our country-wide enterprises disappearing into unfriendly hands from under our noses through the work of highly paid functionaries who are supposed to be excellent at their job. And I wonder what skills and focus those who granted their jobs actually were seeking?

      It seems to me that many present business practices in private and public entities, have a subversive element undermining the country’s prosperity similar to the mafia in Italy and I have seen in my reading that some say also in the USA. Does anyone remember James McNeish’s book, last century, about the crusade by Danilo Dolci to break the dead hand on business and employment of the mafia in Sicily? They had pressurised and decimated business so much that people were vastly unemployed, desperately poor while the mafia were picking the cherries off every exchange of money. A Tobin tax in reverse? Dolci got them to make a protest and there was trouble from the authorities which were being undermined by this go-to-work strike, not a stop-work strike.

      The people took spades and shovels and worked on some of the rutted roads in their area that had been neglected because of funds going first to mafia-controlled projects and machinations. The trouble is that once corruption of good practice and integrity becomes ingrained it is hard to dig out the pus. But Labour will restore such virtues won’t they?

      • muzza 4.3.1

        Hi Prism – Despite what many want to believe (not aimed at you), the world is run by gangs who are in effect like a marfia, although nothing like the traditional mafia that people associate with anyway.

        NZ is no different, how could it be, and the simplist way to understand it is to observe the interconnectedness of the financial markets, commodities markets, trade agreements etc all over-seen by the global alphabets, IMF, WB, UN, WTO, and on and on. The corporste front faces and brands dealt know and see, are all owned by the same by the same entities, it all rolls back to the same places. Thats how the tens of trillions which Red Logix refers to can be possible, because the big sucking sound of ours, and the next generations futures are being pulled out into those offhsore accounts, and thats just the cash, and other trinkets, the same entites still own most of the wealth producing asstes, and resources, and are seeking to steal whats left with the help of JK in NZ, and any PM before him back to Muldoon, including!

        How are we to go forward under such crushing weight, because sadly I know its going to get much worse, before it ever gets better. And the further doen the track this all goes, the less likely that it can ever be undone!

        This is so serious in its consequence, its staggering!

    • Draco T Bastard 4.4

      The banks who just profited by another hundred odd million.

    • joe90 4.5

      An Australian Federal Judge has found that a ratings agency is liable for the losses incurred by local bodies who relied on their advice.

      http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/11/05/hero-of-the-day-cpdo-edition/

      The coverage of the decision (Quartz, FT, WSJ, Bloomberg, Reuters) concentrates, as it should, on the hugely important precedent being set here: that a ratings agency — in this case, S&P — is being found liable for losses that an investor suffered after trusting that agency.

      S&P is appealing the decision, which runs to an astonishing 635,500 words, or almost 1,500 pages: it’s literally longer than War and Peace. At this point, it’s fair to assume that Jagot is one of the world’s foremost experts on structuring and rating CPDOs — crazy derivative instruments which had a brief moment of glory at the end of 2006 before imploding spectacularly during the financial crisis. And helpfully, her decision begins with a 56-paragraph summary of her findings, which lays out exactly how culpable and incompetent S&P really was.

  5. RedLogix 5

    Presented as a public service because it needs linking to on a regular basis:

    AND as a delicious extra:

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    This should upset the Climate Change Deniers:
    Warmer still: Extreme climate predictions appear most accurate, report says

    Looking back at 10 years of atmospheric humidity data from NASA satellites, the pair examined two dozen of the world’s most sophisticated climate simulations. They found the simulations that most closely matched humidity measurements were also the ones that predicted the most extreme global warming.

    In other words, by using real data, the scientists picked simulation winners and losers.

    “The models at the higher end of temperature predictions uniformly did a better job,” Fasullo said. The simulations that fared worse — the ones predicting smaller temperature rises — “should be outright discounted,” he said.

    Yep, the climate models that project a greater calamity from AGW are the most accurate.

    • Destruction from climate change suits the right-wing agenda, if millions die or lose their homes they get bonuses and earn more money. In the case of Christchurch, the government can sell out the city to their developer mates and reap the rewards of removing New Zealanders from house ownership, shutting down their schools; and making them dependent on foreign corporates for accommodation, education and jobs.

    • RedLogix 6.2

      The fact that nothing will be done about this tell us who really controls the political agenda where it matters.

      Face it.The Denier charade was always just agit-prop theatre to keep the masses confused and thus passive. Everyone who matters knows that the science is real.

