Saturday, November 01, 2008

"Salvationist zeal" too blinding for rational thought? [updated]

KeynesMagician The Herald has more than one journalist utterly ignorant of the basics of his trade -- ie., knowing something of the subject on which he writes.  Take this paragraph from young Matthew Dearnaley for example ripped from this morning's rag:

    Transport is a beneficiary this election season of a salvationist zeal for infrastructure spending to maintain the country's money-go-round against global economic contractions.
   
"We're all Keynesians now," was one National MP's quip to an Auckland regional councillor seeking a commitment to rail electrification from the party of free enterprise.
   
The reference was to a growing acceptance across the political spectrum of a need for Governments to be more interventionist in tough times, in line with American economist John Maynard Keynes' pump-priming prescription for recovery from the Great Depression and subsequent world war.

How many errors in just one short piece of writing!

It is not "salvationist zeal" that motivates the promises to borrow for a government spend-up, a giant bureaucratically run consumption binge, but just a nasty combination of political log-rolling and economic ignorance. 

And it will only prove destructive: all that spending has to be financed from somewhere and, since the programmes for "salvationist zeal" promise tax cuts with spending increases, 'somewhere' means either the Reserve Bank printing money, or else borrowing from the capital markets to make up the gap -- in either case, depleting the pool of real savings and bidding resources away from genuine productive activity.  So much, so stupid.

"We're all Keynesians now," quips the National Party moron, apparently unaware -- as is the braindead reporter -- that the ghost of Keynes has for decades ruled us from the grave.  "It is extraordinary," says economist Frank Shostak, "to suggest that Keynes's ideas are now coming back to save the world.

"Keynesian ideas have never left the rooms of government and central-bank decision makers. The essence of the thinking of the most influential economists was and still is Keynesian. So various stimulus packages that are now introduced are a continuation of the same Keynesian policies we have been subjected to for many decades. The present economic crisis is the outcome of the large dose of Keynesianism we have been given over many decades."

"...a need for Governments to be more interventionist in tough times"?  But it's precisely at such times when producers need certainty, not governments who meddle with the rules.  Has the "political spectrum" across whom this acceptance is apparently growing never heard of "regime uncertainty," one of the key reasons the Great Depression continued so damned long?

And National is "a party of free enterprise"?  When exactly did that happen?  For goodness' sake, has Mr Dearnaley ever actually read the National Party manifesto? (And have any National Party MPs ever read the 'principles' section?)

It's clear in any case Mr Dearnaley has never read any history, or any Keynes, else he would know the Keynesian prescription delayed recovery from the depression in those countries (such as America) that applied it. He would know that "pump-priming" is simply another word for inflating the money supply -- ie., decreasing the purchasing power of money -- and if that could make countries rich Zimbabawe would now be fabulously wealthy.  And he would know that far from being an American economist, John Maynard Keynes was "born to the purple": he was precisely the kind of bossy, overweening, born-to-rule aristocratic Englishman who deservedly give the idea of a 'ruling class' a bad name.

Would it be too much to ask that Mr Dearnelay and his colleagues actually do their job, which involves not just reporting on politicians' errors but pointing them out -- all the while not making egregious errors of their own.

And in answer to the implicit question: Do We Need More Keynes Now?  No, we sure as hell don't.  One century of the economic charlatan was more than enough, thank you.

UPDATE: Or as Russ Robert advises politicians in the Wall Street Journal: Russ Roberts has a new piece in the Wall Street Journal, Don't Just Do Something. Stand There.  [Hat top Anti Dismal]

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Friday, October 31, 2008

Best of NOT PC this week, to 31 October

Another good week here at NOT PC, but sadly another week in which scandal outdid substance on the campaign trail, even as out in the real world the chickens of political economy were vividly coming home to roost. Here are the posts from this blog that rated best over the last seven days:

  1. REISMAN: It's Not Laissez Faire, Stupid!
    By far the most popular post was not mine, but my link to George Reisman's outstanding article on the economic crisis:
    The Myth that Laissez Faire Is Responsible for Our Financial Crisis.
    People said, "that's the definitive article on the US economic woes for me, thus far." "Superb." "The greatest economist since Mises strikes again." "WOW! Reisman hits it out of the park!" and "The sad thing is that those who need it most won't read it..." All of these things are true, so don't let that stop you putting it in front of those who need to read it most.
  2. Stossel's Politically Incorrect Guide to Politics
    This is making me look lazy. Another post, another set of links, this time to a superb John Stossell television special. Start here: The Politically Incorrect Guide to Politics, Part one.
  3. The best garden shed in Hamilton
    Some say that architecture is just for cathedrals and public buildings. Bollocks. Good architecture is for every building, no matter how apparently humble.
  4. Greens: Vote for [.........]?
    Why not make up your own Green billboards? I did. They're a lot more honest than the ones asking your vote to impoverish someone else's kids.
  5. "So, are you going to vote for yourself this year?"
    Helensville Libertarianz candidate Peter Osborne asks punters the question at the Titirangi markets.
    So, are you? Or are you going to vote to make someone else's kids poorer instead?
  6. F*** fireworks fun
    Nanny's war against fun on fireworks night continues apace.
    For years now we've been banned from buying anything that goes BANG!
    And this year we're being all but banned from being able to buy them at all.
  7. John Maynard Keynes: The destroyer of monies
    Deborah Hill Cone confesses in this morning's Herald to "swotting up on John Maynard Keynes."
    For Galt's sake woman, why!? You'd be better off using his writing to light this year's bonfire.
  8. WSABHD?
    What Should Alan Bollard Have Done? Sure as hell not what he did do. When it's time to stop spending and replenish the pool of real savings, what effect do you think dropping interest rates will have? Answers on a postcard, please.

Lots of good reading there -- and let let me leave you with a question: Whom should we string up on our bonfire tomorrow night? Any bright ideas for our guy? Suggestions so far include Helen Clark, John McCain, John Key, John Maynard Keynes (in the future, all arseholes will be called John), Barack Obama (got to be careful about the proximity of burning crosses though), Winston Peters and Alan Greenspan. And depending on how the Wallabies do, there might even be a late call for Dingo Deans. Post your ideas in the comments.

Cheers, and enjoy your weekend,
Peter Cresswell

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Beer O’Clock – Lagunitas

RealBeer's Neil Miller returns with his best and brightest beer post since Noah was a drinker, and the very best excuse for failing to hand in his homework last week ...

