Treasury: assets would end up in foreign hands

Written By: - Date published: 10:59 am, July 1st, 2011 - 71 comments
Categories: overseas investment, privatisation - Tags:

Treasury has confirmed that National’s plan to sell public assets would need foreigners to buy a lot of the shares because domestic demand would be too small for the government to make as much money as it is counting on. Forget ‘mum and dad investors’, the big buyers would be foreign sovereign wealth funds.

Here’s what Treasury has to say in papers released yesterday:

“New Zealanders will be at the front of the queue for any offers arising from the extension of the Mixed Ownership Model, but overseas investors have an important part to play in providing pricing tension to support the Government’s fiscal objectives,”

‘Pricing tension’ – in other words, without them the price would fall too low to meet the government’s “fiscal objectives” – that’s the money they’ve already counted on spending from asset sales they don’t have a mandate for.

If we re-elect National in November, we will be selling our strategic and profitable energy assets to foreigners. It would just increase the flow of profits offshore from this country. Some ambition for New Zealand.

71 comments on “Treasury: assets would end up in foreign hands”

  1. Portion Control 1

    That isn’t what the quote says. Learn to read. What it says is that locking foreign investors out of the market would depress the price, for the same reason that when Trevor Mallard and Phil Goff and Annette were in Government from 1984-1990 and they sold billions of dollars worth of assets, they were quite happy for foreign investors to be involved in the market.

    • lprent 1.1

      PC: You really are a alpha dickhead. Read what Eddie wrote and you will find that what you said was what he said (at least minus all of the irrelevant history #). 

      Like the treasury we’re aware that confining the price to the ‘mom and dad investors’ that National and especially John Key are spinning will depress the price. The other side of that is that there is obviously more value in the assets to investors overseas than there is for local investors on average.

      So the ‘mom and dad investors’ will eventually sell to overseas investors – which means that all of the talk of ‘mom and dad investors’ keeping these assets in NZ hands is just the usual idiotic crap that is the only thing that John Key seems to be able to say. 

      # Then (in the 1980’s) we had a actual fiscal problem. These days we have a much more easily corrected* botched tax-cut problem.

      * To fix the current fiscal ‘crisis’ all that has to happen is that taxes should be raised back up to a sustainable level – roughly what the government was collecting prior to the taxcuts in 2008. Of course that would require that National admit that they screwed up, and that dropping taxes doesn’t automatically improve the economy.

    • Hanswurst 1.2

      I’m struggling to see how you are disagreeing with the post. “Locking foreign investors out of the market would depress the price” sounds pretty damn similar to “without them the price would fall too low to meet the government’s ‘fiscal objectives'” to me. Perhaps it is you who should learn to read….

  2. Portion Control 2

    You might have missed this bit from the article too Eddie, which cuts the legs out from your argument somewhat:

    The need to be confident of widespread, substantial domestic ownership is one of five tests the Government has set for going ahead with the mixed ownership model.

    Overall, the Cabinet paper considers that to be achievable, noting the likelihood that private sector fund managers, and Crown financial institutions such as the Cullen Fund and ACC, will take up shares to maintain their desired weightings in New Zealand equities. Iwi are also expected to be interested.

    The article also quotes $2 billion domestic demand. That’s a lot of NZ mum and dad and NZ institutional investors having an opportunity to invest in quality New Zealand assets.

    • Policy Parrot 2.1

      How, when you consider that since median NZ real incomes have gone backwards since 2008, while living costs in combination with the Nat’s GST rip off have skyrocketed – are Mum and Dad investors going to be able to afford shares in something they currently already own, and why would they need to?

      I mean maybe Mascyna King can use the blood money Wishart gave her to buy hers, but not everyone should be so…

      This about the Nats going cap in hand back to the public to generate the revenue they gave away when they cut the top rates for themselves and their mates and put the country into structural deficit.

    • lprent 2.2

      Bullshit. PC: You are a hapless dork when it comes to this finance (or maybe spinning) stuff aren’t you. 

      That just means that they may be able to sell up to 2 billion of assets to kiwis (although reading market demand is like predicting the weather a month or two ahead).

      But because there is an imbalance in the price between local and overseas demand, those institutions and local investors are quite likely to flick it on to take the profit. If the government sells with restrictions on who they can resell to, then the price that sales can be made to the local market will drop accordingly.

