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Research-based opinions

Written By: - Date published: 11:12 am, October 11th, 2012 - 62 comments
Categories: Economy, monetary policy - Tags:

Bill English on quantitative easing: “There are big risks with it and it is just barmy to suggest that in an economy growing at all that you would do it”. So, are the countries that are using QE to push up our currency growing? EU: -0.3% (14 of the 27 member states are growing), US: 2.1%, Switzerland: 0.6%, Japan: 3.3%. So, yes, countries use QE while growing – and it lets their businesses undercut ours.


62 comments on “Research-based opinions”

  1. Un. fucking. believable.

    The only reason these countries have an expending money supply is because of QE and the financial speculation the bankers still foist upon the European populations. There is rampant unemployment in Ireland, England, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece to name a few. Please, please, please stop spouting this crap.

    The worlds biggest economy is imploding right in front of our eyes!

  2. Pete 2

    The Economist explains quantative easing (2 minute video)

    With an RBNZ OCR of 2.5% I think there is still some juice in the tank before Q.E. would need to go ahead. It may be enough to direct the Governor of the Reserve Bank to take a desirable exchange rate level into acoount in a new policy target agreement.

    • Bill 2.1

      Thanks for that Pete. Seems the answer to my question (Comment 3) is that nobody anywhere has a fucking clue when it comes to the efficacy or effect of quantitative easing – it’s a ‘shot in the dark’ that economists reckon should be tried because they are flush out of ideas. Great.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1

        Most economics is a shot in the dark – that’s because most economics isn’t based upon reality.

  3. Bill 3

    I don’t pretend to understand mystifying jargon such as ‘quantitative easing’. But I came across this and was wondering if somebody more ‘in the know’ would care to comment, clarify or otherwise explain.

    In the U.S., a third round of excess money printing — called Quantitative Easing — began recently in which banks are directly profiting by unloading their toxic mortgages on the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet (another backdoor bailout paid by taxpayers).


    • I rely on Investopedia a lot for the first simple definition of a term I don’t understand.
      In the paragraph you quoted they discuss a money printing round (that is essentially what QE is) in order to by dollar for dollar all the fraudulent mortgage and other asset backed derivatives from banks. That means that all these banks are going to have billions of dollars available which were not in existence before.

      The problem is that those derivatives are essentially worthless and will never be traded again and the money brought into existence to cover the fraud is going to dilute the money supply just like counterfeit money would.
      It means that as people catch on they will loose trust in the system and where that leads is anyone’s guess.

    • Bunji 3.2

      Actually what the Greens are sensibly suggesting wouldn’t in fact be quantitative easing (see comments in James’ article). But that’s by-the-by…

      There are very different things you can do with that money you (virtually) print (it’s not like you’d actually waste the paper making bills…). It seems to be the current trend to use it to bail out the banks, thus protecting the 1%’s money, and keeping fluidity in our broken banking system. It could also be shared out equally among the population (inflationary, but net good for the masses, bad for the asset rich); or just used for the government’s expenses (saves taxing or borrowing); or the Green’s suggestion: rebuilding the Government’s savings, which wouldn’t be inflationary at all, as the money wouldn’t be spent – not unless there was another natural disaster, in which case we might be quite keen on the idea…

    • Lightly 3.3

      the Fed is buying mortgage-backed securities to push down the interest rates on those securities, which, in turn, means more available and affordable mortgages. In the US, as opposed to here, the housing bubble did burst and now it’s nearly impossible for young families to get into home ownership because no-one will lend. The bad results are multi-faceted – less social stability, less work in construction, lower quality housing stock…. – the Fed is trying to get the mortgage market functioning at reasonable levels again.

  4. Can I recommend a long soujourn in Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Ireland – even the UK?

    These countries’ economies are in a process of COLLAPSE.

    Growth is dead.


    • Add to that list Hungary, Roumania, Latvia and any number of other European countries…. and did I forget France?!

      • travellerev 4.1.1

        And dare I say it, Germany is on the way out too!

        [lprent: Use double quotes on hrefs. ]

        • Jackal

          What a bullshit link travellerev… Germany doesn’t have debt to GDP of 300%. Stop all the baseless scare mongering eh!

          • travellerev

            Folks, this is the original page the link I gave here is linked too. These guys are well respected investment advisers and know what the fuck they are talking about. The Euro is collapsing and Every European Country is holding on to every other European country while they are drowning in a sea of red ink, the Fiat system is crumbling under $1.5 quadrillion in toxic derivatives. That is 20x global GDP!

