It's a fair question to ask whether Treasury heads should roll over their Crown retail deposit guarantee scheme management, Labour's David Parker says

It's a fair question to ask whether Treasury heads should roll over their Crown retail deposit guarantee scheme management, Labour's David Parker says

By Gareth Vaughan

Asking whether heads should roll at Treasury over its management of the Crown retail deposit guarantee scheme, from which taxpayers face a gross loss of about NZ$1 billion, is a fair question, according to Labour Party finance spokesman David Parker.

However, Parker told interest.co.nz that Treasury officials must first acknowledge they "cocked up" before the appropriate consequences of their wrong doing were determined.

Meanwhile, Parker also hit out at the National Party members of Parliament's Finance and Expenditure Select Committee, accusing them of abuse of process for preventing him from calling Treasury officials for questioning before the Committee.

Parker has, so far unsuccessfully, been trying to have Treasury officials hauled before the Committee for questioning on the scheme. His move was prompted by Deputy Controller and Auditor General Phillippa Smith's appearance before the committee late last month, when she discussed the Auditor General's report on the 2008 implementation and subsequent management of the scheme, which was finally brought to an end on December 31 last year with the closing of the extended Crown retail deposit guarantee scheme.

In her report, released last October, Auditor General Lyn Provost said Treasury should have been more willing to intervene to prevent finance companies significantly increasing their taxpayer guaranteed liabilities once they had the guarantee in place, rather than merely looking to recover what it could after a company fell over.

Parker said, based on Smith's comments, the loss to the taxpayer could have been at least NZ$100 million less if Treasury had taken a more proactive management role.

'Fair question'

Asked if he ultimately thought heads should roll at Treasury as a result of this Parker said: "That's a fair question."

"What I would say, irrespective of whether heads should roll, is people should be held to account. Whether that's by the rolling of heads or by getting them to first admit they have cocked up... the appropriate consequence of wrong doing relies upon first getting an acknowledgment of wrong doing. And at the moment they're saying, 'the scheme worked over all, we don't interfere in financial markets, and we haven't done anything substantially wrong'."

"And to the extent they do (admit) anything, you might get a very grudging 'oh, well maybe if we did it again we'd look at it differently.' They need to drop those pretend justifications because they're not justifications," Parker said.

When questioned in Parliament by Parker recently, Finance Minister Bill English acknowledged Treasury didn't immediately establish the types of checks and balances you would expect for the management of such a big taxpayer liability when the Crown retail deposit guarantee scheme was launched at the height of the global financial crisis in October 2008.

At its zenith the scheme guaranteed about NZ$133 billion. Ultimately nine finance companies failed with debts guaranteed by the taxpayer, starting with Mascot Finance in March 2009, including South Canterbury Finance in August 2010, and ending with Equitable Mortgages in November 2010.

All up, the taxpayer paid out NZ$1.97 billion to finance company investors. English has put the amount reimbursed through receiverships so far at NZ$523 million, and up to June 30, 2011 a further NZ$355 million was collected in fees from companies participating in the scheme, leaving the taxpayer still more than NZ$1 billion out of pocket.

Intensive monitoring didn't start till after first failure

Provost's report notes Treasury didn't begin to intensively monitor individual companies until March 2009 when Mascot Finance was tipped into receivership. By this point South Canterbury Finance had increased its deposit base, and therefore potential Crown liability, by 25%, with much of the lending to property developers.

"The answer of Treasury is oh so superficial," said Parker. "They first of all say it (the Crown guarantee scheme) has been a success because the financial sector didn't fall over. But that's no excuse for wasting money."

"(And) they say they don't like to intervene in financial markets. (But) they already have by the grant of the guarantee and once you do put yourself at risk under a guarantee, you should prudently manage that risk so it doesn't cost you more than it ought."

'Not the RBNZ's fault'

Furthermore Parker said, Treasury - and some of the government members of the Select Committee - blamed the Reserve Bank, from which Treasury received financial information on the companies with guaranteed debts. However, Parker didn't buy this.

"The idea that the Treasury should've relied on some data series produced by the Reserve Bank as their information set as guarantor is just ridiculous. Because as a matter of law the guarantor has a right to know what their liability is to debtors, daily if they want."

"They (Treasury) had a direct legal right as guarantor to that information rather than relying on some statistical data series that's historical," said Parker, adding the strength of Treasury's excuses is "so patently unworthy" they need to be forced to acknowledge it.

