Dec 6, 2021 • 25M

'Blame yourselves before you blame Orr'

Bridges & Seymour don't want to reappoint Orr for a second RBNZ term, saying he inflated house prices and talks too much about climate change & Te Ao Māori; I argue those are cheap & deflecting shots

Bernard Hickey
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Bernard Hickey and friends explore the political economy together.
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TLDR & TLDL: New National Party Finance Spokesman Simon Bridges and ACT Leader David Seymour say they don’t want Adrian Orr appointed for a second term as Reserve Bank Governor just before the 2023 election. They say he’s responsible for massive inflation in house prices and is spending too much time talking about less relevant things for a central bank such as climate change and Te Ao Māori.

However, in my view, their thinking is muddled and their shots are cheap. I argue in detail below the paywall fold they should blame the Labour Government, themselves and ultimately voters for the toxic mix of decades of policy mistakes that caused last year’s housing catastrophe. Blaming Orr is only deflecting voters from the real issues, which Bridges and Seymour are not on solid ground to debate. (Subscribe here to a special one-year offer from me to see what’s below the fold, to be able to comment and to support my journalism.)

Simon Bridges describes RBNZ governor Adrian Orr as “a guy who's probably ultimately made things worse”. Is that fair? Photo: Lynn Grieveson/TheKaka

Elsewhere in the news this morning:

  • China’s central bank eased monetary policy again this morning to offset the shock from the impending collapse of its biggest apartment developer, Evergrande, and a slowing of economic growth in China linked to covid closures and power blackouts; (Reuters)

  • US stocks rallied 1.5% this morning as a brittle confidence returned to markets, in part after Dr Anthony Fauci said early data didn’t suggest omicron caused more severe illness; (Guardian/CNN)

  • fears the Chinese Govt would simply let Evergrande’s chips fall where they may, as it has repeatedly warned it would do, were eased after a Government statement emerged via Xinhua overnight saying the Government would “support the commercial housing market to better meet the reasonable housing needs of buyers, and promote the healthy development of the real estate industry” (there’s always a bailout…); and,

  • the city of New York announced overnight all private sector businesses would have to mandate vaccination for all workers by Dec 27, while Paris shut all its nightclubs for the next four weeks because of a fresh Covid wave. (CNN)

Coming up later today, I’ll be:

  • checking speeches from retiring Reserve Bank Deputy Governor Geoff Bascand and Assistant Governor Christian Hawkesby due today; and,

  • watching the Reserve Bank of Australia’s last monthly monetary policy decision of the year at 4.30pm NZ Time, where it is expected to signal it will keep money printing until Feb next year and is unlikely to hike until mid-2022.

I welcome comments and suggestions for questions from paid subscribers in the comments below the paywall fold.

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