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Top 10 at 10: China's 'Last Madness'; Goldman reputation 'in tatters'; Aussie housing boom; Dilbert

Posted in News

Here are my Top 10 links from around the Internet at 10 past 6 (!). I welcome your additions and comments below or please send suggestion for Tuesday’s Top 10 at 10 bernard.hickey@interest.co.nz My huge apologies for an obscenely late Top 10 at 10 today. I got swamped with a bunch of things. Unfortunately this was not a dream.

Dilbert.com

1. Ending the China boom - China's central bank has pledged to crack down on real estate speculation and a key policy adviser has said the market is having its "Last Madness", Bloomberg reported.

Asset-price bubbles inflated by a credit boom could derail the recovery of the world’s fastest-growing major economy, which expanded 11.9 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier. China’s cabinet, the State Council, announced higher mortgage rates and down-payment ratios for second homes on April 15 after property prices jumped by a record in March.

Investors “don’t realize how strong and resolute the political will is among top leaders to curb price gains,” Li said on Central Television. The market is having its “last madness” and speculation may dissipate in a year or 18 months on extra action by local authorities and an increased supply of low-price, so-called policy homes, Li said.

2. 'We're baffled' - Australian economists are apparently stumped as to why the Australian housing market is going gangbusters, BusinessDay reports. The story above may explain something.

After five interest rate rises in seven months they wonder how auction clearance rates remained so high for so long, along with rising median house prices.

The clearance rate was at 71 per cent last October, and has averaged 71 per cent since then. Over the weekend, agents secured a 68 per cent auction clearance rate in Sydney, according to Australian Property Monitors.

The strength has occurred despite the absence of first-home buyers from the auction rooms and a softening on investor finance approvals over the past five months. ''It's a bit of a puzzle,'' said Macquarie Bank's senior economist, Brian Redican, who once worked at the Reserve Bank. ''You wonder how auction clearance rates remain very high along with house prices themselves.''

Dilbert.com

3. Boomtime in Melbourne - Natalie Puchalski at BusinessDay reports auction clearance rates in Melbourne over the weekend were 84%, the strongest in 7 years.

Though it's usually the weakest quarter, the first three months of 2010 were at their strongest since 2003, according to the REIV.

Melbourne's median house price dropped just 2 per cent to $524,500, while unit and apartment prices grew by 2 per cent to a record $450,000.

4. Closing window - KPMG has produced a report pointing out that New Zealand's agriculture sector faces hot competition from low cost producers in South America, Western China and Central Asia within 5 years, Jon Morgan reports at Stuff.

The KPMG Agribusiness Agenda report observes that these regions have the benefit of lower-cost land and labour and less complex regulatory regimes.

"In addition, they are traditionally closer to key markets, enabling them to deliver food to the customer at a significantly lower cost than a competing new farmer or grower in New Zealand could achieve," KPMG agribusiness chairman Ross Buckley said.

"This gives New Zealand companies a short buffer, maybe as little as five years, before low-cost regions are producing bulk commodity products in significant volumes and undercutting New Zealand's pricing in our traditional commodity markets."

5. Why would anyone work for a living - Welfare researcher Lindsay Mitchell points out on her blog that a sole parent, with two dependent children, renting in Auckland on the DPB could receive approximately NZ$580 per week after tax including Accommodation Supplement and other allowances. This is more than most other women could earn in a job.

The chart below tells the story. Click to see a bigger legible version.

Dilbert.com

6. Really? - AMP reckons the widening inquiry into Goldman Sachs and similar deals by other investment banks could drag global stock markets down by 10%, Bloomberg reported.

The MSCI World Index, as well as U.S. and Asian equity gauges, are ripe for a “multi-month” correction after valuations soared, said Nader Naeimi, who helps oversee $90 billion for the Sydney-based mutual-funds manager. AMP Capital last week began moving to cash assets from equities, anticipating a decline in stocks, Naeimi said.

“The Goldman inquiries have triggered a fresh wave of anxiety for investors,” Naeimi said in an interview today. “Not only is the market worried who might be next, it’s anticipating tighter regulation of the banking sector. Given how over-bought stocks had become, this may be enough to trigger the sharp correction in the overall market that we’ve been expecting.”

Dilbert.com

7. 'Reputation in tatters' - Felix Salmon at Reuters reckons Goldman Sachs' reputation is in tatters.

It seems to me that Goldman owes its clients and the public a massive apology. Blankfein has already said that Goldman “participated in things that were clearly wrong and have reason to regret”; he should make it clear that Abacus falls into that category. Instead, he’s trying to brazen it out, and is saying that the SEC’s charges are “unfounded in fact”. That might make sense from the point of view of a legal strategy, but it doesn’t make sense if he’s trying to rescue what remains of his and his firm’s reputation.

8. Head shaking material - This is hard to believe and the timing is suspicious. The SEC has released a report exposing its failings in managing somehow not to prosecute Ponzi schemester (and Texan cricketing enthusiast) Allen Stanford. Here's the Reuters version.

SEC Inspector General David Kotz said on Friday that the Fort Worth, Texas office of the SEC conducted examinations of Stanford in 1997, 1998, 2002 and 2004, "concluding in each case that Stanford's CDs were likely a Ponzi scheme or a similar fraudulent scheme."

"The only significant difference in the Examination group's findings over the years was that the potential fraud grew exponentially from $250 million to $1.5 billion," Kotz found.

So how did this happen?

Kotz also found that the former head of enforcement in Fort Worth, Spencer Barasch, "played a significant role" in quashing investigations of Stanford and sought to represent him on three occasions after he left the SEC. In 2006, he did briefly represent Stanford before being informed by the SEC ethics office that it was improper to do so.

When asked why he was so insistent on representing Stanford, Barasch replied, "Every lawyer in Texas and beyond is going to get rich over this case. Okay? And I hated being on the sidelines," according to Kotz's report.

9. 'The moment' - Simon Johnson at The Baseline Scenario puts the SEC fraud charges against Goldman Sachs into historical context well.

We have waited long and patiently for our Ferdinand Pecora moment – a modern equivalent of the episode when a tough prosecutor from New York seized the imagination of the country in the early 1930s and, over a series of congressional hearings: laid bare the wrong-doings of Wall Street in simple and vivid terms that everyone could understand, and created the groundswell of public support necessary for comprehensive reregulation. On Friday, that moment finally arrived.

