Category Archives: Business & Finance

BLOWING BUBBLES

If New Zealand is heading for a housing market implosion, watch what you borrow.   Listener: 24 June, 2014.   Keywords: Business & Finance; Macroeconomics & Money; Regulation & Taxation;   When commentator Jesse Colombo in business journal Forbes said New Zealand had a housing and credit bubble, Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce shot the…
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IS NEW ZEALAND A BUBBLE ECONOMY?

Wellington branch, NZ Shareholders Association, 10 June 2014 Keywords: Business & Finance; Macroeconomics & Money; My topic tonight is New Zealand as a bubble economy. But I need to start with a listener warning. I am an economist, not a financial adviser – registered or unregistered. Economic theory tells us something about the context of…
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State Leadership in New Zealand’s Economic Development

Public Sector Conference: 5-6 September, 2013 Published in Foreign Control Watchdog 134, January 2014: p.46-50   Keywords: Business & Finance; Globalisation & Trade; Governance;  Political Economy & History;   If you look at the top ten companies on the New Zealand share market, you will find that half were once owned by the government or…
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Where My History Research Is At: A Business Background

These are some notes I prepared for a session on 15 August 2013 to students doing a Bachelor of Applied Management (Business Heritage, Culture and Sustainability section) of the Christchurch, Northland, Otago and Waikato Polytechs.     Keywords: Business & Finance; Political Economy & History;   To begin provocatively. Last week the government announced a…
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Competitive Advantage

Carefully designed changes to the electricity-generation industry could make it work better.   Listener: 25 May, 2013   Keywords: Business & Finance; Regulation & Taxation;   Discussions on what to do about electricity have been so political and self-interested that almost all the public economic analysis has been puerile. So let’s begin with some basics….
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Sky Lark

Managers don’t always do what their shareholders want, which may explain the SkyCity deal oddities.   Listener: 30 March , 2013.   Keywords: Business & Finance;  Governance;   Richina Pacific has hardly reported to its shareholders since 2008, according to NZ Herald business columnist Brian Gaynor. By ignoring them, Richina Pacific gave no information to…
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Son of Think Big

New technologies and light-handed regulation are a recipe for disaster.   Listener: 16 March , 2013.   Keywords: Business & Finance; Regulation & Taxation;   The leaky-building debacle involved homes and commercial and public buildings being built with new technologies that the builders were not competent to use, coupled with weak supervision and regulation. The…
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Acts of God and Government

Sarah Miles: The Christchurch Fiasco: The Insurance Aftershock and its Implications for New Zealand and Beyond. Dunmore Publishing, 2012 ($37.99)   New Zealand Books: Volume 23, No1, Issue 101, Autumn 2013.   Keywords: Business & Finance; Political Economy & History;   Given New Zealand’s reputation as ‘The Shaky Isles’, together with its accompanying history of…
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Leaky Legislation

Listener: 15 September, 2012. Austrian philosopher Ivan Illich coined the expression “iatrogenic medicine” to describe illness generated by the actions of physicians. An example is when the doctors prescribe some medicine, with resultant side effects, which are treated by further medication. The cycle repeats until a specialist reviews the patient’s entire record and stops all…
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A Framework for an Economic Strategy

A note prepared for discussion in September 2012.   Keywords: Business & Finance;  Distributional Economics; Globalisation & Trade; Growth & Innovation; Macroeconomics & Money;   What is the Purpose of the Economy? * The purpose of the New Zealand economy is to maintain and increase the wellbeing of all  New Zealanders. It is neither the…
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The Soe Bonus Scheme

Listener: 18 August, 2012. One of the reasons King Charles I was beheaded in 1649 was that, without Parliament’s approval, he raised taxes and spent the proceeds. Forty years later, after the Glorious Revolution, the English Parliament passed the Bill of Rights, requiring that the Crown tax or spend only with Parliament’s approval. That act…
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Convention Centres and Public Subsidy

Listener: 26 May, 2010. Keywords: Business & Finance; Governance; Regulation & Taxation; The row that has erupted over the proposed SkyCity convention centre in Auckland involves gambling, but there are deeper fiscal issues. But this is not a column about gambling, even though a study I was involved with found that pokies were the most…
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Don’t Privatise Without Regulation

Listener: 14 April, 2012. Keywords: Business & Finance; Regulation & Taxation; Last year, this column argued for the mixed-ownership model of some state-owned enterprises as a means of deepening the capital market for private savers. Even then, it argued that not all partial privatisations were sensible. It depends on the market structure and the way…
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Who Wants Asset Sales?

Those who favour privatisation can be divided into four camps … Listener: 5 March, 2011. Keywords: Business & Finance; Governance; Macroeconomics & Money; Ideologues who hate the Government succeeding and want to scale it back, even if it is costly, as was privatising the Telecom monopoly. They would do the same to the three electricity…
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The Party Is over

The Great Gatsby recognises the essential role of the economy in human experience. Listener: 8 January 2011 Keywords: Business & Finance; Literature and Culture; Political Economy & History; On occasions, Auckland has outbreaks of Great Gatsby parties. This name alludes to the classic F Scott Fitzgerald novel, narrated by Nick Carraway who lives on New…
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Christchurch As a Global City

For the 131st AGM of the New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association, 13 September, 2001 in Christchurch. (Revised) Keywords: Business & Finance; Globalisation and Trade; Growth & Innovation; This presentation takes place barely a week after the Great Canterbury Earthquake. It is a tribute to the fortitude of those who are here and their ancestors…
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The Bottom Line

Selling products around the world is much more complicated than it once seemed. Listener: 4 September, 2010 Keywords: Business & Finance; Globalisation & Trade; There is no problem understanding why Fonterra exports milk products to China. New Zealand is a very efficient producer of milk, and it sells its large surplus offshore. But why does…
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