            [lprent: That doesn’t look like a link on anything like the subject. It looks like some speculation on a attack on Iran? WTF? I crossed it out. ]

            • travellerev

              People make mistakes Iprent. I have  about a 130 tabs open on average most days when I do my reading. Why the aggression? Here is the site I wanted to link too. You could have just pointed it out without the WTF. I’m sorry the financial info I bring gets up your nerves but the reality is what it is.

              Here is another link people might be interested in:

              The 25 most dangerous reporting units in the Financial world from the Huffington post.

              The best financial reporters are : No 1 Max Keiser with Stacey Herbert and second Zero Hedge which is a group of traders publishing under the guise of Tyler Durden. They make their money in the current market and I put it to you that in order to do so you have to know bloody well what your doing and what the hell is going on in the financial world!

              [lprent: I look at links because others look at links and some of the daftest debates happen around daft links. That is why the comment back end shows the link right next to the link text so I can check them out, or fix them like the missing link in the other comment. ]

              • Zorr

                130 tabs open, huh?

                That doesn’t actually lend any strength to your argument as it actually suggests that you, at best, are skim reading and, at worst, skim “skim reading”…

                I would much rather just get on with living and surviving in whatever world I find myself in than attempting to stay up to date with all the crookedness and crony capitalism in the world. I can affect my local community and attempt to influence beyond that – but everything starts at home.

                You don’t fix your town in NZ by focusing on Wall St. It is enough to know that there are sharks in the water that have smelt blood.

                • Kotahi Tāne Huna

                  130 tabs, and all saying the same thing: what Ev wants to hear.

                  • Murray Olsen

                    What they actually say isn’t that important. Ev hears what Ev wants to hear.

                    • Says the guy who bans anyone with a different opinion from a communal facebook page. How many is it these day Murray? 50- 100.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I have only one thing to say: a kerosene fire cannot appreciably weaken structural steel at any real distance from the base of the fire.

                      And even at its hottest, an open air kerosene fire can only cause relatively slight weakening of structural steel.

                    • McFlock

                      That’s two things.
                      And both are irrelevant to the point of surrealism. 

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Ah sorry counting power was down.

            • higherstandard

              Clark and Dawes on Europe’s finances.

          • Robin Westenra

            I think Travellerev is probably right.

            You need to take into account TOTAL debt. It is private and corporate debt that is going to be the killer.

            • Colonial Viper

              corporate debt is private debt.

              What you want is private debt + public debt + SHADOW BANKING DEBT

          • Robin Westenra


            Would you rather tell lies than let the truth be known?!

            • Jackal

              There’s a pretty big PROBABLY there Robin Westenra. Personally I don’t like lies and I don’t like scaremongering. Just to let you know why travellerev’s link is entirely wrong, you don’t get to count TOTAL debt in a percentage of GDP because there are lots of different types of debt. Some debts have no bearing on a countries GDP.

              There’s also a rather large European Stability Mechanism that is about to fully kick in to help them through their debt crisis. This is funded by European countries. They have only pledged and used around 40% so far. This is money the Europeans are using to help Europe through the debt crisis, meaning interest will be paid back to European countries to ensure further stability in the future.

              travellerev your link proves nothing… It’s simply more baseless bullshit!

              • Yeah about that European Stabilisation Mechanism. It got down graded the day it got established and here are some of the rules it operates under:


                • Colonial Viper

                  Bejeeezus dudes. The ESM had fuck all actual money in it. Just member country commitments (i.e. IOUs) for money which was never, ever going to eventuate in reality.

                  Wake up you’ve all been had.

                  Why do you think every time they launch one of these stability funds, the debt markets stabilise happy for all of 72 hours? Before it all tanks once more. That’s how long it takes for people to figure out that once again, the Emperor has no clothes.

          • Colonial Viper

            Jackal said:

            What a bullshit link travellerev… Germany doesn’t have debt to GDP of 300%. Stop all the baseless scare mongering eh!

            You so missed the point. Which is:

            Who has Germany made bad loans to. Using the money of their nation, the profits of their companies, and the savings of their citizens. And how much do they add up to.

        • travellerev

          I always did and then for some reason it didn’t work any more and I started using single quotes and that seemed to work for awhile but yeah sweet as I’ll use double quotes again.

    • Wheezing&Easing 4.2

      Nonsense. I was biking around there 2007-08 looking at budget tourism, economic status etc and they were not in a state of collapse. Mostly looking poorer than NZ and certainly the bumptious Oz tourists but not collapse. Hysteria hits NZ.

  5. Bill 5

    Okay. So thanks for the comments above. The choice then, is – a) to channel money to speculaters who lost a lot of money in order that they can continue to spectulate and in the vain hope they lend money to productive sector businesses. Or b) to channel money directly into the ‘really existing’ productive sector via either business activity/loans (or government spending programmes) or to the money spending public via debt forgiveness or whatever other mechanism.

