NZ Super Fund

Risk free investing by the NZ Super fund

$200m NZD given to Banco Espirito Santo, a Portuguese bank, to bail them out. The bank folds, and the underlying insurance is voided.

These guys make Terry Serepisos look like George Soros.

Almost $200 million in taxpayers’ money invested through the New Zealand Superannuation Fund has been lost after the collapse of a Portuguese bank where the money was invested – supposedly as a “risk-free” loan.

The fund, set up with public money to partly cover the retirement costs of Baby Boomers, revealed yesterday it had been caught up in the collapse of Banco Espirito Santo (BES), and a US$150 million investment made in July had been wiped out.

The investment was a contribution to a Goldman Sachs-organised loan to the bank, but only weeks after the money was injected it imploded. President and founder Ricardo Salgado was arrested as part of a criminal investigation into tax evasion.

After disclosing billions of euros in losses, and facing a run on funds by depositors, the bank collapsed in a heap and was broken up in August.

Read more »

Who is the alleged Dirty Trader at Milford Asset Manipulation?

On Saturday, we covered the Herald’s ongoing publication of Brian Gaynor’s column. This is despite his firm, Milford Asset Manipulation, coming under intense scrutiny due to a complaint to the FMA from the NZX (no less) over alleged stock price management.

Hang on, I might have that wrong. I meant Milford Asset Management under fire for alleged manipulation.

It beggars believe that Gaynor still gets to publish his column in the Weekend Herald, but I guess when you advertise heavily with NZME. (the Herald’s parent company), then the Herald gives you a get-out-of-jail free card when it comes to allegations of bad news.

Given that Milford have a mandate to buy and sell shares on behalf of the NZ taxpayer, as well as the savings of tens of thousands of private citizens in NZ, I think we deserve a little more sunlight on the goings ons at this company under fire for allegations of stock manipulation. Through a process of elimination we can shine a bit more light where Milford might prefer to keep us in the dark.

We know that Milford have six portfolio managers (which have been euphemistically described as “traders”), plus Brian Gaynor himself as Executive Director and Chairman of the Investment Committee, which technically makes him ultimately responsible for his team‘s behaviour.  Read more »

Let’s see how far the sanctimony stretches

“The MPs from NZ First, Labour, and the Greens have all pledged not to buy Mighty River Power shares to demonstrate their opposition to the sale.”

All very well, but let’s see how far the sanctimonious behaviour stretches.

Will they be moving their funds from their current KiwiSaver provider, if their KiwiSaver provider does the rational and intelligent thing by buying a stake in Mighty River Power?

Let’s remember the fuss the Greens have raised about the NZ Super Fund and ethical investing.

It would be nothing but hypocrisy for them to profit from Mighty River Power through investing in a subsidised fund, using a taxpayer subsidised Kiwisaver scheme for them to buy state owned assets.  Read more »

Why asset sales isn’t the silver bullet for Labour

NZ Herald

John Roughan explains why asset sales isn’t the silver bullet Labour would like to think it is:

John Key’s achievement this week deserves more recognition than it might ever receive. In a year or two, when the power companies are all on the sharemarket and it seems entirely normal that they would be, it will be hard to credit how much opposition there has been.

Key was heavily criticised, by me as much as anyone, for excessive caution in his first term. When eventually he committed himself to some partial asset sales and said he would go to the country with the programme first, it was brave.

But I didn’t realise how brave.

One of the four power companies had been privatised long ago. A float of minority stakes in the other three, plus the coal mining operation and Air Zealand, didn’t seem drastic.

It was incremental, logical. It hardly compared with the courage of the fourth Labour Government or National in the 1990s, though neither of them had dared to put privatisation to a public vote.

That is the single key difference between the past and the present. National put a stake in the ground and took it to the public:

Labour, however, staked its whole campaign on opposition to asset sales.

The Opposition did far more than Key to ensure the election was a referendum on them.

Mercifully, I wasn’t here to see what happened but it seems to be agreed National was returned despite its programme, not because the nation was reconciled to it.

Labour and the Greens were sufficiently heartened by opinion polls then and since to oppose the sales all the way to the enactment of the necessary legislation this week.

