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Daily briefing for Wednesday, December 28, 2011; Moral capitalism; Peter Drucker; Preparing for Europe without the euro

Posted in News

Our daily holiday briefings are returning. Readers are invited to add their own additional links in the comment section below.

US dollar still dominant
There has been a lot of talk in 2011 about moving away from a faltering US dollar as the international reserve currency, much of it motivated by the US's largest creditor, China. Yesterday, Japan and China said they will will promote direct trading of the yen and yuan without using dollars . However, as a lack of safe-haven alternatives and a liquidation of risky assets unfolded, the US currency rallied sharply in the last few months of the year.

Euro demise?
The UK Government is considering plans to restrict the flow of money in and out of Britain to protect the economy in the event of a full-blown euro break-up.

Choke point
Iran issued a blunt warning on Tuesday that it would block the Strait of Hormuz, the world’s most important oil transit point, if Western powers attempt to impose an embargo on Iranian petroleum exports in their campaign to isolate the country over its suspect nuclear energy program.

Listening
"The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn't being said."
- Peter F. Drucker
 

more below ...

     8 am       ---   52 week  --  
    Today   yesterday   high low  
     --------    --------   --------- ---------   
FX rates NZ$1=US$ 0.7722   0.7739   0.8822 0.7174  
  NZ$1=AU$ 0.7596   0.7621   0.8085 0.7276  
                 
Gold in US$/oz 1,593   1,604   1,895 1,319  
  in NZ$ 2,063   2,073   2,314 1,705  
                 
Copper in US$/t 9,590   9,590   10,147 6,785  
  in NZ$ 12,419   12,392   13,507 8,299  
                 
Crude oil in US$/bl 101.25   99.73   118.70 89.69  
  in NZ$ 131.12   128.87   149.14 117.26  
                 
US Treasuries 30 yr bond 3.05%   3.05%   4.73% 2.88%  
                 
Dow DJIA 30 12,287   12,256   12,919 10,402  
                 

The case for moral capitalism
Can we create a morally acceptable form of capitalism; and if so, what would it look like? Faced with a decade of hardship apparently caused by the greed of a few, people are asking whether bankers are no more than profiteers, and whether inequality has risen too far. Even the former US treasury secretary, Lawrence Summers, and other heavyweights have said we need to do better on inequality.

Does the Gini coefficient tell us anything practical?
What provoked the London riots in August? Resentment, and with good reason. Brits are provided an education that is nearly useless.

Driving better
The NZ road toll is bad, right? Wrong. We are about to have a year where we have almost 100 fewer road deaths in 2011, despite 2010 also being a recent record low. Road safety is improving so fast, it really is news now if there is a fatality.

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?

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment in the box on the right or click on the "'Register" link at the bottom of the comments.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current Comment policy is here.

88 Comments

Capitalism is moral, it is

Capitalism is moral, it is the only system that is moral. It is crony capitalism in the mixed, ergo, planned, economy that isn't moral because it abrogates individual property rights, and meddles the coercive fist of State between the voluntary transactions of consenting adults.

Looking at the appalling comments on the linked Guardian article, with countless honourifics given to Marx, and not one defence for capitalism, it is no wonder to me that the West is gone as a classical liberal hope. My overwhelming reaction to that piece is sadness, then fear.

"My overwhelming reaction to

"My overwhelming reaction to that piece is sadness, then fear."

Like all zealots, the mindless Tribless is a big time drama queen.

What's the point of making a

What's the point of making a comment like that?

All of our freedoms and prosperity are down to 'the amount of capitalism that has been allowed', the freer the markets, the more free we've been and the more prosperous: of course I am sad, and fearful, at what it means that so many people don't understand this anymore, and would take us backward to varying degrees of slavery and poverty.

I'm the furtherest thing from a zeolot, as I live by rational self interest, but what about you, trying to demean me simply because I've expressed an emotion. Don't you have any? Perhaps you've had one too many punches to the noggin: think about leading with your right.

But emotion: do you think it a bad thing to be passionate about something? Why? And what does this say about you, do you think?

 

What seems clear to me is

What seems clear to me is that the unrestrained greed that capitalism at the moment seems to be propagating is the chief threat to our morality, traditional or otherwise, as well as being socially and even economically destructive. The structure of moral ecology in our society is badly torn.

 

More here: http://www.robertbellah.com/lectures_2.htm

What seems clear to me is

What seems clear to me is that the unrestrained greed that capitalism at the moment seems to be propagating is the chief threat to our morality ...

