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Vox pop

Written By: - Date published: 2:11 pm, October 21st, 2008 - 81 comments
Categories: activism - Tags:

Spotted in central Wellington:

81 comments on “Vox pop ”

  1. Tim Ellis 1

    Well. I wonder if that vandalism was just some tagging by apolitical teenagers, or if it was conducted by people with strong anti-National Party motivations?

    I don’t think encouraging the publication of vandalising other people’s billboards is appropriate.

  2. Tane 2

    You might want to have a word to your mate Davey over at Kiwiblog then Tim.

  3. Scribe 3

    Desperate times, Tim, call for desperate measures.

    You might want to have a word to your mate Davey over at Kiwiblog then Tim.

    Oh, the old “he did it, too” line.

  4. Daveski 4

    Tim – LOL – I think it’s called leading with your chin 🙂

    Easiest knockout blow of Tane’s boxing career

    I try to hang on to the ropes at all times.

    Captcha – ex mistake 🙂

  5. Felix 5

    sub-prime minister. heh heh.

    “I don’t think encouraging the publication of vandalising other people’s billboards is appropriate.”

    I’ll get my people to work on figuring the sentence of other people’s meaning and get back to you.

  6. Tane 6

    Oh, the old “he did it, too’ line.

    Na bro, it’s the old “quit your selective moral outrage” line.

  7. Rex Widerstrom 7

    Very clever line, spoiled by the fact that most people (who, we must remember, aren’t political tragics like us) will look and think “bloody vandals”. These are the same people who sit in graffitied bus shelters or walk past it on walls or perhaps have had their own properties defaced.

    Eliciting a degree of sympathy for your opponent isn’t smart politics however you try and spin it. And the “they do it to / selective oral outrage” defence doesn’t alter that fact one bit – it just means some of your opponents are as dumb as the clown responsible for this effort.

  8. Felix 8

    Rex I disagree. I think a lot of people love to see politicians ridiculed and don’t see this as vandalism – hell a lot of people see the billboards themselves as a form of vandalism.

  9. Ianmac 9

    The Clip is showing over on the Press site. One quick response was to use the same format for “Helen no tax-cuts. Helen have tax-cuts.”

  10. Hoolian 10

    There would be plenty of moral outrage from Clinton for us to all gorge on if it were Helen Clark, or that Grant Robertson guy.

    ‘Who’s Roberston?’ I hear you ask.

    Meh, probably a no body.

  11. Ianmac 11

    OOps I meant the other post: John-John.

  12. vto 12

    What does it matter. I think most people see any billboard, vandalised or not, as being mostly bullshit and spin.

    I saw one today in my town which said something like “kiwisaver, kiwirail, kiwibank – keeping it kiwi, vote labour”. Not sure if it was a labour one or a national one.

  13. Lew 13

    Rex: I agree with you in this particular case, but I disagree in principle.

    Well-done defacements (such as redding out the `ey’ on Sue Moroney’s billboards) is the sort of thing which will elicit more chuckling than shaking of heads. The point is that it can be done well – it just usually isn’t.

    By the same token, defacement can be both well done and still be a bad idea from the defacer’s perspective. For example, in one photo I saw on KB, under a National `Get them into training, not into trouble’ billboard, someone had tagged (in a pretty good approximation of the billboard graffiti font’ `”HERE COMES TROUBLE.” While well-done, this is just the sort of threat the billboard was supposed to evoke, and it reinforced rather than undermined the board’s message.

    Incidentally, I’ve always thought Trace’s cartoons particularly powerful for their propaganda value, and that’s clearly in effect here. Compare to the traditional Nazi image of the Jew – this is a fairly typical example: http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/posters/derjude.jpg Not that Trace’s cartoons are particularly anti-Key – his caricatures of everyone are equally nasty.


  14. Matthew Pilott 14

    I saw one today in my town which said something like “kiwisaver, kiwirail, kiwibank – keeping it kiwi, vote labour’. Not sure if it was a labour one or a national one.

    Really? I thoiught you followed New Zealand politics. Where are you from?

    There are some great sites if you want to keep up with politics in NZ – but I admit they’d be hard to find for someone overseas. Try all the party links at the bottom right of this site, or google search for ‘stuff’ or ‘NZHerald’. If you go to the NZ google site you’ll be able to choose pages from NZ only – hope that helps. And it’s great to see people from overseas take an interest in our election!

    P.S it was Labour – the National Party will undermine those three things listed at every turn. Maybe I shouldn’t have given that away to you, hope you don’t mind!

  15. vto 15

    ha ha mr pilott it was my weak attempt at a piss-take. maybe i should just get back to work..

  16. insider 16

    I saw a couple of vox pops over the weekend that you guys don’t seem to have caught up on. One showd 51% support for National and another 50% from memory. Surprised they haven’t merited the multicoloured pie charts and insightful analysis given to polls like the last Roy Morgan one

  17. Daveski 17

    Interesting point about KiwiBank given a potential coalition partner for Labour has proposed selling it.

  18. John Stevens 18

    Well at least JK has his real face on billboards unlike the airbrused version of that hag Helen. You can’t be too proud if you have to use a different picture of your leader.

    That is mis-representation for you.

    [lprent: Hi JS. Welcome to the world of moderation. Why? Because I’m tired of you, you look like a good candidate for my troll project, and I want to add notes to your comments to assist you in coming to terms with the wonderful world of net and the sysops who run them. They get upset when they have to read too much of this trash.]

  19. Tane 19

    A few reasons insider. Those polls don’t say anything they haven’t been saying for months. I also doubt their credibility. I’m also very busy, so very selective over what I spend my time making multi-coloured pie charts for.

    Not sure why I should have to put up with people constantly telling me what to write on my own blog though.

    [lprent: You don’t. Who should I ban?]

  20. Anita 20

    John Stevens,

    Have you looked at the John Key on the billboards and compared it to unscripted TV footage? The airbrushing on the billboards may be more subtle (and presumably expensive) but it’s still airbrushed.


    How will we survive the lack of multicoloured pie charts after the election? 🙂

  21. Joker 21


    Please read the about section.

    It is not ‘your blog’ it is a group of like minded communists blah blah blah… want to set the world straight on the evil semitic bid for global domination through the money markets blah blah blah.

    [Tane: Um, just because it’s a collective doesn’t mean I don’t have a stake in it.]

    [lprent: Yes you do. I think most people have seen the rough end of my writing style (is there any other kind?) in comments and posts. I wouldn’t have these server performance issues without the posters..because..I’d..have to..write..more….posts. ummm…… Is there anyone including me who’d want that?……..]

  22. Tane 22

    Well, there’ll still be polls I imagine… though I guess they’ll be sort of an academic exercise three years out.

  23. randal 23

    Anita, yes they, the gnats, have had to do quite a bit of work on keys loose wig!

  24. insider 24

    Customer focus Tane, customer focus 🙂

    And anyway, you said re the RM poll that “The next round of polls should be very interesting” and now we find they are not interesting at all…

  25. Matthew Pilott 25

    Ok vto you can be a kiwi again! just being a smart-arse myself!

    John Stevens – I was saying you can tell whether a National supporter has any intelligence based upon whether they mention advertising photos as a trust issue. I think most people would now agree I’m right, thanks for piping up. Now, back under your bridge!

    Not sure why I should have to put up with people constantly telling me what to write on my own blog though.

    Because they cry so much when you’re mean?

  26. Anita 26


    Oooh – poll regression sets, poll accuracy analysis, coloured graphs of coloured polls superimposed on other polls. Colour coded colour coding!

    Suddenly December is looking exciting! 🙂

  27. Tane 27

    You’re right, though it’s sounding more like SP territory there. I’m happy to help make it look pretty though…

  28. Phil 28

    Oooh – poll regression sets, poll accuracy analysis, coloured graphs of coloured polls superimposed on other polls. Colour coded colour coding!

    That sounds eerily similar to death-by-powerpoint… do you work in middle management?

  29. Daveski 29

    PowerPoint is now de rigour in secondary school, especially social studies.

    Perhaps JK has a point about standards 😉

  30. randal 30

    Its not hard to spot the hawkers and barrow boys and the 10 for a dollar with one free guys round here. they all trying to sell everybody something like tighter underpants and socks with built in garters but keys will never fly. hehehehehe!

  31. Anita 31


    I was thinking more of double sided tightly bound centimetre thick reports full of tiny tiny graphs and 20 column landscape tables full of 6pt numbers to 4 decimal places 🙂

    Then, you see, I could get out my trusty fluorescent highlighter flags and stick several on every page and write cryptic notes in pencil in all the margins.

    (I work as a consultant 🙂

  32. Rex Widerstrom 32

    Lew comments:

    Well-done defacements (such as redding out the `ey’ on Sue Moroney’s billboards) is the sort of thing which will elicit more chuckling than shaking of heads. The point is that it can be done well – it just usually isn’t.

    Oh I agree the truly funny, well-thought-out ones can be good. But I see even fewer of them than you, it seems, as redding out the ‘ey’ is just so obvious. I mean the poor woman would have been getting that since about Standard 1 I guess, like I got T-Rex etc (apologies to the T-Rex, who I haven’t seen around lately because when I do I always do a momentary double-take and think “I didn’t comment on this post!”).

