Global credit squeeze: There is no free lunch
The New Zealand Government is happy to intervene where its citizens don't want them
but when it comes to the precipitous economy in relation to lowering interest rates,
Michael Cullen gets blisters on his hands from sitting on them.
I'm not an interventionist by any stretch of the imagination but our monetary system, for better or worse, is, and so is the present regime that presides over the country's books, the New Zealand Labour party.
The interventionist approach in regard to the Reserve Bank and through the official cash rate(OCR) has led NZ INC, courtesy of drunken overspending and overtaxing by the aforementioned regime, to the highest interest rates in the "developed" world.
The Mike and Helen show has put the country in a very precarious position, given the uncertainty over the global economy and the "credit crunch"(2 days in a row, sorry) has slowed the wheels of commerce globally.
This dastardly duo seem quite pleased that an excuse like the global credit crunch has come around because they are now on a PR offensive to blame any current or future New Zealand downturn on it and not themselves, where the bony finger should be pointing.
The sensible among us know that high interest rate were here 3-4 years ago and then we though a credit crunch was a new chocolate bar bought on time payment.
Like Al Gore's science fiction movie "The Inconvenient Truth", we also know, like that movie, the M and K show lacks consistency and truth. When it comes to the economy we can all remember the Labour Party taking the accolades for the nearly 4% growth we had for a nano second, but they now blame the downturn and any possible downturns on other circumstances.
You cant have it both ways.
Now this government's profligate taxes and spending(they go hand in hand) has put its citizens in such debt that we even outrank those nasty Americans for our debt levels. This debt is primarily in real estate and servicing the high interest debt that bought it.
Higher house prices meant more borrowing on the increased equity, because taxes are so high we had to borrow to survive.
So guess what, now things are in reverse, because of that debt we are in potentially a worse condition than America.
They at least borrowed to buy other sorts of assets beside houses, while we sunk most of ours into houses and plasma TVs.
While we haven't had the extreme reckless lending like America's Sub Prime loans, we have got many thousands of kiwis who have borrowed more than they will be able to service when the shit hitith the fan.
Its hitting now.
NZ$40 billion of mortgages will be refinanced this year alone at close to 10% and others will be higher, the time for intervention is now.
The OCR should have been cut at least a year ago but now there is urgent need for it. An emergency cut to bring it into line with other nations suffering from the sub prime fallout would be a key move in the right direction.
There is no use sitting on your hands waiting "to see what happens" according to Alan Bollard, the Reserve Bank Governor. Decisive action needs to be taken because inflation is the least of his/our worries now.
Like I have said before the OCR is a poor way to maintain an economic system, it doesn't serve its purpose well, but it is all we have at present.
A progressive cut over this year, down to below 6%, starting with a .75 point basis cut will send a good message to the market and business, that lending rates will be somewhat dampened and business will be stimulated when it needs it.
Our socialist government are intervening in every other part of our lives, including the private business world but for the life of me , when we really do need intervention, Micheal Cullen just sits on his calloused hands and blames others for our countries current mis- fortunes.
Get off your arse and do something history boy.
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c Share Investor 2008