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PREFU

Written By: - Date published: 2:59 pm, October 25th, 2011 - 94 comments
Categories: Economy, election 2011 - Tags:

The Pre-Election Fiscal and Economic Update is out. It shows that National has broken its promises on the economy once again.

Five months ago, they were promising growth would hit 4% in the year to March 2013, which starts on April 1 next year. Now, they’re already slashing that much-hyped promise to 3.4%. What’s the bet those projections get slashed again next update if National wins?

Every year, our international debt will grow if there isn’t the kind of fundamental reform National shies away from in favour of handouts to the rich.

Under National, we are under-performing woefully and their only response is to continue to promise that brighter future is just around the corner. Time for parties with real plans: Labour and the Greens.

Btw, Treasury finalised these numbers over a month ago before the double downgrade. So, like always, Treasury’s numbers are hopelessly out of date before they are published and don’t account for the hundred million or so a year in extra borrowing costs.

Oh, and the numbers still don’t account for the lost dividends if our assets are sold, despite booking the revenue of those sales already.

94 comments on “PREFU”

  1. aerobubble 1

    National represents conservate forces and NZ has under performed for decades…

    …nothing new here, move along now.

    • mik e 1.1

      Air head National and Roger Douglas Borrowing bills english the worst finance minister this country has ever had Michael cullen did a lot to change NZ increasing R&D savings and improving education.He is the only finance minister to achieve sustainable growth since the 1970s

      • Treetop 1.1.1

        Cullen is an MP that I would like to have returned to parliament as he achieved a lot. Cunliffe will do well as a finance minister, but both Cullen and Cunliffe would sort the economy out.

  2. Ianupnorth 2

    The growth is coming in the same spaceship as the 170K new jobs…..

  3. Nick C 3

    Is this the exact same post you wrote, and accidentally put up, before the PREFU was actually put out? Or have you paid lip service to look through it and find facts which suit your conclusions this time?

    [Because old Blind Alf and his dog could see that the growth numbers would be revised down from Fantasyland to just silly, Eddie wrote an intro and asked me to add and edit as need be. Accidental push of a button while looking at the draft meant early publication. Don’t worry Nick, I had a good look and added the facts. And how about those facts? Growth revised down -again, rising international debt… Zet]

  4. burt 4

    ‘THE STANDARD’ appears to have been much happier when we had a Labour govt and a decade of deficits forecast… Who would have guessed such partisan stupidity from a piece of software.

    [It’s titled The Standard because it was a multi-author job, as is Standard practice. Zet]

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      “Gone by lunchtime” springs to mind.

    • felix 4.2

      Get it from you all the time burt, and you might as well be a piece of software.

    • mik e 4.3

      Burt the reason is that only right wing economists are employed at treasury it is an extension of the business round table.

    • Lanthanide 4.4

      “[It’s titled The Standard because it was a multi-author job, as is Standard practice. Zet]”

      Actually I haven’t heard that before. What I’ve heard before is that The Standard is used for generic site updates and articles without specific author opinion which are usually republishing of something else (like a flier sent in by a protest organiser) or from another blog.

      IMO a “Multiple Authors” author might be more appropriate than lumping it in with the above category. This is the first time I ever recall something like this being published under The Standard although I’d be happy to see any other precedents.

      • lprent 4.4.1

        Umm offhand the last one I remember is this one from a few weeks ago.

        The Nats’ muddle, your job on the line

        It gets used quite a lot for things where a number of the authors cooperate on post content. Collecting all of those links was one of them. There are typically one or two posts sitting on the writing queue scheduled for 2025 with a not to tell people to update them.

        This case is probably one where a number of people were busy reading the same thing and commenting via e-mail, text or voice. That often happens when budgets / policy announcements / breaking news are being made.

        • Lanthanide 4.4.1.1

          That post is sort of borderline though, because there is only a small amount of new content while the rest is links to other pages.

          This one is entirely original content and quite opinionated. The thrust of my argument is that you say “software doesn’t think or have opinions”, and yet here have we have opinions posted under The Standard name.

          • lprent 4.4.1.1.1

            I seem to remember that the comments made on that post said it was highly opinionated.

            I could dig out other posts that have been collaborations. The point is that there are usually a few each month.

            We like to distinguish the posts that are expressing the opinions of individual authors here, and those that are reprints from other sites, notices, routine posts, and collaborations. We only distinguish authors, guest posts first published here, and everything else goes under The Standard.

            • Lanthanide 4.4.1.1.1.1

              Sure, I don’t really care, just the usual defence is “The Standard is just software, it doesn’t have opinions”, which becomes a bit hard to defend when you post opinions under that author tag.

              Also the point that you have to ‘dig out other posts that have been collaborations’ indicates that a way of tagging collaborated posts would make that process much easier, should it ever want/need to be performed.

    • millsy 4.5

      We wouldnt have a US style health system though burt.

      Sometime health and education services, as well as infrastructure are more important than gaining a ‘surplus’.

      • burt 4.5.1

        millsy

        I’m a little confused about your line;

        We wouldnt have a US style health system though burt

        Could you please reword that as your next line is well worthy of debate, and I don’t think you and I are going to disagree much on this.

    • burt 4.6

      Zetetic

      I’m sorry I seem to have missed the transition in that usage. It’s now noted.

      However I’m trilled that it’s not a simple repost. Now more than one, but not necessarily all, authors at ‘The Standard’ may feel obliged to defend the position;

      Under National, we are under-performing woefully…

      When as noted, Labour left office with a decade of deficit forecast and an undisclosed mini budget a possibility after the election.

