Thursday, 11 June 2009

“We didn’t see the economic collapse coming.” Yeah right.

Having learned where the Fieldays gods chose to place our stand, we quickly produced two handouts to go with our site’s sign.  The second one’s a timeline . . .  you think Bill and John might have noticed some of this, right?  You know, like John might have wondered about things when, like, his former employers went to the wall?

“Tax cuts!”...Yeah right.

“We didn’t see it coming.”...Yeah right.

Here’s a brief timeline of the economic collapse that John Key and Bill English now say they never saw coming . . .

MAY 2007:

· Housing collapse begins to hit US economy.


· Dow Jones tops out at 14,164, and begins a year-long long downward slide.

· New Zealand economy enters recession around twelve months before the rest of the world.


· UK bank Northern Rock collapses

MARCH 2008:

· Bear Sterns collapses.

APRIL 2008:

· US Treasury and – for the first time since the Great Depression – the US Federal Reserve both quietly begin directing US$800 billion in “bailout loans” to banks and finance companies.

· US and NZ housing markets fall into a bottomless hole.

MAY 2008:

· On the back of six years of promoting tax cuts, John Key reaffirms after the delivery of Michael Cullen’s budget that We believe in tax cuts. We believe in the power of tax cuts. And we will deliver them.”


· As the US and local housing markets show no sign of recovery, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are completely nationalised, putting around 75% of the US mortage market into government hands.

· Lehman Brothers collapses.

· John Key’s former employer Merrill Lynch collapses.

· US$85 billion bailout of AIG insurance (with another $40bn to follow in November).

· Washington Mutual liquidated.

· US$700 billion Toxic Assets Relief Program (TARP) promoted.

· Will all this blood on the floor, on September 30 Bill English promises voters a credible economic package to take account of the changing economic climate.” “Our tax cut programme will not require any additional borrowing, he said, comparing Michael Cullen’s record with his own promise to deliver an ongoing programme of personal tax cuts.


· On October 2nd, the US$700 billion TARP programme is passed into law in the US.

· One week later, the Dow Jones plunges around ten percent to a new low below 9000.

· Panicky governments announce a ban on short selling of stocks.

· The FDIC announces it will raise its guarantee on banks. Kevin Rudd and Helen Clark announce their own bank guarantee programmes.

· NZ’s Treasury Department releases its Pre-Election Economic Update predicting “a decade of deficits.”

· The American Treasury bails out nine large US banks, including Citibank, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America.

· Watching all this happen, John Key reconfirms to voters that the pledge to deliver about $50 a week to workers on the average age remained on track.”


· The National Party wins the NZ elections on a platform of tax cuts and “dead rats.”

DECEMBER 16, 2008:

· Bill English stands up in Parliament and says, National will not be going back on any of these promises, as we fully costed and funded them.”

MAY 2009:

· Bill English stands up in Parliament and reneges on their promised tax cut package (which in the first tranche in 2010 would have cost just $100 million dollars).

· At the same time he announces up to a billion dollars of extra spending on preparations for an emissions trading scheme and subsidised home insulation (which was not even a National Party policy, but a Green Party policy); and nearly six billion dollars of extra spending on the health, education and welfare sectors.

§ National kept their promises to the moochers.

§ National kept a promise to the Green Party.

§ National broke their promises to you, and to every other every taxpayer in the country.

Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?



  1. "The American Treasury bails out nine large US banks, including Citibank, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America."

    Great summary, but a minor correction here. The Feds didn't "bailout" all those banks. Nine of the largest (including Wells Fargo, one of the healthiest financial institutions in the world even at the depths of the crisis) were forced to take funds they didn't want and didn't need.

    This was suspected at the time, but recently confirmed by the reporting of a memo of former Treasury Sec. Paulson's talking points during the arm-twisting meeting in which he asserts that refusing to take the funds was "not an option. Your regulators will require it in any case."

    I know you know all this, so this is just a gentle reminder for those in the audience who may not know.

  2. Having just come from the Libz stand at the Field days, I can confirm that the Nats are spinning this as "it is far worse than we anticipated". It would be really great to have a couple of hundred copies of this summary printed off on double-sided A4 to hand out. I have a decent duplex laser printer that can do this in a few minutes and can get them to the stand tomorrow, if a copy of the document can be sent to me. Sally has my email address. Cheers, Philip

  3. Great handout, the 3-point summary at the end is spot on. Well done.

  4. Hello PC,

    Nice summary of events. Jeff Perren's gentle reminder of arm-twisting noted.

    Being new to PC.Blogspot, I am unsure if the Libertarian Party issued any warnings about the economic collapse.

    It would be great if you could include any such Libertarian warnings in the summary.

    It would be tremendous if it can be proved only the Libertarians could see the fall looming in the horizon.

    I thank you.


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