The next financial crisis

Written By: - Date published: 8:15 am, September 11th, 2010 - 40 comments
Categories: capitalism, Economy, International - Tags: ,

If you have some time to spare this Saturday morning, check out the documentary “Overdose”. Here’s a description:

Overdose

This is the story of the greatest financial crisis we will ever see… The one that is on the way.

Have you maxed out your credit card? Bought shares with borrowed money? Taken out a large home loan believing that prices always go up? Then you may be living on borrowed time. Filmmaker Martin Borgs takes a provocative look at the events leading up the Global Financial Crisis and asks if the attempts to avoid a ruinous collapse of banks and other major finance houses may set the world on the path to an even bigger meltdown.

When the world’s financial bubble blew, the solution was to lower interest rates and pump trillions of dollars into the sick banking system. On the face of it this seemed the only way to deal with impending disaster, but was it?

“The solution is the problem, that’s why we had a problem in the first place,” Economics Nobel laureate Vernon Smith says. For him, the Catch 22 is self-evident. Interest rates have been at rock bottom for years, and governments are running out of fuel to feed the economy. He asks:

“The governments can save the banks, but who can save the governments?”

I found it irritating in some respects, but also a useful overview of what many of us expect is likely to happen next. You can view the video (in three parts) at the link above, or they may be below (odd things seem to be happening to video embedding just now):


40 comments on “The next financial crisis”

  1. RedLogix 1

    Thanks for posting these Rob. Nobel laureates like Vernon Smith are all very well pontificating in hindsight, but an entire class of conventional thinking economists totally failed to predict the GFC.

    Failure to predict is a basic failure of a science. On that basis almost the entire profession should be sacked as incompetent.

    By contrast a small group of non-conventional economists, Steven Keen being my long time favourite, did predict the GFC… formally and in considerable detail. Of course as the global warming debacle has taught us, correct science, correct modelling and correct predictions mean nothing when up against powerful vested interests with vast sums of money to spend protecting their privileges.

    • nzfp 1.1

      Hey RL

      “By contrast a small group of non-conventional economists, Steven Keen being my long time favourite, did predict the GFC”

      Keen most certainly did – he’s one of my favourite too. Not only did Keen predict it but he won an award recognising that he was the earliest and most accurate economist to predict the GFC. See the details of his award here. Keen shares great compnay as 2nd and 3rd place finishers include Nouriel Roubini (New York University) and Dean Baker (Center for Economic and Policy Research).

      • ZB 1.1.1

        Nonsense. The whole point of universities is to have alternative views ready when the main branch of the subject falls flat on its face. There was always going to be a Keen waiting in the wings. Hell we even have a ‘waiting in the wings’.

        The simple fact is economics is not a science when its purely a theoretical practice, and when its practical engineering implementation it suffers from being too close to the big money.

        Only in economics can an economist implement their bridge by building from the mid point of the gorge out,
        with enough money and their fad theory being all the rage in the market at the time.

        Physically, you remember how we’re fixed to reality, specifies that energy is conserved. That not only are oil stocks limited, but that the quality of the oil wells are nonuniform, some costing more to get at, some of lower quality.
        But all crude oil is a high density energy source, and basic physics tells us that if horsepower and coal ran the
        pre-automobile era, then alternatives, coal and nuclear will run the post-petrol era.

        So its fairly safe to estimate the size of the economy and the amount of growth possible. And
        easy to do a wavey hand estimation of the effect of peak oil, that is if the economy was boosted
        by increasing cheap oil due to new oil wells and better techniques to get more oil out of
        existing oil wells, then its fair to say the economy needs a new driver or the ability of
        the global economy to expand into new oil driven territory is denied it.

        So here’s the rub, the massive uptake in projected value, money, in the global economy
        is never going to be realized. Economies around the world are filled with people who
        can see this, and will do everything to minimise the harm to themselves whilst waiting
        for the money to either vanish back from whence it came, inflate itself to manageable
        size, or crash into a hyperinflationary hell.

