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Poor Poor John

Written By: - Date published: 8:15 pm, April 2nd, 2008 - 43 comments
Categories: assets, john key - Tags: ,

Tracy Watkins tells us in today’s Dom-Post that John Key may have taken a beating in the stock market lately.

He wouldn’t say how much he lost, but did admit, ‘I’m worth less than I was.’

And, I’ll bet some in his Caucus would agree.

Anyway, Tracy tells us that Poor John came to New Zealand with a fortune worth $50 million and now he has lost a bit. He said the amount wasn’t significant. So, what, maybe, he lost maybe a million or two?

I have to say, it brings a tear to my eye thinking of the poor guy sitting in his cabana at his $6.8 million Parnell mansion counting his remaining $48 million.

And, John Key wants us to think he is an average Kiwi Bloke yeah, right!

43 comments on “Poor Poor John”

  1. higherstandard 1

    I can almost understand why this might be news at the Standard but why would the dominion post bother with a nothing story like this ?

  2. Policy Parrot 2

    Certainly it is not just John Key who has taken a beating on the stock market. Many thousands of investors in the Kiwisaver scheme who choose a “growth” fund will have assets worth smaller than the combined contribution from individual and state.

    TBH, Mr. Key’s change in fortune on the private front are really of little issue, compared to his change of fortunes on the public front – except suffice to say that “leaving it to the market doesn’t always seem to be the best solution”.

  3. ghostwhowalks 3

    Down a few mill?
    Dont be silly he probably lost half, since he would have been leveraged to the hilt even if he only had $10 mill of his own in this asset class

  4. randal 4

    looks like the Lynch mob managed to claw back their dough without having to pay for it

  5. illuminatedtiger 5

    Poor little rich prick!

  6. r0b 6

    Another new author at The Standard. G’day Jasper.

  7. Jay 7

    “Dont be silly he probably lost half, since he would have been leveraged to the hilt even if he only had $10 mill of his own in this asset class”

    Key is a BSD. He would have hedged his position. You don’t make 50 large by trading uncovered positions.

  8. Pascal's bookie 8

    “You don’t make 50 large by trading uncovered positions.”

    Oh yeah?


  9. Sceptic 9

    This is gutter stuff even for you guys. John Key was successful at his job – get over it. He’s given up the chance to keep making more money, taken a substantial pay cut and decided that he wants to make a difference in his own way. You’re free to disagree with the way he wants to make a difference but it’s insulting to you and the broader labour movement that you would descend to a post like this.

    Your claim about him not being the average kiwi bloke is obviously true. But take a look at the register of percuniary interests and look at Labour MPs. Many of them have substantial stock portfolios, are beneficiaries to multiple trusts and own 2 or more properties. Hardly average kiwi blokes or blokettes. Where’s the criticism of them for claiming to represent ordinary New Zealanders?

  10. infused 10

    This post stinks of jealousy.

    captcha: the nervous

  11. Monty 11

    Would a better story not be the one about the thousands of NZers who have lost money because of Labour’s interference in particular I am thinking about Aucklnad International Airport.

    This is John Key’s personal matter and of no concern to anyone else.

    But I suppose those with KDS will celebrate a rich prick losing more money in a month than the obsessed authors of this Labour Party blog will ever earn in their lifetime.

  12. Razorlight 12

    Typical labour movement Post. The Politics of envy.

    Whether you support his brand of politics or not, John Key should be a guy we celebrate. Someone who grew up in a single parent family in an extremely modest home bettered his situation and achieved.

    He wasn’t gifted anything. He hasn’t spent his whole adult life feeding from the public teat. He has achieved.

    He has achieved more than most and you hate him for that.

    Anyone with the attitude displayed in this post needs their head read

  13. AncientGeek 13

    The point of the post was pointing out the inherent difference in viewpoint that being able to lose a lot of money makes. This is from a politician that keeps trying to make himself out as being of the people.

    Celebrate that he made a success of himself, fine. But does that make him qualified to judge on the support that allowed him to get into a position where he could. The schools, infrastructure, medical support, etc that a society provides. In my experience most successful people really don’t notice those things or attribute them to their subsequent success. They were used by their parents, and kids don’t really didn’t notice them.

    I sure noticed those supports when my sister was on the DPB after a divorce and raising two small children. I really noticed them when they got cut in the early 90’s.

