Monday, May 22, 2023

Mike Hosking: The Budget is looking worse with time

Now, you can pick your word - but having done a lot of reading over the weekend around the banks and financial market's reviews of the Budget, the words I'd choose range from concern, to alarm.

The bond rates jumped - that’s a bit dry for a lot of us, but believe me when I say it's bad.

What it ultimately means is interest rates go up, and anyone with mortgage money pays more, and floating money is already well into the 8% figure.

This week Adrian Orr gets his turn to tell us what he thinks.

He thinks, or thought, the cash rate would end at 5.5%. In other words, this Wednesday he will put the rate up again by 25 points to 5.5% and then that would have been it.

A couple of banks now see it going to either 5.75% or 6%.

What does Adrian say about all the extra spending in the Budget? How can he ask us to cool our jets when the Government doesn’t?

How can he possibly argue that the many billions more being borrowed and spent isn't inflationary?

An inflation figure that, yes, dipped slightly last time, but since then we have no evidence that it's on a downward spiral. Treasury, in the Budget suggests it is. But I have yet to find a single person who can explain to me how you get to spend more borrowed money, while at the same time watching inflation fall.

So if Adrian moves 25 points - and by the way, the case is building that he may surprise us yet again and move 50 points —but if he moves 25 or 50 points and says it aint over, and inflation is still an issue, and if he is bold enough and says that Government spending is the problem— then what?

Has the Government borrowed us into a crisis?

Is all that rhetoric from Chris Hipkins and Grant Robertson about it being fair and balanced and a document for the times actually blown out of the water, as Orr exposes it for what it is?

An incendiary device that is going to send a lot of highly mortgaged home owners to the wall?

If home values keep dropping and mortgage stress increases, then that hits every part of the economy. It hits mood and spending.

If we can't afford to spend, if we don’t feel good and the only player left in town is the Government priming the pumps with printed money, we are in a monumental hole.

The Treasury are either seeing something very few of us can, or they are incompetent.

Adrian's view on that on Wednesday is going to be fascinating.

I pray, along with most other observers, that I'm wrong, Treasury is right and Adrian agrees.

Because if that’s not the case, the outcome doesn’t bare thinking about.

Mike Hosking is a New Zealand television and radio broadcaster. He currently hosts The Mike Hosking Breakfast show on NewstalkZB on weekday mornings


Anonymous said...

What did you expect from a Marxist/Communist government. The CCP and/or the IMF own us. Our taxes just go towards interest on money borrowed on our behalf. Did you vote for that? Democracy eh!!

Anonymous said...

A friend, in relation to Real Estate Agents and Car salesmen, made the rye/dry comment at our table this week: "If their lips are moving they are lying..."
I mentally transitioned to the recent Utterance by our PM, who blithely opined that New Zealanders know that they can trust this Government...