    The ones that riff on the theme of the opponent’s signage but start from scratch seem to work best. There was a site around that let people play with “iwi/kiwi” ones that produced a few that would have been worth printing onto corflute. When I last looked at the site that allows you to do the same with the current Nat effort there didn’t seem to be a similar standard (probably because the raw material is so dull) but many were better than this ghastly effort (*Sorry, I can’t recall the URLs of either, though someone else might).

  33. Jeeves 33

    A banker…with a big Jewish nose? Gosh. That’s original.

  34. gomango 34

    Its a catchy line but Key at either bankers trust or Merrills had nothing to do with sub-prime mortgages, cdo’s or anything similar. His background is fx and short term interest rates – the reason he did so well at merrill lynch was the way he retooled their loose, proprietary trading culture into a rationally managed customer driven business with less proprietary trading, more flow franchise business. The tarring of “Key is responsible for Merrill Lynch etc blowing up” is kind of ludicrous, that’s one of the largest confusions of cause and effect you’ll ever see. A more relevant argument is how does his time in a management role at an investment bankqualify him for a political career. Personally I think quite well – very few businesses are more political, ruthless, unforgiving, competitive, soul destroying (in terms of hours, family stress etc) – politics is probably the only thing similar. Of course in the good old days (until last year) it was all worth it for the money.

    The caricature of Key is a little bit offputting too, as previous posters have pointed out its very classic 1930’s national socialist propoganda – could almost have been lifted directly from a nazi poster. Imagine if a similar racial stereotype of a “dumb hori” was posted – almost all of us would recoil in distaste.

  35. Akldnut 35

    gomango The tarring of “Key is responsible for Merrill Lynch etc blowing up’ is kind of ludicrous, that’s one of the largest confusions of cause and effect you’ll ever see.

    The tarring of Clarke by Key on numerous occasions (Way too many too quote) as being responsible for all the of the economic woes we are facing (adding in the effects of the current international crisis) is more than kind of ludicrous. Now thats one of the largest confusions of cause and effect you’ll ever see.

  36. Lew 36

    Rex: We’re agreed in principle, then. I’ve just picked examples which came immediately to hand.

    Thinking a bit more about the Jew caricature of John Key, there’s a bit of dissonance when seen alongside other defacements of National billboards, even leaving aside the absurdity of comparing any part in NZ to the Nazi party, which it must be said is usually the preserve of the wingnuts from Lindsay Perigo’s end of the politican spectrum and the KBR. While the billboard above employs Nazi-inspired iconography to denote Key as The Eternal Jew, other billboards – this one in particular, use Nazi iconography (the swastika and the Hitler moustache) to denote National as Nazis. So if we speculate that the defacements are done by some associated people (and this seems reasonable given some stylistic similarities, though they are on different islands) then we’ve got a group who are deeply confused and deluded, or are being wildly opportunistic in relying on the innate symbolic power of these images to make their point in spite of the dissonance required to reconcile the two.

    Either way, following on from Rex’s argument, it seems to me so incompetent as to favour National. A pity, since the `Do you want a sub-Prime Minister’ slogan is a very good one and could have been used much more productively in support of their cause.


    [lprent: fixed link]

  37. Lew 37

    gomango: Imagine if a similar racial stereotype of a “dumb hori’ was posted – almost all of us would recoil in distaste.

    … and those who didn’t would be Brash supporters, not Key supporters 🙂


  38. gomango 38


    No if you look at both issues dispassionately they are very different. I’m not going to argue either side because I don’t really care, but Helen and Cullen have for 9 years had very real power to influence most macroeconomic factors in NZ – govt expenditure, consumption, taxation etc. Clearly NZ was going to have a period of economic readjustment at some stage – this was clear to anyone interested in 2006. You don’t have inflation at its current levels (and implied levels from 2006), you dont have money supply grow as it has done, you dont have company valuation multiples blow out like they have, you don’t have housing affordability multiples grow like they have, you don’t write off $3 billion of savings in 12 months without building excesses in the system that must be paid for at some time. And the Government of the day does have influence over pretty much all of the above if they want to use it.

    Key left ML 8 or so years ago? That was prior to the growth of sub-prime as an asset class, prior to the large scale production of RMBS CDO’s (which is primarily what blew up Merrills and other IB’s and banks), and in any case he ran a customer facing FX business which would have required minimal risk adjusted leverage to run effectively.

    The international situation may have exacerbated the current situation but we were always going to have a situation. With hindsight (easy), Labour erred in not having an earlier election – September was a much friendlier environment. Polls are the same now as then, but the economic argument has slipped away from Labour.

    Framing the debate in such kneejerk, clearly ideological terms only does one thing. It hardens core support at the extremes of both sides, but turns away centrist support from the claim maker. That’s why the attack advertising is going down like a lead balloon, the perception Helen is playing the man not the ball doesnt fit with the Kiwi sensitivity of fair play. Attack advertising is not working now and it didn’t work for Howard in Australia. Even the Progressive Party thinks it is a miscaculation.

    As an observer rather than a participant I see Helen, for whatever reason has surrendered her strongest two attributes – 1) a perception by most voters she was a straightshooter and an honest toiler (the winston debacle was the tipping point here), and 2) her superior policy debating skills – if only she had used them on the big issues (economy, crime, education) rather than issues centrist and right voters see as distractions.

  39. Phil 39

    Rex W,

    Try this site; http://national.h.ac.nz

  40. gomango 40


    The perception of Brash is funny – I’m sure I’ll get flamed for this, but I think he is either a) misunderstood, or b) he changed dramatically since the early 90’s when I worked in his organisation. I instinctively veer toward the first explanation but I can’t support it with facts………… Eventually I think his Orewa speech will be seen as a manifestation of his core values (fairness, equality) but it didnt acknowledge the complexity of NZ history and society. Right sentiments but maybe 10 or 20 years too early.

    My experience of him was first class – true gentleman, strictly fair, scrupulously honest, deep social conscience. From memory (which is a bit grey) he was the biggest supporter of ethnically targetted university scholarships provided by the RBNZ when governor there. On business trips he used to wash his smalls out in the hotel hand basin and exhorted the rest of us to do the same to save on hotel laundry fees. For much of his tenure most travel was economy class rather than business.

    Maybe he is a good example of why good people shouldn’t go into politics! I’ll never believe he is personally a racist, or that he personally wanted to profit from being involved in government.

    Could he perhaps have racist supporters without being racist himself? I could live with that!

  41. Lew 41

    gomango: Indeed, I made no comment on Brash’s actual feelings or views on the matter – only on that of his supporters through the Orewa-Iwi/Kiwi phase of NZ politics.

    I disagree about Orewa. The intention might have been fair and just and all that, but the judgement has to rest on the specific implementation, the speech itself and the campaign which followed it, not on the intention he may have had. The implementation of that speech and campaign was anything but fair in a historical sense, and it’s on that basis it must be judged. It must also be made clear that Brash wasn’t the sole origin – or perhaps even the primary origin – of that campaign. But ultimately it’s him who led it, and him who needs to bear the outcomes of it.


  42. Ianmac 42

    gomango: Probably Don Brash was all that you said. I have no problem with what you say, but he may have been persuaded by the back-room boys to adopt a face; espouse populist ideas, dogwhistle politics etc in order to win. (I think Key is doing so now.) He can’t have it both ways. He can’t be an honourable man with high standards, and at the same time tell porkies for expediency.

  43. gomango 43

    Lew – yes as I said I cant argue with you. I usually can’t abide people who ignore facts, argue illogically/emotionally and make statements that cant be supported, but just this once I’m prepared to make an exception for myself………..

  44. gomango,

    You should really inform yourself better before you go off half cocked about John Key.

    Here is a short (Ok, not so short but it’s a complex topic) sharp primer on the subprime crisis and John Key’s role in it:

    First there is there is the role that Alan Greenspan played in the biggest bubble and bust cycle in history: the period from 1987 until 2006.
    This is part III of a series of articles by the eminent German scholar F William Engdahl (don’t worry it is written in English)

    Alan Greenspan reintroduced the debt derivatives trade in 1987 (this is when John Key started to work for Bankers Trust) and it was the Bankers Trust who under it’s new CEO became a frontrunner in the development of the Derivatives trade. As I’m sure around about now someone will try and point out that the derivatives trade has been around forever and that is correct but the derivatives trade deriving it’s value from debt products such as mortgages has not because it was forbidden after the first Great depression.

    By the way it was also in 1987 that Bankers trust expanded from being a New York bank to being a global bank.

    Alan Greenspan allowed bubbles to bubble and bust throughout his tenure and the housing bubble is only the last of them. According to Engdahl this was a preset plan and he makes a good case for it in his five part series but I’ll leave it up to you to make up your own mind.

    One thing is for sure everything he describes in these articles has come to pass and the fact that global leaders are now talking about a single global currency seems to indicate that the financial elite is getting their way as described by Engdahl.

    During these bubbles it was the debt based derivatives trade which flourished the most and it was in the middle 90ties that commercial banks wanted in on the action which through the Glass Steagall act they were prevented from doing so.

    The act was voted into place in 1933 after the investment banker’s ponsy schemes had drawn the Commercial bankers into a massive speculative binge causing the total destruction of the entire American and hence world economy, a period known as “the Great Depression”.

    Through lobbying (the cost of which is estimated to have been between $ 100 to $ 200 million dollars) by the Wall street bankers who wanted their hands on the real world assets of the commercial bankers and the commercial bankers who wanted to be able to speculate the Glass Steagall act was unofficially repealed in 1998 and officially in November 1999. This was a massive breakthrough for the Bankers and eagerly awaited.

