In a Land of Brain-washed Kiwis – Part 2: A Billionaire’s Pep-talk to the ‘Switzerland of the South Pacific’ – New Zealand

A New Zealand-born billionaire and former Treasury economist who helped deploy Economic Shock Therapies in the Lange-Labour Government, warned New Zealand in 2016 that growing inequality will “bite” the wealthy unless they are addressed. But, Rich Lister Stephen Jennings’ role behind the political curtains is mostly unknown to the New Zealand public. The Waitara-born super-wealthy oligarch has never spoken publicly about producing the best set of predictions of every MMP election from 1996 to 2014. As a result of his private sponsorship, a secret group called seven elections right, prior to the first MMP election in 1996!

Since 2008, Jennings has ‘unofficially’ advised New Zealand’s ruling class to ditch MMP, downsize government expenditure and sell-off more state assets, and in 2017 he has endorsed a book by ACT Party Leader David Seymour entitled, Own Your Future, with a foreword. However, the investment banker has not acknowledged that the work he performed at Treasury and at Credit Suisse First Boston in Wellington, to make ‘Fortress New Zealand’ an efficient market economy – were designed to favour the super-rich, and to catapult key insiders into wealth, as Steve ‘Snoopman’ Edwards finds.

By Steve ‘Snoopman’ Edwards

Designer Deck-chair Management of a Crisis-Ridden Jurisdiction

One of the remarkable things about New Zealand is that there are only two degrees of separation between everyone.

This means that it forces everyone to be civil to with one another, even when we do not share the same political views, as the American chairman of the New Zealand-based MediaWorks consortium, Jack Matthews, recently said.[1] Matthews was interviewed by The New Yorker magazine for an article titled, “Doomsday Prep for the Super-Rich”, on New Zealand’s role as a bolt-hole for billionaires.[2]

One downside to the ‘two degrees of separation’ phenomena is that the media missionaries pull their punches because the linkages between the Pākehā-dominated ruling class elites are so close to the Establishment Media. The Media Missionaries help deepen the stratification of our unequal society by keeping voices separated in the discourses on important issues.

Indeed, the discourses are highly mediated.

None less mediated than when a self-confessed ‘economic missionary’ billionaire made a whistle-stop tour to Aotearoa in July 2016.

The New Zealand-born Rich Lister, Stephen Jennings, warned that New Zealand risked Trump/Brexit type reactions if serious issues to do with inequality were not sufficiently addressed.[3]

In his one television interview, Waitara-born billionaire Stephen Jennings explained sparingly that the ‘Western rich world club’ position at the top of the pecking order is being transformed, and the economic dynamism of Asian and other emerging economies is creating huge structural shifts in world power.

“Globalization is here to stay”, Jennings said to TVNZ’s political editor Corin Dann on Q+A in mid-July 2016.[4]

Jennings presented his policy prescriptions to several business groups, including the corporate-raider think-tank formerly known as the New Zealand Business Roundtable, that these days goes by the re-branded name – the New Zealand Initiative, a clumsy ploy to obscure its origins as an economic warfare unit for the Fourth British Empire.[5] The billionaire – who started out in Treasury in 1984 at the beginning of the Lange-Labour Cola Ministry and then moved to Credit Suisse First Boston’s Wellington office – advised the New Zealand and Australian governments on privatization, state enterprise restructuring and a variety of private sector mergers and acquisitions and capital markets transactions before being sent to Russia in 1992.[6] On his 2016 whistle-stop tour, Jennings proposed selling off all state-owned enterprises (except where there were regulatory or competition concerns), corporate welfare-chartered schools and cutting Council restrictions on house building in Auckland. These economic missionary prescriptions were delivered 12 days prior to the Auckland Super Council’s unveiling of its ‘Unitary Plan’ for more intensive residential development.

The billionaire, who made his fortune privatizing 5,000 former Soviet-bloc enterprises, now spear-heads residential developments designed as class-stratified satellite cities adjoined to five major African cities five countries – Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Zambia. Jennings – who was mentored by ‘the two Ronnies’ of New Zealand Neo-Colonialism, corporate raiders Sir Ron Brierley and Sir Ron Trotter – was cautious with his words when he spoke with Dann. The former Treasury technocrat, who said New Zealand trade officials lack the aggressive pack-style of their Australian counter-parts, was careful to avoid slamming the ‘failures’ for the so-called neo-liberal/libertarian ‘free-market’ frameworks that he was in part responsible for introducing.

Born-Again Economic Missionary: Jennings claims he is opposed to ‘missionary economics’ which seeks to reform all sectors in ‘foreign countries’, but Neo-Colonialism still replicates class systems for control by super-wealthy capitalists, globally.