There is fraud at the heart of Wall Street, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Pecora took on National City Bank and J.P. Morgan (the younger); these were the supposedly untouchable titans of their day. The SEC is taking on Goldman Sachs; no firm is more powerful.

Pecora exposed the ways in which leading banks mistreated their customers – typically, retail investors. The SEC alleges, with credible detail, that Goldman essentially set up some trusting clients and deliberately misled them – to the tune of effectively transferring $1 billion from them to a particular unscrupulous investor.

Pecora had the drama of the congressional hearing room and used his skills as an interrogator to batter the bastions of Wall Street, day-after-day, with gruesome and convincing detail. We don’t know where and when, but the SEC action points in one direction only: Lloyd Blankfein (CEO of Goldman) in the witness box, while John Paulson (unindicted co-conspirator) waits in the on-deck circle.

Either Blankfein knew what was going on – and is therefore liable before the law – or he was clueless and therefore incompetent. Either way, the much vaunted risk management and control systems of Goldman, i.e., what is supposed to prevent this kind of thing from happening, are exposed to be what we have long here claimed: bunk

10. Totally irrelevant video - This is clever. Here's the plans for a Chinese bullet train that never actually stops but still picks up passengers...

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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82 Comments

re #5: Whether on a

re #5: Whether on a benefit or not those incomes are pitiful. If people are incentivized to have children it is because at the bottom end of the job market real wages have declined significantly in the last 20 years. Try living in Auckland on $580 a week with two kids.
Someone needs to tell the middle-classes that jumping up and down on the poor bastards at the bottom isn’t going to raise them up any higher, and that they’re only a misstep away from being trampled in capitalism’s mosh pit themselves.
The end game of all this beneficiary bashing is lower wages with the added benefit of shoring up the redneck vote.
Thinking back to the early to mid 90s the going cash rate for labouring was $10/hr. I’m getting leaflets in my letter box every other week from the desperate offering their services for similar rates. Even using the flawed bundle that is the CPI (the weightings in no sense represent what the average low-income earner spends – housing 23%??) Goods & services costing $10 in Q4 2009 would have cost you only $6.94 in Q4 1993.

<b># 7 </b> : Alternative

# 7 : Alternative view might be that Lloyd Blankfein knew that Goldmoney Sacks have broken no rules . Therefore he knew , but is not incompetent .

And another view might be that the timing of this SEC prosecution of GS is coinciding with Barack Obama's attempt to push tougher financial regulations through congress .

[ similarities with Jane Diplock attacking Nuplex , in God-Zone ? ]

The Chinese train station idea

The Chinese train station idea is great, I can see that working.

5. No wonder Paula Bennett

5. No wonder Paula Bennett bought her first house as a solo mum on the DPB at age 19 years!

Bennett’s life story is remarkable – from a hard-working, middle New Zealand home in Kinloch, Taupo, she became a teenage bad girl and a solo mother at 17. She was on and off the DPB and worked at menial jobs for years, but still had enough grit and determination to buy a home at 19 with the help of a $56,000 Housing Corporation loan.

http://www.listener.co.nz/issue/3606/features/13494/outrageous_fortune,1...

Re. #1 - the Chinese

Re. #1 - the Chinese are now limited to how much real estate they can buy in China. However there are plenty of real estate agents in Oz and NZ who are welcoming them to use our property markets instead, no doubt with the approval of both Governments. Got to keep those house prices from falling!

WHAT?! No! This can't be!

WHAT?! No! This can't be!

The Chinese economy to be cooled off? But I'm banking on them to pay far too much for my slum properties in NZ and make me rich! Rich, do ya hear me?! RICH!

Re. #2 - the answer

Re. #2 - the answer is in #1

Below is a very concise

Below is a very concise description of what SEC's suit is all about.

http://money.cnn.com/2010/04/16/news/companies/Goldmans_Sachs_fraud/inde...

Wonder what ethics Goldman has if it ventured to bundle toxic assets into a synthetic or hybrid CDO tranche to sell to other 'sophisticated' investors who were managing the funds of pension funds, churches, schools, municipalities, etc. And which other investment bankers did similar deals with deliberate intent to make money on toxic sub-prime loans ?

The key description of the deal as per the SEC charge:
Quote
So they seek out a reputable third party to, as internal Goldman memos state, put its "name at risk...on a weak quality portfolio."
Unquote

Thanks Smokey. If this report

Thanks Smokey. If this report is accurate it looks like the SEC has a very strong case.
Now where's our Jane and when will our crooks be behind behind bars. Former cabinet ministers, sports heroes and all.

KPMG analysis: <blockquote> New Zealand

KPMG analysis:

New Zealand agriculture has as little as five years before large-scale intensive farming in South America, western China and central Asia erodes its cost advantage in producing bulk commodities, according to accountant KPMG.

Correct, but NZ's cost advantage has already disappeared - we don't have another five years. It is the increasing scale of the competition that is changing.

To be more efficient, New Zealand needed to invest heavily in science, technology and infrastructure, KPMG lead agribusiness partner Ian Proudfoot said.

Wrong. That costs, and more in NZ than what our competitors face. Before coming to simplistic conclusions KPMG should first attempt to understand the situation.

There are also questions regards whether chasing efficiency is an effective strategy.

I note the suggested solution's failure to address NZ agriculture's resource mis-allocation issues.

<blockquote>Wrong. That costs, and more

Wrong. That costs, and more in NZ than what our competitors face. Before coming to simplistic conclusions KPMG should first attempt to understand the situation.

There are also questions regards whether chasing efficiency is an effective strategy.

I note the suggested solution’s failure to address NZ agriculture’s resource mis-allocation issues.

For Chrissakes, again with the agriculture... always with the agriculture! Is it too much to ask that Kiwis finally understand that that's there's more to life and business than bloody farming?

Flogging off trees and animals to foreigners isn't enough any more.

Science, technology and infrastructure is our last hope. It is the only thing that can save this country from devolving into an abject serfdom unseen in the west since the middle ages.

Science, technology and infrastructure: the time has come -- is long overdue -- for useless, apathetic, think-small, glass-is-half-empty, no-can-do fush-un-chups-un-moolkers to step up and join the developed world.

