Wednesday's Top 10 with NZ Mint: 'The greatest wealth transfer in history'; Brazil; the limits to growth; Japan without nuclear power; Clarke and Dawe

Here's my Top 10 links from around the Internet at 10:00 am today in association with NZ Mint.

Bernard Hickey is on vacation and won't be back until early May.

I welcome your additions in the comments below or via email to I am especially keen to get your suggestions for suitable cartoons. If you notice a really good one, please email me.

See all previous Top 10s here.

1. 'The greatest transfer of wealth in history'
In one night, an American company had all of its data from a 10-year, US$1 billion research programme copied by hackers. They were probably Chinese, and probably in the employ of the Chinese government. But the Americans have given no agency the power to counter the threat - it's currently up to individual firms to protect themselves from foreign attack. The US Congress won't act.

Yet the same Congress that has heard all of this disturbing testimony is mired in disagreements about a proposed cybersecurity bill that does little to address the problem of Chinese cyberespionage. The bill, which would establish noncompulsory industry cybersecurity standards, is bogged down in ideological disputes. Senator John McCain, who dismissed it as a form of unnecessary regulation, has proposed an alternative bill that fails to address the inadequate cyberdefenses of companies running the nation's critical infrastructure. Since Congress appears unable and unwilling to address the threat, the executive branch must do something to stop it.

2. What Jesus said about capitalism
Most churchgoers see no great conflict between their beliefs and life in a market economy such as ours. But proponents of the little-known "Sabbath economics" argue Christ's teachings have been reinterpreted over the centuries to make them fit with modern capitalism. 

"God's people are instructed to dismantle, on a regular basis, the fundamental patterns and structures of stratified wealth and power, so that there is 'enough for everyone.' " Ross Gittins from the Sydney Morning Herald explores the ideas.

''Privately controlled wealth is the backbone of capitalism,'' Myers says, ''and it is predicated upon the exploitation of natural resources and human labour. Profit maximisation renders socio-economic stratification, objectification and alienation inevitable.

''According to the gospel, however, those who are privileged within this system cannot enter the kingdom. This is not good news for first-world Christians - because we are the 'inheritors' of the rich man's legacy.

''So the unequivocal gospel invitation to repentance is addressed to us. To deconstruct our 'inheritance' and redistribute the wealth as preparation to the poor - that is what it means for us to follow Jesus.''

3. How Beijing chooses its leaders
The ousting of Chongqing boss Bo Xilai was 30 years in the making - a long, sordid tale of elite families and factions vying for the soul of the Chinese Communist Party.

Until last month Bo appeared to hold the cards, with his networks of princelings - the children of high cadres - and the gravitational force of his "Chongqing Model" pulling the nation toward him, while Wen's efforts had produced few practical results.

Bo earned his reputation as a rising star until Feb. 6 when his police chief and right-hand man, Wang Lijun, drove to an appointment at the local British consulate to shake his official minders and then veered off and fled for his life down the highway into the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu. He carried with him allegations of sordid tales of Bo family criminal behavior including in relation to the death of British businessman Neil Heywood, according to Western government officials.

In Beijing's eyes, this was the highest-level known attempted defection in 40 years, and it occurred on Bo's watch. Wang "betrayed the country and went over to the enemy," said President Hu Jintao, according to a Chinese intelligence official.

4. Brazil's economy slowing fast
Brazil is a leading member of the now-famous BRICs group of nations - a group that is supposed to be a fast-growing key segment of the global economy, one that will pull the dormant west out of its funk. But things are not going great for Brazil.

It's the seventh largest economy with a population of 192 million. However it only created 20,000 jobs in February (the latest data available). In contrast, the US with its 313 million population created 240,000 jobs in February, although that figure was halved in March. Still, the US numbers show how far behind Brazil really is.

According to the IBGE, the areas which suffered the biggest reductions were truck and automobile production, mining and quarrying (iron ore), textiles, apparel and basic metals. Employment statistics in the sector also confirm the downward trend.

According to data from the General Register of the Employed and Unemployed (CAGED), Brazil created just 19,609 new manufacturing jobs in February – a third of the number created for the same period last year – dragging the overall number of new jobs added across all sectors in February 2012 to the lowest levels in three years.

Acclaimed President Lula hasn't left a great legacy, it seems. (For comparison, NZ's employment data for Q1 won't be released until May 3, but in 2011 we generated 3,000 new jobs per month on a population of 4+ million - which interestingly is at about the same rate as for the US.)

5. How we spend
Actually, this item is about how Americans spend, but it is kind of unexpected and I wouldn't be too surprised to find similar data for New Zealand. Let me know if you are interested in equivalent local changes and I will look into doing that comparison. Click on the infographics here because that is where the good stuff is.

But such figures yield a surprising picture of how our economy works - and how it’s changing. We take for granted, for instance, our much-discussed drift away from manufacturing. Advances in technology and education have created massive productivity gains, which have made things cheaper and easier to obtain. Consider necessities like food and clothing, which gobbled up 42% of our spending in 1947. Six decades later - even in the face of exorbitant spending on frivolities like high-end coffee and designer clothes—food and clothing accounted for only 16% of spending.

6. The Limits to Growth
When I was doing my MBA (way, way back in the late 1970s in San Francisco), the curriculum was full of the hot issue of that decade, the coming ecological, environmental, and population disasters. Malthus ruled. And I was convinced - all the way till I read Bjorn Lomberg but that's another story.

At that time, Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, and the Club of Rome's The Limits to Growth (Meadows et al) were central to the debate. But the core arguments in those original works are being rehabilitated and tested. The Smithsonian Magazine reports:

Recent research supports the conclusions of a controversial environmental study released 40 years ago: The world is on track for disaster. So says Australian physicist Graham Turner, who revisited perhaps the most groundbreaking academic work of the 1970s, The Limits to Growth.

Written by MIT researchers for an international think tank, the Club of Rome, the study used computers to model several possible future scenarios. The business-as-usual scenario estimated that if human beings continued to consume more than nature was capable of providing, global economic collapse and precipitous population decline could occur by 2030.

7. Australian fantasy
Australian policy on housing affordability is trapped with middle-class welfare. Like us, they have a big problem with unaffordability. But they won't do the obvious and necessary stuff.

The new Housing Minister Brendan O'Connor told the conference he was there to take suggestions about how to tackle Australia's housing affordability problems.

He said the Government needed to explore future options "with an opening and enquiring mind".

But his open mind closed quickly when it came to the question of reducing negative gearing and capital gains tax concessions.

"The fact is that there are some things that the Government will not, at this point, consider," he said.

It's a federal Labor government that has lost its way and connection to its constituency. They won't change a system where "the biggest benefits go to high-income households, lowest benefits go to lower-income households."