    In other words something John Key as one of only four advisors (from 1999 until march 2001) to the New York Federal Reserve and Alan Greenspan and the Global head of Forex (a massive source of wealth to base derivatives on) and the European head of Bonds and Derivatives was hugely aware of and something he and his banking mates had been planning for and been wanting to take advantage off for a very long time.

    How big of a difference the repeal of the Glass Steagall act made can be seen in this beautiful model for fraud.

    In This BBC article a chart under the name a “Primed for disaster” makes it clear that in as early as 1998 (with the Glass Steagall act unofficially defunct) the subprime market grew from a couple of billion to more than $ 200 billion worth overnight and there for well in the time that John Key was working on both Wall street and London. the Wall street business for some reason not mentioned in the NZHerald interview. Funny that.

    This a part of Greenspan’s testimony for Congress:

    The man who played the decisive role in moving Glass-Steagall repeal through Congress was Alan Greenspan. Testifying before the House Committee on Banking and Financial Services, February 11, 1999, Greenspan declared, “we support, as we have for many years, major revisions, such as those included in H.R. 10, to the Glass-Steagall Act and the Bank Holding Company Act to remove the legislative barriers against the integration of banking, insurance, and securities activities. There is virtual unanimity among all concerned–private and public alike–that these barriers should be removed. The technologically driven proliferation of new financial products that enable risk unbundling have been increasingly combining the characteristics of banking, insurance, and securities products into single financial instruments.’

    And this is what John Key had to say about the internet and the credit-derivatives trade at the time. His job at the time (1999)? Ooh oops<

    Managing director of debt (bonds and Derivatives) for Merrill Lynch

    Yep, the selfsame products which Merrill Lynch had been peddling as early as 1998 and which caused the bank to collapse last year and which are now causing the Global financial meltdown.

    Lastly this is a link to a the Australian program Insight which aired yesterday and which can be watched online here about the role of Greed in the unfolding crisis and it is interesting because someone amongst others points out that the high rewards for speculative trading and the low risk of being connected to the final implosion makes for a very corruptive environment.

    When you say; “John Key through his machinations as a banker is partly responsible for our troubles today”
    most people respond with, “but John Key left banking in 2001 so how can he be responsible for the subprime crisis?”

    Well, it is very simple: in 1998 the Wall street bankers (with the glass Steagal act dismantled they were now allowed to merge with Commercial banks) bought commercial banks and told these banks to give everyone and his dog mortgages.

    They would guarantee to buy these mortgages so there was no longer any risk for the commercial banks, the investment banks would slice and dice the mortgages and base derivatives on them and sell these to unsuspecting suckers such as pension funds and finance companies such as the ones which collapsed in NZ last year. Brilliant really.

    The only time this kind of trading becomes dangerous (Warren Buffet called the debt derivative trading a financial game of musical chair and the derivatives based on debt products weapons of mass destruction in as early as 2002) is when the real world economy collapses and house prices collapse with it and the derivatives derived from these mortgages start to deleverage as is happening now because that is when people will begin to ask questions.

    But at that time most of the bankers responsible for the crisis will have long left the scene of the crime if they are smart and John Key is if anything very, very smart.

    In other words the Wall street bankers have had a great run from 1998 until 2007 and John Key and many other bankers are getting away with murder because they have left banking in time and most people unable to see the bigger picture will find it very hard to make the connection between our Smiling Assassin and the Wall street crisis. Especially when he tells his stupid punters that the financial instruments causing the subprime crisis were only developed in 2004 and 2005 and everybody believes him.

    However John Key was in charge of Merrill Lynch’s debt department (Also according to his own website by the way) living in both London and New York (with an office and staff in Merril Lynch’s headquarters on Wall street. Funny how that is never mentioned in his VC eh) in 1999 when the Glass Steagall act was repealed and he was one of only four upon invitation only advisors to Alan Greenspan and the Federal Reserve of New York at the same time the Wall street bankers after having spend between a $100 to $200 million to get their greedy fingers on the loot, are able to go on the biggest most glutonest speculation binge in the entire history of the world.

    Merrill Lynch is no more and the other three advisors represented Citigroup, Lehman bros and UBSWahrburg are either bankrupt or teetering on the brink but guys like John Key and all their CEO’s rode into the sunset with muy peqenjo.

    $50 million dollars tells me his bosses were very happy with his services.

    Mr. Smiling Assassin did what he was told and made a bundle for them and while he was also the global head of the forex department (another great source of wealth to base speculative risky derivatives on) his tenure as Manager of debt right in the first heady days of total banking deregulations was clearly connected to the subprime market.

  45. gomango,

    So true. So you’ll be happily fact checking then through the above comment. Seems you’ve got the wrong end of the stick here, mate.
    Hope you don’t get to emotional about it. LOL.

  46. Lew 46

    Ev: Can’t you just link to the same rant every time to spare Lynn the bandwidth?


  47. gomango 47


    I think you are reading me wrong – I’m not defending John Key in the way you think. My original comment was about whether the skill set needed to prosper in an investment bank was good or bad for being a politician or PM. I still think its a very long bow to blame Key for Merrills demise.

    As I recall Key was a member of an FX advisory committee to FRBNY – nothing to do with Glass Steagall. Glass Steagall repeal was at the lobbying of Sandy Weill as Citibank (who I worked for at the time) wanted to take over Smith Barney, and as you point out it was ultimately congress that removed restrictions not the Fed. That was about the only big transaction that occurred as a result of the repeal – from hazy memory Glass Steagall also removed restrictons on bank ownership across state lines which was of most interest to commercial banks. Greenspan can be blamed for a lot of things, but too easy liquidity is easily the biggest problem he left the US and the world.

    In any bank I’ve worked in that job title would not include credit derivatives or ABS which are pretty much always seperate business silos and where the systemic damage to the market started from.

    To be honest I dont argue with a lot of what you say – but i just think its heroic to draw some of the conspiracy conclusions that you have. The simplest conclusion is usually the most correct.
    And heres what I’d describe:

    1 Greenspan did a poor job controlling monetary supply and created a large, leverage induced asset price bubble in many asset classes. You can put some blame on Japan too for running negative real rates for so long.

    2. Innovation in the financial markets outstripped the abillity of regulators to sensibly regulate markets.

    3. Securitisation became a solution to any risk managment problem.

    4. Institutional investors palced too much reliance on ratings agency methodology which is pretty good for real corporate entities but terrible for more hiighly corrrelated assets with a short performance record (ie MBS).

    5. The business model for investment banks, fund managers, investment managers gave way too much weight to performance related pay for annual performance rather than something more aligned with shareholders and investors.

    None of the finance companies in NZ had exposure to offshore securities – their problems were all completely self inflicted by lack of diversification in lending, related party lending, funding profile mismatch and generally crap management.

    I’ve worked in inv banking since 96 until mid this year in the CDO space – since 99 – and I can assure you the hey dey for CDOs based on mortgages was 2004, 5 and 6. Prior to that the game was market value CLO’s (backed by US high yield loans) – these blew up in 98 thru 2000 because they used short term funding for long term market vaue assets. Nothing much happened in 2001 thru 2002 then arbitrage CLO’s took off (no mtm on the underlying high yield loan assets, just cashflow tests) and then of course the “free lunch” of abs CDOS from 2003 until the wheels started falling off at end of 2006. And in any case the total issuance of CDO’s isnt anywhere near as big as people assume:

    For instance US issuance in billions (US was variously 60% to 95% of global):
    MBS backed Loan backed Total
    2000 0 15 69
    2001 0.5 14 57
    2002 9 12 56
    2003 12 10 58
    2004 17 27 93
    2005 23 48 154
    2006 35 98 312
    2007 68 61 216

    those numbers are to august 07 but not much happend after that anyway. And they are public deals so exclude a lot of the bespoke CDS issuance. Compare these numbers to mortgage origination in the US as a whole. Current outstandings are 10.1 trillion, 45% is backed by the GSE’s, 8% is subprime or Alt A so around 800 million. Subprime was not the problem – it was the triggerfor forcing investors and banks everywhere to recognise that they were carrying inappropriate leverage for the types of assets they owned.

    At the end of the day greed was the problem – at all links in the chain, every participant was complicit from mortgage borrowers, originators of mortgages, arrangers and distributors of deals, ratings agencies, regulators, institutional investors and ultimately the public. Forget the boring money market fund, invest in this juicy Libor plus fund, rated AAA invests in ABS. You can’t blame one man but you can blame a global system in which EVERYONE drank the kool aid.

    As an indication of how regulation failed, there were around 400 billion of outstanding CDS contracts on Lehman at time of default, at its peak balance sheet was prob around 690 billion, yet until the default a) no one knew how much CDS exposure had been written on the name (turned out to be 400 billion, and b) no one knew what the net exposure was – estimates ranged up to 300 billion. Turns out the actual net exposure paid out by protection sellers was around 8 billion. But the level of uncertainty has been a big part of the problem in markets.

    Another interesting point to ponder is the scale of losses. I have recently read a piece of research which estimates the additional profits made by banks over the last 10 years – above what would normally be expected relative to the business cycle is 1.2 trillion. Essentially that is the size of the first order correction required to get us back to a “normal” relationship between bank profits, bank assets and the real economy.