There is NO reason on this Earth why New Zealand can't be a leading world power in R&D. Stifle your instinctive loserish reflex to concoct idiotic reasons why "little" NZ can't compete with the big boys. There is no more time for that.

We have to do or die. Or piss off to Australia. Take your pick. I'm staying here to see what I can offer the country. But feel free to abandon all hope and become a feesh-een-cheeps-een-meelker if you must. (And good riddance.)

Agree in general with PeterR

Agree in general with PeterR and Yawn,

I personally think the farmers, following a sustainable policy in practice, DOC, eco- tourism, environmental groups and the public have an upcoming war to fight, because of stupid and corrupted government policies.

We must lift our quality standards not only on paper, but in practice in order to protect our natural assets.
An intelligent NZScience and Research program is essential, but not politically driven or manipulated by short term profits of a few.

The fundamental question is: How can NZ produce quality food, living in harmony with nature- respecting and adapting to the changing environment ?

@Yawn: "Science, technology and infrastructure

@Yawn: "Science, technology and infrastructure is our last hope."

Then we are stuffed...all these need oil and cheap oil, food will go organic because fertilizer and pestisides will cost too much...

"New Zealand agriculture has as little as five years before large-scale intensive farming in South America, western China and central Asia erodes its cost advantage in producing bulk commodities, according to accountant KPMG. "

KPMG are clueless........intensive farming, see my first comment no water, oil or gas no intensive farming, simple. Besides which even if this does not eventuate the World's population growth will absorb any food produced, China's population expects more, and has water shortages today, yet more intensive farming, cant see it. The US will switch to more and more ethanol production so it wont be exporting grain...and besides that the US etc have all had intensive farming for decades.......and NZ still ships food abroad...

Re : 10 Too bad

Re : 10

Too bad if you are still climbing aboard when the traion comes through. :)

Re : 10 Too bad

Re : 10

Too bad if you are still climbing aboard when the train comes through. :)

@Rob M: and sucking the

@Rob M: and sucking the middle class dry to pay for it makes sense?

The middle class need to wake up, Labour will suck them dry to pay for the "poor" and National will suck them dry to keep the poor at bay while making sure the top 5% own everything.....

regards

"If this report is accurate

"If this report is accurate it looks like the SEC has a very strong case."

Indeed, and I bet there will be a lot more, could be easy pickings for SEC and the prosecutors....It is obvious that GS etc are morally bankrupt and have been for at least a decade but their income fattened the coffers of the US and the UK so a blind eye was turned....if 20% of your GDP is financial then you (as a Pollie) cant clean it up...it devistates your tax stream...

Off topic, but very interesting

Off topic, but very interesting for NZ:

http://www.mitosyfraudes.org/Ingles/Crista.html

I like this one too:

Anyone notice the typo in

Anyone notice the typo in the train video?

As for this ranting and raving about the DPB, both National and Labour have themselves to blame for this mess as there is nothing of real value in place to train DPB into jobs that might just possibly pay more than the DPB.

$580 a week gives you the basics and nothing else. Good luck paying school fees for your "free education" you know the one that both National and Labour promised you and that after school care while your working so you can make an investment landlord wealthy, you know the ones who claim working for families and claim all their PAYE back cos they have structured things just right so they can feel all pious on Sundays

One thing IS for sure

One thing IS for sure - when the Aussie economy does finally go bang (off the back of China going bang) it sure is going to be one almighty mess - we had better get ready to duck.

# phil Says: April 19th,

# phil Says:
April 19th, 2010 at 7:28 pm

The Chinese train station idea is great, I can see that working.

Nah, I ve seen one better! A transit bus that can also use a mono rail train track. Advantage? very specific single city destinations can be got to quicker via the mono rail running along side or above normal motorways. The bus/tram can also leave the rail at certain points to access normal road stops.

# Kate Says: April 19th,

# Kate Says:
April 19th, 2010 at 7:33 pm

5. No wonder Paula Bennett bought her first house as a solo mum on the DPB at age 19 years!

Bennett’s life story is remarkable – from a hard-working, middle New Zealand home in Kinloch, Taupo, she became a teenage bad girl and a solo mother at 17. She was on and off the DPB and worked at menial jobs for years, but still had enough grit and determination to buy a home at 19 with the help of a $56,000 Housing Corporation loan.

http://www.listener.co.nz/issue/3606/features/13494/outrageous_fortune,1...

Bennett is one of the biggest hypocrite's on the planet! She has raped and pillaged the public purse and continues to do so. She disgusts me no end and I'm not even a Labour voter!

"Lindsay Mitchell has been researching

"Lindsay Mitchell has been researching and commenting on welfare since 2001. Many of her articles have been published in mainstream media and she has appeared on radio,tv and before select committees discussing issues relating to welfare."

should read:

"Lindsay Mitchell publishes deliberately false and misleading information on her blog, and hopes that credulous journalists and bloggers will republish it and link to it, thereby turning it into accepted wisdom."

======

"This blog intends to debunk the myths surrounding the welfare state. The government is not caring and compassionate. It cannot replace families and community. The welfare state is unsustainable economically, socially and morally."

should read:

"This blog intends to lie a lot. Actually, it does lie a lot. I want our government to be just like the Chinese government. Make the Welfare Moms work for 20 cents an hour. And their disgusting offspring too."

@Yawn....... All I can say

@Yawn....... All I can say is 'Wow'!!!

And 'Your 110% right'!

hahaha, new zealand leading in

hahaha, new zealand leading in R&D

@ realist, you have just

@ realist, you have just proven the point. What a typical frightened weakling. It's no wonder the country is facing this problem. People such as yourself have handicapped NZ right from the start. You are the typical "we can't do it" type who has been poisoning the well for generations. Sad! :(

geez, and I dont even

geez, and I dont even live in New Zealand

@"realist" As an Aussie living

@"realist"

As an Aussie living in NZ I have to say that if we can do it so can the Kiwis. And if the poms can do it so can the Kiwis. And if the seps can do it so can the Kiwis. Etc etc.

The only thing that has held NZ back imo is the can't-do-it attitude of a lot of them.

NZ has universities and excellent grads but they all go O'seas to earn enough to pay their uni debts. What a wasted resource they are!