8. Nice weather as an 'extreme event'
When it comes to 'climate science', even good weather is bad. Presumably bad weather is really bad. We now all seem to hanker for a time when the weather just didn't change.

While it might be time to lie on a blanket in the park, climate scientists are worried. They say all these sunny days are actually an extreme weather event, one with local and global implications.

9. Japan guzzles more gas
To make up for its dwindling nuclear supply, Japan - the world's third largest economy - is on a frenzied but costly hunt for fossil fuels.

In recent months, to fill the void, Japan’s imports of LNG, crude oil and heavy fuel oil have increased by 15 to 30 percent, compared with comparable periods before the disaster. A recent Deutsche Bank report calculated that Japan’s power generation costs in February were $1.9 billion higher than during a typical month in which nuclear plants were in operation.

“The cost of generating electricity from oil is so far above that of nuclear,” the report said, “that at some point the economics are likely to become a more important consideration in the ongoing political debate in Japan over whether, when, and by how much to start returning idle nuclear capacity to the grid.”

10. The last laugh
Another cracker from John Clarke and Brian Dawe. How the Australian Labor Party is managing the threats to its wafer-thin majority.

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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"The greatest transfer of wealth in History"
Where did this heading come from?
Off the top of my head a  better candidate for the greatest transfer of wealth in History would be the transfer of wealth from the American middle class to the American 1%

I don't know about others, but this whole let's hate 'the 1%' thing is really starting to grate on me, eh, and unfortunately Bernard himself seems to have fallen for it, too. A few points:
Firstly, there will _always_ be a top 1%. Take a population, rank them by wealth, and there you are. It's a bit tough to be vilified simply as a result of a statistical distribution. Malawi will have it's top 1%, too - should we be after them with pitchforks as well?
Secondly, in the vast majority of cases (at least in the West), these wealthy individuals will have obtained their wealth through the conscious consumption decisions of the majority. Nobody forces me to buy an Apple product, buy Nikes, or whatever. If I chose to buy said products, and the proceeds make the company founders very wealthy, what's wrong with that? Wherever you're sitting right now, stop, take a look around, and tell me how much of the things you see were created by a government committee? Would you like to drive a Soviet-era car or wear North Korean jeans? Of course not. Don't hate on those who create goods and services we enjoy and purchase just because it makes them wealthy.
The implication that the middle class has been duped out of its money is ridiculous. If people have eyes bigger than their wallets and have borrowed to live beyond their means, and suffer the consequences, who's fault is that?
Thirdly, the top 1% have probably done more to help people than most of the haters combined. Hasn't Bill Gates donated _billions_ to charitable causes? I'd like to see the sum total donated by all those out to get him because he's rich - something tells me it won't be quite the same.
It seems to me that the problem isn't that a few people are very rich, it's that those who're complaining aren't rich themselves. Now, make no mistake, some dodgy stuff has gone on in recent years with some suspect financial engineering, etc, but, for example, the mortgage market in the US wouldn’t have gone nearly as far as it did if people weren't happy to sign up to liar loans for houses they knew they couldn't legitimately afford. The '99%' have got a lot more power than you think - it's not like the rich got that way by only conducting business amongst themselves. If you don't want fund managers getting large pay packets, don't invest in managed funds.
A Kiwi example - the Morgans are definitely in the 1%, and yet are (inexplicably) held up as national icons/heros. In theory all these haters should be steering clear of TradeMe and GMKS, but both are extremely popular. You can't pick and choose fellas - don't like rich people, then don't support their businesses.
I'll stop my rant here, but if anyone else out there is pro having rich people in a country, then feel free to back me up.

I'm speaking of America here.
I've heard figures stating that something like 40% of the America's GDP is from the Finance sector.
This figure is way too high. They should break up the big banks, stop propriety trading and get back to honest finance. 

So what exactly is "honest finance"? How can you have that when the money supply itself is fraudulent?

I guess when the whole system is based on a fiat system of money, which is constantly expanding then its not really honest. Inflation steals wealth.
Bring on the Yuan backed by Gold. Yipee. 

That's the other thing about this site - people seem to think that fiat currencies are some kind of evil (it's not), and that we're slaves to fractional reserve banking (NZ dropped it nearly 30 years ago).
Fiat currencies are essential in a dynamic, creative economy. If we had a gold standard, and the LotR movies come out, then the value that's added by those films (we're all happy to pay to go watch them, after all) will cause deflation - same monetary suppy now spread over more goods and services in the economy. TradeMe, too - appears out of thin air, and people are happy to pay to sell their goods there - so under a fixed monetary supply (there's only so much gold in the world, after all) we've got yet more deflation. Fiat currencies allow for the supply of money to adjust to the wealth in an economy.

And they money supply isn't nearly as dodgy as you think. When banks extend a loan, yes, they create bank credit out of thin air, but in order for that to function as money, it has to be accepted by other banks (where it will eventually end up after consumers transfer funds, though buying and selling goods with each other). And in order for that to happen, a bank has to be part of the RBNZ ESAS system. And ESAS is settled in government securities*, so basically the creation of money comes back to the government, as elected by we the people. Credit creation is no different to Whitcoulls printing a whole lot of book vouchers and giving them out for free on Queen St. Bad business, for sure, but it doesn't become 'money' until other business are prepared to accept it, and of course, they wouldn’t. Same with banks - why should Westpac accept credit created out of nothing by BNZ? The answer is that they don't. So what happens is that every morning the RNBZ, through it's ESAS system, nets up all the transfers between banks, and each bank has it's ESAS account, which is a holding of millions of NZ Government debt, adjusted so everyone is even. All quite above board.

Several major flaws in what you say.
First and foremost you link us having a vote gives us any choice in our governance. We have never actually given anybody the right to govern us - see Ian Wisharts work on that issue.
So what do you call our money system if it isn't fractional reserve? The bottom line is the the populace are unaware that loans are not matched by deposits, therefore the money supply is fraudulent. Yes other banks know the facts and accept each others fictional money, but I would wager more than 99% of people are unaware of this. This is not above board as you claim, it is a few select people running the system almost entirely to their own benefit.
The fact the it is fractionally lent means the those aware of this have been able to take advantage of this fraudulent money and leverage it further for personal gain. This is simply criminal behaviour, if not in law then ethically. This desribes your average perperty investor, criminals. 
BTW have we ever had a vote on what sort of money we should use?
Comparing the creation of money to the creation of bood vouchers is a complete fallacy. Money bears interest, which completely undermines your whole argument. The interest can never be paid and the payments of that interest have to consume an ever greater portion of the total money supply. I posted my revised quantity quantity theory of money a couple of weeks back (M.V)+I=P.Q , try running some scenarios with that and see what happens. You will see that interest rates will trend lower and the money supply will go parabolic(hypoerinflation), the only option in the end is default it is just a matter of when. 
The most fundamental flaw in almost all economic theory is that it only works under a constant growth trend. Well growth is all but finished and you can see my other post in this thread on that topic.