 

There's only one way to shut down these greedy, amoral capitalists. Guilt. Through that which he himself has accepted as guilt. If a man has ever stolen a dime, you can impose on him the punishment intended for a bank robber and he will take it. He'll bear any form of misery, he'll feel that he deserves no better. If there's not enough guilt in the world, we must create it. If we teach a man that it's evil to look at spring flowers and he believes us and then does it —we'll be able to do whatever we please with him. He won't defend himself. He won't feel he's worth it. He won't fight. But save us from the man who lives up to his own- standards. Save us from the man of clean conscience. He's the man who'll beat us.”

 

Capitalism is A-moral, that

Capitalism is A-moral, that is, it has no morals, which makes it equal to all other economic systems.  Then only morals are from those that chose to act upon them within a given system.  Capitalism places at a disadvantage those who would take the moral high ground, and advantages the ruthless calculated descisions that are made on a purely financial basis without regard for morals.

It is only public perception that has the power to enforce morals.  Yet when a society has a percieved lack of wealth, the most pertenint descision is to save money.  Thereby rewarding those companies without morals who externalise the most costs, and deliver the cheapest product.

The incentives in a monetary system reward those who can externalise costs, they reward corruption, lying, exploitation and monopolies.

The monetary system is not capable of increaseing the quality of life for humanity.  100 years ago there was hardly any of the modern technology we have today, yet today people are still working just as hard, with a far greater percentage of the population working.  Technology is capable of allowing people to do less work, for greater reward, yet more work is being done.

The monetary system is not

The monetary system is not capable of increaseing the quality of life for humanity.  100 years ago there was hardly any of the modern technology we have today, yet today people are still working just as hard, with a far greater percentage of the population working.

 

“The picture now is this, the economic condition of the country was better the year before last than it was last year, and last year it was better than it is at present. It's obvious that we would not be able to survive another year of the same progression.  Therefore, our sole objective must now be to hold the line. To stand still in order to catch our stride. To achieve total stability. Freedom has been given a chance and has failed. Therefore, more stringent controls are necessary. Since men are unable and unwilling to solve their problems voluntarily, they must be forced to do it. Hell, what it comes down to is that we can manage to exist as and where we are, but we can't afford to move! So we've got to stand still. We've got to stand still. We've got to make those bastards stand still!"

'We need to pass Directive 10-289. Under this, "Point Four. No new devices, inventions, products, or goods of any nature whatsoever, not now on the market, shall be produced, invented, manufactured or sold after the date of this directive. The Office of Patents and Copyrights is hereby suspended."

“This will end wasteful competition. We'll stop scrambling to beat one another to the untried and the unknown. We won't have to worry about new inventions upsetting the market. We won't have to pour money down the drain in useless experiments just to keep up with over ambitious competitors.”

We're through with greedy capitalists. We've won. This is our age. Our world. We're going to have security—for the first time in centuries—for the first time since the beginning of the industrial revolution! This is the anti-industrial revolution.”

 

 

Wesley -  I presume you have

Wesley -  I presume you have just returned from attending Dear Leaders funeral ?

Army guys were taking

Army guys were taking pictures of the public mourners , presumably to adminster a tortuous punishment to those who weren't deemed to have wailed loud & long enough at the death of the brutal idiot tyrant leader .....

.... and some on this site reckon socialism rocks ...

Head off to North Korea guys , and have fun !

And the connection between

And the connection between socialism and North Korea is ....?

.... ooops , my bad ! ...

.... ooops , my bad ! ... well spotted .

Of course , the Korean Workers' Party are communist , not socialist ...Well done for noting my error .

.. I always get those two mixed up , socialism & communism .... one strips away all individual rights , possessions  , and leads to mass starvation , and to slaughter of innocents , plus hands all power to a self-serving greedy elite , ..

.. and the other ... ummm ..

The picture is now this.  I

The picture is now this.  I am a young bright engineer/physiscits/chemist with a massive debt to pay.  There is no money to be made in research and invention, funding is very difficult to get, and any funding comes with contracts and rules that will result in the profits of my labour going to the funders and I will be much better off working fro someone else with the security that provides.  The real money is made in the finance sector, and that is where i want to work.  Not because it appeals to my creative desires, but it appeals to my needs for money, and security.

The monetary system does not foster creation and invention on the micro scale.  It rewards success, but not risk.  It rewards cheap prices, but not sustainability.  It rewards the housing market, but not the inventive sciences.  It rewards ruthless business practices, not the best ideas.  Show me a rich inventor, and I will show you thousands more rich bankers, investors, owners etc.

Look up Tesla and Eddison.  A classic example of capitalism v invention.  What incentives does the monetary system offer the Einstiens, Freuds, or Luther Kings of todays society?  Which has had the bigest impact on improving the quality of life for humanity, the monetary system or the thinkers, activists and inventors?

