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Infometrics Christmas Carols – Archive 2002 – 2014
Thu 11 Dec 2014 by Gareth Kiernan.


O Little Town of Wellington

(with apologies to Phillips Brooks)

O little town of Wellington, the end of year is nigh
With Helen still queen of the hill, and Peter Dunne close by.
And National continues to look its worst in years
While Winston’s roars to shut the doors, yet echo in our ears.

‘Go home,’ he cried, but still the people came like ne’er before
Till Lianne knew what she must do, and quickly changed the law.
‘It’s English or it’s nothing, we’re running out of space,’
And those in line who ‘can’t speak fine’ did dare not show their face.

The inn is full, house prices rise, more dwellings must be built.
Homeowners see, with certain glee, their wallets quickly gilt.
Apartment towers keep climbing, but quality is rare
The walls are thin, the rain gets in, but no one seems to care.

The dollar’s up, and exporters may go down for the count.
Milk prices slip, farm incomes dip, the pressures start to mount.
America and Europe, Japan don’t seem that grand.
Can we grow more – another four? Or will we hit the sand?

O little town of Wellington, the coming year will tell –
Will growth stay strong, or are we wrong, and things won’t go so well.
But summer is upon us, a happy holiday
We wish to you and all your crew, wherever you may stray.


How the Ginch Stole Christmas

(with apologies to Dr Seuss)

Every Who down in Who-ville liked Housing a lot,
But the Grinch, who worked at the Reserve Bank, did not.
The Grinch hated Housing! It just drove him insane,
The irrational pursuit of big capital gains.

Although the Grinch echoed his earlier warning,
It had no effect on the Whos he was scorning.
“No price is too great for a bach at the beach!”
“That nasty old Grinch – tell me, who’s he to preach?”

The more the Grinch thought of this Who-property fling,
The more the Grinch thought, “I must stop this whole thing!”
“Interest rate rises will make them see reason,”
“And dampen down spending this holiday season.”

A gum-flapping Grinch is ignored by the Whos –
In matters of housing they do as they choose.
But when markets fear interest rates rises are nigh,
Whos end up with a 6 percent lift in the TWI.

Now exporters’ margins are shrinking quite quickly,
And exporters’ profits begin to look sickly.
The exporters’ plight makes the Grinch hestitate
Before bursting Who-bubbles with raised interest rates.

“A flip-flop would look foolish,” said the Grinch with a frown.
“Why, just last July I was bringing rates down!”
“But rate rises should quell Who-housing abuses,”
“And leave Who-investors to stew in Who-juices.”

As Christmas approached, the Grinch made up his mind.
The Whos in their Who-houses woke up to find
No change for the moment – oh holiday cheer!
Have a wonderful Christmas and happy new year.


Good Queen Helen

– sung to tune of Good King Wenceslas

Good Queen Helen Clark looked out
On the feast of Howard,
All of his election foes
He had overpowered,
Economic growth was strong
Despite the dollar lifting,
Her chances at the polls next year
Showed no signs of drifting.

“Hither, Michael, stand by me,
Tell me what you’re scheming
With your billions in the bank
And growth simply steaming?”
“Ma’am, we must be cautious now,
Good times don’t last forever,
With money for a rainy day
I think I’m rather clever.”

“The housing market’s lost its zing,
We need to help out buyers.”
“I think that’s Dr Bollard’s fault
Pushing rates up higher.”
“Exporters are feeling sore –
They’re such a bunch of whiners.
A free trade deal should shut them up,
How ‘bout one with China?”

On they talked at length about
Topics all-embracing:
Civil unions, migration,
V8 motor racing,
The unemployment rate so low,
The foreshore and the seabed,
Till the night was nearly through
And the sky was turning red.

“Hark, a sunrise worthy of
More success for Labour,
The gods (I don’t believe in those)
Have smiled on us with favour”
Yet, O reader, growth ‘tis not
Just luck, but the reward
From reforms two decades ‘fore,
How easily they’re ignored.