G'day Scarfie, I welcome the more detailed debate.
Part of our difference of understanding, I beleive, is you seem to be coming at things from an economics standpoint, where I come from a finance standpoint - often the two seem to be talking past each other, and especially in my opinion on the subject of banking.
Loans are in fact matched by deposits, but it's a bit round-a-bout. Banks could, in theory, go creating bank credit to the high heavens, but they need to be able to settle all the enevitable outflow to other banks via ESAS, and in order to fund their ESAS accounts (ie. NZ Govt securities), they in turn need investors to buy their own debt, depositors to deposit funds, etc. Take a look at a balance sheet of a bank and you'll see there's not a huge gulf between the assets and liabilities as you might expect if there was no limit to the credit they could create. Moreover, as recent history shows, it only takes a small amount of defaults (which reduces a bank's assets) to knock a bank over, so the ability to create credit isn't without its limits.
As for whether the populace knows, I fully agree - most don't. But I'd add that most don't really care. At the end of the day, people want to be able to get a mortgage for a house, use their EFTPOS and credit cards, save some money for retirement, etc. As long as the bank credit that's part of these processes is accepted, then they can remain safely oblivious. The info is all there if they care. Ditto for voting on such matters - no, it's not been put to a vote, but why should it? It works. And it's not a small few running it for their own benefit - bank bosses get their large salaries in large part because hundreds of thousands of Kiwis choose to take out loans and mortgages, not because they create credit for their own use, unbounded. A few do well through providing goods and services others choose to use.
With regards to interest, again, economics and finance view things differently. You say, quite rightly, that the imposition of an interest charge requires the money supply to be increased. Fair enough. However, _that's not a bad thing_, as, thanks to the fiat money system essentially all the world uses (funny that), the money supply can grow as the economy grows. And how does the economy grow? Through the real-world endevours of people on the ground - creating new things, adding value, etc. Michaelangelo paints a ceiling and it's worth a ton more than the cost of the ceiling and paint - value added. When an individual or company considers a loan, the will look at the interest rate and compare it to the return (monetary or psychic) they expect from the expenditure. Few will borrow if they return will leave them net worse off. Apply this to the painting example - had the master borrowed money to buy the paint, the value his labours added more than compensate for the interest charge. Complaining about interest takes a very negative view on people's abilities - if you didn't think you could net benefit, why take out an interest-bearing loan? People borrow, and pay interest, because they're confident in their abilities to add value more than the interest charge - LotR films, for example.
Interest isn't some evil scheme invested by the 1%. Basically, if you're investing somewhere, why take a risk if there wasn't some kind of reward? You woudln't. And if you're borrowing, it's not unreasonable to pay a rental for the use of the money, especially if you're confident your use thereof will more than compensate. When people stop collectivly adding value to their lives and world, then yes, interest might be an issue, but this takes an unnecessarily dim view of the world. People will always be coming up with new and great products that others are prepared to pay for, increasing the pool of 'value' in the economy, and a fiat money supply can expand to accomodate this, which means interest isn't an issue.

People have taken out loans and mortgages because they are not informed. What to see the chaos when they finally become so. The system only works because of this ignorance, it works until it doesn't that is. It has to fail, as I pointed out to you and you haven't addressed.
The benefits you talk about are refuted by most statistics, which show an increase in inequality at least since 1971. Not that I necessarily think a gold standard is an answer.
"When people stop collectivly adding value to their lives and world"....   "but this takes an unnecessarily dim view of the world" .
If you combine my equation above with my post on the peak in the rate of growth further down you have ample to show you that the only think proping the fraudulent money scheme is new people being added at the bottom end that are introduced unemcumbered by debt. It is these new people that are required to pay the interest already in the system, a classic ponzi scheme. Time is running out though buddy, because each year less and less people are being added to the system. It is a mathematical certainly that the ponzi will fall.

"People have taken out loans and mortgages because they are not informed." This is where you lose your credibility. People take out loans and mortgages not because they're ignorant but because they want to buy things. Res ipsa loquitur.

"This is where you lose your credibility. People take out loans and mortgages not because they're ignorant but because they want to buy things. Res ipsa loquitur"
- Dude you are telling scarfie he is losing credibiliy, while saying that "people take out loans because they want to buy things" - PLESE STOP NOW!
Go look up Ponzi scheme, and pelase actually read, and learn, what it is you are describing!

What do you recommend people do, if they accept that banking is a ponzi scheme? What have you done to avoid using the banking system? How have you avoided borrowing money at any stage in your life?

Its not about killing the current system, its about enforcing the current system to work for the people, which it used to do, albeit many years ago!
Informed public would change this rather quickly, it is the informed who you seem to be comfortable with as the basis of your debate, who are responsible for the worlds global problems.
Why do you think TPTB love uninformed people? - Because they are easy to lie to and manipulate, its that simple!
If the worled was filled with informed , clued up people making decisions which were based on understanding of the systems they interact with, we would all be in a much better place to live!

Again, I ask what should be _done_ differently? Assuming that everyone suddently knows all there is to know about the current banking system...then how do you propose people buy houses? The M0 certainly can't pay for the current housing supply, and I trust you're not advocating widespread deflation, so someone, somewhere is going to have to create some new money. Well, that's kinda what the banking system does, doesn't it? Remove interest charges, I hear you think? Well then, how will lenders price risk? (Not all loans are repaid, after all, and without an interest charge, a loan failure would jeapordise the bank as there's no buffer.)
What have you found works for you to avoid using the banking system?

LMAO, so you think that we absolutely have to have banks so people can buy houses, or borrow money to buy houses. Mate you are a piece of work. So we shall just overlook the thousands of years of civilisation before banking came along eh?
What is your agenda by the way? Does you handle explain your vested interest?

I'm not talking about history, I'm talking about today. You're clearly against the current banking system, so I've asked repeatedly how you, personally, have found a way of getting by without it. It's one thing to knock something, but it's a bit off to knock it while still enjoying its benefits.
My agenda is to question those who hate on the 1% because I don't understand the broad-brushed vitriol. I agree some dodgy stuff has gone on, but the double-standards irk me - Occupy protestors with iPhones and Levis. Are you any different? Are we to presume you're a cash-only man? Must be hard at times, buying a house with folding stuff.