Which has had the bigest

Which has had the bigest impact on improving the quality of life for humanity, the monetary system or the thinkers, activists and inventors?

 

And what use inventors if no market to sell to consumers who can then benefit by the inventions? (And if no market, then no money for inventors, they won't exist - and don't say they're to be State funded, there's no market, so no tax.)

You assume that money is the

You assume that money is the only way to reward someone, and that the only motivation is money.  Look beyond money, quality of life, community, society, relationships, resources; these things are important.  Money is an illusion.

We're in for a very rough

We're in for a very rough time in the West. Very rough.

You assume that money is the

You assume that money is the only way to reward someone, and that the only motivation is money.  Look beyond money, quality of life, community, society, relationships, resources; these things are important.  Money is an illusion.

 

"So you think that money is the root of all evil?" said Francisco d'Aconia. "Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can't exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?

      "When you accept money in payment for your effort, you do so only on the conviction that you will exchange it for the product of the effort of others. It is not the moochers or the looters who give value to money. Not an ocean of tears nor all the guns in the world can transform those pieces of paper in your wallet into the bread you will need to survive tomorrow. Those pieces of paper, which should have been gold, are a token of honor – your claim upon the energy of the men who produce. Your wallet is your statement of hope that somewhere in the world around you there are men who will not default on that moral principle which is the root of money. Is this what you consider evil?

      "Have you ever looked for the root of production? Take a look at an electric generator and dare tell yourself that it was created by the muscular effort of unthinking brutes. Try to grow a seed of wheat without the knowledge left to you by men who had to discover it for the first time. Try to obtain your food by means of nothing but physical motions – and you'll learn that man's mind is the root of all the goods produced and of all the wealth that has ever existed on earth.

      "But you say that money is made by the strong at the expense of the weak? What strength do you mean? It is not the strength of guns or muscles. Wealth is the product of man's capacity to think. Then is money made by the man who invents a motor at the expense of those who did not invent it? Is money made by the intelligent at the expense of the fools? By the able at the expense of the incompetent? By the ambitious at the expense of the lazy? Money is made – before it can be looted or mooched – made by the effort of every honest man, each to the extent of his ability. An honest man is one who knows that he can't consume more than he has produced.

      "To trade by means of money is the code of the men of good will. Money rests on the axiom that every man is the owner of his mind and his effort. Money allows no power to prescribe the value of your effort except by the voluntary choice of the man who is willing to trade you his effort in return. Money permits you to obtain for your goods and your labor that which they are worth to the men who buy them, but no more. Money permits no deals except those to mutual benefit by the unforced judgment of the traders. Money demands of you the recognition that men must work for their own benefit, not for their own injury, for their gain, not their loss – the recognition that they are not beasts of burden, born to carry the weight of your misery – that you must offer them values, not wounds – that the common bond among men is not the exchange of suffering, but the exchange of goods. Money demands that you sell, not your weakness to men's stupidity, but your talent to their reason; it demands that you buy, not the shoddiest they offer, but the best your money can find. And when men live by trade – with reason, not force, as their final arbiter – it is the best product that wins, the best performance, then man of best judgment and highest ability – and the degree of a man's productiveness is the degree of his reward. This is the code of existence whose tool and symbol is money. Is this what you consider evil?

      "But money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver. It will give you the means for the satisfaction of your desires, but it will not provide you with desires. Money is the scourge of the men who attempt to reverse the law of causality – the men who seek to replace the mind by seizing the products of the mind.

      "Money will not purchase happiness for the man who has no concept of what he wants; money will not give him a code of values, if he's evaded the knowledge of what to value, and it will not provide him with a purpose, if he's evaded the choice of what to seek. Money will not buy intelligence for the fool, or admiration for the coward, or respect for the incompetent. The man who attempts to purchase the brains of his superiors to serve him, with his money replacing his judgment, ends up by becoming the victim of his inferiors. The men of intelligence desert him, but the cheats and the frauds come flocking to him, drawn by a law which he has not discovered: that no man may be smaller than his money. Is this the reason why you call it evil?

...   "Until and unless you discover that money is the root of all good, you ask for your own destruction. When money ceases to be the tool by which men deal with one another, then men become the tools of men. Blood, whips and guns – or dollars. Take your choice – there is no other – and your time is running out."

.... the money speech is well worth reading in total.

 

This whole article is based

This whole article is based on the false assumption that we chose, what is the alternative that we have?  Completely missing the point, a very narrow viewpoint, oblivious to anything else.

