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Open Mike 30/07/2018

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 30th, 2018 - 186 comments
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186 comments on “Open Mike 30/07/2018 ”

  1. DH 1

    With Muldoon making one of his sporadic appearances I thought to do some reading to see how good the memory is. It’s an interesting exercise, one to serve as a reminder that the memory is always flawed and two to be reminded how one’s own bias and personal circumstances influence how we see events as they occur.

    1984 and the general election. It’s often still talked about and the terms currency crisis, constitutional crisis, Muldoon & Lange blah always take big billing in the narrative. That’s not my abiding memory of the election and after reading up on it most of my recollection holds good. I had some bits wrong but still had the crux of it.

    The big story was the country was attacked by our own business community who managed to loot the taxpayer of nearly half a billion dollars. And that’s in 1984 dollars. A lot of fortunes were made from the big currency devaluation and it was the taxpayer who footed the bill for it.

    I had only a couple of questions I wanted answered. Who were the currency speculators and when would the new government be going after them. The former is still unanswered and time answered the latter. I can’t help but think if the speculators had been exposed the next decades of NZ politics would have been very different.

    So, that’s my memory of the 1984 election; that the country was fleeced of a lot of money and we never did get the utu we deserved. I bet there aren’t many others here who remember it that way -:)

    • Nic the NZer 1.1

      How do you claim tax payers footed the bill for the devaluation? The country changed the rate of exchange between $NZ and $US because they were running out of the foreign currency. But people made money by anticipating this change (yes there was a leak as well) not by avoiding taxes or stealing govt funds.

      • DH 1.1.1

        The Reserve Bank was in charge of foreign exchange back then Nic. The sting was a simple one; Buy forex from the reserve bank for $1 before the election and sell it back to the reserve bank for $1.20 after devaluation. Since the reserve bank was funded by the taxpayer it was the taxpayer who paid out the speculators.

        The Reserve bank sold nearly $1billion in forward contracts just in the week leading up the election. That’s $200 million paid out to the scepculators there alone.

        The country wasn’t running out of forex or going broke like people suggested. The concern was that the speculators would keep hoovering up more forex if they didn’t devalue immediately.

        • Gosman

          The NZ dollar was overvalued. That is what the market was trying to tell the Government.The Government decided that it wasn’t and tried to prop it up by attempting to meet all the demand to sell NZ Dollars. That isn’t the speculators fault. That is the Governments fault for trying to keep a currency artificially high. Btw what was the benefit of keeping the NZ Dollar at the higher rate?

          • DH

            You’re spouting bullshit Gosman. The currency speculation was a short term gamble and the need or not need to devalue wasn’t one with time constraints.

            90% of the forward contracts with the reserve bank were due to mature before the end of August. The speculation wasn’t against the dollar being devalued it was against the incoming Govt devaluing almost immediately.

            And you’re also wrong about the dollar beiong overvalued, as were all the so-called pundist of the time. The doilar went UP after it was floated.

            • Gosman

              The decision to devalue was on the Labour party pre-election at the time I believe.

        • Nic the NZer

          The reserve bank or (rather it delegated from treasury) is only able to do this by the governments ability to tax, but it issues all the $NZ itself. It certainly does so to pay out forex exchange contracts. In this sense no taxpayers paid for the devaluation, the reserve bank simply issued the $NZ at the new rate as required.
          The reserve bank was running out of foreign exchange reserves at the time.

          • DH

            You can couch it whichever way you want it was still taxpayer money being handed out to the speculators.

            And no they weren’t running out of forex. You do know what a forward contract is?

            • Gosman

              The Forex reserves of the Reserve bank were being rapidly run down as they were being used to prop up an artificially high exchange rate. This is not speculators fault. This is solely the fault of the Government for setting the rate of the NZ dollar too high.

              • DH

                Not true gosman. When demand for forex became heavy prior to the election, and started running down existing reserves, the Reserve Bank started selling forward contracts as an alternative to borrowing more foreign exchange. They could always borrow more forex, the country had a good credit rating.

                The risk was the growing tab that the speculators were running up.

                • Gosman

                  If you think you can beat the market over more than the short term you are dreaming. You should join your brethren in Venezuela or Cuba where there are multiple currency values as a result of the Government having no idea how to set a proper value.

                  • DH

                    Didn’t take you long to run out of argument did it gosman.

                    • Gosman

                      You have yet to advise why you think a Currency rate for the NZ Dollar set by Muldoon was beneficial to the NZ economy.

                    • DH

                      “You have yet to advise why you think a Currency rate for the NZ Dollar set by Muldoon was beneficial to the NZ economy.”

                      That would be like you advising when you stopped beating your wife.

                      I’ve made no comments about what the currency rate should be. Why would I, that’s not what this is about.

                • Gosman

                  What was the issue with devaluing the dollar anyway? Why do you think a NZD value that was set by Muldoon was better for the economy than one set by Douglas?

                • Nic the NZer

                  Growing tab of what? Hint, its forex.

              • One Two

                Unlike a broken clock, you’re not going to tell the correct time, Gosman…

                You showed you don’t understand derivatives or counter party risk…

                And you don’t understand simple FX related NZ fiscal history…

            • Nic the NZer

              Ok, so all the $NZ in existance come from the reserve bank. How are taxpayers paying for the devaluation? (The thing you still have not shown).

              • DH

                Well lets assume the devaluation netted the speculators $500 million. In your world the RB just magics up $500 million out of nowhere and gives it to them. Even in that scenario they’re getting $500 million while the rest of the taxpayers are getting nothing,… their wealth has increased at the expense of everyone else.

                • Nic the NZer

                  Their wealth has increased in relation to everybody else, yes. Not as an expense, no.

                  • DH

                    I’ll leave you to argue that with the economists who agreed it was the taxpayer who ultimately paid the tab. Brian Easton is one.

                    • Gosman

                      Again this is the fault of the Government for setting the value of the NZ dollar at a rate that was higher than the market stated it should be.