Well of course you are talking about today, you could't rort the system in any other time. Which seems clearly why you are pro banking. You ascribe questions to me that you haven't asked of me, which I am happy to address. However it is quite apparent that you have made a few big sidesteps from my posts above. How about running that equation eh? See where that gets your wonderful banking system.
My pick is you will continue to side step because the outcome would undermine your belief system, and it is understandable that most people are unwilling to do that.
I don't own a cell phone BTW, or any brand name jeans. I won't be joining OWS, although I don't blame them. I have taken measures to extract myself from the banking system, and encourage others to also if they don't want to get burnt. I would not own a house in this bubble market, but when it crashes I will be able to take ownership without any need to borrow.
But the fact you felt the need to level the accusation is quite telling, it really shows you have no idea.

PI_Rimmer -- You are putting up a straw man in your "hating the 1%" scenario.  The underlying issue is increasing inequality -- is that good for society?  If not, then how has it happened, and what to do about it.  And banking practices and regulation has contributed to this increasing inequality, as has, for example, voodoo economics tax changes and corporate welfare.

uh, well you seem to have none then. These are not mutually exclusive, just because someone has used their house as an ATM or taken a loan to buy trinkets does not mean they are well informed....quite the opposite.
"Res ipsa loquitur" a slightly more upmarket version of "its common sense" I suppose, usually put forward by ppl who have none or cant justify why using logic, data or math.

I never said that borrowers were well informed - I just said they borrow because they want to buy something.

"the money supply can grow as the economy grows. And how does the economy grow? Through the real-world endevours of people on the ground - creating new things, adding value, etc. Michaelangelo paints a ceiling and it's worth a ton more than the cost of the ceiling and paint - value added"
Are you seriosuly using that as an example of growth, and value add? - I think it has been mentioned by many on there that growth can't is impossible, and is a myth on every decreasing energy supplies...I suggest you re-evaluate what you believe growth to be!
"it's not unreasonable to pay a rental for the use of the money" - What even if it's printed out of thin air - Please do not use your example to prove that banks do not create "thin air" money, you were wrong earlier, and you will be wrong again!
"Interest isn't some evil scheme invested by the 1%" - actually its the 0.1%, and yes it was, for the reasons scarfie explained using his formula.
"People will always be coming up with new and great products that others are prepared to pay for, increasing the pool of 'value' in the economy, and a fiat money supply can expand to accomodate this, which means interest isn't an issue"
-Actually no, because you are not factoring in the power of HUGE banks to control the purchase of companies, and monoplolise markets are you! Trickle up is what you have just proposed, as any new to market products/companies are hoovered up using leveredged debt, the odd person gets rich in the "buy out", but then jobs are shifted offshore in an attempt to plug the hole, and society becomes pooer just the way thw western world has including NZ! Investors and the owners become wealthy, the rest they go hungry, cold and get sick!
Really dude, come on!

So you're saying the vast majority of people are hungry, cold and sick?

I never said the vast majority, I said the rest
Have a look at the global statistics on poverty, and also in NZ, and you tell me if they are acceptable or not.
They certainly are not to me!
Oh and when the ponzi scheme runs it course there will be many more in the povery boat. Why else do you think there is a global drive to buy as many hard assets as possible using useless fiat money!

"Investors and the owners become wealthy, the rest they go hungry, cold and get sick!"
What percentage of people are you suggesting are investors and owners? If it's a minority, then by extension the majority must be cold, hungry and sick. And if it's a majority who're owners and investors...well then the 1% is starting to look like the 99%, isn't it.

PI - When the the ponzi breaks properly, I expect that there could well be very many more who are in the poverty trap, than not! So your assessment of the vast majority, is probably on the money!
Shame really as it need not be like this. Informed people can make informed decisions, and that is to everyones well being. Uninformed decisions allow for exploitation of resources, and that is never a good situation

"Informed people can make informed decisions, and that is to everyones well being."
I couldn't agree more.

PI - most people don't understand the money system, that's for sure true.
The fiat thing is that a dollar today is not a dollar tomorrow and so on. That's what is behind most of the interest and mal investment. Of the 3800 or so fiat systems tried before none have succeded in the long run always wiping out the savings of the unaware majority (That's grossy unfair, yet that's what is happening again today as trillions get 'created', or maybe you are unawre of this? That's inconvenient.)
What happens to Greece is small fry compared to what is coming.,,, this thing is only getting started... But PI if you believe today this time is different and you can trust the banking system and politians to act against their self interest, then I hope you are right, although I don't actually believe so, or see any reason to. If anything, there are more reasons than ever the gold standard (in some form) will be returning (as it always does - and already is - gold is the only real competition for the USD which is why the USD powers are at war against it, thanks PPT), most people will not get this of course, or by the time they do it will be too late for them,  having had their savings wiped out ... all the arguments against a gold standard, even with its short comings  can be easily put down when put up against a fiat system - there is no competition in the end.... it's a war that fiat can't win.

I believe it is now about $1.5 QUADRILLION globally in derivatives alone.  The numbers are mind-blowing.  I agree re gold.  The main argument against a gold-standard returning seems to be the lack of physical gold per fiat dollar.  I always thought that it then becomes a price point, so at NZ2,000 per ounce... gold is ridiculously under-valued and being heavily manipulated... silver even more so.

Were you refering to the stat where at the peak of the bubble finance was 20% of the S&P and derived 40% of the profits?

No, I meant 40% of the gdp was finance related. I think Krugman may have blogged on it.
I think though there is a problem where companies announce large profits based on bookkeeping tricks.

"tricks" Indeed.  Even the US banks hiding their insolvency with the govn turning a blind eye because of a) political funding, and/or b) the Great Depression that would result from the bank runs cant do it for ever though.  No sure on 40% but 20~25% seems more like it.....but if that 20% is all a ponzi, which I think it is and everything else is built on it.....then 40% overall doesnt seem an unreasonable guess of what could disappear overnight....

Whats wrong with "North Korean jeans?". I'm sure that they would be exactly the same as most other jeans.

What brand do you wear? I'm guessing it's not a Communist brand.

How do you know its not a communist brand. I thought China used to make lots of apparel. 

But quite possibly Communist made P.I. Rimmer.

Where something's made isn't the point, here. I'm saying that you never saw products like the iPhone or the 458 Italia come out of the USSR. Stuff people _want_ to buy doesn't tend to have its Genesis in countries that don't let the inventors reap the rewards.

I think China is doing so well now because they have moved away from a command economy to a market based economy.
On a side note thats one reason I have problems with Fontera. Its one large company. I think the many cooperative comnpany structure is better because its more market oriented..

....maybe it's doing well becasue --
it doesn't pay for intellectual property..just pinches it.
uses child labour and pays a few dollars an hour in other cases.
doens't bother to much about wrecking the environment..thus avoiding all sorts of regulatory costs..
Why we do any business with them is beyond me....