  48. Lew,

    I get the impression Iprent is very capable of telling me off if she is feels it’s justified so quit the manipulation OK. It’s so illogical/emotional and so immature too.

    My comment may be long but it’s on target and filled with links to reputable sites supporting my statement. Everything gorango is so religious about except of course this once.

    Feel free to ignore my “rants”. Nobody forces you to read them.

  49. hi gomango,

    Nice come back. I’ve had a couple of drinks and don’t believe in the drunken reaction thing.
    So I’m going to have a good read tomorrow and take it all in.
    Thank you for being serious about this and being a gentleman in your reaction.

    It all looks very interesting and knowledgeable and yes I agree that in the end greed on all levels was the main motor to the coming debacle

  50. randal 50

    hey ev…watcha doing later?

  51. Lew 51

    Hi Ev. I do, once I’ve read one the first time. Not to say they’re irrelevant or that you should stop posting ( I think you think I think this); just that you have your own blog, why not drive more traffic there instead of piggybacking of others’ sites. And yes, I know Lynn doesn’t need me going into bat for him. But I’m not saying you should stop, having been forced to – I’m suggesting you might do so out of courtesy without having to be asked.


  52. Randal sweety,

    I’m a happily married woman and my husband reads these comments too. LOL. But thank you for asking.


    Get fucked ( you wish probably).

    When people show knowledge and integrity in their comments I show my respect with a sober assessment and reaction.

    That does not mean I’m not happy to take an asshole like you on when under the influence.

  53. Lew 53



  54. Lew,

    Judging by that response you must have had a couple already eh?

  55. Lew 55

    Ev: Since you’ve already declared yourself drunk in charge of a keyboard, I didn’t think it was worth responding.


    Captcha: `more mortgage’. Heh, seems sub-prime is still in recaptcha’s data corpus.

  56. no Lew,

    To have a couple does not mean you’re irresponsibly drunk.
    And Oops you did respond.

  57. Lew 57

    Ev: True, and yes, I did. You have me on two there. For what it’s worth, I’ve had a couple now.


  58. gomango, “Turns out the actual net exposure paid out by protection sellers was around 8 billion”.

    A figure I have is 6bn and since settled can be the only way of knowing netted for sure can you supply a link please. The notional Lehman 400bn is underway – the canadian temdec for example is going all cash ( one way of explaining a lot of equity quits in recent times ) so it could be yours = mine albeit dated some. ideas welcome.

    Tks for the remainder. I’d add that there are aspects as yet unmentioned in relation to this topic. All in good time..

    EV, engdahl – you surprised me. Well done!

  59. gomango 59

    Jo Zinny – a story on bloomberg today. Actually it did say 6-8 billion. I dont have a link but i’m sure it will be on bloomberg.com

    One reason I think it is actually significantly lower than the estimates which had been as high as 270 billion was that the largest chunk of exposure will have been in synthetic cdo’s and the delta on one name in a 100 name portfolio with a 5% attachment point will be only a few percent until hedging becane imppossible, but the full nominal is probably reported by the bank.

    And also any reporting of naked CDS transaction has never necessarily counted net positions. All the longs are added up but if bank A is long 1 billion and short 950 million thats only a net transfer of 50 million nominal.

  60. gomango 60

    Lehman Swap Sellers Probably Paid Up to $8 Billion (Update1)
    2008-10-21 23:04:56.360 GMT

    (Adds comment from ISDA chief starting in fourth paragraph.)

    By Shannon D. Harrington
    Oct. 21 (Bloomberg) — Sellers of credit-default protection
    on Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. probably paid out between $6
    billion and $8 billion to settle bets on the bankrupt company’s
    debt, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association said.
    More than 350 banks, hedge funds, insurers and others in the
    derivatives market had until the end of today in New York to
    settle most contracts, which were used to hedge against losses or
    speculate on Lehman’s ability to pay its obligations, ISDA said
    in a statement.
    Some analysts at banks including BNP Paribas had expected a
    payout of more than $270 billion, based on an estimated $400
    billion in outstanding contracts. The Depository Trust and
    Clearing Corp., which runs a central registry for credit-default
    swap trades, said last week that there were about $72 billion in
    Lehman contracts outstanding.
    ISDA Chief Executive Officer Robert Pickel, who earlier this
    month said concern that investors may be unable to come up with
    the payments was overblown, today said the settlement is a sign
    the market is weathering the global financial crisis.
    “Today’s settlement demonstrates that the industry
    infrastructure for CDS clearly works,” Pickel said in the
    Since the end of August, the market has been dealing with
    the bankruptcies of Lehman and Washington Mutual Inc., the
    failure of Iceland’s three biggest banks and the U.S. government
    seizure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Each triggered a
    settlement of credit-default swaps linked to the companies’ debt.
    Sellers of default protection on Lehman were required to pay
    91.375 cents on the dollar after an Oct. 10 auction that
    determined the value of bonds eligible to settle the derivatives.

    –Editors: Romaine Bostick, Alan Goldstein.

  61. gomango 61


    Have just read your response more closely and spent a few surreal minutes surfing your blog. I don’t want to be rude, but I do understand why you don’t get many comments or readers. Funnily enough I don’t disagree with quite a lot of what you say, but I do find the linking together of unconnected facts and the “proximity quoting” to create an impression of causality or association a little bit out there, not to mention lazy. I do like both the SEC theory and the Bush martial law one though, they sound like fun. Re the SEC theory, bear in mind that for every seller of a futures you must have a buyer. Equity markets are much larger than futures outright short open interest and there are plenty of studies to suggest that short selling improves market liquidity. Also that short selling may increase the velocity of down trades but doesn’t really affect the magnitude. Same is true with OTC derivatives, there will always be valid reasons why someone needs to be short (ie hedging another exposure). But that’s a side show.

    Now you challenged me to a fact check. Very happy to oblige:

    – in the interests of keeping a dialog going I’ll ignore the arrogance and intellectual pygmyism of your first line. You obviously have a passion gfor the topic, and have invested time researching it. Insults just lose your audience. As Margaret Thatcher said “I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.”
    – Great effort putting unrelated facts near each other to imply some kind of devious relationship. “Alan Greenspan reintroduced the debt derivatives trade in 1987 (this is when John Key started to work for Bankers Trust) and it was the Bankers Trust who under it’s new CEO became a frontrunner in the development of the Derivatives trade.” What you didnt say was Key started at BT in NZ and demonstrably was only ever running an FX business until he went to Asia n the mid 90’s. Yet you have manged to impy he was in bed with Greenspan, responsible for debt derivatives and something unclear about the BT CEO. Brilliant.
    – The complex subprime crisis not that complex. There’s been a stick man cartoon on PowerPoint doing the rounds for the last year about 30 slides. Absolutely brilliant and explains everything perfectly you should source a copy, its really quite funny.
    – The role Greenspan played agreed, monetary policy far too loose. Look at what he did after his irrational exuberance speech. Zip.
    – Greenspan did not reintroduce the debt derivatives market in 1987. The first currency swap occurred in 1980, the first interest rate swap in 1982, between the IBRD and IBM. ISDA was formed in 1985 and there was plenty of trading going on from then as documentation became standardised.
    – Yes BT was big on derivatives so were almost every other bank from Salomon to Goldman to Morgan Stanley etc etc. And despite the Glass Steagall Act so were JP Morgan who had some kind of partial exemption.
    – Derivatives trade hasn’t been around for ever but in one shape or form has been for a couple of thousand years. I think Japanese rice futures in the 16th century were the first modern manifestation.
    – Derivatives weren’t banned in the 30’s. Banks didn’t use them for 5 decades because a) they weren’t invented in current form, and b) banks didn’t have any desire or need to transfer risk. But futures have been around since the 1860’s when the CBOT was formed.
    – Greenspan allowed bubbles to grow and burst. Yes he did. A shame he didn’t prick the current one before he left. If you are into conspiracy theories have you heard the one about Clinton blackmailing Greenspan to run an easy mon policy?
    – “everything he describes in these articles has come to pass’. Wow what a surprise given Engdahl wrote this article in January 2008 about events occurring prior to then. Let me amaze you with my amazing predictive powers. I will now tell you what I had for breakfast last Tuesday (2 weetbix, coffee, banana).
    – Who is talking about a single global currency? Not banks, this would be like the turkey/Christmas thing.
    – Its Ponzi, not Ponsy.
    – Sandy Weill forced the repeal of Glass Steagall when Travellers/Salomon Smith Barney bought Citicorp, sorry I meant merged with…… True it did allow banks into the securities business (apart from JPM who were already there) but it was one way traffic not two way.
    – John Key was on the FRBNY Foreign Exchange Committee for the dates you mention. This is a committee which advises the Fed on FX markets, how they are functioning and potential risks. Nothing to do with Glass Steagall, mortgages etc. It is not a cabal of bankers dreaming of ways to achieve global domination via chicanery in the markets. Read some of their reports sometime. Very dull.
    – Why is Forex “a massive source of wealth to base derivatives on’. Yes it is massively traded, but it’s not a source of wealth, it is a zero sum game between investors and national balance sheets.
    – The beautiful model for fraud is more accurately “What happens when the economic interests of various stakeholders in a business aren’t aligned’
    – Greenspan wasn’t responsible for the repeal of Glass Steagall nor was he responsible for the congress mandated widening of the GSE’s role in non-conforming mortgages. That was congress mostly democrats, but also republicans. Greenspan was essentially an expert witness. We can argue later about how expert.
    – Subprime market didn’t grow to 200 billion overnight, in terms of new issuance per annum it kind of did this (I’m looking at chart so interpolating numbers): 1995 to 1997 about 10 to 30mm, 1998 thru 2001 about 50 to 80 billion per year, 2002 about 100 bln, 2003 about 200 bln, 2004 about 320 bln, 2005 about 420 bln, 2006 about 400 bln, 2007 about 180 bln. ITs a little bit heroic to say all the grwoth happened on Key’s watch.
    – The quote you link to about the derivatives trade. Nothing of the sort. What Key says is roughly like “internet based trading platforms will be really useful for banks and FX users. Maybe it will be useful for other instruments too.’ Where’s the conspiracy there?
    – Managing director of debt (bonds and Derivatives) for Merrill Lynch. This is naughty the original quote says “John Key, managing director of debt markets at Merrill Lynch’. You have added the ” bonds and derivatives’ in. What it means Key was an MD in debt markets which would have covered everything from FX to Govt bonds, to swaps, to Futures, to ABS, to commercial paper, to Debt Capital markets, to corporate bonds etc etc. Key was always an FX guy through his entire career he may have had other responsibilities but the biggest job he ever had was global head of FX. It also shows you don’t understand the structure of investment banks. I would guess in 1999 there were maybe 600 managing directors at ML. A few years earlier I was a Director at Salomon Brothers (similar sized firm). Didn’t mean I ran the company just meant I was one of 1000 directors working for one of 400 managing directors in a company of 4000 staff. At Citi I was one of probably 4000 directors. Still didn’t run the firm.
    – The comment about greed is very true. Despite profiting from it I have always believed there was a misalignment in investment banks between staff who get paid for annual performance and shareholders who invest for the long term.
    – I don’t believe John Key ever murdered someone, though if he did, he has got away with it which proves your point he and other bankers are getting away with murder. Well proven.
    – Smiling Assassin great name. The nature of investment banks is very simple no job security, high income. Don’t feel bad for anyone JK sacked. The payouts are typically fantastic and you either go straight to another job or make a life change.
    – Great run from 98 into 2007 has included Asian crisis, Russian crisis, implosion of yen carry trade in 98, LTCM blow up, numerous other hedge funds ( tiger, amaranth etc), Enron, Worldcom etc, 9/11, etc etc. But in my earlier post I did mention the level of above normal profits the US banks have made over the last 10 years, a lot of which has now been given back.
    – You start repeating yourself about here in your post. The cause of this crisis wasn’t Glass Steagall repeal, wasn’t a secret plan by banking insiders etc etc. The root cause is inappropriate levels of leverage caused by a too free availability of liquidity just like every other financial crisis we have ever had and just like every other financial crisis we will have. Blame Greenspan.

