Little reiterates bank strong arm approach

Andrew Little was interviewed on Q&A this morning. He is unlikely to make any breakthrough with winning support from his performance. One thing he seems to have become adept at is avoiding answering awkward questions.

One thing he made clear was his comments about stiff arming banks wasn’t a one -off slip. He reiterated his stance, and went further: “I stand by the stance I took, which is to get very heavy-handed with the banks.”

And: “If the banks don’t want to play ball when it comes to the way we run our monetary policy, actually, there’s only one outfit that can really take them on, and that’s the government.”

Jessica Mutch: You talk about ups and downs, has the last few weeks been an up or a down for you do you think?

Andrew Little: Oh, it’s been up and down, and I think you know you raised the issue about stiff arming the banks.

Actually I  got a huge amount of feed back from that, people saying ‘at last someone’s prepared to stand up to the overseas banks, who frankly have been, you know, flipping the bird to our Reserve Bank.

When the Reserve Bank does the orthodox thing and says ok, economy’s slowing,  we need to tick down interest rates so it’s cheaper to borrow, put a bit more money in people’s pockets, and what do our overseas trading banks do? They say ‘ah-ah, not us, we’re not going to do that’.

I’m not aware of any banks saying anything like that. In fact it looks to me that all the banks have reduced their fixed rates since I looked at them at the end of January.

Andrew Little: That’s not acceptable. It’s actually not orthodox, but it’s also not acceptable.

And what a Government doing it’s job has to do, when faced with that, is stand up to them and say no no, ah we’ve got an economy here that we’ve got to sort out, we’re all in this together, and we need you to be doing your bit.

Ah the Government refused to do that, because frankly they are scared of multinational corporates.

I think that Governments since the Muldoon led one in the seventies and eighties have refused to ‘do that’. They seem to be scared that a repeat of a Government dictated economy might lead to the country nearly going broke again.

And there may be more than a few voters a bit scared about what may happen if an Andrew Little led Government started standing up to banks and other multinational companies and stiff arming them. They may turn around and give New Zealand the finger.

And there’s more later on in the interview.

Jessica Mutch: Because another big idea that you did raise was threatening to legislate against the banks, trying to get that record low OCR of 2.5% passed on to consumers. Do you still stand by that?

Voxy has transcript from there:

ANDREW ‘I stand by the stance I took, which is to get very heavy-handed with the banks. Because the truth is when the banks fail to follow the signal that the Reserve Bank is sending, that’s keeping money out of the back pockets of ordinary Kiwis, and I will always fight for their interests and for their rights. If the banks don’t want to play ball when it comes to the way we run our monetary policy, actually, there’s only one outfit that can really take them on, and that’s the government.’

But Mr Little wouldn’t be drawn on whether his position was pre-planned policy.

JESSICA Threatening to legislate, though, is that something that you’d been planning on speaking out for a long time? Is that something that you guys had had discussions on?

ANDREW No, it was about sending a signal–

JESSICA So you hadn’t formulated this policy?

ANDREW It’s about sending a signal that when one of our most important measures we have – one of the very few measures that the government or a government agency has to assist the economy as it’s slowing down, get a bit of impetus going – and the overseas-owned trading banks just cock a snook at it, you actually do have to respond. The government should’ve responded.

JESSICA But my question is – is this a policy you had been looking at for a long time?

ANDREW The approach that I will take and in fact was signalling in that statement is that we’re not going to accept it if the trading banks want to come here, not follow the signals that the Reserve Bank is sending. Because that starts to undo one of the fundamental basis of our economic system. We want to run monetary policy. That’s what we give the Reserve Bank the job to do. If the trading banks don’t want to play ball, then you’ve got to get heavy-handed with them.

JESSICA Not answering the question makes me feel like it isn’t something you’ve been looking at for a long time. Were you caught out on this policy a little bit?

ANDREW I think what some people might be having difficulty coming to grips with is that I believe that a government is there to govern, that when the interests of ordinary New Zealanders are put at risk because, in this case, a bunch of corporates decided they just don’t care about it and they want to maximise their profit, actually, the role of government is to govern and make sure things are happening in the best interest of New Zealanders. And I don’t shrink from that at all, and somebody’s got to be the voice for that, and I’m happy to be it.