...maybe it's doing well becasue --
it doesn't pay for intellectual property..just pinches it.
Last year China filed more patents than the US.
China has spent a huge amount of money doing research on Solar Power. The result now is very inexpensive solar panels. It was China's research, not anyone elses

uses child labour and pays a few dollars an hour in other cases.
Wages are increasing a lot in China. In fact wages are rising so fast that American manufacturing is starting up again. Or thats what I sometimes read. There are lots of low paid jobs in America

doens't bother to much about wrecking the environment..thus avoiding all sorts of regulatory costs..
China cares about the environment. Thats why they are cutting back on rare earth mining, because of the environmental problems. China is now paying a lot of attention to the environment

Why we do any business with them is beyond me....
Because along with other BRIC nations, they are the only source of growth in the world.
If you want to stay poor then avoid China

The Knock off Market in China is equal  in returns to the Real Brand... when we are talking brand the producers have become copiers cutting out the inventors....aided by a regime prtending to want to do something about it.
If there was ever a need for innovative America to read the sign "Yankee go Home" and not take offence ,this is it. 

As oppsed to need to buy such as food and petrol......kinda got things backwards me thinks....

Actually, I'm not done. How many of these complainers work for free? Not many, right? How about some more example of the 1%: U2 - they're all pretty well-off, I'm sure. Why? Cos' millions of people over decades have been more than happy to be entertained by their music. Same goes for Sir Peter Jackson - fantastic films, and definitely worth paying for. What about dentists. They sure charge a lot, but when you've got a tooth ache, I bet you'd rather be in the hands of a '1%' dentist than on your own in some rural village in India, right. Thing is, if someone offers something of value, it's only fair that something of value should be exchanged in return. If a band/author/director entertains millions, it seems reasonable that they'd earn millions. What do the haters propose as an alternative, huh? I wouldn't bust my backside for years to make 3 LotR movies to make $50,000/year. Perhaps this crowd would rather have us watching North Korean TV and movies - I'm sure they're pretty awesome. NZ, and pretty much most of the Western world is an awesome place to live - don't hate on those who've made it so through their creative endeavours.

A model of a successful society could be America in the 50's. Banks were small. The Country was very wealthy.  The middle class were doing well. The average family could be supported by one bread winner. Maybe this is similar to NZ in days gone by.

No one is against people being extremely well off. But majority of the people are against governments bailing out the 1%. Why should the NZ government bailout SCF? Why should NZ government allow foreigners to buy farm lands to help banks from loan losses?

The SCF bailout was to save the deposits of mum and dad investors, so actually helped the 99%. Same applies pretty much everywhere. The US bank bailouts weren't because Hank Paulson wanted to save his investment banking mates - the bailouts happened because the alternative would have meant untold misery for the 99%. When GE can't roll over its commercial paper, then it's thousands of staff can't be paid. When AIG goes down, millions of people find that their homes are suddenly uninsured. When Fannie Mae crashes, suddenly it becomes much harder for individuals to get a mortgage. The thrust of the bailouts, anywhere, was to lessen the impact to the majority. Pity, then, the majority are often ignorant of the interconnectedness of the modern economy so don't understand how their collective bacon has just been saved.

This is my understanding of what happened with AIG.
AIG was not bailed out. Goldman Sachs was bailed out.
What should have happened was that AIG should have been declared bankrupt. Then Goldman Sachs would have had to wear the cost of their counter party(AIG) not being able to  pay out on Goldman's CDS's.
Instead what happened was the US Government bailed out Goldman. The Government payed out on Goldman's CDS which was held at AIG
If Goldman would not have been able to survive not being bailed out by the Government, then they should have been declared bankrupt and broken up.
Capitalism lost. The oligarchs won.

"the alternative would have meant untold misery for the 99%."
People have thought about this and come up:- 
Privatise the gains and socialize the Losses"
Too big to fail Bank in Financial difficulty argument.
I have a gun amied at my head. If you don't bail me out I'm going to pull the trigger and crash the global financial ponzi system and plunge everyone iinto the worst depression ever.
This is why we need to bring back capitalism, get rid rid of too big to fail Banks, and make the world a safer place..


Did you edit that Gibber...?


Even though economical with the words today Gibber...I think that about covered it.
Comment o the day for me.

In the last 20 years the data indicates that the top 1% have taken all the gains of wealth generated in taht period....certainly the top 10%....sorry but for me 100% should have seen a gain...and yes they should not have been bailed.....but then the US system is a banana republic where pollies are bought and sold.....
And yes I agree, I dont see why banksa nd indeed the over-leverages should be allowed to get out of the mess they got themselves into due to greed and in-competance. Sell the land to NZers at a fair value that they can make a good living at....let the banks staff who did these bad deals for silly bonuses sweep the streets.......Mind you if foreigners are that stupid to take land at a price that they can never get a return on, who's the bigger fool?

PI In my view the pitch forks are out already and its too late for even reason to be considered. Its human nature. Even if you take everything from the 1% which as you have pointed out is just theft, it wouldn't fix the problems we have. There are many issues.mainly human nature. I am surprised at BHs seeming view? I have followed him for some time. Perhaps its commercialism on his part He is aware of procductivity issues, globalisation but does he consider other things which are just as relevant, He talks about Scandanavia and models that work,  but he doesnt take into account the nature of those people, living in a hard climate with real respect for each other. I've lived there.  There are and have been plenty of socialist models that do not work and are inhumane.


If everyone was like Bill Gates there wouldn't be a problem but the reality is most rich folk are nothing like him and you know it.
The main issue is that there is no circuit breaker to ever see wealth redistributed.  The wealthy own the assets which generate income and they are the lenders who earn the income from those who need to borrow. 
Our entire system pushes money uphill securing a life of ever increasing luxury for generations of elite upper class. 
The effective tax on the wealthy once accountants and lawyers have structured their affairs is less than the middle class further preventing any redistribution.
Like it or not the working and middle classes are starting to realise that they are the policeman and the tax payers who are holding the cow while the rich milk it for their own benefit.  The time is coming where they will let go of the cow and turn on the owner... 