                    • Nic the NZer []

                      Of course at the time they fixed it, they were bound to be wrong in the future. Your really just saying always float your currency or expect the government to face occasional currency crises, right?

                    • Nic the NZer

                      If you want to refer to somebody else claiming taxpayers footed a bill, then use a link.

                    • DH

                      Sure, this was one of my reading matter, pretty long but quite interesting ;


                      Easton tends to go more into the dry economics and the personalities involved which wasn’t really my interest.

                    • Nic the NZer []

                      The point at which Euston makes any claim about taxpayers footing any bill is discussing the govt deficit. Its highly debateable if this is tax payers paying, because as I said, the only cost is the amount the RBNZ issues out at their forex window (in the fixed exchange system). In practice govts dont tend to repay their deficits, they occasionally pay them down a bit until it causes an economic crisis (eg a recession) eventually.

                      Ultimately the summary of that discussion should be that moving to a floating exchange rate has completely removed a lot of pressures on the government.

                      Nothing illegal in the actions of speculators at the time of course. If you want prosecutions make a case for a law against it, going forward.

                    • DH

                      Only in your view Nic, I’m happy to take Eastons word for it. He’s no fool.

                      You’re a bit like gosman in the way you want to divert my argument. My position is clear enough. I wanted the speculators identified so we all knew who they were. In the pursuit of substantial personal gain they displayed a blatant disregard for the economic well being of the country and if/when any of them raised their heads again in the future we’d know where they were coming from… if we knew who they were.

                      There was also the point that big fortunes were made and we could have done with some solid reassurances that no-one in a privileged position was in on it.

                      Prosecutions weren’t expected, just an opening of the books. Public opinion was the only court they needed to face.

                    • Nic the NZer []

                      So when you asked when would the new government be going after them, you didn’t mean legally?

                    • DH

                      Nah, the sting was done and dusted by then. They could have started investigating the funding of the speculators and possibly found some illegal doings but I wasn’t bothered about that personally.

                      What wasn’t looked into much is the speculators themselves and where they got the cash to buy their forex. Some of them at least probably played some devious tricks to get in on the game. One rumour was of a financial institution raiding depositors funds, the truth of that I do not know.

                      What I expected (wanted) from the Govt was for them to essentially blacklist the participants from having access to any taxpayer money or government influence again. That would have been quite legal, and justified IMO.

                • Ed1

                  It was the decision of the government prior to the 1984 election to hold the exchange rate at a higher level than the “market” thought was appropriate, and it was also that government’s decision to issue forex contracts. I suspect DH that you and Gosman are talking across each other. It seems quite simple to me that Muldoon made decisions that turned out to be wrong. At least some of the forward exchange contracts would have been needed to facilitate imports or exports. Any change in relative wealth does mean that there are winners and losers.
                  I do not recall a decision being public before the election from Labour that they would float the currency, but by the time the election was decided there may have been few options

    • Gosman 1.2

      When you fix the currency you open up the possibility of a currency attack along the lines of what happened in 1984. The people betting against the Kiwi dollar’s value being correct are acting in an entirely rational manner. It is the Government who believes they know better than the market what the value should be that are acting irrationally.

      • Pat 1.2.1

        and who are ‘the market’ Gosman?

        • Gosman

          People who use trade NZ Dollar in relation to other currencies. You know Banks, Exporters, Importers, Tourists, Government agencies.

          • Pat

            ‘the market’ are the owners of capital, the more you own the larger your impact…so in effect you are telling us we should allow the wealthy (of which NZ is a tiny proportion) to determine what our currency is worth in the casino where they are the house….you may think thats preferable to attempting to impart some control but I’d suggest that casinos are hardly a model for society.

            • Gosman

              Incorrrect. The Forex market is both the demand as well as the supply of capital. I can demand Forex without owning it. I can borrow (in fact many people do) against future earnings to get the Forex I require.

              • Draco T Bastard

                I suggest you read up on Steve Keens research regarding supply and demand.

                • Gosman

                  I suggest you read up on the reality of the World rather than your fantasyland scenarios that you wish the World was like.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    I have and that’s why I know capitalism to be delusional.

                    And Steve Keen’s research shows that the Supply and demand curve is a scatter graph.

                    • Gosman

                      Except YOU have convinced virtually noone (that I am aware of) of the benefits of your approach. When I challenge you on this you build some flimsy defense that it is all because of evil capitalists trying to sabotage your alternatives. You seemingly ignore the inconvenient fact that your alternatives are so fragile that they are seemingly easily stopped by a handful of people with power and money.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      No, you’r ignoring that the system is owned by the people with power and money and that nothing happens without their say so.

                      Rich people fuck over democracy getting the laws tilted in their favour for their own benefit. This has been proven.

                    • Gosman

                      It hasn’t been proven. You just like to think it has. What is your solution to your ideas being messed over all the time and so easily by the way?

              • One Two

                Neither do you understand what ‘the market’ is…or what runs ‘the market’…

                FX market is nothing like as you describe it..

        • Gosman

          Your question does raise an interesting point of difference between many left wing and right wing people. A large number of left wing people seem to object to the very concept of the market determining the price of goods and services and believe that the true value is better determined by some other means (usually involving a centralised authority controlling the price). They question the motivations of people involved in a market as if they are trying to scam something and people need to be protected from them.

          • solkta

            OMG! People use markets to further their own gains? Surely not?

            • Gosman

              Yes I know it is a terrifying concept.

              • solkta

                so you don’t think it is fucked that people can make lots of money while creating nothing? That they extract the value of other people’s work?

                • Gosman

                  You assume they have done no work. They in fact have done a great deal of work. They have ensured international trade can be maintained with minimal friction.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    They do no work and produce no value therefore the only place that the value can come from is other people.

                    In other words, rich people are thieves.

                    • Gosman

                      They produce a huge amount of value. They lower transaction costs and reduce exchange risks in trading relationships.