        Personally giving the dithering of western governments to take the rich back to
        some nominal level, I believe we’re heading for hell. And I welcome it, its
        about time we cleaned out the elites who really have nothing to do with the
        future and everything to do with our past mistakes.

        • nzfp 1.1.1.1

          Hey ZB

          “The simple fact is economics is not a science when its purely a theoretical practice”

          well remember that Scientific theory follows two models – theories based on observable and historical facts as well as on reproduceable experiments with predictable outcomes.

          In the case of economics we have thousands of years of empirical researchable data. There is a very good book on the subject of monetary policy and its effects on nations politics and economics from the ancient Greeks, Romans and Chinese, through the Venetian, Dutch (Bank of Amsterdam) and British (Bank of England) empires to the American colonies right up to the modern US and EU monetary and economic structures.

          I recommend you find and read Stephen Zarlenga’s book “The Lost Science of Money” of the American Monetary Institute. I have and I certainly recommend it to anybody. The point of the book is that the GFC is completely predictable. The events leading to as well as the results of the current GFC were predicted centuries ago by economists such as David Ricardo and Alexander Del Mar – and many many others – based on their study of the empirical historical facts of monetary history as far back as 300 BC.

          The data is there, it has been analysed by many economists including Zarlenga.

          • Loota 1.1.1.1.1

            Anytime people want to make huge bucks in a short amount of time without generating commensurate productive, economic and social value you get the conditions for a massive financial crisis. So yeah, that should’ve been pretty predictable and why were those in charge looking so surprised when it started all coming down?

            • nzfp 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Hey Loota

              “why were those in charge looking so surprised when it started all coming down?”

              Hah hah hah that’s easy – cos they didn’t get out with the loot before it happened on their watch 😉

          • ZB 1.1.1.1.2

            “”Scientific theory follows two models – theories based on observable and historical facts as well as on reproduceable experiments with predictable outcomes.””

            Tosh.

            Economics, historical based, has yet to capture the full picture of an economy at any instant of time.
            Economics is a cult, designed to suit the current necessity.
            After the 70s oil crisis, the world was flushed with cheap middle east oil and year on year
            new oil finds across the globe. The world western economies expanded their economies
            by loosening financial regulation, rather than pick winners and direct the economy to get
            us to mars, or build broadband, or build sustainable economies.

            Patterns will always be found in human activities, but those patterns owe more to
            the underlying reality of energy, industrial production techniques, than psuedo
            economic laws. Therein lies the bait and switch, economics are like mathematians
            who dodgely track physicists and engineers so they can write abstract mathematical
            contortions. But nobody actually has found zero, or one, or pie. Its just another
            preisthood. Now personally Engineers I put my life in their hands, Physics I bet on,
            and Mathematics I absorb while I sit on the bog using Economics as toilet paper.

          • Herodotus 1.1.1.1.3

            Is this only available from the interne?.
            Search re Borders , Whitcouls was not successful. Perhaps you could point myself to where in JAFAland this could be sourced from as from link below it was sold out. Some out here must follow your recommendations 😉
            http://shopping.nzherald.co.nz/the-lost-science-of-money.aspx?prod=cl5DboacXWs%3D
            I found this on history channel very interesting, should my tatses be worth anything.
            http://www.niallferguson.com/site/FERG/Templates/General.aspx?pageid=194

            • nzfp 1.1.1.1.3.1

              Hey Herodotus,
              I had whitcouls order it in for me, it didn’t cost $199.07 though – but it was still pricey for me, from whitcouls at $165. However it is printed on 300 year paper. The author had the misfortune of books crumbling in his hands (Alexander Del Mar) while researching the content, so in order to preserve the concepts developed by the many political economists he quoted he had the book printed on 300 year paper.

              I’ve attempted to get my public library to order a copy. They didn’t have the budget when I last tried so I’ll try again. I may donate my copy when I’ve finished with it although it is a great book to go back to for references.

              You can sometimes get it from fishpond HERE.

