Wednesday, 12 October 2016 15:20

Five Questions For Dr Oliver Hartwich executive director New Zealand Initiative ....

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1. You predicted pre-BREXIT the end of the EU. But did you envisage at this time anything like the Deutsche Bank crisis?

     Yes, Deutsche Bank has been in crisis for many years. I did write about it late last year in November in the Australian Financial Review. I put my thoughts down this

     “Bankers are overpaid, bonus payments are useless and there is an inflation of fancy job titles in banking

     “That was the essence of a speech recently delivered at Frankfurt’s Goethe University.

     “Had the speaker been a sociology professor in a graduate seminar, that would not be worth reporting. But when the new chief executive of Deutsche Bank turns
      on  his own industry in such harsh words, that is a different story.”

                    I first wrote about the sorry state of German banking in 2010:

     So I always thought that sooner or later the problems in Germany’s banking system would come to the surface, and they now have for all the world to see.

2. In general how would you rank the problems facing the EU now in terms of immigration, terrorism, finance for example?
     The EU faces so many problems simultaneously, it’s hard to even rank them. I think banking, finance and monetary policy remain the most important problems.
     Security and immigration are a massive headache, too – not least the EU’s stance on Russia and Turkey. And then there is the minor complication of

3. How much water will any NZ/EU free trade agreement hold?
     I am relatively confident we will see EU/NZ FTA. Having said that, any free trade initiatives are highly contentious in Europe, just think of CETA (Canada) and TTIP
     (US). Finding an agreement with NZ is not at the top of the EU’s priority list.

4. Your forecast on the US presidential election?
     It will be a bad outcome. Regardless who wins. Neither of the candidates has any idea on how to deal with America’s long-term fiscal problems. Neither of them is
     pro trade. Neither will touch the US welfare state. The Americans only have the choice what kind of mess they prefer.

5. How do you see the TPPA emerging from this?
     The best we can hope for is for a lame-duck President Obama to sign it before his successor has a chance to kill the deal.

From the MSCNewsWire reporters' desk - Tuesday 4 October 2016