It’s ten o’clock in the morning and I’m sitting on a horse saddle, and that is not even the most  interesting part of this story. The saddle is actually the top of a bar stool and I’m contemplating a bristling 8.3% Double American Pale Ale which weighs in at a staggering 100 units of bitterness. To put that in perspective, most New Zealand mainstream beers would be in the teens or early twenties on that bitterness scale.

This monstrous “hop bomb” has been poured by one of the self-proclaimed “old hippies” who run the Lagunitas Brewing Company in California, USA. While my erstwhile companions have elected to start with the more approachable Pilsner or even the recommended Saison, I’ve headed straight to the hop. I detect a hint of approval at my order.

The beer is Hop Stoopid (8.3%) and it throws a massive juicy hop nose. My notes record that it is “full bodied, resinous, thick, gummy, big grapefruit notes, deep and such a very long bitter finish.” It’s a simply stunning way to start the day.

Named after an old stagecoach town, Lagunitas is a unique brewery with an irreverent attitude. Their bottle labels and website are famously funny. They make beers to honour Hunter S Thompson (appropriately called Gonzo Ale) and the walls are covered with anti-Bush posters and stickers.

One of their beers is now known as Censored Ale. It had always been called Chronic but after many years of high sales the Government suddenly banned them from using the name. When asked about why it was suddenly unacceptable, the agency admitted it had hired a couple of young surfer dudes and they were able to detect a whole lot of drug-related references in product names the older agents had missed. Here is how Lagunitas responded on their website:

“Anyway, we were going out to, uh, the ,uh, you know, thing, and all, and when we got there, well, uh, the dude was, like- "whoa man!" I mean, and we were all, uh, you know - "whoa!" and stuff, and when I said to him, like, you know, "hey man", and all they, I mean he, was all "what?" and stuff- and I just told him what you said and all and they were all man- "not cool dude", but whatever- so, uh, we split and went back to my lair and just hung out and whatever, but the whole thing was, like, just SUCH a bummer and all but, you know, it was cool and stuff, but you just gotta, you know, about the dude and all, like, it's cool and all you know, but what's up with that "blah blah blah"? Whatzit got to do with beer and all? I mean, really, dude, whatever...but, it's cool and all...”

After starting off Stoopid, the Czech Pilsner was always going to struggle to keep up. I thought it was pleasant beer – crisp and dry and nicely made with Saaz and Cascade hops. If Hop Stoopid was a party in my mouth, this was a pleasant afternoon tea.

Looking round the rambling brewery, we learnt that Lagunitas took their virtual brewery off their website after it cost them $30,000. Apparently, an operative from the American equivalent of OSH was browsing their website (during work time), took the virtual tour and noticed a couple of sheets of safety glass missing and hit them with a safety and health audit. It probably goes down as the most expensive virtual tour ever.

I was doing the beers backwards. I finished with the Saison which was yeasty, fresh, fruity with a touch of coriander and pepper. On the newly-minted mouth party scale, it was a catch-up over coffee -– perfectly appropriate in certain circumstances but hardly a rave.

The brewery has been going since 1993 and recently expanded from 3 to 5 brewing vessels. Though huge by New Zealand standards, it still has a presence in just 26 states.

Lagunitas Brewing Company is magnificent – a gust of fresh air in a stifling corporate age. You could happily spend days trying their huge range of wicked beers and just talking with the staff. I virtually had to be dragged onto the bus which was heading to another brewery.

My consolation heading to the bus was a box of Maximus tucked under my arm. This 7.5% American Pale Ale boasted that it was so bitter that it “may remove the enamel from your teeth.” This party is just getting started.

Cheers, Neil

Links
Realbeer www.realbeer.co.nz
Lagunitas www.lagunitas.com

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Better training. Better teachers. Better get onto it.

New Zealand needs better schools.  And it sure as hell needs better teachers -- and let's face it, it won't be getting either of these out of the government, no matter which of them is voted in next weekend.

The Maria Montessori Education Foundation (MMEF) is on to it.  In February next year they open in Mt Eden with the first internationally-accredited Montessori diploma course to be offered in New Zealand.  This is where the great teachers will come from that will open those better schools.

RingMyBell-MMEF If you know someone who has a love of teaching, but who's appalled at the political correctness of mainstream education -- someone who loves education, but whose common sense would make years at the state's teachers colleges a misery -- then why not send them a flyer [pdf], point them to the MMEF blog, or just get them to check out the neat PowerPoint slideshow that's just been put up at the MMEF website* -- where they can also download an application form.

You owe it to those future generations.  ;^)

* To check out the slideshow, head to the MMEF website and click on 'Montessori: A Career For You.'  It could be, you know.

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Sacrificing industry to ignorance

Both major NZ parties plan to throttle New Zealand industry with an anti-industrialist's wet dream: retention of the Resource Management Act, which makes it all but impossible to build anew for industry, and imposition of an Emissions Trading Scam, which will all but throttle existing industry.

At back of the flat-out insane Emissions Trading Scam is the flat-out wrong global warming scam. 

With parts of the northern hemisphere now under several inches of unseasonable global warming (in other words, snow), Christopher Monckton's timely open letter to John McCain is just as much an open letter to every western politician who wishes to sacrifice industry to ignorance:

Sir, every one of the reasons that you have advanced for alarm and consequent panic action has been demonstrated to be hollow and without any scientific foundation or merit. Yet, if your proposal to close down three-fifths of the economy of the United States is to be justifiable, then not only the false scientific propositions but also the false policy propositions that you have advanced must be shown to be true. Here, then, are ten propositions, with each of which you appear to agree, each of which is actually false. All of these propositions must be proven true before any action is taken to tamper with the climate, still less the fatal, self-inflicted wounds that you would invite your nation to make to her economy...

[Hat tip Owen McShane]. Read on here for the best summary of the collapsing warmist science you'll see this side of thirty-years of static temperatures and increased Arctic sea ice.

Ask Jeanette Fitzsimons about it alll next time she accosts you in a shopping mall.

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Larry Sechrest, 1946-2008 [updated]

SS354 Free Radical and NOT PC readers who've enjoyed the writing of economist and enthusiastic human being Larry Sechrest will, like me, be tremendously saddened to hear news that he died this morning of heart failure.

You can read his obituary here at the Mises site.

Larry was a stalwart and engaging pillar in the battle for liberty, and a tremendous supporter of The Free Radical magazine, for which he most recently wrote these remarkably prescient lines on the illusory idea of "price stability, "pointing out that "as long as there is continuous monetary equilibrium" -- for which we he maintained we should remove the Reserve Bank's monopoly powers, and denationalise the currency -- "all other desirable monetary goals become superfluous."