Yes, completely missing the

Yes, completely missing the point, skudiv. And you continue to do so.

... you gotta know when to

... you gotta know when to give up , and just walk away , Mark .

Hope the Christmas went well for you . Happy new year to the Tribeless clan !

And back Gummy Xmas day a

And back Gummy

Xmas day a bit of a trial, most of the day in a car traveling between places, but the days around it have been good. Perhaps a little more wine that is wise.

You assume that money is the

You assume that money is the only way to reward someone, and that the only motivation is money. Look beyond money, quality of life, community, society, relationships, resources; these things are important. Money is an illusion. 

And what use inventors if no

And what use inventors if no market to sell to consumers who can then benefit by the inventions?

To improve the quality of life and sustainablity of living for humanity.  Life is not about being a consumer.

 

Life is not about being a

Life is not about being a consumer.

 

How to you plan to obtain the necessities of life, then? What do you plan to eat? Where do you plan to live? If you're not buying these things, how do you intend to obtain them?

In the real world, using my

In the real world, using my effort, intellect, money and controll of resources in exchange for the things I want and need, with money as a means to an ends.

Idealisticaly, all the worlds resources could be shared as a comon heritage, this guy explains it better.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSG80Ago2Kk 

In the real world, using my

In the real world, using my effort, intellect, money and controll of resources in exchange for the things I want and need, with money as a means to an ends.

 

Well done, you've just described a free market. You've finally figured out the only way to live peacefully with your fellow man. So what's all the other BS you're writing in aide of?

Yet when a society has a

Yet when a society has a percieved lack of wealth, the most pertenint descision is to save money.  Thereby rewarding those companies without morals who externalise the most costs, and deliver the cheapest product.

 

And someone ticked a 'like' for that post. It's contradictory jibberish. And yeah, can't have evil companies delivering cheap products consumers can afford. That would be awful.

 

 

Delivering the cheapest

Delivering the cheapest products through exteralised costs is my point.  Thereby the cheap is only possible because someone else is unwillingly paying.

The thinking is apperntly

The thinking is apperntly short term, which is understandable and how we are raised, but it is this that is the heart of the problem.

 

Whenever you think you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong.

 

-Ayn Rand. 

Leaky homes are a simplistic

Leaky homes are a simplistic example of externalised costs.  Yes the house is cheaper to buy new, thanks to the goodness of those companies delivering the cheapest possible product to makret. 

Also slightly curious was that an affect of govt interference?  To me it is simply an effect of the way monetary incentives work. 

TL;DR Lack of scientific

TL;DR

Lack of scientific thought in the whole operation, and collaboration between big capitalist companies and .govt.

collaboration between big

collaboration between big capitalist companies and .govt.

 

Yes, crony capitalism, which is to capitalism what sea horses are to horses. You need to learn what capitalism is.

That link doesn't work. But

That link doesn't work. But note if the link points to an economy with a central bank controlling money supply and cost, then no, it's not a capitalist system.

Take a game of monopoly, give

Take a game of monopoly, give one player 2 sides of the board, another player 1 side, and eight players nothing.  Now lets play.  Can you claim that is moral?

 

Take a game of monopoly, give

Take a game of monopoly, give one player 2 sides of the board, another player 1 side, and eight players nothing.  Now lets play.  Can you claim that is moral?

 

 Centralisation will destroy the blight of monopoly, by giving a monopoly to the State. It destroys the blight of monopoly. It leads to the democratisation of industry. It makes everything available to everybody. Now, for instance, at a time like this, when there's such a desperate shortage of stuff, is there any sense in my wasting money, labor and national resources on making old-fashioned stuff, when there exists much better stuff that I could be making? Stuff that everybody wants, but nobody can get because somebody has a patent or other property right to it. Now is that good economics or sound social efficiency or democratic justice? Why shouldn't I be allowed to manufacture that stuff and why shouldn't the people get it when they need it?  Just because of the private monopoly of one selfish individual? Should we sacrifice our rights to his personal interests?"

Now the state cannot be

Now the state cannot be trusted.  Not in it's present form, that is for sure.  You have to remove the incentives for corruption, and you cannot do that in a monetary system.

and you cannot do that in a

and you cannot do that in a monetary system.

 

Well, first define for me what you mean by 'monetary system'?

Then, what do you think is the alternative to this?

The monetary system is where

The monetary system is where you get paid in money.

A resource based economy requires voluntary effort, there is no coercion, no incentives for labour.  Technology is employed to maximum advantage, education is far more then reading and writing, a greater emphasis is given to social interaction.  This is possible through technology. 