    I could actually get into greater detail but I’ve wasted way too much time already.

    Oh and by the way, the bit about “Everything gorango is so religious about except of course this once.” That comment wasnt in relation to anything we have been discussing here – it was only about the Brash comments – how I couldn’t equate the Orewa Brash with the Brash I used to work for (at a very junior level) back in the early 90’s. And how I cant logically recdoncile the two so therefore I’ll just the discount the version I dont like.

    And if you want to read a really great book about investment banks, one that also explains the genesis of mortgage trading in the early 80’s (Louis Ranieri at Salomon) read Liars Poker by Michael Lewis.

  62. Hi gomango,

    Thank you for your reaction. I apologise for my initial snide remark. I’m used to defending myself against trolls and may have over reacted.

    My blog is used by a great many visitors as an alternative news source around the globe. Last month I had 13,009 hits. 46% of my readers are from NZ, 32% are from the US, almost 4% are from the UK, some 3% are from Australia and the rest are from as far away as Iran, Guadalupe, Morocco, Thailand and Russia to name a few. Not bad for a little, one person blog.

    I don’t invite comments and a lot of comments I do get are not for public reading but to give me info I might not otherwise get.

    Typo’s, as much as try to avoid them, are mostly due to the fact that English is my second language. I arrived here three years ago with my Kiwi husband of 21 one years. So please point hem out to me but bear with me too.

    I, together with a fair amount of other Kiwi’s, are working together with 911family members, Scientists, Fire fighters, Pilots and Air traffic controllers , Architects and Engineers, ,a href=’http://www.v911t.org/SergeantLauroChavez.php’>US Veterans, <a href=’http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6529813972926262623Journalists and Film makers’> and thousands of other good American patriots to force the US Government into making funds available for a new and independent investigation into the events of 911. Not because we theorise about what might have happened because we don’t know but because the official “Conspiracy theory” can not have happened.

    I know many of the above professionals personally and I can assure you most of them were good solid Republican voters untill they started to research 911 and all of them are sane and intelligent people but like me they have problems with the official story.

    Now back to John Key. In order to understand where I’m coming from and why I think that the financial crisis has a sinister undertone you might want to watch Money Masters and Money as debt and this lecture by G. E. Griffin.

    I have met G. E. Giffin and had a chance to talk with him and to ask him what he thought about John Key running for Prime Minister. His answers were fairly blunt; when asked him what to expect if John Key became PM, he said, “expect him to sell your country to his banking and mining mates and he will throw in his mother with the deal.” (I know she is dead but you get his drift) .
    Second I asked him is it possible he was groomed by the FRNY and he said,”It has happened before.”

    Judging by the fact that John Key needs constant PR and is protected by his minders from unprepared (read uncensored) questions from the public and only performs well in staged events I have drawn my conclusions but feel free to differ in your opinion.

    I assume that 99.9% of investment bankers are just your average respectable traders with the occasional greedy asshole hell bent on making loads of money but otherwise still a nice guy to hang with. The “bad apple” if you will so when I’m talking about the 0.1% I’m talking about those I consider to be seriously nasty characters and I in no way condemn the entire investment banking world.

    There is a lot of information in your comments and I’ve read it all but for the sake of brevity I hope you don’t mind if I keep my response to Alan Greenspan and John Key.
    With regards to Alan Greenspan’s role the above links explain in great detail how I feel about the Federal Reserve of New York. I don’t believe in sloppiness on the part of the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve of NY and the bankers in London are the financial elite and have more power than any government on this planet. They after all “print the money”.

    I think they are an evil cabal (based on the above links) and they didn’t get there by sloppiness. They are the richest most powerful individuals and they have been for the last three hundred years. You do not get there by being sloppy. you get there by being highly intelligent, untroubled by the damage you cause to the planet and other people and generally totally ruthless. A combination of talents which I would term evil.

    This the 1% elite who owns 70% of all the real world wealth in the US. These are not people interested in a peaceful state were equality between people is encouraged. These are people who quit frankly don’t give a flying fuck about anybody but themselves and their own little tribe.

    This is a very small group of people who are masters at manipulation and one thing they know how to manipulate very well is greed and the other is fear.

    Alan Greenspan only testified in favour of the repeal of the Glass Steagal act. And the repeal of the Glass Steagall act was only the last of the systematic deregulation of the financial market. Alan Greenspan did not “rule” Wall street.
    His Wall street masters ruled him.

    Bankers Trust as many other banks traded in derivatives but Bankers Trust unlike others got caught with its bankers greedy hands in the derivatives cookie jar and the bank collapsed as a result.

    The judge in the corruption case stated that the Bankers Trust bank had a pervasive culture of corruption and deception.

    John Key lying about the Andrew Krieger and/or H-fee time line are oh, mere examples of acting corrupt and deceptive.

    He did not say in ’93 when the bank he worked for got sued for fraudulent derivative trade by one of the biggest corporations (Proctor & Gamble),”right I’m out of here, I can’t be having with corruption”.

    He <a href=’http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10522310&pnum=13said in 1995 “It all went to shit at BT and I said, right I’m out of here.” 1995 was when all the dirty linen came out and the BT collapsed.

    He was head hunted by Merrill Lynch. For what skills? Oh oops, the very same skills that caused the BT collapse. According to his own website he was the European head of Bonds and Derivatives as well as the Global head of Forex for Merrill Lynch.

    You see I don’t make this up, this is from the horses mouth and I put it to you that you don’t acquire these skills overnight. The Bond and Derivatives market is bloody complex so you have to conclude that JK was involded in the B&D trade during his tenure at BT.
    That he worked in B&D for ML is confirmed in the same NZ Herald interview. JK tells us himself that he ran the ML department were all these new products were developed.

    But then in the next paragraph he states that the products causing the subprime were only developed in 2004-2005. What you reckon, is JK perhaps a tad worried that he might be associated with the coming collapse of our financial system?

    Yes, the pinnacle of the subprime and housing bubble was from 2002 until say 2006 caused by the availability of cheap money and financial tools developed in the late nineties and in 1998 the subprime mortgage market was stimulated by the US government who basically told Fanny may and Freddy mac to give every man and his dog a mortgage.

    According to G. Kelly Martin, JK’s boss, JK was their most senior sales person during his tenure at ML. So he ran their Forex dep. (think LTCM involvement, also not something you would want your electorate to know about, being involved in the biggest Hedge fund collapse of the 90ties and the collapse of Russia) and their Bonds and Derivatives department developing all these groovy new financial products and selling them to Pension funds and other suckers worldwide as ML’s most senior salesperson knowledgeable in a great variety of financial products.