   Mark this well. Central banks are the source of both inflation and business cycles. Tragically, many people seem to believe that both inflation and boom-bust cycles are somehow an intrinsic part of a market economy. They thus turn to the central bank to solve the problems that the central bank itself created. I might add that the very existence of a central bank introduces into all markets pervasive “regulatory risk” that would not otherwise exist. That is, market participants expend real resources in an attempt to forecast---and then cope with---the manipulations of money, credit, prices, and interest rates undertaken by the central bank. It all sounds frighteningly familiar...

But he wasn't just an economist.  Read Larry's magnificent speech on the nature and motivation of capitalism's enemies (or watch or listen to it).  Or read his thoughts on 'Violence, Virtue and Vice.'  Or simply enjoy and reflect on his ebullient 2005 toast to The Wonderful Life :

    Raise your glasses. Let us drink a toast to the essentials, those things without which life becomes tepid, tasteless, colorless, and silent. Of course, some of us are too blind—or too repressed—to recognize that these are the essentials. Do not heap scorn upon those who fail to see. Chide them if you must, but do it gently if you can.
    What are these "essentials"? Ever the analyst, I will offer you a taxonomy...

His list of the essentials of life is not just a taxonomy of all the good stuff that makes life worth living, it's also a clue to understanding Larry Sechrest's life, and the man he was.

R.I.P Larry.  You'll be missed.

NB: For those who want to explore Larry's work and his many enthusiasms, the Mises archive has much of the former; the SOLO site much of the latter.  Enjoy!

UPDATE: Lindsay Perigo pays tribute to his friend: Larry Sechrest Dies. This Renaissance Man, says Perigo, "was the sweetest of souls, an elegant and witty speaker, and a braveheart."

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Hot female candidates

768340 Not, I'm sure, that any of you will be interested at all, but I feel obliged to point out that Cactus Kate and UnPC Lesbian have ranked the female candidates at this election for hotness -- from two different perspectives, of course. 

A few surprises in both lists.  The most surprising to me is seeing Nanaia Mahuta appear on such a list. 

I'd always thought she was a man.

And since there's another election next week, and I point this out purely as a public service you understand, why not check out the hottest candidate for President: Paris Hilton

Paris for President.

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Fed up with central bankers

Former leader of the National Party Don Brash talks exclusively to political editor of the Sunday Star Times  Ruth Laugesen about life after politics and the direction he plans to take now that his marriage has broken up and he lives alone in a bachelor apartment in the Viaduct, Auckland.
Pic:Lawrence Smith/Sunday News 200508 Bill Ralston interviewed Don Brash a couple of nights ago on the back of news that the US Federal Reserve has essentially given NZ's Reserve bank a 'letter of credit' for up to US$15 billion, apparently to help America's "liquidity trap" by distributing credit more widely to so called "emerging countries" like ours to assuage our potential inability to draw down foreign currency reserves given our rapidly falling dollar.

Ralston asked one acute question of Brash: "Where do they get these billions to spray around," to which Brash essentially replied that both the Reserve Bank and the Fed can print as much of their own currency as they wish -- "without limit" --  in other words, it's credit produced out of thin air -- but that's alright, Brash hastened to add, since "no one's worried about inflation at the moment."

He'd be wrong about that -- just as he's wrong, still, about inflation.  Just as all central bankers have been for decades.

If this is nothing to worry about, then I'm a Muslim.  As I've tried to explain before, the central problem the central bankers create is not price inflation, but monetary inflation -- ie., not inflation of prices so much as inflation of the money supply, which is generally the cause of price inflation, and much more else besides.  The US now has negative real interest rates (don't mention the moral hazard: with government guarantees, that means you can't afford not to borrow) but the Fed chairman still continues to inflate the money supply in the blind hope that debasing the currency, diluting the pool of real savings and reducing the purchasing power of your money will, somehow, fix the problems caused by decades of the self-same approach. 

tms-9-11 From 2001 to 2004 now-disgraced Fed chairman Alan Greenspan inflated the money supply to "ease" the US economy through 9/11 and the collapse of the Dot.Com boom (see right).  He added $1 trillion plus to the money supply in that period, "slashing the federal funds target from 6.5% in January 2001 down to a ridiculous 1% by June 2003." [See 'Did the Fed Cause the Housing Bubble?'] At that time, no one was worried about inflation either, but that didn't stop Greenspan's monetary pumping setting off the housing bubble, the boom and now the dramatic collapse.

And the Dot.Com boom itself was caused by the double digit growth rates of the MZM and M3 measures of money supply during the late 1990s to get them through an earlier crisis -- a crisis that was caused by a relaxation of the money supply from 1994 to get out of that crisis -- which was caused by the monetary pumping to rescue the economy from an early crisis ...

Crisis after crisis after crisis, the seeds of each of them planted in the "rescue" from the preceding crisis. 

And people wonder where the so called "business cycle" comes from?!  Better to call it a "Federal Reserve" cycle. [See 'Yet Another Boom?' for similar thoughts.]

So "no one's worried" about inflation, says Brash the former central banker, except several years later when the malinvestments propped up by decades of monetary pumping finally start falling over -- and even then central bankers are too blind to see it for themselves.

No wonder central bankers still read Keynes.  About the long run, they're all braindead.

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No thieving, we're Libertarianz

I've been asked numerous times why people aren't seeing Libertarianz ads on your TV screens, or hearing Libertarianz ads on your radio.

Simple answer: the law doesn't allow our ads on radio or TV unless we take your money to screen them and produce them.  It doesn't allow us to use our own money to pay for our own ads -- it demands instead that the taxpayer dole out largesse. 

So much for free speech.

We say that's obscene.  We don't want to send you the bill for our opinions.  Hell, you might not even agree with them!

No such compunction holds back any other party however. Every other party is more than happy to  steal form you to tell you what to believe -- every party from ACT to the Workers' Party is happy to steal from you to promote themselves.  Which means, get this, that every time you hear or see a political party ad, that party has put its hand in your pocket to pay for itThis is how much they're all stealing from you.

So where's our money going instead?  Simple answer again: It's going on good causes -- which according to TV3's Ali Ikram includes propping up the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.  And it's going on grass roots stuff like print advertising, brochures and flyers, covert campaigning, signs and billboards, and these simple YouTube ads you can check out at LIBZ TV.

So now you know.

Feel free to help us out.  Unlike all the other parties, we ask for your money nicely.