    But then I guess if some form of option b) was pursued the argument might run that with banks being hung out to dry, option b) would collapse in on itself….which is why option a) is always pursued.

    So why not simply nationalise the banking and financial sectors and kill several birds with one stone?

    • Murray Olsen 5.1

      Good question, Bill. I don’t know of any good answers to it.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      Because then the banksters will lose power and wealth while the population becomes better off proving that capitalism is bad for society once and for all.

  6. alwyn 6

    I haven’t bothered to check all the countries you list but I did look at Japan on the OECD link you provided. The claim that Japan had GROWN by 3.3% seemed totally fanciful.
    The figures on our so-helpful link are, from the expenditure approach and in trillions of yen.
    2006 506.687
    2007 512.975
    2008 501.209
    2009 471.139
    2010 481.773
    2011 468.496 (est)
    I would love to see how you turned this series into 3.3% growth. It looks to be a pretty steady decline to me.

    • Jackal 7.1

      You say in your post that the Greens have put global warming, globalisation and Peak Oil on the back burner… What do you base this accusation on Robin Westenra, your own ignorance perhaps?

      You also say that the US, Switzerland and Japan are on the verge of financial collapse. What are you basing this statement on, because if you’re going to claim the end is nigh, you had better have something better than assumptions.

  7. Wheezing&Easing 8

    Look at The Economist p27 Oct 6th 2012 and educate yourselves …. and there is a useful though sometimes bizarre article by Andrew Geddis in The Pundit. Debunking Economics by Oz economist Steve Keen is a handy resource too for these times. And one can always return to the wise words of that clever mathematician and speculator Maynard Keynes who knew a thing or two about public finance and international currency movements.

  8. Murray Olsen 9

    What Russel Norman is proposing does not fit the model used by Obama in the US and A to keep the banks viable, but don’t let the facts get in the way of a good rave, especially when you can find links to Randian worship sites. That’s the main problem with thinking you can research this stuff off the internet without having any background with which to analyse it. It’s the same attitude that leads to cult-like belief in chemtrails and HAARP for control of the weather, while denying at the same time that AGW is possible. In the end, it has far more to do with religion than politics, economics, or science.

    • Says the guy who never ever has to prove his point of view with a single link. How is it in good old Oz M university treating you well? Seems you have plenty of time online to troll.

      • Murray Olsen 9.1.1

        Points of view are just that – points of view. They can neither be proven or disproven. In that sense they are just like accusations of trolling, or believing that Russel Norman is the equal of Mugabe.
        And the university treats me very well, thankyou. They still have good policies in Australia for people with terminal diseases. Would you like a link about that to guide your personal attacks more accurately?

        • Murray Olsen

          Seeing as Ev brought up the topic of banning people from a communal facebook page, I’d like to state that a moderator banned her for abusive behaviour. Several other people have been banned for similar things, and the moderators ban people who insist on publishing stuff to do with conspiracy theories, a large number of which seem to be antisemitic. I am no longer even a member of that page and did not ban Ev, although I fully supported the action.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Points of view are just that – points of view. They can neither be proven or disproven.

          That’s a load bollocks. Anything that is contravened by reality is inherently dis-proven.


          • Murray Olsen

            I disagree. The knowledge that a person may rely on to develop a particular point of view, or the way they manipulate that knowledge, may be wrong, but a point of view such as, e.g. “I do not believe everything I see on conspiracy sites is correct” is neither provable nor disprovable. If I claim that the WTC broke all the laws of physics, that is put forward as a statement of fact, and can be put to a truth test. If I ask a question as to how the Biot-Savart Law was broken, for example, that is a question and has no truth value. An answer to it would have. Apart from one quick calculation which I did which showed that the rate of progress of the collapse of the two main towers could only be considered freefall if gravity had 1/3 of its actual strength, I have made no statements about any of the stuff Ev posted in many, many places. However, daring to ask any question of any conspiracy theorist is usually replied to with some statement such as “Feel free to remain asleep and believe everything your government tells you”, and then goes downhill from there.
            I hope this sheds some light on the matter and is not a further load (of) bollocks.

            • Draco T Bastard

              The knowledge that a person may rely on to develop a particular point of view, or the way they manipulate that knowledge, may be wrong, but a point of view such as, e.g. “I do not believe everything I see on conspiracy sites is correct” is neither provable nor disprovable.

