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Open mike 30/09/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 30th, 2010 - 28 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

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28 comments on “Open mike 30/09/2010 ”

  1. Lazy Susan 1

    Good to see theEuropeans are waking up and pushing back.

  2. Lazy Susan 2

    Good to see the Europeans are waking up and pushing back.

  3. The Chairman 3

    Salary cuts for civil servants, pension reforms and new laws that make it easier for companies to fire workers sees anti-austerity protests erupting across Europe.

    Marchers were angry that governments, which spent vast sums rescuing banks, now said ordinary citizens had to accept austerity.


    You know a country is really feeling the hit, when its media starts printing the name of investors who are believed to bet betting against it.

    The Irish Independent declares that hedge funds are shorting the country’s debt:

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/as-desperation-sets-in-ireland-starts-naming-hedge-funds-it-claims-are-bettting-againt-it-2010-9#ixzz10wXMrUBB

    War profiteering has accompanied almost every armed conflict in human history, but rarely has it been so explicit

    Fortune has learned that the New York fund manager, whose father formed Halcyon Investment Management in the early 1980s, may raise a “geopolitical volatility fund” based on an investment thesis that Israel will strike. It’s called GeoVol, and draft marketing documents suggest a bifurcated structure of two long/short portfolios in commodities, equities, currencies and debt:

    ·”Portfolio A” would aim for medium returns on between 25 and 30 positions, and would be “designed to preserve capital in case of no strike or a delayed strike, but provide significant upside when the event occurs.”

    ·”Portfolio B” would aim for high returns on between 10 and 15 positions, and is “designed to maximize returns through the use of options, derivatives and leverage with a higher degree of risk due to option decay.”

    There have been plenty of funds predicated on economic events, including ones that make certain geopolitical assumptions. But a fund entirely based on war? That seems new.

    More here: http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2010/09/27/betting-on-the-bomb/

    China’s bizarre phenomena: buildings die unnaturally

    • Bored 3.1

      Bizarre and worryingly real. What we will do for money, even if it kills us in the process. Happy days.

    • Vicky32 3.2

      “Fortune has learned that the New York fund manager, whose father formed Halcyon Investment Management in the early 1980s, may raise a “geopolitical volatility fund” based on an investment thesis that Israel will strike. It’s called GeoVol, and draft marketing documents suggest a bifurcated structure of two long/short portfolios in commodities, equities, currencies and debt:

      ·”Portfolio A” would aim for medium returns on between 25 and 30 positions, and would be “designed to preserve capital in case of no strike or a delayed strike, but provide significant upside when the event occurs.”

      ·”Portfolio B” would aim for high returns on between 10 and 15 positions, and is “designed to maximize returns through the use of options, derivatives and leverage with a higher degree of risk due to option decay.”

      Dear Heaven! What lunatics capitalists are…

  4. Carol 4

    I think NZ workers need to have their own anti-austerity protests.

    I see the MSM is doing it’s best to report it in such a ways as to play down the effectiveness and reach of the protests. But it seems to me that it has the potential to become a widespread international movement.

    The message is pretty clear – No to austerity: priority to jobs

    I’m not so sure that the tag priority to growth,; is the best one to go with though. We need to move away from the neoliberal fixation on growth. A better word is needed to focus on the positive gains of building up the real economy.

    And this message is pretty clear too:
    Marchers were angry that governments which spent vast sums rescuing banks now said ordinary citizens had to accept austerity.

  5. Logie97 5

    Right Hand Rule change

    There may be a compelling reason for delaying the change until 2012 – after the World Cup.

    However given that we are the only “jurisdiction” in the world that operates this crazy law and given that we are told there are going to be thousands upon thousands of foreigners here for the World Cup and given that they will be hiring and driving vehicles, many after a “few” at party central, I would have thought that changing the law before the world cup would have been the obvious choice Joyce.

    And you could do it under “urgency” like you have done with so many of your legislation changes

    • Carol 5.1

      It’s just a distraction from more important and damaging things the government is doing. And they can pull it out again anytime leading up to the ACTUAL road rule change.

      • ianmac 5.1.1

        Yes Carol. A distraction away from the issue of .08 to .05 alcohol. Amazing amount of talk about the road rule change but little about the .08 or more importantly the CERRA. Funny that?

      • prism 5.1.2

        Really they are overstretched intellectually in govt – the old adage ‘they can’t walk and chew gum at the same time’ is rapidly becoming true. Probably its another of those flag waving decisions not thought through. ‘Look at me, I’m part of a government that does things’.

        How much money will it take to alter the road and traffic signals alterations to manage the differing traffic flow? This is usually paid for by local bodies who of course have to front up to central government demands and the costs incurred and then have Wodney saying that their profligate and putting rates up too much.

        A way of reducing intersection and roundabout accidents would be to have everyone to slow slightly before entering, taking a moment to assess traffic flow and giving valuable seconds when waiting cars could enter and move off. Another would be to promote an attitude of courtesy and sharing the roads, allowing others into traffic etc, rather than driving as a complacent, isolated individual using his rights of way and excluding other drivers. Also just being ready at the lights and not having the initial cars wasting precious seconds looking for the gear lever would allow a line of traffic to clear completely, and of course keeping a steady speed as one approaches lights, some manage well to just creep across and the rest get the red!

