Top Blog Stories Last Week

Top Blog Stories Last Week

1- Opinion: 10 reasons why the March housing surge was an "˜Indian Summer' April 9th, 2009 By Bernard Hickey The weather as I write this (driving hail here in Auckland) suggests winter has arrived with a vengeance, but an initial look at a closely watched indicator of house sales out today appears to show the sun returning to the market that drives the New Zealand economy.
2- Analysis: Why it's now almost cheaper to buy than to rent April 12th, 2009 By Bernard Hickey The common refrain from potential home buyers for years has been that it is cheaper to rent than to buy. The sharp rise in house prices from 2003 to the end of 2007 combined with a rise in the 2 year fixed mortgage rate from 6% to almost 10% over the same period seemed to be the death knell for many dreams of home ownership.
3- Analysis: Bank profits on interest rates are falling, not rising April 16th, 2009 By Bernard Hickey It is the biggest free kick in New Zealand's political and business scene right now. Everyone is kicking the big four Australian-owned banks because, it's assumed, they're profiteering on interest rates at the expense of farmers, homeowners, small businesses and big businesses. The big four are padding their profits by not passing on rate cuts, the argument goes. The other assumption is that the only "˜good' bank is Kiwibank, which has sacrificed profits by cutting interest rates.
4- Opinion: Why it may already be too late to fix interest rates April 15th, 2009 Roger J Kerr By Roger J Kerr The management of monetary policy (and thus interest rates) is under real scrutiny again as the RBNZ find themselves in a real bind between (yet again!) the rock and a hard place. Monetary conditions have involuntary tightened over the last few weeks as both the currency and term interest rates have increased.
5- Top 10 at 10: The US$4 trln toxic debt problem; the giant fraud on US taxpayers; the Dubai lie April 13th, 2009 Here's my top 10 links from around the Internet at 10 am. I welcome your suggestions in the comments below. 1. The Americans are up to their old (Smoot Hawley) protectionist tricks again, launching an anti-dumping action against Chinese steel imports, Bloomberg reports. Perhaps China should call America's bluff and pledge not to fund the ballooning American budget deficit? American politicians speak with forked tongues on free trade all the time. Obama pledges not to make the mistakes of the past and then his officials, egged on by lobbyists, launch trade restrictions regularly. New Zealand should avoid being dragged into a "˜Free Trade' Agreement with the United States and stick instead to the much fairer WTO processes.

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