    What exactly does that have to do with the politics of envy? They are questions of competence.

  14. Ren Stimpy 14

    Bloody rich prick bastard. How dare he become financially successful, he should be shot. We should all be on welfare instead, that would make our country good.

  15. Razorlight 15


    You have raised questions of competence but the story is about him loosing money. That has nothing at all to do with his ability to lead this country.

    So any mention of his personal fortune is obviously politics of envy. What else can it be?

  16. AncientGeek 16

    RL: then why did it end on

    And, John Key wants us to think he is an average Kiwi Bloke yeah, right!

    You did read the whole thing?

  17. Razorlight 17

    John Key hasn’t raised his wealth or his apparent loss at any stage as a reason to elect him. He was asked a direct question and he answered it.

    Watkins making a story out of it has nothing at all to do with his ability to lead.

    Now I may be wrong but I don’t think you will find any direct quotes from John Key describing himself as an average Kiwi Bloke. Please provide me with one if I am in fact wrong. So what is the relevence of this post other than to hold this guy out as a rich prick.

  18. Clint 18

    He is far more convincing as a real Kiwi bloke than Clark pretending she is an every day wife to an every day husband, living a normal married life.

    Fair call.

  19. AncientGeek 19

    RL: If Key raised it – I don’t know. But I’m sure someone will. It has been raised as an issue by his supporters on the blogs numerous times. Effectively (I’m shortening the thesis a bit) they say that his personal success will translate into success for the country. I’m unconvinced of that. They have made it an issue

    I can’t actually recall a businessman becoming an effective politician here or elsewhere when you look back from 20 years. I can however remember a number of them that screwed up pretty badly. Italy at present comes to mind.

    Anyway that wasn’t what you raised a few comments back, and what I responded to. You attributed the Jaspers post to the politics of envy when the post was clearly about his ability to understand the issues of someone with a lot less money. So I can understand you wanting to shift the point rather than deal with it.

  20. AncientGeek 20

    C: I wouldn’t call Helen ordinary under any circumstances. She is the PM after all with major demands on her time. She has always struck me as being quite out of the ordinary and one of the smartest and hardworking people I have ever met. For that matter so is Peter. I’ve known them for a long time.

    I’ve seen Helen talking with the voters in her electorate. She definitely knows all of the issues people run into. She has been doing it for what – close to 30 years. Probably explains the rising majority that she has enjoyed in the electorate.

    I’m obviously biased, but I think that Helen will eventually go down in the history books as one of the best prime ministers we have ever been lucky enough to have. But I don’t think it will be after this election – the Nats look pretty disorganised to win a long campaign, and seem to be getting an increasing credibility gap.

  21. AncientGeek 21

    I do have an issue with this focus on leaders from both the left and right.

    Personality politics is beside the point. Elections aren’t celebrity voting contests, they’re about policy directions and where society is heading. The nature of the lead politicians is part of that, so it becomes important to understand them. But it isn’t the major part – it is just the easy bit.

    I think that the Nats have a major problem with policy at present. It keeps showing up with these ad-hoc headline grabbers that make no sense, and this incredible dearth of actual descriptions of what the Nats would do if they gain power. So far all I’m seeing is the smoke and mirrors and no policy. It seems to have coincided with Key becoming leader of the Nats, becasue it was quite clear where Brash or English stood. I don’t think you can win an election like that.

    An election is mainly about the opportunities where people want their kids and grandkids to have, and how they can provide those opportunities. Most people seem to take their vote very seriously when they get into the polling booth

    captcha: tempers rising

  22. Sceptic says,
    >This is gutter stuff even for you guys. John Key was successful at his job – get over it. He’s given up the chance to keep making more money, taken a substantial pay cut and decided that he wants to make a difference in his own way.

    This is an interesting way of looking at John Key. He sacrificed a well paying career to come home to his little old nothing land to make a difference. He even takes a pay cut to help these little old islands far away from everywhere to make a difference.

    Just imagine the “Smiling Assassin” wants to make a difference.
    The man they send in to deal with the most difficult of clients (read the most distrusting) wants to make a difference for us.
    He will drag us into the real world and make this land “great”.

    A shame really isn’t it, that his ilk (the bankers top to which he belonged and still does, as the meeting he had with his old Merrill Lynch bosses October 2007 shows) have just ruined the western worlds economies by being the most corrupt and greedy bankers thugs this world has ever seen.