      In other words, the government is faced with selling most of the assets to over seas investors directly or indirectly by selling to locals first and having them resell, OR accepting a lower return to keep the assets in NZ (and probably having a WTO ruling against them).

      They can’t do what you’re trying to spin and achieve both a high return from the sale and keep the assets in NZ hands. 

      It is only the financially illiterate or spinners (like you) that think such miracles are possible.

      • Portion Control 2.2.1

        Don’t get your panties in a twist Lynne. Go and read the Herald article because it’s all right there. Eddie relied on the Herald article to make the claim that assets would be sold off to foreigners, which is very different to the point that foreign participation in the market was necessary to provide pricing tension.

        Once you’ve done that, go and read the article again, because it seems that reading is a problem for you, and you will see that it quotes the Treasury report saying there would be $2 billion a year of domestic demand. Did you read that? $2 billion a year.

        That’s plenty enough to soak up $6 billion of assets floating on the market. You might not like that figure from Treasury because it kills your own hysterical and nonsense line that assets will go offshore. But you can’t selectively quote one part in isolation from the rest of it as Eddie has and not get called up on it.

        BTW, am I wrong that this post was originally posted by ENGELSISTA? If so, why did it change to Eddie?

        • felix

          I get that a lot, words morphing into other words. Mostly on signs, billboards, newspaper headlines, number plates.

          Sometimes I wonder which ones everyone else is seeing.

        • lprent

          The point of the post was that the higher price relies on foreign investors. If there is a differential in the price then you’ll find that people will sell it offshore to take the profit.

          Just look at every sale of public assets that has been done in NZ in the last 20 years. How many still have more than say 20% local shareholdings? That is what a price differential does, people see to where ever they make the most profit from – eventually alienating the ownship.

          Login names are frequently different to posting names because you have to create your login name prior to deciding who you will post as and the login name cannot be changed. However you can add aliases.

          As an example, my name on the system is ‘admin’ but I post as lprent. I guess Eddie either used a login name or one of the other aliases that they toyed with (I don’t think that you can’t delete aliases either). The post is keyed to the author’s database record, but any of their aliases can be on the author name for a post.

        • Roger

          We read that…$2 billion a year (or less), significantly less than the $5-7 billion that has already been counted in the budget, so the mum-and-dad investor stuff is a load of bollocks isn’t it.

          But then again the reasons behind the asset sales, the supposed benefits to the share market, and the idea that the any changes to the operational aspects of these assets will be totally benign are all a load of bollocks.

        • Eddie

          when I do a post, it might be one of my own, in which case the author name will be Eddie, it could be inputting a guest post we’ve received (guest post), or a notice/cross-post post (The Standard). There’s a scrollbar to choose the right author name. That list has every author created on The Standard that hasn’t been deleted. I clicked the wrong one when scheduling this post and corrected it when pointed out.

  3. framu 3

    ” What it says is that locking foreign investors out of the market would depress the price”… which would throw NACTs budget projections out – which would diminish the economic justification that is being used to sell said policy.

    Its not the quote in isolation – its the quote and how it applies to the stated projections and goals

    which is pretty much spelled out in the original post

  4. ianupnorth 5

    Seeing as Portion Control is lurking, maybe he could provide a definition of a average mum and dad investor…
    You know, average income, assets held, education level, number of kids, etc. I know that is pretty broad, but at morning tea we were discussing shares, etc and all the employed, house owning, family member colleagues stated that they couldn’t afford to invest.

    • Portion Control 5.1

      Good question ianupnorth. For starters, there’s $8 billion in kiwisaver investors, with almost 2 million kiwisaver accounts, much of which is in offshore investments. That’s $4k each.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        Ordinary Mums and Dads have already paid for those assets, Damage Control.

        Now Key and English are working to concentrate ownership of those assets in the hands of the wealthy few, both foreign and domestic.

    • g_man 5.2

      Well, I own shares, and I would class myself as “an average mum and dad investor”

      My education level – left school after completing Sixth Form Certificate, didn’t go to University, went into a job which put me through ATI (as AUT was then) in what was effectively an apprenticeship, have since gained a number of industry-relevant certifications.

      Two children, one still at home. Wife doesn’t work.

