Written By: - Date published: 12:49 pm, September 29th, 2010 - 73 comments
Bernard Hickey, one of the country’s leading economic commentators, was a hardline neo-liberal – ie. the market is god. Now, he’s changed his mind. He’s come to the realisation that there’s no invisible god’s hand directing capitalist markets. Instead they are directed by short-termist elites. We need to take back control.
Written By: - Date published: 10:31 am, September 3rd, 2010 - 53 comments
20,000 more Kiwis’ jobs are at risk as commercial building construction grinds to a halt. The Greens have a plan to divert money from low-quality spending on motorways to high benefit to cost spending on housing that will save those jobs and give Kiwi families a better standard of living. That’s the kind of visionary economic leadership we need. We’re not going to get it from National.
Written By: - Date published: 8:20 am, August 18th, 2010 - 28 comments
Parliament erupted in laughter yesterday as Bill English made up more ‘facts’ to attack Labour’s economic performance. Even if his accusations against Labour’s record were true, he doesn’t have any solutions himself. Indeed, the reason he is spending so much time trying to smear Labour’s record is he is desperate to make is own record look less appalling by comparison.
Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, August 13th, 2010 - 23 comments
So, it looks like we’re heading back into recession. We’re going to have to get used to the idea that we can’t depend on perpetual economic growth to deliver rising living standards to all. We could make nearly everyone wealthier with a fairer distribution of wealth but the opposite is happening. This is simply class war; a battle over shares of a diminishing prize. And we’re letting the rich win.
Written By: - Date published: 9:57 am, August 13th, 2010 - 21 comments
Climate change, peak oil, resource exhaustion, and over-population are combing to cause a new food crisis. Grains supply half the calories we consume directly and feed much of our live-stock. The prices of those are skyrocketing because supply can’t match demand. Starting with Russia, major exporters are limiting the amount they send abroad to keep what they have for their own people.
Written By: - Date published: 11:54 am, August 11th, 2010 - 38 comments
In his own surreal and ultra-privileged way Paul Holmes has discovered the recession. And it seems to have shaken him up a bit. Paul cuts loose with some Holmes truths about the useless Nat government. But in claiming that there is no alternative Holmes reveals nothing but his own lack of vision…
Written By: - Date published: 9:20 am, August 2nd, 2010 - 98 comments
Perpetual growth is the cornerstone of our liberal democratic/capitalist system. It is fundamentally threatened. A double-dip recession is widely expected but most aren’t prepared to acknowledge the underlying problem that isn’t going away.
Written By: - Date published: 12:30 pm, July 17th, 2010 - 17 comments
The recent global recession represented a spectacular failure of unfettered capitalism. We never felt the full force and completeness of that failure because the worst was averted – or rather just delayed – by vast injections of Government bailout money. America has learned its lesson, yesterday passing the strictest restrictions on banks and Wall Street since the Great Depression.
Written By: - Date published: 11:31 pm, May 17th, 2010 - 13 comments
I’m really surprised that this comment from John Key hasn’t elicited more reaction: “[Future] recessions are almost certainly in my view going to be global in nature and probably more severe… I think the question is not whether there is going to be another global recession but when that recession is going to hit.” A sovereign debt crisis this year or an oil supply crunch in 2012?
Written By: - Date published: 3:51 pm, March 16th, 2010 - 24 comments
The recent recession represented a spectacular failure of unfettered capitalism. One of the main causes in America was a picking apart of financial regulations. This allowed the “innovative” products and practices that brought the system down. Perhaps America has learned the lesson. A new Democratic proposal outlines “the biggest overhaul of regulations since the New Deal”.
Written By: - Date published: 8:33 am, January 27th, 2010 - 14 comments
Leading US economist and Nobel laureate Paul Krugman sees a 30-40% chance of the US re-rentering recession this year, and the conditions that would cause that would almost certianly be replicated in other countries, including New Zealand, with the same result. More evidence that a second wave of recession may be on its way came […]
Written By: - Date published: 11:38 am, January 22nd, 2010 - 68 comments
“2500 people waited up to seven hours to apply for one of 150 jobs at a new South Auckland supermarket”* OK, maybe 16 applicants per job isn’t beyond the norm when you’re advertising one at a time but when you’re advertising 150? Think about it, that means there are 2,500 jobless Kiwis just within the […]
Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, January 15th, 2010 - 21 comments
Well, I didn’t think it could done but it has been. National has been promising to close the gap with Australia, and damned if it hasn’t happened already. The Nats’ target was 2025, it didn’t even take a year. In fact, we’re now above Australia and accelerating away while they fall. Unfortunately, it’s the wrong […]
Written By: - Date published: 9:28 am, November 16th, 2009 - 41 comments
Recessions are meant to be about fixing economic problems that built up during the previous boom – unwinding imbalances in the parlance. Higher unemployment, with all its consequences, business failures, and higher government debt are the price of putting the economy on a more sustainable platform for the future. But it’s not happening. All the […]
Written By: - Date published: 2:35 pm, October 31st, 2009 - 8 comments
A range of interesting political/economic comment today in the Herald: Fran O’Sullivan joins the left-wing and groups like Federated Farmers in calling on the Key Government to sort out monetary policy. At the moment, the Reserve Bank is tasked solely with controlling inflation with interest rates as its only real tool, while the exchange is […]
Written By: - Date published: 11:27 am, September 23rd, 2009 - 5 comments