              Actually, that statement could be dis-proven. Difficult, yes, but not impossible. There’s two possibilities about it:

              1.) The person is outright lying or
              2.) The person actually believes that they don’t when they actually do

              Both conditions could be tested with some accuracy.

          • travellerev

            It was you Murray and I was not abusive you where just like you are here. A troll with little more than abusive one liners with little or no substance other than accusational suggestions not supported by anything other than your vitriol and you didn’t like it when I called your bluff.
            The others were not banned for their rudeness either. They were banned because they had the audacity to confront you and to put links to the events to 9/11 on the page.

            Time will show you up for the nasty little troll you are here too.

            • Murray Olsen

              Telling me that you eat little boys like me for breakfast is hardly calling a non-existent bluff. Neither is chanting that I know nothing about the scientific method when I refuse to accept youtube as a reputable source.
              Moreover, a question about which of the laws of physics was actually broken (all of them leaves plenty of opportunity to give a specific example) at the WTC is hardly an accusational suggestion. 
              I’m here because I’m a socialist and think socialism offers a worthwhile future for our country. I make comments now and then. Mostly I read and learn. I haven’t been able to work out why you’re here when you think the Greens are channeling Mugabe and seem to mostly cut and paste stuff from US libertarian/Randian websites. But I suppose time will tell, as you say.

              • ROFL. That tells me all I need to know about how you feel about yourself.

                This is the conversation as it really was:

                You said: Has anybody told you what a lovely lady you are (or words to that extend)? (Sarcasm dripping here)

                And I said: I’m not here to be a lovely lady and while that might have worked when I was an itty bitty girl it doesn’t now. Now I eat guys like you for breakfast.

                That was it. No warning nothing. Banned, and not just banned, blocked and all my comments deleted. 

                That’s how scared you where of having someone call your bluff. You’re a narrow minded vitriolic troll, little boy. ROFL!!!

                And while you’re at it you might take a lesson from Iprent and his team as moderators. I think in the 6 years I’ve been commenting here only once has someone let his personal feelings get in the way of their job: Moderating!

                And rest assured I have gotten up their noses often.

                You on the other hand challenge people constantly and when they don’t surrender to your venality you ban them. That is not what a Moderators job is that is what an immature asshole like you pretending to be one does.

                • Murray Olsen

                  Given that I didn’t ban you, did you stop to think you get up other people’s noses as well? As for the rest of your post, there’s about as much fact in it as in your blog. Have a nice day.

  9. higherstandard 10

    QE explained superbly by Clark and Dawes.

  10. lefty 11

    Improving the economic well being for the majority of New Zealanders comes down to needing to change power relationships before anything worthwhile can be achieved.

    As things stand, any advantages from deploying QE, or any other economic mechanism, would quickly be harvested for the benefit of the already overpriviliged and to the detriment of the rest of us.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      It definitely has to be done correctly but I think it can be done in such a way so as to correct for those power imbalances that you mentioned.

  11. Poission 12

    leaving aside QE ,the trading nations,Brazil,and Korea both cut interest rates today,Singapore yesterday (where they use a weighted currency similar to the TWI and change bands accordingly) in addition they capped property loans to stop the housing bubble.

  12. xtasy 13

    Rate of GDP based debt is all relative to national wealth and assets, so Japan manages. Germany has some fair debt too, but they manage. Other countries have high debt, and they managed for decades. This is an ideology driven agenda to suck the blood out of the poorest countries and people to the last drop, nothing else. Greece is dying due to bloody AUSTERITY. Spain is heading the same way, next will be Italy. NZ is a fake economy of small scaly wannabe activity. It is a game for currency gamblers. OK there is real exports and so, but little economic activity inside, except real estate bubble. The migrants love it. Wonder why tens of thousands of poms and Asians move here? Nothing else, not for economic contribution, for REFUGE! Fuck that, put a high tax on migrant investment for a start, NZ is top destination, no matter what. Bring in capital gains tax. But lower company tax and give tax holidays to investors to bring REAL investments here. More can be done, but Kiwis are too DUMB to ever get it right. Some dream of one extreme, the others of the other, so it is a never ending rat race to nowhere. I look forward to my one way ticket out of this DUMP!

  13. xtasy 14

    You do not need “excessive” nor “obsessive” growth either, as some leading economies have managed for years with low growth, but given the wealth basis they have, a single per centage of growth is more than many countries would even achieve in a few years.

    It is a relativity game, pollies love it. I went back to Europe the first time after 10 years in 1992, and I was SHOCKED about how BACKWARD NZ was. I missed 10 years, losing out on low pay, while others in my family did ok and built their own homes, supported by cheap loans and advantageous tax rules by the government there.

