Monday's Top 10 with NZ Mint: Hotchin's PR advisor; Hotchin's a cold fish; Niall Ferguson on the end of America's Empire; Fresh Icelandic revolt; Dilberts

Monday's Top 10 with NZ Mint: Hotchin's PR advisor; Hotchin's a cold fish; Niall Ferguson on the end of America's Empire; Fresh Icelandic revolt; Dilberts

I'm back from School Camp. Many thanks to David for holding the Top 10 fort.

Here are my Top 10 links from around the Internet at 10 past 1 pm, brought to you in association with New Zealand Mint for your reading pleasure.

I welcome your additions and comments below, or please send suggestions for Tuesday's Top 10 at 10 via email to bernard.hickey@interest.co.nz.

1. With friends like these - Mark Hotchin's carefully orchestrated PR campaign of the last week was orchestrated by a PR guy who has lobbied for the tobacco industry, NZHerald reports.

The PR guy is Carrick Graham, the son of Sir Doug Graham, who is the former chairman of the (very former) finance company Lombard Finance.

Carrick may have to do some pro-bono work for Dad at some stage.

The former National cabinet minister faces criminal charges from the Securities Commission over his role as chairman at Lombard.

See more here at NZHerald.

See more here from Gareth Vaughan on Lombard's alleged disclosure breaches.

What Hotchin really needs is Glenn Inwood, the guy who lobbies for the Japanese whalers.

Now that's someone with cheek who can defend the undefendable.

2. A cold fish - Meanwhile, a body language expert has told NZHerald that Hotchin came across in the interviews as a cold, emotionless and lacking in real empathy.

His verdict on Hotchin was scathing. Kelly said it looked like Hotchin believed he was an ethical guy who "has convinced himself he has done no wrong". His body language does not reveal a lot of empathy "and he came across as cold".

"You would think he would have a lot more empathy for people who have lost their life-savings," he said.

Kelly, of Kelly Speech Communication, said Hotchin appeared to have taken a hard-line, intellectual, corporate approach with his message to the public. "He's not relating on a human level. He's too detached".

3. Boat prices halve - I don't often read the marine section of the newspaper. I'm of the school that says a boat is a hole in the water into which you pour water.

They seem like one of the most indulgent playthings of the rich and those pretending to be rich. (I'm bracing for outrage from the boatie brigade.)

Lo and behold, the NZHerald has published a Marine section on the weekend (not available online) showing prices of boats have halved and brokers saying demand is the worst they've seen.

Oh dear.

This is what happens when New Zealand focuses on debt repayment and avoids discretionary spending on useless baubles.

4. Today's must listen - Here's Harvard professor Niall Ferguson talking about the global economic outlook with Andrew Patterson from Radio Live on his Sunday Business show at 9am on Sunday. I'm a regular on the show.

Ferguson is fascinating on the issue of China, global commodity prices, riots and American money printing.

In particular, his comments on the end of American empire ring plenty of bells

5. Keep an eye on Bahrain - BusinessInsider points out that Bahrain's banking system debt levels are of Icelandic proportions. It might pay to keep an eye on these particular riots. HT Darryl via email.

Bahrain's banking sector is far and away the biggest (relative to GDP) of any country in the region. This is an Iceland-level ratio. Granted, there are differences.

For one thing, there's no particular indication that Bahraini banks are weak. Beyong that, Bahrain has a rich neighbor (Saudi Arabia) that would probably be inclined to help out in the event of fiscal or financial distress. But if things get worse, then this is obviously a major economic vulnerability.  

6. Speaking of Iceland - It was the first to implode and it looks like its population are among the first to revolt at the demands of foreign banks to repay the debt. Bloomberg reports that Iceland's President has again refused to sign a US$5 billion accord with British and Dutch banks to repay foreign depositer losses. He wants a referendum. Yikes. Real democracy. Just imagine if the Irish had had a chance to vote on the stupid guarantee their government gave their banks.

