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Polity: Armstrong on National on Labour

Written By: - Date published: 1:20 pm, April 7th, 2014 - 13 comments
Categories: dpf, john key, labour, national, same old national - Tags: , , , ,

polity_square_for_lynnRob Salmond at Polity generously allows us to repost his posts. Like this one on the latest set of bullshit from John Key on interest rates. 

I rate John Armstrong. He has a rare ability to cut through the BS, when he wants to, and really alert readers to the underlying plans of our political parties. Here is a good example from Saturday’s Herald column:

If voters swallow John Key’s line that a vote for Labour is a vote for higher interest rates, they will swallow anything the Prime Minister puts in front of them.

And if they do not, Key’s less-than-subtle scare campaign on interest rates suggests he will ram it down their throats.

Mortgage interest rates are perhaps the most sensitive of all hip-pocket issues. And they are going up during National’s watch…

Maybe [Key’s line] was a deliberate attempt to muddy the waters. For example, he absolved National of responsibility by arguing the small increases in the official cash rate simply illustrated the renewed strength of the economy under National.

Not only was Key claiming victory when interest rates went down, but also when they went up.

This was not Key’s finest hour.

This isn’t a new ploy from National or its supporters. “Mortgage rate rises under National: Good. Mortgage rate rises under Labour: Dreadful!”

I’ve seen DPF, for example, argue both that a recession is the perfect time to cut taxes because it stimulates the economy, and a recovery is also the perfect time to cut taxes to provide a dividend. It reminds me of that old chestnut, most recently applied to Don Brash: “The answer is tax cuts. What is the question again?”

13 comments on “Polity: Armstrong on National on Labour ”

  1. fender 1

    Oh yeah, and remember Standard and Poor’s will downgrade NZ’s credit rating if Labour govern…

    John Key: fucking liar.

    • Tracey 1.1

      nzd is very high too. am sure thats helping exporters to our largest export market, australia.

  2. Tracey 2

    meanwhile the commerce commission has been investigating possible dodgy currency trading…
    A Commerce Commission probe into currency market manipulation was sparked by an alleged cartel member seeking immunity from prosecution, the regulator says.

    The commission this morning confirmed its investigation into “possible manipulation of currency rates and possible influencing of benchmarks in foreign exchange markets”.

    The investigation followed an application for leniency under its policy to grant conditional immunity from prosecution to the first member of a cartel to come forward with evidence, it said.

    It declined to comment further, and would not say which banks were involved, explain the nature of its investigation, or how long it was expected to take.

    The commission action is one of several regulatory probes around the world after allegations emerged last year that senior currency traders had colluded to influence currency movements and rip off customers.

    Organisations likely to be affected are those that use banks to place significant foreign exchange orders on the spot market.

    in new york, the usual suspects are under investigation…

    • Tracey 2.1

      Calculated at 4pm London time, it is also known as the “London close”.

      As well as regulatory action, a class action has been filed in New York by clients of several major banks, claiming they were ripped off by a conspiracy to manipulate the forex market. At least two of the banks named in the lawsuit are also active in New Zealand.


      The suit claims traders using chat-room names such as “The Cartel,” “The Bandits’ Club,” and “The Mafia,” exchanged confidential customer order information and trading positions.

      Defendants are the Bank of America, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, RBS and UBS.

      Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan Chase are both registered banks in New Zealand, while UBS has a local subsidiary.

      The lawsuit claims the manipulation of the London close impacted the pricing of trillions of dollars’ worth of forex instruments, “inflicting severe financial harm on plaintiffs and members of the class”.

      Global Probe The lawsuit claims law enforcement and regulatory authorities around the world, including the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand, are actively investigating.

      New Zealand’s four biggest banks – ASB, ANZ, Bank of New Zealand and Westpac – are all Australian-owned.

      A spokesperson for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said it would not comment on matters it “may or may not be investigating”.

      Swiss authorities have formally opened a foreign exchange-related investigation into several banks, which includes heavyweights JP Morgan Chase, Barclays and Citigroup.

      In Britain, Reuters reported that about 30 traders were known to have been placed on leave, suspended, or fired as a result of the inquiry.

      It is possible that the global crackdown has particular relevance to New Zealand.