    On top of that, his PR firm have very much a history of serving the very class John Key belongs too (for want of a better term, the “Rich Prick” class and no I don’t condemn wealth as such) and the fact that the chairman of their board is none other than Robert Champion de Crespigny AC who also sits on the board of CIS (Centre for International Studies) a neoliberal think thank in Sidney together with, wait for it, Ruth “Ruthanasia” Richardson and an elite assortment of mining tycoons and banking giants.

    All this helps me not finding G Edward Griffins’s prediction that John Key will sell of this most beautiful countries assets and resources and the population be damned, all that far fetched.

    I did not set out to disgrace JK, all I did was try to learn about the politics in this beautiful country (I honestly feel that I have died and gone to heaven it is so beautiful and peaceful were I live) that has given me and my husband a new lease on live and basically be a civic minded person and this is what I found and from were I stand it ain’t looking purdy.

    Thanks for the book tip, as you may have guessed I love reading.

    And moderators, I’m sorry again for the length but could not find a way to write it more succinct. There is just a lot to tell.

  63. Ah, caught in purgatory again. help, HELP!

  64. randal 64

    dont worry Ev. Phil O’Reilly from Business New Zealand on radionz this morning said he was concerned about the the short term kneejerks of the National Party on the long term prospects of the economy so it looks like they dont have all that much support from their supposed base.

  65. Awesome,

    I wouldn’t trust an investment banker who made his money thinking as short term as it gets with my long term business plans either. LOL.

    Captcha: landlords rescue. LOL

  66. gomango,

    Just to set something straight. I don’t accuse John Key of single-handedly bringing
    Merril Lynch down. All I try to point out is the inconsistencies in JK’s narrative in were he was during all the major scandals his banks have been involved in.

    And to point out that rather than a small cog in a big machine he was a big cog very close to where the the financial collapse is coming from in the right time to set in motion to what is now becoming a nightmare for the entire global economy.

  67. ev, how’s it looking in there.. hot sweaty or dry baking ..? 🙂

    This aint rescue.. I already had the J-word advisory from lprent.. figures.. but you can take courage from your obvious interest in the subject and there’s one helluvah lot to take an interest in.. plus I admire your sense of humor.. and what that enables your posts achieve.

    Coming to Mr. Gekko.. you’ll maybe recall how the young fellow takes him to lunch and bye and bye receives the putdown all BSDs issue from their special reserve cachet: “so long as you aint number 14 in the team (tagging me)”.

    Simulating if you will what gomango is saying with respect to market player teams and groups.. along wall street.

    gomango, Mrs Thatcher.. i doubt folks today can admire her “politics”. As with all rising political stars the attitude hardens as they go on up. To become flagpoles rather than flags for all the dims and dumbs following, few of whom realise how she in turn – (monetary policy-wise) – had been following the talented Mike Joseph, sadly deceased too early. In those times, of course, Reagan, Pinochet and our own kiwi caricature, tho hardly as I said for the politics.

    short-selling = greater liquidity would surely have been ‘proven’ in times of reasonable liquidity levels. And so professed of value during illiquity. Without actual proof it was bald hit-and-miss assertion. naked short-selling OTOH was taking libs.. a tad too far.. wouldn’t you say!

    Which outfits were pushing CDOs in your time there.. and re “root causes” i think we all need go back some on pre-leverage. Greed has to have more than opportunity.. it must make it for one.. who IYO were the guys behind G-Steagall repeal? Asking not, you understand, from a now and/or likely interpretive (of beneficiaries) pov, but in terms of street talk prior.

    brash.. I’m inclined agree with you re Don’s personality. Orewa.. I have a tenuous meme which keeps on suggesting that he was maybe following a speechwriter.. hooten(?) has laid claim to some of his though I’m far from sure about that one. So i guess given time and opp one could check the actual speech iteration with any officially authorised transcript..

    time to go.. lprent’s bandwidth.. et cetera..

  68. gomango 69

    I cant do this any more – please,please put your ideology to the side and just talk facts. And when you finish with the facts speculate on what is most likely. Yor’re still trying to connect unrealted issues by putting them into close proximity.

    One last fact check before I go and do something productive in the garden.
    – sane and intelligent. Ummm – I’ll take your word at face value at least for awhile : )
    – the maggie thatcher quote was just a reminder that unless people argue on facts and reasoned, supportable opinion theres no point. You’ve lost the audience.
    – Banking and mining mates? I don’t see why people on the fringe left have a pathological knee jerk reaction to whoever is leader of NP. Nor do I see why those on the right have the same reaction to Helen. In both cases some of what people say is true, but most is exaggerated, not supported by facts. From both sides.
    – the new world order/illuminati/freemasons/eye on the pyramid us bank notes/international jewish conspiracy are clearly ludicrous. I guess belief in these is harmless enough but seriously….. do you really believe this? I mean Key is Jewish, his mother was Austrian, Austria is next door to Switzerland which is where the illuminati hide their money, so maybe Key is part of the global Jewish conspiracy to dominate world finance. And sell NZ assets to his mining mates. They would be Sleepy, Dozy, Grumpy and the other 4.
    – yes his title does say that, but his most senior job was global head of FX. In any case the other isnt it a bad thing. Do you know what beoing heada of a business really means? Budgetting. Planning headcount. Managing the egos of a bunch of highly strung, needy, pushy staff trying to outdo each other. Ensuring everyone follows the compliance rules. Ensuring risk management is done correctly. Schmoozing clients. Travelling 4 days out of 5. Reporting to regulators. I betcha John Key would not have traded significantly in his last 3 years at ML. He became a manager.
    – I know a fact at BT Key was primarily an FX trader in the early days, a manager of FX and wider business in his later days. But in any case theres nothing wrong with knowing about bonds and derivatives. They are not some spooky secret weapon that bankers can program to blow up clients and enrich themseleves. Sometimes that is the effect but the main problem is (repeat again and again) “inapproriate use of leverage”. And maybe the investor not understanding what they bought (Think Orange county).
    – He will be associated with “the coming collapse” (which by the way wont happen only in the same way I will. Or in the way you would be implicated if you’d worked at (say) the local pet shop 4 years ago, but all their stock dies tomorrow.
    – FNMA and FHLMC weren’t told to give everyone easy mortgages. A democrat controlled congress widened the critieria in which mortgages became conforming (and this eligible for the sovereign guarantee) for a good reason – widening home ownership amongst the poorer and minorities, but the laq of unintended consequences kicked in pretty quickly. They also created programs to make non-conforming mortgages eligible for special treatment. Tha was the real problem. Greed then took over as originators (this is the US equivalent of Mike Pero etc) realised they could get paid a grand or two every time they signed up someone for a mortgage which the smaller regional banks would then sell to securitisiation businesses who would then place the MBS created from these mortgages with institutional investors.
    – things go shit in every business often. In banking it is almost always a very small group of people who do it. Think Barings. The Salomon Bidding Scandal. Grubman etc dodgy internet research. The Citigroup manipulation of Euro Govt futures a few years back. Zilllions of other examples. A small group of people got greedy, lax oversight, weak management or poor systems enabled them to think they’d get away with it. They get caught, fired, fined, sometimes go to jail. Management above them usually gets fired too. Firm cops a whacking great fine. I’ve worked at firms where things like this have happened (Salomon, Citibank). Honestly, resigning never crossed my mind. Why should I resign because some twat with nothing to do with me does something illegal. I tell you what everyone who has worked more than a couple of years does. They make a mental note” watch out for that potentially awkward situation that could eventually lead you to a bad place.” The first step by most of these bad eggs would not have been illegal but it probably was in grey area between ethical black and ethical white. And then relativism takes over “it was only a little breach”. “It wasn’t that dishonest”. Soon you’re in jail.
    – LTCM was one of my clients when I worked in London. I can tell you exactly why they failed. They had a leverage position of somewhere between 150 and 200 times. The stochastic models they used made certain assumptions about the statistical distribution of price moves in the assets they were long and short. Several things happened, amongst them: their distribution assumptions were wrong and what were allegedly statistically impossible moves went against them. One large trade they had on – long govt guaranteed danish mortgage bonds, short IR swaps and futuures. As this moved against them they had to unwind the position. As they unwound the position, other market particiapents backed away. Market moved more. Vicisous cycle, large price moves no liquidity. Margin call. Havent got the money. you should also read “When Genius Failed. by Roger Lowenstein. Also good reading is The Black Swan by Nassim Talib. Get through some of this reading as opposed to the conspiracy websites and your arguments will become way more coherent.
    – better example for FX and hedge Funds is Tiger in 98 dropping 3 or 4 billion on a 20% dollar/yen move in one day. But that had nothing to do with John Key – even though I would imagine Tiger were one of Merrills largest FX clients and Key would have known them well – it was a risky trade that went wrong, and there wasnt enough market liquifdity to unwind in a hurry.

    – Edward Griffin – where do you start……… John Birch society. Thats probably enough. I question why he would have an opinion on Key except one that springs from the fact that “he’s a rich banker”. I can understand a person who sees a conspiracy in one area – it may well be true (think Erin Brockovich) but where you can find conspiracies in multiple areas – cmon….. Fed, Cancer, Noahs Ark, 911, communists under the bed, etc. Really cmon. “It’s not an ark, it’s a rock.”