With the internet it isn't as if everyone has to be close together now especially for things like research and technology businesses, so the isolation which used to be a problem for NZ ( and also for us years ago ) is not an issue anymore.

Kiwis get your act together and take on the World - You are a sharp bunch and have a lot going for you already so there's nothing really in your way except your own fears and doubts. Ignore the ignorant naysayers like "realist". You can do it!

"I’m staying here to see

"I’m staying here to see what I can offer the country"...you could help out a good deal by buggering off Yawn! Next time you stuff your face, you might like to think about where the food came from.

Perhaps instead of lashing out

Perhaps instead of lashing out like a 2 year old Yawn, you might consider the fact that there are many bloody hard working families in Noddyland who contribute a dam sight more than you ever will to the income earned by producing the meat and timber and fish and dairy product etc.
In every case they use the best of technology, they use science instead of just blurting about it and they invest their own capital in the infrastructure they need to be productive.

<b>Walter : 9:42 </b> :

Walter : 9:42 : Gosh , I'm all of a tizz-wold , completely forgot about the Ozone layer , and how Ultra-violent Rays were gonna melanoma us all . Been too busy with SARS , H1N1 and Bird Flu ............ Ay , what's that , Mum ??? ......... Oh , sorry we've mooved onto Global Warming and Global Financial Crisis ........... Sheeeee-it !

Gummy-Bear Note To Self : Rogie : Do try to keep up-to-date with the latest global panics . Remember they vanish after 24 months , and new ones are dreamed up to take their place .............." Peak oil " , you say , steven , what's that one all about , then ?

[...] by local authorities and

[...] by local authorities and an increased supply of low-price, so-called policy homes, Li said. …Continue Cancel [...]

The taxpayer funded welfare state

The taxpayer funded welfare state is still paying Paula Bennet's mortgage.

Though now she can play with the big boys and borrow even more to buy even more state houses for the unemployable.

The irony is palpable. The only growth industry is more Paula Bennets.

Don't bother me with the details, just give me more money to fund more problems like me. Look at me didn't I do well.

I really know how to work the taxpayer funded state.

Are there no investigative journalists left that can actually dig and put together a reasoned and factual report on the real state of the nation and the poor quality of the
management decision making.

No wonder we have problems, compounding, not being alleviated.

Another one is.

Build more prisons to house more crooks.

We could really grow our economy that way.

Perhaps we could become the land of the transported and over take Australia that way.

At the rate we import more drug addicts and gangs and crooks from Asia and house them in our Casinos and farms and jails, we could really have a thriving nation.

Pity we seem to grow our own problems.

Strange way to go, if you ask me.

<b>Michael Browne</b> ( SOFAER )

Michael Browne ( SOFAER ) on CNBC reckons we're in a 1932/33 situation , with regulators pushing investment banks out of providing liquidity into the markets ( i.e. Goldmoney Sacks ) , and with central banks borrowings exceeding private bank growth rates ........ How did '32/33 end ? Another banking panic ........ Ugly if history repeats !

<blockquote>Wally Says: April 20th, 2010

Wally Says:
April 20th, 2010 at 7:26 am

“I’m staying here to see what I can offer the country”…you could help out a good deal by buggering off Yawn! Next time you stuff your face, you might like to think about where the food came from.

[...]

Perhaps instead of lashing out like a 2 year old Yawn, you might consider the fact that there are many bloody hard working families in Noddyland who contribute a dam sight more than you ever will to the income earned by producing the meat and timber and fish and dairy product etc.
In every case they use the best of technology, they use science instead of just blurting about it and they invest their own capital in the infrastructure they need to be productive."

And there you go, right on cue: the offended Kiwi patriot, completely ignoring what was said, which is that Noddyland's sole source of income ("meat and timber and fish and dairy product etc.") is about to be wiped out by vastly bigger players overseas.

That is a very typical Kiwi response to bad news and a crisis. Stick your head in the sand, or close your eyes and plug your ears and sing 'NA-NA-NA-NA-NA-NA I CAN'T HEAR YOU!', and hope it will all just go away.

Desperate. Clueless. Naive. Gullible. Unsophisticated. Amateurish. Two-bit. Hokey... All apply.

We kid ourselves about a mythical 'number eight wire' resourcefulness. We tell each other that 'when the going gets tough, the tough Kiwis get going'. It's all a lie. When things get tight we run away from home and move in with our cousins across the ditch.

It doesn't matter how much money farming made for New Zealand in the past. It doesn't even matter how much it makes for New Zealand now. What matters is how much it's going to make for New Zealand in the future, and the answer to that appears to be 'bugger all'.

So the only 'two year old' I see around here is you Wally, and those like you, who gutlessly ignore the unpleasant facts, and prefer instead to shoot the messengers.

In the next few years, New Zealand's primary producers are going to face competition the likes of which they've never known, and which may well sound the deathknell for their dominance. It probably means that the only markets they will be serving are local ones.

Here is a golden opportunity for us. Now we may at last be able to summon up some courage and finally begin to invest in the future, instead of the past. But it will happen only if we can push aside deadweights such as Wally.

Good luck with driving the

Good luck with driving the economy using publicly funded research and development as the engine. A few discussion points...

No meaningful science (apart from the Sheep Genome - which was a collaboration with much better funded US and AU organisations) has come from the vampire squids of the NZ science world - the CRIs.

Biotech companies have a woeful history of going belly up.

As an overseas academic I can assure you that the quality of NZ advanced degrees are not held in high esteem - although your best exports are truly world class. However, most NZ trained researchers are bovine researchers in all senses of that word.

Finally, and despite much evidence to contrary, Kiwis do have a sense of irony - why else would they name a building full of University of Otago administrators and finance types 'The Centre for Innovation'?

With the above in mind, I'd stick to tourism and agriculture as drivers of growth.

<blockquote>VancouverGirl Says: April 20th, 2010

VancouverGirl Says:
April 20th, 2010 at 9:09 am

Good luck with driving the economy using publicly funded research and development as the engine. A few discussion points…

No meaningful science (apart from the Sheep Genome – which was a collaboration with much better funded US and AU organisations) has come from the vampire squids of the NZ science world – the CRIs.

Biotech companies have a woeful history of going belly up.

