Friday, October 02, 2009

Change of direction

Okay - so I've been extremely quiet for a while; seems I've fallen into the trap of most new bloggers. You start a blog full of passion, thoughts and opinions on a subject - and then find that you're going to start repeating yourself pretty quickly :D

So I can't guarantee that this is a coming back to life, or a single green shoot in the barren wilderness but here we go - link whoring a pet project, for the purposes of seeing if anyone else actually thinks this is a problem they face:

We are recruiting suppliers for www.mercado.co.nz to assist people finding exotic or esoteric items. Basically things like Quinoa grain, Channa flour, Wild Rice, Artichokes, etc - all those things that you don't easily find at the local supermarket; or don't know what to do with if you do.
So the first question would be - is this something you actually find an issue; I know I'd love a central place I can go to find those ingredients I need for a recipe I've found - but what does everyone else do?

Then - what are the things you've had to hunt for recently that either took forever to find, or you never did? I know fresh rabbit ranks up there for me; even knowing 5 places I can get it doesn't make it any easier when I actually want it!


Obviously mainly interested in New Zealand experiences - but give me your international insights too :D


Monday, March 30, 2009

So how come we don;t hear about these?

The news always seems to be full about jobs being lost from New Zealand - especially when these are lost through offshoring;  and yet when one of the major Australian banks decides to move 100 jobs this way across the tasman we hear nothing - why is that?

Sure they're only call center jobs - but that didn't stop the outcry when Telecom was involved - so why the media silence this time?  Perhaps because it might upset their doom and gloom slant on the world...

Friday, January 30, 2009

Break Fees and Lawyers

Of course the one set of parties that has remained (incriminatingly) silent on most of this debate is the law society and the lawyers;

They could at least have helped clear up the confusion around the legal obligations of the banks preventing them doing what most are currently accusing them of;

However perhaps it is because ultimately it was their responsibility to their client to properly explain those clauses in the contract they were collecting their fees for?

The Break Fee Debate

ITs good to see the banks are hanging tough on break fees - although I'm disappointed in Bill English's proposed pressure on KiwiBank to potentially lower these.

Lets be clear here as there has been a huge amount of morons commenting on this subject when they have no actual concept:

The banks are not making money out of this - there is no margin in the break fee, it is genuine costs relating to the fact that people are wanting to intentionally breach contracts.
In fact the CCCFA (Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act 2003) both means it is illegal for them to make money on the break fee - and (to put another misinformation to bed) sets out how they should calculate the fee.  

There is ambiguity in the law as to which rate the lender should use as their relending rate - If your original contract was for 5 years fixed rate, you are now 2 years in the lender may be relending at the variable, the 5 year or the 3 year rate? However while this is unclear in the law which must be used, it is stipulated in the contract.

Which in the end is much of the point here - how are people legitimately thinking they should be able to walk out of a legally binding contract without paying the other parties costs?  These pillocks are effectively arguing that when the rates were rising the banks should have been able to give the homeowner (EG) $4000 and then say "sorry, but you're back on the variable (3% higher) variable rate now".  Because the fix works both ways.

In the end the risk is 2 ways - if the rates had spiked rather than dropped would you still be complaining about being on a fixed rate?  Furtermore is it the bank that has dropped the OCR? (or raised it initially)?
The only way around it is to either align the term of the fixed rate to the term of the mortgage or go completely variable rate - but I don't see these plonkers actually going for either of these options.  Unfortunatly the nanny state seems to haev won in its efforts to create a nation of whiners that not only thinks they can have their cake and eat it too - but actually have someone else bake it for free in the first place.
 

Friday, January 16, 2009

Revisting Kiwibank (to be done...)

It will be interesting to revisit the question of banks and adequecy given the apparent meltdown in the global financial markets over the past period of time - not least to contrast the movements of this "pillar" in the NZ market versus the exposed international banks; but also versus my pet favorite TSB.  Not least to see whether the inclusion of KiwiBank by the media in the "major banks" categorisation is warranted, as versus the exclusion of both TSB and HSBC from this reporting...