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Portrait - José Manuel Capuletti


Portrait of the artist's wife, Pilar.

More about Capuletti at new website Radicals for Happiness, "a blog devoted to spreading the word about sources of joy" -- and don't we all need more of that at the moment.

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Who says men can't multi-task?

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When did grass become a pollutant?

TWO QUIZZES: Which president "should" I vote for? [updated + video]

I JUST TOOK TWO ONLINE quizzes to see which presidential candidate I "should" vote for [hat tip No Minister].  The results demonstrated most of the flaws with online quizzes -- including the overly concrete nature of the questions,  no reference at all to the principles of candidates (if in fact they have any), and the tacit assumption that the default position for voters is that one should cast a vote no matter how poor all the candidates are, instead of the default position being that one shouldn't vote at all unless candidates give you a good reason to vote for them. 

Oh, and it told me who I should vote for -- and if I believe the quizzes, I have a problem.

You see, the MyFox Candidate Matchmaker told me that not one of the candidates were more than 50% matched with me.  The best was Bob Barr, with just 40%; then came John McCain with just 33%, which means I disagreed with the grinning moron 67% of the time; and  Obama was down there with just 20%, meaning I disagreed with the lying phony 80% of the time.

All very interesting.

Except the GlassBooth Election Guide  gave me a different result altogether. They told me that Obama agreed with me 66% of the time, McCain 55% and Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party candidate, just 48%.

Obama agreed with me most on the issues of Abortion, Immigration and Medical Marijuana, and least on Environment, Energy and Trade & Economics. No surprises there, I guess.  McCain agreed with me most on Iraq and Trade & Economics, and least on Abortion, Education, Medical Marijuana and Environment & Energy.

Make of that what you will.

LIKE I SAY ABOVE, if you expect too much out of quizzes like this, you have a problem.  It might tell me for example that I agree with six things Obama said, but it doesn't tell me very much at all about stuff I know is important,and the quiz just ignores. 

Here's one of the many things it ignores, and as Jeff Perren argues, it's crucial. The US Constitution is the fundamental chain around US politicians -- a handbrake on the Leviathan -- it sets out the individual rights the Government is supposed to protect, and (despite many flaws) it tries to chain them up to do just that.  Now, all those holes that have been driven through the US Constitution could not have been driven through without the help and assistance of the justices of the US Supreme Court. And the President gets to appoint justices to the US Supreme Court -- and these appointments can outlive a presidential term.  In other words, if justices are appointed who are fundamentally opposed to the rights enshrined in the Constitution then the evil of the POTUS can live on at the SCOTUS.

Berack Obama is fundamentally opposed to the rights enshrined in the Constitution.  He's made clear he wishes to replace justice with empathy, and rights with "entitlements."  This would effectively kill the Constitution as effectively as if it were simply annulled.  And since the next president  might be in a position to appoint up to four new justices of which he approves, he might just be able to do that.

Listen to this discussion by US radio host Glenn Beck of Obama's 2001 comments on what he would like to do to the US Constitution.  Read and reflect on Jeff Perren's discussion of those comments.  And if you're voting in the US this election, give them some weight.

I would.

UPDATE:  This is the most crucial election for decades.  I agree with all the commentators who've said that.  But it really is depressing watching two pygmies at war which each other with no clue between them of the fundamental issues at stake, and no interest in discussing them.  As a commenter says at the Mises Economics Blog, their real agenda is to sell the gullible by getting in their quick, cute little talking points and soundbites: "95%", "middle class", "my friends", "tax rebates", "war on terror", blah, blah, blah. Neither Obama or McCain want to discuss how to really repair the economy, because neither one of them have more than a high school level understanding of economics (OK, I'm being generous). Neither one of them want to discuss a manageable foreign policy (the status quo is fine, right?). Neither one of them are committed to other sound government policies ("Just give me more, and more, and more Executive power!").

Sad.

By the way, if you missed the presidential election debates and you don't have time to catch up, don't worry.  You can see them all online, and in fact you can see them all together in just five minutes.  You see, the candidates used the same soundbites every time.  WATCH HERE.

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Scandal shmandal

Neutron bombs, consulships in Monaco, treason, TVNZ and where John Key was in 1986.  Looking at what politicians and media consider important just nine days from an election, you wouldn't think the world economy is looking worse than at any time since the mid-thirties, would you.

I don't care at this stage about Winston Peters' baubles, his suspension, his censure by the Privileges Committee, what he said to Owen Glenn and when ...   At this stage all of that stuff is just sideshow without substance.

I don't care about Chinese immigrants donating to political parties -- except to the extent that the parties donated to are bloody thieves anyway, which of course we already know.

I don't care about who bought lunch for John Key when he was 26, or where he was working  -- or which drugs Matthew Hooton was killing his brain cells with at the same age -- and as "neutron bombs" go, even Russell Brown concedes this particular one was more fizzer than most.

I couldn't care less about how many shares Gerry Brownlee owns, or owned.  Frankly, I'm surprised he even knows how to buy them.

I don't care about Helen and Peter's marriage, and whether or not he can make a cup of tea -- either after sex, or before.

I don't care about who sacked whom at the Department of Conservation, or which scampi lawyer Ian Ewen-Street slept with.

I don't care about the frankly childish claims of "treason," or how "TVNZ has entered the 2008 General Election campaign on the side of the National Party," or the Herald has entered the campaign on the side of Hard Labour.

Here's what I do care about:

  • I do care about the worldwide economic disaster and how NZ's politicians can make it worse.  I have no confidence at all that any of the major party politicians has the faintest idea how to confront it. All we can hope for it seems is they don't make things worse.  A vain hope, I suspect.
  • I do care that at a time of "low unemployment" most of New Zealand's working middle class is now on welfare -- and happy about it -- and there are now 182,091 people  (and rising) receiving DPB and Invalids Benefits -- and this is before the full effects of the economic storm hits New Zealand (and before John Key's promise to cover the expenses and mortgage payments of all New Zealanders who lose their jobs in the current recession.)
  • I do care that under constant nannying New Zealanders are turning more and more into sheeple.
  • I do care that two in five young New Zealanders leave this country's factory schools functionally illiterate and all but innumerate.  And I care that good people like Anita McCall continue to die in the country's die-while-you-wait hospital system. And I'm dismayed that in the face of these calamities, both politicians and public seem utterly unwilling to confront the fundamental fact that socialised medicine and socialised medicine are a disaster, and they seem to think instead that the answer is Tony Ryall.
  • I do care that New Zealanders' property rights have been taken away by the Resource Management Act and given wholesale over to town planners, and not one major party shows any intention of recognising them ever again.
  • I do care that when the world's perfect economic storm is about to hit, both major parties, and most of the minor ones, want to shackle agriculture and industry for the sake of a climatic delusion.
  • I do care that the Electoral Finance Act has taken free speech away, yet we've seen no indication from the party who says they plan to "replace" it what exactly they're going to replace it with.