Nothing I have said is

Nothing I have said is rubbish, you just don't understand.  Nearly every job can be automated, or made reduntant by engineering and machines, certainly all the shitty and reppititive jobs.  Those few that can't you will often find are done by people who's incentives are not based on money.

Fact is we don't need money, it is possible today to mobilise the resources to make work completly automated.  The future is here, and we are stuck in an antiquated monetary system that was good 100years ago, but it's time to let go of the past.

Think beyond small communes that step back in time, there is so much possible today, and our technology will look crude in 50 years time.

Nothing moral can come from a

Nothing moral can come from a theft, skuldiv. And the platform of everything you've said on this thread, is a theft.

It's a matter of perspective

It's a matter of perspective Tribeless.  If I give something where is the theft?  How can I own something that I did not create?  For example how does the ownership of oil come about?  I'm talking about the stuff in the ground, who owns it?  Who owns the fish in the sea, or the water in a river, or the air we breathe?  I in no way advocate theft, and do not advocate some socialist state.

What would be great would be a scientific approach to .govt and management of the worlds resources.  Scientific, not philosophical, ie. demonstrable, proveable, and repeatable.

What would be great would be

What would be great would be a scientific approach to .govt and management of the worlds resources.  Scientific, not philosophical, ie. demonstrable, proveable, and repeatable.

 

So I need a new pair of undies, and want to buy those polka dot ones there, but so does that bloke and there is only the one pair because scientists have mismanaged the economy by trying to manage it, scientifically,  and thus the free interactions of consenting adults, and consequently stuffed up the economy entirely, given nothing other than the spontaneous order arising from a free market can cater for the complex needs and wants of all the individuals in a society,  so what's the scientific approach to who gets these undies then? If it's need, then what's the scientific method for determing mine, versus his, need for undies? Oh hold on, there are two pairs of undies afterall, the other one pin-stripped, only it looks like we both still want the polka dot ones. How do we handle this scientifically then?

Thats simple, you order your

Thats simple, you order your undies and then they are manufactured in your size, shape colour etc.  There is no waste. 

And who is there to

And who is there to manufacture them?

Let a robot do it.

Let a robot do it.

Any boneheads out there who

Any boneheads out there who expect recovery in our time...go read for yourself... http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/

Me...I'm preparing for worse to come as the piigs euro EU ECB farce dissolves into a stinking pool of dog puke.

I am also expecting civil unrest ( I mean butchery and general slaughtering) in China to emerge above the Beijing great wall of secrecy long enough to clear the minds of the liars who speak of better growth to come.

The UK is set for years of recession activity if they are lucky...if not look for riots and far greater violence.

Australia with the two speed economy is set to experience a housing shock that will decimate families and set the scene for decades of trouble.

Did I leave out the biggest mess of the lot...shame on me....oh yeah the one and only land of the not so free....how many hundred trillion in debt are they now....must be time for QE 4 or are we well past that already....

 

Happy new year Wolly.

Happy new year Wolly.

Yes , it should be a grand

Yes , it should be a grand year , despite the best ( ? ) efforts of busybody bureaucrats and idiot politicians , Gummy reckons that capitalism will shine through ..... and bring to us new break-throughs in science , medicine , and astronomy .

...... still not convinced that the feck-wits in charge of the Christchurch re-build will be able to sign off on the construction of anything bigger than a dog kennel .....

But fully believe that efforts overseas in sub-atomic particle research , and in alternate energy production , will bear some fruits .....

But fully believe that

But fully believe that efforts overseas in sub-atomic particle research , and in alternate energy production , will bear some fruits ... 

These are govt sponsered projects gummy, maybe you are hoping socialism will shine through while the benefits go to capitalism?

I didn't Mist42nz....I

I didn't Mist42nz....I rubbished the spin that spews forth from the liar factories in an effort to convince the stupid they can borrow more and splurge again...

There will be no 'recovery'...just more of the same old same old for a very long time.

Thanks WAS and may you escape

Thanks WAS and may you escape the great collapse with your shirt still on.

Oops Gerry lost all his chips.

 "Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee flew to Monte Carlo to try to persuade reinsurers and underwriters to re-enter the market here, but returned empty-handed."

 http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/christchurch-earthquake-2011/6194043/Love-or-hate-em-insurers-are-victims-too

The future for chch is as a rural service centre with plenty of winz outlets and a heap of large open parks. The question being who will depart last because the peasants started to move after Q one. Q two and the exodus picked up steam. Q3 and the rush is on.

Speeding up the exodus are the insurance premiums on property, especially commercial property....and not to forget...the CCC rates burden....somewhat worse now thanks to the bloated salaries paid to admin staff...