Jennings acknowledged New Zealand had “a range of fairness issues” and deftly narrowed the discussion from income distribution issues and housing affordability to focus on a lack of fairness in education, in his television interview on the corporatized-state broadcasting consortium, TVNZ. The billionaire did not advocate educating a younger generation or a recently-arrived immigrant population about the ‘free market’ shock therapies – the sudden financialization, corporatization, and privatization of the New Zealand socialist state – from 1984 onward.[7] Nor, did he suggest that the Shock Doctrine’s continued deployment through hi-tech ‘solutions’ to the ‘free market’-driven crises – such as the Integrated Data Infrastructure that underpins Social Impact Bonds, the Negative Prediction Index and Common Core – needs to be urgently confronted.

In his address to the New Zealand Initiative think-tank, Jennings – who was said to be worth $5 billion at his peak wealth – expressed concern that low-income people found it hard to afford to own a home. The Rich Lister, whose net worth is $1.1 billion, was aware that he had to appeal to his wealthy audiences’ self-interest that the social problems visible in USA America and Europe would manifest here if New Zealand’s policy-makers did not get ahead of the issues.[8]

So it is ironic that Jennings said to Dann he has not come across a single sector that he has been involved in reforming where the starting position is, ‘You can’t reform us, we’re different, the normal rules of economics do not apply us’. The topic was education and what Jennings saw as intransigent teachers and their unionism blocking his favoured solutions. Jennings could not bring himself to admit that the problems in the mediocre education system have been compounded by its unacknowledged role of trialing assessment regimes, funding models, and technologies – in keeping with the broader function of this far-flung, tax-magical Realm: a moated-live lab.

In effect, Jennings was saying every sector of society needs reforming except the plutocracy of super-rich that govern by stealth, no matter whether it is a Pepsi National or Labour Cola-dominated government.

The truth that many liberal and conservative-minded people the world-over have been super-slow to realize is that ‘failures’ of the so-called neo-liberal/libertarian/neo-conservative ‘free-market’ frameworks are by design.

Reflecting a ‘Switzerland of the South Pacific’ Vision? Formerly known as Fay Richwhite Tower, the skyscraper was the merchant bankers’ brazen statement that New Zealand’s Oligarchy & Foreign Associates, had taken over the economy.

 

For example, when it is recalled that in the mid-1980s, then-Vice-Chairman of the New Zealand Business Roundtable David Richwhite and his merchant banking partner in crime, Michael Fay, had promoted the idea of New Zealand becoming a ‘Switzerland of the South Pacific’, the gaming of New Zealand becomes more apparent.[9] This vision of a hub for foreign capital to flow through and a wealth safe-haven with strict financial secrecy laws – long before the merchant bank Fay Richwhite became embroiled in the Cook Islands ‘Wine Box’ tax evasion scandal of the 1990s – had an even darker side, as I argue in “Part 4: Why the Elephant in Every Labour-Political Delivery Room is a Crying National Shame”.

 

Neo-Colonial Economic Missionary at-Large – in Russia

Jennings’ visit in July 2016 was likely pivotal, especially when the unknown parts of this Rich Lister’s background is considered.

In 1992, global investment consortium Credit Suisse First Boston sent Jennings – and a colleague, Boris Jordan, who was a grandson of Soviet émigrés and a fluent Russian speaker,  from London to Moscow to set up an investment bank.  From the Metropol Hotel, Jennings and Jordan connected with Boris Yeltsin’s privatization minister, Anatoly Chubais, hired 300 students from Moscow State University, and consulted with academics from Harvard University’s ‘Russia Project’, an initiative funded by the US Government that was designed to wrest ownership of the Russian economy from the Russians.[10]

Meanwhile, Jennings’ lover Tina Podplatnik, who was working in London at CS First Boston and spoke Russian, edited a weekly English investor’s newsletter from Moscow that became most influential at the time and worked for the Austrian Raiffeisen Bank. They married in 1996.

New Zealand’s public media tell a sanitized story of Jennings’ and Jordan’s maverick business practices.

Russia’s Neo-Colonialist bureaucracy devised a voucher system to deal with the privatization programs, which set out to distribute 144 million vouchers to Russians who could use them to buy shares in state-run enterprises. Jennings led the State Property Committee’s pilot voucher auctions. The pair used cut-up condoms, because there were no rubber bands, to bundle up the vouchers which their employers,  Credit Suisse, made a big profit trading. Jennings told the Business Roundtable in 2009 that the vouchers, in effect, valued the Russian equity market at US$3 billion – including major shareholdings in a third of the world’s gas, 10 percent of its oil, 12 percent of its nickel and the second largest electricity generation  company in the world – when he arrived in Moscow.