Doctor Bollard’s Christmas cheer

There once was a guv’nor named Al,
Inflation was giving him hell.
He puzzled and thought
Till he was quite distraught,
Then he uttered a strange little yell.

“It’s those real estate agents,” he cried,
“Their sales pitches, I can’t abide.
Time to buy! Time to sell!
But we all know too well
That they just want their cut on the side.”

“Or maybe,” he said, “it’s the lenders –
They could be the biggest offenders.
They’re giving out money
At rates that aren’t funny
And assisting the profligate spenders.”

The bankers said, “Wait – it’s the Japs.
They’re frightfully generous chaps.
No amount of your raving
Will stop those guys saving
And dumping it into our laps.”

Through the door, Doctor Mike poked his head,
“I agree with what Doctor Al said.
There is just no way
I can cut tax today
(I’ll just have a spend-up instead).”

Doctor Al got himself in a state –
Should the OCR really reach eight?
He knew the high dollar
Made exporters holler –
The emails he got were irate:

“We’re bleeding to death cos of you!”
“My business is going down the loo.”
“I hate central bankers –
You’re all stupid wankers”,
And others that made him feel blue.

“I don’t,” said the Doctor, “quite see
How I can promote Christmas glee.
There’s no room for easing –
I’ve got to keep squeezing
And kneecap this great spending spree.”

And so Doctor Al made a threat
That rates could go much higher yet.
Exporters were wild,
But homeowners smiled –
Because they had fixed all their debt.

As you drive to the beach (far or near),
On your way, say a prayer for next year,
That the Doctor’s aggression
Doesn’t end in recession –
Or we all might be crying in our beer.


‘Twas the night before Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The wallets were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Cullen soon would be there.

The businessmen nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of tax cuts danced in their heads’
And mamma and I sheltered safe in our trust
Envisaging tax rate reductions for us.

When out on the hustings there arose such a clatter
I sprang to the window to see what was the matter.
What to my wandering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh and ten tiny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so reluctant and sullen,
I knew in a moment it must be St Cullen.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

“Now Tax cuts! Now Credits! Now, Deductions and Waivers!
On R&D, Exports, Job-training and Savers,
Threshold Adjustments and Corporate Tax Falls;
Now give away, give away, give away all!”

As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Cullen came with a bound.
A bulging cash surplus stuck out of his pack
I rubbed my eyes. Was he giving some back?

Was it too much to hope that this funny old elf
Was convinced about tax cuts in spite of himself?
But just as I thought, “the gnome has seen reason,”
St Cullen’s reply spoiled my holiday season:

“When it comes to taxation, my political creed
‘Tis better you give so that I might receive.
Profligate tax cuts would only bring sorrow –
They’re jam for today, but crumbs for tomorrow.”

And speaking those words, he went straight to his work
And pilfered the wallets, then turned with a jerk.
With a wink of his eye and a little fiscal drag
He swept all my wages up into his bag.

And laying a finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
He sprang to his sleigh, and made to depart
But not before firing one final dart:

“The Reserve Bank has beaten me to your loose change,
But I can plunder your savings with capital gains,
And here is a friendly reminder for you:
Get rid of the chimney or pay carbon tax too!”

I noted, as Cullen’s reindeer led him away,
The parliamentary crest on the slide of his sleigh
And I heard him exclaim, as he drove out of sight,
“I might give some back if the polls remain tight!”


All I want for Christmas

Everybody pauses and stares at me.
My wallet’s empty as you can see.
I don’t know just who to blame for this catastrophe,
But my one wish on Christmas Eve is as plain as it can be!

All I want for Christmas are some income tax cuts,
That’s right Dr Mike, thank you very much!
You might not win my vote with income tax cuts,
But I would wish you “Merry Christmas!”

It seems so long since I could say,
“Just get a bigger credit limit, honey!”
Gosh, oh gee, how happy I’d be
If I had more money (ching, ching).

