Tag Archives: Global markets

NZ Economy —if you’re not Treasury

Either an interest rate hike or rising unemployment, together with falling migration, would spell “the end of the party”….
Due to the Reserve Bank putting restrictions on lending and other measures, the underlying economy was in good shape to withstand “a shock”. –Dominick Stephens, Westpac Chief Economist

### radionz.co.nz Fri, 10 June 2016
Nine to Noon with Kathryn Ryan
The risks of rising household debt
9:08 AM. NZ household debt has reached half a trillion dollars. That’s $100,000 of housing and personal debt for every man, woman and child. Nine to Noon speaks to Westpac Chief Economist, Dominick Stephens and Massey University’s Dr Jeff Stangl about the risks that poses to the economy. Link
Audio | Download: Ogg MP3 (30′19″)

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### radionz.co.nz Sat, 11 Jun 2016 at 12:15 pm
RNZ News
Tough times coming as debt soars, warns economist
Record high household debt levels are not sustainable, warns a leading bank economist. At half a trillion dollars, housing and personal debt has hit 162 percent of the average household’s annual disposable income – higher than levels before the global financial crisis.
Westpac Chief Economist Dominick Stephens told Nine to Noon the decline in dairy prices was hurting the regions, but the downturn following the end of the Canterbury rebuild would be more severe than most people were prepared for. The rebuild played a huge role in the “rock star economy” between 2012 and 2014, with the international reinsurance industry dropping $20 billion on New Zealand and the government pumping in another $10b. As that money dried up, some business owners could find their businesses were not as robust as they thought, Mr Stephens said. What was less certain was when the “borrow and spend” dynamic – fed by skyrocketing houseprices – would come to an end.
Read more

harrys_view 19 Jan 2016 Harry Harrison at South China Morning Post [scmp.com] 1Harry’s View 19 Jan 2016 [scmp.com]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

16 Comments

Filed under Business, Democracy, Economics, Finance, Housing, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Property, Public interest

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

Commerce Commission moves on 3 big banks [Interest Rate Swaps]

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 17:17 17/12/2013
Banks taken to court over farm deals
By Rob Stock and Matt Rilkoff
In a war that has cost her a lifetime of work, former north Taranaki farmer Angela Potroz says she has finally won a battle.
The Commerce Commission announced today it intended to take ANZ, ASB and Westpac banks to court for “misrepresenting” sales of interest rate swap loans to rural customers.
Potroz and her husband John were some of the hundreds of farmers persuaded by The National Bank (now branded ANZ) to take the financial product in 2007 as a way to “beat” rising interest rates.
Nearly inexplicable to all but financial experts, the products were often sold to farmers as being fixed rate loans “with benefits”.
But when the global economy fell apart, interest rates on the swaps soared and fine print penalty clauses kicked in.
With the bank refusing to offer the Potrozes any relief and refinancing costs in the millions, the couple said they were doomed to fail.
In November 2012 they sold four sheep and beef farms valued at $18.85 million in 2010 for just $12.08m after the bank demanded their $11m swap be repaid in full.
Read more

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Media Release: Commerce Commission proposes to issue proceedings on interest rate swaps

17 December 2013

The Commerce Commission confirms that it has advised three major New Zealand banks, ANZ, ASB and Westpac, that it intends to issue legal proceedings over their sales of interest rate swap contracts to rural customers.
The Commission has advised the banks that in its view there is sufficient evidence that they may have breached sections 9, 11 and/ or 13 of the Fair Trading Act, and that it wishes to place the matter before the Court for its decision.
Commerce Commission Chairman Dr Mark Berry says the Commission aims to file proceedings in March 2014.
“This has been a very extensive and complex investigation, but that phase of it is almost at an end. We have advised the banks of our views that swaps were misrepresented to rural customers. I expect to have more talks with the banks about these views, and about the different facts that might apply to each of them, over the coming months,” said Dr Berry.
“Because court proceedings are in prospect, the Commission will not be commenting further at this time.”
The Commission is also considering the conduct of other institutions that have sold interest rate swaps.
The Commission encourages affected swap customers to contact the Commission on 0800 943 600.