      Unless this thread is to simply discredit Treasury ( or the extension of the BRT as ‘mike e’ calls it) as being impartial by claiming that Labour would have had stronger growth on undisclosed policies then surely slagging the current performance is shooting ‘The Standard’ in the foot.

      Perhaps one, but not necessarily all, authors at ‘The Standard’ could help me out to work out what the point of this thread really is.

  5. framu 5

    “Oh, and the numbers still don’t account for the lost dividends if our assets are sold, despite booking the revenue of those sales already.”
    \

    err…. isnt that called ‘fraud’

  6. Afewknowthetruth 6

    The great advantages of being an economsit are that any forecast you make can be revised upwards or downwards by any figure you like and that there is never any accountability. That is particulalry true if you are an economist working for Treasury.

    Now that Peak Oil is starting to bite a 4% contraction of the economy looks about right for 2012, followed by a 6% contraction in 2013.

    • aerobubble 6.1

      Even Epsom voters know the figures are nonsense, it does not take much to
      realize that the markets are having problems because the market is trying to
      digest the real forecasts, that of declining profits, growth, and likely debt
      reduction measures. If I were super rich now’s the time for a great
      party, it will never be so cheap, or likely for a generation.

      New energy is less efficient, need more energy input, so we are all
      going to have to invest more time, more money, in lowering energy
      use, building more supply if we want any growth, and any profits
      from the growth will immediately go into investing into more
      new energy supply. Pretty much anyone in the energy industries
      is sitting nicely.

    • Richard 6.2

      Put your money where your mouth is “Afewknowthetruth”. I will bet you $100 dollars that the economy does not contract by anything like 4% in 2012. How about we settle on the term of the bet being growth for 2012? If the economy grows in 2012 I win. If it contracts, you win. Seems like a good deal to me, if you actually believed anything you said.

      If you want to take me up on the deal, I will (after checking with the moderators), pass along some real contact details and we can sort it out. Otherwise I will be assuming that you don’t actually believe any of the Malthusian claptrap you post on here.

  7. interesting 7

    I find it interesting that you neglect to mention that the books are still forecast to be back in surplus in 2014/2015 and that the projected surplus is expected to be higher than what was initially in the budget.

    i think that most Labour people were hoping and praying that the prefu would show the books in a worse position than the budget had forcast….when in fact it turned out that they are not.

    Lets not forget that the last prefu under LABOUR projected budget deficits until 2018….were you all crying about how bad that was back then??? When Labour were in charge of the budget??? Or is it a different story simply because it is a National government.

    This prefu has not come out the way that Labour had hoped…so their planned attacks are not going to work…. because it is not all doomsday like Labour had been hoping…

    The sad thing is that a lot of people spend all their time talking down the economy for the selfish ambition of trying to get their party which is in opposition currently, back in to government. Sad really.

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      Labour’s response to that bad prefu was a mini-budget if they won the election.

      National’s response was a talk-fest jobs summit (“rolling-maul” anyone?) and a cycle way.

      National’s response to the current prefu is to change nothing because they claim we’re on the right track already (despite double and soon to be triple downgrades).

      Labour’s response is policy that will see real wage growth for a large section of the populace, as well as a to-be-announced savings policy that is likely to be a bit more than “we promise we might force people to opt-out of kiwisaver in 2014”.

    • Colonial Viper 7.2

      The sad thing is that a lot of people spend all their time talking down the economy for the selfish ambition of trying to get their party which is in opposition currently, back in to government. Sad really.

      You can’t “talk down” an economy which is already crashing.

      What’s sad are apologists like you willfully ignoring repeated growth forecast downgrades time after time after time. And there will be more.

      Where are Double Dipton’s promised 170,000 jobs from the 2010 budget? From the 2011 budget?

      In Australia, no doubt.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.3

      I find it interesting that you neglect to mention that the books are still forecast to be back in surplus in 2014/2015 and that the projected surplus is expected to be higher than what was initially in the budget.

      Still plenty of time between now and 2014/5 for the forecast to be revised down – which they will be especially if we keep this government.

      • burt 7.3.1

        Would you feel happier voting for National if Treasury had a decade of deficit forecast and National were talking about an undisclosed mini budget after the election ?

        But Draco, I’m with you all the way – WTF really is National’s policy or are we subject to another 3 years of the tired old Labour party policies that got us into this mess to start with.

        • Colonial Viper 7.3.1.1

          National are wimps, more centre softies than right.

          Only way it’ll toughen up is if Key leaves

          Only problem is that Key is National.

        • Lanthanide 7.3.1.2

          So burt, what did National do in their 2009 budget to turn that “decade of deficits” around? All I can really recall is a tax cut that came with ridiculous forecasts of massive growth. Then they went and repealed most of the tax cut they had put in.

          I don’t actually recall anything else substantive from that budget except for paring back kiwisaver and stopping contributions to the cullen fund, both things that have ultimately hurt our savings rate (which is the problem) going forwards.

          • burt 7.3.1.2.1

            Lanthanide

            I agree, they played with a few existing policy settings and did a line by line review of public sector spending. Defenders of the great growing public service remind us regularly that National cut spending. Something that although clearly had an effect is hardly to be considered substantive in a ‘National Party policy’ sense.

            National entered their first term stating a steady as we go approach saying that if they got a second term and we seemed to be heading out of economic stagnation that more would change.

            I’m waiting to see if they deliver on that before I even consider them as candidates for my vote.

            • Lanthanide 7.3.1.2.1.1

              So in other words, the “decade of deficits” was completely overblown by treasury and National used it as their platform for being re-elected.

