Category Archives: Business & Finance

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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Revolutionising the Way We Shop: Products Talking to One Another

Presentation to ‘Connecting the Dots’ a conference to celebrate the 30th anniversary of global standards (bar codes) in New Zealand. 25 February 2009. Keywords: Business & Finance;  I cant remember bar codes and scanners being introduced into my shopping life. Except when I try really hard I cant REALLY remember what went before. Thirty years…
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Put the Boot in

Public-private partnerships are not free lunches.    Listener: 20 September, 2008.    Keywords: Business & Finance;     Wastewater from my dwelling goes out through a public-private partnership (PPP) scheme called “Boot” (Build-Own-Operate-Transfer) in which the sewerage plant was built and is owned and operated by a private company. Ultimately, the plant will be transferred…
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The P Word

Public ownership is not as important as public control.    Listener: 26 January, 2008.    Keywords: Business & Finance;    Forty years ago Arnold Nordmeyer, then leader of the Labour Opposition, asked a group of students whether they wanted to nationalise corner dairies. His question has haunted me ever since. We don’t want publicly owned…
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The Price Of Privatisation

Are public-private partnerships the next problem? Listener: 2 December, 2006. Keywords:  Business & Finance At the launch of Treasury veteran Richard Shallcrass’s memoir Family Silver, David Caygill, who had been one of Shallcrass’s Finance Ministers, rejected the suggestion in David Lange’s autobiography that there might have been corruption in the privatising of state assets. Shallcrass, who…
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So You Don’t Get It?

Being brilliant does not mean you are right.  Listener: 23 September, 2006.  Keywords: Business & Finance;  Like most senior executives, Enron’s Jeffrey Skilling could be charming, creative, inspiring and playful; he could also be moody, arrogant and intolerant. Described by some as “incandescently brilliant”, and “the smartest person I ever met”, he saw intelligence as…
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