As an overseas academic I can assure you that the quality of NZ advanced degrees are not held in high esteem – although your best exports are truly world class. However, most NZ trained researchers are bovine researchers in all senses of that word.

Finally, and despite much evidence to contrary, Kiwis do have a sense of irony – why else would they name a building full of University of Otago administrators and finance types ‘The Centre for Innovation’?

With the above in mind, I’d stick to tourism and agriculture as drivers of growth.

Yep, there you go: "We can't do it!"..."It's too hard!"..."We're too small!"..."I'm scared!"..."We're too dumb!"..."Fush un chups un moolk un swutshuts!"...

#4. KPMG is right. The

#4. KPMG is right. The amount of global investment injto agriculture in Sth America over the past couple of years is massive and will swamp NZ, on both scale and cost.
People quote that the world's population is increasing so more mouths to feed. However, the growth is in poor countries (the growth in wealthly countries is decreaing). Our protein sources are too expensive for these people and are too far away from the markets, especially when the price of oil becomes prohibitive.

#5. NZ can not afford its welfare system. The sooner we recognise this, the less the pain will be. DPB should be restricted to those who can prove immuculate conception. People want the freedom to have children but don't want to face the consequences or to take responsibility for providing for them. Hvaing children you do not have the resources to look after is child abuse. The SPCA prosecutes owners of pets who do not care for their pets from their own resources. Having children is a CHOICE.

But you are not a

But you are not a messenger Yawn...that's my point about you. Your verbal rant grabbed all the worn out phrases and threw them at the problem without bothering to think it through.
Yes the primary production sector will face competition but that does not mean it will not continue to be a major part of the economy.
Stop with the ranting Yawn and the use of blather for the sake of filling a post and sounding as though you know something.
" Desperate. Clueless. Naive. Gullible. Unsophisticated. Amateurish. Two-bit. Hokey"
That's some education you have there Yawn...!

So why haven't we done

So why haven't we done it already, Yawn? Because our development funding is all tied up in our houses. We've cleverly figured out that, individually, we can achieve financial greatness if we can get the price of our houses to rise.
20th May could well be the last chance that you look towards, Yawn. Let's hope you; all of us, get some national assistance in recalibrating our economy.

Yawn. <blockquote> Flogging off trees

Yawn.

Flogging off trees and animals to foreigners isn’t enough any more.

Science, technology and infrastructure is our last hope. It is the only thing that can save this country from devolving into an abject serfdom unseen in the west since the middle ages.

The KPMG Agribusiness Agenda report was about agriculture. I agree with you that exporting trees and animals to foreigners is not enough any more. But the sort of agricultural R&D NZ typically engages in is about trying to produce more without understanding the economics - of increasing production intensity or effective resource allocation. Therefore it lacks sound analysis of both economics and systems.

Both Treasury and OECD reports have identified minimal or negative returns to the money we spend on public sector R&D, but high returns to private sector R&D.

What KPMG almost certainly had in mind was more of the public sector R&D we favour. Our public sector agricultural R&D crowds out private sector innovation. It does it agressively and destructively.

Public sector R&D is partially responsible for why NZ agriculture has such low productivity and uses resources well past the point where the marginal revenue equals marginal cost i.e we over produce and lose money through doing so.

I suggest that while science, technology and infrastructure are important, our last hope is in learning to think better and understand - before anything else.

NA whats the risk profile

NA whats the risk profile of funding R&D as opposed to buying a rental in the suburbs ?

Yawn, Wally I publish that

Yawn, Wally
I publish that article below a number of time, thinking it could be the beginning of a profound debate, where we as a nation should go. NO ! A few only responded.
I see segments of debates here, often out of context with not much of correlation and not really profound and detailed – superficial - good as gold!

No wonder we don’t have an economic strategy here in New Zealand. Is that lack of planning a mentality part of our culture ?

Introduction – in a few words. (updated)
Listening to our economists/ politicians sitting in offices in the 2nd floors+ upstairs- studying economics from old books and charts comparing and analyzing. Yes, yes, yes all good, but in today’s ever and fast changing real life – not more then telling us “Traditional Patch Work Economy” (TPWE) – with some exceptions to be fair.

Well, the world is struggling, fast moving and changing for ever- time for New Zealand to find visionary solutions.
In the current situation it is probably wiser to listen to philosophers, environmentalists, ecologists and humanists (I’m not religious - sorry) and find the right answers to solve our upcoming challenges.

Greed & Megalomania
The people of New Zealand are not only suffering under too much consumption but Greed, Megalomania of a minority – including corruption and a bloated government without a clear economic direction for years.
How much longer is the younger generation waiting for a revolt in “Beautiful New Zealand” ? The “Powerfools” in this and other countries are not only destroying theirs, the public’s natural environment, the land, the waterways and the air, but also their future, our souls and pride. The BB generation is currently causing enormous damage in our society not investing, but for them selves– costing this, but especially the next generation Billions to clean up the mess in may sectors/ levels. Not to mention our bubbly Property Industry – making our NZkids renting flats on Rook Creek Rd or worse, while foreigners living in flash houses on Orchid Park Drive – HA this is all crazy!

Ethics- Philosophy- Economy
Our economy is so unbalanced, unstructured and unorganised- badly managed, when serious philosophical questions have to be asked. What is New Zealand way of life in the 21st century ?
More and more country are losing the battle against a clean and green environment, healthy food supply/ production, fresh water and air – quality of life. As a remote and rather under-populated country we have an exceptional chance to be different and must use the potential and adopt a “GREEN & CLEAN” economic philosophy - but no !
The large and increasing national account deficit seems to force the government into stupid actions of desperation. Obviously falling into a trap by considering revenues form:
- natural resources damaging our environment/ nature and tourism-
- opening more land for intensive (dairy) farming destroying our environment, undermining animal welfare standards and in disregard of the influence of climate changes -
- doggy immigration policies leading to social, employment and housing problems etc.-
--
I’m proposing a clear, consistent, long term strategy in our economy and to be the world leaders of a

“NZ’s Green Sustainable Economy Model of the World”

Such a model would inspire and lift ethics, spirit, pride among the population and feed into many other sectors in our economy. It would make Billions in revenue, the country would prosper.
--

Industry and Ecology
Today and in the future “Green Industries” offer new, good opportunities for NZ’s economy. Manufacturing Research & Development in sectors like Power, Transport and Telecommunication, in fields where we relay on foreign dependency most, even to a degree that our national security is at risk is essential. Building sustainable niche markets, producing quality goods for us and to cover export demand will be successful.