The newly released figures show 0.1% growth in the June quarter. The March figure was also revised up to -0.8% (from -1.0%). Here comes the sun? Not quite. 0.1% is pretty damn weak. It’s below population growth (0.25% per quarter) so, we’re still worse off per person. And we’re a long way below the economic […]
Written By: - Date published: 3:00 pm, September 11th, 2009 - 20 comments
A coalition of unions, Labour, the Greens, the Maori Party, and community groups has come together to support Darian Fenton’s Redundancy Protection Bill. There’s a website, facebook group, petition, and other ways you can get involved. The Bill, due to be debated later this month, would set a minimum level of redundancy protection for all […]
Written By: - Date published: 11:46 am, September 10th, 2009 - 11 comments
The economists think the recession is probably over (for now). If you’re one of the lucky ones, you may very well be thinking ‘well that wasn’t so bad’ but what does the end of the recession mean? All it means is that the economy is has stopped shrinking. Now, say you and me were out climbing a mountain […]
Written By: - Date published: 10:48 am, August 17th, 2009 - 40 comments
Jon Stewart talks to Austan Goolsbee, Chief Economist for President Obama’s Economic Recovery Board: “when you’re looking in the face of the next great depression, that’s not the time to tighten the belt” Now, I’m not as optimisitc as Goolsbee about the long-term outlook but thank goodness the governments of the major countries didn’t go […]
Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, August 14th, 2009 - 33 comments
One of Bill English’s favourite lines is that New Zealand entered recession ahead of the rest of the world ‘due to Labour’s mismanagement of the economy’ and that’s why his government is unable to get off its arse now. Pity that Agriculture Minister David Carter had to go and spoil the lie for him: “Agriculture […]
Written By: - Date published: 8:59 am, August 11th, 2009 - 20 comments
No, not another post about Bludger Bill, this one’s about that thing that he and Key are meant to be taking care of. What’s it called again? No, not the cycle-way. No, not solving disputes over wills. Um, bear with me, it’ll come back to me. Oh, right, it’s the economy. That thing? But everything’s […]
Written By: - Date published: 5:00 am, August 6th, 2009 - 5 comments
Today the Household Labour Force Survey, which includes the official measure of unemployment, will be out. The headline number is expected to be around 5.6%, up from record lows below 4% just nine months ago. The HLFS has a few limitations though. It only measures the percentage of people who are ‘in the work-force’ (ie in work […]
Written By: - Date published: 6:04 pm, August 2nd, 2009 - 31 comments
17,000 youth jobs. That’s what Key has promised with a $152 million programme (some of this is existing money). Like Colin Espiner says “ambitious plan”. We’ll see if he manages to deliver. The record so far has been big promises and bigger failure to deliver – the money hasn’t been spent and the jobs haven’t […]
Written By: - Date published: 4:39 pm, August 1st, 2009 - 15 comments
Tomorrow John Key will be announcing policies on youth unemployment. Looks like rehashing of the already announced Youth Guarantee and probably something more. Whatever Key comes up with it will be tinkering around the edges. The Nats aren’t willing to spend any money and they don’t have any big ideas. If the cycleway, the tax-cuts, […]
Written By: - Date published: 9:25 am, July 29th, 2009 - 27 comments
‘A nightmare’ scenario. That’s how ANZ chief economist Cameron Bagrie speaking on Morning Report described the outlook for the economy as the recession comes to an end. Wait isn’t growth good? Well, not all growth is created equal. The problem is where our growth prospects are coming from. It’s the housing market once again. Interest […]
Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, July 28th, 2009 - 16 comments
Normally, $9 million in government spending is such a puny amount it’s not worth covering but as Key has nailed his crediblity to the success of his cycleways, let’s crunch some numbers. These seven tracks will supposedly cost $9 million to build and create 280 jobs (only 140 in the near future). Other details, including […]
Written By: - Date published: 9:19 am, July 27th, 2009 - 11 comments
Like New Zealand, the UK has had a deluge of ‘green-shoots’ news from the corporate media and the financiers desperate to jawbone the economy into recovery. The spin became so pervasive that the consensus among economists was the UK economy would have shrunk only -0.3% last quarter and would be growing by now. It shrunk […]
Written By: - Date published: 1:29 pm, July 26th, 2009 - 7 comments
Exiled Online, a US site, has excellent coverage of the recession and the sub-prime crisis from a ground-level view. Yasha Levine moved to Victorville an ‘exurb’ of LA (100 miles from LA centre) to experience the crisis first-hand. His reports are a must read – well written, well researched, hard hitting (hope you’re not too […]
Written By: - Date published: 5:04 am, July 21st, 2009 - 88 comments
It was excellent to see Phil Goff laying down the gauntlet to Key yesterday. He announced Labour’s policy to temporarily relax partner means testing for the dole and promised a recession response package. On the same day, Key’s big achievement was noting the Hillary family had settled their dispute with Auckland museum. Goff is saying […]
Written By: - Date published: 12:01 pm, July 17th, 2009 - 19 comments
I read Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard’s speech on Tuesday with great interest. It’s an informative, if very mainstream review of the recession thus far and the outlook. He points out “The international financial crisis actually played little role in the early part of New Zealand’s economic recession. Rather, it was drought, falling house prices […]
Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, July 15th, 2009 - 42 comments
I was going to do a fisking of Key’s ‘major speech‘ today. But there’s nothing to fisk, no substance, no ideas, no vision. There’s just endless recycling of the same old Crosby-Textor lines and waffle. In fact, there’s one section that is just a bunch of rehashed lines – one after the other. You get […]