              • burt

                Lanthanide

                It seems all political parties have a pattern of claiming good news from Treasury is a result of their policies and bad news is the result of external influences. Labour and their famous “ideological burp” from Treasury circa 2005 also coincides with a dramatic fall in GDP growth and our entering recession before the global economic crisis. So it seems that even though Treasury are never 100% accurate they do report the situation as they see it rather than as they want the voters to see it.

                If your opinion is that the predicted deficit of debt was made up to get national elected then sure, claim that prediction was an ideological burp or a bias report to get National elected. But if you take that position – take care holding onto that tin foil hat because it’s pretty windy around the country today.

                • Lanthanide

                  I didn’t claim it was made up by treasury to get National elected.

                  What I said is that treasury wildly exaggerated the actual problem (as evidenced by the minor fiddling around the edges National did in the 2009 budget) and then National took advantage of that.

                  • burt

                    Sorry, I misread your tone.

                    I’m inclined to agree that’s a realistic possibility. One thing we can be sure of though is that the outlook has improved in the last three years.

                    Now either it was always going to as evidenced by global trends ( Reserve bank: Real GDP ) and National did nothing plus Treasury got it wrong OR pulling out stronger from the recession than expected is in some way attributable to the National govt.

                    Which pretty much means spending cuts and reduced income tax rates were the driver of stronger recovery which isn’t actually that surprising. What was the formula in Labour’s undisclosed mini budget? The only thing we know is that whatever National did – it wasn’t that!

                    However none of that diminishes my distaste for how Labour seem incapable of accepting advice from Treasury that isn’t strongly supporting their policies.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.3.1.3

          Generally speaking, I don’t listen to Treasury. They’re obviously Faithful Monetarists and support NAct policies and so make bright forecasts on those beliefs rather than on the facts.

          Treasury wouldn’t know an economy if they tripped over one.

      • lprent 7.3.2

        Yep, and the surplus always reduces with this government in each budget.

  8. randal 8

    National is supposed to be the party of business but when was the last time they announced a new business of any significance.
    they think being in business is equivalent to lowering wages instead of increasing them.
    It seems like they are in business solely to exercise authority over people and production and innovation are just weasel words to gloss over their proclivities.

    • mik e 8.1

      The only business National are in is borrowing to buy votes govt borrowing at $72 billion now, on current projections it is expected to blow out to over $100billion plus this is scary.WE New Zealanders wanted to pay more for CHCH rebuild and to become better savers, National has borrowed and hoped it would get past this election after this election National will sell everything and cut everything and blame every thing on someone else. The only people to benefit have been the top 5 to 10 percent of income earners .Austerity is the only option national have. No financial transaction tax ie Europe no CGT no reversal of unaffordable tax cuts fot the rich .National will cut WFF and Student loans put up the age of retirement etc

      • Ed 8.1.1

        The number that is more usually quoted for debt is $38 billion, which I gather is a net figure after deducting amounts owed to the government from overseas and within New Zealand, and also deducting the NZ Superannuation Fund.
        That does concern me, because that fund has been deliberately set aside to meet future commitments for NZ Superannuation payments, (and specifically to smooth out funding requirements as the baby-boomer generation goes through retirement). On that basis, do government net borrowing also deduct off capital reserves held for future ACC payments? (we know Labour strengthened funding for those as well).
        While the government continues to state that it is committed to meet future NZ Super and ACC payments on the current basis, it does seem wrong to count such reserves as if they are readily available to repay Government debt – is this more mirror tricks by National like not counting the loss of dividends from planned asset sales? (The ones Bill English says we should not be making?).

  9. ianmac 9

    Bill English said, you will be pleased to hear, that the Prefu figures, prove just how well National has been running the country. So all youse pessimists get a life. Thank God for such a clever chap that Bill is. Naive? Trusting? Hardly.

    • Treetop 9.1

      Treasury’s worst scenario is a 14.5 billion hole in tax revenue.

      Yes I’m a pessimist, but I live in the real world, not a wishful thinking one like English.

  10. Lanthanide 10

    The comments on DPF’s latest shill spot are worth reading:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/blogs/david-farrar-by-the-numbers/5848662/A-path-out-of-debt#comments

    I particularly liked this one:
    “Is the answer National? Did I get it right David?”

  11. Whats this post doing back up? Oh thats right.

  12. Jum 12

    Those bastards at TV3 deliberately filmed Phil Goff and David Cunliffe, on the 6pm news, in a way that showed the ‘Stop Asset Sales, vote Labour’ as ‘Asset Sales vote Labour’.

    You can now add either the film editors or the cameramen/women to the list of biased New Zealand journalists this election.

    Once not showing the whole ‘STOP ASSET SALES’ could be an accident; twice not showing the whole ‘STOP ASSET SALES’ is deliberate.

    I’ll be interested to see if it is mentioned on Media Watch at the end of the week.

    I know that the NActs lie and cheat, they have various media producing only rightwing propaganda and have bought some New Zealand journalists, but you will also see over the next month how the backdrops of N/Act/Conservatives will be fully displayed behind Key and co which will prove my point.

    The more I look at what the once principled and ethical communicators of this country are becoming under this government and its new sidekicks the conservative party the more I have to go and wash my hands in disinfectant.

    America’s man Key is getting closer to the ultimate betrayal of the many New Zealanders that have the naivety to trust him.

    I hold him in contempt for his love of money over his own countrymen and countrywomen.

    I hold him in contempt for the buying up of shares in the State Owned Assets that belong privately to all New Zealanders, which he will do because he has the millions to do so.