Not surprisingly, Jennings and Jordan saw an opportunity, set up their own investment bank, Renaissance Capital, in 1995 and bought many of the vouchers off Russians, who were evidently more interested in food and vodka because they had little appetite for capitalism, if we are to believe the Establishment Media. Jennings and Jordan kept Boris Yeltsin’s Neo-Colonial regime close, with Russia’s first deputy prime minister and finance minister, Yegor Gaidar, retained on Renaissance Capital’s advisory board. The first former-Soviet enterprise that Renaissance Capital privatized was the Bolshevik Biscuit Factory, evidently this move symbolically signaled that everyone else would be left with crumbs.

In 1997, a member of the Russian Federation Council Sregei Glazyev outlined the impacts of free market shock policies inflicted on Russia in the early –to mid-1990s. Describing the takeover in stark terms, Glazyev wrote:

“the Russian government is not an institution of a democratic country, with a market economy. It is a colonial administration, chiefly occupied with extracting taxes and selling off state property in the interest of its creditors, for whose interests… the entire machinery of state is working.”[11]

In their greed valourization stories of Renaissance Capital, the Establishment Media Missionaries do not say that the Western Alliance – which included the banking cartels – had waged economic warfare to break up the Soviet Empire. The ironic part that New Zealand’s media does not report, is that Jennings and Jordan bankrolled many of Russia’s oligarchs – who were their clients in Renaissance Capital – by making their investment bank the premiere link with foreign investors and speculators, such as the ubiquitous George Soros.[12]  .

 

As with elsewhere around the world, the governments of countries that struggled with the impacts of the economic warfare devised by the Western Alliance, were coerced to accept ‘free market structural adjustments’ in return for International Monetary Fund (IMF) ‘emergency loans’.[13] In January of 1992, the IMF insisted that the Russian currency, the ruble, be taken off a fixed exchange regime, and the Yeltsin regime helpfully complied. The immediate consequence was that inflation for household goods and services rose by 9,900% and real wages dropped by 84%.[14] The collapse of the ruble quickly followed, along with the loss of people’s savings, and the size of the Russian economy was reduced by perhaps as much as 50 per cent in a single year. This episode in economic warfare was designed to undermine Russia’s potential to become a thriving capitalist economy and therefore a strong political power. The free float of the ruble was also designed to destroy the ruble economic zone in order to make other East European states vulnerable to financial crises.

The other part of the Russian privatization story that Jennings does not tell is his devious modus operandi, and it is not one that the public media has reported. In the grand tradition of missionaries who learn a foreign language to exploit the ethnic population, Jennings hired three Russian economists, who he instructed to teach him to speak fluent Russian in 3 years. One economist was to focus on this language role, while another was to focus on being an economist and a third was to be a bodyguard. Jennings exploited the Russian class system, leaving the bodyguard-economist alone in rooms with Russian bureaucrats, while he and his economist-economist and interpreter-economist would go to another room to talk over the deals with Russian officials. The Russian bureaucrats that were left in the room with the bodyguard-economist would assume he was just a bodyguard who would not understand or bother to tell his boss what they were really saying about the state assets that Jennings wanted to privatize. The former NZ Treasury-trained economist, who once described himself as an ‘economic missionary’, would then exploit the information gleaned from the bodyguard-economist to strike a more favourable deal.

Shrewdly, Jennings hired several executives with connections to the Kremlin and the Russian intelligence service, now known as the FSB, after Vladimir Putin, a former KGB officer, was elected President in 2000.

 

The Shock Therapist from Crises Past

Prior to the first MMP election of 1996 and while Renaissance Capital Group was still in the start-up phase, Jennings flew back to Aotearoa to privately sponsor a secret group of six people to study the political landscape of New Zealand across every electorate in order to predict the likely outcome. This secret group then traveled to Germany with local body voting records, census data, and electorate maps where Jennings gleaned the expert opinion off a German Green Party member familiar with Mixed Member Proportional election systems, while the group watched the periodic conversations they could not hear from an adjoining room, through one-way glass. Incredibly, Jennings’ secret group predicted accurately who would form the governments of New Zealand for seven elections, from 1996 to 2014. While they did not always get the reasons or the margins right, their achievement is nevertheless incredible.