Energy, Public Transport, Telecommunication

Two examples of how we should proceed with infrastructure questions in Energy and other such as Public Transport. Financially and economically it doesn’t make sense to import or to produce heavy and expensive machinery/ equipment like turbines/ generators, nuclear power plants or heavy trains.
Such imports are mostly under overseas contracts, managed and installed by overseas technicians and workers, without hardy any local workforce especially skilled ones.
In stead we should research, develop and produce –SMALLER UNITS- manufactured and installed by Kiwis in our own country. A step with enormous, but positive implication for our country:

- increase employment opportunity -
- better education after school –
- technical skill and knowledge improvements -
- higher wages/ imports of brainpower –
- positive influence to other sectors/ fields such as Science and Research -
- less quality imports / reduction of account deficit -
- control and sovereignty –
- quality infrastructure services –
- national security improvement -

http://www.henderson.com/sites/henderson/sri/approach/topdowntheme/overv...

Sustainable Public Transport - developing a sector of industry to cover public mobility within a 100- 150km radius. Innovative businesses producing SMALL QUALITY UNITS starting from bikes, scoters, light rail systems and the interaction within, hardly seen in other countries. All planned, developed, installed, maintained and ran by Kiwis.
Sustainable Power supply/ savers SMALLER QUALITY UNITS developed, produced, locally/ regional installed and ran/ maintained by Kiwis.

A clear strategy to master the international dependency on fossil fuel, gas and power consumption.

Walter

What parameters would you like

What parameters would you like me to assess the risk against, AndrewT? Financial, economic, social, educational....Give me a start.

I agree with Yawn, I

I agree with Yawn, I want to see NZ become a bigger player in the tech fields, but as NA mentioned, NZer's seem to think flipping houses to each other is the pathway to financial prosperity. Anyone played Monopoly lately? What happens when the last person "wins"
Wally, I reckon Fonterra should set up a subsidary, which they own 51% the rest is floated on the NZX, which deals with the value added dairy products ( i.e. like Nestle etc)

NA lets start with financial.

NA lets start with financial.

The average Kiwi investor is not overly sophisticated (no offence intended to anyone).

At an individual level the perception is that r&d type investment carries significant risk of losing at least some of your dough, whereas housing is perceived to be low risk...hence investment being skewed in favour of housing.

I dont think the mooted tax changes are going to dramatically alter that.

The problem with housing Andrew

The problem with housing Andrew T is that it is not, by definition ' the average kiwi investor'; it is the average 'kiwi borrower'. Investing is about placement of a surplus into an income yeilding enterprise. ( say R&D, if you like). The average kiwi housing investor, is actually a speculator, that has leveraged themselves into an uncomfortably tight financial space. Not all; and in all probablilty not you. But many, if not most.

<blockquote>PeterR Says: April 20th, 2010

PeterR Says:
April 20th, 2010 at 9:22 am

The KPMG Agribusiness Agenda report was about agriculture. I agree with you that exporting trees and animals to foreigners is not enough any more. But the sort of agricultural R&D NZ typically engages in is about trying to produce more without understanding the economics – of increasing production intensity or effective resource allocation.

Hi PeterR. You misunderstand my point, I think. Forget about agricultural R&D. I'm talking about every other kind of R&D, the kinds of R&D into which this country invests almost nothing. That's the problem.

This board is stuffed full of economic Darwinists, who believe that the financially weak must be permitted to die and clear the way for the wealthy (paradoxically while demanding that the govt bail out the wealthy when times are tough...), yet these brave supporters of natural selection are as sh*t-scared as little girls in a dark alley when it comes to making hard decisions.

New Zealand is going backwards. It started out backward and just kept right on going in that direction. When the Tree-and-Animal cheques stop rolling in, we'll go backwards so fast we'll probably discover a Star Trek-like time travel method, and find ourselves instantly transported to the Stone Age.

This country devotes itself to all the wrong things. Sport, for instance. We spend an awful lot of time and money on sport. Much of that is habit, but it's also due to that peculiar Kiwi fixation of "Putting NZ on the map!". Other countries tried that too. Places like Bulgaria. Bulgaria "invested" half its GDP into becoming good at sport, and they won fistfuls of gold medals at the Games. But I don't recall outfits like Intel saying "Hey, Bulgaria sure is great at sport! Let's build a processor plant there!"...

New Zealand is kind of like the Bulgaria of the South Pacific. We go all orgasmic everytime some guys win a boat race that nobody else in the world has even heard of, or whenever we defeat any of the other five nations on Earth who play rugby or cricket. And we insist that wading around in cowsh*t is the only thing New Zealand business is capable of.

And yes, Nicholas Arrand is correct: the uber-sophisticated high-finance gurus of Kiwiland still kid themselves that the property pyramid scheme is going to make us all rich beyond our wildest fantasies.

It's time for New Zealand to grow up. Seriously.

VancouverGirl. Thanks for your much

VancouverGirl.

Thanks for your much needed dose of reality.

On our sense of irony:

Finally, and despite much evidence to contrary, Kiwis do have a sense of irony – why else would they name a building full of University of Otago administrators and finance types ‘The Centre for Innovation’?

Aspects of delusion and confusion also contribute - we don't understand the meaning of innovation and believe it to be incremental technical advancement.

We know our economy is

We know our economy is unbalanced. But in stead of talking, encouraging and implementing solutions, people even Bernhard, talk about the Property industry all day long - this is crazy.

I'd suggest, respectfully, W.Kunz, that

I'd suggest, respectfully, W.Kunz, that the site, www.interest.co.nz., was actually established to talk about interest rates, mortgages etc. That's what all the topics on the Home Page are about. It's not called www.advancenewzealand.co.nz. So we're mostly just doing what we are supposed to do?

@ RC You are correct.

@ RC
You are correct. After 10 years, Fonterra has not developed its value-add as promised when it was established. It is still a commodity producer and time is running out.
I have always advocated that Fonterra should split and list the value-add component (keep the commodity business a fully owned co-op). The Co-op can maintain a % of the value-add business.
I fear that the proposed structure is not agile or strong enough to develop the value-add business.