Having been blocked once by the National Party majority on the Select Committee (see the full list of committee members here and watch Parker questioning new select committee chairman Todd McClay in Parliament here) from calling Treasury officials in for questioning, Parker said he'll continue to try and convince his fellow committee members to call Treasury to account for its management of the scheme.

'National complicit'

Parker argued the National government must also take some responsibility for Treasury's short comings.

"This is first and foremost a cock up of the Treasury (but) the Treasury is a government department, and it does reflect their (National's) claim that they're a fine manager of the economy because this is an instance where they haven't been and it has cost the taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars."

Furthermore, he maintains the government has dragged itself in deeper by "being complicit" both through National Party MPs' actions in Parliament, and in their refusal to let the Select Committee - on behalf of Parliament - follow through on what the Auditor General had highlighted.

"Now, the Auditor General, in a constitutional sense, is an Officer of Parliament. And that Officer of Parliament has reported to Parliament that the Treasury cocked up to the tune of NZ$100 million or more, and yet they are blocking us in Parliament from holding them (Treasury) to account," said Parker.

The only "fig leaf" McClay has used in defence, said Parker, was that Treasury's annual financial review in front of the Select Committee included a look at the Crown retail deposit guarantee scheme. However, Parker said the Auditor General's report wasn't on the agenda at that hearing and nor had the committee then heard from Smith.

'Abuse of process'

Here, he accuses the National MPs of abuse of process.

"Given that, at least in theory, the role of the Select Committee is to hold government departments to account for mismanagement, if this financial expenditure committee can't because the government members block us doing it, why do we pretend that that's one of the proper functions of select committees?"

He said this was an important point because New Zealand had few checks and balances compared with a lot of other countries.

"We've only got one House of Representatives, all the power lies with the executive. And if the few constitutional safeguards that we have got against inappropriate actions are undermined or aren't let to operate... there are points of principle here that go beyond the seriousness of this case."

"If they abuse process on this, well you've got to ask yourself whether this is something they (National) should be severely criticised for and I believe they should be."

Treasury says it 'generally ran the scheme well', disagrees it should've intervened more

After Provost issued her report Treasury released a press release entitled Treasury welcomes guarantee scheme findings by Auditor General. The release quoted Treasury secretary Gabriel Makhlouf saying Treasury disagreed with the assertion that more intervention in finance companies may have reduced the fiscal risks that were an "inevitable consequence" of the scheme.

"The guarantee scheme was already a very significant, but necessary, intervention in New Zealand's financial system. The Treasury considered a range of further interventions but couldn't find a case where intervention was more likely to create a better outcome. All interventions carry a degree of risk and we don't believe that the Auditor General's report gives sufficient weight to the risks that further interventions would have created," Makhlouf said.

He added he was pleased the report found "that the Treasury generally ran the scheme well. The report will be a key resource in ensuring that we learn as much as possible from that experience."

You can read my views in this article: Opinion: Treasury's ambulance at the bottom of the Crown retail deposit guarantee scheme cliff wasn't good enough.

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Gummie's got a shockingly bad memory David , but wasn't it your mob that introduced the crown retail deposit guarantee scheme ?
 
...... don't blame the Treasury , for the fact that they mismanaged the rotten corpse you dumped upon their laps  .....
 
They weren't the economic funeral undertakers , your Labour government was ....... you lot stood idly by while the finance company bubble inflated , and then exploded .....

How can one reasonably expect a group like Treasury to oversee the performance of financial institutions? 
 
Surely their focus is rightfully on lecturing teachers on how they should do their job, which is their big act at present.
 
I mean, you have to have priorities!
 

What a cheek Parker! 
YOU KNOW damn well why! Cullen should be your focus of utter contempt
 

The finger should be pointed at whomever decided that the finance companies could be eligible for the scheme. The only ones who benefited from the delayed demise of SCF were hedge funds and some high net worth individuals.

It always amazes me how politicians can talk such utter crap and get away with not being held accountable.  Perhaps it is time that parliament brought in new legislation called the "Seppuku Bill" - the Japanese used this form of self punishment well!
By the way I have a cool $26m (not) to invest and I want 10% guaranteed return with no risks attached so that I can continue living my modest lifestyle.  Would Treasury please provide me a guarantee to protect my investment in Bridgecorp, or was that Capital & Merchant Finance....