The activities of this ‘Secret Seven’ group are but one part of New Zealand’s MMP electoral system story that is unknown to the public. It indicates that Jennings’ was acting on behalf of a coalition of capitalists loyal to the logic of capital accumulation, which is the key symbolic ritual of a rivalrous power system – New Zealand’s Civil Oligarchy. As Jane Kelsey noted in The FIRE Economy, the most prominent ‘Money Men’ became disillusioned in the mid-to-late 1990s with the introduction of MMP, which saw the incumbent Bolger-National Government narrowly win the 1996 election in coalition with New Zealand First and ACT. Perhaps these ‘Money Men’, such as Sir Michael Fay, Sir David Richwhite, Sir Alan Gibbs and Sir Douglas Myers – who all exiled themselves with their wealth – were privy to the findings of Jennings’ ‘Secret Seven’ group, which envisaged three terms of Labour-led coalition governments starting in 1999.

With this information, Jennings’ encoded message in September 2008 that New Zealand was losing its way and squandering its potential – as then-New Zealand Herald reporter Patrick Gower reported the story two months ahead of the election that delivered John Key into power – now carries more significance.[15] Suppose key insiders that comprise New Zealand’s Civil Oligarchy and their professional and political class puppets of the ultra-far right knew of the predictive work of Jennings’ ‘Secret Seven’ group – that had by then held true for four elections. In other words, we need to entertain the possibility that Jennings’ role in the New Zealand political economy more than just an ex-pat oligarch who gives pep-talks. I contend that Jennings’ serves as the Realm’s most visible lighthouse, signalling warnings of crises ahead – to those insiders rich enough to exploit the ‘offshore world’ of tax-sheltered wealth havens – and for the quick who keep their head to take advantage of the opportunities and work collectively as a cohesive Brotherhood and Sisterhood to keep control of the economy. Otherwise, what is the use of commissioning powerful secret predictive modelling for the outcomes of elections, if it is not exploited by New Zealand’s Rich Lister Oligarchy?

In April 2009, when Jennings presented the Sir Ron Trotter Lecture to the New Zealand ruling class at the Business Roundtable dinner – the new Roundtable member preached dumping MMP, reducing the government’s size and diminishing the welfare state, and completing the ‘free market’ reforms spearheaded by former Lange Labour Government finance minister Roger Douglas in the mid-1980s. At the time of his secular sermon at the Roundtable’s 2009 annual Sir Ron Trotter lecture, Jennings told Herald reporter Patrick Gower that the MMP electoral system needed to be discarded as “a necessary condition if New Zealand wants to get into high-league growth”. Subsequently, John Key spearheaded a referendum on MMP in 2011, a promise he undertook while campaigning to be prime minister in May 2008.

But the initiative tanked with public, who have long seen that more choice makes politicians have to compete, like more consumer choice.[16]

 

The New Zealand-born billionaire – who says he only met John Key once – also explained sparingly that the world is undergoing a once in 500-year economic adjustment. Amid this turmoil, the ‘Western rich world club’ position at the top of the pecking order is being transformed, and the economic dynamism of Asian and other emerging economies is creating huge structural shifts in world power, he told Gower in 2009. What Jennings did not say was, the world is going through the beginning of the chip revolution, and it has the potential to be more sweeping than the credit revolution of the last 500 years that financed 500 horrific years of European expansionism, the dispossession of indigenous peoples of the ‘New World’, and the forged the fortunes of dynastic families.

In an interview with the New Zealand Herald in mid-July 2016, Jennings expressed concern that social inequality had become so highly pronounced in New Zealand that it risked social unrest unless the drivers of that inequality were confronted. The billionaire’s criticisms came at a time when the Establishment Media had recently found its critical voice and the opposition parties were in resurgence, as Graham Adams reported for Metro magazine.[17] While Jennings conceded he was not young and owned property, he said:

“But what about our children and grandchildren and people on low incomes who have no hope of buying a house? What I’d say to those [older, wealthier] people is we’re storing up social and political problems that are going to come home and bite us. I think we have to put ideological, left/right differences behind us.”[18]

 

And there’s the rub.

The same buccaneering ‘free market’ attitude that 19th century Colonialists meted out on Māori was also deployed by Neo-Colonialists in the 1980s on all New Zealanders outside their tiny clique, is also present in Jennings’ un-reconstructed ideological worldview and the ACT Party’s fizzy drink policy framework – the Rich know best. In his 2009 Sir Ron Trotter Lecture, “Opportunities of a Lifetime: Lessons for New Zealand from New, High-growth Economies”, Jennings – in essence – claimed he was a leopard who had changed his spots. Jennings stated:

 

I have become strongly opposed to what I term ‘missionary economics’, the attempt to impose on a society or preach the unadulterated adoption of institutions and forms of government that have developed in often totally different historical, economic and social contexts.

 

Oligarch’s Pep-Talk: Jennings’ Sir Ron Trotter Speech was presented to ‘Your Excellencies, Ministers of the Crown, members of parliament, distinguished guests and ladies and gentlemen’.