Source for the last transcript: Little ‘stands by his threats to stiff-arm the banks’

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30 Comments

  1. I think it’s notable that while Little was interviewed on Q & A this morning there has been no mention of this yet on The Standard (mid afternoon).

    This morning I asked a younger person what they thought of Little and they admitted knowing very little about him.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  3rd April 2016

      What’s “a younger person” Pete? 50? 40?

      Reply
        • Clemgeopin

           /  3rd April 2016

          “This morning I asked a younger person what they thought of Little and they admitted knowing very little about him”

          Has he heard of the apartheid appraising against the Springbok at least?

          If the fool does not even know much about Mr Little in spite of such extensive fair and balanced unbiased non-dirty politics type of coverage on our capitalist corporate controlled media, then he is just a dumb arse dumbo that does not even follow the news or read the papers or watch TV news or read the relentless anti-Labour and anti-Little (just like the previous anti-Helen, anti-Goff, anti Shearer and anti-Cunliffe) political PR columns and opinion pieces from our ‘brilliant’ pro RW churnalists.

          Ask your young friend to try harder and get a little more educated and clued on.

          Reply
          • Many people are not really interested in anything to do with politics. Parties and leaders have to find ways of attracting attention and interest from reluctant or unwilling voters.

            Reply
            • Clemgeopin

               /  3rd April 2016

              They do not know the value of and do not deserve freedom and democracy.

              ” Parties and leaders have to find ways of attracting attention and interest from reluctant or unwilling voters”

              Like Key and Trump do?..and get massive publicity from the press?

              Our RW biased journalists working for the corporate capitalists not only do not report the political news from the opposition fairly, they in fact create the news by constantly writing puff pieces for Key, National and Seymour while regularly writing negative pieces towards Mr Little and Labour, and Labour MPs. If you don’t see or fathom that, I am not surprised!

  2. Pantsdownbrown

     /  3rd April 2016

    Little has almost got to the point that whenever he speaks it is such nonsense that it isn’t really worth the bother of commenting on………..so I won’t.

    Reply
  3. Dougal

     /  3rd April 2016

    All of what he has said is direct from the communism 101 play book.

    Reply
  4. Kitty Catkin

     /  3rd April 2016

    ‘Flipping the bird’, indeed-why not just say ‘giving the finger’ instead of aping an Americanism ?

    I hadn’t realised that stiff-arming is an illegal and dangerous tackle, as I don’t follow rugby. It seems a poor analogy if this is the case-like saying rabbit-punching.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  3rd April 2016

      Might be aiming at the younger demographic. The Mutch-generation intake of tv reporters is also very Americanised in their language. The thing is, is that…, gotten, etc.

      Reply
  5. Oliver

     /  3rd April 2016

    This is why Little is so popular at the moment. He’s a straight talking, just tells it like it is. It’s been awhile since we’ve had a politician with integrity.

    Reply
    • Iceberg

       /  3rd April 2016

      He very popular, just like you are…in a “turd in a bunch bowl” kind of way.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  3rd April 2016

        He doesn’t talk straight, he talks nonsense. He’s not popular-his ratings are terrible.

        Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  3rd April 2016

        @Kitty, so are Oliver’s.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  3rd April 2016

          Hee ! 😀

          Oliver is as entitled as anyone to express his opinions and not be ridiculed-but his opinions are such half (if that) understood parroting of things that he hears that he asks for it. If his opinions were sincere and clearly stated, it wouldn’t matter how simply they were expressed, they’d deserve to be respected if not agreed with, but they seem to be recycled bits of other peoples that don’t make sense much of the time.

          Reply
  6. Iceberg

     /  3rd April 2016

    The left never learn about interfering in banks. The political interference in Freddie Mae and Fannie Mac started the GFC. I know the left blame the greedy capitalists, because greed must be the answer, not progressives wanting housing for everyone.

    Closer to home BNZ, DFC and the Rural Bank aren’t that far in the past.

    Reply
    • Oliver

       /  3rd April 2016

      We should all migrate to Australia and leave NZ for the corporations and the Chinese. At least life would be 30% better.