The question you are not allowed to ask...why would a commercial entreprise elect to stay, when better prospects exist elsewhere?

 

Wolly,  if Australia is in

Wolly,  if Australia is in for a housing shock does that leave NZ as the the last housing  bubble unpopped? 

No , there's Singapore , Hong

No , there's Singapore , Hong Kong , Vancouver  ...... plenty of cities and states around the globe with expensive residential property ( expressed as a multiple of the average local wage ) ......

..... but that doesn't imply any or all of them will revert to mean immediately .....

What's the catalyst for popping each " bubble " .....

Well, I think it's a lot of

Well, I think it's a lot of people want to sell them, and not a lot want to buy them. Maybe it's a girl thing.

"WORLD POWER SWINGS BACK TO

"WORLD POWER SWINGS BACK TO AMERICA" - EVANS - PRITCHARD - UK TELEGRAPH

GBH - May I suggest you read "World power swings back to America" by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard of the UK Telegraph 23 October. I have a hyperlink through to this within my Scoop NZ article "How Housing Bubbles are triggered" of 1 November 2011.

Singapore incidentally appears to be hugely more affordable than Hong Kong for example - and Shanghai and Beijing too, which are up in the stratosphere, somewhere north of Homng Kongs astronomical 11 plus Multiple. Indeed - if my memory serves me correctly, Evans-Pritchard wrote recently that Shanghai and Beijing have Multiples of 15 and 18 respectively. Spooky stuff.

Put rather bluntly - cities where the housing is not affordable, are at a massive disadvantage competing internationally. In large measure this will be why much of middle North America is so competitive. Although Evans- Pritchard in the UK Telegraph artcle does not touch on housing coss - for BRIGHT BEARS like you and me, the relationship will be pretty obvious.

If the "doors" to New Zealand were openned to Singaporians, there would be 4 million of them here by next Monday! They sure are envious of our detached housing in this country and throughout the "colonies".

We should "treasure" our advantages - and build on them.

Hugh Pavletich

www.PerformanceUrbanPlanning.org

Your approach, sooner rather

Your approach, sooner rather than later, turns that 'treasure' into the shyte they'd be so keen to escape.

Kinda like that old ad about "sending your sinuses to Arizona". Many allergy-sufferers did so, and indeed the unpollinated desert air was a relief. So they built houses, and planted gardens............

achoooooooo            

similarly thought of themselves as bright bears too, I shoudn't wonder.

 

OLD MALTHUSIANS NEVER

OLD MALTHUSIANS NEVER DIE...................

PDK - you are like rust - always there!

Now.....I know how you detest low density, which is the definition of sustainable on every count.

Have you thought of moving to East Germany at all?

Last I looked at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) European Report, there were some 1.5 million vacated units in those awful Stalinist Slab Blocks available in East Germany. They are about 80 square metres each, with shared amenities and very basic, generally without lifts.

Following re unification the East Germans have bolted from them, to better quality and detached housing elsewhere throughout Germany. Housing is very affordable in Germany too - thanks to its strict Constitution allowing construction. The Germans as you are probably aware, are pretty touchy about inflation (going back to the Weimar Republic).

If East Germany is a little chilly for you (although being a Dunedinite, you could survive anywhere), you might like to consider a shoebox in one of those 40 level tower blocks in Singapore - right on the equator. You would have no difficulty finding a Singaporian to swap places with.

But the way you have "stressed" me lately - I think you deserve to live in East Germany !

Hugh Pavletich

www.PerformanceUrbanPlanning.org

Bernard Hickey has been

Bernard Hickey has been gloomy of late , hugh , has he become a " down-in-the-Malthusian "  acolyte ?

..... sad ! ..... There is so much wonderful stuff in the world , sad that Bernie finds so little joy .....

Heard a great little doco on BBC Radio this morning , regarding the " energy crisis " ...... there is so much hope in the scientific world , being hamstrung by so much dope in the political world .....

A BALANCE OF GRATITUDE AND

A BALANCE OF GRATITUDE AND VIGILANCE

GBH - I think we are extremely fortunate in having Interest Co NZ.  It is a great credit to David Chaston, the old glumster Bernard Hickey and the team, in how they have set the whole thing up.

In fact, I think it is the best of its type in the world - and just another illustration of how Kiwis can be world beaters, when they put their minds to it.

Interest Co NZ could best be described as a free for all public conversation forum, where people can say whatever they like (within reasonable bounds of decency) immediately, without being moderated / censored.

Some of the "purists" (particularly academics) sneer at this - but they are wrong. "Schooled" academics are too often nowhere near as clever, as they would like to think they are. Indeed much of the "sneering" is because they cant stand their opinions being tested in the public arena.

