My challenge to David Cunliffe
The Labour Party has announced a return to “industrial policy”. If elected, they will decide which businesses and
sectors of the economy will deliver the highest returns and promote them in various ways – most obviously, by
subsidising them with taxpayers’ money.
This policy effectively replaces the decisions of private investors with the decisions of Labour Party politicians. It
would be a foolish policy if Labour Party politicians were not better investors than the private investors they will
So, before asking people to vote for the policy, shouldn’t David Cunliffe prove that he and his colleagues really are
better investors than those who do it professionally?
He could do this easily. Mr Cunliffe could set up a small investment fund – $5,000 would suffice to get started – and
trade it in the months before the election. Since he claims to know better than private investors which businesses will
give the best returns, his fund should massively outperform the NZX 50 and other stock market indices.
Mr Cunliffe will surely leap at the opportunity to establish his credentials as an economic planner. If he won’t take
the opportunity, then we must conclude that he is only pretending to know which investments are best.
Mr Cunliffe talks a good game when it comes to investing. And he plans to put your money where his mouth is. But before
anyone goes along with him, they should insist that he puts his own money where his mouth is.
So I challenge Mr Cunliffe. Trade the stock market in the months before the election. Publish your trades as you make
them and explain how you arrived at your supposed knowledge of which investments are best. By the election we will be
able to see if you really do know what you claim to.
If you won’t accept the challenge, then withdraw your proposal to use taxpayers’ money to invest in the businesses that
take your fancy.