              The Ascent of Money by Scottish historian Niall Ferguson looks interesting. I’ve seen it at Borders and it’s on my “to read” list. However Ferguson does seem to have close ties to “Big Money” as he has done biographies of the Rothchildes and Goldman Sachs.

        • RedLogix 1.1.1.2

          Nonsense. The whole point of universities is to have alternative views ready when the main branch of the subject falls flat on its face. There was always going to be a Keen waiting in the wings. Hell we even have a ‘waiting in the wings’.

          OK so by your own admission the main branch of economics has ‘fallen flat on it’s face’. Rather than airily dismissing Keen as just ‘someone waiting in the wings’… how about giving the man credit for being correct, learning why he is correct and advocating for the changes needed.

          Keen was not just right because of ideological punditry or hand-waving attention seeking. He got it right on rigorous theoretical grounds that he has documented in numerous papers for almost a decade now. Papers based on sound dymanic mathematics and proper accounting of money flows.

          But allow me to indulge in a relatively long quote from one of his recent essays.

          That sucking sound will continue for many years, because the level of debt that was racked up under Bernanke’s watch, and that of his predecessor Alan Greenspan, was truly enormous. In the years from 1987, when Greenspan first rescued the financial system from its own follies, till 2009 when the US hit Peak Debt, the US private sector added $34 trillion in debt. Over the same period, the USA’s nominal GDP grew by a mere $9 trillion.

          Ignoring this growth in debt—championing it even in the belief that the financial sector was being clever when in fact it was running a disguised Ponzi Scheme—was the greatest failing of the Federal Reserve and its many counterparts around the world.

          Though this might beggar belief, there is nothing sinister in Bernanke’s failure to realize this: it’s a failing that he shares in common with the vast majority of economists. His problem is the theory he learnt in high school and university that he thought was simply “economics”—as if it was the only way one could think about how the economy operated. In reality, it was “Neoclassical economics”, which is just one of the many schools of thought within economics. In the same way that Christianity is not the only religion in the world, there are other schools of thought in economics. And just as different religions have different beliefs, so too do schools of thought within economics—only economists tend to call their beliefs “assumptions” because this sounds more scientific than “beliefs”.

          Let’s call a spade a spade: two of the key beliefs of the Neoclassical school of thought are now coming to haunt Bernanke—because they are false. These are that the economy is (almost) always in equilibrium, and that private debt doesn’t matter.

          One of Bernanke’s predecessors who also once believed these two things was Irving Fisher, and just like Bernanke, he was originally utterly flummoxed when the US economy collapsed from prosperity to Depression back in 1930. But ultimately he came around to a different way of thinking that he christened “The Debt Deflation Theory of Great Depressions” (Fisher 1933).

          You would think Bernanke, as the alleged expert on the Great Depression—after all, that’s one of the main reasons he got the job as Chairman of the Federal Reserve—had read Fisher’s papers. And you’d be right. But the problem is that he didn’t understand them—and here we come back to the belief problem. The Great Depression forced Fisher—who was also a Neoclassical economist—to realize that the belief that the economy was always in equilibrium was false. When Bernanke read Fisher, he completely failed to grasp this point. Just as a religious scholar from, for example, the Hindu tradition might completely miss the key points in the Christian Bible, Bernanke didn’t even register how important abandoning the belief in equilibrium was to Fisher.

          In other words neo-classical economics is a flawed belief system that has failed the people of the world repeatedly. The only real beneficiaries have been a tiny elite of uber-wealthy … a few thouands of individuals who now control over 50% of the world’s wealth.

          • ZB 1.1.1.2.1

            Keens wasn’t listen too at the time, so it pretty much picking winners to me. Because
            every year there are economists writing shit that never happens – some are eventually
            to be found half and half right. Marx perdicted capitalist would get too greedy,
            its hardly controversial to rehash in ‘new terms’ an old master.

            • RedLogix 1.1.1.2.1.1

              Keens wasn’t listen too at the time, so it pretty much picking winners to me.

