- Westpac notes that LVR limits can have short term effects on house price inflation, but only short-term effects.
- There are sensible justifications for this kind of policy based on prudential regulation and avoiding any situations where banks take on too risky a loan portfolio and downside risk winds up being borne by the government. Justifications based on curbing house price increases don't make any sense to me, whether or not it's the RBNZ comms team or the Governor making them. In that sense, it's no damning of the policy that it only has transitory effects on house prices. But it still reinforces the NZ econ blogosphere's "it's just dumb trying to justify LVR on the basis of house prices being too high." consensus position.
- Scott Sumner praises Finance Minister Bill English. Agreed. Some credit could go to Minister English's truly excellent economics adviser as well.
- The New Zealand Police have decided that despite GCSB's having acted illegally in the DotCom surveillance, they will not press charges because there was no intent to act illegally. But:
Intent to break the law is not an element of the charge of illegally intercepting private communications.The government, through the new GCSB and TICS legislation, is giving us an expansion of GCSB's scope with increased nominal oversight, but no expectation that GCSB would ever be prosecuted for doing anything that was in fact illegal. Lovely. Big slow clap here for everyone involved. Meanwhile, here's Ars Technica on some of this mess.
— Graeme Edgeler (@GraemeEdgeler) August 29, 2013
- The insurers here argue for something sensible, and something for which I've argued before: have EQC effectively cover a large excess in case of natural disasters, and otherwise stay out of the darned way.
Update: note that Edgeler also argues that lack of intent to break the law could be a decent reason not to go ahead with prosecution in this kind of case and reminds us that criminal penalties are not the only form of accountability. That's all true; I hope that everyone who has illegally been spied upon knows that it has happened so that they can launch civil suits.