      Own my home, but paying a mortgage on it.

      Sorry, I am NOT going to tell you my income or what assets I hold, but I will tell you I am not a “rich prick”. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

      Don’t go out to restaurants that often (maybe once every three months), don’t go to the cinema that often, don’t own a flat-screen TV, boat, or high-quality stereo system. No iPads, iPhones, iPods (my MP3 player cost $49 from Dick Smith), no Sky TV, don’t buy my lunch.

      • felix 5.2.1

        You think it’s a good idea to own shares?

        • g_man


          • felix

            Because they return dividends?

            • g_man

              Partly, but mostly as an investment for my retirement.

              I don’t trust ANY party – National or Labour – not to mess about with superannuation, Kiwisaver, and the likes, so I diversify my investments. Where such an option exists, I have chosen to have any dividend reinvested in more shares.

              By the way, I also own some shares in overseas companies. The whole “company profits going overseas” works both ways, and I receive dividends from overseas companies.

              • felix

                So if they’re good to own, why is National selling mine?

                • Portion Control

                  Spend more time listening to John Key and less time listening to the hypocritical liars in the Labour Party and you will find out why the Government is pursuing the mixed ownership model Felix.

                  So that you have an opportunity to put your kiwisaver funds into quality NZ assets, rather than have to put them offshore.

                  So that the Government can afford to get rid of some of the debt that Labour left, with a decade of deficits projected, the government will have cleared all of the deficits within a couple of years.

                  So the government can afford to invest the capital into building new schools, new hospitals and new transport infrastructure.

                  All great reasons if you ask me.

                  • vto

                    you’re seriously lacking

                  • lprent

                    What debt that Labour left? I think that you prefer fantasies to realities based on your usual comments.

                    The government was almost debt free before this current set of useless dickheads in National started to cut their revenue just as their costs were rising. I guess you just can’t face up to the fact that almost all of the debt that these retards have accumulated in government were because of their idiotic taxcuts.

                    • Portion Control

                      I think you prefer making things up or at least just sticking your fingers in your ears rather than realities Lynne.

                      I can’t believe that somebody who is so politically active as you is such a dunce on economic matters. Did you really not pay any attention to the pre election fiscal update issued by Treasury (let me write that again for you because you have a problem with reading, this was the treasury projection issued BEFORE the last election) that projected a decade of deficits?

                      Google it. There was a lot of commentary at the time. You can read it either at Treasury’s website or one of the examples at the Dom Post before the last election at

                      The country is facing a decade of deficits and the kitty is almost empty for election bribes, the Treasury’s books show.

                    • lprent []

                      … this was the treasury projection issued BEFORE the last election) that projected a decade of deficits?

                      Yes, they were indeed. But perhaps you didn’t take much notice of the previous projections from the Treasury (you really seem to have a totally selective memory).

                      The forecasts earlier in 2008 before the budget has said that Cullen’s tax cuts were affordable and wouldn’t result in any significant deficit. I said at the time that Treasury were being fools and there should not be any tax cuts because we’d need the money. You were (in your other past handles) probably too intent on braying for idiotic taxcuts to understand how ignorant you were on international economics at the time.

                      Later in the year as the full extent of the GFC became apparent, the treasuries prediction changed for the worse, leading to the forecasts of deficits that you mentioned. Cullen said then or a bit later that he wished that the tax cuts from Labour’s budget were not made.

                      Ok – so now we have the history right. According to the Treasury before the election, the incoming government was facing a decade of deficits, unless they raised taxes. However at that time there wasn’t ANY significant debt. A responsible government would have looked at that forecast and started considering raising their revenue.

                      So what did the irresponsible fools in National do? They cut their revenue with two further rounds of tax cuts for no apparent reason apart from taking the government deeper into debt.

                      So yet again, the wastrals from the National party are trying to beggar the state with their irresponsible governance.. Idiots like you appear to listen to their spin and believe it without bothering to actually understand how much crap yo’re being fed.

                    • Peter

                      Exactly, Government Debt fell consistently through the nineties and up until 2008. It fell in actual amounts and as a % of GDP ( 1993 30.7%, 2008 10.2%)
                      How the myth of Cullen irresponsibility and debt is perpetuated is beyond belief.