              Another one from the ‘no-one knows anything anymore, so who cares?’ school of thought.

              That’s fine, no-one has to pretend to be all-knowing, but on the other hand don’t expect anyone here to be impressed by tired cynicism posing as worldliness.

            • nzfp 1.1.1.2.1.2

              Hey ZB,
              Don’t be soo cynical, I’ve listened to Steve Keen, looks like RL has too. You should take a few minutes and listen to him too. He has a great seven part podcast called “The Debtwatch Report with Steve Keen”. He is also frequently interviewed on “The Renegade Economists” radioshow and podcast wth a noteable interview titled “Debt Saturation” where he freely admits he doesn’t agree with everything the Georgists (named after political economist Henry George) follow and gives fair reason why.

              Have a listen to his podcast – maybe start with the interview I’ve linked to above. The point is you have options, you can learn about them and make your representative aware of them too.

          • Loota 1.1.1.2.2

            And who created the debt in order to create the cash to slosh around? The banks/financial sector of course. You create a trillion new dollars in debt, that’s an extra trillion dollars you have sloshing around to be hoovered up by people in the know, but now the people/companies/govts who are in debt need to pay that debt back plus interest.

            And where is the money going to come from to do that?

            Why with more debt of course.

  2. Mr Magoo 2

    I very good documentary but it completely missed one point: What exactly are they proposing is the solution?

    I mean he ends by saying “we can do it”, but they never once mention what “it” is. And as is typical in the US spectrum it quite often means “good for the US” at the expense of others.

  3. happynz 3

    “Have you maxed out your credit card?”
    No, I haven’t. I’m actually a whole NZ$1.51 in credit!
    “Bought shares with borrowed money?”
    Nope, can’t say that I have.
    “Taken out a large home loan believing that prices always go up?”
    Yet again, no.
    “Then you may be living on borrowed time.”
    Oh great. Live modestly and end up with nothing. Live large and have the pleasure of having had a hell of a ride and end up with nothing. I guess the saving grace for me is when the collapse comes the fall to the bottom won’t feel so truamatic.

    • ZB 3.1

      The tramua of discovering that their ability to make money was all a big fad.

      The success stories are those who didn’t believe the hype. Who borrowed
      and brought homes, then sold them to buy more homes, and then got
      out at the top of the market – paying back all the borrowed money. And
      then brought into companies and homes that are good prospects in
      the new thrift economy.

      The sad stories are the young people who could buy a house, get drunk,
      drive noisy cars and basically lose their best economic years. Y-gen
      whose parents lost their homes to the rightwing fraud years.

  4. Loota 4

    I found it irritating in some respects,

    Interesting, like what?

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    Bubbles and financial crises are the natural effect of treating money as a resource.

    • Loota 5.1

      Hmmmmm…actual money is a resource though, isn’t it? In that it is supposed to help represent or unlock human time and energy. Financial derivatives of money and the creation of money not backed by actual productivity from human time and energy…that’s where it starts becoming unstuck.

      • nzfp 5.1.1

        Well money should not be treated like a commodity, as soon as it becomes a commodity it takes on properties which allow it to be traded in speculative financial markets and consequently cornered – c.f. gold, silver, oil.

        Instead it should be a measure of accounting for facilitating the trade of goods and services without easily comparable value. This definition of money is the basis for the 700 year long tally stick currency used in England before the Bank of England as well as throughout the roman empire where money was defiined by stamp and not weight – where leather straps stamped with a roman seal by fiat were successfully used as currency (such as paper money) instead of gold by weight (commodity). It was when gold (commodity) by weight – ponderata – endorsed by Adam Smith by the way – was used as currency that the Roman Empire went into decline. It’s all in Stephen Zarlenga’s book “The Lost Science of Money”

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.2

        Well, put it this way. When the Chch earthquake happened the bill was estimated as $2b then it jumped to $4b and we were assured by Jonkey that we had the money but what no one has asked yet is are the resources actually available to rebuild Chch? Not a single person in government or the MSM it’s merely assumed that, because we have the money, then we have the resources but there’s no guarantee of the latter. In fact, I’d won’t be surprised if that $4b estimate climbs to $8b. Russia, in a similar situation due to the heatwave, stopped exports of grain but we haven’t stopped exports of construction materials such as raw timber going to China and there’s no indication that their demand will decrease.