This is just one of those things that was conceived in the face of an impending calamity and some of the nuts and bolts weren't tightened up properly because there just wasn't time.
Parker cant blame Treasury or the Nats though. It was his mob that should have thought about things a bit more carefully. The guarantee had to be put in place once the Aussies had done so. Once the banks had a guarantee the finance companies had to have one or they all would have gone bust immediately with terrible consequences for depositors and borrowers. As it was, institutions which were lending but not covered by the guarantee such as the mortgage funds had to freeze redemptions.
 
What Labour could have done was write some legislation that meant any increase in an institution's deposit base would not be covered by the guarantee but they did not think of it. Too busy taking credit for decisive action in the run up to the Election. Not sure what power Treasury had to restrict institutions activities once they had been admitted to the scheme but given the lack of thought that went into the legislation probably not much.

Have to admit I'm surprised with some of the responses here.
The way I see it there are three main issues around the Crown guarantee scheme. 1) It being brought in at all, including the decision to let finance companies in.
2) It's management by Treasury, which the Auditor General's report and David Parker's criticisms cover,
and 3) the way money was paid out to investors in failed firms.
This story addresses No 2.
I would challenge any NZ taxpayer to read the Auditor General's report and after doing so tell me they were happy with the way Treasury managed the scheme.
Whether Treasury officials supported the introduction of the scheme or wanted to manage it, aren't the issues. They are public servants, who as Parker puts it should have prudently managed the risk so it didn't cost taxpayers more than it ought.
In this they failed and questions should therefore be asked.
The way I see it, on this issue David Parker is doing his job as opposition finance spokesman and being dicked around by the Nats on the select committee.

Well sometime back Gareth you did a brilliant piece and knocked the scab right of this festering little wart Treasury covered up.
Nothing like a bit of media pressure to aid Parkers's calls for accountability..........
 Said it then say it again .....you did a great job ..! don't let go...dig ...probe...annoy......and good luck.! 

Cheers Christov.

Counterpoints.

  • The scheme was designed and announced in a single day.
  • It was always designed to be temporary so building in depth or on going risk management around it was always going to be problematic.
  • Treasury appears to have done exactly as government requested but no more.
  • The market intervention suggested by the auditor is unprecendented.

The auditor is simply stating it is her/his preference to have had better risk management in the situation.  This should in no way be construed as failure of the scheme, to quote the report itself:
"Overall, the Scheme achieved its goal. No banks in New Zealand failed, and there was no run on banks."

Essentially your closing statement there Ralph...is... the end justifies the means
But it is the means and under what direction they took place in question here.
If I transfer that statement to QE2 the rule applies equally...but it does not mean  it is best practice....nor entirely independent of external pressure from the sitting Administration. 
 And just for the record....I know you have forgotten more than I know on matters of Finance.

That's not my particular statement, it is a quote from the auditor and I only used it to counterpoint the specific claim made that the scheme "failed".
Of course you are right means can never, in and of themselves, justify ends.  But it is also true that witch hunting a past of exceptional circumstances is of little use and often counter productive.
In my opinion the audit has merit and value but witch hunting does not.

Cheers Ralph....I see the merit in what you say...but at the same time ,I have really enjoyed the work Gareth has done on this...and feel it more deserving than the attention it has recieved...sooo, you know, I'd like to see him shake the tree a little longer and see if it starts losing it's nuts. 
 For David parker...well  I'd say he read the original piece by Gareth and thought  whoohoo ! some good press for me and a chance to irritate Keystone Corp to boot oh yeah this is a good idea.

The scheme failed miserably when it was extended, under National Party stewardship, to firms which were by any standard outside the risk limits -  that is insolvent .
South Canterbury Finance fitted this description and should have been denied an extension  to relieve the taxpayers of unnecessary cost.

The RBNZ also presented Treasury with a good reason not to let Equitable Mortgages (or rather its debts) into the scheme - http://www.interest.co.nz/news/55964/how-treasury-ignored-rbnzs-advice-h...

Parker's lucky if he's only being " dicked around by the Nats on the select committee " , rather than by a few members of his own back-bench ......
 
...... even the term  " back-bench " sounds sleazy when it's applied to the Labour Party .....
 
..... 'fess up Parksy : You know full well that Cullen set the tax-payer up to be responsible for other people's careless financial behaviour .... pure & simple ......

One for the suggestion box.
 
The "guarantee scheme" came out of a midnight phone call from Kevin Rudd to Helen Clarke for the purpose of harmonising the two governments responses to the GFC and calming down the populace. Have a look at the two schemes as announced. Have a look at the amount the Australian scheme has paid out. Zero. Somewhere after hanging up the phone and making the announcement, someone got into Clarke's ear that the NZ response needed to include the Finance Companies. The why has never been explained.
 