Good on the Icelanders I say.

Today’s announcement marks the second time Grimsson has rejected an agreement designed to compensate the U.K. and Netherlands for depositor losses stemming from the October 2008 failure of Landsbanki Islands hf. His Jan. 5, 2010, refusal to sign an earlier accord prompted Fitch Ratings to cut Iceland’s credit grade to junk.

Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s give Iceland’s debt the lowest investment grade. Grimsson’s decision threatens to sour relations with the U.K. and Netherlands after the government persuaded the two countries to negotiate a new deal following last year’s rejection of the previous accord.  

7. The television commercial that burst the housing bubble - Here's a Century21 ad that aired a few years ago. 'Dave' reckons it signalled the bubble was about to burst. Nagged husbands around the world will sympathise. HT Hugh via email.

8. What's really happening in America - Columbia University Professor Jeffrey Sachs nails the situation with America's budgetary, economic and political situation in this gobsmackingly good Bloomberg interview. The hosts don't know where to look. Priceless.

9. Totally relevant video - John Clarke and Brian Dawe regularly do a pretend interview with an Australian politician. Here's one where they discuss the budget. HT Tony.

10. Utterly irrelevant video - This is a sort of bizzare news report from America about a crime in a poor area. The brother (Antoine Dodson) with the red scarf (about 1 minute in) is a parody of himself.

And then of course Antoine went viral with a rap version... Only in America HT Bryce via email.

Some bonus cartoons here that says a lot about America's mess right now.

And this

And this

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45 Comments

6. Speaking of Iceland - It was the first to implode and it looks like its population are among the first to revolt at the demands of foreign banks to repay the debt. Bloomberg reports that Iceland's President has again refused to sign a US$5 billion accord with British and Dutch banks to repay foreign depositer losses. He wants a referendum. Yikes. Real democracy. Just imagine if the Irish had had a chance to vote on the stupid guarantee their government gave their banks.

"Good on the Icelanders I say."

Me too, good call, Bernard. Hope we Kiwis get the same chance, and exercise it just as wisely, when our big bust happens. That's "when", not "if". We have this stupid illusion about the big, reassuring, nanny state hovering up there above us; and have no idea of the limitations involved in "OUR TAXES" relative to the sheer size of a property bubble. These bubbles are monsters that there has never been the like of before.

The Irish will be paying tax at at least 10% higher rates for THIRTY YEARS, paying theirs off. Pity about health, education, welfare, etc meanwhile.

PB

Agreed.

But it would have to have been something else, if it had not been housing. Don't get so focussed on the what, think on the why.

Growth is exponential, it outran the physical ability of the planet to underwrite it, so it had to be an artificial bump-up of something existing. Just how near the end-game that exponential growth was, is indicated by the fact that only 'property' was big enough to represent the required doubling. (all exponential growth 'doubles'). Couldn't do it on toasters.

They won't be paying taxes in thirty years, though. Not enough energy left in the system to drive that kind of activity.

 

 

 

The why is simple - greed, pure greed!

The need to accumulate money at all cost and a distorted view of wealth.

The only ones who will accumulate money are the ones who already had it or are in a position to create it.

Peak oil/energy etc is only a consequence of the above and is not the cause.

Interesting comment!

It is a consequence until it peaks, then it becomes a cause of 'the above' not being able to 'grow'.

Indeed, it becomes a cause of wealth decline.

 

But, if our level of greed (the need for bling, the need to live longer, the need for material items, etc) was lower, consumption of energy would be much less as well and we wouldn't be approaching peak energy.  Corporates chasing the last dollar, maximising profits at all cost, and the consumer/sheeple thinking they need every last product being provided and marketed to the world.  All this has had a huge social cost.  Therefore, greed has caused peak energy, the need for so called technological advancement.  What has it provided us really and what are the cosequences?

Maybe it's about time we all realised what "wealth" really is.