  6. The Chairman 6

    China – the world’s richest poor country

    China spent tens of billions of dollars on a dazzling 2008 Olympics.

    It has sent astronauts into space.

    It recently became the world’s second-largest economy.

    Yet it gets more than US$2.5 billion ($3.4 billion) a year in foreign government aid – and taxpayers and lawmakers in donor countries are increasingly asking why.


    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Why? I’d say that donor countries prefer to have China as their good mate, (as opposed to say, Sudan or Eritreia.)

  7. Pascal's bookie 7

    Some quotes from a recent speech, guess who?

    I want to talk about the corruption of the democratic process, and about forces willing to sabotage this country’s economic future for private gain…

    …Oil companies like Valero and Tesoro and Frontier are blatantly trying to manipulate the will of the people and the good….

    …The effort is similar to the conspiracy hatched among oil companies in the 1920s to get rid of light rail systems. Then, the companies bought up the easements for light rail systems in 45 cities and then systematically dismantled them….

    …2/3 of XXXXXX approve our state law to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. But you know who the two most prominent opponents are?…Valero and Tesoro, also two of the state’s top polluters. They’re behind an initiative on the November ballot called Proposition 23, which would suspend our law to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But in reality, because of the fine print when it comes to unemployment, they really don’t want to just suspend it, they want to kill this initiative, they want to kill our laws….

    …Does anyone really believe that these companies that out of the goodness of their black oil hearts are spending millions and millions of dollars to protect jobs?…

    …Those who seek to overturn our carbon reduction law say that the green-tech future is too costly. Another excuse, great, great excuse, huh?

    But here’s what they don’t want to tell you. the cost calculations doesn’t include the increased of cost doing business their way, the old way. They don’t include the cost of rising oil prices as the developing world demands more and more oil.

    They don’t include the costs of job losses that is rising oil prices will force.

    They don’t include the costs of hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks that have gotten and continued to get.

    They don’t include the costs of pollution that are already causing — the cost, for instance, to hundreds of thousands of Americans who die every year from smog-related diseases.

    They don’t include also the cost of 6.5 million hospital visits a year for smog-related illnesses.

    They don’t include the cost of the NEXT War over Oil. And believe me, eventually it will come as we become more and more dependent on Oil. I mean, I think that we have had enough wars in the Middle East because of Oil.

    Related quote from a previous life: “Well, I may not have been in show business for as long as you have. But I’m a quick learner. And right now, I’m going to give the audience what *I* think they want”

  8. Lanthanide 8

    Just so people know, petrol is going up 7c tomorrow due to GST and excise tax increases. Might want to fill up today.

  9. Blighty 9

    “US astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet that they think might be habitable. …The planet circles a star that is 193 trillion kilometres away, which is closer than most stars.”

    yes because nearly all stars are in different galaxies.

    I hate science news written by airhead journos. The article doesn’t mention the distance in lightyears (20) or the temperature of Gliese 581 g (-12 to -31 C, really close to Earth) or that’s its tide-locked. Doesn’t even mention that the Kepler project has now found 7 planets and possibly 700 more in a little over a year, looking at one tiny section of space.

  10. Has anyone noticed what “interesting” friends Key has.He was friends with the chap,that ended up,murdered in Australia who turned out to be a swinger . Now according to New Stateman (UK) his very close friend former vice Chairman of the Conservative Party Lord Ashcroft avoided paying 3.4.million pounds in tax ahead of a tax rule change .Lovely people !!!

    • True Blue 10.1

      Its also interesting what friends Helen Clark had, Philip Field who ended up in jail,and Chris Carter a depressed nutbar.

      [lprent: How about changing your e-mail from being all capitals so I don’t have to keep rescuing it from spam. The anti-spam engine (like me) has a poor opinion of shouters even in hidden fields. It is a troll trait. ]

  11. Look out Wellington, prepare to lose all your constitutional rights


    • prism 11.1

      This link now covers the Plimmerton train derailment.

    • Lanthanide 11.2

      While I appreciate the joke, I do think it is in quite poor taste. While 98% of Christchurch has gotten away only lightly scathed, there are still hundreds of people who have lost their houses or livelihoods, or will be faced with living with port-a-loos for at least the next year.

  12. joe90 12

    Matt Taibbi,
    Tea & Crackers.
    How corporate interests and Republican insiders built the Tea Party monster

  13. just saying 13


    A good summary by Bryce Edwards of the Green Party grassroots backlash against the parliamentarian’s CERRA vote.

    I still have a kind of pathetic hope for a Uturn from the Greens – biff out Norman and get back on track. I don’t think it’s a realistic hope and I feel sad about it.

    Carol, you are quoted.

  14. ianmac 14

    A bit late in the day but
    A brilliant Satirical piece by James Griffin:
    The Little Bald Leader had started talking at them some time ago and there was no sign he would be stopping any time soon. As he warmed to his task, rivulets of sweat had started dribbling down his face. They seemed to be emerging from the top of his head, like leaks from little BP oil rigs…..

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