There's more than enough happening right in front of our faces that needs to be addressed --stuff that genuinely affects all of us -- without going through people's garbage to find stuff that doesn't. Stuff that I just don't care about at all.

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No spending? More spending. [updated]

Helen Clark said a week ago there's no more spending to be promised in this campaign.

Yesterday however she promised to spend $150 million of your money on some train tunnels on the Kapiti coast so Wellingtonians can get their imports into the city by rail, and Otaki voters can get into Wellington by rail 3 to 5 minutes faster.

Liberty Scott has the details: Vote Labour for your taxes to subsidise importers.

UPDATE: And more spending just promised from "no new spending" Helen on more middle class welfare:  "Labour says it will give workers who are made redundant during the recession a job search allowance for up to 13 weeks... Labour estimates the policy will cost no more than $50 million a year."

Is anyone keeping score of all these "not spending" promises?

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Quote of the day: On Greenspan

    "No sympathy should be wasted on Alan Greenspan. He did what John Galt in Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged refused to do even at the point of a gun and under physical torture: he agreed to become an economic dictator of the country...
    "Of all the economists who have advised various administrations over the last century, Greenspan had the least excuse for advocating statist economics.
    "When he accepted the appointment by President Ronald Reagan in 1987 to become Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Greenspan "legitimatized" or sanctioned the idea that the government should "manage" the economy with "rational" interventions. Now he may see the true "flaw" in his "good intentions" and what those intentions have inexorably wrought: a greater destruction of freedom and wealth than he admits he could have imagined. "
    - Edward Cline: Alan Greenspan vs. Capitalism

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Stop worrying and learn to love bankruptcies

ManWearingBarrel A few weeks ago I suggested you stop worrying and learn to love economic depressionsDepression, I reminded you, is another word for recovery:

"This is a highly important point to grasp, the depression is the "recovery" process, and the end of the depression heralds the return to normal, and to optimum efficiency. The depression, then, far from being an evil scourge, is the necessary and beneficial return of the economy to normal after the distortions imposed by the earlier inflationary boom."

Now here's another piece of related advice: time to stop worrying and learn to embrace bankruptcies (just as long as they're not yours, of course).  Explains economist Henry Thompson, :

Bankruptcy is a normal part of economic life, covered by laws that guarantee stockholders will be compensated as much as possible. More efficient firms move in to take over what is left of bankrupt firms, buying what can be put to productive use. There is no crime in bankruptcy and, if handled quickly, little economic harm. The present financial problems would disappear quickly if the government let the markets operate and let inefficient firms go bankrupt.

Oh, and "deflation"?  For all the scariness that's attributed to deflation, that's just another word for "increased purchasing power." See, not so scary at all, huh?  Especially when you see what the Fed's been doing to combat deflation, which really is scary.

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At the Dock - Timur Akhriev

dock

A young painter, just 24 years old, Timur's paintings are rich with colour and light, and redolent with the technical mastery absorbed in a house full of painters. Painter Michael Newberry describes 'At the Dock,' his own favourite painting of Timur's:

Notice the subtle colors of the dock's planks of wood, the saturated purple sky, spots of brilliant reds, and bright green wood moldings and nets. The composition is also bold with the winding "S" curve of the dock, which recedes behind the shacks on the left from near foreground on the right. The more time I spend looking at this painting the more I get the sense that I can feel the boats' gentle rocking in the lapping water, and hear the groan of the wood dock and pinging sound of wire rigging.

Read more about Timur here, at Michael's review of the young man's work -- a young man with a bright future.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Greens: Vote for [.........]?

GreenHammerSickle

The Greens invite you to make up your own Green billboards, and it's as easy as falling off a manifesto.  Just head here, and start clicking. [Hat tip MikeE]

And since a vote for the Greens is undeniably a vote to impoverish future generations (and this one) why not make up some more honest Green billboards than their present soft soap.

Here's one if you think they're just dumb instead of dangerous:
Green_Dunce

Here's one for Vlad worshipper Russel Norman :
VoteForLenin

Here's a couple for the rank and file:
GreenT

GreenKarl

For all the Green supporters of the Urewera 16:
Greens-Urewera

And here's one for "former" Maoist Sue Bradford:
Greens-Mao

And for "population control" enthusiast Metiria Turei, here's one straight from her political mentors at China's One-Child propaganda ministry:
Greens-OneChild

And another from her spiritual mentors at the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement:
Greens-VHEM 

And finally, here's one for old Keith Locke, that hero of socialist foreign policy, who once wrote a lead article for Socialist Action under the banner heading: "Cambodia Liberated: Victory For Humanity" The "liberators" were of course the murderous Khmer Rouge led by the infamous Pol Pot...

GreenKhmer

Head on over and make up a few signs of your own...

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Phone a crook

The argument for compulsory government registration of cellphones is ... threadbare.

But sadly the opposition to the proposal coming from the local plod is ... almost non-existent.

"The use of prepaid cellular phones is a common use amongst the criminal fraternity," says Detective Senior Sergeant Darrin Thomson, from the Wellington metro crime unit.  I'm sure he's right.  But if Detective Senior Sergeant Darrin Thomson thinks criminals will actually be registering the cellphones they use, instead of just stealing them when they need them, then he's spent far too much time in meetings, and not enough catching crooks.

To paraphrase a popular slogan, when you outlaw unregistered phones, then outlaws will just steal your registered phones -- and that's "outlaws" as in "the criminal fraternity."  The crooks will steal your phones, the state will steal your privacy, and Detective Senior Sergeant Darrin Thomson won't have caught one more crook because of it.

As Liberty Scott notes,

in communist Romania the Securitate required all typewriters to be licensed. In the former East Germany, the Stasi kept meticulous notes on everything suspects did, down to the minute.

Do we really need to bring the surveillance society here?

UPDATE: Blair Anderson reckons the police aren't so much "supporting" calls for legislation as they have  a Google search watching what other countries are doing and saying "Yes, please."  He points out to that "the kind of crimes NZ police are 'interested' in surveiling are more often 'consensual' and 'victimless,' and relating to certain substances" than they are the real crimes like robbery, murder and violence that most New Zealanders actually want addressed.