        Another example is the mining the Gerry “Sexy Coal” Brownlee wants. Dig up the minerals, sell them to someone else and then we’ll be rich and be able to do any thing we want except for the minor technicality that we won’t have any resources to do anything with.

        This is what I mean by “treating money as a resource” and when it gets to that point, as our government, and probably most of society, has then what happens is that we start accumulating money and finding interesting ways to turn money into more money (otherwise known as the financialisation of the economy) rather than watching what we’re doing with our real resources. And then, of course,we end up money rich, resource poor and unable to support a high-tech, high standard of living society.

        • nzfp 5.1.2.1

          Hey DTB,
          “we end up money rich, resource poor and unable to support a high-tech” maybe or maybe that is the result of applying the principles of the debt based society we currently live in with the historical observable outcome being what you stated.

          However we – including you in previous posts – are advocating for an economy based on public credit. I’m willing to bet a billion (nah scratch that five billion, no ten billion) new RBNZ interest free dollars on developing new energy systems, chemical science and building materials that we can use to overcome those obstacles.

          Especially if the money we create as pure credit (no debt) for our government is put to use developing the infrastructure we need – even if developing that infrastructure requires first principles converting our renuable resources into the materials we need to build our society.

          We could have a scientific boom creating technologies that we could give/sell around the world. Free energy, renewable resources, socially and environmentally sustainable and responsible. It’s cheap and easy to do as long as we are not in debt to a bankrupt foreign private (City of London and Wall Street) banking cartel. Makes for an exciting and inspiring future for our mokopuna.

  6. nzfp 6

    Hey Mr Magoo,
    There have been a few good solutions proposed.

    One solution can be viewed in the great British monetary documentary “Why are we all in debt” by Tarek El Diwany. El Diwany proposes a solution based on Islamic banking principles.

    Another great documentary by author and former federal government analyst “Richard C. Cook” titled “Credit as a Public Utility: The Solution to the Economic Crisis” proposes a similar solution to the Islamic banking model which also defines money as a public instead of private utility. Cooks solution draws heavily on banking proposals endorsed by Milton Friedman (before he founded monetarism) and also draws on concepts developed by Major Clifford H. Douglas the founder of Social Credit.

    • RedLogix 6.1

      It’s worth noting that when you examine all of the actual teachings of the great religions, in the words of their founders, that in general they have remarkably little to say about how man should order his economic affairs. With one exception.

      They all either prohibit or place strict limits on the practise of usury.

      • nzfp 6.1.1

        Yeah it’s crazy isn’t it – ALL of the religions proscribe against it. The documentary “Why are we all in Debt” about Islamic banking also includes Christian and other religous writings against Usury. The Catholics had an institution called the scholastics who had a very solid understanding of economic theory. The scholastics influence on Catholic society kept usury out of christian culture up unti it (usury) was endorsed by Jean Calvin (Calvinism) and Martin Luther during the reformation…

        • Vicky32 6.1.1.1

          “The scholastics influence on Catholic society kept usury out of christian culture up unti it (usury) was endorsed by Jean Calvin (Calvinism) and Martin Luther during the reformation…”
          Interesting news, nzfp…. Score 1 for Catholics… 😀
          Deb

    • Loota 6.2

      Just watched the first 4 parts of “Credit as a Public Utility”.

      Excellent, thanks for the link.

      • nzfp 6.2.1

        My pleasure – make sure you share it around – buy his book too or even better get the public library in your area to buy it 😉

  7. RedLogix 7

    The fundamental challenge is not that we do not know the solution to the problem, but that we are unable to implement any alternatives to the status quo….because vested interests will prevent us from doing so.