                      In contrast corporate debt (excluding house mortgages) went from 58% of GDP in 1993 to a phenomenal 126% in 2008. It would seem that corporates are the real culprit when it comes to debt, not the public sector.

                    • Akldnut

                      PC – “You can read it either at Treasury’s website ……”

                      You can also read their last 2 pre-budget forecasts which where so far off the mark that if they were a private consultancy and had done that they would have probably ended up in court.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    So, you really just don’t know WTF you’re talking about. We already own the assets and keeping them state owned is the best option as then we won’t be paying rent to foreigners for living in our own land.

                    So that you have an opportunity to put your kiwisaver funds into quality NZ assets, rather than have to put them offshore.

                    We don’t have to put them offshore as we don’t have to sell them. Having Kiwisaver buy them is an even worse idea as it’d stop that money going into new, productive businesses. In fact, that’s what having them on the stock exchange will do – stop money going into new productive businesses. Of course, the people driving the selling of state assets don’t want to take a risk and invest in new productive businesses what they want, and NAct are giving them, is a nice safe risk free “investment” where they can get super-normal returns backed by a government guarantee.

                    So the government can afford to invest the capital into building new schools, new hospitals and new transport infrastructure.

                    The government can already afford to do that. All it really needs to do is print the money and raise taxes.

                    So that the Government can afford to get rid of some of the debt that Labour left,

                    Labour didn’t leave us with any debt. All the excess debt that we have now is a result of Nationals failed tax policies.

                    …that projected a decade of deficits?

                    Yep, and this governments idiotic response was to cut revenue and thus increasing those deficits.

                    • Portion Control

                      No you financially illiterate dick. National has cut the period of deficit by half.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      No you financially illiterate dick. National has cut the period of deficit by half.

                      And they did this magical cutting of the deficit by increasing the deficit – I see…

                      You may not have noticed but NActs and Treasuries projections for the economy have so far failed to eventuate. We’re not roaring out of recession as John Key predicted we would be when NAct put in the massive tax cuts for the rich.

                  • felix

                    Contortion Patrol:

                    I already own them.

                    I asked you why Key is stealing them from me to sell them.

                    If they’re worth having, I’d like to keep them thanks. And it sounds like they’re worth having.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    All great reasons if you ask me.

                    Only if you are an agent for the wealthy, working against the interests of your own family and neighbours, mate.

                  • The Chairman

                    Portion Control, answer me this:

                    How are investors (be it mum and dad) capitalizing off the sell down of publicly owned assets going to create new national wealth to enable the nation to repay its external debt?

                    What’s going to make up the shortfall (in offshore dividends) created if Kiwisaver funds are forced to invest onshore?

                    As risk and return determine investment, who is going to force Kiwisaver funds to invest onshore?

                    And if the investments are so good, why are we selling them?

                • g_man

                  Do YOU think they’re good to own? Maybe you should ask Phil Goff why, back in the 1980s, Labour sold them quite happily.

                  Yeah, yeah, I know he now claims it was “a mistake”. Wonder if he’ll change his mind again in the next few years …

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Maybe you should ask Phil Goff why, back in the 1980s, Labour sold them quite happily.

                    Because, back in the 1980s, Labour was stupid and listened to the neo-liberal hogwash that passes for economic thought in the mainstream these days. They seem to have woken up to the fact that selling assets is actually stupid though. Perhaps the multi-billion dollars of extra taxpayer investment in telecommunications when the private sector was pulling out billions in profit has shown them the error of privatisation.

                  • felix

                    Labour did a lot of stupid things in the 80s g_man, that’s when many of us stopped voting for them.

                    I do think they’re good to own, and I don’t want to sell mine, but Key and English are going to steal them from me and sell them to you.

                    I didn’t like it when the right-wing thieves who infested the Labour Party in the 80s did it, and I don’t like it now that the right-wing thieves who infest the National Party are trying it on.

                    So please don’t lower yourself to making this some petty party issue because it’s far more important than that.