                  • McFlock

                    by exacerbating currency fluctuations? How does increased unpredictability aid trade?

                    • Gosman

                      There was not increased unpredictability in this situation. In fact there was greater predictability because their actions virtually guaranteed the currency was devalued.

                      Even in a floating exchange rate situation speculators can reduce currency fluctuations.

                    • McFlock

                      Speculators can only reduce currency fluctuations if they bet wrong – i.e. selling before the price increases, or buying just before the price decreases.

                      But what they are guaranteed to do is increase the volume of trading, and if the wind direction is obvious to all they sell overvalued currencies thus even further lowering the overall demand, which makes the troughs much deeper.

                      You’re a market acolyte – you might have access to the volume of NZD sales prior to the dollar being floated. As it is, it fell 20%. Without the speculators, it might have only fallen 10 or 15%. Otherwise you’re arguing that decreased demand doesn’t change the equilibrium price.

                    • Gosman

                      No, speculators bring liquidity in to a market. Do you understand why liquidity is a good thing for efficient functioning of markets?

                    • McFlock

                      You do understand why larger volumes of water have bigger waves and swells?

                    • Gosman

                      Speculators CAN increase exchange rate fluctuations but they CAN also reduce it. What happens to the currency in a situation with no speculators if you are an export orientated economy reliant on products that have a highly seasonal demand and supply ?

                    • McFlock

                      Then your producers deal with those seasons, just as farmers deal with real seasons.

                      Because in order to reduce exchange rate fluctuations overall, the majority of speculative trading needs to be at a loss. So either your position is that speculators provide market stability by being mugs who lose money, or they make money by exacerbating fluctuations and market instability (thus being a barrier to trade in real goods and services people want).

                      It really is that simple. My position is that if speculators make money overall and on average, then they can only do so by betting in the direction that the market will go and therefore exacerbating market fluctuations. For speculators to actually stabilise the market they need to be bad at their jobs.

                      Either way, the existence of speculators means somebody is making money off chumps rather than actually producing something worthwhile to humanity.

                    • Gosman

                      The producers “deal” with it??? What does that mean?

                      You ignore what would happen. There would be extreme fluctuations of the price of the currency as there would be steep increases in the demand for it as Exports became available followed by equally steep falls when they no no longer were being supplied.

                      Speculators provide liquidity to smooth over such periods and enable regular purchases (and sellers) to buys and sell easily.

                    • McFlock

                      Exactly what I said.

                      If a market is seasonal, they don’t bloody need to be trading in that market in the off season. So producers diversify. Just as farmers sell lambs in one part of the year, grow feed for winter, shear in spring, and so on.

                      What happens to an exporter of products that have a highly seasonal aspect in an environment of market speculators? When nobody wants NZD successful speculators will put off buying until they think the market has tanked, then they will buy up and put off selling until demand has peaked. Then they will sell as much as possible at that price and tank the market further. When they buy and hold until demand reaches breaking point. So the producers are faced with bigger peaks and troughs than if speculators didn’t stick their beaks in.

                    • McFlock

                      lol the best your religious text can produced is “it has been argued”.

                      What a load of shit. Speculators don’t win by betting against the market trends, they win by pre-empting and thereby reinforcing those trends.

                      The liquidity argument relies on the idea that a market will dry up without speculators who have no interest in that market other than speculative trading. This is an example on the simplistic analyses that free-market capitalists rely on in order to make even a mediocre argument that their system is something other than parasitic.

                    • Gosman

                      I don’t really care whether you accept my argument. I am merely pointing out what the argument is. You can choose to believe the opposite. It bothers me not a jot.

                    • McFlock


                      normally you come up with better bullshit than ‘not bovvered’. But if all you have to go on is the idea that more people bidding on something somehow doesn’t raise the price, I guess your cognitive dissonance can only go so far.

                  • Skinny

                    Oh you mean like Trump ??

            • Pat

              lol…surely so, how confident are you that you’ll be the winner in a winner takes all game? especially when youre one of the smallest stake holders?

              • Gosman

                I rely on the safety in numbers approach. The more people involved the safer people are. This applies as much to markets as to anything.

                • Pat

                  and yet the proportion of ‘wealth’ is increasingly being accumulated by fewer and fewer….hows that safety in numbers work again?

                  • Gosman

                    It is not increasingly being accumulated by fewer and fewer at all. The World’s wealth is better distributed today than at any time in human history.

                    • McFlock

                      Actually, even over the last 200 years global income inequality has increased significantly.

                      So it can’t be better distributed today “than at any time in human history”.

                    • Gosman

                      I stand corrected. It is rapidly falling since 1988 and is the best we have had since the 1950’s.

                      “More detailed data from similar sources plots a continuous decline since 1988. This is attributed to globalization increasing incomes for billions of poor people, mostly in India and China.”

                    • McFlock

                      “Developing countries like Brazil have also improved basic services like health care, education, and sanitation; others like Chile and Mexico have enacted more progressive tax policies.[35]”

                      So it’s not all down to the market.

                      And “globalization” isn’t just currency speculators. As discussed above, speculators can act as barriers to international trade.

                    • Gosman

                      I never claimed it was. I just disputed that global inequality is getting worse. I was wrong about it being the best ever I admit but was correct how it is getting better.

                    • McFlock

                      Due to globalisation, progressive taxation, and increased access to basic services.

                      Speculators can be removed as they are a barrier to globalisation.

                    • Pat

                      you are confusing income inequality with wealth inequality….wealth inequality is rising and is projected to continue

                      “The world’s richest people have seen their share of the globe’s total wealth increase from 42.5% at the height of the 2008 financial crisis to 50.1% in 2017, or $140tn (£106tn), according to Credit Suisse’s global wealth report published on Tuesday.