    Lets be real for a moment. The world is essentially being held hostage by the US Federal govt, which in turn is the captive, for all important purposes, of major corporate and financial interests… who have become more powerful than any single sovereign government.

    Breaking this death-grip is not easy. No single government can afford to confront them directly because they simply transfer their point of vulnerability to another less pesky nation.

    • nzfp 7.1

      “No single government can afford to confront them directly” … and maybe no single government will.

      FT Aug 26, 2010 “Banks back switch to renminbi for trade”

      PTI Aug 14, 2010 “Will retaliate if offended by US, warns China Gen”

      SA Feb 18, 2008 “Iranian Oil Bourse Starts Trading, Sans Dollar Contracts”

      There’s a lot more like this out there …

      Bear in mind that the more NZ’rs that are aware of concrete solutions means more grass roots pressure on new canditates to implement them.

      • Loota 7.1.1

        Quite right. The people must force their politicians to do the right thing.

        An aware, educated, active citizenry.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.2

        If the world had responded correctly in 1971 when he US unilaterally dropped the Bretton Woods agreement and floated the US$ then the US would not have continued as the reserve currency and US power would have waned. Unfortunately the US managed to get the US$ set as the default currency to buy oil which maintained the strength of the US$. This is slowly changing as the US prints money to inflate away it’s debt. Sooner or later countries are going to realise that they can’t buy anything with US$ and, more importantly, some countries are going to realise that they actually want to keep their oil and won’t sell it at any price. When those two reach some sort of critical mass you’ll see the collapse of the US as a viable state.

  8. RedLogix 8

    Nothing new to you nzfp, but fun all the same:

    • nzfp 8.1

      Yeah it’s always an eye opener watching/listening to Tarpley. What a day it is for the USA to be watching a Russian news channel to get intelligent political commentary about the US.

  9. jcuknz 9

    Anybody remembering that today is the nineth anniversary of an event in New York?

  10. Kleefer 10

    While a handful of economists and economic commentators did predict the financial crisis, most of them only predicted it a year or two beforehand and gave the wrong reasons for it happening. Steve Keen, for example, made his prediction using the theories of Hyman Minsky, who suggested that capitalism is inherently unstable (which it isn’t).

    Only economists trained in the Austrian school of economic thought consistently predicted the financial crisis and not just a year or two beforehand but back in 2001 when Alan Greenspan made the decision that caused the financial crisis, his lowering of interest rates down to record levels. The Austrians have identified artificially low interest rates and their market-distorting effects as being responsible for the boom and bust cycle but idiotic politicians and central bankers treat them as the cure for our economic ills.

    And RedLogix, I can’t let your comments on “usury” go unchallenged. Religious restrictions on “usury” (the charging of interest) held economic development back by centuries by retarding capital formation. However, a loophole in the rules meant that Christians couldn’t charge each other interest but Jews could charge Christians and vice versa.

    This loophole is why the Jews got their centuries-old reputation as money lenders and it allowed the savings and capital investment that brought us out of the middle ages and into the industrial revolution. Islamic finance is a huge con job; Islamic countries have ridden on the coat-tails of wealthy Western nations and rely on oil money for prosperity.

    Only someone with a previously uncharted depth of economic ignorance would attribute the world’s economic problems to the charging of interest. As the Austrians have identified, it is actually the manipulation of interest rates by government entities in collusion with large financial institutions that causes the damage and it’s the boom, rather than the bust, when the real harm is done.

    • ZBB 10.1

      So the only good economist to quote is a long dead one?

      What’s the branch of economics that uses fundamentals like energy in to predict markets?
      I mean if the US oil production hit peak in the 70s, bring about the oil crisis.
      Then the Middle East oil production hit peak about 2002, with the invasion of Iraq.
      Basically if it takes energy to move frieght around, and if the fuel is less energy
      dense and harder to get out then the size of the economy will be proportional
      to the amount and cost of the raw energy flowing into it.

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    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    2 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    2 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    3 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    7 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago

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