Posts by Rich of Observationz

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  • Speaker: Confessions of an Uber driver,

    I wonder if they've considered introducing another specialised service for those of us who miss the 160kph+ antics of European taxi drivers. UberFast (TM) would require drivers to provide a suitably hopped up vehicle (Subaru WRX, BMW M3, that sort of thing) and treat any speed limits as a minimum guideline. Doughnuts would be performed on passenger demand.

    Ok, this would also be illegal, but yeah, whatever...

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5171 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: How the years flew by ..., in reply to Australopithecus,

    Something like that, with ordinary account holders and (former) home owners bailing out the rich.

    An alternative would look something like:
    - nationalise and consolidate the failed banks
    - raise emergency public funds with a one-shot tax on property worth over say $1mln
    - offer home occupiers in negative equity the ability to swap to a lifetime tenancy and be protected from recourse over their uncovered debt
    - introduce broad based, collectable taxes on wealthy individuals and corporates

    In other words, take the money back from those who stole it

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5171 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: How the years flew by ..., in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    My current office building has an apartment hotel on the top floor.

    Traditionally, a big difference between offices and residential was the former having a much higher stud to make room for services in the floor/ceiling, but with WiFi, that becomes less important.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5171 posts Report Reply

  • Polity: A short history of half-baked…,

    As I posted on another thread, when the UK government altered the tax treatment of mortgage interest in 1988, house prices went from rising rapidly to falling and dropped maybe 20%.

    If you really want to stop house prices rising, you introduce a 100% tax on the amount the sale price exceeds GV.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5171 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: How the years flew by ..., in reply to Kurt Mastrovich,

    Doesn't a conventional hotel or backpackers (or indeed a supermarket, factory or sports arena) do exactly the same thing, in taking up acreage that isn't available for housing 'locals'?

    (and at the margin, there is transfer between hotel and apartment block use - the Formule 1 on Wyndham St used to be a block of tiny apartments, for instance).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5171 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: How the years flew by ..., in reply to David Hood,

    The RB *is* expected to control inflation, indeed, that’s it’s #1 job.

    However the capital cost of housing isn’t counted in the inflation statistic, so providing house price inflation doesn’t “leak” into general inflation, they currently don’t care from an inflationary, as opposed to banking stability, point of view).

    (House price inflation hasn’t leaked much into general inflation because (a) people haven’t been selling their Auckland houses, moving to a rental in Dunedin and giving up work to live on the realized equity and (b) wage earners are sufficiently ground down that wages don’t keep pace with increased living costs).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5171 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: How the years flew by ..., in reply to Hugh Lucero,

    perhaps people didn’t have to disclose their intentions, as the money was secured against the house in question

    You can still do that - if you have a flex mortgage, then the bank don't know what you're up to with the borrowed capital.

    But it doesn't give you any extra leverage, because you're using equity:
    - I have a $1mln house with an $800k mortgage - if I up the mortgage to $900k and buy $100k of shares, which then goes up by 10%, I've made $10k = 10% of my investment.

    - if I put the $100k down as a 20% deposit on a $500k investment property, and that goes up by 10%, I've made $50k = 50% of my investment.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5171 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Confessions of an Uber driver,

    you’re talking about Uber giving them a list of their illegal drivers, and a list of every trip they do?

    Well, they claim to do a police check, so the police/MoJ will already be getting a list of everyone checked (whether it's legal to take police check requests and use them in an investigation is a question for a lawyer. Or a judge).

    Then they can gain access to bank statements - again I don't know whether the fact that somebody received payments from Uber and doesn't hold a P endorsement would be adequate evidence of an offence?

    Finally, they could go to Uber with a search warrant - they have offices here?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5171 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Confessions of an Uber driver,

    - IANAL, but isn’t Uber, by encouraging people to drive without a P endorsement, itself a party to each offence? Kim Dotcom is being nailed to the wall for a lot less..

    - If Uber is actually checking police records, then there’ll be a record of every request which could be crossed with holders of P endorsements (and even then with bank records of payments from Uber). The cops could bust every illegal Uber driver without leaving the warmth of their office, which must be an attractive prospect.

    - If Uber were to “play nicely”, there’s actually no reason why they shouldn’t be able to validate drivers and process issuing P endorsements themselves, just as the AA and VTNZ are franchised to process driving licenses

    - NZ has one of the most Uber-friendly jurisdictions in the world – we don’t use taxi licenses as a cash cow for the state like Australia does. I’m surprised they’d want to bugger this up, but maybe they’re propertarians and not happy unless fighting the evil guvmint..

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5171 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: How the years flew by ...,

    BTW, what is the answer cos I’m not quite smart enough to work it out. Is it a combo of capital gains tax, intensification, more land made available?

    I'd start with setting up a body, inside or outside Treasury/RBNZ, which just as the Reserve Bank is mandated to control general inflation, is expected to manage house prices: for instance to target a 1% annual drop for the next 10 years.

    Give them a full set of legislative and regulatory clubs to be used as needed, starting with LVR limits and ending with an inflation cap (in the form of a 100% tax on sale proceeds beyond a certain margin over GV).

    Once it became clear that government was serious about this, the expectation of capital gains would be removed from the market and with it the motivation to accept a negative rental yield. No racism necessary.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5171 posts Report Reply

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