      Reply
      • Iceberg

         /  3rd April 2016

        *I should migrate to Australia and leave NZ for the corporations and the Chinese. At least life would be 30% better.

        Fixed it for you.

        Reply
        • Oliver

           /  3rd April 2016

          Yes you should. Lol

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  3rd April 2016

            He should have-and he did ! He fixed it so that it made sense. I’d change one word in the second sentence-life would be 30% better here (when you’d done it)

            Some people might up the %, of course.

            Reply
      • Dougal

         /  3rd April 2016

        In your case that would improve the IQ of both countries.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  3rd April 2016

          In Oliver’s case that is in serious question. Aussies are not that bad.

          Reply
          • Clemgeopin

             /  3rd April 2016

            You feel good now?

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  3rd April 2016

              Oliver seems not to know that many Chinese here are from families whose ancestors came to NZ generations ago-like my bridesmaid. Apart from the othe bridesmaid, who was Maori, she was the only one in the wedding party, including my mother and stepfather, who was not first generation (me) or an immigrant ( groom, groomsmen, bride’s parents)

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  3rd April 2016

              It’s Be Kind to Aussies week. After we knocked them out of the T20 cup. After all, does anyone really deserve Oliver? I don’t think we do. In fact I doubt Oliver does. The Greens probably do though.

            • Clemgeopin

               /  3rd April 2016

              Yes, I agree he would be wrong if he was being racist. I think he was making not a racist attack but a political remark. Unwisely. Not sure I am right.
              My comment was more about the fact that a gang type of personal pack attack happens here (and other blogs) constantly against particular posters just for their differing political views as pit downs. Not good! But hey, you have the freedom of expression though.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  3rd April 2016

              Part of me agrees with you, C, but another part resents the number of discussions Oliver’s utter inanities derail. I’m also torn between sympathy for anyone so afflicted and suspicion that no-one can be that clueless yet sometimes say sensible things. As others have noted the inconsistencies are bizarrely suspicious. Certainly a suitable case for treatment.

            • Iceberg

               /  4th April 2016

              The forum works if people comment in good faith. He has constantly lied about his credentials, his involvement in events and constantly cuts and posts from other forums as if it was his own thinking. On top of that it is very unlikely any of the upticks he receives are genuine as he games the vote system. Oliver has a long history of not doing that so is picked on in the hope that he will disappear. Need examples, just ask. If you want to enable that behaviour, good luck!

      • John Schmidt

         /  3rd April 2016

        That’s why Aussies are currently flocking to NZ because it’s so much better in Aussie being 30% better off. It’s why Kiwis are returning because they are sick of being 30% better off. You may find it difficult leaving against the tide of people coming to NZ because we are so useless as a country on absolutely everything according to the opposition. At least there are plenty of seats to Aussie for you to choose from, hell if I knew you full name I might just pay for the one way ticket, might even make it business class just to rub your nose in elitism.

        Reply
  7. People already have choice in the Banking sector: TSB, SBS, Co-Operative, Heartland, Kiwibank. All stand ready to take your day to day business if you want to get off your arses and move. The more people move, the better of those entities will be as the become: 1 more profitable, 2 – more attractive for investment: both those things will allow their capital bases to grow.

    Its interesting that foreign banks are repeatedly a target, yet the vast bulk of the population keep banking with them. I move to an NZ Bank as my primary bank a number of years ago. It was not that hard….. Vote with your custom people.

    Labour, Greens and NZ First are appealing to typical lazy xenophobia AGAIN.

    On another note as I said a few weeks back having banks making strong profits is a good thing as it builds their capital base over time and makes them more able to withstanding negative economic times.

    As long as the basis points the banks have shaved on the last OCR drop are retained in the banks capital structures and not paid out as dividends I personally think its a prudent thing. And Retail Banking should have prudence at its very core in my opinion

    Why is shaving basis points a good thing in my view? Because hopefully it signals a more conservative approach to home lending by Banks as they eye what is becoming an asset bubble in Auckland, as well as eye the dairy land price correction which is inevitable with current diary commodity prices, and that a conservative approach is a good thing at this time as a stable financial sector is pivotal in the long run to a stable economy

    Reply

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