Open mike 18/03/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 18th, 2011 - 28 comments
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28 comments on “Open mike 18/03/2011”

  1. oscar 1

    Our currency trader PM was so keen for the RB to drop the OCR. Is there any indication of how much Key gained from speculative trading of the NZD againsnt the USD and the associated drop in value after the OCR cut?

    After all,, just because he’s PM doesn’t mean he can’t make currency gambits. Only difference now is that he essentially has insider info.

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      Bollard doesn’t think Key actually knew anything concrete (unless English told him, which is certainly possible).

      Most of the market commentators were predicting a rates drop, so you needn’t have any specific inside information to trade on that basis. Further, as soon as the market ‘prices something in’, essentially they’ve anticipated the event and after the event occurs the way they think it will there will only be a marginal change in values.

      So for Key to have really benefited from this, he’d have to had started trading before the market ‘priced it in’ essentially meaning he would have had to have acted very very fast and made a prediction that in the end was the correct direction. For a climatic event like an earthquake where initial information is sketchy – how big was it, how much damage actually happened – you can easily think “this is the worst earthquake ever” and so bet that things will take a dive, but as more information comes out it turns out you overestimated it, or the reverse where you think it was just a minor event but ends up being horrendous. While you’re trying to make this decision based on the information you know, hundreds or thousands of other people and institutions are making the same decisions at the same time.

      Insider trading only really works if you have significant time advantage, and know for sure (or with very high confidence) what the outcome is going to be. I don’t think Key would have been particularly better placed to benefit in the aftermath of the quake compared to anyone else, and if you’re specifically talking about the OCR rate drop, that occurred 3 weeks after the quake itself, during which there was plenty of time for the market to ‘price it in’.

  2. millsy 2

    George Hawkins is shitty because Len Brown isnt chopping enough libaries, parks and pools

    First he has a problem with the trade union movement’s influence in Labour (Hint: look at the party’s name and history), secondly he has a huge problem with public amnemites that of all people, those in his area would need the most.

    Time for him to fuck off out of the Labour party and join the Nats.

    • higherstandard 2.1

      Smell that smoke millsy, it’s your pants that are on fire.

      Hawkins said no such thing.

      “Mr Hawkins said many Manurewa residents – whom he represents in Parliament and on the Super City’s Manurewa Local Board – could simply not afford their rates to rise by 4.9 per cent in July.

      Not just the poor but better-off residents were finding it tough with rising food prices and soaring petrol costs, he said.”

      “If you don’t know where the cost cuts are, it’s very difficult for a local board to have serious and useful input,” Mr Hawkins said. “We have been left a bit in the dark.”

      He and Manurewa board chairman Daniel Newman have suggested cuts should be made to a $4 million mayoral office budget and the new Our Auckland booklet delivered to about 500,000 households – described by Mr Hawkins as a glossy public relations exercise.

  3. A very provocative post by of all people George Monbiot advocating FOR the development of nuclear energy is at

    His support is conditional however. He has traditionally had four conditions which I suspect would mean that no further nuclear power station would ever be built. These are:

    “1. Its total emissions – from mine to dump – are taken into account, and demonstrate that it is a genuinely low-carbon option.
    2. We know exactly how and where the waste is to be buried.
    3. We know how much this will cost and who will pay.
    4. There is a legal guarantee that no civil nuclear materials will be diverted for military purposes.”

    He has recently added a fifth that no stations should be built in fault zones, on tsunami-prone coasts, on eroding seashores or those likely to be inundated before the plant has been decommissioned or any other places which are geologically unsafe.

    His reason is that if not nuclear China is going to burn coal.

    I suspect condition 1 will mean that a station should never be built but I would like to see the data.

    • joe90 3.1

      Eleven reasons to oppose nuclear power.

    • prism 3.2

      mickys – Another point would be that there is a firm, achievable plan to safely decommission such nuclear plant after its viable working life is finished. These Japanese ones are I think 40 years old and even if well maintained, have been superseded by better design.

      • joe90 3.2.1

        And it gets worse by the day: In Fuel-Cooling Pools, a Danger for the Longer Term

        A 1997 study by the Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island described a worst-case disaster from uncovered spent fuel in a reactor cooling pool. It estimated 100 quick deaths would occur within a range of 500 miles and 138,000 eventual deaths.[snip]
        That section of the Brookhaven study focused on boiling water reactors — the kind at the heart of the Japanese crisis.