                      “The share of the top 1% has been on an upward path ever since [the crisis], passing the 2000 level in 2013 and achieving new peaks every year thereafter,” the annual report said. The bank said “global wealth inequality has certainly been high and rising in the post-crisis period”.


                  • Draco T Bastard

                    The rich band together against the poor. Always have done.

          • Pat

            The motivations will be many and varied but ultimately the goal is to win…and that means everyone else loses. As said , not a model for cohesive society.

            Far too many (both left and right) appear to consider ‘the market’ is some disinterested force when the reality is the polar opposite, so the question really should be do you want your lifestyle determined by an elected group of locals whom you can remove at regular periods or do you want it determined by some faceless individuals almost certainly not residing in your society who are engaged in some light entertainment?

            and remember the house always wins.

            • Gosman

              You haven’t explained why anybody would lose from betting against an overvalued NZ Dollar. Moving towards a more sensible level would seem to be the best approach. If anybody is causing harm it is the Government trying to prop up a currency at a level higher than it should be.

              • Pat

                a government trying to maintain an exchange rate at a ratio that serves the purposes of their economy is every bit as reasonable as allowing it to be controlled by the whim of non resident thrill seekers…..the (sad) reality is if we wish to trade we must play by the house rules so we should at least attempt to control the impact by not giving them a blank cheque and selecting our own stake.

                • Gosman

                  It is not reasonable. It is entirely irrational that a Government can control the price of it’s currency in any meaningful way long term. It is why you have ridiculous situations where places like Venezuela have multiple values for their currency and why Zimbabwe no longer has it’s own one.

                  • Pat

                    and what destroyed the currencies of Venezuela and Zimbabwe?

                  • Pat

                    capital flight…caused by poor policy decisions and underpinned by a lack of democratic rigour. What do you think would happen to NZ with its current policy settings if there was capital flight on a similar scale here?…exactly the same thing…so it is not the system its the quality of the decision making and the exposure…and make no mistake, we are exposed.

                    • Gosman

                      What would happen is the value of the NZ Dollar would fall dramatically making NZ exports more valuable and encouraging greater foreign investment as our assets became comparatively cheaper. that would in turn drive up the value of the dollar and lower interest as a Capital flight turned in to a Capital flood.

                  • Pat

                    perhaps …in time, just as it may in Zimbabwe and Venezuela (may require some democratic reform first) … meanwhile we would be impacted every bit as much as them, with spiralling inflation, shortages, unemployment and population exodus…..our ‘market forces’ economy wont change that.

                    • Gosman

                      Ummm… no. They were impacted by those things BECAUSE they ignored market forces. It was not because they allowed themselves to be dictated by market forces. They were/are actively hostile to the market setting the price of their currency and they suffered the inevitable consequences.

                    • Pat

                      ummm…they ignored market forces? So they (being Zimbabwe and Venezuela) misjudged how the owners of capital would react to their policies…and then doubled down.

                      So who runs things in Zimbabwe and Venezuela?…or NZ for that matter?

                    • Gosman

                      You seem to think that the Government can control EVERYTHING. Just as the government can’t control the weather it can’t control the price of goods and services in the economy. It might be able to influence the price but it can’t control it.

                    • Pat

                      thats what I concluded as well….Zimbabwe and Venezuela are capitalist failures.

                      Indeed a Government could control everything (economy wise) in a closed economy, but I doubt virtually anyone would accept such constraint as that would impose, however an intelligent government (or society) would not hand over entire control of its economy to outside forces and would seek to retain as much control as practicable….that is not an open market economy but something more akin to the Scandinavian models (although even they have moved further right in recent years)…and that requires a more hands on approach by the state and less reliance on attracting offshore investment and more on supplying our needs onshore….especially in a world of diminishing resource.

                  • Stuart Munro

                    “Except we are rated one of the least corrupt nations on the planet.”

                    An assessment that the Panama papers have proven was erroneous.

                    • Gosman

                      There was no indication of corruption involving NZ in the Panama papers.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Denial is the longest river in Africa eh.

                    • Gosman

                      A clever (unoriginal) quip is a poor substitute for facts.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      If we accept that Gosman has done the reading necessary to assert that

                      “There was no indication of corruption involving NZ in the Panama papers.”

                      then, depending on his definitions of ‘indication’ and ‘NZ’, this must simply be a rather remarkable coincidence.

                      NZ foreign trust numbers plummet after post-Panama Papers rules kick in

                      The number of foreign trusts registered in New Zealand has plummeted by about three-quarters since a clampdown was ordered in the wake of the Panama Papers scandal.

                      Inland Revenue said fewer than 3000 foreign trusts met a deadline last week for them to provide more information about their structures and activities.

                      There were 11,645 registered in April last year, in the immediate aftermath of the hacking of Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.


                      I can understand Key’s motivation for claiming that NZ wasn’t a tax haven, but what’s Gosman?

                    • Stuart Munro

                      @ Drowsy

                      I think we can safely presume that reading is not Gosman’s cup of tea. The cognitive dissonance from the conflict between reality and his far-right fabulism must be well nigh unbearable.

                    • greywarshark

                      Stuart Munro
                      Good joke. Denial. And accolades to you in trying to keep a thread of rationality on this blog, a gold thread that shows up all the dim bulbs that have found a home here.

          • Draco T Bastard

            They question the motivations of people involved in a market as if they are trying to scam something and people need to be protected from them.

            They are scamming us. It’s how they get a profit without producing any value.

            • Gosman

              They produce a huge value. You just fail to see it just as most of the World fail to see any benefit in the policies you promote.

              • Draco T Bastard

                No, they’re bludgers and produce no value. From Why we can’t afford the rich:

                As the Christian socialist R.H. Tawney put it in 1929 (hence the gendered language): ‘The man who lives by owning without working is necessarily supported by the industry of someone else, and is, therefore, too expensive a luxury to be encouraged.’

                The rich get wealthy through ownership and not through production of value. Their income is fully unearned and thus is a theft upon the rest of us.