    What better frontman to push through the sale of the century – New Zealand’s up on the block folks – only wealthy corporates, business rotundtable and individuals like Key and his celebrity backers with the cash need apply. Let’s include Maori with money who want to buy up these assets that belong to all New Zealanders.

    Many people say at least the assets will stay in New Zealand under Maori ownership; I hope those New Zealanders don’t imagine Maori will treat those assets any differently to the aforementioned corporates, rotundtable and wealthy individuals.

    Average Mums and Dads are too busy surviving on the dole having lost their jobs, with this government bailing out their wealthy corporate mates.

    And as for the Kiwisaver and Superannuation hype; the four main default Kiwisaver providers are Australian banks! Superannuation has been effectively shut down by NAct and will no doubt be sold off by them along with the Kiwisaver providers selling their shares if it suits. Kiwisaver providers are not under any obligation to New Zealanders on what they invest in on those New Zealanders’ behalf – they can sell and buy at will.

    NAct was meant to manage our assets not sell them. Labour learned that lesson. NAct never will.

    All New Zealanders voting for National Act United Future Maori Party or Conservatives know that. They are therefore betraying their own people.

    • marty mars 12.1

      “I hope those New Zealanders don’t imagine Maori will treat those assets any differently”

      I don’t get how you can rally against the elite in society, talk about the average mums and dads and in the same piece lump all tangata whenua together and equate them with the loathed.

      Why do you think it is okay to do that jum?

      • Jum 12.1.1

        Marty Mars,

        Very good question. How about you tell me then which iwi intend to buy shares and also how much they will want to snap up of other people’s future dividends?

        Also, how many other assets which belong privately to all New Zealanders will those iwi be happy to buy up for themselves at the expense of the rest of New Zealanders who cannot afford to buy these shares promised them as first in the queue? I’m asking this because you and I both know that all government/local government-managed assets will be on the block if this government gets back in.

        I also object to you referring to the circling sharks as ‘the elite’.

        • marty mars 12.1.1.1

          Well jum I don’t know which iwi and so on – sorry.

          You don’t seem to have any recollection of the history of this country – do you think it is all made up – you know the negative effects of colonisation, the Waitangi thingy and so forth . You talk about all new zealanders – aren’t tangata whenua in that catagory too, who do you think make up the iwi. See from my angle you are seperatist, dividing and not wanting equality and I find that sad becaue i like a lot of your ideas in your posts.

          I also called them the loathed and said that you had equated tangata whenua with them, remember.

          • Jum 12.1.1.1.1

            Marty Mars,

            ‘You talk about all new zealanders – aren’t tangata whenua in that catagory too, who do you think make up the iwi.’

            You have just proved my point. Tangata whenua is in the category of whatever people in New Zealand like to call themselves as a country of people so what gives them or any other group or individual the right to take from other New Zealanders just because they have the money?

            And let’s be clear here, Marty Mars, anyone who takes up the offer if NAct gets back in IS TAKING from all New Zealanders’ future offspring.

            As for ‘ See from my angle you are seperatist, dividing and not wanting equality and I find that sad becaue i like a lot of your ideas in your posts. ‘ I’ll just fling all of that right back at ya.

            • marty mars 12.1.1.1.1.1

              “Tangata whenua is in the category of whatever people in New Zealand like to call themselves as a country of people so what gives them or any other group or individual the right to take from other New Zealanders just because they have the money?”

              I can’t really understand that. Are you saying you don’t think Māori are indigenous, or that they shouldn’t have this ‘right to take’ as you call it, or they have too much money or some combination. I always thought you had it in for the so called ‘iwi elite’ but are you going a bit wider than that?

    • Joe Bloggs 12.2

      Those bastards at TV3 deliberately filmed Phil Goff and David Cunliffe…

      Frankly Jum you should just be happy those bastards deliberately filmed Goff and Cunliffe!

      But seriously the whole screwball rant about biased journalism made me piss myself laughing – particularly as I was appalled that the exorbitant amount of media time that TV3 gave to Goff and Cunliffe – way over the top given Labour’s poor showing in the polls.

      Goes to show how the same event can be interpreted in two completely opposing ways…

      • Colonial Viper 12.2.1

        TV3 are gonna be first up against the wall anyway.

        Oh, unless Joyce gives them taxpayer bailouts of course.

      • Jum 12.2.2

        Joe Bloggs,

        Thanks for that comment.

        I’ll add you to my growing list of attack dogs who target posters that are correct about what this government and its backers are up to.

  13. Tom Gould 13

    The headline on Stuff screams “Treasury confirms Govt on track for surplus”. What craven pro-Tory MSM sycophant came up with that one?

    • KJT 13.1

      http://kjt-kt.blogspot.com/2011/03/voodoo-economics.html

      “”It doesn’t seem to matter that they NEVER get it right. It doesn’t seem to matter they are promoting economic theories that are junk. But unlike Ring’s quackery, the quackery of neoliberalism is treated with reverence, it is ascribed legitimacy””

      Exactly.”

      How often have treasury got it right?

      How often have NACT’s economic predictions been right?

      Name one instance?

      Cost savings right there. Replace treasury with a talking Don Brash doll.

  14. Afewknowthetruth 14

    Richard.

    ‘Put your money where your mouth is “Afewknowthetruth”. ‘

    Before we start talking about bets on growth we need to have some reliable measurement of growth: none of the official figures (GDP etc.) are in any way reliable since all are mainupulated, as pointed out by Chris Martenson in the Fuzzy Numbers chapter

    http://www.chrismartenson.com/crashcourse

    I will be happy to compose a set of criteria for the bet which are based on verifiable data that cannot be rigged.