I wouldn't be surprised if the replacement for oil/energy has already been found, but those in power will milk every last dollar out of oil first.

No - that's dangerously close to a conspiracy theory.

Until we control population, of course, there is no answer. Efficient light-bulbs, efficient showers, insulated homes, are all very well, but if you then go ahead and create 100 of them (as the HughP's and the PhilB's wish to do) and you might as well not have bothered.

Physics and total numbers are the only truth, There is one non-population-control way, of course - set an absolute cap and let 'em fight it out. Mother Nature will do that anyway, by default.

I'd just have like to think we were smart enough to figure out the problem, take responsibility, and address it. I'm near there myself, and could be there tomorrow. It's not hard, or uncomfortable!

I say again and again, let mother nature do it. Anything else is b---dy Naziism, and I defy you to explain to me why it is not.

If there actually isn't a problem, and technology and the free market sorts it out after all, no-one will die unnecessarily.

Your argument is like "lets kill all the Jews because we knew they were going to take over the world". After they're all dead, who tells you you were wrong?

And worse, your so called "intelligent" supplanting of the free market, WILL only lead to more harm than the good you allege you will do. Scientific types who do not understand economics, ethics, or history; are the worst possible people to get leadership of humanity from.  

US HAS CUT EMISSIONS...WITHOUT CAP AND TAX

By DICK MORRIS & EILEEN MCGANN

Published on DickMorris.com on February 21, 2011

While the federal Environmental Protection Administration is about to impose regulations and taxes on carbon emissions by executive fiat - in the name of stopping global climate change - the United States has already dramatically cut its emissions and probably has already complied with the Kyoto/Copenhagen goals for reduced emissions.  And this has been done without taxes, without regulations, and without government intervention.

In 2007, the U.S. emitted 6.12 billion metric tons of carbon.  In 2008, emissions fell to 5.92.  In 2009, while Obama was promising that the U.S. would cut its emissions to 5.0 by 2015, the American economy and public - on their own - cut the emissions to 5.5 billion.  Most likely, by the time the 2010 measurements are in, we will have reached the Obama goal.

While many attribute cut to the recession which, presumably, will end sometime, the fact is that emissions dropped before the recession hit and have continued to fall.  A big part of the reason is the reduction in the use of coal to generate electricity.

As we explain in our new book Revolt! (to be released on March 1), coal accounted for 52% of electric generation in 1996 but only for 45% today.  In the past twelve months, coal's share has dropped form 49% to 45%.  Natural gas has almost doubled its share from 13% in 1996 to 23% in 2009 while renewables have risen from 2% to 4%.

Source                1996      2009

Coal                   52%       45%
Natural Gas            13%       23%
Nuclear                20%       20%
Renewable               2%        4%

Source: US Energy Information Administration

The free market, free enterprise system has responded to persuasion and incentives like it does in free societies without the heavy hand of taxation, government regulation, and coercion. 

These data expose the basic truth: Cap and trade or carbon regulation is not necessary to lower U.S. emissions.  The government bureaucratic/environmentalist alliance want these measures to increase public control over our economy, not to fight global warming.  Just as the Obama stimulus package was designed to increase public spending, not to stimulate anything, so the environmental regulations are exploiting public concern over climate change to ratify a growth in government power and oversight.

And that's the inconvenient truth!

(END of Dick Morris article).
 

Refer to the authors Jesse Ausubel and Gwyn Prins, on the subject of the natural economic trend of the world economy, to DE-intensify its use of high-carbon energy. Read, too, about how the Kyoto Protocol has had the OPPOSITE effect. But not in the USA - well, I never.
 

The US hasnt cut really..........its economy has shrunk..........which is an interesting comparsion of what happens to the economy when energy use has to be curtailed....ie perm recession. Some of the data also suggests a lot of the reduction is less car mileage as more ppl are un-employed and also use te car les due to debt stress.