      • ianupnorth 5.2.2

        Thanks g_man for your honesty; I earn way above average, as does the missus, but we have three teens and a big(gish) mortgage – and lots of Ipods and Sky TV, so maybe that’s why we can’t afford them.
        I guess what I was getting at is there are more ‘mum and dad’ investors who cannot afford shares than those who can, which to me makes it unfair.
        Having lived through the 80’s in the UK when it went privatisation crazy all that happened was an unnatural divide happened between those who had and those who couldn’t afford shares. Also, most of those who got the bargain basement state assets sold theme immediately for a quick gain.
        PC – the Kiwi saver money – OK it could be invested here, but as has been said before, the SOE already below to NZ, so why sell them, why not issue bonds.

    • g_man 5.3

      Anyway, back to ianupnorth’s question: he asked for a definition of an average mum and dad investor.

      Does my example satisfy you? I’d like to think I’m fairly typical, and I can afford to invest. So I wonder why your colleagues claim they can’t afford to invest?

  5. vto 6

    Yep, no need to own assets. Let others own the assets and we can own ….. um ….. um …… well I’m not sure really….. Perhaps that nice Mr Key can tell us….

    ……. does that nice Mr Key own any assets? And if so, why? Someone please ask him…

  6. Draco T Bastard 7

    …. does that nice Mr Key own any assets?

    Yep, about $50m worth.

    And if so, why?

    It means that he has an income without having to actually work. Others do that for him.

    • g_man 7.1

      In which case, he’s no different from quite a few other MPs – both Labour and National – who also own assets, such as investment properties. Presumably so that they also “have an income without having to actually work. Others do that for them”.

      Does it only become a problem when you own a lot of assets? So what’s the cutoff point? More than $100,000 worth? $500,000? A million?

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1

        I didn’t mention a cut-off point. I consider getting money from others work that you did not put anything towards as being theft. To put it another way, capitalism is nothing but legalised theft.

        • g_man

          OK, so that includes all the Labour MPs who own investment properties, shares, etc? Putting it another way, all the Labour MPs who get income from investment properties – where someone else works hard to pay them rent – are thieves?

          Thanks for clearing that up 🙂

          • felix

            Why is so hard for you guys to figure out that most of us here aren’t exactly fans of the Labour party, g_man?

            • higherstandard

              Might be due to Greg Presland and Eddie and Mike Smith and r0b etc sucking the turds out of labour party shitters on a daily basis ?

              • lprent

                Gee hs, one commentator and three authors. Once you add myself in there and a couple of other strong commentators, you run out of the strong NZLP supporters pretty rapidly. The ones you mention are not even the most prolific

                I have said it before – the supporters of the NZLP are massively under-represented on this site. I have asked many NZLP members why, and the inevitable response is usually something like ‘who has the time’. The half of the activists who don’t read the blogs at all is a bit concerning though. They obviously haven’t been looking at political trends offshore.

                Pretty much what I feel like when I look at how many invites I have to the meetings, fund raisers, organizing committees, etc that flow through my e-mail. Fortunately for this site, I am anti-social so I seldom attend any of those. Gives me time to do what needs to be done here.

                As felix says – you need to gain some perspective and remember that the fraction of NZLP activists here is pretty low.

        • higherstandard

          “I consider getting money from others work that you did not put anything towards as being theft.”

          No you don’t you retard.

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

            I consider getting money from others work that you did not put anything towards as being theft.

            Right on, bruvver. Best you have a word with John Minto the evil land-owning capitalist running dog, then.

            • g_man

              I think when DTB says he considers “getting money from others work that you did not put anything towards as being theft”, this doesn’t include John Minto – as far as I know, he doesn’t own rental property, does he? Maybe he owns shares?

              However, DTB probably does mean people who receive income from rents, for example, as they are stealing money from honest, hard-working Kiwis who go out, do a hard day’s work, and then have to hand over half of that moeny in rent to those fat-cat champagne-swilling cigar-smoking capitalists who just sit on their chuff doing nothing. In DTB’s eyes.

              You know, like David Parker, Mita Ririnui, Damien O’Connor, Stuart Nash, Iain Lees-Galloway …

              • Draco T Bastard

                Yes, I do. I especially consider the interest that the banks charge on money that they printed to be theft.

                • higherstandard

                  How about people who receive social welfare payments such as an unemployment benefit ?

                  And weren’t you arguing for free tertiary education recently ?

                  Surely this is all theft ?

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Nope, that’s the responsibilities that comes with being a community. All those people will/have contributed to the community.

                    • g_man

                      I work. I contribute to the community.