      But it would cost them money. These people have conciously, deliberately and maliciously chosen to put their personal wealth and privilege above the almost certain catastrophe that they are causing.

      It’s too late to stop a 2-3 degC temp rise. That’s now built-in and irreversible. The only thing left to us is to try and stop a 4-6 degC rise. Unless the political system responds within a few years, Obama’s next term at most … then we will have failed at that too.

      And that will be the end of politics as we know it.

      • kiwicommie 6.2.1

        I think it is too late even to stop the 4-6 rise. The truth of the matter is that there would be climate changes irrespective of human impact; by flooding the atmosphere with pollutants, rivers with industrial waste and running all those nuclear tests the process of climate change is way more rapid. As a result billions/hundreds of millions of deaths is inevitable over this century and the next from climate change related natural disasters i.e. more droughts, hurricanes,etc.

        • RedLogix 6.2.1.1

          For the first time in my life I’m beginning to seriously question the wisdom of sticking with the political process, when it is so egregiously failing.

          The media owns and manipulates the mass conciousness.

          Direct, revolutionary political action almost never yeilds the outcome hoped for.

          Our visions, our dreams and ideals have been perverted into drab, materialistic ‘aspirations’.

          I know that human nature is not fixed, and that this is what must change. We must learn to believe in a better version of ourselves again. Soon.

          • Jim Nald 6.2.1.1.1

            And Shearer is so articulately helping us to see a better version of ourselves again.
            Fours years rebuilding the Labour Party has yielded the fantastic product seen as Shearer.
            The Labour leadership team has done incredibly well. For National.

          • Draco T Bastard 6.2.1.1.2

            For the first time in my life I’m beginning to seriously question the wisdom of sticking with the poltical process, when it is so egregiously failing.

            We have to question why it’s failing and, from what I can make out, it’s failing because the politicians are working to protect capitalism (and thus capitalists) and growth at all costs rather than working to bring about a better society – a society that works within the Earth’s environmental limits .

  7. RedBaron 8

    And Fran Sullivan’s response in the Herald to the unemployment figures.

    Why doesn’t John Key hold an economic summit?

    Well Fran, he made the problem, he can solve it!
    He squandered the advantages that the country had going into the recession by handing the bulk of it out in tax cuts to the richest via gst and income tax changes and lowering the top income tax rate.Those two alone are costing us a fortune. He wants to spend money on useless roads, can’t be bothered with democracy in Canterbury and hounds young people, poor people and women as if they are not part of our society.

    Now, although Key won’t change useless policy settings, share the power or even consult with people, you have this wonderful idea.
    “Everybody else should gather around and try to solve the problems he has created and give him the credit for it.”

    Lovely passive aggressive behaviour Fran. You have the power but you didn’t make the problem but you’re going to make us solve it for you.

    Shape up Fran, you’re a big kid now and you get to take responsibility for your own side’s creations.

    Getting rid of Nact would be more use than any summit.

    • Fran got a cozy journalism job for herself where she can rant away with her neo-liberal trash economics, she doesn’t care about you or me; just the next pay check. I am pretty sure the paper runs her column just to rile people up and boost readership numbers.

      • RedBaron 8.1.1

        Quite right KC. It just spoilt the first coffee.
        However, I see some other right wingers hedging their output a little these days. Must have calculated, in their own self interest, that this lot aren’t going to last forever and they might have to invite the other lot onto their shows.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      Why doesn’t John Key hold an economic summit?

      He already did, we got a few parts of a cycle way out of it.

  8. Fortran 9

    Good on Christchurch Council for giving it’s staff 11 more days leave as they are working under stress conditions.
    Though Marriott should have consulted the Councillors first though, although they are irrelevant in employment matters (and many other things). The CEO is the only employer not the Councillors.
    Good lesson for other Councils where many staff are under stress.
    4/5 weeks leave, 11 days additional, and 10 days sick leave – sounds great to me – bring it on.

  9. David H 10

    Things must be bad for Fran Sullivan to say Key is a waffler..

    But instead of galvanising Key into action – through orchestrating a real Jobs Summit and incentivising employers to take on more workers – the Prime Minister waffled.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10846359

  10. pete 11

    Yep, Cunliffe is the man.

