Get it together and get it right by Susan Grimsdell

Sometimes I think different parts of the NZ government live on different planets. One part is always warning of the risk to the economy of New Zealanders’ high level of indebtedness. We’re told we’re deeper in debt than almost anyone else in the world: Fitch Ratings (whoever that is) reports that this country has one of the world’s highest household debt levels, at 93% of GDP. Save or spend? By the same token, we’ve also been told time and again that we need to save more. Consumer advocates urge us not to… Read More

Balancing the books by Susan Grimsdell

Recently I’ve been thinking about Economics, a subject that I’ve never really understood.  What got me thinking about it was an announcement from the NZ government in August that we now have a very healthy surplus of $3.7 billion.  That sounds great.  Let’s go shopping! Surplus and debt However, I had a feeling that at the same time we have a huge national debt, so I looked on the web to find out.  Sure enough, I discovered that in 2008 New Zealand’s national debt was 16% of GDP.  Now in 2017 it’s… Read More

Togetherness By Trevor Plumbly

  On the slide in Greece The recent financial problems in Greece highlight the dangers we all face by giving free reign to money movers. It seems to me that money simply isn’t real anymore. Greece, under its own steam seemed to be a relatively stable place to live until it become part of the European Union, which instead of strengthening its social structure, exposed its vulnerability. Along with Ireland, Portugal and Spain, Greece produces little in terms of exportable product its main source of income is tourism. This if managed well… Read More

Funny Money or the Death of the Cheque Book by Trevor Plumbly

The Demise of Cash and Cheque Books I’ve just heard that Australian banks are making yet another effort to remove cheque books from the banking system. It is, I suppose, a natural progression from the push for a ‘cashless society’. And if that moves across the Tasman, as I suspect it will, we’ll all be a lot poorer as a result. Looking askance, as is my wont, I can’t help wondering what effect this increasing dependency on electronic economics will have on people’s ability to manage their affairs. It seems to me… Read More