Tuesday 27 September 2011

Key's sunny outlook on the economy

Some of the first half-pie sensible commentary I have seen  from the New Zealand media.

I would not, in my wildest imagination ever have described Key as “Zen-like”!

Either he is in complete denial or (more likely) trying to pull the wool over the eyes of NZ’ers before the elections. 

One of the banksters' most devoted minions.

By Vernon Small
27 September, 2011

 Nothing sums up the life and politics of John Key like his Zen-like calm in the face of the looming economic crisis.

His deputy Bill English will return from the International Monetary Fund today with tales of debt woes, double-dip recessions and fears the global slowdown will peg back our key export markets in Asia. But yesterday the prime minister was looking on the bright side of life:

Our country sits close to some very strong economies. The chances of Greece defaulting on its debt are "better than 50 per cent". (As in, higher than 50 per cent? Or worse than 50 per cent? Some even say 90 per cent, or inevitable. But that is not the Key way.)

A double-dip recession? Unlikely. And there is no reason to resile from plans for a Budget surplus by 2014-15.

The worst news was that the pesky crisis had killed his weasel-cunning plan to return to surplus even earlier. In Keyland even when things get gloomier, they don't get worse; they just stop things getting better.

So there will be no cuts to programmes, no spike in taxes, no stimulus package, no plans for U-turns if countries default. Just a can-do PM who will "roll with the punches", stay optimistic about Asia and trust that investors will be "discerning" (unlike in 2008) between good and bad companies, good and bad countries.

You would think that with a better-than-even chance of Greece defaulting he would be twisting advisers' arms to forecast its impact, and prepare contingency plans. Not yet, it seems. This is no time to ruin the rugby party.

But it will come soon enough: The Treasury cannot ignore such a bleak scenario when it issues its pre-election update next month, even if Mr Key will see the sunny side of it.

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