 

Jennings’ “Opportunities of a Lifetime” lecture outlined the pre-conditions for ‘transformational growth’, finding that key factor is the “political will to change”. This includes the willingness to adapt to ideas, systems and technologies. He also notes that the pattern revealed by his study of economic, political and cultural transformation does not show any specific set of policies or institutions precede ‘transformational growth’, because geography, history, technology and culture play their part in the era in which jurisdictions interact. But he does find that one pre-condition to ‘transformational growth’ is the establishment of private property rights and a market to transfer property rights. In his telling, Jennings ignores the military violence of the European empires, including the British Empire, to force the will of their aggressive oligarchies upon indigenous peoples by killing, raping, maiming, stealing, swindling and humiliating to establish private property markets, the Westminster Parliamentary system and pluralist societies where ‘polite company’ does not mention the permanent class warfare required to maintain class privilege.

It is therefore deeply ironic that the Taranaki coastal village of Waitara produced a Pākehā billionaire given that the port village was chosen by a conspiring Colonialist network as the location to trigger the escalation of the New Zealand Wars, as I showed in my illustrated essay: “The Masonic New Zealand Wars”. That plot was hatched roughly a hundred and twenty-six years prior to the first Lange-Labour Ministry winning power without an electoral mandate to mete-out economic warfare. Where the Neo-Colonial network that were controlling the Lange-Labour Ministry secretly made use of a London-based think-tank called the Mont Pèlerin Society to launch a corporate takeover of the economy – in the Colonial era, Freemasonry was the secret mechanism of communication used by network of militarists, capitalists and politicians that dominated the politics of the time. Crucially, there was a strong presence of Freemasonry among the founding members of the Bank of New Zealand, which was established by Royal Charter and special legislation of the Colonial Government, to organize finance for the escalation of the New Zealand Wars following the First Taranaki War.

This historical context is deeply ironic, because with the establishment of the Bank of New Zealand, in effect, formalized a debt-based currency enslavement system that is still with us today. Jennings, who was involved in the privatizations of New Zealand Rail and Telecom – claims he is not an ‘economic missionary’ any longer. But if that were the case, why does he and every other ‘free market reformer’ think the only form of money has to be debt-based, interest-bearing finance that perpetuates class-based enslavement systems in cash scarce markets?

 

Why can’t libertarian entrepreneurs construct positive money public banking systems that provide debt-free and interest-free money for public projects, low-interest positive money credit for private enterprise, and sufficient cash scaled for an economy to develop systems, transform dysfunctional institutions, and replenish traumatized environments, communities and whole societies?

If Jennings is opposed to ‘missionary economics’, why is he still angling for New Zealand to privatize every asset in the public sector, baring those that are politically fraught? Is it that the economic growth paradigm that he valourizes is addicted to debt-based, interest-demanding, dividend-dependent sources of finance? Isn’t that closed-minded, anti-innovation and so 15th Century Venice?

As journalist Naomi Klein stated, the Shock Doctors’ Shock Doctrine only continues to have power because people do not know about it. In developed countries where there are strong institutions, the Shock Doctrine was spread with sophisticated propaganda, exploiting the concepts of ‘speed, suddenness and scope’, and its deepening incursions continue with public relations that obscure the intended impacts. In underdeveloped and undeveloped jurisdictions, the spread of ‘free markets’ occurs with military violence. Moreover, the Shock Doctrine  was field-tested on Brazil, Indonesia, Chile, Uruguay and Argentina using military violence to destroy the Developmentalist Movement, that emerged in so-called Second and Third World Countries that demanded fair trade of Western technology for the raw materials supplied. The Western Powers did not suddenly become benevolent at the beginning of the 20th Century, as anyone who has watched Eugene Jarecki’s documentary Why We Fight, John Pilger’s The New Rulers of the World, and Francis Connolly’s, JFK to 9/11: Everything is a Rich Man’s Trick will know.

The trouble is exacerbated by the fact that the Shock Doctrine has been taught to so many dominant capitalist coalitions, it has set up dangerous Neo-Colonialist rivalries.  In his 1965 book Neo-Colonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism – former President of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah, wrote a Neo-Colonial state has the outward appearance of international sovereignty, but because its economic resources and financial systems are controlled from the outside, the political apparatus takes external directives. Because the Jennings of this world ignore the stealthy history of the likes of the 4th British Empire, the stories such oligarchs tell willfully obscure the ongoing Shock Doctrine modus operandi, that operates in cahoots with the American Deep State and their NATO partners in crime, as readers of Dope Inc.: Britain’s Opium War Against the World; NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe and The True Story of the Bilderberg Group.

Importantly, when Jennings delivered his Ron Trotter Lecture in April 2009, which was delayed because of the Global Financial Crisis, the Neo-Colonial buccaneer described the turmoil as “the deepest and most coordinated recession since the 1930s”. [My emphasis added].