Here's the thing, though - it wouldn't matter if Bill Gates were the only ultra-rich person to donate as much as he has. The fact stands that his donation(s) exceed those of all the Occupy-types combined. Some are determined to be haters but don't pay attention to the massive good that some of their targets are responsible for. There will always be a 1% (thanks to mathematics), so I'm glad there are some good apples in there who're so generous. Perhaps we should all aspire to be so wealthy so we in turn can do likewise.
"The main issue is that there is no circuit breaker to ever see wealth redistributed.  The wealthy own the assets which generate income and they are the lenders who earn the income from those who need to borrow."
I disagree. There absolutely is a ciruit breaker - it's called people's free choice. You're right that the rich tend to own the income producing assets (and owning a lending business is an example of such an asset), but you've overlooked the obvious point that the income stream that comes from these assets has to come from somewhere, and that somewhere is the rest of the population, and by and large that income comes from freely made decisions the population has made.
For example, if a well-to-do owns a building, there's no law of physics that says she will automatically recive an income stream as a result. Someone has to choose to rent part of that building, and for the most part that will be a freely made decision. Too expensive, too run-down - find somewhere else...income stream over for landlord.
Same thing with pretty much any company - as soon as customers stop buying, the income stream dries up. Ditto for banks - no borrowers means no profits which means no income.
Wealth re-distribution is very simple - if you don't want your money going to the rich, stop buying the goods and services they provide. I'm sure there are plenty of things next to you right now that aren't necessary for life and were produced by some 'heartless 1% multinational' and yet you bought them anyway. Why? Because you chose to. So at the end of the day, if people and companies are rich, you're the one making them so.

Interesting points but of course the majority of folk do not have the choice you are referring to and have to give their money to rich. 
They have to rent from a wealthy landlord, they have to buy cloths invariably made by companies with wealthy share holders, they have to borrow from banks etc.  Everything is owned by the wealthy, even the cheap Chinese stuff is owned by corporate’s that outsourced to China.  Every step they take sees their wealth move towards the wealthy while they get progressively worse off. 
The resources of the world are finite so if you have a large share you need to share it without demanding profits or give those profits back to the community for this problem to be resolved.

You must belong to the I want it now club Julz! leap past the point that the "wealthy", by and large had to work and save and invest and grow their wealth....doh
Yes there are thieving swine and a good too many state salary 'bloats' sucking on the system,,,buying off the pollies,,,,manipulating the markets....but if every person followed your line of reasoning, there would be no employment bar the usual state sector and LG jobs for the boys. That is a system which has worked really well for Cubans....not.
The "problem to be solved" Julz is how to cut the bankers and polly liars down to size..."giving profits back" is utter BS ....without the incentive to achieve there would be no investment at wealth...get the message Julz.

I wasn't meaning to say all profits must be given back but certainly a much larger proportion than occurs currently, Bill Gates was the example we were using.  Having the wealthy able to pay less tax proportionally than the middle class workers through lenient tax policy or by paying advisors to structure their affairs favorably is not acceptable.

Wealth re-distribution is very simple - if you don't want your money going to the rich, stop buying the goods and services they provide.
Yes and lets ignore the rent seeking behaviour and gains of the 1%.  And the fradulent behaviour that is occurring unpunished in the banking and other sectors.  And the corrupt looting of our public assets via the privitsation mantra.

There is a circuit breaker... revolution.

True... and probably the only one that will work

One of the most rediculous posts I have ever read in my life.
Too many holes to point out!
I do agree though with your assessment of the 1%, but only becauuse the 1% is not the problem. The 0.1% are the real problem, and they simply can't be got at , so it seems!
Oh and being rich is not the problem, but having got there at the cost to others certainly is. In order for someone to be rich, others must be poor, its that simple!
If that sits well with rich people, then society will continue on the downward trend it is on!
Oh and Nike - You could not have used a worse example, other than Apple perhaps!

"In order for someone to be rich, others must be poor, its that simple!" Rubbish.

I'll presume you don't consider yourself rich. As such, can you please tell me how it is that this is the case? What specific actions have the 'rich' taken that mean you're not rich? If you're poor, comparitively speaking, how has this come about? Were you born with a $20MM bank account and some rich people have stolen this off you? I doubt it.
In fact I suspect you've had a pretty normal life, and are pretty happy with it overall. It's just that you didn't found TradeMe, so you've not had the benefit of scale for your labours - no millions of users/customers to make you rich. The rich didn't make you poor, the poor made other poor rich.

Wealth creation does not make others poor. Many of the 'rich' are enablers - btw we are rich on a globalised scale (see Amandas post). Yes, in some cases the wealthy oppress others but not a fixed game. If someone created another Google in Chch, I,m sure many would benefit.

Phew - I'm glad I'm not a lone voice, though I might be one of the more verbose.
Props to you MortgageBelt

No, wealth creaton does not necessarily make others poor, but in this case for the last 20 years this is the case.  At least in effect the top 1% or at most top 10% have made themselves more wealthy where most of the rest have at best treaded water, while the bottom 10%+ are indeed worse off.........
There is also a difference between productive wealth and parasitic wealth, google is producing a such as hedge funds, CDSs, share market specualtion, commodities gambling and such isnt....and in fact appear to be damaging.

To continue might need a definition of wealth as something separate from money.
If wealth includes money then share market speculation creates wealth.
If money is not, in and of itself, wealth but only a store of value then speculation does not qualify as wealth creation.

Wealth is how long you can live for without working. 

WTF is wealth creation, and can you explain why during this so calledd age of wealth, we have more and more people starving and being exploited!
As the wealth of the so caleld "enablers" , you realise you have just described trickle up right, grows ever greater, the inequality gap will multiply, and many of those who thought they were ok, will fall off the bottom of the pyramid!
Do I consider myself rich, yes but it has nothing to do with money, and everything to do with my understanding about what is actually important in life!
Google as an example - tell me you are joking!

"we have more and more people starving and being exploited"
Your source for that please.  The Economist recently reported that the number of people in the world who live in absolute poverty had, for the first time, fallen in absolute terms.

Put it into NZ terms then and have a look at those poverty does that trend line look!
As parts of the world become further exploited, such as the BRICS, there will be an increase in people regarded as wealthy, relative to what they used to be depending on what you regard as being important, but in order for those people to become "wealthy", exploitation of people and resources must occur elsewhere...
The so called wealth is nothing more than expansion and contraction, surely this is obvious to people!
if you think the world is getting "wealthier" I am afraid you are very much misstaken and
If you use the economist as a source of trusted information, then you really stop
Here is a tip - Its not simply about absolute poverty!

This bit is almost the siliest thing I have  read lately.

Firstly, there will _always_ be a top 1%. Take a population, rank them by wealth, and there you are. It's a bit tough to be vilified simply as a result of a statistical distribution. Malawi will have it's top 1%, too - should we be after them with pitchforks as well?
No one is actually vilifying them for being the 1% it is the fact that the amount of the worlds wealth going to the 1% that people have a problem with. Surely you can see that. The amount going to them is out of hand again. You must have a clue as to what it is that people who are informed are actually concerned about.

Heck so capitalism is all wrong and all the rich people should have their wealth redistributed to the poor..........sacriledge.

I think capitalism is great, its crony capitalism that I don't agree with.
People should get wealthy through honest work rather than by having connections with powerful people and breaking the law knowing that they can get away with it.

