Thursday, May 16, 2013

'Smaller' New Zealand banks at risk according to IMF!

The IMF has put 8 smaller NZ banks on notice that they have a one in two chance of being at risk. They followed this up by warning of downgrading these institutions. Should those who have their money and businesses with these banks be worried? Who knows? The IMF has also warned us in recent days that our housing market is overheated and overvalued. That we should already know. If the drought and the effects of that persist then any other ‘shock’ to the NZ economy could well push us over the edge according to the above forecasts. That other banks that have strong ‘overseas parents’ could weather any storm is partly comforting to those who deal with such banks. It would be a sad day if the utterings and actions of the IMF serve to undermine some of these fine institutions. The TSB has been around for a long time and it is slowly reaching into areas beyond its initial base in Taranaki. There is no doubt that many people are loyal to this and other banks but we need to be mindful of these warnings. Whether the Government through economic policy can avert any undue ‘failings’ in our economy is a moot point. I am sure that they will not want to see our smaller banks failing any more than the customer. This stance, should be taken as proven, but the connections amongst the National Party members may well serve us a different result. When it comes down to profits and money in the pocket, who knows what well-heeled members of the National Party will chose; the best interests of New Zealand or their own agendas. That the housing stock is overvalued, is a worry and perhaps the answer to our possible predicament means a realigning of that situation---where more realistic expectations are put in place.

I could write about the budget, but-------

Yeah, we all know that the debate surrounding the initial release of the budget is one that is mainly tied to the political fortunes of our MPs and the looming election in 2014. Yes, we have contributions from the business sector and other interested parties, once again linked into their particular stands. If it’s not the representatives of workers, beneficiaries or housing sectors (be they private or State tenants) it will be someone else.
The yearly budget represents an opportunity for every person and their dogs to have a say. The media reports the comments of the high and mighty while social media gives us minions a chance to quote and comment and generally stir things up.
We have heard the critics of Charter Schools (I am one of them) point out that funds have been diverted from the State sector and put into the Government’s pet projects (read CS and Private Schools). We know that a good deal of money will be ear-marked for the Christchurch re-build and not many will complain about that.
Any Government, of any political hue is rarely onto a winner. If they spend too much they are labelled as being ‘irresponsible’ or trying to capture the vote for upcoming elections. If they don’t spend enough on any particular area they are labelled as mean and short-sighted. Bill English is fairly thick-skinned so I doubt that he will be too worried about the fingers pointed, possible upwards, towards him.
We witnessed the usual response from Opposition Parties whereby, one had the distinct impression that Mr Shearer wrote (or had someone write it for him) well before he read the actual budget. I don’t see any problems with that, because lets’ face it, the hours and next few days after the release of the budget are just a ‘staging phase,’ so we will have to wait a few days to get to the real issues about what the 2013 budget actually means for New Zealand’s future. Hell, don’t worry--- I am not going to get too serious today, and that risks me being labelled as non-consequential in my response to yesterday’s effort from Bill English.
Wait until the weekend and we shall see the real analysis(s) reveal themselves as the many knowledgeable people put forward their versions of what is really needed in New Zealand. Just a word of caution about that too-----take what they say too as words that spring from their particular philosophies. I am looking forward to the words of wisdom and I hope to garner a semblance of where we should be heading as a nation. I also know that the biggie at the end of next year, the General Election will be the main targets for most interest groups. Would we have it any other way? NO======= just look beyond our borders and I think that most of us will shrug and elect to stay with our system, ‘warts and all.’