                      With some of the money that I earn from doing an honest day’s work, I bought a flat some years ago (which I no longer own). I rented this out. Yes I was making money from this, but I also consider that I was contributing to the community; I provided a man with a place to live at a reasonable price. If I had not provided this accomodation, what would have happened to him?

                      I was NOT making money from others work that I did not put anything towards. On the contrary, I put a lot of work into maintaining that property. I replaced one fence, repainted another (well, paid my daughter to anyway :)), replaced some carpet – the list goes on.

                      He willingly paid me rent in exchange for using my property. He was under no obligation to stay there – he could have left at any time.

                      How is this theft?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Yes I was making money from this,

                      How was this theft? By charging more than the service was worth. Profit is a dead weight loss that drags the economy down eventually causing a recession and possibly a depression resulting in even more people without jobs, places to stay and eating cockroaches. This is inevitable and why we keep having recessions and depressions (otherwise known as the business cycle).

                      …what would have happened to him?

                      Well, if we had a functioning society he would have been looked after. It’s only in the individualistic societies that such even becomes a question.

                      He was under no obligation to stay there – he could have left at any time.

                      Are you sure about that?

                      Think about it this way. When your choice is between two or more exact same options then you have no choice. He didn’t have a choice – he had to pay rent somewhere.

                    • g_man

                      @ DTB 8:34 …

                      “Yes I was making money from this … How was this theft? By charging more than the service was worth.”

                      I didn’t charge more than the service was worth, I charged what the service was worth as defined by what the market would pay at the time. In fact, I was in net terms making a loss, by the time all my outgoings were accounted for, because the market didn’t support a higher rent. So you could say, my tenant was stealing off me by this rationale.

                      “Profit is a dead weight loss that drags the economy down …”

                      Obscene profit, maybe. A reasonable amount of profit is essential to provide the supplier with an incentive to take the risks inherent in supplying that good or service.

                      “Well, if we had a functioning society he would have been looked after. It’s only in the individualistic societies that such even becomes a question.”

                      We do have a functioning society. And because we do, you’re correct, he would have been looked after. Maybe our society doesn’t function exactly the way that Draco T Bastard would like it to, but it does function. He would have been able to find other accommodation, possibly provided by another private landlord, who may well also have been renting it at a loss as dictated by the market at the time.

                      Sorry, I’m still not convinced by you. I still maintain that:

                      (a) I work and contribute to the community in my own right, irrespective of other streams of income.
                      (b) In providing a service I was meeting a need, providing a man with a place to live, and therefore contributing to the community. You may not like it, but this is reality and that’s how our society works.
                      (c) I was NOT making money from others work that I did not put anything towards. I put in my own money (earned from my own job), plus my physical labour in maintaining the property, plus my work in the form of risk.

              • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                Minto does. Do you not remember the to-do when Whale outed him as a slum landlord?

  7. queenstfarmer 8

    It would just increase the flow of profits offshore from this country

    Perhaps, assuming there are profits which are not reinvested, etc. But what is certain is that it will decrease the flow of interest the Govt otherwise has to pay to foreign banks – interest that cannot be taxed, avoided, reinvested, create jobs, encourage other investment, etc.

    • vto 8.1

      Foreign banks can go jump.

      Which is what the Greeks should be saying at the moment.

      All loans have a risk of default, that is why they have varying interest rates. As such this is a time of default.

      Time for dipping out ya big wanker bankers. Power to the people.

      (btw people, now is the second time in recent years for pulling all cash out of the bank and sticking it under your mattress. Beat the run.)

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      The returns from the assets is more than what the interest would be. Besides, a government should never borrow money – it should just print it. The government borrowing money is a scam perpetrated on the taxpayers by the banksters.

      • queenstfarmer 8.2.1

        “The returns from the assets is more than what the interest would be.”
        What asset and interest are you talking about? Or are you just re-asserting the ludicrous argument that any asset is guaranteed to return more than any interest rate?

        “a government should never borrow money – it should just print it”
        Yeah, that worked out really well for the Weimar Republic, didn’t it?

        • Draco T Bastard

          Well, considering context, that would be the power companies which return dividends to the taxpayer from the investment that the taxpayer made in them.

          Yeah, that worked out really well for the Weimar Republic, didn’t it?