Indeed, in the early 1970s, key insiders of the Western Alliance opted to combine computing power with the new-invention of currency derivatives and their field-tested capacity to create crises, as shown in a ground-breaking study – “It’s the Financial Oligarchy, Stupid”.[19] Incredibly, there were 395 banking, currency and sovereign debt crises between 1970 and 2007, when the Global Financial Crisis was in its opening stage.[20] In this way, the chip revolution was harnessed by banking consortia, that worked in tandem with big oil, industrialists and elite policy shaping think-tanks such as the Bilderberg Group, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission and the Mont Pèlerin Society. Their secretly-devised scheme transformed crises into marketized commodities, thereby enabling the Neo-Colonial oligarchs to cast themselves as the ‘invisible hands’ of ‘the markets’. The vision was to bend whole societies to their will, by creating a global technocratic system of governance dominated by ‘the markets’, that they believed they could always control. In short, the super-rich use their enormous economic resources to manipulate ‘the markets’ to be mechanisms of change, thereby ‘voting’ through transactions to accumulate more political-power. In turn, financial crises become economic crises that become social crises.

Buccaneering Neo-Colonial Capitalist: Super-financier Jennings walks from Russia with baggage, headed for the African continent in 2012.

 

With that historical context and snapshots of Stephen Jennings’ past, it is not surprising then that Stephen Jennings wrote the foreword to a book entitled, Own Your Future, written by ACT Party Leader David Seymour. In “Part 3: The ACT Party’s Covert Role in a Billionaire’s Bolt-hole”, I show that the libertarian missionaries for ‘free markets’ that support the ACT Party are closet royalists loyal to a sovereign who still outrageously claims New Zealand as ‘her’ hereditary possession, a realm gained through swindle, stealth and struggle.

Billionaire Stephen Jennings physical return to the New Zealand Realm in July 2016 was not about advocating genuine fixes. His reappearance was to make sure that the when the contagion of the zombie apocalypse spreads to the world’s premiere developed economy test-lab and bolt-hole for billionaires, that its impacts are mitigated enough to avert outright rebellion.

In other words, the very factors that make New Zealand ideal as a bug-out location for the super-rich, and live laboratory are being undermined and need to be managed better. Billionaires who have paid premium dollars for bolt-hole mansions and transnational consortiums testing new technologies, ideas and technocratic systems do not want New Zealand to resemble the crisis-ridden societies that they are responsible for sabotaging in other parts of the world.

So, it is very telling to recall that Sir John Key promoted ‘his vision’ to make New Zealand a ‘Switzerland of the South’ – in the aftermath of Team Key’s failure to get the national flag changed.[21] The callous logic underpinning the Flag Referendums – from Key & Associates’ viewpoint – was that it worked as a mechanism of distraction from all the crises, and it would have created an easier run as new flags were to be raised up Roman Naval-Maritime Commerce jurisdiction white poles, stamped on state stationery and stuck on Crown livery, logos and lobbies to create a brand-new fake national identity.

Fittingly, the ‘Switzerland of the South’ idea sunk spectacularly when the Panama Papers scandal broke,[22] and embroiled the New Zealand Realm for its role as a tax haven.[23]

In other words, New Zealand almost got lumped with a ‘beach towel’ flag to distract us from God-zone’s covert role as a banking secrecy tax haven jurisdiction for billionaires!

My key finding is: The Stephen Jennings’ Rich Listers of New Zealand are unwilling to acknowledge that the ‘growth locomotive’ that they have actively constructed was designed to create crisis-ridden Neo-Colonial ‘market economies’ in which super-rich oligarchies could materialize and thrive. The vision of a ‘Switzerland of the South Pacific’ was about creating an unequal society that required smashing the value of egalitarianism, countering the renaissance of indigenous Māori – who were down to 3.74 million acres out of New Zealand’s 66.4 million acres in 1996 – and about forging a super-rich plutocracy. The Rich Lister plutocratic oligarchy would rule government by stealth – no matter whether it were the Pepsi National or Labour Cola political theatre companies appearing to run the show. Their state-subsidized Comalco tin-ears would be indifferent to all voices from below that did not speak with a euphemistic neo-liberal tongue, think with ‘free market’ logic and network with Shock Therapist think-tankers, and they would ‘fake sincerity to make prosperity’.

The fact that we all know someone who knows someone who knows a billionaire with a bolt-hole is something that the billionaires have not fully thought through.

This is, after-all, the age of leaks – of records, recollections and roofing!