Polls continue to find most people against the idea but the Government has not suffered very much.

Its polled support is down to around 47 per cent, which is high considering the state of the economy and the steps it is taking.

The election result and everything that has happened since can be explained, I think, by Key’s business credibility.

Labour have bet the farm on asset sales twice now. The election and polls haven’t really budged. Labour and the Greens are now going to bet the farm again on a referendum, which will be held long after the minority shares have been snapped up by Kiwisaver funds, ACC and the NZ Super Fund. In two years time it won;t be a touch stone issue.

Of course Labour and the Greens total campaign against the policy has been based on lies, and they haven’t resonated with the public. It hasn’t stopped them using them though. In two years time their lies will be shown up for what they were. The sharemarket will be straightened, the majority of shares will be Kiwi owned power prices won’t have increased dramatically and Labour will have not a leg to stand on as people wonder what the fuss was ll about.

Another two kilos gone

Since my last post a couple of weeks ago where I had lost 4 kilos I have now lost another two kilos.

I am going to try to lose two more this week by going harder on the cardio.

In total I have lost just over six kilos so far which is slightly lighter than this machine gun.


#s92a Victory

National has announced that s92a, Judith Tizard’s ill conceived sop to big business, is as dead as Tizards political career.

Prime Minister John Key has announced that the government will throw out the controversial Section 92A of the Copyright Amendment (New Technologies) Act and start again.

Commerce and justice minister Simon Power will now meet with officials and rewrite the Section 92A (S92) of the Act from the ground up.

“Section 92a is not going to come into force as originally written. We have now asked the minister of commerce to start work on a replacement section,” the prime minister said.

No timeframe has been set for amending S92.

Well done, listening to your citizens rather than ramming through ideologically inspired stupid laws.


Mad Mayor cops a flogging on Breakfast

The Mad Mayor Andrew Williams, The Clown of Campbells Bay should pay back the money spent on his silly little joke.


Govt to let employers buy back holidays

Govt to let employers buy back holidaysThe Government will let employers offer staff a cash payment to replace the fourth week of their annual holidays, reversing a crucial element of the previous Government’s Holidays Act. Labour’s law made it illegal to pay cash in… [NZ Herald Politics]

Well done National for planning to allow workers to cash up their 4th week of holidays. This was perhaps the single biggest productivity killer that Labour brought in and they took away the right of a worker to cash it in at the same time.

Andrew Little must be getting anoyed that everytime he pipes up for the EPMU the Herald notes he is actually “Andrew Little – who is also Labour Party President”

Lazy Labour MPs to be told to pull their weight in Parliament for the first time

WOBH has been informed via the tipline that Labour MPs who are considered not to be pulling their weight in Parliament are to be sent a letter detailing the minimum amount of work that is expected of them.

Under proposals to be put to Labour’s national executive committee next week, around 20 backbench MPs will for the first time be told to do a basic minimum amount of work.

Currently there is no set amount of work which must be done by an MP, apart from a requirement to serve their constituents.

Cry me a river of tears

A Black Power chapter has been left powerless and homeless after police confiscated the gang’s pad and its president was jailed.

Black Power New Zealand president Mark Pitman was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison in September last year for being the mastermind behind what the Crown said was a million dollar-plus a year cannabis-selling operation.

Pitman is believed to have finally given up his battle to keep the gang’s Mount Wellington, Auckland, headquarters after fighting police through the courts for more than three years.

The 47-year-old who had amassed a property portfolio of almost $1 million before his arrest was to appeal the forfeiture of the two-storey Jolson Rd property which is painted in the gang’s dark-blue colours but last month withdrew his attempt.

In her Proceeds of Crime decision released late last year, Manukau District Court judge Anna Johns also ordered Pitman to pay a “pecuniary penalty” of $60,000 and a former partner of his whose name is suppressed was ordered pay the Crown $47,520.

The seizure of the gang pad under the Proceeds of Crime Act was one of only a handful of successful confiscations of gang headquarters in New Zealand history.

Boo-fucking-hoo…..This is what I call a good start. Now the Police should get cracking on the next lot of oxygen thieves.