A looming sharemarket crash, FMA hovers and bumper Budget coverage

Neville Bennett says a disconnection between sharemarkets and reality means a crash is coming.

Enormous imbalances in many of the world's sharemarkets could trigger rapid instability and severe consequences, economist Neville Bennett warns in today's National Business Review.

Dr Bennett used his Economically Speaking column in 2006 and 2007 to warn of a "massive credit crunch" and a concerning sharemarket bubble.

He spells out why he thinks there is a disconnection between markets and reality and a crash is coming.

"There are indications that some sort of crisis is possible," he writes.

Today's paper also features a four-page special report with specialist analysis on Budget 2013 and what it means for business.

Elsewhere, the Financial Markets Authority confirms its inquiries into troubled NZF Group go beyond alleged related party transations.

Shoeshine tells us why kiwifruit export and marketing giant Zespri's China smuggling scandal, and its importer agreements, are a big deal.

Business Traveller reports the conventions industry and Air New Zealand are touting a proposed new international convention centre, to be built in Auckland.

And in Order Paper, economics editor Rob Hosking explains why the latest job market figures are probably overstating the extent of the improvement.

In NBR In Depth: Luke Malpass ruminates on why New Zealand should be turning to Asia for new immigrants; Nathan Smith writes on Pakistan's shaky political future; and Jacqueline Rowarth explains why New Zealand's meat production system is not viable.