Let me start with a disclaimer: I don’t know how the National Business Review gathers its intelligence with regards to the rich listers. I do think that they are in the business of knowing and they would not be much of a publications if they did not do some due diligence.
And added to that I think they have access to information that you and I are not privy to so if they describe John Key’s wealth as having shrunk with a whopping $5 million I tend to believe them.
According to the NBR, those who invested in mining assets, resources and real estate made most gains while those investing in more “traditional” sectors saw their fortunes either stagnate or fall.
John Key, the NBR stated did not communicate with them on the subject as he is notoriously secretive about his personal wealth and well he might be because he made it of course with the most despicable products such as Bonds and Derivatives but they were confident enough to mark him down a serious 10% almost tipping him of the list altogether.
Here is what I think. John Key has stated that part of his wealth was in long term investments with the bank he worked for before his election.
Merrill Lynch the bank he worked for went bankrupt in 2008 and had to be salvaged by a forced buy out of bank of America. During that period the shares of John Key in Merrill Lynch were transferred into shares in Bank of America.
Bank of America is like all the other too big to fail banks technically insolvent and the shares have dropped significantly over the last two years with shareholders frightened of by scandals such as LIBOR and the suspect investments in worthless Bonds and Derivatives of which the slightest whiff in any publication would instantly kill of the bank (the bank tried to get rid of 75 Trillion in worthless Derivatives of Merrill Lynch by dumping it on the tax payers shoulders) not to mention the court cases and the rampant corruption emanating from the BofA.
With all this swirling around and John Key still a banker at heart I think that he did not diversify to real world goodies such as minerals or real estate, the amount of shares he holds in bank of America hav lost a lot of value and that this is why he lost five million.
My guess is that he is going to be one of those mum and pop investors who is going to invest in mining and privatised assets and the he will be p a couple of million again next year.