    Please note that I have written four books on the topic of economics and the frauds and inconsistencies inherent in the economic system and why it is at the point of catstrophic failure: I wouldn’t want to feel that I was taking candy from a child.

    A quick search for negative growth revealed this:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-14503196

    Or if you prefer somewhere closer to home, how about this as food for thought:

    http://au.finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=%5EN225&t=5y&l=on&z=l&q=l&c=

    And just to top it off, make sure you watch the video in this link before placing your bet.

    http://guymcpherson.com/2011/09/couchsurfing-with-my-soapbox/

    Bearing in mind that NZ is in the same boat as all other western nations do you still feel up to the challenge?

    I don’t want to mess about with pittance sums, like $100, so if you are so confident I am wrong put your money where your mouth is and make it a worthwhile bet. How about NZ $100,000?

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      Bearing in mind that NZ is in the same boat as all other western nations do you still feel up to the challenge?

      Actually, while we are on the same sea as all these other western nations, I would argue that we are in a much better boat as a country. The sea is going to get similarly rough however.

      I don’t want to mess about with pittance sums, like $100, so if you are so confident I am wrong put your money where your mouth is and make it a worthwhile bet. How about NZ $100,000?

      Looks like OAB might be up for a bet too.

    • Richard 14.2

      Since you apparently think that all GDP figures are a lie, the onus is on you to provide an alternative metric. I am not going to waste my time trying to find one that satisfies your delusions. Propose a metric for measuring the growth of an economy, and then we can talk. Otherwise I will assume you are blowing smoke out of your ass.

      Oh, and re: the sum of the bet? I have no reason to believe you have the capacity to pay out $100000 when I win, so it seems silly for me to agree to what is obviously a bluff. If you are serious about the bet you will agree to a sum I can trust you to have. $100. If you’d like we can make it more, but I will expect the money to be held on escrow by a neutral third party, since as is becoming increasingly obvious, you are unlikely to actually accept it when you lose.

      ~Richard.  

      p.s. I have written five economic books and own a pony. So nya, nya, nya.  

      • Afewknowthetruth 14.2.1

        Richard.

        ‘p.s. I have written five economic books and own a pony. So nya, nya, nya. ‘

        It didn’t take you long to descend to the level of a children’s playground. If that is your level of intellect it is probably indicative of your level of integrity.

        And, I asume from your response that you didn’t bother to look at any of the links provided.

        As for the bet, I suggest GPI rather than GDP.

        • burt 14.2.1.1

          So you want to change the bet now Afewknowthetruth. Go on – take the $100 and agree on a third party to hold it. It’s only a $100 right ? You seemed willing to go $100,000 a few comments back.

          • felix 14.2.1.1.1

            Where’s he changing the bet?

            • The Voice of Reason 14.2.1.1.1.1

              The post has this line, Felix:
               
              “Five months ago, they were promising growth would hit 4% in the year to March 2013, which starts on April 1 next year. Now, they’re already slashing that much-hyped promise to 3.4%. What’s the bet those projections get slashed again next update if National wins?”
               
              AFKTT then replied:
               
              “Now that Peak Oil is starting to bite a 4% contraction of the economy looks about right for 2012, followed by a 6% contraction in 2013.”
               
              Now that he has been called on his wild claim, he wants the measurement to be changed to a criteria of his own choice. That’s shifting the goalposts, changing the bet, weasling out, or whatever you want to call it. If he had any faith in his own comment, he’d take the bet at $100.
               
               

      • Colonial Viper 14.2.2

        p.s. I have written five economic books and own a pony. So nya, nya, nya.

        All of which are likely to have been partially or wholly invalidated by Steve Keen’s Debunking Economics II. Sorry mate.

      • Richard 14.2.3

        I am amused you act affronted when I call you out on your pompous posturing about the “books” you have written: as if I’d be frightened off by your vanity-published conspiracy theories. I think the fact that you backtracked immediately from your original claims, and are now desperately trying to shift the goal-posts while bullying me for calling you on your neo-Malthusian rubbish speaks mostly to your own integrity.

        Anyway, sure, I’ll use GPI as long as you can provide an independent measurement of GPI per annum for New Zealand. I can’t find one.

        ~Richard.

         

    • One Anonymous Bloke 14.3

      Four books you say? Who publishes them?
      The only reason you’re suggesting $100,000 is that you don’t think Richard will accept such a large wager. If you have any confidence in your fantasies you’ll take the bet at $100.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 14.4

      AFKTT: I can recommend Carl Sagan’s ‘Baloney Detection Kit”, neatly summarised here by Michael Shermer.

      Note the emphasis on looking for information that disproves a hypothesis, since if you look for evidence that confirms it you will surely find it aplenty.

      Please also note that you are among people who are fully aware of the issues you raise (repeatedly).

  15. vto 15

    “Oh, and the numbers still don’t account for the lost dividends if our assets are sold, despite booking the revenue of those sales already.”

    How do they get away with such a blatant lie and deception? Aren’t the Bridgecorp Finance wide boys in the docks at`the moment for exactly this deception?

    • Lanthanide 15.1

      Serious Fraud Office should put out a sternly worded statement on it. They’d probably do much more to a private company that had the same in its prospectus.