All I want for Christmas are lower interest rates –
The mortgage is so large, the cuts can’t wait!
Have a heart, Dr Bollard – you’d be my mate,
And I would wish you “Merry Christmas.”

It seems so long since I could say,
“This housing lark’s a winner!”
Now I cannot even afford
To have you round for dinner (ching, ching).

All I want for Christmas is some cheaper bread,
Butter and milk, and don’t forget the eggs!
And lower petrol prices – do I have to beg?
Then I could wish you “Merry Christmas!”

I think I know what I will do –
I’ll take up dairy farming.
I hear they’re rich beyond compare.
Now wouldn’t that be charming (ching, ching).

All I want for Christmas is a bit of land,
A few good cows – that sounds like a plan!
Gee, my bank balance would be much more grand,
And I could wish you “Merry Christmas!”


Good(*) PM John Key

– sung to the tune of Good King Wenceslas

Prime Minister Key looked out
On the streets of Parnell.
“For sale” signs were everywhere;
Houses no one could sell.
Banks hit by the credit crunch
Tightened up their lending –
Businesses, developers
To the wall were sending.

“Hither, Bill, and tell me how
We can end this trouble
That upon us has been forced
By the housing bubble.”
“John, we must be brave and bold,
Make a good impression,
If we’re going to avert
Another depression.”

“Bring me spades and workers too.
Build me lots of roads, and
Get some fibre optic laid
For the nation’s broadband.
Give the voters back more tax –
Spending growth must be buoyed.
Give some more cash to those who
Are newly unemployed.”

“Though it may be Christmas time,
All red tape must be banned.
Efficiency must improve
Right throughout New Zealand.
RMA, bureaucracy,
Rates bills, and consent fees –
Rodney should be trimming fat
Anywhere that he sees.”

“What of banking, John? I fear
Action must be taken.
Offshore problems mean that our
Confidence is shaken.”
“Get me Alan on the phone –
Rate cuts, stimulation!
Guarantee deposits, then
Tighten regulation.”

So they worked to fix up the
Things that needed righting.
It seemed often a losing
Battle they were fighting.
Banking failures, sub-prime slumps,
China fading quickly
Left our small economy
Feeling rather sickly.

Nearer Christmas drew, but the
Nation’s mood was downcast.
Things were bad, but no-one knew
If the worst was yet past.
So, dear reader, if this song
Finds you feeling crappy,
Pray that by this time next year
Life will be more happy.

(*) The title of this carol should not be taken as an endorsement or otherwise of any particular political party.

Joy to the world

Joy to the world, the crisis ends,
And growth resumes once more.
Let everyone prepare to spend
Just as they did before, (x2)
Just as, just as they did before.

Joy to the earth, for China reigns –
Let firms invest and hire.
For farmers, shops, banks, and builders all say
Their confidence is high, (x2)
Their confidence, confidence is high.

Capitalism lives, and yet
Some lessons must be learned:
Attention to risks, some caution around debt,
Or problems might return, (x2)
Or problems, problems, might return.


GFC Legacy

– sung to the tune of Jingle Bells

Caught up in the snow,
Our horse has lost its way.
Dashing through the fields
Seems a world away.
House prices head down,
Giving us a fright,
And all those who have lost their jobs
Won’t sing a song tonight.

Oh, GFC legacy,
Won’t you go away?
It’s no fun to still feel pain
With a two-year-long delay – hey!
GFC legacy,
How long will you stay?
Life seemed so much easier
Before these frugal days.

American growth
Isn’t very fleet.
Half of Europe’s governments
Are begging on the street.
The cry is, “Save, don’t spend;
Increase debt no more.
Don’t you know there’s hell to pay
For all those years before?”


The future’s not so bleak –
China wants our stuff.
That’s pushing up the price because
They cannot get enough.
Earthquake rebuild, too,
Will get growth “on the up”,
And by this time next year we’ll have
A golden rugby cup.