                • Gosman

                  So has stated countless hard core Socialists throughout the past 150 years yet your ideology seems to fail far quicker and more comprehensively than any system involving rich people.

                  • Stuart Munro

                    Piffle. The wealthy merely contrive not to acknowledge the consequences of their actions.

                    • Gosman

                      So Socialists acknowledge the consequences of their actions and that is why it fails ?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      It’s not socialism that fails. It’s capitalism. Even in the 1970s when we started to see stagflation it was still capitalism that failed.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      @ Gosman

                      Try to get it through your head that you are not an authority on socialism – or very much else come to that. The extravagance of your prejudices probably precludes you ever being one.

                      It clearly frightens you. Perhaps you should obsess about something over which you have more control.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    I can quote Adam Smith as well – you know, the father of modern economics. In fact, all the classical economist were scathing of rentier capitalists and warned about them.

                    Now we have our entire socio-economic system based upon them and their greed.

      • DH 1.2.2

        The morality of the situation completely escapes you doesn’t it Gosman.

        If you want to paint it as a rational act it should also be rational that the victims of the speculation, aka the Government and us taxpayers, would want to enact some revenge over those who fleeced us of our taxes. I bet you’d squawk like a chook if that was to happen.

        • Gosman

          What morality is at stake here? Why is an overvalued exchange rate beneficial and something that has to be protected as a matter of morality?

          • DH

            The value of the currency is irrelevant to the conversation gosman. It’s the undermining of our election, the deliberate harm done to our economy and the looting of the taxpayer purse we’re talking about here,

            • Gosman

              The run on the dollar had little to no impact on the election in 1984. It barely got a mention and the incoming Government did not have an idea of the extent of the issue until AFTER they had won.

              • DH

                It had a very big impact on our election and electoral system gosman, it triggered the constitutional crisis for starters.

                I think it was perfectly reasonable for us to demand to know who the speculators were. Then we’d have known who couldn’t be trusted with anything to do with our Government.

                • Nic the NZer

                  The constitutional crisis happened when Muldoon refused to follow the instructions of the incoming government. If you claim this was the crisis of democracy you acknowledge it didn’t impact the election. My understanding is that the currency crisis became known to the incoming government only after they won.

                  • DH

                    The constitutional crisis came about because Muldoon wanted to call the speculators bluff and refused to devalue. If there had been no speculation on the currency there would have been no crisis.

                    • Gosman

                      Douglas wanted to devalue to dollar by 20 %. This was common knowledge at the time. The currency traders were acting entirely rationally and legally by betting that an incoming government would carry out such a plan.

                      You have still to tell me why you think having a currency at a rate set by Muldoon was better for the NZ economy.

                    • Nic the NZer

                      So the currency crisis didn’t impact the election then. And further there would have been no constitutional crisis if Muldoon had followed instructions.

                • Gosman

                  Do you not want people acting in an entirely rational manner being involved with Government?

                  • DH

                    You might want to think that one through gosman, it’s not very rational.

                    • Gosman

                      It is entirely rational. If an incoming government has indicated that they would like to devalue the NZ Dollar by 20 % why would you not sell the NZ dollar and buy other currencies on the belief that you could make 20% return when it is devalued?

                    • DH

                      It’s very irrational. A thief can be acting rationally so you’d be quite happy for thieves to be involved with Government too?

                    • Gosman

                      They weren’t breaking any laws. Your whole arguments seems to rest on the basis you think what they did was immoral. I personally think that government trying to dictate prices of goods and services is immoral but I’m not calling for people involved in the Muldoon administration to be held accountable.

                    • DH

                      No they weren’t breaking any laws. A part of me can admit to a grudging admiration at their opportunism. But the part of me who is a taxpayer and voter also wants some utu, they did harm to the country and while they can keep their riches they should also be paying the full consequences of their actions.

                    • Gosman

                      No, who did harm to the country was Muldoon who foolishly attempted to keep the value of the exchange rate higher than the market was suggesting it should be. If you want Utu take it out on him.

                    • DH

                      Cripes gosman what more do you want, should they dig up the box and scatter his bones?

                      You do know there can be more than one baddie don’t you?

                      Muldoon more than paid for his part in this. He ended up being the fall guy; the patsy who everyone blamed. It’s the villains who got away scot-free with their plunder I was more concerned with.

                    • Gosman

                      No, Muldoon was the imbecile who thought he knew better and could dictate to the Market what the price for not only the NZ Dollar was but for virtually everything in NZ.

                  • Nic the NZer

                    That is unclear Gosman, as rational (in economics) means with the ability to correctly predict the future. If that is desireable or not politically is unclear I think.

                    • Gosman

                      Given the incoming government had strongly hinted it believed the NZ Dollar was overvalued then it wasn’t much of a stretch to predict the future in this case.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.2.3

        The people betting against the Kiwi dollar’s value being correct are acting in an entirely rational manner.

        I don’t think sociopathic behaviour, which is what you’re describing, is entirely rational.

        • Gosman

          How is it sociopathic behaviour?

          • Draco T Bastard

            It is an attack upon society for their own enrichment and that is sociopathic.

            • Gosman

              It is you who is claiming it is an attack on society. Personally I think Government trying to set prices is an attack on society so it is the Government that is being sociopathic following your own logic.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Capitalists, like all Parasites, suck the life out of their hosts.

                And you don’t actually have a leg to stand on with your personal views as they’re completely contradicted by reality. The action that we’re talking about was a few people who bought and sold money to get richer without producing any value. That extra value had to come from somewhere and it, as always, comes from the workers.

                In other words, those arseholes that you worship were just looking to be even bigger bludgers.

                • Gosman

                  And once again Draco my ideas hold sway across the vast majority of the World and your ideas are only supported by a small number of fringe political extremists. Ever since University (over 25 years ago) I have seen people like you claim that Capitalism is eating itself and is on the verge of collapse. I, like you, am still waiting.

