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Daily briefing for Thursday, January 20, 2011; recalling dodgy financial products; home loans languish; wool prices surge

Daily briefing for Thursday, January 20, 2011; recalling dodgy financial products; home loans languish; wool prices surge

Here is a quick snapshot of some key overnight news, views, and data.

Counterfeit euros
In case you missed the link in AndrewJ's comment from yesterday's briefing, it is worth repeating. The Irish central bank may have been creating euros, big time. The legality, and the wisdom is very questionable. Heaven help the euro if every country does this. Can't imagine the Germans tolerating it.

Product recall notices
What if bankers had to recall dodgy products, just like manufacturers do? Mark Gilbert ponders the implications.

Starting slow
The number of home loans approved over the Christmas-New Year holday period was the lowest in at least six years - since November 2003 when the RBNZ monitoring started.

Right and wrong
"Pessimists are usually right and optimists are usually wrong but all the great changes have been accomplished by optimists."
Thomas L. Friedman  

more below ...

     7 am       ---   52 week  --  
    Today   yesterday   high low  
     --------    --------   --------- ---------   
FX rates NZ$1=US$ 0.7711   0.7698   0.7964 0.6584  
  NZ$1=AU$ 0.7698   0.7720   0.8212 0.7408  
Gold in US$/oz 1,371   1,368   1,421 1,058  
  in NZ$ 1,778   1,777   1,877 1,507  
Copper in US$/t 9,560   9,730   9,754 6,091  
  in NZ$ 12,398   12,640   12,811 8,951  
Crude oil in US$/bl 92.01   91.44   91.91 70.15  
  in NZ$ 119.32   118.78   121.36 101.30  
US Treasuries 30 yr bond 4.56%   4.58%   4.78% 3.61%  
Dow DJIA 30 11,816   11,850   11,850 9,614  

Recovering fast
For a long time, NZ farmers have been paid squat for their wool clip. Wool may have been a premium product, but farmers did not get a premium price. But since August 2010 that has changed, and fast. Now the premium is flowing through to the farm gate, doubling in six months. A pity so many farmers abandoned the product during the long years of pathetic returns.

Sharp slide
Goldman Sachs have announced a halving of their 4th quarter profits to US$2.4 billion, as their revenues fell 10%, more than analysts expected. Their shares took a hit. But 2010 bonuses were down just 5% to $15.4 billion.

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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So Robert Mugabe had it right all along  ....

Firing up the presses seems to be quite in vogue.

Just make sure you give it a new name  QE  QE2 ...  whatever  ..

Maybe it's not such a silly idea in the current crazy debt filled climate

UK, US, Zimbabwe, Ireland  We'd be in good company !

Now here's a top article "Time to buy property, says Tower"

...and when those interest rates you expect to rise, do, Sam, what happens to the repayment amounts that current mortgage holders have? But at least you're on to something when you note " The problem is, more debt doesn't solve a debt crisis " So how does encouraging more household debt help our nation? And where's the mention of 'wage rises' to offset the inflation, Sam? I'm sure your job, being finanace based and all, will do okay - with compensating rises; but what about the rest of New Zealand? Won't they have to sell their assets to eat? The ultimate indignity - having to 'eat your home'.

Following on from the Tower article, the local paper in Tauranga reports that last month the median, not average, price of property increased by $50,000 to a high (higher than back in 2007) of $379,500.  This was on 84 sales, there were another 49 in the Mount at median of $410,000

See my response on the other thread, muzza....

Yes, ditto

Time for a new subject.  We have the Maori Party and I see the Chinese want to start their own party.  Is it not time to start a Pommy party - open of course to NZ born descendents of poms or indeed anyone.                                                                  Cheers Didge. 

We already have those don't we, they're called Labour and National?

Political  parties that are aligned to either religious groups or ethnicity are reserved solely for countries where "Democracy" is being introduced either by the British, or (nowadays) the Americans.  Not the sort of democracy we want around here.

No. NZ has a great "democratic" system based around the hegelian false left-right paradigm. We even get to practice democracy on one day in every three years. 

May be a good reason to scrap MMP if MMP encourages a Chinese Party etc

What ever happened to the Top 10 . . . and dilbert?

Hi Peter. Bernard is due back at work tomorrow. Cheers.

Phew . . . and thanks

Securitisation is the Banks way of printing money.  This web site has three articles on this very subject.

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Days to the General Election: 40
See Party Policies here. Party Lists here.