It also seem very likely that any recovery will mean a reversal of that trend...by itself...

http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/1801272/us-carbon-emissions-rise

"The US Energy Information Administration's (EIA's) latest Short-Term Energy Outlook says that economic recovery means carbon emissions will rise over the next two years, making it harder for the US to meet its proposed target of cutting emissions by 17 per cent on 2005 levels by 2020.

The report, the first to include monthly forecasts for carbon emissions, found that US carbon emissions fell by 6.1 per cent last year, led by a nearly 11 per cent fall in coal-based emissions. "Declines in energy consumption in the industrial sector, a result of the weak economy, and changes in electricity generation sources are the primary reasons for the decline in CO2 emissions," it said.

However, it predicts that economic recovery will contribute an expected 1.5 per cent increase in CO2 emissions this year. "Increased use of coal in the electric power sector and continued economic growth, along with the expansion of travel-related petroleum consumption, leads to a 1.7 per cent increase in CO2 emissions in 2011," it continued."

So what you are claiming is doing nothing has seen a drop so we dont need to do anything....what the EIA is saying is, do nothing this year and it will increase.

regards

 

Also if you want to use loony stats,

"An average American cause 4 times more CO2-emissions than a person in China." so the US has a free market economy while china does not yet has a 1/4 the emisions......

regards

DM's "history" makes interesting reading,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_Morris

Interesting snippets,

"He co-authored this book with his wife, Eileen McGann"

"appears regularly on the Fox News Channel for political commentary. He is also President of Vote.com, a website which conducts polls on "important public issues and other topics" and then emails results to "important decision makers" in government.[4]

So Ok tends to suggest a very politically biased view point....gotta wonder about the data and conclusions.......

Of course the book isnt published on any peer reviewed scientfic journal, or indeed a real publishing house?

maybe we could consider a more scientific journal, looking at the EPA report,

"In addition, an increase in coal prices and a decrease in natural gas prices led to a switch from one source to the other."

So coal is getting harder to mine so its price is increasing....hmm yes we could consider that economic forces...

"However, over the past 20 years, greenhouse gas emissions in the United States have increased steadily by about 0.4 percent annually.

In a year with increased consumption of goods and services, low fuel prices, severe summer and winter weather conditions, nuclear plant closures, and lower precipitation feeding hydroelectric dams, there would likely be proportionally greater fossil fuel consumption than a year with poor economic performance, high fuel prices, mild temperatures and increased output from nuclear and hydroelectric plants," states the report."

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=economic-slump-energy-e...

regards

 

Just wondering PDK, do you have any children?

Yes, two.  24 and 21.

We discussed at length, whether we should, given what was happening to global populations (this is 25 years ago) and decided that replacement (the maximum permissable, obviously) was our max. We indulged.

Many in our circles did not, having had the same discussion.

It's why I holler. I've had a goodie, even if I went now. Done things most folk haven't, still am.

But I'm well aware I've been doing it at the expense of future generations. I've apologised to mine, generically as it were.

One gets it, one's not interested.

So it goes.

I spend my time creating positive things / approaches, which can address the inevitable powerdown - not that the majority care,

We have hundreds through the place, though. One open day we had 200 car-loads down the drive, and I didn't stop talking for 7 hours.........

Hamish - Why did you ask? - think it would make a difference to the oncoming physical realities?

Seems to me realities happen anyway. There were single, married, de facto, kids, families, orphans on the Titanic. Didn't seem to make much difference.

I think the sinking was the reality - and I think it happened.

Separate issue, except of course that more people on the planet exascerbate the resource issue.

Meh; you are right on the button with your comments!

The problem we face is that people can continue to avoid the current issues and focus on the likes of Hotchin, with banter and blame. Guys like him just exploited the holes available to them.... and the greed of others.

The reality is that sustainable growth (survival) will require changes in our lifestyles and expectations .... For most; that is still not an option worth consideration.