    • Gosman 1.3

      All the currency speculators did was to sell NZ Dollars and buy foreign currency on the (entirely understandable) logic that the Dollar was going to be devalued and therefore they would be able to buy back the NZ Dollars at a much cheaper rate. The reasons the Government (or more precisely the Reserve Bank) was running out of Foreign currency reserves was that they had to try and prop up the NZ Dollar at the rate they foolishly decided to set it at. If they had floated the dollar then there would have been little room for speculators to make money from such a situation.

    • Gosman 1.4

      Explain to me what benefits to the country would have keeping the NZ dollar at the higher rate pre-1984 have meant for the economy.

  2. Robert Guyton 2

    “I’m pleased to inform members and supporters that there has been a significantly
    positive response to my offer to support a political party that continues to promote
    the policy manifesto that The Opportunities Party assembled to contest the 2017

    The Board, therefore, has decided to put on hold its plan to deregister TOP as a
    political party to give us time to evaluate the responses and specifically to
    evaluate how TOP may evolve as a political party.

    In order that TOP is given the best chance of continuing, it’s imperative that we
    successfully hold our AGM on Monday July 30th. To this end the Board has changed the
    quorum rule for the AGM from a minimum of 50 members to 20 members and if this is
    not achieved the quorum for the subsequent adjourned meeting from 25 members to 10

    We expect to be in a position to announce the results of our deliberations over the
    future of the Party during August.”

  3. Adrian Thornton 3

    I humbly have a suggestion for one of the writers on The Standard to tackle for a discussion piece…Labour antisemitism hysteria, Is it out to get Jeremy Corbyn out?

    • Incognito 3.1

      Guest Post?

    • Morrissey 3.2

      Adrian, I am pleased to say that the good folk over on Kiwi Blog came to a general consensus that the charges being leveled by the likes of Margaret Hodge are without merit, and that Jeremy Corbyn’s criticism of the Israeli state is not anti-Semitic.

      Nearly every one of the posters—except for me and a couple of others—was extremely opposed to Corbyn and Labour, but they were not so craven or so dishonest as to endorse the smears of the Blairite faction.


      • Adrian Thornton 3.2.1

        Well obviously no one at the Guardian has got that message, they have gone all ‘daily mail’ in their hysterical and relentless attacks on Corbyn.

        I would have thought progressives in NZ would have been far most interested in this story rather than the unending stories on Trump/Russia, as this is what the liberal establishment looks like when it is under a real threat from a real progressive, they will stop at nothing to stop it and play real dirty.

        I have always said Corbyn should have purged the neoliberal cancer from UK Labour when he had that initial wave of popularity, the media couldn’t have any more negative on him and his project back then anyway, so really he had nothing to lose…unfortunately I think he probably thought that he could actually work with them, turns out that they believe in their ideology just as strongly as he does his.

        • Morrissey

          Well obviously no one at the Guardian has got that message, they have gone all ‘daily mail’ in their hysterical and relentless attacks on Corbyn.

          Which underlines my point, Adrian, viz., that even the most extreme right wing people are not so dishonest as to call Corbyn an anti-Semite. The Blairite rump, which the Guardian shills for, has no such scruples.

      • Pete 3.2.2

        For a moment there I thought I saw ‘the good folk’ over on Kiwi Blog. Slim pickings I would have thought!

        • Morrissey

          I’d prefer the company of even the most zealous poster at Kiwi Blog over the likes of Margaret Hodge or Hillary Benn. The Blairite rump of the Labour Party not only has no public credibility, it has no limits to its depravity.

    • Sanctuary 3.3

      “…I humbly have a suggestion for one of the writers on The Standard to tackle for a discussion piece…Labour antisemitism hysteria, Is it out to get Jeremy Corbyn out..?”

      Are the neoliberal Blairite MPs in Labour willing to stoop to the lowest and most vile accusations imaginable in their liberal grab bag of identity politics smears to attack Corbyn?


      Are they aided and abetted by a privileged media class who still see a 1990s bourgeois liberalism married to managerialist late capitalism as the only possible teleological direction for society?


      No need for a post.

    • SaveNZ 3.4

      @Adrian Thornton, I’d been keen for that. They have tried everything else to get him out.

    • tc 3.5

      The media are looking to follow a distractive meme, Israel go straight for the antisemitic line when their violent ways and treatment of occupied territorities is questioned. That’s when they aren’t ignoring the world.

      Perhaps a post could expand to the similar tactics the alt right use to defend their dissemination of facist views….the ” but it’s free speech” meme.

      Maybe the post could grow like Blips list of each area and the distraction/diversion tactics at play in cohorts with the media…who stopped being the 4th estate decades ago.

      • Adrian Thornton 3.5.1

        @ tc, Yes a lot (but certainly not all) of the negativity in the press does seem too come back to his position on Israel/Palestine, Corbyn was one of the very few politicians in the west with the fucking balls to openly call out Israel on their slaughter of unarmed protesters on the Gaza prison fence…and look at the reaction.

        • Siobhan

          “alot (but certainly not all) of the negativity in the press does seem too come back to his position on Israel/Palestine”
          … the press can’t afford to talk about anything else.
          Most especially not Corbyn’s actual economic or social policies, because The Press knows that when people actually hear those policies clearly explained they actually support them, as was proven when Corbyn and momentum hit the streets and managed a stirling result despite the so called civilized liberal press.

  4. Morrissey 4

    What would the two cops in this video have
    done if black kids acted like this?

  5. Nic the NZer 5


    Follow up to, comments on, a post about the governments lack of initiative. This one is about the advantages of having full employment as a government policy.

  6. AsleepWhileWalking 6

    Pensioners are the largest cost for Work and Income, and yet their basic needs are still unmet.


    • SaveNZ 6.1

      Imagine if they are renting. Yet still not much interest from the Kiwibuild for massive roll out of state rentals. From the figures presented the other day of TS looks like 300 extra only over a decade in spite of a huge increase in population and increasing inequality.