The challenge is for someone to write a John Clarke type essay that parodies the phone  calls that erupted as the grapevine ran hot, and who was on the other end of those phone calls.
 
That one single decision cost the NZ taxpayer $2 billion

I'm up for it iconolast ...over the weekend maybe...something like this
Ring..ring..!
Clarke....get off me Judith the red phone's  ringing...!
Clarke....hello..!
 Rudd...is that you Helen...?
Clarke....yes, is that you Julia..?
Rudd......no....er it's Kevin here ,...were you expecting a call from Julia...?
Clarke....aw ...no ...not  really....I mean it's just your voice is a little high on this line ...
Rudd ....yes, well look Helen never mind that now ,I...
Clarke...Whew!
Rudd...er think we......................
 
 
 
feel free to add.
 

I have argued for years that we need a specialist advisory board to the RB and/or Treasury made up of ex-market professionals, who can be called on to provide objective advice in situations such as these and ones we will continue to experience. Bollard's book simply confirmed to me that they don't have the proper experience in these institutions to deal with global financial systems when they go wrong, as they will continue to do. 
As to this article, many people in Parliament and government knew the finance companies were insolvent (this goes back to 2004 and 2006 emails I wrote). Regardless of the initial guarantee, there was plenty of time, as Stephen notes, to amend the scheme to operate in the most responsbile and effective manner. 

It should be obvious why the Finance Companies had to be covered. Depositors have taken an unbelievable hiding as it is. It would have been much worse if the banks had  a govt guarantee and the Finance companies had not. They would all have had to shut their doors overnight as the cash was sucked out. I dont recxall Finance Companies being a big factor in Australia so the question that should be answered one day is how they got so big here without any supervision to speak of.  They became a systemic risk to this economy and we are still suffering from the loss of wealth that occurred ( let alone the depositors who got caught.).
 
Once South Canterbury was in the scheme and had boosted its deposit base the horse had bolted. I dont think extending the cover period made much difference to what the tax payer was on the hook for as the extension did not cover new deposits did it?
 
There were some companies that should not have been covered but whether Treasury had the competency to suss that at short notice is doubtful. Maybe in hindsight it would have been better for DeLoittes or someone with some insolvency experience around lending institutions to have had a look first.
Most of the damage was done by South Canterbury and I cant imagine what would have happened at the time if they had been excluded.

Waripori: The title of the act was "Crown Retail Deposit Guarantee Scheme Act", and you refer in both your posts to "depositors". Can you explain how people who funneled money into  finance companies by way of debentures,  suddenly become depositors? They weren't. They were debenture holders.
Including SCF into the scheme both compounded the problem and postponed the inevitable

Can you quote the definition of a deposit in the Act? Some banks have debenture stock dont they? Some Finance companies had money at call which was probably unsecured rather than secured by debenture.
Does  the Debenture versus term Deposit distinction make any real difference and how would the public have interpreted that at the time? The whole idea was to maintain confidence.
I'm not defending the scheme. It may have been the lesser of evils or maybe not. All I am saying is that once the decision was taken everything else that has happened was just about inevitable. Roughly the same thing happened with the savings and Loan shenangans in the USA.. That really revolved around wide boys misusing the Federal Deposit Guarantee Scheme .

Definition of debenture: Unsecured debt backed only by the integrity of the 
borrower, not by collateral, and documented by an agreement called an 
indenture.
integrity of the borrower....becomes the area of scrutiny here....some banks ...yes , but in the event of default the integriy of that debenture stock would be underwritten through the "Borrowers"(banks ) integrity as a whole entity.
 The difference by definition is colored and muddied at the same time by the definition of  secured and unsecured debt purchase.

My vague recollection is that the distinction drawn by the act was not between debenture and deposit ( both of which are probably covered by the definition although i have never actually seen it ) but between wholesale and retail and I seem to remember that had a monetary amount specified as to what was what. Was it a Million Dollars and anything over that was considered wholesale ?

My vague recollection, from working the enforcement side (for a couple of years) is that the TITLE of the legislation is the important bit, and the clauses and sections and sub-sections cannot re-define the TITLE. In the absence of a definition of RETAIL it means non-commercial or non-institutional, and DEPOSIT means at-call-deposits.
 
Where do you fit Torchlight's $50 million of debentures into that.