Capitalism is by definition crony, some kind of idealistic world where things are 'fair' doesn't exist.

Actually thinking about #2 a bit more, clearly Jesus was wrong. We should all be buying and selling houses to each other and that will make us all better off.

But scarfie Jesus didn't bank on Planning Consents ...their Charter is founded on Musical Chairs.

So Count do musical chairs share any of their properties with deck chairs? 

The concept is transferable scarfie.......from deckchairs to's all supply and demand  that determines the swimmers among us...!!

#6. The evidence that Thomas Maltus was right is actually is staring at us all. As I pointed out a few weeks back the rate of growth of the population started reducing after 1961. That was the crisis point, it is the point on the growth curve where resources needed to support a population have been exceeded and so the curve start to flatten from that point. What that means is that we are already in overshoot territory.
Quality and longevity will now degrade, although on a world scale it probably already has. Once we are past peak the downside will be frightening.

But only yesterday MC was saying we needed to 'innovate' energy into existence, entertaining when econmonics hits physics isn't it, pure versus applied maths

 It was convenient to say Malthus was 'disproved'. and to discredit the CofR.
What the dissing failed to do was to ascertain what kept Malthus at bay - easily available energy.
And the dissing of the C0fR - we have had it from Hughey here - is that "it didn't happen'. Given the graph, it's hard to see how it could have - yet.
David - Lomberg? He provably wrong. You don't even have to go into any depth - first principles will do the trick. Same class as Julian Simon - either a true nutter, or a cynical spinner-for-money. Believe that, you'll believe anything - it's no coincidence that the ultra-right are the untra-religious - a sub-set born in heaven, so to speak.
Some of us kept our eyes on the ball - watched the ten-year updates, realised that it was the physics professors, globally who were sounding the warnings - the economics ones who were not
Which would you believe?
Now, let me see.....

Thomas Malthus 1766-1834 lived during the Industrial Revolution 1750-1850.
He said, "That the increase of population is necessarily limited by the means of subsistence..."
Almost within his own lifetime child mortality had dropped from 74.5% (1730-1749) to 31.8% (1810-1829) and just before his birth world population was 791 Million (1750) and just after his death it was already 1262 Million (1850).  It has since surged to over 7 Billion.
In short -- his theory that resource limits would limit population growth did not in fact eventuate, rather the world population as a whole surged in an unbroken upward swing to the present day.
I would suggest this happened because he thought of the means of subsistence as a static thing that would therefore be a limiting factor, but what happened was the means of subsistence was not static but grew at an equal or greater rate than the population.

So did you not actually read my post, are ignoring it, or are you incapable of understanding it? 
"unbroken upward swing" no sorry that is incorrect as I point out. 


Decade by decade the swing remains intact.
In 1960 world population was 2982 Million and in 2010 it was 6972 Million.  That's not a decline in any measure and a variation in the rate of the growth doesn't negate it's upward path.

Within the context of when he made his theories he was not just wrong, he was wrong by huge magnitudes.

"rate of the growth doesn't negate it's upward path." Wrong again, you really are being painfully slow aren't you. But you wouldn't be the first to be too stupid to understand a declining rate of growth or its ramifications.

Such vacuous posts add nothing to the discussion.

You can't have a discussion when someone completely ignores the facts in front of them, or is unable to comprehend them, whichever is the case. Go back an read my first post, slowly if need be, and see if you really understand what I have said. Nothing you have posted so far gives an sign you have understood.

I wouldn't sweat it scarfie ralph shows all the inductive reasoning of a man falling from a 20 floor building who can only count to 10

I think if you will find nothing proposed by me was inductive.  I quoted historical statistics that shows Malthus pedictions did not come true.  That's known as a statement of fact.
Inductive reason is quite different.

Well I'd say that concluding that they won't come true based on 'historical statistics' is exactly inductive, Malthus may have made predictions which had a fixed date which proved to be incorrect but his basic theory is such a truism that I can see no victory in dissing him unless of course you believe the earth to be infinite

When you swagger without reason it's best to swagger big.

When you have a year on year decline in the rate of growth, that is NOT an upswing. It does in fact mean something very different. So yes you keep right on swaggering partner, but don't expect to come on here and spout your drivel and get away with it. Thank you Neven you are quite correct. 

As the statistics show the swing to growth was already well in place by the time of Malthus's life, a fact that no doubt spurred his thinking.
The increase has continued ever since.  The fact that the rate of the increase has moderated doesn't remove the upward trend.  To break the increase you would have to have no increase.  Which hasn't happened.
You could use inductive reason in an attempt to predict what the curve will do next, but inductive logic can be quite eroneous in it's conclusions.
It's not drivel - it's Wikipedia:

Ralph used the term upswing, which implies the increasing upward trend in year on year growth remains. In fact the trend has reversed, which is the first time this has happened in the history of civilisation. So it is no longer an "up trend" but a peaking trend, in mathematics an inflextion point. No need for any sort of inference or inductive reasoning, it is simply a matter of fact and is happening right in front of us.
Perhaps I shouldn't have mentioned Malthus, it just provides a distraction from the issue that the small minds are all to ready to seize upon. Just don't let a bit of calculus get in the way eh? Of course this stupid denial of the maths means the reasons and/or consequences get ignored.

Then clearly MC needs educating, or doing a Phil Best, which ever you prefer.
But on a brighter note at least there is a dawning realisation that all is not well and what the problem

No.2 quite interesting re Jesus teachings on money, industry & charity. He taught personal responsibility ie parable of the talents.
Told us to pay our taxes 'Render to Caesar ...'
Modelled personal charity ... healing etc
Accepted the reality of the poor ' the poor will always be with you..'
Reversed our conceptual order of importance ' the first will be last etc'
He detested Pharisees (Religious Right?)
Money one of the most mentioned topics - knew how it captures our hearts, has the potential to enslave (our mortgages, credit cards, hp ...)

I agree. Good points.
These are some of the concepts that make a country wealthy.

I say go 'Old Testament' on their a*se's.
"Neither a borrower nor a lender be"
I wonder how many Christian's have a mortgage?
What would Noah do?

"I say go 'Old Testament' on their ****"
A lot of people have a chip on their shoulder when it comes to Religion.
As soon as any religious topic comes up they can't handle it and get abusive.

"Neither a borrower nor a lender be"    That ain't Old Testament GD. A tad later.  It's from Hamlet. 

Vera said it before me.

Owe no man anything, except always owe love to each other. New Testament.
Have heard this interpreted as 'don't keep owing $$ continually ie there should be an endpoint'.

I keep telling my blackmailer that M.B. .....but she just doesn't get it.

Yes and also Jesus knew he had a debt to Caesar (the tax) and paid it.
These things can be literally true but only in the context and level at which they were meant.  I don't have a problem with the financial system of our day.  It is what it is.