    Look a more interesting challenge for you would be to indicate some deepset character flaws in Key – does he eat children? if so how many? How many puppies has he strangled. Does he sleep with transvestites? And for balance the same applies to Helen Clark – so far all we have to go on is Ian Wishart.

    I would bet an awful lot of money with you that neither Key nor Clark (nor anyone else in NZ politics – one or two of the nuttier greens excepted), neither Key nor Clarke have secret plans to do anything for ulterior selfish motives. You may not agree with what they do or how they want to do it but I think I am safe in saying that both firmly believe they are doing something positive for NZ society as a whole.

    Key doesnt have to do this political thing – he could play golf 5 days a week, have nice holidays whenever he wants and run some interesting businesses for fun.

    – I try not to use Wikipedia to find facts to suit an argument but I will just once. This next paragraph is lifted from their conspiracy theory page. Please go thru these tests when you write something (after you have removed anything that is innuendo or a proximity association). Your theories will become much more robust if you can weave your way thru these 5 tests. In fact if you tidy up your narrative on Key, delete bad facts, heroic assumptions and innuendo by association it would be much stronger. If you can prove your narrative on a piece of paper with lines and explanations between the different fact boxes (thats point 2 below) I’d be impressed.

    * Occam’s razor – does the alternative story explain more of the evidence than the mainstream story, or is it just a more complicated and therefore less useful explanation of the same evidence?
    * Logic – Do the proofs offered follow the rules of logic, or do they employ Fallacies of logic?
    * Methodology – are the proofs offered for the argument well constructed, i.e., using sound methodology? Is there any clear standard to determine what evidence would prove or disprove the theory?
    * Whistleblowers – how many people ? and what kind ? have to be loyal conspirators?
    * Falsifiability – Is it possible to demonstrate that specific claims of the theory are false, or are they “unfalsifiable”?

    One last question – interested in your comment about global leaders calling for a global currency. Can you link to this pls?

  69. Lew 70

    gomango: May you succeed where so many others have failed!


  70. gomango 71

    travellerev – i have a longer note caught in moderation, but forgot to comment on two points.

    The h-fee issue – if you’ve read the facts on this you’ll know it it is factually impossible for Key to be involved in this beyond what has aready been reported and confirmed by Charles Sturt.

    Re Andy Krieger – I don’t know hwhat your link links to, but heres an interesting anecdote. Krieger’s FX trading (from BT in Ny or boston?) in the NZD was causing such volatility the RBNZ got very nervous about the effect it was haveing on market liquidity and the maintenance of an orderly market (one of the RBNZ’s primary functions). The deputy governor phoned BT managment and asked them to stop this from happening. And guess what. It worked!

  71. gomano,

    Yes, I agree there is no way you can connect John Key to the H-fee scandal.
    I wasn’t trying to either.

    What I was trying to point out that John Key tells us he left well before the H-fee plan was hedged in one interview whereas he tells us he was still working for Elders when Andrew Krieger raided the NZ dollar. In fact the NZ herald states twice that “the records will show” that John Key could not have worked with Andrew Krieger during the raid. i would love to see those records, wouldn’t you?

    Since Andrew Krieger left the Bankers Trust in February 1988 and this is an article from the NY Times archive attesting to the date and here is an interview with Andrew Krieger and what he did in the time between the Bankers trust days and 1990 (In another it even says it was by the end of 1987) because he was miffed that he only got less than a paltry 1% of the $ 338 million he made for Bankers Trust in that raid (I’d be miffed too) and only had a three month stint with Soros he can’t have been working with John Key in 1988 because one of the causes in his buy out contract was a three month grace period. That is an inconsistency in the John Key narrative, no?

    Yet John Key and his then boss gush over John Key’s relationship with Krieger and the many millions of dollars of trade John Key had to do for him.

    So my question is why the clear inconsistencies and show us those records. I know that currency trade is done by all banks and have no opinion about it. People buy and sell currencies every day. So what is the big deal?

    But when a politician vying for the highest office of the land goes all shifty on something like this I want to know about it. Don’t you?

    By the way at the time Andrew Krieger at 32 was the global head of forex for Bankers trust, living in New York and dealing with John Key from New York (according to JK and his boss). So even in this lofty managerial position he was still very much on hands. What I find telling is the fact that JK and his boss remembers that AK called JK for the first time and asked him all about the NZ currency. Why would he do that if he had raided the currency already. He would know all the ins and outs already wouldn’t he, having almost destroyed the NZ dollar once before.

    One world currency links are here, here to name a few.

    About the Jewish conspiracy thing. Banking is not and never was limited to the Jewish community, one of America’s biggest banking families is the Bush family for example. W’s grand daddy made the bulk of his loot by financing Hitler and he made tons of money of the steel industry and the slave labour provided by the prisoners of Auschwitz

    Informing yourself with the video links I gave you would be a good first step to get a different perspective on the banking world.

    Don’t infantilize this debate by bringing in hateful and narrow minded “conspiracy theories” just because I experience the events from a different perspective based on my own research and that of the documenters of well researched and well supported video’s. I didn’t get here overnight but after three years of reading and watching everything I could find on the subject and being of European descent and having grown up in the aftermath of the second WWII with a great many of my parents friends being of Jewish descent and barely having the survived the Holocaust and many still deeply grieving the loss of the their friends and family I found that thankfully those who want to blame “the Jews” to be only a very small and fringe group of those of us wanting to ask questions.

    I reject fully and forcefully the stigmatisation of one religious group or the other (such as for most people it is easier to believe that 19 hateful Muslims did 911 lead by a loony Mullah in a cave because they hate our freedoms, even when it is scientifically impossible for them to have been able to have perpetrated this heinous act, than it is to keep an open mind and ask questions such as: Why did a third building build to withstand a nuclear blast, not hit by a plane, collapse in 6.5 seconds into a pyrochlastic flow into it’s own foot print after only small office fires had been roaming around in the building. It was not sufficiently damaged for this to happen so why did it happen. You should go to the fire fighters website and see what they have to say about it.) and will not under any condition allow myself to be dragged into discussions about any group or religion based on hateful and narrow minded prejudices, but neither will I walk away from discussing issues like Israel’s behaviour towards the Palestinians for example.

    So whether JK is Jewish or not is neither here nor there (Some of my secular Jewish friends say that Judaism is a religion and not a race. An interesting observation) but if after his election JK will start to make policies which will greatly benefit Israel while being detrimental to the Palestinian/Israeli peace process I will raise my voice.

    I heard about the Anecdote.

    About the Conspiracy theory thing.

    If you tell someone that you think that John Key met Sir Aschcroft in secret to discuss who was going to buy what after the election you would be theorising.

    If you state that JK and LA met in secret and JK only came clean when confronted than it is save to say they were conspiring. Two powerful men meeting secretly meets the definition of a conspiracy. What we don’t know is about what. Or whether it’s a good or a bad conspiracy.

    If powerful people like JK lie it is our civic duty to ask questions. To be ridiculed as a conspiracy theorist because you ask questions is annoying but sticks and stones and such.

    If by asking questions I can stop the people of this country from making a terrible mistake than that will be worth it.

    And quit frankly only assholes like Lew and d4j and HS still go there. There’s a lot of people here who might not agree with me on 911 but no longer call me a CT any more with regards to JK and the pending global financial collapse.

  72. Yo Zin,

    Thanks a bunch. LOL.

    I reckon at this moment in time there is a lot of cold sweat on most of the cogs brows causing the machine to rust from the inside out. LOL.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if JK bought his condo in Hawaii just in case things go pear shaped. He must have seen this coming from a mile away. Gngngngngnah.

    Any chance you telling me how to do the smiley thing? Cause Iprent hasn’t found the time yet to put it on her FAQ sheet. (That’s because we giver her to much to read, poor thing)

  73. gomango,

    Interesting testing tools your conspiracy testing tools. Thanks for that.

    So far we have no idea what the hell really happened and theorising does not get you anywhere but it will be interesting to apply these tools to the official “conspiracy theory” because that is the only theory offered so far.

  74. EV, smiley..? like you I went to FAQ.. no luck.. but since I’d asked it occurred to me how the smiley.gif code could only be available from either a certain date or bcos my end-their end was compatible..

    suggest you follow me doing the following after the big dash — colon halfdash round close bracket. Ignore the spaces, tap those keys(3) and voila 🙂 !

    the halfdash is important, no dash (some folks still try for that way but the gif file canna recognise this..

    a buddy I know has suggested you grab a free online journal or something and like archive in maybe a couple of longish posts what stands for your thesis in the above, then instead of it getting in the way of regular flow link to it..

    Blogos savvy folks do prefer this kind if thing.. just a thort..

  75. gomango 76


    I should know better but here goes again.

    I’ve raised around 20 points where something you’ve claimed in your essay is either provably untrue or exagerated. And yet your opinion hasn’t changed one iota – you just move on, ignore the points that no longer fit your theory, but still then charge on the with the same theory. Have you ever written critically at school, university or in the workplace? If you need to use faith as your main logical platform

    A case in point – very simple to underestand. You refer to “the fact that global leaders are now talking about a single global currency”

    What? Where? When? You provide links – thank you.

