A while back I asked in a post why the more-market ideologues in New Zealand were so obsessed with privatizing public assets: shouldn't the John and Jane Galts be heroically creating new products and marketing them to the world?
This op-ed from financial analyst Brian Gaynor, discussed here by Gordon Campbell, documents what has resulted from this obsession over the past 30 years. In 1981, the majority of New Zealand's largest listed companies originated in the private sector and had an export orientation. Now, says Gaynor, the sharemarket is "ruled by former state-owned or monopolistic organisations." Seven out of the 12 largest listed companies were formerly owned by the government or local authorities. Not one is export-oriented.
So, in the brave new world of deregulation, trade liberalisation and free markets, it seems capital in New Zealand has become much less dynamic and outward looking.