Posts by Rich of Observationz

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  • OnPoint: Don't put words in our mouths, Rob, in reply to DeepRed,

    SEA countries that traditionally haven’t see eye-to-eye with mainland China

    I'm trying to think of a country in SE Asia that * has * had traditionally friendly relations with China.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4775 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: A week on from the housing controversy,

    Why do you want to tax foreigners in a discriminatory fashion?

    There are measures that could be taken (up to and including a 100% stamp duty on the marginal value of sales exceeding a certain percentage of GV) that would stop property inflation and hence remove the incentive to speculate.

    Do that, and you get back to a situation where you buy a house to live in, or to rent out for a cash profit, not an untaxed capital gain.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4775 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: A week on from the housing controversy, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    Is property speculation OK if done by New Zealand residents?

    Yes, it is okay!

    Well, if you don't consider:
    - reinforcement of inequality by enriching those who got in early (or get out early) at the expense of the rest of the population
    - enrichment of those with the good sense to inherit wealth at the expense of wage earners
    - damage to the productive sector because real businesses are unable to compete with the returns from leveraged land speculation
    - losses to those left with negative equity after the bubble bursts
    - potential loss of banking services if a crash undermines the banking system
    - cost to taxpayers of bailing out banking sector (remember, this is the alleged reason for austerity in Europe)
    - loss of tax income as taxable earnings are replaced by tax-free capital gains
    - damage to the environment from urban sprawl justified by a semi-imaginary need for more housing land

    Not to mention:

    - damage to the economy of other countries (China, in particular) by the diversion of productive investment into offshore speculation

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4775 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: My last name sounds Chinese,

    my disdain for imperialist rules

    The English language evolved amongst the ordinary working people of Middle Ages England, at a time when their lords and masters spoke French and used Latin for governmental and religious purposes. It isn't imperialist, and using it correctly in discourse merely indicates that you've taken the trouble to consider your thoughts (as opposed to pouring out 900 words of semi-literate drivel that few will trouble to read).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4775 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: A week on from the housing controversy,

    Well, if you won nothing else, you got rid of half of Pagani and Quin's nascent "faction". I'd call that a win.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4775 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Identification strategy: Now…, in reply to BenWilson,

    Van Gogh’s and the like are Veblen goods – their desirability is based on the price.

    A better example of a market good would be secondhand cars, which rise and fall in price according to supply and demand. If there’s a shortage of cars, the price goes up, but only by a limited degree, as people settle for older and rattier cars and more vehicles are imported.

    In the case of Auckland property, you need to consider whether anyone would buy a tumbledown shack in a semi-ghetto for a million dollars if there was no expectation of substantial future gains. Probably not. Some people would be forced to, but many would rent or move elsewhere – and nobody would buy properties to rent out unless the rent covered the mortgage and other costs.

    (In most countries, most of the time, you can buy a property on a mortgage, rent it out and make a small profit. This hasn’t been the case in NZ for years. Same with farms, even at inflated dairy prices).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4775 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Identification strategy: Now…,

    I've seen it suggested elsewhere that the Chinese will be zeroing their interest rates in response to their stock market crash. If they do that, then sure, it'll get the stock market moving upwards, along with every other "market" that could benefit from a flood of very cheap money. Essentially the Chinese government will be printing money (there will be no other way to fund the banks other than through QE) and feeding it to the middle class to buy assets on margin.

    Of course, this will have two effects:
    - nobody will bother building up their widget factories when they can make way more money in financial speculation
    - eventually, the governments cash/credit will run out and it'll all come to a juddering halt

    If they do this, I expect we've got 2-5 years before the crash, depending on the level of tolerance international markets have

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4775 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: House-buying patterns in Auckland,

    The Manapouri power goes direct to Tiwai and there are no high capacity lines to ship it north when (not if) the smelter closes

    There are lines - the current problem is that they don't have capacity to ship power South, not North. Obviously, power doesn't have to be transmitted all the way from a generator to a user. If Tiwai Point closes, Manapouri will (e.g.) supply all the power to Dunedin and points south, so they won't sink power from Christchurch, which will mean there'll be more power for the North Island, etc.

    There's also a difference between peak power and continuous energy - even if the lines are at full capacity at peak times, they won't be at off peak times and it will be possible to export power north, avoiding the use of water in the Clyde and other dams.

    Also, the system is already being enhanced, both in the lower South Island and the Cook Strait interconnector:

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/if-tiwai-point-smelter-shuts-no-problem-getting-power-auckland-ck-138278
    https://www.transpower.co.nz/sites/default/files/plain-page/attachments/LSI%20Reliability%20GUP%20Attachment%20C%20-%20Power%20System%20Analysis_1.pdf

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4775 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: Silver and Gold,

    When does Hosking have a not-Alan Partridge moment?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4775 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: House-buying patterns in Auckland, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    all through the Clark/Cullen years the surpluses were mainly due to the influx of overseas capital taking ownership of our farms, forests and houses

    How does that create a * fiscal * surplus, though? The Clark/Cullen administration stayed in surplus simply because they had an efficient public service and ran taxes at a level that adequately covered costs.

    National have cut taxes for their mates, damaged the tax base (it started under Clark, granted) by letting the wealthy convert taxable income into untaxed capital gains and damaged public service efficiency (think consultants replacing salaried staff). Hence they struggle to run a surplus despite lower levels of services.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4775 posts Report Reply

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