Background
Interest rate swaps are a financial derivative product that allows a borrower to manage the interest rate exposure on their borrowing.
Interest rate swaps were typically provided to large corporate and institutional customers, but from 2005 were offered by various banks to rural customers throughout New Zealand.
In August 2012 the Commission began enquiring into whether interest rate swaps were misleadingly marketed from 2005.
This matter relates to ANZ Bank New Zealand Limited (ANZ), ASB Bank Limited (ASB), and Westpac Banking Corporation and Westpac New Zealand Limited (together, Westpac).

[Relates to: Fair Trading]
ComCom Link

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Interest Rate Swaps
17 December 2013: Proposed Legal Proceedings – Questions and Answers*

*Click on Question links for Answers

1. Which banks does the Commission intend to take court action against over the marketing and sale of interest rate swaps to rural customers (farmers)?
2. Background to investigation and decision to take court action
3. What does the Commission intend to do?
4. When is the Commission filing proceedings against the banks?
5. How much have farmers lost as a result of the alleged conduct?
6. My farming business purchased interest rate swaps. Do I need to do anything?
7. My farming business bought an interest rate swap or swaps from one of the named banks. Am I going to get compensation?
8. How long will it take for an outcome on the case?
9. My farming business purchased a swap from one of the banks identified by the Commission. I am in financial difficulty with the bank. How will these proceedings affect me and what should I do?
10. I have settled a complaint with one of the banks named over the sale of interest rate swaps? Can I still assist the Commission?
11. I am worried that if I help the Commission in its proceedings there may be repercussions against me or my business by the bank I deal with?
12. What about swaps sold by other banks?
13. My business purchased swaps but it is not involved in farming. Do you want to hear from me?

Documents
Interest Rate Swaps Investigation – Proposed Legal Proceedings Questions and Answers 17 December 2013 (PDF, 50 KB) Published on 17 December 2013
Notes for meeting with Damien O’Connor MP on Interest Rate Swaps Investigation 9 May 2013 (PDF, 41 KB) Published on 10 May 2013
Interest Rate Swaps Investigation Questions and Answers March 2013 (PDF, 88 KB) Published on 27 March 2013
Interest Rate Swaps Investigation Questionnaire March 2013 (PDF, 47 KB) Published on 10 May 2013

ComCom Link

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

8 Comments

Filed under Business, Economics, Geography, Media, New Zealand, People, What stadium

Dunedin: Scott Technology [100 Years]

Scott 100 years

### ODT Online Mon, 2 Dec 2013
Dunedin firm with global reach says ‘dream big’
By John Lewis
A century ago, it would have been hard for John Scott to imagine his small family motor repair business turning into a large publicly listed engineering company with offices all around the world. It was one of the things staff at Scott Technology Ltd tried to fathom during 100th anniversary celebrations at the Kaikorai Valley-based headquarters on Saturday.
Read more

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Scott industrial

### ODT Online Sat, 30 Nov 2013
Scott boasts $28m in orders, $5m R&D grant
By Simon Hartley
Listed automation and robotics company Scott Technology has entered its second century’s trading with a full order book worth $28 million and received confirmation yesterday of a $5 million three-year Government research and development grant.
Diversification in recent years into the meat and mining industries, dairying and superconductor magnetics, alongside the mainstay appliance manufacturing, was paying dividends in several areas, the about 60 shareholders at the annual meeting in Dunedin yesterday heard.
Read more

Scott website: http://www.scott.co.nz/

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Images: scott.co.nz – screenshots

3 Comments

Filed under Business, Design, Economics, Events, Geography, Innovation, Inspiration, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Project management, Property, Site

Why US Congress does not pass a budget

[supplied]

This may appear to be a problem just for the USA – it’s their government’s debt, right? However, if the US ‘implodes’ from that debt, the world’s financial markets will implode too, and then we’ll all be in deep, deep trouble!

WARNING: IF YOU CAN’T HANDLE REALITY AND WOULD RATHER NOT KNOW WHAT IS PREDICTED FOR THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, DO NOT WATCH THIS.

Not so complicated when it’s laid out in simple math. The pain that he’s talking about? Remember, government’s biggest source of income is ORDINARY Americans. Start getting ready for it as best you can.

Why Congress Does Not Pass a Budget

Published on Mar 14, 2012 by Hal Mason

See parallels to Dunedin City Council and its debt, and who will have to pay

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

4 Comments

Filed under Business, CST, DCC, DCHL, DVL, DVML, Economics, Media, ORC, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management