Tag Archives: Credit ratings

DCC, Dunedin City Treasury and 3 big banks [Interest Rate Swaps]

WHICH THREE BANKS, DCC ??????

Comments received.

Rob Hamlin
Submitted on 2013/12/17 at 3:02 pm

As some of you may recall I have been very interested in DCTL and its large gains and losses on interest rate swaps. The following article http://nz.finance.yahoo.com/news/comcom-issue-proceedings-against-asb-194400510.html describes today’s announcement by the Commerce Commission to investigate ANZ, ASB and Westpac for mis-selling interest rate swaps to farmers – causing massive losses to these borrowers.

My interest has been further piqued by the arrangement between DCTL and three ‘independent’ banks called a ‘secured multi-option note facility’ within which these swaps are sold to DCTL by said ‘independent’ banks. The ‘secured’ as I have mentioned previously involves an ‘on call’ capital commitment by DCC to DCTL that has been deliberately put in place to circumvent Section 62 of the Local Government Act, which specifically prohibits council guarantees to trading companies. At $850 million of capital (which the DCC does not have), this amounts to some $17,000 for every ratepayer in this city – and you are liable for it.

As I have mentioned before, the very large annual fluctuations in gains and losses reported by the DCC due to interest and currency derivative exposure indicates that the DCC, via its $850 million guarantee to DCTL, is very deep indeed into this particular festering pile of poo.

I have lodged an LGOIMA request with the DCC for the identity of the three banks who are in the ‘secured variable rate note facility’ swap fest with DCTL. However, my unofficial sources indicate that the membership may be between 67% and 100% in common with the three banks mentioned in the ‘Stuff” report on large-scale interest rate swap mis-selling – Time will tell. But might be an idea to find the hammer and your piggy bank.

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Russell Garbutt
Submitted on 2013/12/17 at 4:13 pm

Rob, I simply cannot understand the role of the OAG in all of this. The OAG provides auditing services to the Dunedin City Council and is supposedly the watchdog that ensures things are all tickety-boo in City Hall. But as we have already seen in the Kaipara case that the OAG now says that it is terrible that all of this borrowing took place, but that THEY ARE NOT ACCOUNTABLE. Surely to goodness that they have seen the actions of the CFO of the DCC to subvent the point and purpose of Section 62 of the LGA. Equally puzzling is how they have not been warning of the ramifications of these infernal legalised Ponzi schemes as they have been described elsewhere.

I distinctly remember the sacked Athol Stephens explaining to me in his office that many of the financial dealings of the DCC were to avoid tax liabilities. Athol was both a Director of a Council Board and an employee of the Council as I recall at the time.

There is enough smell round this issue to warrant a lot of interest by the OAG and the mainstream media, but sadly it is just too plain in the case of the OAG that they really aren’t interested in pursuing anything that would show that they themselves have been slack and incompetent, nor are they interested in pursuing anything that involves them in any serious work.

In the case of the media, it’s all just too hard. TV simply isn’t capable and is more interested in turning news into entertainment, and the financial reporters in the papers can’t seem to get their heads round anything substantial.

A case of the fox inside the henhouse and another one on the outside, looking out for the farmer.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

5 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, DCTL, Economics, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management, What stadium

DCC debt —Cr Vandervis

Email received.

From: Lee Vandervis
To: Elizabeth Kerr
Sent: Wednesday, December 05, 2012 10:12 PM
Subject: DScene opinion.

I thought my DScene Debt Update was not bad for a 400 word limit, but despite coming within the limit [382 words], the Editor cut the Mayoral criticism out of my opinion, and more importantly my solutions to worsening debt, without noting abridgement! {See comment. -Eds}

Dunedin Debt Denial

At last week’s DCC Finance, Strategy and Development meeting where the last quarter’s financial results were presented, Cr MacTavish asked “Are we doing things differently?”

The DCC net debt chart [attached] shows the past ten years of the same massive debt spending, with future projections hoping for small annual reductions.

These future debt reductions are currently vain hopes.

