Neo-liberal economics

Has NZ been left with a financial T-Rex?

New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key has resigned.  I’m surprised at the timing – just after the Kaikoura earthquakes, and on the same day that Italy’s prime minister resigned.

It reminds me of that scene in Jurassic Park where the kids got left with T-Rex.  But let’s hold that uneasy thought for the time being.

he-left-us

Key should have resigned like he promised when it was proven that the GCSB is carrying out mass surveillance of us New Zealanders.  But when the Snowden revelations did indeed show that in 2015, nothing happened.  At least he would have had some credibility if he’d kept his word.

But he hasn’t kept his word.

For instance, he wasn’t going to raise the GST tax.   John Key’s changing opinion on GST rise.

On gay marriage – before his government passed it into law in 2013, he previously said “he did not believe there was a big demand for gay marriage in NZ and that civil unions were enough.”

Has John Key left big shoes to fill?  No, those big shoes look more like flip flops.

John Key flip flops like a girl changes clothes

His comments were flip and his neo-liberal financial leadership was a flop.

flip-flops2

So what has John Key done in the three terms he’s been in?

He raised GST to 15%, turned NZ into a tax haven for the one percent, sold NZ land to overseas investors thereby pricing our children out of the domestic housing market, signed NZ up to the TPP, sold state houses – which forced vulnerable NZ families into living in cars, and under his watch New Zealand’s gross debt has soared to a whopping half trillion dollars.

That’s what we know he’s done.  So what’s happening behind the scenes that we don’t know about?

How about New Zealand’s exposure to derivatives? 

Former Canterbury University accountancy lecturer Dr Susan Newberry, now professor of accounting at Sydney University’s business school, still keeps a fascinated eye on the “New Zealand experiment”. And some of what she sees she finds a little alarming.

Does the average Kiwi know the country’s balance sheet now has a derivatives exposure of $180b, she asks? That is rather a lot of those “financial weapons of mass destruction”.

It means the NZ tax-payer is on the hook if it all goes wrong and there is the international equivalent of a bank-imposed mortgagee sale. (Think Greece, Iceland and Ireland.)

But hey, what could go wrong?  It’s like 2008 never happened!

John Key was directly involved in the development of derivatives – the financial contracts and credit default swaps that no-one understands, which led to the toxic sub-prime housing loans, which led to the Global Financial Crisis. The likes of Merrill Lynch and the Bankers Trust profited from foreign exchange trades and derivatives speculation at the expense of national economies.

In transforming NZ into a tax haven and creating the speculative housing bubble, he’s done the same thing to NZ that he did to Ireland, when as head of global foreign exchange for investment giant Merrill Lynch he shifted a considerable amount of his business to Ireland in the mid-1990s to take advantage of a 10% tax rate for foreign investors.

Fran O’Sullivan: Key chases luck o’ the Irish

That’s what you get when you elect a banker for Prime Minister.  He’s done really well for the one percent.

Meanwhile, have we in NZ been left with a financial T-Rex?

derivatives

Other links:
The great big list of John Key’s big fat lies

Another Very Short Collection of John Key’s Lies

Trading Places: Running NZ like an investment fund

Don’t let the door hit your arse on your way out Johnny

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A shaken nation

At midnight on the day globalists John Kerry (US Secretary of State) and John Key (prime minister of NZ) met in Wellington, NZ suffered another huge earthquake.  It did damage to the top part of the South Island and the capital, Wellington.

This quake was different because it was actually two huge earthquakes that happened simultaneously. Two earthquakes, that lasted two minutes, with two people dead, affecting two islands (the North and South Island) – and the land has undergone a two-metre shift south of Marlborough …with aftershocks felt in Seddon.

(The fact that Seddon is affected again is significant. I’ve explained in a previous post that the prominent statue of Richard Seddon outside NZ’s Parliament Buildings has come to represent the authority of the government in NZ. Is the nation being shaken because the government is again doing something out of its mandated authority?)