We wont grow any more....at best we will achieve a slower decline if we achieve huge steps in efficiency and changes in our economy. The problem still remains that of [over]population....for evey 1% the developed countries save in energy use the developing world will want it 3 or 4 fold....it does not add up...........

So the only way forward I see is a massive die off....our wolrd popualtion has to collapse to 1/3rd what it is now.

regards

 

We are / were always going to approach peak energy....the demand is too high on a finite non-renewable resource.....all you are saying is "oh I wish I could do like my parents / grandparents and ignore the issue until its my grandchildrens responsibilty/suffering"

Then add it most of the developing world would love even a lifestyle half of "ours" and thast 4+billion chasing a dream 2 billion have....the maths is obvious....it does not compute....

Greed has caused peak energy, indeed, just you seem p*ssed its landed on you to pay....

Replacement for oil found, unlikely....if America could get off oil I think it would...even if not them some other country would....the economic advantage of doing so first is just to great.

regards

 

LOL.........except of course the reason the Govn had to cover the banks is because of free markets and laisezz faire politics attitudes shafting the voter........ditto housing bubble....one huge ponzi scheme financed with short term cheap credit and left not or un-regualted........The Govn is left covering because its there to protect the Country and the ppl from worse....which it allowed to happen in the first place....ironic.....

"Pity" yeah right your sincerity just drips.........as MArk was saying I hope it all comes down in a screaming pile of poo and as soon as possible (paraphrase) which seems to be a typical libertarian hope/answer these days it isnt what we want so hopefully by its death we get what we want..........1000 v 4million.....fat chance.

regards

 

re 1, I don't think even Glenn Inwood could present Hotchin in a sympathetic light.

I nurse the hope that the pretty wife will run off with the tennis coach and take all of Hotchin's money with her 

Sorry this is a diversion; Bernard, have you seen or referred already to Martin Hawes in the Sunday Star Times yesterday, PAGE D13; "AVOID LOW-YIELDING PROPERTY MARKET".

I can't find it online.

Martin Hawes is the "AntiOlly". Good for him.

Martin Hawes and Gareth Morgan are the most likely guys to actually spell ot the facts of the market !!!

Also very good in the Sunday Star Times:

Rod ORAM; "TIME FOR CULTURAL REVOLUTION".

Sub headings: 1. Complacency 2. Delusion 3. Distrust 4. Distraction 5. Frustration

He is adding his voice to what Paul Callaghan has been saying for a while. Listen to this:

"Even if all our commodity prices doubled, we'd close the gap (with Australia) by only one third. And they won't double....."

HOORAY, that one's online:

http://www.stuff.co.nz/sunday-star-times/business/4677804/Time-for-a-cultural-revolution

Oram - an interesting piece:

Cure: We must understand that scarcity, not abundance, is driving all the exciting new economic and business opportunities globally.

Only an economist could put up that oxymoron.

The biggest scarcity of all, is the energy needed to do everything. Which means that the 'economic and business opportunities' - presumably requiring someone somewhere to pay something, that payment based on something made/done with energy - will return limited (and reducing) income.

She's over, Rover, unless you can find a new source of compact energy, and a replacement for fossil resources as infrastructure material. The fact that you're at the peak of supply-rate, means that the huge energy requirement to effect a change (imaging weaning the planet to electric cars in, say, a 20 year period) will be subtracted from what we are already using. You have to use the existing to drive the morph. It's already too late for that.

Now, social-worth opportunities there will be aplenty, with not enought time or resources to go anywhere near what will be needed. Work there will be - but 'income'? Not as we've known it.

We need a new measure of what is 'good'.

Sorry, I seldom do this, but I seldom see good stuff in our mainstream papers.

Saturday Feb 19 DomPost, Page B12. "Godfather of Suburb Looks Back", by Hank Schouten. I am annoyed that it does not seem to be on Stuff NZ yet.