    What was that again about John Key sacrificing a pay cut to make a difference, I think his bankers mates send the Smiling Assassin in to convince some very difficult clients, the New Zealand population, to take the deal no matter how rotten. They didn’t buy Don Brash, and that damn Labour woman still holds out on the nuclear issue, and if we had a free trade agreement with National we could finally get our hands on the black sands, the gas, the oil and wasn’t there a considerable amount of gold in the Coromandel?

    John Key sacrificing anything, my a*s.

    Added to that, I suggest that you read the actual Dominion Article,
    If I am correct in assuming that John Key is still very much a member of the top bankers elite than he would have known about the coming crisis. It is after all what unregulated bankers do; create a bubble and deflate it, and create another one, and deflate it, and when it goes wrong let the tax payer clean up the mess. They did it in 1929 and they are doing it now. So coming home, knowing full well that the bubble was going to burst he would have got rid of most of his bad shares, wouldn’t he? And indeed ,John Key has done exactly that, he in fact says so himself in the article:

    >”When I was working at the company a large part of my net worth was [from] Merrill Lynch, but when I came back to New Zealand I took the opportunity to divest.

    And I wouldn’t wonder if the shares he still has are in corporations
    that would love to get their hands on our resources. Rio Tinto, Exxon to name a few. Remember how he said that he sold New Zealand shares to prevent conflict of interest, but that he had kept his international shares?

    Again, John Key coming home to sacrifice anything. my a*s

  23. The politics of envy are alive and well eh lads!

    Just remember, if Key is taking a hit, Cullen’s Super Fund and Kiwisaver, both of which you trumpet regularly, are in far worse trouble.

  24. rjs131 24

    Yes i have no doubt the public will see through the facade, its landslide victory time for Darien Fenton in Helensville

  25. mike 25

    He has lots of money – he must be bad.

  26. Jay 26

    And he earned it himself – double smackdown

  27. Occasional Observer 27

    The only viable solution to the problem of John Key having so much money is for the Government to confiscate it from him. While they’re at it, they should confiscate money from anybody who’s richer than Helen Clark. No, wait, that won’t work, because Helen Clark is worth $5 million plus. They should set the bar much lower than that. Alright, confiscate the assets of anybody who’s got more than $1 million, unless they’re in the Labour Party. Because we all know that magically, the Labour Party is full of common blokes and blokettes, irrespective of their wealth, whereas anybody else is out of touch.

    Yes, that’s a good idea. It worked for Mugabe.

  28. higherstandard 28


    Still peddling your conspiracy theories I see – who will you be voting for in the election – is there anyone who you believe is not part of the conspiracy ?

  29. Get stuffed higherstandard,

    People like you are blind while they have eyes to see.
    I don’t do conspiracy theories,I ask questions when the official story doesn’t gel and calling me that is all guys like you have to keep you from seeing the ugly reality, and I’ll be damned if I waste my time trying to convince guys like you. You stay the simple sheeple you are, and eat some more grass, it’s all you’re going to have if John Key gets elected.

    If NZ votes for John Key and the kiwis are stupid enough to fall for Nationals crap again they deserve everything they are going to get.

  30. Draco TB 30

    I can’t actually recall a businessman becoming an effective politician here or elsewhere when you look back from 20 years. I can however remember a number of them that screwed up pretty badly. Italy at present comes to mind.

    A business person is the last person you want leading a country because all they see are the numbers and they forget that there’s real people there as well.

    Can’t find a detailed biography of JK but this isn’t bad.

    The State House John Key Was Not Born In

    JK may not have said that he’s an ordinary bloke but he has tried very hard to give that impression.

  31. Draco TB 31

    dammit – missed an ending blockquote 🙁

    [lprent: added]

  32. ghostwhowalks 32

    The ‘ordinary bloke’ is just PR spin , why else would we hear about the state house and not the houses in London & new York.
    And as for being a financial whizz, he was just a cog in the Merrill Lynch money machine. The sort of bonuses he made are small change by Wall St standards ( back then).
    AS is seen by his lack of candour in run of the mill interviews or being hand held by Bill English on economic policy interviews( un precedented that a possible PM needs a chaperone during an interview).
    Lets not forget he also couldnt even get it right when signing his enrolment form. The statuary declaration says have you lived at this address for at least a month. Only now does he say that future intent is what counts whic is another lie.
    The nonsense behind his evasion is revealed in that you can live anywhere you like to be an MP ( as he does now in parnell, while being MP for helensville( nice irony in that)

  33. insider 33

    Why do some of you consider being an ordinary bloke and extraordinarily successful to be mutually exclusive?