    But have you actually read the stories you linked to? Where is any reference to global leaders talking about a single global currency? In the first brown never refers to currency, even obliquely. In the second, Nowotny talks about a more balanced mix of currencies in global finance – USD, EUR and JPY with USD being less dominant than it is now. And Sarkozy thinks a return to Bretton Woods style agreements (which doesnt imply one global currency as you had to worry about relativity to gold, and countries still had the ability to re or devalue their currency in 10% chunks to cope with adjustment pressures despite the peg) would be good, a point central banker Nowotny disagrees with in the same story. If you read more widely what Sarkozy was proposing, it is actually “stricter regulation on financial institutions, curb bonus packages for bankers, overhaul international accounting rules and reshape policies on foreign exchange rates.” And “the “role and functioning” of the International Monetary Fund should be “rethought.” At the Nov 15 conference I bet you anything you like there will not be a call or a discussion or even a passing reference in the official communique about a “single global currency”.

    So where is the “the fact that global leaders are now talking about a single global currency.” It doesnt exist!

    There are at least a dozen other facts you have stated which can be deconstructed in exactly the same manner. I’d really like you to rewrite your essay more autoritatively. Prove the facts, provide references, get rid of loose associations and the taints by association. I think you could still tell a good story that people without an anti-Key ideological angle to start with could read and follow without giving up half way thru. Facts and numbers, that what you need.

    And back on to Andy Krieger – he was never “global head of forex for Bankers trust”. He started work at Salomon in 1984, went to BT in 1986, went to Soros in 1988 for about 3 months and then started his own firm in 1988. At BT he was only ever a vice president – they are below the directors who are below managing directors but VP’s are above associates (they are new graduates). I have heard him describe himself as global head of fx options trading – at BT I would guess that means he had maybe 6 people at most reporting to him? And it sounds very much like the self granted title your boss agrees you can have to keep you happy in lieu of a bigger bonus. I was once grandly titled Regional Head of Structured Products for Asia. I had precisely zero people reporting to me!

    And if you actually read the stories you link to you’ll see Key never claimed he dealt with Krieger while Krieger was at BT. It just says he dealt with Krieger. Maybe while Krieger was working at Quantum or when Krieger set up his own hedge fund. Maybe? Remember – Occams Razor. The absence of evidence of a cover up is not firm evidence that a successful cover up occurred!

    And you really should read Liars Pokers – you’ll understand the culture and workings of investment banks so much better.

  76. gomango,

    I only pick one issue to pinpoint an inconsistency because this is not my blog and I don’t want to come back on every issue because of bandwidth. I’m not avoiding issues.

    In this interview Bankers trust JK and AK are indelibly connected. A JK narrative inconsistency.

    I apologise. I read so much sometimes I don’ get the most appropriate links.

    You give a lot of what seems to be your opinion but no links to verify. The BBC link to the subprime timeline gives the graph which shows clearly that the subprime mortgage sales gathered steam in 1998.

    I give you a lot of links have you checked all of them? Especially the fire fighters on the destruction of evidence?

    In the link to the NY times interview with AK he clearly states that he left trading altogether after his stint with Soros until his return in 1990 in the mean time he did advisory work.

    And I will read your book, which is probably about the 99,9% of honest but some of them greedy traders.

    I agree with the Occams Razor rule but when powerful people actively sabotage an independent investigation into a crime against their own people and the investigation that occurred leaves everybody except those powerful men dissatisfied you are obliged to keep on asking questions no?

    Interesting observation about titles and bonusses and the need to make yourself seem bigger than you are. I have never had a tittle other than sous chef (I love food endeavour to make my own cheese etc) aeons ago.

    About the global currency. We’ll see what happens eh? So far I’ve been right about the financial collapse and I’m fairly confident that it’s going to get a whole lot worse and that eventually they will come up with a global currency).

    In the mean time our local Transition town project is considering our own local currency. Fiat and based on trust (always risky) and local produce (equally risky but who’d you rather trust; your local organic food growers or JK and his international banking mates?)

  77. gomango 78

    This is definitely my last post on this – it’s impossible to have a rewarding conversation with someone who keeps changing where the goalposts are.

    In two posts you have gone from “global leaders are talking about one world currency” to “About the global currency. We’ll see what happens eh? So far I’ve been right about the financial collapse and I’m fairly confident that it’s going to get a whole lot worse and that eventually they will come up with a global currency).”

    And there are at least another dozen incidences of that in your narrative. You are not exactly covering yourself in factual glory.

    And study or at least read some mainstream economics texts about how monetary policy and exchange rate mechanisms – you’ll see we dont have global pegs for a reason.

    I’m not interested in the 9/11 conspiracy. Far more interesting is the wider story of the neocon influence on US policy. But thats not as interesting in the CIA planting bombs in the Deutsche Bank tower.

    I stand by the gist of what I am saying: No one outside your own world of like minded conspiracy theorists will take you seriously if you ignore some facts, make up other facts, assert relationships between unrelated events, continuously read between the lines for the hidden agenda which must be there – time and time again you assert proof of a conspiracy because the lack of evidence pointing toward a conspiracy is proof that a conspiracy was successful so therefore the conspiracy must exist. It makes my head spin. Do you have any idea how many people must be complicit in order for some of these things to be true? (Thats the fourth test you get to.)

    Enrol in a university course that will teach you the art of critical writing and discipline. If you approach every issue from an entrenched ideological position you wont see half the things worth seeing. The best journalists provide a survey of all relevant facts before drawing conclusions. Thats why both Nicky Hagar and Ian Wishart are crap at reaching the mainstream (despite both having put together great stories from time to time) do and only have resonance within their own political axis. Everyone else discounts them because they are “politically motivated.”
    They both are guilty of ignoring obvious facts :

    “And why behold you the mote that is in your brother’s eye, but consider not the beam that is in your own eye?”

    And which one of your local organic food growers is growing electricity? Petrol? Cotton fabric? Computers? Internet connectivity? Medical services? Shoes? Coffee? Tea? Dentistry services? Toiletries? Paper? Telephones? Cars? Insurance?

    Pop into vodafone with a bag of carrots and some home brewed beer next time you need to pay your phone bill! I guess a cabbage backed currency has one advantage over a gold standard – you can always eat your currency peg if you get hungry…….

  78. gomango, “I guess a cabbage backed currency has one advantage over a gold standard – you can always eat your currency peg if you get hungry .”

    Excuse me my fun – the retort — though starve thou shalt reliably do if thine diet is solely money!

    EV, I guess your keyboard is not capatible with the standard server/system.. LOL it is..

  79. gomano,

    My own little world?

    Two years ago 70 million adult Americans thought that they had been lied too and they want a new investigation.
    84% of the Russian population don’t believe the official conspiracy theory.
    And in Europe considerable segments of the population don’t believe the official story and that segment is growing. So I don’t feel very alone or locked up in my small conspiracy world.

    The only western country still very much naive on the subject is New Zealand.
    Happy to send its soldiers into Afghanistan because they feel that the Americans are still the good guys and we are only over there to “help”.
    In many European countries (Norway, England, Italy, France), Japan and the US leading politicians are asking questions and are on record as sceptics of the official conspiracy theory.

    The events of 911 may not be of interest to you but to 70.000 first responders and New Yorkers who are dying of the dust of the building they breathed in the attacks are still very much ongoing. Especially since their government won’t help these heroes in their struggles with medical support or money.

    To the Iraqis who had nothing whatsoever to with the events of 911 the attacks are still very much going on while their country has been destroyed their lives shattered by the US army.

    And to the Afghans civilians who had nothing whatsoever to do with the events of 911 the attacks are still very much going on with their country being destroyed and their lives shattered. Some of them are actually inviting the Taliban back because they feel saver under their rule.

    To the family members who lost loved ones on that day and who are still looking for answers and whose attempts to find out what really happened on that day are being sabotaged at every corner by their government the attacks are still very much going on.

    For the soldiers families who lost their sons and daughters are dying or who come home maimed or fucked up from the wars which were started as a result of these attacks, the attacks are still very much ongoing.

    For the thousands of illegally detained “terror” suspects (amongst which children as young as 12 who have been tortured and isolated from their families for many, many years the attacks are still very much ongoing.

    So perhaps this is not about you and me but about setting the record straight and allowing all these people to get some justice and closure because 7 years after these events and with every basic human right eroded in the US perhaps going back to that crucial day might not be such a bad idea. It was that day after all that made it all possible.

    I really enjoyed Nicky Hager’s books and found them well researched and supported by documentation actually.

    Did I say I was against money? I have to pay my rent, electricity (almost of the grid though) etc. and thank god my husband has a job he really likes but it’s amazing how you have no problem with inflation and rising prices when bartering for food. So we cover both ways of generating wealth.

    Actually it was WTC 7, biggest CIA head outside of the one Virginia, Giuliani’s super bunker and twice reinforced in order to withstand a nuclear blast It also contained the dossiers of the Enron case and a great many fraud cases of Wall street bankers.

    No steel framed skyscraper has collapsed due to office fires before or after 911 yet WTC 7 collapses in 6.5 seconds into a fine powder into it’s own footprint.

    You know what that means? We don’t have to hire expensive firms to do controlled demolitions anymore. All we have to do is set the building on fire and let it burn four about six hours and poof dust cloud. Problem sorted.

    To get back to JK you don’t enter into that one any more. In the Sunday Star Times
    John Key and his boss both state that Andrew Krieger called John Key from his Bankers Trust office in New York. Conclusion; something does not add up. Either he was working with AK while AK was raiding this countries currency or he lies about the timeline.

    I really would like to see those records that prove that John Key did not work with AK in 1987.

  80. bugger did the linking wrong

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