Sure - there are times I disagree with Bernard and the team, but then no doubt there are things I say, they disagree with as well. And understandably, things can get pretty tense, when discussing political issues too.

We have so much to be grateful for, when one considers human progress over just the past 200 years or so - around just 8 generations (this will send PDK in to a frenzy!).

The average life expectancy for a male in London 160 years ago, was just 28 years - before sewage was put underground. With that and horses, one shudders to think how cities must have stunk to high hell. To say nothing of personal hygiene generally.

One important thing we have yet to learn though, is how to better control and discipline public bureaucracies.

Poorly governed ones really are a cancer in a democracy and its biggest threat (Christchurch attempting to recover is a glaring example).

 I sure would be a lot more relaxed, if they focused on simply refining their skills as public referees - instead of us having to constantly dig them out of the bottom of the scrum all the time. Simply because they dont know where to draw the line.

So I think a good mix of gratitude and vigilance is hugely important.

Hugh Pavletich

www.PerformanceUrbanPlanning.org

America is finished....it

America is finished....it will just take a while to stop twitching.  From its corrupt brain washed pollies running the banana republic for election fund bribes to the ppl who no longer understand tehir jobs have left for china long ago....not that anyone is buying in th quantities from any source....

Tis simple the USA no longer produces enough energy above the eroei to sustain itself and and $90USD a barrel to import its economy is incapable of recovery.....

"Bright Bears" now you are back to the insults...ho ho...sorry but while housing costs do play a part its only part of the old picture.....

regards

America is rich in natural

America is rich in natural gas , oil , and clean green coal . They have no energy crisis .

..... they have a political crisis , a corruption of their congress through the actions of lobbyists . And a mental block allowing them to be held to ransom by a bunch of self-proclaimed " too-big-to-fail " banks .

But plentiful supplies of energy , coal to burn , so to speak .

Still making stuff up I see.

Still making stuff up I see.  The rate at which the US uses fossil fuels means it would run out of fossil fuel energy pretty quickly if it stopped importing.

Make a point of reading the

Make a point of reading the Evans Pritchard Telegraph article noted above.

America's great strength is its dynamism and diversity. Its America's business that makes the place and its entrepreneurial culture. America prospers in spite of its political difficulties along the way.

I was delighted to see for example the State of Florida banning Smart Growth recently. they do have the capacity to deal with problems as Chrirchill said - eventually.

History has been very harsh indeed on those predicting the downfall of the United States.

Moral Capitalism? It's too

Moral Capitalism? It's too late in the piece for that. Even if the 5% at the top end reduced their held wealth and their income stream to the level of the bottom 20%, it wouldn't help.

Why don't these folk grasp what is hitting them?

 

Because they dont want

Because they dont want to...

regards

PREDICTIONS for 2012 For

PREDICTIONS for 2012

For what its worth. Note, I would consider these on the optimistic side (since I'm in the Xmas mood). The risks are to the downside

1. NZ GDP growth in the 1-2% range. Growth will be anemic, and insufficient to drive strong employment growth or confidence. This will impact on Govt revenue. That is a story for 2013 (further govt cuts)

2. Europe to muddle through some sort of semi resolution. A crash will be avoided, but Europe's economy will be in recession in 2012, and be sickly for years.

3. China will fall back slightly further first half of 2012, before recovering somewhat through the year. Growth to fall to 7%-ish

4. USA will struggle along, expect circa 2% GDP growth. unemployment will remain above 8%

5. Aus to struggle on the back of global struggles. The mining boom will pull back a bit. GDP growth of 1.5 - 2.5%

6. NZ unemployment to remain elevated, climbing to circa 7% as 30 - 40,000 graduates struggle to find work, and the "safety valve" of Aussie job opportunities weakens 

7. House prices to be largely flat throughout the country, falling slightly in real terms

8. Construction sector to remain weak. Tourism and retail to struggle.

9. The Christchurch rebuild to muddle along, with limited GDP boost 

For me the big question is what happens in 2013 and beyond when the govt's overly optimistic predictions for 2012 fail to materialise and the govt's books get further out of whack

 

 

 

It is a terrible pity for us

It is a terrible pity for us all that the grand gloomsterisator prognosticator of past , Bernard Downinthemouthious Hickey , no longer regales us with his visions into the crystal ball of finance .....

Gummy reckons we're in for a stellar year on the world's stockmarkets , led by the DOW in the USA , which will blast through 15 000 points .....

You are more optimistic than

You are more optimistic than me, so I hope you are right.

