News that circa 200 “investors” in the Ross Asset Management (RAM) fiasco, financed by a litigation funder which will trouser a good part of any proceeds if successful, but otherwise will bear all legal expenses, are to sue the ANZ Bank, left me with mixed feelings.

It will be recalled “investors” were lured by word of mouth about David Ross’s alleged financial genius and unasked, voluntarily threw their money at him. Ross’s ultimate inability to deliver his promised returns, as with other similar situations abroad, saw his company descend into a Ponzi scheme, albeit I have no doubt that was never his original intention. I say that as a Ponzi scheme to even the meanest intelligence is obviously destined to ultimately fail.


Is there any more misused word in the contemporary world than “race”?

A classic example was the contrived band-wagon furore following Trumps’ suggestion that the four young Democrat Congresswomen he was rowing with should go back to where they came from and fix their own messed up countries.

“Racism” was the ludicrous but predictable response. Putting aside that unsurprisingly Trump had his facts wrong, three of the four women being American-born and only one, in that great melting pot nation, being a migrant from Somali which is indisputably one of the most messed up countries in the world, Trump’s infantile response had absolutely nothing to do with race.


“81-year-old knocked down by stranger”, so proclaimed a New Zealand Herald headline, followed by this delightful line; “You don’t expect it to happen in St Heliers on a Sunday afternoon do you?”, this from the flattened chap.

No we bloody well don’t. Bowling over 81-year olds in St Heliers should absolutely be confined to week days, otherwise our civilisation is stuffed.


I’ve been a life-long observer of idiotic superfluous speech fads.

In the early 1970s there was an outbreak by politicians of unnecessarily adding “at this point in time” to every utterance. Fortunately it’s now totally redundant with one exception, namely Winston Peters who bangs it in with every interview. At the same time all Labour politicians became obsessed with the word “fundamental.” It was simply a cover-up for having nothing to say. They used it as both an adjective and a noun.

One evening in the late 1970s Rob Muldoon invited my partner and me to dinner in the Prime Minister’s Beehive dining room. There’s a nice courtesy that goes with such invitations when the House is sitting and the dinner host must eventually turn up in the debating chamber. That’s after dinner to accompany their guests to the rear of Parliament’s floor where in a railed off section one can sit and watch proceedings together for a few minutes.


The news media report that Banks are currently gunshy on lending to farmers. Other considerations aside, who can possibly blame them after the recent Court of Appeal decision regarding some Taranaki dairy farmers and interest rates swaps?  The case involved the current media whipping boy, the ANZ, who sold interest rate swaps to a group of Taranaki farmers a decade back.

The Newsroom report described “swaps” in emotive language as “a financial derivative “product” (it’s not a product as so commonly financial accounts misrepresent, but simply a contractual arrangement) so complicated that most of the bank managers selling it didn’t understand what could happen if things go wrong”. What nonsense. A 10 years old could understand it.