Wally and Yawn -- I

Wally and Yawn -- I think you are missing each others point to some extent. Both views are valid. Yawn , as Peter R says the KPMG report was about agriculture specifically but you are correct that publically funded R&D priorities have to be more than agriculture and primary industries. We can, with modern technology look at a much wider range of areas.
Wally -- of course food production will continue to be a major export earner for NZ but we have to develop other areas as well and I think that was the basis of Yawn's comments.
The reason I think KPMG has got it wrong to some extent is like "good accountants" all they are looking at is costs. We are the worlds largest dairy exporter by far but we are not the largest producer. ie. some of the low cost producers also have large local markets and they are not major importers of NZ produce. I know of some guys who have a dairy operation in Brazil. The province they operate in "imports" milk from other areas in Brazil -- the total imports are greater than Fonterra's total production !! That is just once area of Brazil !!! China is Fonterra's biggist market now ( I believe ) -- yes they are growing their dairy production but so is the over market for dairy products as the population grows in affluence. China ( and India )is going to need increasing amounts of food imports.

Yes Yawn you are right

Yes Yawn you are right about the fools chasing property profits. You cannot blame them for that when the stupid Labour govt encouraged it and the current fools seem happy to keep the ponzi scheme going to prop up the banks. But your other arguments are really just blather. One case in point...the boat racing you rubbish supported an export earning boat building business that employed a heap of people and gave them skills they were able to market overseas. Sadly, the crisis has kicked the shite out of the demand...but the skills remain. The Rugby madness is also a big earner. Consider the wealth being collected by the Kiwi players in Europe and where that wealth will in the future end up!. The same could be said for Cricket. Even if the accumulation of wealth within sport were not happening...at the very least the activity is encouraging many Kiwi kids to get off their bums and participate and that in the long run means a nation of healthier people and fewer fat slobs with fags in their gobs.

@ Nicholas www.gobackwardsnz.co.nz - is

@ Nicholas
www.gobackwardsnz.co.nz - is another one. ;-)

Yawn at 9:46am. This time

Yawn at 9:46am.

This time I don't have any significant issues with what you say. We are I think now starting into discussing NZ's underlying culture. Something we don't like to have questioned, but which is failing us, and needs to change markedly if we are to improve from where we are.

I think Bernhard is quite

I think Bernhard is quite happy with “food loggers” – property & housing issues keep he's blog going endlessly.

Re #10: At first I

Re #10: At first I thought, this cannot be possible. But if the train is long enough (say 400m, like Eurostar) and not going too fast, say 250km/hr, then the shuttle has 11.4s to reach the required speed - an acceleration of 0.6125g, or the same as doing 0-100 in 4.5s. A bit like putting your foot to the floor in a Porsche 911. So, it could be possible.

Anyway folks, I keep out

Anyway folks, I keep out for a while, providing/ contributing, so you Real Kiwi’s have a go without too much of interference of a Swisskiwi.

Wow - great Walter -

Wow - great Walter - you finally get it !

From the sidelines -- I

From the sidelines -- I agree with your idea of Fonterra splitting off a value added business. The current model has not worked for them in this area. Note--in the 1960's the NZ Dairy Board and Nestle were approximately the same sized business !!

Yawn @ 9.46 you are onto it.

Vancouvergirl & PeterR --I had a conversation a few months ago with a guy in the R&D business ( he was a one time academic ). He was commenting on these innovation centres attached to NZ Universities and said they were all hopeless to deal with . Not because of the quality of research work they do but the lack of ability to do the basic business activities.ie they don't how the commercial world operates.

Sean Says: April 19th, 2010

Sean Says:
April 19th, 2010 at 9:50 pm
"$580 a week gives you the basics and nothing else."

Looking at the chart, this is higher than professional's salary ($577 after tax). Perhaps we should all just be a nation of single parents with 2 children :)

Interesting shots there yawn. Life

Interesting shots there yawn. Life ay....what's it all about?

It's all pretty simple really at the end of the day.

I find most modern technology just annoys the hell out of me. I've got a car which has some screwy chip in it, wants to keep stalling because it can't sort out it's idle revs. Chip replaced, same result. How's toyota getting on these days?

I've got a mobile phone on a network that will eventually be redundant.
Oooh, cellphones, they're amazing. It's a phone....now we can text with it, now we can take (grainy) photos with it, now we can receive e-mail with it, now we can locate ourselves with it and the nearest mega-store, now the battery has gone flat. I've got a laptop which 4 years ago was top of the line, now it's just about ground to a halt. I don't know, was that good use of my money? Bit of e-mail, internet surfing, store my photos that I'll hardly ever look at again. Oh, I could stick them on a facebook page and everybody else can get bored of them too.
Modern gadgets that just stop working all of a sudden. Crap.

Travelling around europe a few years back, and seeing what ancient cultures already had. Pretty handy architecture, even whole towns hooked up on decent plumbing well over a thousand years ago. Houses that haven't rotted from the inside out!! How is our modern housing stock going to look in 100 years time??

I'm not harking back to those days. I'm just saying that really, it's pretty simple. Roof over your head, feed the family. Do we have more spare time to enjoy r&r these days compared to yesteryear thanks to modern technology? I'd say a resounding no. Is the average life span much longer now most of us are eating increasingly processed food, sitting on our arses in front of the wide screen? Depends where in the world you look. Sure, there's quite a few things in this day and age to not worry about that our ancestors did, but there's also a whole lot more to worry about too (or so the marketing gurus would have you believe).

Maybe we should be the next knowledge economy, like Ireland was touted as? How are the Irish getting on these days?

Yawn ....said..This board is stuffed

Yawn ....said..This board is stuffed full of economic Darwinists, who believe that the financially weak must be permitted to die and clear the way for the wealthy (paradoxically while demanding that the govt bail out the wealthy when times are tough…), yet these brave supporters of natural selection are as sh*t-scared as little girls in a dark alley when it comes to making hard decisions.

Theres a lot of truth in that and in need of addressing.., while at the same time lets not create a welfare based development programme for every nob end who coulldn't get a job in the real world and looking for the new govt tit to suck .