        The threat is considered so severe that at the start of the crisis Friday, immediately after the shattering earthquake, Fukushima plant officials focused their attention on a damaged storage pool for spent nuclear fuel at the No. 2 reactor at Daiichi, said a nuclear executive who requested anonymity because his company is not involved in the emergency response at the reactors and is wary of antagonizing other companies in the industry.

        The damage prompted the plant’s management to divert much of the attention and pumping capacity to that pool, the executive added. The shutdown of the other reactors then proceeded badly, and problems began to cascade.

        My bold and I may be jumping to the wrong conclusion but I read it as the cooling pools were damaged by the earthquake.

  4. patriot_nz 4

    The way of the future- thorium reactors?

    China and India plan to invest heavily in this technology with China expecting to have much electricity being produced by LFTRs in the next decade. There is quite a lot of information on the net abou Liquid-Fluoride Thorium Reactors- well worth reading about.

  5. joe90 5

    A Japanese animation about the reactor problems.

    Nuclear Boy’s Stinky Poo (A Really Crappy Situation).

  6. Pete 6

    The nuclear aftermath is attracting most of the attention, but there’s horrific spin-offs:

    Japanese earthquake takes heavy toll on ageing population

    Shocking stories of deaths emerge as the military is enlisted to help at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant

    The devastating impact of the Japanese earthquake on the country’s ageing population was exposed on Thursday as dozens of elderly people were confirmed dead in hospitals and residential homes as heating fuel and medicine ran out.

    In one particularly shocking incident, Japan’s self-defence force discovered 128 elderly people abandoned by medical staff at a hospital six miles from the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant. Most of them were comatose and 14 died shortly afterwards.

    Eleven others were reported dead at a retirement home in Kesennuma because of freezing temperatures, six days after 47 of their fellow residents were killed in the tsunami. The surviving residents of the retirement home in Kesennuma were described by its owner, Morimitsu Inawashida, as “alone and under high stress”. He said fuel for their kerosene heaters was running out.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      This is unusual for the Japanese who have a great societal respect for their elderly. Well greater than us anyway.

      Its a measure of how much strain they are under right now.

  7. just saying 7

    Just thought a thought bubble over Key’s smug head in this shot (photo one) would make an excellent caption contest.

    • Bill 7.1

      1. The prince to the minister

      ‘Psst! John! Take the magazine and cover your trouser excitement will you?’

  8. just saying 8


    I hadn’t noticed that!

  9. ianmac 9

    “She has just offered to give me a tummy rub. Oh boy. Must keep it a secret though.”

  10. logie97 10

    John Key rightly acknowledged the role of the emergency services and has since very early on been seen walking beside them – even at today’s memorial service.

    Just one more challenge for him now. Because words don’t pay the bills, sit down at the negotiation table with them Prime Minister when their pay round comes up. Don’t send a public servant appointee to do your bidding. You know what they have done and and how reassured you were when you were there.

    They are real people and real New Zealanders and no longer just numbers John. You have met them, so you know. Now reward them royally.

    captcha: proposed

  11. ron 11

    How stupid IS Melissa lee?

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      An out of the blue rhetorical question?

      • Pascal's bookie 11.1.1

        Some crazy twitter thing. As far as I can make out she wants to change Canterbury’s colour to blue. Some shit about Goff’s tie. She thinks she’s Sarah Palin.

  12. Anne 12

    The brainless twat twitted that Goff was “politicising” the memorial service by wearing a red tie. Don’t know who is the bigger twatess- the racist Act woman from Dunedin (name thankfully escapes me) or Melissa Lee.

    • Anne 12.1

      I’m reminded of Lee’s hilarious claim (in 2009) concerning South Auckland crims. stopping off in Mt Albert on their way out to the West. Why were they on their way to West Auckland anyway? I’ve forgotten.

    • Ha, um isn’t red one of Canterbury’s colours?

      • Anne 12.2.1

        Yeah… red and black I think. Was Goff perchance wearing a black (or near black) suit?

        captcha: deliberate

  13. M 13

    ‘There was Japan, standing quietly offstage all these years, minding its own business, more or less – though unwinding financially and socially at some very deep level for two decades, debt rising around everybody’s ankles like a silent, insidious tsunami, population dying back, young people demoralized by the “salary-man” culture with its meager consolation of nightly drinking sprees ending in micro-hotels with rooms like funerary vaults – Japan, who had been horrifically chastened after its mad military-industrial outburst of the last century, who shook all that off to become the world’s most dependably, civilized nation.
    And now, the sorrows of Job….’

    Jim’s effort this week:

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