 

Source References:

 

Bichler, Shimshon and Nitzan, Jonathan. (May 6th, 2010). Capital as Power: Toward a New Cosmology of Capitalism. http://dissidentvoice.org/2010/05/capital-as-power/

Chossudovsky, M. (2003). The Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order (2nd ed.). Montréal, Canada: Global Research Publishers.

Engdahl, F. W. (2009). Gods of Money: Wall Street and the Death of the American Century. Wiesbaden, Germany: edition.engdahl

Kelsey, Jane. (1995). The New Zealand Experiment: A World Model for Structural Adjustment? Pluto Press.

Klein, Naomi. (2007). The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. Camberwell, Australia: Penguin Books.

Jesson, Bruce. (1999). Only their Purpose is Mad: The Money Men Take Over NZ. Palmerston North; NZ: The Dunmore Press.

Nitzan, J. & Bichler, S. (2009). Capital as Power: A Study of Order and Creorder. New York, NY: Routledge. Retrieved from: bnarchives.yorku.ca/259/2/20090522_nb_casp_full_indexed.pdf;

Rowbotham, Michael. (1998). The Grip of Death: A Study of Modern Money, Debt Slavery and Destructive Economics. Charlbury, England: Jon Carpenter.

Russell, Marcia. (1996). Revolution: New Zealand from Fortress to Free Market.

Whitecross, M & Winterbottom, A. (Directors) & Eaton, A. (Producer). The Shock Doctrine 2009 [Motion picture].  A Renegade Pictures/Revolution Films Production. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6yceBTf_Vs

 

Footnotes:

[1] Unfortunately, New Zealanders’ tend to lose this restraint in the comments sections of news consortium websites and big data ‘social media’ – no matter from what divided quarter the emotion emerges. The emotional slings are the symptoms of a crisis-stressed, unequal society, ruled by a plutocracy.

[2] Evan Osnos. (30 January 2017). Doomsday Prep for the Super-Rich | The New Yorker www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/01/30/doomsday-prep-for-the-super-rich

[3] NBR. (17 July 2016). High immigration is masking poor productivity: NBR Rich Lister Stephen Jennings. https://www.nbr.co.nz/article/nbr-rich-lister-calls-govt-fix-inequality-and-education-191726 https://www.nbr.co.nz/article/nbr-rich-lister-calls-govt-fix-inequality-and-education-191726

[4] Stephen Jennings talks to Q+A – 17 July 2016. NZ Initiative

[5] This re-brand of the once-militant arm of the ultra-radical Libertarians, who were a vanguard for New Zealand’s insatiably greedy Rich Listers and their envious aspirants, sounds like a government cover-up report. See: Dinner Lecture with Stephen Jennings | The New Zealand Initiative https://nzinitiative.org.nz/events/dinner-lecture-with-stephen-jennings/

[6] Matt Nippert. (11 August, 2007). A Tsar is born: How a boy from Taranaki found Russian gold. www.noted.co.nz/archive/listener-nz-2007/a-tsar-is-born/; Paul Garvey. (18 January 2012). Renaissance Group founder Stephen Jennings is betting big on African hotspots. The Australian. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/opinion/renaissance-group-founder-stephen-jennings-is-betting-big-on-african-hotspots/news-story/830f669cf4ef120b364a38d20f5f9d27?nk=824bf533146ba5e957f8ac05c54a8d1f-1504297914

[7] Barry, Alistair. (2002). In a Land of Plenty: The Story of Unemployment in New Zealand. [Motion Picture]. Vanguard Films. Retrieved from http://www.nzonscreen.com/title/in-a-land-of-plenty-2002 [In 5-part video segments]; See also: Barry, Alistair. (1995). Someone Else’s Country: The Story of the New Right Revolution in New Zealand. [Motion Picture]. Vanguard Films. Retrieved from http://www.nzonscreen.com/title/someone-elses-country-1996; Revolution https://www.nzonscreen.com/title/revolution-1996

[8] RAW DATA: Stephen Jennings New Zealand Initiative Dinner Lecture: ‘The Market Path To Prosperity’. Retrieved: https://www.nbr.co.nz/article/raw-data-stephen-jennings-dinner-lecture-market-path-prosperity-b

[9] The merchant banker’s banker. (15 October 2004). http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=3601127; Michael Reddell. (29/03/2016). Switzerland of the South Pacific: cargo cult thinking? https://croakingcassandra.com/2016/03/29/switzerland-of-the-south-pacific-cargo-cult-thinking/