  16. hoom 16

    PREtty F***ed Up
    And yet its all cake for the peasants on the main newspapers’ websites:
    Herald

    Govt still expects surplus by 2015 The government’s growth forecasts for the next five years are largely unchanged in its pre-election update from the May
     
     

    CPI comes in lower than expected – inflation up 0.4pc
    The chances of any official cash rate increase from the Reserve Bank have dropped, with the latest inflation figures coming…

     

    Stuff/Dominion

    Govt on track for surplus
    Treasury has released its Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Update. | The Good, bad and ugly
     

    Annual inflation well below expectations

     
    Inflation of 4.6 per cent for the year ended September was well below economists’ expectations.

    Job market continues improving

    4.6per cent inflation & its a relief! On top of that was it 0.4% growth?

    What we have is Stagflation, the ultimate economic horror-story.

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      I hope the media keeps pumping out these good news stories.

      No one believes it.

      At least, not the people suffering at the coal face.

  17. HC 17

    Who reads the Standard, who reads political blogs, who informs her- or himself about what REALLY goes on, who listens to National Radio, who watches Q + A, who watches ‘The Nation’, who watches ‘Marae Investigate’ or ‘Native Affairs’? I regret to conclude: Only an informed fraction of NZ society. So most of you, and a few others do actually bother to inform themselves about what is important, crucial and needs to be thought about! MOST listen to commercial radio, watch crappy tv programs, do not even read the daily papers and ignorantly keep themselves preoccupied with consumerism, trivialism, idolatry of idols, competition at work, between the Joneses and so forth. I saw the best example of it on 24 Oct. in Auckland CBD. Against my initial intentions I went to see the great parade and theatre for the masses of largely ignorant, ill informed and self-serving populace. You could hardly get a view of the All Blacks, but they still cheered and celebrated like no tomorrow. Our heroes, our gladiators, our best and only, it seemed to be. I had to take a deep breath and went on to the occupation camp on Aotea Square. There I did for once find some sensible and balanced people. OK one was not too informed and smart, but another made up for it. Then we happened to have the ideal encounter when a former share trader from a commercial back ground and of US origin turned up. He delivered to us invaluable info about what the whole shit was about that went on when he worked for one of those speculative investment banks, and before all the shit really happened. What a revelation. He confirmed all that has been written about the negative stuff we hear. Going back to Queen St left me in total despair about the abounding ignorance that prevails in this de facto dictatorship we have. People are fed commercial crap, brainwashed with biased, nonsiensical news and too preoccupied with running each other down. Either you are one of us, or you are the enemy, it seems. So this is the challenge that we are up against. Brainswashing is predominant and true informantion only available and even of interest to very few. That way we will never have fair elections, the people speak their true voice and democracy happen as it should be. So info is essential. A highly aggressive campaign about the truth, independent from the media is needed right now to make things move and to get any change. If that does not happen, we will be damned into hell for the next 3 years. Wake up NZ, wake bloody well up or take and overdose to make an end to a perverted state of affairs that destroys most of us.

    • Lanthanide 17.1

      Please learn to use paragraphs and more people might read your comments.

      • marty mars 17.1.1

        hang on a second – who made you the fuzz. I personally like different formats to read, including non paragraphed and non capitaled comments and I like the fact that people can write and discuss what they want within the rules of the blog. I’m passing on a ‘lighten up’ that someone gave to me the other day.

        • Lanthanide 17.1.1.1

          No one made me the fuzz.

          I’m just assuming that HC posted this here because they wanted other people to read it. Otherwise they could have just written it on the notepad on their desk. The best way to get other people to read what you’ve written is to make it approachable. A wall of text is not approachable.

          • HC 17.1.1.1.1

            Lanthanide: We all like the little niceties in life, like a bit of cream or sugar with our tea or coffee. A friend of mine is an anarchist, and I will spare you with the comment he would make to you. I would love to write a bit more “structured” comments, but I simply have not the patience or leisure to do so. As long a the text communicates quite clearly what I mean, then that should suffice. I am not burgeois, although I come from a background that some would call petit bourgeois. I have always been very detailed, fussy and particular about matters, but time in this country has taught me, that that is NOT a priority. Getting a message across is more important. If a person can read she/he can get what I mean, without paras. I also am into legal stuff, so let us not get into legal interpretations, because I have been proved to be better than some lawyers in that matter. I at least know what I am talking and writing about, and I would only wish that enough people have a similar comprehension. It appears that you are a petit burgeois teacher or so, who loves Labour for what they stand for now. That to me is OK to a degree, but it is NOT where I come from and what I can agree with or support. More substance and intellect are essential at all times. YOu are happily invited to a more open minded interpretation of comments and thinking at any time. Do not feel locked out or let down at any time. Have a nice day or evening. HC

            • Draco T Bastard 17.1.1.1.1.1

              As long a the text communicates quite clearly what I mean,

              It doesn’t as nobody reads it.

              • HC

                Yes, quite fairly I have given up on this forum and other forums! The bulk of any populace is simply too ignorant, self centred, easily manipulated and sure prey for the mean spirited manipulators at the top. NZ fits this very, very well. No matter how much certain policies make sense and are constructive, they will NOT be interested and continue to live in ignorance and rather head down the cliff of oblivion. Good luck to that! I writing styles offend, any other things will offend. Such people are pre-occupied with trivial nonsense and make a fool of themselves. I had enough of this whole BS. Good night!

        • lprent 17.1.1.2

          …including non paragraphed and non capitaled comments…

          It isn’t a rule. But just a comment from someone who reads a lot of comments here and elsewhere. I don’t really read comments or posts that don’t paragraph and have enough syntax for me to recognize the start and end of sentences. That is because I’m a very fast reader who normally scans comments a paragraph or two at a time. I will slow down and reread a comment when I see something interesting . The trick is to allow me to ‘see’ the interesting bits.