    I went back there for a few years and was a total idiot to come back here 7 years ago. I heard this BS about high growth and full employment, thinking that is the way to go and get my own home here. What a fucking dumb mistake, the biggest mistake I made in my whole life. Fucked up now, no hope of anything but a low wage shit society, full of hatred, envy, bene bashing (even if you are sick) and worse.

    I could live more comfy on a benefit in most of Europe, despite of the cuts there, but the idiots here think things are so bad, that people there starve. It is the injustice and radical change that drives people on the streets there. Wait another year or two here, it will be much worse here. I get this all the time from Kiwis, oooh, it is worse there, but it is BULLSHIT. NZ is behind, will always be, never will change, as the elite here run things, and all you get is a choice between bigger and lesser evil, Nats or Labour, both known liars and manipulators.

    You are truly screwed, you could do better as a people, but most have NO guts, NO interest, ONLY think of NUMBER ONE, are words and empty spaces re protests, are cowards, useless, ignorant and have no right to live in such a rich country as this. That is why I would welcome another people and nation to take this land to make more use of it than this hopeless, corrupt government and elite of rotten anglo saxon extraction, that only use it for their own purpose and benefit, but really RUIN it!

    Sorry, I had enough of all this SHITE!

    • Draco T Bastard 14.1

      NZ is behind, will always be, never will change, as the elite here run things, and all you get is a choice between bigger and lesser evil, Nats or Labour, both known liars and manipulators.

      No, NZ won’t always be behind as the Nats and Labour won’t always be the controlling party in government. I’m hoping that, over time, the government won’t be the controlling influence at all.

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    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell’s refusal to show leadership and provide assurances over the future of the Māori Land Court is disappointing, given he is spearheading contentious Maori land reforms which will impact on the functions of the Court, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwisaver contribution holiday not the break workers were looking for
    The number of working New Zealanders needing to stop Kiwisaver payments is another sign that many people are not seeing benefit from growth in the economy, says Grant Robertson Labour’s Finance spokesperson. "There has been an increase of 14 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fight Club failings
    The Corrections Minister must take full responsibility for the widespread management failings within Mt Eden prison, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rethink welcomed
    The Labour Party is pleased that Craig Foss is reconsidering the return of New Zealand soldiers buried in Malaysia, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “For the families of those who lie there, this will a welcome move. The ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Disappointment over UN vote
    Helen Clark showed her characteristic drive and determination in her campaign to be UN Secretary General, and most New Zealanders will be disappointed she hasn't been selected, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. "Helen Clark has been an ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori need answers on Land Court job losses
    Māori landowners, Māori employees and Treaty partners need answers after a Ministry of Justice consultation document has revealed dozens of roles will be disestablished at the Māori Land Court, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Key’s ‘efficiencies’ = DHBs’ pain
          John Key’s talk of ‘efficiencies’ ignores the fact the Government is chronically underfunding health to the tune of $1.7 billion, says Labour’s Acting Health spokesperson Dr David Clark.       ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More than 1,300 schools to face budget cuts
    The latest Ministry of Education figures reveal thousands of schools will face cuts to funding under National’s new operations grant funding model, says Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Speculation fever spreads around country
    House prices in Wellington, Hamilton and Tauranga are going off as a result of uncontrolled property speculation spilling over from the Auckland market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Speculators who have been priced out of Auckland are now fanning ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand lags on aid targets
      The National Government needs to live up to its commitments and allocate 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income on development assistance, says Labour’s spokesperson on Pacific Climate Change Su’a William Sio.  “The second State of the Environment Report ...
    3 weeks ago
  • War on drugs needs more troops
    The Minister of Police must urgently address the number of officers investigating illegal drugs if she is serious about making a dent in the meth trade, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “Answers from written questions from the Minister show ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Doctors strike symptom of health cuts
    The notice of strike action issued by the junior doctors today is the result of years of National’s cuts to the health system, says Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Dr David Clark. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government starves RNZ into selling Auckland asset
    Just weeks after TVNZ opened its refurbished Auckland head office costing more than $60 million, RNZ (Radio New Zealand) has been forced to put its Auckland office on the market to keep itself afloat, says Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government must be more than a bystander on the economy
    Despite what he might think John Key is not a political commentator, but actually a leader in a Government who needs to take responsibility for the conditions that mean a rise in interest rates, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “John ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Māori Party all hui no-doey on housing
    The Māori Party should stop tinkering and start fixing tragic Māori housing statistics in the face of a national housing crisis, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesman Kelvin Davis. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Labour committed to eliminating child poverty
    Labour accepts the challenge from Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft to cut child poverty and calls on the Prime Minister to do the same, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    3 weeks ago