And all this has happened during a super-moon and before a huge storm.  There were also strange lights, seen flashing across the sky in Wellington while the earth shook. These lights are an extremely rare occurrence, happening in only 0.5% of earthquakes.

Strange bright lights flash across Wellington sky during earthquake

What was the reason for Kerry and Key’s meeting?  Ostensibly Kerry had stopped into NZ on his way back from a trip to observe “climate change” in Antarctica – even though NASA found that it is not possible to say whether it is warming or cooling overall, and the ice sheets aren’t melting.

The real reason he was in NZ was probably to plan a way to get the TPPA finalised before Trump quite rightly puts a kibosh on the deal.

US Secretary of State John Kerry meets with John Key in Wellington with the future of TPPA on the line

Kerry and Key are not New Zealand’s friends. They are a threat to New Zealand’s sovereignty.

The TPPA has been negotiated in secret, aided by a compliant media. New Zealanders are not privy to this deal. It’s frightening.

Free trade agreements are not about jobs; they are about strengthening corporate power and maximising dividend returns to shareholders. Under the TPPA, corporations will be able to sue our government with lawsuits conducted in secret, foreign tribunals.

APEC is another globalist trade bloc designed to benefit the oligarchs.  This quake has forced John Key to delay his trip to APEC in Peru until later in the week.

Bollard, former governor of New Zealand’s central bank said “Many of the 21 APEC economies are seeing a rise in anti-globalization sentiment, and a key topic for the leaders in Peru will be on what this means for global trade.

Bollard believes the backlash against formal trade deals may lead members to conclude that APEC — which is non-legally binding, consensus-driven and takes incremental steps — is more crucial, as it works on a range of areas like food security and reducing inequality.”   Source: Leaders of TPP nations to review options with US President Obama

I shudder to think what “food security” and “equality” are going to look like.

Again I ask, is the earthquake a sign that the NZ government acting outside of its mandated authority?  The pattern of ‘two’s associated with this quake appear to be a sign, but God knows what it means.  I’m just thankful there wasn’t more loss of life.

It is significant this earthquake happened on the same day in history that New Zealand’s first governor, Governor George Grey arrived – on the 14 November 1845.

Coincidence?

Parliamentary Service has also released CCTV footage from the Speaker’s corridor, showing portraits of previous Prime Ministers swaying and banging against the walls.

http://www.newshub.co.nz/nznews/underneath-parliament-in-a-quake-2016111416

nz-prime-ministers-nov-2016

"From dissension, envy, hate,
And corruption guard our State,
Make our country good and great,
God defend New Zealand."

Links

Another major earthquake in New Zealand.

Leaders of TPP nations to review options with US President Obama

CERN boffins see strange … oh, wait, that’s just New Zealand moving 2m north

Enormous Earthquakes Hit Both Sides Of The Pacific And Experts Warn The San Andreas Could ‘Unzip All At Once’

Rue Britannia

newbritanniaWe’ve got a new word since Britain’s historic EU vote – BREGRET, which is Brexit + Regret.  Also the saying “Rue Britannia.”  I think Britannia has a lot more to rue about than second thoughts.

Why the regret in Britain over the way they voted?   Why go into a referendum not understanding the issues?  It’s unbelievable for such an important issue.

Despite having more knowledge at our finger tips than any other generation, the second top question in Google after the referendum results were out was “What is the EU?”

Seriously?Brexit questions

4Here’s four things about the EU:

The Treaty of Rome enshrined the ‘four freedoms’, requiring the unrestricted circulation of goods, persons, services, and capital. It placed competition at the centre of the European framework. This capitalist utopia clearly involved more than a free trade area.

Much has changed since the 1970s, including the development of the EEC, with nine member states to today’s economic and political union of 28 countries.