      At a monetary policy briefing last month, Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler pointed out that the New Zealand dollar was between the 7th and 10th most-traded currency internationally.

      Daily turnover was about NZ$100 billion, or roughly half of an entire year’s worth of gross domestic product.

      • Huginn 2.1.1

        Very interested to see what was going on, how long it’s been going on, and who knew about it. If it is related to the very high volumes traded in the Kiwi, then it’s been going on for a very long time and we should be asking why it’s taken the regulatory authorities so long to look into it.

        Here’s another link

        Financial Times,

        Hong Kong and New Zealand launch forex probes

        By Paul J Davies in Hong Kong

        Global investigations into foreign exchange markets widens as HK regulator asks banks to review their operations while NZ regulator launches probe

        Read the full article at: http://on.ft.com/1lkLEV4

        • Tracey

          This is of course the occupation our transparent and honest pm excelled

          • Huginn

            It’s the old problem with systemic failure – a flawed market and an ineffective regulator.

  3. fambo 3

    No one seems to be focusing very much on the fact that New Zealand is among the top ten countries in the world for Chinese interest in property purchases, that that interest has leapt phenomenally in the past year or so, that 60 percent of purchases are by non-residents (interestingly, it’s normally reported as “40 percent are residents” which doesn’t sound quite as bad), and if my memory serves me correctly, they represent around 6 percent of the housing market now.

    The last point is quite interesting in itself, in that given the Chinese buyers are mostly interested in specific areas, then their percentage of purchases in these areas is likely to be around 10 percent or maybe more, which means they have a noticeable impact on house prices.

    Given that the number of Chinese with the money to buy property is only going to significantly and probably rapidly increase over the next few years, their impact on the market can only seriously increase. The implications for making home ownership even more unaffordable for New Zealand residents is pretty obvious.

    Quite simply, while non-residents are able to purchase residential property in New Zealand, New Zealanders will find themselves competing more and more with overseas buyers with a lot more money than them. Fine if you are wealthy already and see the value of your properties float up with the market, but a bummer for everyone else.

    For the record, I would feel concerned if it was Americans, Russians or Swiss, but I don’t think any other country in living history has come close to the capability of China to so influence house prices in New Zealand.

  4. saarbo 4

    “I rate John Armstrong”

    why do so many people suck up to this based national party dick head…reading Armstrong is normally like reading a national party political broadcast.

    • Saarbo 4.1

      “based”=”fucken biased”

    • Stuart Munro 4.2

      Yes, this was a defensive story – to cover his fundament in case the Herald decides to clean up its act. But even so it was full of far right spin:

      “Key’s recurring nightmare would be to wake up the day after the election having lost by a handful of votes,”

      He’ll be losing by a lot more than that

      “Labour’s profligate spending”

      No objective basis for this pejorative

      “given the Prime Minister’s political acumen”

      Let’s not take that as given – how about some evidence

      “when this Prime Minister is (rarely) misfiring”

      He does nothing but misfire

      “Labour’s strategy involves getting people to ignore the statistical evidence”

      By this he mean’s English’s ‘creative’ use of numbers – like the ‘progressive’ claim based on increased numbers on benefits.

      “Labour is thus appealing to more base instincts by getting people to ask themselves another, more direct question: do you believe you are getting your fair share?”

      Equity is a base instinct? Again an improper pejorative.

      “For the first time in a very long time, the New Zealand economy looks like it will enjoy solid and sustainable growth for some time.”

      This is a National claim – and as with all such claims – ‘pie in the sky’ or ‘jam tomorrow’ it should be treated with scepticism in the absence of evidence. In fact the outlook for NZ is soft: Tax receipts are down, the Oz economy is softening, and the US, having failed to reform post the sub-prime debacle remains a risk for the global economy. The heat in the NZ market relates to foreign housing purchases – and it doesn’t amount to much or the SOE selloff would have attracted much more interest. Large institutional investors know the kiwi is due to plummet – they’ll be avoiding NZ for a while – till after the election at least.

      “National’s continued high opinion poll ratings – are a reflection of the current optimism ”

      More to do with the MSM sunshine policy.

      So the Herald still has a fair way to go before it can pretend to the professional objectivity required of a credible newspaper.

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