Yes, would be hard to live cash only, no debt, no cc etc. I know a family like this - they sitting pretty now.

I'm not a legalist so I'm sure there are many for whom that would be a good choice.

Ops. Fair call.
I  didn't read enough shakespear or the bible it seems...
Nor is "God helps those that help themselves" which I would have gotten wrong too. 

GD - Noah floated his stock (which made him a capitalist I presume). I don't think it mattered in the end if he did or didn't keep up with the repayments on the Ark - everyone else was under water.
Still turned out okay for him in the end....

Even Jesus hated day traders.  Gave them a good old whipping, and crashed the market.

.... but he loved the cheese-makers ..... well , the manufacturers of most dairy products , infact .......
Not sure what he thought of the tofu pickers ?
Helluva guy : He'd do well on FaceBook .......

Jeez....imagine that that would do the their IPO. What a branding opportunity.

On Render unto Caesar...M.B.....I think Thomas just wheedled that one in as a trade off with Pilot to keep the pesky centurians from molesting the Good Man.......but the Jews would have none of !

And a mightly fine Pilot he was, guiding the province through troubled times. 

AEP on Spain, I love soem of the comments.

2 hours ago


"We have two trade unions in Spain that still live in the 19th century ..."
Hell, at this rate the whole damned population of Europe, all 495 million citizens are going to be living in the 19th century e'er long.
Surely, this is precisely what the EU politico-bureaucratic mafia want, for God's sake.  How else will they maintain their disastrous, iron-fist rule over the economics and politics of Europe if hundreds of millions of citizens are not forced into 19th century serfdom?
The eurozone crisis won't be over unless and until the euro currency collapses in outright disarray.  This has to be the most likely outcome for as long as the EU mafia holds forth with its determination to see the euro survive at any and all costs.
What's happening in Europe right now is socio-economic madness almost beyond belief.  And still our own British political class hangs in there for the continued existence of the European Union.  Bonkers.  Stark staring bonkers.  What in God's name does it take to end this?  I don't know the answer to that question, but I do know that there is one hell of a lot of suffering yet to come in Europe.  You can thank the political elite for that, and the 50,000 or so bureaucrats who are milking this madness for all it's worth: and it's worth an awful lot to them, of course. Why else do you think Clegg loves Europe so much?
PS Lord Wolfson so wasted his £250,000 if he ever thought that the EU mafia would proactively plan and manage the unwinding of the euro. Naive in the extreme.

53 minutes ago


You can thank the political elite for that, and the 50,000 or so bureaucrats who are milking this madness for all it's worth: and it's worth an awful lot to them, of course. Why else do you think Clegg loves Europe so much?"
I remained convinced, given the lack of any meaningful opposition to the current leadership,  that when the EU crashes into a messy financial  state of oblivion that the same goons in starched shirts will still be in control. And, I postulate that their standard of living, perks, drinking , cars and eating habits along with several grand villas they own will not be significantly affected. In fact, the wait staff and courtiers will actually be in abundance for lack of jobs. 
This might ignite WW3.


Otsuka Duojinshi
3 hours ago


". . would have done better to avoid an EU fight by issuing a promise that he had no real intention of keeping - the "Italian way" - or going for broke by defying the EU altogether."
Promises? Like the ones promising votes and referendums?
Go for broke?  They' re broke already.
Words to live by. Go for broke!


Oh to be the Fly on the wall at Merkel's when the Frenchman drops round for a "Chat" eh of the two has to blink  as the unholy scene before them sinks in.
My bet is Franc might be looking better than Bleau Riche as the savior.

Greatest wealth transfer in history... really?  Um, what about TARP and all the secret Federal Reserve bailouts of banks?  And don't forget "smart growth", which has enriched existing homeowners through asset inflation while impoverishing those who bought at the inflated prices.

And that was in reference to which of the above?

Yes odd isnt it. Kiwibank, Rabo, and the NZ Mint all have to pay for their advertising on this site but Mr Pavelitch thinks spruiking his website should come free........

Huge Spamlevitch..........

ha..!...yes come on up...or reduce your billboard to Iain Parker in a hurry sizes.

5. yes please...
interesting the Govn 18% then, 13% now...

Been a great day...!....I had lots o fun ...enjoyed the posts....hope GBH turns up for his shift...don't forget the stuff about spreading the love n all.....cause you just can't buy five minutes more when your times up.
Yah ...........that Gibber, so damn deep. 

Is Christov actually Gummy (evening shift?).
New policy @ Interest  -  all bloggers reveal their identity, occupation, income & debt levels.....  help!
Related random thought: Wouldn't it be interesting if every letterbox had an LED displaying owners mortgage amount, years to pay.   

One can only dream of being as erudite , suave & so fisticated as the Count : May he rule over  the pheasants , forever more ..... el Presidente' Count of Christov ........
... short shift here guys , had to spend the day at the pool , hydro-sliding , and checking out the jail-bait ...... 'tis a hard life ,  being unemployable ..... ahem !
...... Carbon Tax of $A 23 / tonne to be introduced on July 1'st ........ the local council has indicated that they will increase the rates by 3.3 % to compensate themselves for this .......
Some rascal proposed that we should ditch carbon taxes entirely , and just focus of energy efficiencies ........ decreasing energy wastage , and utilising energy more efficiently ........ what a weirdo !

Sounds like you might be a candidate for developing Type-III diabetes

ouch ! I think ...S.L. and here I am such a fan of yours.......ah well...sniff....

No offence taken in truth....still luv ya work S.L.....King of Krypton.
I'd best go see to her needs.......stay well !

Of course there are limits to growth, it's so obvious to any rational person.  It's not as if anything can grow forever.  What is not clear is what the limits are.  The most obvious is oil, though the optomistically named 'developing world' can survive on a mere fraction of  the oil that we in the dominant world consume.  So clearly it is possible to live with far less oil, though not the way in which we are accustomed to.  Topsoil is being lost through erosion, and salination at a far greater then nature creates it, though the situation is reversable, and there are farming methods that can achieve similar production while improving soil health, without the use of fertilisers and pesticides. 
It seems to me that the current economic system of consuming resources in exchange for fiat dollars will hit it's limits before any limits to growth are hit.  Current methods and systems got us this far, but any usefulness they may have had, are now outweighed by the costs.  When the consensus is, that we should increase our pollution, by consuming more oil, and converting more inneficient fossil fuels to oil, causing even greater pollution.  I wonder if people understand the consequences of shitting in your own nest.

An earthquake with an initial magnitude of 8.9 has struck under the sea off Indonesia's northern Aceh province.
The quake has triggered a tsunami warning across the Indian Ocean region.