[10] Matt Nippert. (11 August, 2007). A Tsar is born. How a boy from Taranaki found Russian gold. www.noted.co.nz/archive/listener-nz-2007/a-tsar-is-born/; Paul Garvey. (18 January 2012). Renaissance Group founder Stephen Jennings is betting big on African hotspots. The Australian. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/opinion/renaissance-group-founder-stephen-jennings-is-betting-big-on-african-hotspots/news-story/830f669cf4ef120b364a38d20f5f9d27?nk=824bf533146ba5e957f8ac05c54a8d1f-1504297914; Patrick Gower (4 June 20). Ex-Oligarch battered but not broken. The New Zealand Herald. http://www.pressreader.com/new-zealand/the-new-zealand-herald/20090404/281719790512511

[11] Sergei (6 November 1997). Glazyev Sergei Glazyev: From a Five-Year Plan of Destruction To a Five-Year Plan of Colonization http://american_almanac.tripod.com/glazyev.htm

[12] Will Stewart and Fidelma Cook. (18 March 2012). “This guy is almost as old as I am! Lord Lawson’s new love is beautiful, rich and 43. So what does her 90-year-old father think about her octogenarian boyfriend?” http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2116470/This-guy-old-I-Lord-Lawsons-new-love-beautiful-rich-43-So-does-90-year-old-father-think-octogenarian-boyfriend.html#ixzz4rboSUPjN; Jules Evans. (18 April 2007). The only Western oligarch in Moscow. Spectator Magazine; Carol Matlack. 30 December 2010). Renaissance Capital: A Moscow Survivor. Bloomberg. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2010-12-29/renaissance-capital-a-moscow-survivor

[13] ‘Structural adjustments’ were a euphemism for ‘shock treatment’ policies, wherein countries were pressured to implement the ‘free-market’ economic model, such as privatization of state-owned infrastructure, in exchange for emergency IMF loans and World Bank debt rescheduling. Inevitably, the structural adjustments ‘failed’ to generate enough tax revenue to service the loans and ‘austerity programmes’ were proscribed. These measures involved cuts to social programmes such as education, health and public housing, which were viewed as a misallocation of resources because they did not service debt and generate exports.

[14] Chossudovsky 2003: 239-241; Engdahl 2004: 234-235.

[15] Ahead of his Sir Ronald Trotter lecture to the formerly militant ultra-right think-tank, the New Zealand Business Roundtable that was scheduled for October 2008, Jennings told Gower that he recommended smaller government, reforming a lax welfare system, cutting taxes and discussing “scared cows” including the health system.

[16] Stephen Levine and Nigel S Roberts. (2009). MMP AND THE FUTURE: POLITICAL CHALLENGES AND PROPOSED REFORMS. https://www.victoria.ac.nz/law/centres/nzcpl/publications/nz-journal-of-public-and-international-law/previous-issues/volume-71,-june-2009/roberts-levine.pdf

[17] Graham Adams. (15 August 2016). A government on the ropes. Metro.

[18] Kiwi multi-millionaire says Africa holds big opportunities for NZ 16 Jul, 2016

[19] Edwards, Steve. (2013). It’s the Financial Oligarchy, Stupid: A study of Anglo-American news coverage during the 2007-2008 financial crisis and bank bailouts. AUT University. Retrieved from http://aut.researchgateway.ac.nz/handle/10292/5536

[20] Laevan, L. & Valencia, F. (2008). Systemic banking crises: A new database (IMF Working Paper No. WP/08/224). Retrieved from International Monetary Fund website: http://www.imf.org/external/index.htm

[21] Fran O’Sullivan. (Mar 26, 2016). Key’s vision – Switzerland south. NZ Herald; Evgeny Orlov (June 5, 2012). Is New Zealand the Switzerland of the South Pacific? Premier Offshore; Mar 29, 2016 Sciblogs | Switzerland of the South Pacific: cargo cult thinking? https://sciblogs.co.nz/the-dismal…/03/…/switzerland-south-pacific-cargo-cult-thinking/

[22] Journeyman Pictures. (Apr 11, 2016). The Panama Papers: Secrets Of The Super Rich – Full Documentary

[23] Michael Littlewood. The Panama Papers: Professor Michael Littlewood’s Working Paper “Using New Zealand as a Tax Haven: How is it done? Could it be stopped? Should it be stopped” http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2761993; Bevan Rapson. (26 April 2005). Golden Boy. Metro. Permalink: https://www.webcitation.org/5VxD4yxyR; See also:  http://www.metrolive.co.nz/metroarchives/metroarchivesarticle/tabid/230/Default.aspx/mid/1416/dnnprintmode/true/?ArticleID=1178&SkinSrc=%5bG%5dSkins%2fMetro%20Live%2fPrinterFrendlySkin&ContainerSrc=%5bG%5dContainers%2f_default%2fNo+Container; John Key Explained – Everything Explained Today. Retrieved from: everything.explained.today/John_Key

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