Police should practice getting good at solving crimes.
They have been pretty lousy at predicting them.
Having (yet another) list of a million citizens will only confuse them.

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Oxygen of Peters' publicity counter-productive

Far be it from this humble blogger to point out the obvious to all the media mavens and highly paid spin doctors, but you do realise, don't you, that the more you give the oxygen of publicity to the liar and crook Winston Peters, the more support he receives?

Surely you've noticed by now that since you started attacking him several months ago, his polling has gone from on the floor to potentially 'back in the house' ?

So surely you must have realised by now that his supporters are so dopey they have neither idea nor care about what Winston is in the news for, just that he's in the news.  They don't care or even know why his picture is in the papers, just that it is in the papers, and on the evening news on their TV screen.

So if you want to see the back of the slimy lying crook, just start ignoring him for goodness' sake.  He's a creep who needs the oxygen of publicity to survive. Just don't give it to him.

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Ban it! [update 2]

Imagine my surprise when I checked out Kiwiblog yesterday afternoon to find that this blog post from NOT PC and this press release from Libertarianz bore a remarkable resemblance to a post at Kiwiblog that bore the fruits, so it was reported, of hours of David Farrar's research.  "I engaged my masochistic side," said David, "and decided [read] every Green policy they have released."

Yeah right.

Oh well, just another unattributed example of the tribalism of the election period.  The important news is out there nonetheless: that the Greens are the ultimate Nanny State party.  So if you're a Green supporter do NOT watch this.  You should probably try to ban it:

                    

Naturally, intelligent observers will notice that since the video was produced, the Greens have added their population control policy, and their 'ban rich pricks' policy.  They don't slow down, do they.  And they're likely to have the casting vote come November...

UPDATE 1: Crikey, it's hard to keep up with the buggers.  Add "ban inorganic farming."  As Liberty Scott explains, the Green Party "wants 15% of farms organic by 2015 and half of all production organic by 2020. The Greens don’t intend to do this by promotion or market demand..."

UPDATE 2:  David F. responds with commendable swiftness:

Peter - I'd been working on that blog post for the best part of a week. And I have numerous witnesses to that as I was giving them verbal update reports. In fact I have a witness who was with me as I was reading their policies and extracting bans from them.
I don't appreciate the suggestion I stole it from you. That is unworthy of you...."

I'm unworthy.

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Who are your best interviewers?

Shortages are something we're all going to have to get used to shortly -- but one shortage that's surely struck most of us this election campaign is the serious shortage of decent political interviewers.

If you were to rank them in order of effectiveness, from very effective down to asinine, the first ten places would be difficult to fill, leaving the political classes much to much room to bloviate and spin.

So who do you find most effective in getting to the nub of an issue, in disallowing spin and getting down to substance?  Which of them leave you more enlightened after a grilling, and which ones not enlightened at all?  I suspect the best of them are to be found on radio...

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Grand Coalition?

Either Grand Coalition or a Council of Economic Advisors -- that's the suggestion of Fran O'Sullivan for what's needed to deal with the economic crisis now that "the collapse of the New Zealand dollar has burst the air of surrealism clouding the election campaign."

The argument for Grand Coalition has two main prongs: that the two major parties have more in common with each other than they do with the minor parties with whom they're presently planning to coalesce with, which is undeniable, and that there are "there are stellar players in the senior ranks of both parties" -- a far less defensible claim.

Now it's true that the two main NZ parties coalesced to deal with the first Great Depression in the thirties (and as things turned out, they were never again to part), and even without any "stellar" performers in the Liberal/Reform cabinet they made a reasonable fist of the job -- they cut public service wages and payrolls, and allowed wages and prices to fall to meet the new economic reality caused by the deep contraction and the enormous public debt, and by 1934 the worst of it was over.

But things are different now. The ghost of Keynes now controls the economic psyche, and rather than cutting public spending and allowing wages and prices to fall, as they must if things are to correct, the main solution to the financial crisis from both the Tweedledum and Tweedledumber parties is to borrow big for a mammoth infrastructure spend-up.  But when capital is drying up for productive private businesses, this is not what the doctor should be ordering.

So a Council of Economic Advisors is a better hope, but could one expect either Bill English or Michael Cullen to take advice?  I'm afraid the words "forlorn" and "hope" spring all too quickly to mind.

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Hot Doc pimps his ride

Libz Wairarapa candidate Dr Richard McGrath hots up his car ...

DSC01241

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

F*** fireworks fun

Nanny's war against fun on fireworks night continues apace.

For years now we've been banned from buying anything that goes BANG!

And this year we're being all but banned from being able to buy them at all -- you have just four days to stock up, and even then there's age restrictions, and even restrictions on buying bloody sparklers. (Visit Nanny's website for the intrusive news.)

No wonder the youngsters are deserting the traditional benison of bonfire night for the siren song of Halloween.

As they say, the ultimate result of trying to shield people from the effects of folly will be to fill the world with fools.

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Minor leaders farce

I have to confess I didn't manage to watch the whole of the "minor party leaders debate" last night.  I was bored rigid.

There were too many of them for a start to actually have a debate, so in the absence of a serious interviewer we got instead just lame pantomime, with Sainsbury playing Widow Twankey. 

More sense might have been had if Neanderton and Dunne-Nothing had been dropped: since their parties, such as they are, attract less support than Libertarianz, they were there not so much to say what their parties could or would do, but only to indicate what they would like to do if they got their own feet under the cabinet table again -- once we'd heard them confirm which Team they were backing (Red for Neanderton, Blue for Dunne-Bugger-All), they should have been ushered from the stage.

And there was nothing new from from the others -- nothing coherent from Peters, and nothing that made sense from Fitzsimplesimons (anyone who thinks building bicycle paths and railway tunnels is the key to economic recovery should be introduced to the carers at Auckland's Mason Clinic) -- and what they did say indicated all too clearly they have no clue at all about either the urgency of the present crisis, or its depth, or what the hell a government needs to do to confront it.

It was a pantomime that makes clear enough why MMP has delivered only farce.

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John Key promises welfare for everyone [update 2]

Continuing his policy of being all things to all men (and women) John Key said over the weekend he is going to cover the expenses and mortgage payments of New Zealanders who lose their jobs in the current recession -- and when he says "he" is going to cover them, he means you, the few remaining taxpayers are going to pick up the tab for those few remaining New Zealanders who aren't already sucking off the state tit.

You'd have to start wondering after this if it would leave any remaining New Zealanders who aren't already on state welfare, or whether by then we'll all just be thieving from each other.