Torchlight ...qualifies as wholesale money.....still reliant on the integrity of the borrower as debenture stock.
Ultimately the taxpayer was in no position to assume responsibility for the Integrity of that Borrower.
 Effectively the Responsibility of Integrity was transfered through force of law to the taxpayer. 

The Torchlight 50 mill was not covered by the Guarantee and were there not some other lenders who also got paid out when they were not elegible?  The Government decided to cough up in order to get any prior security holders out of the way didn't they so they could realise any assets without spending the next twenty years in court.
I have no idea whether that made sense or not. You would need to know what security had been pledged  for what funding and given Hubbard's systems it was probably hard to tell.

Point taken Waripori ...but the reference to the transfer of responsiblity by force of law.. to the taxpayer still stands for  any payout covered under that guarantee.
 It is undeniably a case of the Administration pre-empting Public opinion in deciding what is best for all concerned without reasonable consultation nor due dilligence in the Public interest.

You are right of course but that is what Governments do all the time, almost by definition.

Ever wonder about people who say they are giving more than 100% ?
We have all been to those meetings where someone wants over 100%.
How about achieving 103 %? Here is a little math that might prove helpful.
What makes life 100%?

If:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Is represented as
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26

Then:
H A R D W O R K
8 1 18 4 23 15 18 11 = 98%

K N O W L E D G E
11 14 15 23 12 5 4 7 5 = 96%
But,
A T T I T U D E
1 20 20 9 20 21 4 5 = 100%

And,
B U L L S H I T
2 21 12 12 19 8 9 20 = 103%

So it stands to reason that hard work and knowledge will get you close, Attitude will get you there, and Bullshit will take you over the top. But look how far ass kissing will take you.

A S S K I S S I N G
1 19 19 11 9 19 19 9 14 7 = 118%.

So the next time someone asks you to give more than 100%, you know what is required of you.
 

Oldie but still a goodie Mike B.

And just look how far these can go...
C-O-R-R-U-P-T-I-O-N = 148%.
C-R-O-N-Y-I-S-M = 116%

Treasury need to admit they ******
With a headline like this someone at interest.co.nz likes pushing boundaries

Perhaps...Kiwi...But that same someone, has done the homework to backup the statement.
There is a culture of elitism out there or untouchability if you like, that see their accountabilility  as an internal issue only....all too often enqiuries are managed/staged rather than enacted in a clear transparent manner......Those that appear to be open and in the public interest i.e. "the winebox" are simply styfled by the elitist capability to smother the fire with green muscle and stomp it before it catches.
 We are expected to be satisfied with tossing the odd Rod Petricevic to the baying wolves by way of small token.
The concern for investigative journalists out there these days ...has become the closed shop fraternity of eliteism that now appears above investigation.
 
As I said the other day ...it's the in your face...what are you gonna do about it.....attitude that, if you listen carefully, you can hear from the top of the Hive, that sticks in my gut....
Don't wear the mantle if it isn't fit to be tested occassionaly.
The journo here for what  it's worth, ( I think) has done a great job, may he continue to do so.
Consider this the people who influence political outcomes in N.Z. now have one of their own installed as the CEO unlike Muldoon they will not be so keen to allow the wolves within sniffing range even at the end of his tenure.

A quality newspaper like the New York Times wouldn't have a headline like this, probably because they value their readers.

No ...Kiwi ..it's because their scared to offend in a litigious society......that's actually why.!! 

christoff: Have you forgotten. Think of it this way. Muldoon started it. He was so in-your-face he shat-in-your-face, and before you could scrape it off another load arrived. And the hordes cried out for more. More he said, and delivered another load. Now-a-days they have elevated it to an art-form. It's more sophisticated and smooth with added flavouring.

No iconolast I had not forgotten....in your face, for Muldoon, was an understatement but....and this is the big BUT....he was not part of the elite...sure they had his ear untill he got ideas above his station and pissed them off too....Bob Jones was to be the messenger of doom for Muldoon.
Despite some of his banal theatrics in the latter years..(I believe) he still saw himself as  a common man with power....he had the innate ability to polarise  before ever being Prime Minister....he was an easy mark for the Media on soooo many levels and his bitterness about that grew as he aged in the job......he floundered ...became indecisive...focused  too much on maintaining control rather than getting on with the job...untill the buzzards (and reasonably so) descended to dismantle him in the most public way.
His end was undignified ,a reflection of his tenure.......Key is smug in the knowledge the muzzled media will never get  the opportunity where he is concerned to portray him as anything other than Smile n Wave.....when this little Ba$&ard is doing anything but...every smile a sneer every wave a two fingered salute to the rif raf who now question giving him a mandate......and two words offered as cold comfort...Too late.
 