          But if comments are monolithic then I tend to discard them if they don’t capture my interest in the first sentences. It is too damn hard to plow through the lack of formatting – and other messages that aren’t so foolishly hard to read are calling. Whereas with paragraphs, I’ll usually scan through the first and last sentences of each paragraph looking for things of interest. To hit the last sentences I’ll usually need fullstops and capitals to locate them in long paragraphs. If the paragraphs are only a 3-4 lines then I will suck in the whole thing in a hit.

          Partially this comes from the type of thing I do at work where I’m looking at online manuals and examples (ie google) a lot (ie “how do you use boost asio to create simple GET only webserver” or “why can’t I bloody well erase() using a std::list::reverse_iterator” sort of thing) and most of the reading is to eliminate bullshit pages and excessive verbiage. But I also read a few hundred pages per hour on fiction books as well even when I’m reading it fully. In either case layout and punctuation tends to be quite important in being able to read clearly and rapidly.

          Note: That style of reading is different to what I do when I’m scanning for moderation. Then I really do frogs eyes because I’m mostly interested in particular phrases, particular words, SHoUTING, one liners, and patterns of comments from users. Then I can usually do a hundred comments (ie 2 pages) in 5 minutes. Which is a good thing bearing in mind the numbers of comments we’re getting at present, and that I only have small periods of time at work at the current phase of the project.

          • marty mars 17.1.1.2.1

            Fair enough Lynn

            sorry Lanth

            • Lanthanide 17.1.1.2.1.1

              No apology necessary.

              • HC

                I do nevertheless apologise for my overly firm and uncompromising position, which had some hidden cynicism attached. We must stand and fight together, that is more important. Otherwise Don Keypone will continue running this country mafia style.

          • HC 17.1.1.2.2

            lprent: Ok, thanks for your view on this matter. When I write proper letters I do certainly use paragraphs and ensure that they are well structured. I have treated blogs a bit more differently, so I will consider what you are writing and may attempt a better “readable” style in future.

  18. Afewknowthetruth 18

    Richard.

    Okay. Let’s keep it really simple and deal in things that can be readily verified.

    I bet $100 that by the end of 2013:

    1. The global extraction of conventional oil will have fallen by more than 2 million barrels a day.

    2. The price of oil will either have risen substantially above today’s price due to devaluation of the US dollar or will have fallen to substantially below today’s price because much of the golobal economy will have collapsed.

    3. The price of gold will be over US $2,000 per ounce or the US will have defaulted and the US dollar will no longer exist.

    4. The number of unemployed in NZ will be higher than today.

    5. The price of most basic food items will be more than 10% above today’s price.

    6. Either the national debt will be significantly higher than today or fiat currencies will have collapsed.

    7. The number of vacant commercial premises in the city where I live will be more than 10% higher than today.

    8. The CO2 level in the atmosphere will be at least 4ppm higher than today and environmental disasters will have caused greater infrastructure damage, greater economic impact and greater loss of life than in 2011 both globally and in NZ.

    Let’s make the bet on the basis of 5 out of the 8.

    If you have any other suggestions for measurement of reality as it impacts on people, I’d like to hear them.

    [lprent: I’m really not happy with people betting on here, because it does lead to the most boring discussions for everyone apart from the participants. The example is the rather tedious but amusing big bruv bet of a few years ago. But I’m over it all now (even though I have let this one run). Just don’t wander it out of this post where it will start boring everyone else. I suspect that is why this post is more deserted than would be normal for its age.]

    • Richard 18.1

      Again you shift the goal posts. The original bet was about whether by the end of 2012 the economy would have grown. You then shifted that to a question of whether genuine growth in people’s standards of living occurred (which, while not where you started, I am happy to discuss). Now suddenly it’s about global commodity prices and the amount of commercial occupancy in the city you live in (wherever that is).

      Since I believe that global commodity prices can rise without resulting in a reduction of living standards (a simple example: rising food prices benefits our agricultural export sector, another one would be that a rise in oil prices might be offset by other gains), there is no reason for me to take the bet as framed.  

      But let’s look at the 8 criteria and show while they’re self-serving. 

      1. The global extraction of conventional oil will have fallen by more than 2 million barrels a day.

      Your careful use of “conventional oil” did not escape me. Since most growth potential in oil production is in unconventional sources, I would be a fool to take such a bet. Note that under this term if oil production increases over the period due to unconventional sources, you would win, which is clearly against the spirit of your claims.
       
      2. The price of oil will either have risen substantially above today’s price due to devaluation of the US dollar or will have fallen to substantially below today’s price because much of the golobal economy will have collapsed.

      This is almost a truism: you win regardless of which way the price of oil goes. Your caveats to make it falsifiable (“substantially” and “much of”) are clearly so vague you will wiggle out of any challenge. 
       
      3. The price of gold will be over US $2,000 per ounce or the US will have defaulted and the US dollar will no longer exist.
      I don’t care what the price of gold is. It’s just an indicator of inflation expectation and a commodity bubble in a commodity that you  barely impacts living standards. In what way is this relevant? The idea that the US currency will stop existing is so absurd as to be laughable, but luckily for you you packaged it alongside something that is much less indicative of anything material. 

       
      4. The number of unemployed in NZ will be higher than today.

      Assuming you mean in relative terms, this is one of your fairer points of contention. I would bet against this.

       
      5. The price of most basic food items will be more than 10% above today’s price.

      I love how your original claim (4%+6% negative growth) has morphed into a 10% rise in food prices. First, this is in no way indicative of overall reductions in living standards. Secondly, food prices are entering a relative low point, so they could increase 10% and merely return to where they were earlier in the year. I would prefer reference to long term trends. 
       