Despite the earnest efforts of our new CEO to reduce ridiculously high DCC operational costs, unplanned extra debt keeps arriving.

DCHL’s planned annual funding profit of $23 million turned out to be a $5 million loss, DVL lost $4 million, DVML lost $3 million, the Milburn Wood Processing Plant suffered a $3 million write-down, the Chinese Garden continues to lose half a million annually, Toitu Settlers losses will dwarf this, another half million at least has been lost due to the Anzac Avenue site access dispute, the expected $5 million ‘saving’ from Town Hall cutbacks has evaporated, the budgeted Carisbrook sale ‘profit’ of $4 million still hasn’t eventuated, and $3 million of unearned dividend has been spent from the Waipori Fund.

Then there are some less obvious reservoirs of mounting debt.

Development Contributions income has stalled for another year, our lines company Aurora has apparently failed to keep up lines maintenance of a rumoured $40 million in recent years, and our unseen drainage system maintenance/renewals backlog may dwarf the Aurora maintenance bill.

In short, we have bought a new Stadium and much else without being able to pay for it.

Standard and Poor’s threaten an interest-increasing downgrade especially if the Jacks Point/Luggate debacle blows up, and the fuse has already been lit.

To answer Cr MacTavish’s question, we are not yet doing things differently.

The direction of this Council remains unsustainable. Soothing talk by our Mayor Cull of ‘no drop in service levels’, ‘no slash and burn staff cuts’, ‘no witch hunt’ of directors, ‘no heads will roll’, means that the same heads will continue to inflate Dunedin’s debt disaster.

We must do things differently and cut service levels, staff numbers, consultant use, habitual tenders, outside directorships and bring our DCC owned companies’ governance back in-house where we can know what they are doing. [cut out by DScene Editor without noting abridgement]

In a rapidly changing world, it is only by doing things differently that Dunedin can reach its wonderful and sustainable potential.

[ends]

DScene 5.12.12 Debt-laden council needs to change tack #bookmark

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

2 Comments

Filed under Business, Construction, DCC, DCHL, DVL, DVML, Economics, Geography, Heritage, Media, Name, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Town planning, Urban design

DScene: Dunedin needs “decisive leadership”

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http://fairfaxmedia.newspaperdirect.com/

### DScene 28 Nov 2012
Editorial
DCC needs to shape up (page 7)
By Mike Houlahan
Land transactions under investigation, illegal road building, a debt mountain, monumental building projects, possible credit downgrades. No, not some obscure Balkan country or African military dictatorship, but our home town. There is a vociferous body of opinion that Dunedin is going to hell in a hand cart and events of recent weeks have done nothing to persuade them otherwise.

Delta’s land transactions coming under Audit Office investigation, and a damning court verdict – which has seen Dunedin City Council cop a six-figure court costs order over the State Highway 88 realignment – follow an auditor’s report trying to establish the final cost of building the Forsyth Barr Stadium, and a controversial bailout of the Otago Rugby Union.

A “we will fight them on the beaches” opinion piece from Mayor Dave Cull last week sounded desperate. The announcement soon after from Standard and Poor’s Ratings Services that it had revised its outlook of Dunedin City Council from stable to negative made it look desperate, too. A negative outlook means a one-in-three chance of a credit downgrade in the next two years – unwelcome news for a city well in hock before it borrowed millions more to build the stadium.

The agency does offer a ray of hope – if the DCC’s budgets strengthen, as forecast, its rating could revert to stable. But having just stated doubts the DCC could achieve the financial targets in its long-term plan, Standard and Poor’s are going to take a lot of convincing all is well.

In response, Cull – sounding like a rugby captain before a test – said Dunedin “was up to the challenge of continued financial belt-tightening.” Sadly, in this comparison Dunedin is probably Scotland rather than the All Blacks. Quiet reassurance is no longer enough. If ratepayers are to have faith in the DCC as chamberlains of their assets, they will want to see decisive leadership.
#bookmark

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

11 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, DCHL, Economics, Media, Name, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Sport, Stadiums, Town planning