 I quite agree it is more sofisticated but no less arrogant ...indifferent...intolerant to those not in agreement with the agenda. 

So .. to revisit a discussion we had last year .. do you now think Winstone would be beyond the reach of the ELITES

It's funny you should  say that  iconolast....He was and still is a true disciple of Muldoons and indeed became Muldoons....Judas.
 Never lose sight of Winnies most public admission ' I am not in this for the baubles of power".....now just remove not and baubles of from the sentence and you will see what was uppermost on his mind.
Rather than beyond reach....there are those who would spend a fortune to keep him hogtied given the public nuisance he caused them some years back. He is unwanted by the elite under any circumstance reflected in Keys outright refusal to Govern with him involved.
Does that make him a good choice...no not necessarily , because ( I believe ) his focus is on power and revenge by veto....He touches the people with Nationalistic rhetoric but fails to produce the math to support some of his  proposed possibilities.
 I think what he is in nature and heart is an excellent Inquisitor....suited to root out deception and subtefuge...because.............................
He knows what he's looking for....he knows it's stink...he knows the animal.....it's called a Lying Politician.
If  I wanted a witch hunt he would be my witch smeller.

And pushing is what 's required.
 
We can hardly endure or finance a never ending trail of cock-ups.
 
The incompetence exposed by the Auditor General at both ministerial and civil service levels is astounding.
 
The same is happening with the partial sale of the energy companies.
 
Electricity and gas prices are being ramped in the pursuit of ideology based on crony capitalism.
 
Unfortunately little analysis is being projected into the public arena calculating how much damage this policy action is exerting on GDP growth when combined with higher pertrol complex prices .
 
Read this interesting note as an primer for the need to investigate further.  
 

I tend to pay more attention to people who don't need to use off color language to make their point.
I like to be pursuaded by the weight of ideas, rather than by someone attempting to use the force of bad language to pursuade.
I agree that Treasury should be accountable for their actions.
nb: I like to read Zerohedge articles and the commentry but I often get put off discovering whats in some peoples minds over there.
 
 

Kiwi I would urge you to read Gareth's original piece on this......he will give you the link ,I think, or just scroll through his list of editorials.
I think it quite sad you should find offence in what is a KIWI vanacular.....the use of the word cock has little to do with a penile misadventure.
Besides I have enough trouble surviving round here without you stirring up the moderator......so, a little selfish on my part to stomp out puritans before the entrench themselves.

Ta Gareth.....Kiwi for your illumination.....Kiwi..? you still here...?

Interesting to go back and read the comments. How attitudes and ideas change. 

Hey GBH ..you want a giggle ...? go here ..up four or five...then just read down...

At least Parker isn't sugar coating the message with a layer of trendy managerial speak --  : A " cock up " is what it is ........
 
...... and that brooks no misunderstandings !
 
Even Labour party members can appreciate the positives of a good old fashioned  cock up ......... lawd knows , it's all that they do with any competency .......

""before they entrench themselves."
Its too late.  I'm here.
 
" I have enough trouble surviving round here"
what sort of trouble?

""before they entrench themselves."
Its too late.  I'm here.

That's provocative - what's your agenda in the immoral cesspit of usury that you could find  redeeming?
 

Hahaha...spat my drink ...wish I'd said it.

On part one Kiwi....yes I see that your here....still here...and that is a good thing...so let's not spoil the atmos on that .
On part two...well ...er...this off color language you speak of....I ...um.. er...ah...might  substitute excrement with another word occassionaly....in the interests of brevity.....but it's all about visualisation........you get the idea.  
As a consequence ...I may recieve an edit or two or three...well anyway you get the picture.
 P.S.shouting is not tolerated by Bernard....best you warn Snippy before the Big B .  comes down hard.

As ever SoreL....eloquent...and succinct with a clear understanding of  the matter...
 p.s. love the........ richard around with an off colour probe.
about covers it.

No doubt about it Mr Parker...you need your face rubbed in it....9 years and what did we get from you and your mates...cockup and farce....Labour really did the country a service didn't it Parker!
As for the 'salary bloats' in Treasury.... we ended up with monkeys after being dumb enough to hand over half million dollar plus salaries....same goes for the RBNZ.