It's now clear that New Zealanders and their politicians have fallen heavily prey to the delusion that it's possible to vote oneself rich -- or at least for everyone to vote oneself free from care, at the expense of everybody else.

Perhaps it's time to seriously promote the policy that the privilege of voting should be restricted to those not receiving largesse from the voter.

welfare_motivator UPDATE 1: Cactus puts the boot in:

    Why should those with savings bail out those without?
    The working truck driver renting a house in Otahuhu bails out a laid off Bank Manager living beyond his means in Remuera.
    Tell me - will there be any New Zealanders left not qualifying for some sort of Government assistance in a years time?

And answers with a big shagging list, the poster on the right, and this request:

Would the last taxpayer left in New Zealand not qualifying for welfare by November 7th please switch off the lights?

UPDATE 2: And The Hive and the Herald's John Armstrong both show (again) that as political reporters they're better at sport than they are at politics -- the braindead saps simply have no conception that policies have real implications for real people, no interest in understanding the consequences of policy promises.  They're only interested in "the game.":  "National Takes The Initiative," says the Hive. "Insiders say considerable and careful thought has been given to all this," simpers John Boy Junior. "If it is popular, the package could give Key unstoppable momentum."

Oh fuck off, you morons.

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Life-saving private cancer unit opens in Auckland

Several of you reading this will have your lives saved by the new Mercy Hospital radiology unit that formally opens this week -- New Zealand's first private cancer treatment unit, which comes complete with two brand spanking new linear accelerators.  Story here at RadioNZ.

MercyAscot promises to start treatment within two weeks of diagnosis, a life-savin

g contrast with Auckland's public system in which it can take up to eight or even twelve weeks before starting treatment.

These are crucial weeks for patients survival prospects.

Research has made it abundantly clear that delays in starting cancer treatment is a leading indicator of survival chances -- contract cancer in Eastern Europe or the UK, for example, and your chances of survival are less than half; but contract cancer in the US, and your chances vault up to nearly two-thirds. The reason Brits are more likely to die? "Cancer experts blamed late diagnosis and long waiting lists."

Despite this being all too clear, little has been or can be done to speed up diagnosis or cut waiting times in the die-while-you-wait public system NZ shares with the UK.

In other words, people have been dying for the sake of a failed ideology.  Thank goodness there's now a life-saver up the road.

UPDATE:  News in today of cancer patient Anita McCall, pictured below, who the public system simply "forgot" about.  Another New Zealander killed by this failed ideology:

    STUFF: Hospital 'forgot' about cancer patient
    A woman who died during cancer surgery after being forgotten about for more than a year in a hospital system could have beaten the disease if the blunder was not made, an inquest has found.
    Anita McCall, 48, died in Hutt Hospital in August 2006 as a result of complications during surgery.
    She was referred to the hospital by her GP in January 2005, for suspected haemorrhoids, but it was 13 months before she was seen by a specialist. By that stage rectal cancer had started to ravage her body.
    Coroner Garry Evans' findings come a week after the health and disability commissioner revealed details of three other patients who suffered serious health complaints after being "lost in the system"...

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Dr Doom: "Global depression on a scale never seen before"

DAVID McGREGOR FROM Sovereign Life writes:

    the global economic "meltdown" continues apace - with no sign of a let up -- even though governments throughout the world are throwing trillions of dollars at the problem.
    Now they are talking up a "Bretton Woods II" -- whatever the hell that might mean -- as a way of reforming the global monetary system. I'm not holding my breath though, as I don't expect people who have no understanding of the underlying problem to come up with a workable solution. What we will likely get instead is more government control of the global marketplace -- without any measurable improvement in affairs.
    In fact, it's almost dead certain now that a global economic depression of a very serious nature is upon us -- and that current government actions will only prolong the pain.

ONE ECONOMIST WHO'S SUDDENLY "popular" is Nouriel Roubini - aka "Dr Doom." He gets this title as a result of his persistent warnings over the last year or so regarding an impending economic crash. And while he was derided in the "good old days", he's suddenly become very popular in the light of his predictions having come TRUE.
    In fact, he is now in great demand around the world by people who want to know what he is predicting will happen NEXT! Well I'm afraid it's NOT good news. In fact Mr Roubini is stating with certainty that the "worst is yet to come."
    He says his most optimistic scenario is a global depression on a scale never seen before, and that the global economy is heading for a hiding. He also says that all government actions to date have failed (and will fail) to stem the impending panic.
    You can watch a very interesting series of 5 videos of Nouriel Roubini addressing the current situation on YouTube here:

    I've just watched the whole 5 and certainly recommend you do the same.
    The major points I gleaned from him are as follows:

  1. A major depression is imminent and will be prolonged even over a number of years.
  2. The USA's status is seriously going to be challenged in this recessionary environment - as it finds itself with little room to move as the world's largest debtor nation. Roubini even predicts possible geopolitical "horse trading" as the US deals with countries like China - trying to get financial assistance.
  3. A systemic panic is about to get underway, and it's even possible the US will shut down the stock market for days or even a week at at a time, in an attempt to stem investor panic.
  4. This depression will cause a vast over-capacity in the productive areas of the world - China and Asia - which will have to contract considerably in the face of falling global demand for their goods.
  5. This excess productive capacity means the price of goods will fall, as will assets - leading not to rising prices -- as we've become used to -- but a time of falling prices.
  6. Steadily falling prices means that CASH will become worth more, and all forms of assets and consumables worth less.
  7. His advice is to build up cash reserves - and also invest in US T-bills. (Although I personally would not want to hold US Treasuries in the light of what he says!)

    Nouriel Roubini has his own information service entitled Ecomonitor, which you can access here.
    From what I've read, I haven't seen any particular recommendations from Mr Roubini - as to how best manage this process, or even more importantly, how to set things up so this type of thing doesn't happen again, but there is nothing any politician or demagogue can do to waive the fundamental laws of economics... 
    Unless the monetary reform promised to us by our "leaders" looks deeply into the inherent problems caused by government issued/controlled fiat money (money declared "legal tender" by government fiat or command), then don't expect any miracles. Ultimately the only sane solution is to completely remove the issuance of money from government hands, and allow it to be a function of the market. More importantly, such private money needs to be anchored against either a commodity like gold, or a basket of commodities, to act as a break on run-away credit creation.
    As I've stated before, the best strategy in such circumstances is to get out of debt, build up your cash reserves, look for safe-haven stores of value, and position yourself to go "bargain hunting" when the time is right. For as Doug Casey has said, "Crisis = Opportunity."