      Saw this the other day too, elderly are being kicked out of a camping ground, maybe with many people unable to find or afford a cheap (they pay $200 a fortnight incl utilities) rental in Auckland they relax the by laws… Sounds like a pretty good deal they will not be able to find anywhere else, pushing more people into poverty if they are evicted.


      • AsleepWhileWalking 6.1.1

        Come to think of it, why doesn’t KB target pensioners? Given the demographic trend it would seem a better idea than flushing money down motel drains.

  7. Carolyn_Nth 7

    Spread word of our Rally Against Racism this Friday, and feel free to distribute these posters and flyers. https://drive.google.com/drive/mobile/folders/1cs6goNr0_hxcjmwpeqtEO5cWxt4x0Jwj

    Looks like Aotea Square on the twitter image, but the posters/flyers say TBC

    And I’ll go and stay as long as it’s peaceful.

    • Carolyn_Nth 7.1

      Oh. OK. read the blurb under a poster. There’s a rally, music and speakers at Aotea square at 5.30pm, Friday. then the demo will move off to protest the Fashist event.

      I’m in for the rally at Aotea Square “to celebrate the power and strength of diversity and tolerance”.

  8. Dennis Frank 8

    Interesting clarification from a grumpy old man here: https://www.top.org.nz/an_open_invitation_to_form_a_political_party_with_principles_gareth_morgan

    Kinda reveals why morphing from the Gareth First Party into something consensual never happened, eh? The political strategy he deployed is now clear: my way or the highway, with democracy dangled as a carrot at the end of an extremely long stick.

    Effectively, it’s a contractual design. It locks participants into support of a pre-determined policy mix. They sign up to the party to promote that programme. You could call it intelligent design since the originator is clever enough, but top-down decision-making ain’t the zeitgeist, Gareth. Participatory democracy is.

    • Carolyn_Nth 8.1

      Yes, Morgan claimed TOP was neither left nor right, but based on evidence-based policy excellence. But his TOP-down, antidemocratic approach shows an MO that leans right.

      It is more explicit this time round with TOP invitation mkII

  9. SaveNZ 9

    What an absolute tragedy and sounds like an 11 year old dead.

    Hope they get to the bottom of what caused that bus crash, early on it is looking like a mechanical failure.


    • Jenny 10.1

      Silence is consent

      An Urgent open letter to Minister of Foreign Affairs
      Kia Ora Gaza – July 30, 2018

      Dear Mr Peters,

      Open letter re: Safe and unhindered passage for the 2018 international Freedom Flotilla to Gaza. Urgent.

      In reply to our emails to you on this matter (dated 5 July 2018 and 23 July 2018) we received an email acknowledgement from your office on 13 July 2018 and again on 24 July 2018, that indicated that we would receive a response ‘in due course’. However we have yet to receive a response from you.

      Our emails requested you to demand that the Israeli authorities to end their illegal blockade of Gaza, and allow safe and unhindered passage for the 2018 international Freedom Flotilla heading for Gaza.

      We have shared our request as an ‘open letter’ as this is an important issue of public concern.

      Last night (NZ time) one of the 2018 international Freedom Flotilla boats, the Al Awda, was unlawfully boarded and apprehended by Israeli forces in international waters.

      On board was our New Zealand representative, union leader Mike Treen, along with a number of other prominent human rights advocates and crew from around the world.

      In any other circumstances if any New Zealand citizen was illegally detained in International Waters. It would be all over the News cycle. And the Foreign Affairs Minister and Acting PM both, would be expected to make a statement.

      • Venezia 10.1.1

        Unlawfully boarding a boat in international waters and kidnapping its occupants is called Piracy. Is the international community watching this? If so what are they going to do about this unlawful act?

      • Morrissey 10.1.2

        Thanks for that Jenny. Maybe the lovely smiling Jacinda will say something.


  10. Jenny 11

    Only in Israel

    The violent IDF thugs who invaded and occupied the Al Asqa Mosque last week, used as an excuse for the their actions, accounts of Palestinian youths throwing rocks at the estimated one thousand fundamentalist Jewish settlers who had tried to force their way into the Al Asqa compound.

    What if the events were reversed?

    What if Jewish youths threw stones at Palestinian fundamentalists encroaching on their property?

    What if heavily armed Islamist forces used this as an excuse to invade the Synagogue and violently attack the worshipers?

    They would be condemned around the world as terrorists and fascists, no matter what their alleged motive was.

    …..Earlier, more than 1,000 Israeli settlers forced their way into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound under heavy protection of Israeli police.

  11. Rosemary McDonald 12

    Watched a new documentary on Netflix last night on how the rush to market of new medical devices have led to serious adverse effects. Doco looks into the highly dodgy FDA approval process and compromised bureaucrats.


    Coincidentally, Natrad aired this … https://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2018655786/calls-to-beef-up-reporting-of-adverse-drug-side-effects

    …which discusses drug reactions and their gross under reporting.

    Natrad, especially Kathryn Ryan on Nine to Noon, have done some seriously good work on highlighting NZ’s own scandalous treatment of women impacted by surgical mesh.


    • One Two 12.1

      FDA/CDC/DOH et al…deeply conflicted and compromised…and directly responsible for an unfathomable number of deaths and injury…

      Approvals process for ‘drugs’ is more stringent than for biologicals…both are now ‘fast tracked’ …for the public good of course…the approvals processes are forcast into corporate earnings/profit report…

      Biologicals were not mentioned in the article about reporting/capturing/tracking of adverse events…

    • millsy 12.2

      Putting a piece of wire into a fallopian tube on the reliance that it would inflame it and then scar over is something that shouldn’t have made it off the drawing board.

  12. veutoviper 13

    Looking back at the weekend political events and msm coverage of these, a few things stick out for me as being a little surprising.