 

The article is about the elderly property developer Rodney Callendar and the suburb Churton Park, which is just about Wellington's only new suburb for the last 20 years.

 

Here are some juicy bits:

 

"(Callendar) compared urban development to having a tiger by the tail. As well as the expense and frustration of waiting for all the consents, there were also huge costs of putting in all the infrastructure......

 

".......Mr Callendar was unable to calculate how much had been invested in the suburb's development or the payback.

 

"Payday is when the last one's sold, nothing's ever sure in this and you never make any money until you stop in this game, because you've always got to have your next stage ready before you get the money from the last stage".

 

Mr Callendar said it was not easy - few developers survived - and getting a similar suburb started today would be impossible because of all the red tape........."You talk to anybody in this business and they'll tell you the same thing".

 

"Everything needs to be approved twice now. What used to cost $500 for approvals now cost $100,000. He estimated it was costing $300,000 just to get consents for a few hundred metres of road to open up the next area.....with sections selling for about $200,000 each there was not going to be much profit in it.....

 

"Nothing's changed as far as the way you do things - it's just the system now where you've got to get approval from the city council and the regional council - it's very difficult. Everything has to be planned in detail up front before you know you're going to get approval and you're dealing with people who haven't had practical experience."

 

(On Council staff): "Nowadays you're getting youngsters who mean well, but it's as though you are doing a sin creating houses for people to live in".

 

(END of article).

 

I'd love to see Mr Callendar join Hugh Pavletich in "Performance Urban Planning" now that he too is about finished with putting himself at the mercy of his local Councils for further now excessively risky development projects.

On Hotchin's interview...for the sake of him trying to mislead Hanover investors further, he performed very well, he nailed it actually...it's safe to say that many Hanover investors probably look at him as an OK guy now...but when if you read between the lies:

"I'm not allowed to talk about my Trust" - means "I've got millions stashed away and can still pay for the Warriors when they are losing"

"The house turned about bigger than intended" - means "I was rubbing your faces in it"

"Allied made a disaster of a good deal" - means "I can't believe Allied actually bought into the whole deal, that's why I went to Hawaii to celebrate and rub investors faces in it further"

"If we get charged, it's without knowingly being at fault" means "almost got away with it and still might"

"we contributed millions back into Hanover" means "we siphoned off tens of millions of dividends and contributed properties that had bucket loads of debt attached to them"

All of the above is only my opinion of course.

Ricardo agree. I cannot believe how soft Sainsbury was.

 

Hotchin " the extravagence in the media was exaggerated"

 

..response "it is the most expensive house ever built in this country, can you confirm it had a room for wrapping presents?"

 

"...we got a good deal on our trip to Hawaii"

 

response "Do you think the pensioners got a good deal with their Hanover investments. Did you also get a good deal pulling $15 mill personally out of the company in the six months prior to the collapse?"

 

"Allied Farmers are blaming us when it is their fault"

 

response "Did you manage to convince them it was a good deal that would stand the test of time through all weather? A bit like the thousands of Hanover investors?"

 

"...I dont want to talk about the family trust"

 

response "So you will never use any of the assets in that family trust? Do you not want to talk about it as that is where you have hidden all of your personal assets? Is that why you personally have no assets?"

The cheek of the guy is unbelievable. (in my opinion)

 

Journalism in New Zealand is simply still in den “Kinderschuhen”. We need a "Hardtalk" with all the crooks and other politicians including ministers - make them accountable.

This guys have to live with the consequence of underperforming, cheating, etc.

was the sainsbury interview with hotchin not very hard-hitting?

 

i missed it....

The interview on the business program the following morning was better and grilled Hotchim a bit. They then interviewed somebody from the Shareholders Association who critised Hotchin but neither side discussed facts and details. A knowledgable interviewer with half an hour would have crucified him. I suspect Hotchim's PR guy set some ground rules.