Having ideas are one thing developing those ideas to reality is quite another, "yes we can do it" requires a committment beyond words and just money....even in failure the belief must be absolute....... no hedge.

Sorry to see you and Wally have the slanging match...although he appears cynical he makes many good observations based on ..no doubt experience.

Yawn you may want to get a more inspiring nom de plume.

haha Hamish i love it.

haha Hamish i love it.

With regrds the KPMG report"The

With regrds the KPMG report"The farming sector of the future should have the ability to deliver food solutions all year around through adoption of advanced global sourcing and logistics."
What the report doesn't seem to take in to account is that Fonterra has been positioning itself for many years to take advantage of the growth in South America.
"Soprole has, on average, returned around NZ$25 million a year to Fonterra shareholders over the past few years.The purchase gives Fonterra 99.4% of Soprole, the second-most recognised corporate brand in Chile after Coca-Cola. Chile is a high growth market for the production and consumption of dairy products. Soprole is the country’s leading consumer dairy product business with a share of more than one-third of the domestic consumer dairy market.“Soprole is an example of Fonterra’s strategies of leveraging its cow-to-consumer expertise to build profitable businesses, and also securing new sources of fresh milk around the world,”Andrew Ferrier said."

rc: Fonterra made a strategic decision not to compete with the likes of Nestle and Kraft, but rather to be both these companies preferred supplier of ingredients. Through their Dairy Partners America joint ventures they are involved in consumer and/or manufacturing businesses in Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela, Argentina an Colombia.

Now as a supplier, having funded the world's largest leading Dairy ingredient research facility, the Fonterra Research Centre in Palmerston North, and funded all these joint ventures etc offshore why would I want to now open it up to the NZX?

@Hamish.....Holden Vectra?

@Hamish.....Holden Vectra?

rk, close. It's smaller cousin.

rk, close. It's smaller cousin.
Over a tonne of steel and plastic, all at the mercy of some crappy computer chip.

"What the report doesn’t seem

"What the report doesn’t seem to take in to account is that Fonterra has been positioning itself for many years to take advantage of the growth in South America."

- So casual observer how does that benefit us here in NZ? Do you think the money they make selling SA meat to the USA and other places will come back to NZ? It will go straight into OS tax dodge accounts and stay there. So Fonterra Worldwide Inc will cream it and NZ Inc can get stuffed. As always.

This is the consequence of

This is the consequence of an unbalanced, mismanaged economy for years…..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmeZgiw_a6w

…YOU young bloggers here should bring it back to here - sustainability

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sEZ-wdFegU

..stop going around a circle day after day and demand actions for an economic strategy from politicians - wake up Kiwis!

Walter (tired here)

@Hamish, with the risk of

@Hamish, with the risk of this becoming a car forum, i had that same problem. 95% of the time it's not the chip. You have to clean a little breather pipe in the throttle body, car runs like new.
A mechanic can do this in 20 minutes....good luck

I see we are now

I see we are now supporting the United Nations Declaration of Indigenous rights. I wonder if China, once they have bought our country from our clueless elite, will sign up to it and protect the rights of kiwis of all colours. I doubt it somehow.

@Yawn All i can add

@Yawn

All i can add is that NZ is not a "small" country it’s the size of Japan and that is the 2nd largest economy...soon to be the 3rd. At some point Kiwi's will have to grow up and decided if they want to continue to hide, lead, or get out of the way.

Japan is larger than NZ,

Japan is larger than NZ, both in land area and - of course - population.

Japan = 377,944 sq km

NZ = 268,021 sq km

Almost a 110,000 sq km difference.

(Source Wikipedia)

Thanks rk! I'll give that

Thanks rk! I'll give that a shot.

I’m angry. (doesn’t matter) Our

I’m angry. (doesn’t matter)
Our past and current government following a blind and stupid economic policies without a clear strategy isn’t even realizing that New Zealand citizens - the country is increasingly slaved by foreigners.

People are you not aware in this country iof a political and economic worldwide war of survival happing !

Kiwis smart China is invading New Zealand.

Currently I think we are just another country of Africa. – depending on most everything – HA!

http://www.interest.co.nz/ratesblog/index.php/2010/04/19/top-10-at-10-ch...

rk, that problem is a

rk, that problem is a bugger on Vectra's. Is there a description of what to call that when I get my mechanic to look at it. I have been referred to my holden dealer to get it fixed but didn't fancy selling the house to fund a visit so I put up with it.

Uhm...not really...Japan composed of a

Uhm...not really...Japan composed of a archipelago...so I wouldn't say that all the land in Japan is "usable".

So this is becoming a

So this is becoming a car forum (apologies to the non-interested)
@Mike....the description might be a bit too technical for ya....it's called....the paperclip method!! I like to take credit for the solution but I'm not that smart, I did do it myself though and prob saved me a bundle as Holden 1st want to change the chip and then look at the rest.

remove air inlet pipe....
remove tps switch wiring plug, and idle air plug
mark the top coolant pipr at back of throttle body, so u know where to put back..easy done to forget...remove them both
remove throttle cable, the little clip has to come off first
theres two breather pipes....remove both
undo both fuel pipes at their unions...17mm
now undo the four ten mm nuts and remove the throttle body
remove the idle air valve now, look after gasket and its ok to reuse inlet to throttle body gasket again..
get toothbrush, and carb cleaner...operate flap, and clean all edges of butterfly up so there is not one bit of crap around it esp at its edges...
now the fault thats makin her cut out...get a paperclip, open up....clena out the blocked very small breather piepway thats underneath the buttefly to one side..very small...always blocked and so not breathing.
spray carb cleaner throo it too..
now clean out your idle air with carb cleaner well
rebuild as stripped....gaskets will be fine to resue unless damged...
It will be like a new car

Thanks to a guy in Perth, Schotland named Chris

<blockquote>Troy Says: April 20th, 2010

Troy Says:

April 20th, 2010 at 3:26 pm
Uhm…not really…Japan composed of a archipelago…so I wouldn’t say that all the land in Japan is “usable”.

As opposed to New Zealand, where every scrap of land is in productive use.

Ever been to the South Island? Seen the Southern Alps? The giant swamp known as the West Coast? Or perhaps Fiordland?

How about the lush central plateau of the North Island?

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