Austerity’s Coming to Town

– sung to the tune of Santa Claus is Coming to Town

You’d better watch out,
The world’s looking sick.
Sorting out Europe
Must happen quick.
Austerity’s coming to town.

Throw out the Greeks –
They can’t pay their bills.
They’re making the banking
System feel ill.
Austerity’s coming to town.

They say, “Don’t get out spending.”
They tell you, “Shrink your debt.”
They say, “There’s tax hikes coming
‘Cos default’s a major threat.”

America’s got
Its debt ceiling woes –
Republicans, Democrats,
Dig in their toes.
Austerity’s coming to town.

China, it seems,
Is still going fine,
But slower growth there
Would be a bad sign.
Austerity’s coming to town.

They say, “The world’s uncertain.”
They say, “Do nothing rash.”
They say, “If things go belly up
It’s best to have some cash.”

Our government wants
Its surpluses back.
It needs some strong growth
To keep things on track.
Austerity’s coming to town.

We’re still selling milk.
We’re still selling meat.
Even an earthquake
Ain’t got us beat.
Austerity’s coming to town.

They say, “Farm incomes look good,
and interest rates are low.”
They say, “Rebuilding’s coming,
But for now we’re stuck on ‘Slow’.”

It’s holiday time –
Yes, Christmas is here.
Leave all your worries
‘Til the New Year.
Austerity’s coming to town.

May 2012 be
More settled for you –
Some better luck, and
NZ will get through
Austerity coming to town.


Kiwi’s Christmas

O die Wirtschaft, O die Wirtschaft,
Ich wünschte, du wärst schöner!

The news has come out throughout the last year:
A pick-up in growth could be getting near.
The problems in Europe don’t look quite so dire,
And prices for exports are back climbing higher.

The quake building work is gathering speed;
Replacing the buildings is what Christchurch needs.
But the pressure’s still on for leader John Key,
With unemployment up at 7.3.

Downturn hell, that downturn hell
Felt throughout the land,
Bringing pain to all the world,
No one can withstand.

Bill English has spending dead in his sights.
He’s reached for the purse strings to pull them in tight.
He’s aiming for surplus by 2015 –
A miracle greater than any we’ve seen.

Downturn hell, that downturn hell
Felt throughout the land,
Bringing pain to all the world,
No one can withstand.

The real estate market is back on the rise.
In Auckland the prices bring tears to your eyes.
For tenants to buy, well, their dream’s at an end,
And the landlords cry out, “Merry Christmas, my friend!”

So firms are awaiting the upturn to come –
They’ve heard it before, and they’re still feeling glum.
Till the pick-up is certain, they’ll sit back and wait –
More investment and hiring on some other day.

Downturn hell, that downturn hell
Felt throughout the land
Bringing pain to all the world
No one can withstand.


The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You)

Reconstructing Christchurch CBD,
Houses out in Rolleston –
The building boom’s bringing workers, you see
From Aussie back to here again.

Everybody knows good weather for the dairy cows
Helps the provinces no end.
Many farmers will wonder quite how
They got so much more cash to spend.

We know recovery’s underway –
More jobs, more spending, more investment every day.
And Governor Graeme Wheeler’s going to try
To ensure that debt and inflation don’t fly.

So as we head into another year
May all your plans for growth come true.
We hope 2014 overflows with good cheer –
Merry Christmas to you.


Silent night

Silent night, holy night!
All is calm, mostly bright.
Round New Zealand, buildings arise –
Christchurch, Auckland, climbing high.
But there’s more on its way,
Building for many a day.

Silent night, holy night!
Farmers quake at the sight.
Dairy prices fall through the floor.
Bank managers knock at the door –
Too much milk all around,
Driving those incomes right down.

Silent night, holy night!
Labour market’s getting tight.
Kiwis, immigrants, come from afar,
Foll’wing jobs, not after a star.
Fifty thousand appear,
Thirty thousand next year.

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