          Not my fault the Weimar Republic didn’t WTF they were doing. The private banks print massive amounts of money all the time and yet we don’t get massive inflation from them doing so. This would indicate that there is a way to print money without the accompanying inflation that the Weimar Republic has.

          Perhaps it has something to do with removing the money from circulation at about the same rate that it’s printed at. Now how do you think the banks achieve that? Personally I think it has something to do with the huge dividends and the massive bonuses that the banksters pay themselves.

          • queenstfarmer

            “The private banks print massive amounts of money all the time and yet we don’t get massive inflation from them doing so.”

            Banks (in NZ) can’t “print money”. They can margin-lend (e.g. fractional reserve banking) but only to the extent permitted by the Reserve Bank’s prudential ratios. And one of the RB’s primary goals is, you guessed it, to keep inflation within certain parameters.

            Unless you are the world’s reserve currency like the US, if you print excessive money then inflation occurs. This is really very elementary, though the maths behind it is pretty freaky.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Banks (in NZ) can’t “print money”.

              If you end up with more money than you had previously then you’ve printed money and that’s what fractional reserve banking does. So, yes, NZ banks print money.

              …if you print excessive money then inflation occurs.

              Excess money only occurs if it’s not removed from circulation. Fractional reserve banking increases the amount of money but most of it doesn’t end up in circulation so what happens to it?

              Actually, the maths is pretty simple as well. Actually, all the maths to do with mainstream economics is as it, like economics in general (It was wrong then and it’s still wrong today), hasn’t progressed any in the last 200 years.

              BTW, the US$ is a floating currency the same as NZ’s and so cannot be a reserve currency as it’s value changes in line with the market. The US$ got the privilege of being the reserve currency after WWI due to the Bretton Woods Agreement when it was the only remaining currency with a gold standard and all other currencies were pegged to that standard. That standard was dropped unilaterally by the US in 1971 which, effectively although not officially noticed by other countries, ended both the US$ reserve status and the Bretton Woods Agreement.

  8. queenstfarmer 9

    Foreign banks can go jump. Which is what the Greeks should be saying at the moment.

    Even the Greek Socialist Party government doesn’t agree with you. They are finding out the hard way that when you spend more than you earn, you need foreign banks more than they need you.

    • vto 9.1

      “They are finding out the hard way that when you spend more than you earn, you need foreign banks more than they need you.”

      Bullshit on that.

      The banks are about to find out the hard way that when they lend more than their clients can repay, then more the fool they.

      Refuse to repay. Think about it q st… the banks need the people more than the people need the banks.

      • queenstfarmer 9.1.1

        “The banks are about to find out the hard way that when they lend more than their clients can repay, then more the fool they.”

        Oh some banks will be hurt alright. But I think massive civil rioting, people being beaten and killed, massive unemployment, loss of pensions, wiping out lifetimes of savings, etc, hurts a heck of a lot more than a hit to some multi-billion dollar French and German banks’ bottom lines.

        “Refuse to repay. Think about it q st… the banks need the people more than the people need the banks.”

        Not if the people take the bank’s money and don’t repay it. Would you lend money to a bankrupt who refuses to change their ways?

  9. ianupnorth 10

    I saw a comment from an old lady in the UK pensions protest marches this morning – can’t do it verbatim, but it went like this

    I am protesting because the pension that i have contributed to for nearly 30 years is going to be cut by my government, through no fault of mine, but because some banks made some very bad decisions and have not been punished

    Whilst there are investment bankers gifting themselves six and seven figure bonuses we as a public have a right to question their mandate, especially when it comes to pass that there are links to certain political factions.

  10. Herodotus 11

    Of little but some interest- the latest power & gas bill for our house was $298 ($259 GST excl) last Sept usage as per their graph was a mirrow of usage this year $240 ($213) does anyone need an excuse not to purchase NZ safest cash cow, but then again does anyone need an excuse to sell this !!!!
    There obviously is a vast difference between being a currancy trader and ascertaining value of businesses, risk profiles and returns compared to cost of servicing debt, and the 2 professions appear to be independant in skill factors.
    And I am astounded that anyone held onto the belief that M&D’s were to be the intended owners, but then we have had other govts tell similar “truths” before.

  11. Rodel 12

    Treasury officials worked that out!..

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