    As mickysavage noted in the first sentence of his post on Bridges and his cheerleaders, the lead up to the National Party Conference started with a plethora of fawning articles by, for example, Stacey Kirk, Audrey Young and Clare Trevett on Simon Bridges.

    As the weekend wore on, Kirk and Young continued their ra ra articles, while Trevett seemed to become bored or turned off by late afternoon on Saturday and then produced two very entertaining pieces. Links if you missed them:

    “Nats one bride short of a wedding” – https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12097119

    “PM Jacinda Ardern gatecrashes Simon Bridges’ party” – https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12097422

    However, there was one longterm Herald “editorial writer and columnist” – and Key sycophant – who did not join the cheerleaders. John Roughan.

    No, Roughan did not have a road to Damascus and write a turnaround re the Nats. He just ignored them and the whole Annual Conference event – and wrote an opinion piece on the events that happened one year ago that led to Jacinda Ardern becoming the leader of the Labour Party entitled “A year on from Andrew Little’s game changing decision”


    Normally I bypass Roughan’s columns but that was too intriguing not to click. And I was bit surprised. In effect it is a summary and timeline of the events that happened up to and immediately after Little’s decision to step aside.

    I know some Greens here will not agree with some of what Roughan has written, but IMHO it is a reasonably fair and accurate summation – especially coming from someone of Roughan’s usual persuasion.

    Here are his first few paras – and then his final conclusion.

    [WARNING – You really need to read the rest in between as any comments on these extracts alone will be well out of context.]

    As someone who cares for the accuracy of history, it is often hard to watch the first draft being written.

    This weekend it is one year since an event that may puzzle future historians of New Zealand politics. TVNZ had a poll ready for publication on the Sunday night. They had shared the results with the Labour Party’s leader, Andrew Little, who was interviewed for their weekend political programme.

    Events moved so fast last this time last year that we have never properly reflected on them. History is in danger of deciding a public backlash against benefit cheating somehow caused Little to step down. The truth is more interesting for the development of our constitutional expectations. But history might not notice.”

    Yes, there is an extraneous ‘last’ in the last para in the article. And no, I am not trying to drum up clicks for the Herald, but it is an intriguing article considering the author.

  13. greywarshark 14

    It is tradition now to have a cute animal picture in the media. This is Scoop’s and Gordon Campbell’s image for the National conference. A sweet little guinea pig. I’d vote for this one! I just don’t like it’s chances – it looks naive and somehow feminine (how do male g.p.s differ from females) but I think it might get roasted if up against hot cookies like Bennett, Collins and Adams etc.

  14. AsleepWhileWalking 15

    Viv Rickards on RNZ. Fuck he sounds like a weasel and clearly fits right in with his MSD colleagues.

    Have a listen and try to figure out what exactly his position is.

  15. OnceWasTim 16

    Oh Christ! Quelle surprise
    Viv Rickard ……. Deputy Chief Exec Service Delivery MSD.
    Could it be the very same Viv?
    Punish punish beat beat, shunt sideways.
    I used to wonder why the culture in MoBIE was so toxic.
    Maybe the problem is actually within the SSC and the SSC alone.
    This is real 3rd World shit

    • AsleepWhileWalking 16.1


      Viv spoke as if it were his dedecision

      • OnceWasTim 16.1.1

        Btw, there probably won’t be too much concern or comment on “16” even though it’s this sort of shit that the new gubbaamint will be pushing the proverbial uphill in their undertaking to make ‘change’.
        And they haven’t yet come to realise there is more than one way to skin a cat (one that’s intent on scratching your eyes out)

  16. eco maori 18

    Good morning The Am Show time to see reality I can not see national winning in 2020 .
    Duncan if you don’t care about the future of your Mokopunas well yea lets just keep pouring carbon into our environment carbon taxes work I seen the traffic jams decrees with my own eyes. What do you think about TVNZ underarm bowl on Corin Dan from the Nation shifted to 930 pm . That’s sneaky
    The MH370 plane going missing there were two people on that plane that owned some very important patents on that plane ???????????????????.
    All these wild fires and the sad loss of life we need to pay Papatuanuku more respect keep vegetation away from building in fire prone places some places you mite have to have controled burns to burn the fuel that acumalates in these forest that have had wild fires from the beginning come up with systems to build communitys so they can survive fire its all in the design respecting Papatuanuku means we plan for the worst from her and design to minimize the risk of a natural disaster.
    Butterbean you are doing good with your boot camps if we taxed sugar hard we would have half the problem solved A lot of our people bodys can not cope with sugar this fact is well documented.
    Aotearoa is paradise compared to some other countrys but it still need big improvements Ka kite ano P.S on to my favorite charity

  17. eco maori 19

    Good evening Newshub OUR business confidence will be affected by trump going around Papatuanuku trying to bully and intimidate everyone that’s a fact.
    trumps good good statement it’s going to be good for his net worth. I see steve who has being going around Europe trying to reinvent himself trying to boost his profile and the neo libreal Capitalist in Europe I totally ignored this fact and he will go away
    There you go some people are taking advantage of Aotearoa’s soft immigration laws big time the last government turned a blind eye they were pandering to the wealthy employers keeping wages low who cares if the displace common poor person .
    Zimbabwe is having there election kia kaha Eco Maori know’s that the next government will be a government that delivers a better future for all Zimbabwean’s I see all of AFRICA has a free trade agree thats the way you know what I have said only Africans know whats best for all Africans not foreigners. Ka kite ano P.S my time on my computa was wrong the sandflys well if the are busy trying to intimadated Eco Maori our mokopunas won’t be hassled by the muppets

  18. eco maori 20

    You see tangata Eco Maori is not just teaching tangata in Aotearoa about how there is one law for the wealthy and another for the common poor tangata and that the wealthy laugh that the poor common tangata are honest Eco Maori is teaching All of the common tangata of Papatuanuku of there SHAM . Ana to kai ka kite ano P.S the time on my computa corrected its self WTF

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