    [lprent: Moved to OpenMike because it looks like you are trolling and off topic. If I see any further similar un argued grunts from you, you will find that it will get hard to write comments here with a permanent ban for being a dumb troll. ]

  11. AlseepWhileWalking 12

    UK now offering *free spray tans!* to job seekers. The idea behind this is to make people feel better about themselves, and therefore be more likely to get a job…..

    I’d like hair removal myself as I’m a bit of an ape : )

    http://tinyurl.com/b5whcwx

  12. pete 13

    There is only one person with gold plated balls robust enough for this job – and that’s Cunliffe.

    [lprent: *sigh* Moving your comments to OpenMike. A lack of explanation makes them look like a simple troll (you know – dumb enough to believe goats) and they are off topic. ]

  13. AlseepWhileWalking 14

    This is BRILLIANT! I really hope it works for them and the folks it is supposed to target.

    “Like many folks, Occupy Wall Street has been some doing good work in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, helping people on the ground.

    Now OWS is launching the ROLLING JUBILEE, a program that has been in development for months. OWS is going to start buying distressed debt (medical bills, student loans, etc.) in order to forgive it. As a test run, we spent $500, which bought $14,000 of distressed debt. We then ERASED THAT DEBT. (If you’re a debt broker, once you own someone’s debt you can do whatever you want with it — traditionally, you hound debtors to their grave trying to collect. We’re playing a different game. A MORE AWESOME GAME.)

    This is a simple, powerful way to help folks in need — to free them from heavy debt loads so they can focus on being productive, happy and healthy. As you can see from our test run, the return on investment approaches 30:1. That’s a crazy bargain!

    Now, after many consultations with attorneys, the IRS, and our moles in the debt-brokerage world, we are ready to take the Rolling Jubilee program LIVE and NATIONWIDE, buying debt in communities that have been struggling during the recession.

    We’re kicking things off with a show called THE PEOPLE’S BAILOUT at Le Poisson Rouge on Thursday, November 15. It will also stream online, like a good ol’-fashioned telethon!”

    https://wilwheaton.tumblr.com/post/35309150177/the-peoples-bailout

    • That is fascinating.  I bet if people under financial pressure had the chance to get rid of debt that way they would contribute.  OWS could be onto something …

    • weka 14.2

      How does it work? If I by someone’s debt, doesn’t the person who the debt is owed to then come after me instead?

  14. pete 15

    Let’s face it – when you’re not packing the spuds for this job, it’s time to step aside.

    [lprent: I have no idea how that is relevant to the topic -> OpenMike. The only reason you aren’t being sin-banned is because I see that you can express opinions in other posts. But that forbearance isn’t going to last. ]

  15. BLiP 16

    .

    Bradley Manning plea carries potential risks and rewards

    . . . By pleading guilty to certain facts, Manning also gives up any right to contest them at trial, which potentially could make it easier for the government to prove its most serious charges.

    “That’s the cost-benefit analysis you have to do,” said Philip Cave, a military law expert in private practice” . . .

  16. Glad to see their are nice, cool people left in the world.

    • RedLogix 17.1

      Actually that is what goes on most of the time Brett.

      Good and evil are not symmetric. Greed, theft, violence, destruction and death are so very potent because most of us ordinary people are not conditioned to respond to it, and so it easily overwhelms us. One moment of destruction can erase an entire life, a decade of patient labour, and a legacy centuries old.

      Which is why it works, and why it must be guarded against.

  17. Draco T Bastard 18

    Great post by the Archdruid this week:

    Outside the United States, circumstances will no doubt vary. Those nations that have linked their welfare or their survival too closely to American empire will be dragged down in their turn; those who align themselves with one or another contender for America’s replacement will rise or fall with their choice, while those that have the good sense to step back into neutrality until the smoke clears, and then make arrangements with the new hegemon, will doubtless do well. I suspect, though, that Japan and western Europe in particular will be in for a rough awakening. For decades now, they’ve reaped the benefits of having their national defense backstopped by gargantuan US defense budgets, and the end of that cozy arrangement will force them to choose between spending a great deal more money on their own militaries, accepting a new overlord who may be a good deal less congenial than the one they have now, or accepting a position of extreme vulnerability in an epoch where that may turn out to be an exceptionally risky thing to do.

    A paragraph the most certainly applies to NZ. I’d prefer it if we went totally neutral and built up our defences but unfortunately the government we have and the one in waiting appear, IMO, to want to continue to kowtow to the US.

  18. karol 19

    Enigmatic from bomber, promising an exclusive at 6am tomorrow…?  Will that live up to the promo?

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