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Stossel's Politically Incorrect Guide to Politics

A friend emailed to say this is the best thing he's ever seen on television.  Another told me she's never seen anyone expose the political process so well (yes, I have friends who talk like that).  And another just said, "He nails it!"  (Yes, I have friends who talk like that, too.)

If you've ever seen American reporter John Stossell before, or his superb 20/20 specials like 'Greed' or 'Sex, Drugs & Consenting Adults,' you'll know just how good he is at explaining so much so quickly, logically and entertainingly.

NZ's somnambulic TV presenters could learn a lot.

And now he's done it for politics -- and just in time for the November political season! -- with 'The John Stossel Guide to Politics.'  Marvellous stuff.  Take some time out today and watch it on YouTube, and contemplate the fact that this appeared in prime time on one of America's biggest TV channels:

  • The Politically Incorrect Guide to Politics, Part one
    Can politicians ever give you everything you ever want?  Hell no, they're politicians, not magicians.
  • The Politically Incorrect Guide to Politics, Part Two
    The Bailout - what happened, who to blame, what the pollies had to do with it.  A great link to send to friends to explain WTF is going on.
  • The Politically Incorrect Guide to Politics, Part Three
    Politicians - Don't we need 'em in times of calamity?
  • The Politically Incorrect Guide to Politics, Part Four:
    Isn't Campaign Finance Reform essential?  And does it work?  Turns out the answer to both is wrong.
  • The Politically Incorrect Guide to Politics, Part Five:
    Why subsidise farmers?  New Zealand doesn't.
  • The Politically Incorrect Guide to Politics, Part Six:
    So who really runs the country?  Well, it's not the politicians, that's for sure. So what real power do they have?

Enjoy!

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Guaranteed government takeover

Looks like there's more going on with the government's deposit guarantee scheme than first meets the eye -- and far more than meets the eye of the mainstream media.  It's not just bad economics -- rewarding moral hazard and inviting depositors to favour riskier high-interest finance houses over safer, soberer lower-interest banks -- the fine print indicates it's also seriously bloody intrusive.  Like 'Benito Paulson's power grab in the States, it looks like the government is using this to "invite" itself right inside NZ's banks and private businesses.

Here's some excerpts from the deed that the banks must sign in order to be eligible for the guarantee scheme (thanks TV for bringing them to my attention).  One aspect which is frightening is the possible loss of privacy that may be experienced by depositors. See:

4.1 Principal Debtor to Supply Information to the Crown
The Crown may at any time during the Guarantee Period require from the Principal Debtor any information relating to the financial position or affairs, or the business, management or operation, of the Principal Debtor.

and

4.3 Sharing of Information
The Principal Debtor authorises the Crown to share information provided in accordance with clauses 4.1 and 4.2 with the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and authorises the Reserve Bank of New Zealand to share with the Crown any information relating to the Principal Debtor that the Reserve Bank has collected in connection with its functions under the Reserve Bank Act.

And

6.4 Reporting
During the Guarantee Period the Principal Debtor shall prepare and provide to the Crown, as soon as practicable after requested, any reports concerning the business, operations or financial position of the Principal Debtor and/or its subsidiaries, and shall ensure that all such reports are accurate, complete and not misleading.

And

6.5 Inspection
The Crown may, at any time during the Guarantee Period:
(a) appoint an inspector to report to the Crown on such matters as the Crown may specify; or
b) require the Principal Debtor to immediately appoint any person nominated by the Crown to report to the Crown on such matters as the Crown may specify.
The Principal Debtor shall provide access at all reasonable times to all its books and records, and to such of its directors and senior officers as may be specified, to any such inspector, and otherwise take all reasonable steps to facilitate that inspector’s inspection and review and report.

Further, should a guarantee payment ever be called upon, it seems as though the bank would need to effectively give itself over to the Crown:

10.9 Subrogation
Without prejudice to any rights the Crown may at any time have against or in respect of the Principal Debtor (including by way of subrogation or indemnity, under statute, or otherwise), the Principal Debtor irrevocably acknowledges and agrees that any money paid by the Crown to a Creditor under this Deed shall, immediately upon such payment, constitute a debt due from the Principal Debtor to the Crown, which debt shall be payable by the Principal Debtor to the Crown over any period of time and on any terms and conditions that the Crown (in its sole and unfettered discretion) considers appropriate.

Naturally, these are not aspects of the scheme focused on by the mainstream media…

UPDATE: Another friend writes:

    This is getting ludicrous. A group of British MPs want the government, who now own a majority share in the Royal Bank of Scotland thanks to the “bailout” of corporate losers and invertebrates, to refuse an extension on a loan to the two Americans who own my favourite soccer club, Liverpool FC.
   
Makes it pretty obvious, doesn’t it, that the “bailout” was just an excuse for a powergrab by the statists. In fact it was the opportunity of a lifetime for the bastards.
   
This news has just ruined my morning, as I was on a high following Liverpool’s magnificent effort in ending Chelsea’s four and a half year undefeated home league record.

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

"So, are you going to vote for yourself this year?"

Vote_For_Yourself_Inserted

Peter_Osborne_at_Titirangi_Craft_Market Helensville Libertarianz candidate Peter Osborne asks punters the question at the Titirangi markets yesterday.*

So, are you?

Or are you going to vote to make someone else's kids poorer** instead?

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Quote for the day - Alan Greenspan [update]

As if he was speaking yesterday, instead of when he just retired:

" Relying on policymakers to perceive when speculative asset bubbles have developed and then to implement timely policies to address successfully these misalignments in asset prices is simply not realistic."

The success of Greenspan himself in producing several speculative asset bubbles -- not to mention the present disaster that is now bursting in our faces -- is all the more evidence for his observation.

The man has sold out everything he ever said he stood for, for a career only a second-hander could want -- and is revealed now as a fraud, a phony and the living example that one man in charge of a printing press cannot do anything to improve markets, but he sure as hell can destroy them.

UPDATE: Willie's comment nails it:

    I just can't believe this man and the media.
    The evasion is phenomenal.
    Here is the man who sets the price of credit, centrally, proclaiming that his "free market ways have failed."
    WTF!!!??? WHAT free market ways?
    Damn it he sets the price of credit!
    If Alan Greenspan poured water into the petrol tank of a car, and the car failed to start, he would proclaim that petrol has failed the automotive industry.
    The media would nod, the politicians would agree.

I'll have more to say tomorrow, but that summary will be hard to beat.

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