      6. Either the national debt will be significantly higher than today or fiat currencies will have collapsed.

      Public or private national debt? Also you again include an alternative which is obviously far more severe (and implausible) than the other, which seems pointless. Again though, I would be game to take on the national debt bet.

       
      7. The number of vacant commercial premises in the city where I live will be more than 10% higher than today.

      No idea where you live, which is somewhat problematic for this bet.
       
      8. The CO2 level in the atmosphere will be at least 4ppm higher than today and environmental disasters will have caused greater infrastructure damage, greater economic impact and greater loss of life than in 2011 both globally and in NZ.
       
      Yeap, global warming sucks, agree with you there. I just don’t agree that by 2013 the situation will have deteriorated substantially enough in New Zealand to constitute a material decline in overall living standards, so I don’t particularly see the relevance of this. 

      So in summary, you proposed self-serving and indefinite criteria barely related to your original claim. I think it is abundantly clear that you have no intention of defending your original claims about growth, and so I really don’t think there is any point in continuing this conversation. I am, however, pleased that you have basically conceded that your apocalyptic vision originally posted was nothing more than hot air and bombast.

      Thanks for playing. 
       
       
       
       

      • Lanthanide 18.1.1

        “environmental disasters will have caused greater infrastructure damage, greater economic impact and greater loss of life than in 2011 both globally and in NZ.”

        This doesn’t even make sense, anyway.

        What exactly is an “environmental disaster”? Are you counting the flooding in Australia? What about the Japanese earthquake? How do we measure the damage caused by recent “environmental disasters” (whatever we decide they are) impartially so as to compare them to future disasters?

        Presumably we must measure the financial cost on a “real” basis, taking into account inflation or (envisioned) deflation. How do we control for population growth? There are going to be more people alive in 2013, so stastisically speaking any individual disaster will cause more loss of life on average in the future than it has in the past. Same goes for infrastructure.

  19. One Anonymous Bloke 19

    AFKTT, you’re a particularly weaselly weasel, aren’t you? Take the original bet, or acknowledge that you don’t believe the economic tripe you spout. And it’s no use conflating your fantasies with climate change predictions, you were drivelling about economic forecasts, not science.

    [lprent: I’m really not happy with people betting on here, because it does lead to the most boring discussions for everyone apart from the participants. The example is the rather tedious but amusing big bruv bet of a few years ago. But I’m over it all now (even though I have let this one run). Just don’t wander it out of this post where it will start boring everyone else. I suspect that is why this post is more deserted than would be normal for its age.]

  20. Rodel 20

    The Press October 26, page A12, Vernon Small:
    “Growth has been far worse, unemployment higher, debt is $30b ahead of forecast and the deficit this year was not $2.4b or even $6b but $18.4b” Shouldn’t this be front page news?

    Also tucked away on page A8 (in Brief) “Labour has promised to bring New Zealand’s SAS soldiers home from Afghanistan within 90 days of assuming office if it wins in November…” Shouldn’t this also be front page news?

    oh forgot its Fairfax .. or is it Fairfox?.

  21. HC 21

    If National wins the election, the post election economic update will suddenly announce: Things are so bad, beyond repair, growth is so low or even negative, so that the government will suddenly have to slash benefits, reduce govt jobs, services, yes “slash and burn” again, because the economic outlook for the globe has so much deteriorated, they have “no other choices”.

    We will have to sell even more assets, so that the better off mums and dads can spend their spare cash on buying shares in state assets, then on-sell them for a neat profit to overseas interests. Also below the radar is the fact that the “Kiwis first” agenda is a big, big lie, because the China – NZ FTA does state that either investor from either country cannot be disadvantaged when investments are offered in the partner country. So we get lied to right, left and centre. That is what is in store.

    Yet, too many struggle day to day, enjoy the RWC win, adore the All Blacks, dream of a better life in Kiwiland and keep on falling for the seduction of commercial BS inundating them via the mass media. Some will see that shit has happened again, and the flow to AUS will grow even further.

    That does not matter at all to Key, Blinglish and consorts, because you can easily replace slaves with immigrant slaves that know little about realities here, until they have invested all their savings and find out they have been hoodwinked. The Kiwi Ingenuitiy Money Turnaround Ponzi Scheme continues unabated. So wake up, read up, listen up, take a stand or go down, down and further down. We already have an 18 billion deficit just for this year!

    • HC 21.1

      Once again i get it, it is a total waste of time raising thes issues. They were raised to David Cunliffe, who never bothered to reply. At least after raising it with a leader of the Greens and NZ First it was acknowledged as being correct and insightful. That has not been my response by posters here. So you guys live in lala land and do not get it. If such sensitive arguments could be used, why does Labour NOT use these? They have another hidden agenda and can NEVER be trusted! Good night all.

      [lprent: If you’d read the about you’d realize that authors range in political opinion from anarchism ideals to my own tendency towards pragmatic conservatism (and that is just in the last couple of weeks – gets more diverse than that between elections).

      Commentators here are from just about every political persuasion that there is. There are also a lot of both.

      Quite simply you have to argue well to argue well and usually for quite long before people hear you above the background. That is especially the case for those of us who have spent decades on ‘social media’ and even longer arguing political policies. For instance the first time I argued that our current superannuation system had sustainability problems was with my parents in 1978.

      Personally, I can’t really remember you ever arguing a position doggedly, coherently and clearly. Perhaps you should try it. ]

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