Today’s Eurosceptics made four, interconnected, points;

  1. In 1973, the UK agreed to join a loose free trade area. There was no suggestion that they would otherwise suffer any loss of political and economic sovereignty, or be ‘ruled from Brussels’.
  2. Even this change in their national status demanded, as a matter of constitutional principle, that the British people be given a voice in a referendum.
  3. However, that referendum was fought on a false prospectus. The European project was, in truth, a much more extensive attempt by a metropolitan elite (in London and Brussels) to grab power for itself. So there must be a further referendum.
  4. The UK has a bright future outside the EU. Freed from the shackles of European bureaucracy, it will have the best of both worlds. On the one hand, European countries will be compelled to trade with them, because of their economic strength. On the other hand, they will be able much more easily to do business with Asia and the rest of the world.   Source: The case for Brexit: lessons from the 1960s and 1970s

Enoch PowellIt seems the Brits want their country back.  I hear the accusations of xenophobia – but what’s wrong with safeguarding borders, boundaries, rules and laws that are there for a reason?

In April 1968 British politician Enoch Powell warned of the dangers of “communalism”, and specifically of those caused by mass immigration.  Was he right?

enochpowell

 

NZ government in denial over housing crisis

Auckland Housing Crisis cartoonNew Zealand has got a previously unheard of problem – homeless families are sleeping in cars, while nearly half of the houses in our largest city Auckland (49%) are being snapped up by foreign investors and then sitting there empty!  The Chinese were the biggest group.  Last year in June it was 41% of Auckland homes. 

John Key, our prime minister and former banker who worked at Merrill Lynch, glibly believed most of the investors in the property market would be locals.  It was clear the government either didn’t have a clue or didn’t care.  NZ doesn’t have a foreign buyers register or any rules around speculation on houses.

Last year a whistle-blower from the real estate industry said mainland Chinese money snapped up at least 80 per cent of residential sales in parts of Auckland in March but were nearer 90 per cent in May, 2015.  Of course the whistle blower lost his job.

Here’s the radio interview about it: Property insider: It’s bigger than you think
“Property speculation is rampant, and I believe on the strength of these numbers that offshore Chinese investors are a very significant part of what’s going on,” said Phil Twyford, the MP for Te Atatū.  When he was accused of being racist for pointing it out, he said “I’m speaking for young New Zealanders who want affordable home ownership. If we solve this problem, if we ban foreign buyers, that will make a big difference.”
Leaked data shows Chinese offshore buyers fuelling ‘rampant’ Auckland property speculation, Twyford says.

“What I’m saying is that there is a tsunami of Chinese investment headed towards international real estate markets, including New Zealand. These numbers are coming from Juwai.com, the preeminent Chinese website that markets real estate, including New Zealand real estate. There’s a whole industry marketing our houses to Chinese investors.”

There are more than 6,000 real estate agents in Auckland.
Here’s a quote from Juwai.com about their buyers,

“Property is investment of choice – a stable investment exemplifying wealth & status. Chinese buyers spent US$37 billion on international residential property in 2013. 70% pay cash for property purchases.”

It quoted there are 63 million upper-middle-class Chinese and 2.8 million high-net-worth Chinese.  Less than 1% of them can read English.

The Chinese have deeper pockets than New Zealanders.  Our children will be the tenants of Chinese landlords – if they’ll even rent to them.

And then we hear that while people sleep in cars as the city grapples with homelessness, more than 33,000 Auckland dwellings are officially classified empty.  They’re called ghost houses.” That’s the size of a NZ town.  Running on Empty: Auckland’s “ghost” house problem.

The Minister for Housing Nick Smith replied “Diddly Squat” when asked about the percentage of foreign property buyers.  In fobbing the journalist off, it appears our government favours money over people.

Diddly squat

Opinion: ‘Diddly squat’ – Govt incompetent on housing

This is an article from 2012: Bernard Hickey: Govt eyes blind to housing crisis


More links:

1949-state-house-in-taita

Homeless family: The realities of living in a van

Kids living in vans? I’m mad as hell