1, 3, 5. Implications of China growth less than or around 7% are very bad for Oz and hence NZ.

6. Impact of many part-time jobs not well researched but could be horrible.

Agree with the rest.

Cheers and thanks

1 assuming no

1 assuming no implosions....ie the 2nd Great Depression collapsing NZ house prices, but even on a bad year I cant see more than a 10~15% drop...

2 Europe will fragment, the Euro will be toast probably by mid year. The only Q is will Germany and France leave or will they kick out the PIIGS....Im wondering on the former.

3 No idea on china I think its all smoke and mirrors.......real GDP ie producing real goods that get sold and used is I think no better than us....

4 USA I think will do worse in 2012.....its election year and the GOP want Obama out no matter what the cost to Americans....so I expect financial russian roulette...and I think it will go bang...Unemployment >10% on their fiddled numbers.

5 OZ....housing looks bad....all hang son China

6 Yep...

7 I think the prices in select areas will continue to defy gravity....others will lose 5%+

8 Yep...and yep.....

9 I think the population and businesses are haemorraging from Chch....I think it will become obvious in 2012 that Chch is going nowhere.......I exect that there will be an announcment by private insurers that eq cover will be removed from house insurance cover or eq premiums will become unaffordable....in Chch at least....IMHO anyone insuring Chch with a window of 4 or 5 years of after shocks is mad.

For me its watching the Oil output for signs of an exit from the current plateau and AGW for 2012 or 2013 it will hit a record year...then the 1998 brigade will be put out to pasture. I think our Govn will muddle along and whine that its not thier fault as recovery stays dead and the tax take does not recover....

regards

Just change one word

Just change one word Parky.... not "forced"...use "encouraged"  or maybe "eager"...

Other than that, pretty well sums up the shite system operating in NZ and heck, everywhere else.

Throw in stupid pollies, greedy bureaucracy, useless media and very very stupid people and you have yourself a recipe for one stonking big financial mess wrapped up in a farce and helped along the way by a gutless banking toady RBNZ.

Here we are with gst raised to destroy the building sector jobs....with well over $1 billion in landlord subsidies dished out through winz  and why...to protect the property bubble to make sure the greedy banks that imagined up the credit to blow the bubble are not having to lose out...collapse...go bust...

The whole stinking system is dog puke pretending to be a well run economy....hahaaahhaa.

And I didn't even have to include the local govt salary bloated madness...how's that song go?

"Oh what a country...what a country...what a bleeding joke...."

John Kelly - GDP is a

John Kelly - GDP is a nonsense measure, and %tages are non-linear. China's real growth, YOY, can be deduced by monitoring it's energy use, minus some kind of efficxiency factor.

I'm guessing they're at 3.4 BTCE (billion tons of coal equivalent).and they were 3.25 in 2010.

Just watch that number next year.....or stand on the end of the Hay Point wharf, and do a vessel count.

It's actual activity that needs to be counted, inclusive of physical depreciation. So many folk miss the point.

 

2011 was the year, which told

2011 was the year, which told us of accumulating and accelerating world problems. 2012 is going to affect us all, because of the complexity of the world problems, before it gets out of control and humanity will suffer.

Looking into current developments on many fronts – the world will never recover again, simply because among the powerful in societies ethic and moral requirements and standards don’t prevail.

1) Tension in the Middle East

1) Tension in the Middle East in 2012 rising to… ??

Problems along street of Hormuz – oil price up !

http://www.the33tv.com/news/sns-rt-us-iran-oil-hormuz-factstre7br0fp-201...

 "How long can the European

 "How long can the European media keep the EU credit implosion a secret? The disgraced former IMF Director, Demonic Strauss Kahn said on Tuesday December 12th, 2011 that No 'Firewall' Exists and Europe Has 'Only Weeks'. Of course within minutes of this Financial Times news release which detailed his vent on EU leadership and the perilous situation in Europe, the article disappeared"

 http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article32327.html

Hear no collapse...see no losses...speak no depression....and everything will be fabulous with recovery underway....believe it or not the crisis will just go poooof...all gone....

Some good news stories for

Some good news stories for 2012  -  Hers the first one

Tauranga has another gain over Auckland with the likelihood it will be the first New Zealand port to expand its capacity to accept mega-container ships.

This after the Environment Court backed its plan to dredge the channel to accept the vessels, which are 40% larger than can now be handled at Ports of Auckland.

Mist - re yours of 9.12 and

Mist - re yours of 9.12 and above

Entirely agree.

Time I had a shiraz. A lovely young Wwooffer is using her energy to chop our firewood. In return, I'm teaching her.........   physics.

:)

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