 Not the long ago they hang these guys on ropes in front of the hordes - now they wear the golden ropes around their necks lying in front of the TV audience.

I like your thinking but surely a bullet is easier than building gallows:-P

Mind you there are no prohibitions against carrying a piece of rope round.

A gallows can be used many times  , of course ......... Whereas the bullet , just once , before being recycled by Waste-Management , and formed into a new bullet .

....... Meebee we should question the Greens as to the carbon-footprint efficiency of executing bastards by hanging vs by a bullet throught he head ? .....  Gotta be correct with our Kyoto protocol /  ETS / Copenhagen protocol  ... when we're executing the nasty little sods who used to run finance companys .......

Anyone know where the Bernard Whimp creature resides ?

Yes I know where Bernard Whimp lives, some over our most successful business people are from his family, interesting to note they have changed their surnames :-)

 

You may not like their style however they all have achieved a great deal.

yeah, dat ferkin' Hickey..what a nasty ,useless man journalist he is, Duke...i don't reckon we can forgive him for what he did to you and your grannie..so patience, ma arse...let's go down da valley and blow da mudder fu--cker away?

just like we did wif dat troublemaker Wally/Wolly >>>?!

 

yeah, dat ferkin' Hickey..what a nasty ,useless man journalist he is, Duke...i don't reckon we can forgive him for what he did to you and your grannie..so patience, ma arse...let's go down da valley and blow da mudder fu--cker away?

just like we did wif dat troublemaker Wally/Wolly >>>?!

 

Sainsbury was absolutely hopeless,did not research Hanover  or Hotchins dealings to any depth  and then Hotchin ran all over him.

NZ herald on saturday made Hotchin to be a hero, how must some of the investors feel now,the toothless SFO and companies office have done nothing to convict this crook  and he lives in paradise on the Gold Coast.................only in NZ

Let's hang Hotchin while we're at it..hang on..there goes that bloody Petrivec and Finnegan and Podmore....jeez, we've run outta rope...get the monkeys in !!

As if Rob Alloway is blameless ? ....... That silly patsy thought that the properties he was acquiring from Hanover would continue to rise in value , and thereby bail out his increased debt . .......... Plonker !

.......... Allied Farmers shareholders have good reason to gather feathers and to warm up the tar , and head around to Robbie's .

GBH, you are right about Alloway..what was he thinking??...Hotchin and Watty just couldn't believe their luck...

bring 'em all down...we're ready with the  fire and brimstone...wait!

there goes Eric Watson...

Of course I do!

Don't you?

Mine's based in the  Philipinnes but head office is  up on K'rd 'cos that's where the market is.

our motto is " we never fleece, we never sleep..where there's money to be made, clients to be laid...you'l find us there..

I met one of Allieds very senior management team ( and a board member) at a function a few weeks before the bull sh*t hit the fan about Hanover loan book. Any how I expressed suprise about buying a dodgy asset and the muppet disagreed and thought it was a great thing to do. They never even bothered to hop in a car a visit some of these half baked empty subdivisions that they were about to pour millions of shareholder equity into.
Ah well

3.  I'm of the school that says a boat is a hole in the water into which you pour water (?). 

I think you mean money !

Yup - proud to have been there done that (many times over).   

Got the bumper sticker too:

Work is for people who don't know how to fish.  

'Onya Kate.

Not sure where he gets the blindness from. Boats are alle same cars, flat-screen TV's, they all take materials and energy to make.

We used a boat as a home for a year. $14,800 to buy, $14,800 sell, free year's rent. All agree it was the best year we had as a family.

Nothing wrong with little boats (kids in Optimists, canoes) either.

I suspect he's thinking of the penile-extension block-of-flats powerboats - but that's a clear sub-set.

I bought my current boat:

http://www.odt.co.nz/opinion/opinion/142927/another-day-office

for $1200.   Hard to see it halving - and it would still give me the same joy.....

7 & 8. Great pieces....nail on the head.......

regards