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Labour/Parker on capital markets compensates for electricity nonsense

  • May 8th, 2013

The Herald has published a significant, thoughtful and promising comment from the Labour finance spokesman.

Ignore the mandatory defence of the Green paradox ("we hate seeing energy wasted and we demand taxes on carbon to push up the price, but now lets give power away free as well"). David's defence  is good but does not explain how the problem described outweighs the downsides of nationalisation, or why the Commerce Commission's jurisdiction is not adequate to deal with what David sees as mysterious price relativities.

The really promising commentary is at the start. This is the first tackle by a current politician  of National's absurd (and principle-breaking) interventions and impositions of pointless controls on business. Parker is spot on about our capital raising regime. Particularly significant for where it comes from, his crisp judgment is the glimpse of an oasis in a desert.

I've been looking for even a hint of frustration over MRP costs and delays. Ruling politicians are pouring milliions into the pockets of brokerrs, lawyers and investment bankers navigating the swamp of law that now separates people with shares and other securities they want to sell from the adults who want to buy them.

Those same adults can gamble freely without warnings on horses, houses, overseas, and even on MRP shares the moment they become secondary market. Thankfully David is blowing the whistle. There is plenty of respectable scholarship and research to support his scepticism. And there are now good political precedents for pragmatic dispensations from the near useless superstructure of securities offering law. In the US Obama's  JOBS Act has liberated companies from its dead hand with a size threshold that would free most NZ offerings.

With signs that Labour would now be an intelligent debating partner in this area, National would be wise to again suspend progress on their Financial Markets Conduct Bill. Sensible futher change would create more simple and constructive exceptions. They would steer the FMA away from duty formulations that drive it into sermonising instead of sticking with what it really can do. It would restore freedom of speech about matters financial and investment. And it would  beef up the practical remedies of the FMA (and more importantly – investors)  for dishonesty.

Leave the prospectus/offering superstructure in place because abolition would not be worth the howling of its believers. Just exempt those who will undertake to deal only with consenting adults and let the full Monty process wither from disuse.


  • Mike Mckee
  • May 8th, 2013
  • 7:12 pm

is it measured or just one man?


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