    He may have “just” been a cog, but it is a competitive world and getting to be that cog, as opposed to a tooth, must take some skill and ability. I doubt you or I could do so well.

  34. Chemist Peter 34

    IrishBill says: Just in case you missed it the first time CP, you were banned until the 7th of April. Please refrain from commenting again until then or I will be forced to increase the length of your ban and lock you out.

  35. Draco TB 35

    Why do some of you consider being an ordinary bloke and extraordinarily successful to be mutually exclusive?

    hmmmm… Good question.

    To be honest I think I have more concern about him implying that he is self-made when he had massive state subsidy. Would he, as leader of the National Party, be willing to reintroduce those subsidies so that others in the same position as he was have the same opportunities? I seriously doubt that he would and I have an even greater doubt that the National Party would even if he tried.

  36. Chemist Peter 36

    IB – for what was I bannde for, free speech… Ban me for as long as you like your mob here are just a complete bunch of fuckwits who love closet homosexual leader Helen. Complete wankers and twats…
    Fuckwits, fuckwits.
    [You’ve just shown why you were banned. Make it another week, no more comments till the April 14. SP]

  37. higherstandard 37

    Draco TB

    ‘I can’t actually recall a businessman becoming an effective politician here or elsewhere when you look back from 20 years. I can however remember a number of them that screwed up pretty badly. Italy at present comes to mind.’

    I think you’d have to say as an exmaple that Jim Anderton is an effective politician due to the of legislation he’s got through and his time in parliament and he does have a business background. I’m sure there are a number of other examples in NZ and outside of business people contributing in politics at the highest level.

    The alternative is a never ending parade of academics, lawyers and career politicians surely the larger the array of backgrounds and skills in parliament the better ?

    The continuing demonisation of business people on the Standard buy some posters shows a tendency such as that of Travellereve who sees anyone in (or previously in) business as somehow unclean and only motivated by greed.

  38. Lampie 38

    Depends on what you define as an average Kiwi Bloke. John Key’s perception and mine would be completely different. AG and I would get the jest of it. You Nappy supporters are barking up the wrong tree.

  39. Jay 39

    “If NZ votes for John Key and the kiwis are stupid enough to fall for Nationals crap again they deserve everything they are going to get.”

    Given nationals poll numbers it appears that you hold a significant number of NZer’s in contempt.

  40. yep, and I hope that most of them come around before the election. By the way our lovely landlady blessed with ample money supplies witch I don’t begrudge her at all, thinks the same way. Why, because she uses her (business) brain and her excellent memory, and something most of you seem to lack, her knowledge of how bad it can get in other places in the world were guys like Key get elected. Just imagine a moneyed landlady and her penniless but very happy tenants actually agreeing.

  41. AncientGeek 41

    Poll figures are pretty volatile at present (and quite inaccurate as well). That has been discussed here a number of times, especially the inherent inaccuracies of phone polling in this age.

    Poll trends are more interesting. What was the last one? Movement away from the right and towards the left. I’d expect to see a lot more of that

  42. Razorlight 42


    Blame the method of polling rather than address why people have turned off Labour and lookng for an alternative government. That is kind of like bury ones head in the sand.

  43. AncientGeek 43

    I do blame the method of polling. It inherently distorts the results and the methodology absolutely sucks.

    Look at the first part of my name. I’ve been aware of polls and elections for more than a few decades. I came to the conclusion long ago that there was only one valid poll – the one where the whole voting population goes into the polling booth.

    At this point in the electoral cycles it is fun to blame the g’vmnt for everything. The real poll makes the ability of the replacement government much more of an issue. So far the Nat’s would be hard put to impress anyone with their abilities or policy coherence.

    But please be my guest (jest). Believe that the polls reflect electoral outcomes as much as you like. If it keeps the Nat’s thinking they’ll cruise to victory without putting in the hard yards (like they thought in 2005), I’m all for it.

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