It’s another Jess Irvine piece. You won’t get it because Jess didn’t get it. She writes with all the aplomb of someone who has read about what Paul Keating said to John Laws back in the winter of 1986, but has never thought about it all that much – she sure as hell doesn’t remember it the way many people will. You come away from this 1000 words of shinola with the idea that Jess has never known debt and its impact on the national economy going bad, and probably has never been in a situation where she (or her family) owes a lot of money and is concerned about whether they will have a job in six months. If this is what Fairfax is now stooping to serving up, then I hope she doesn’t have a large mortgage – for the end may come quick.
A trillion dollars in debt, but no ‘banana republic’
On May 14 1986, treasurer Paul Keating delivered his famous warning that Australia risked becoming a “banana republic”.
The comment was a reaction to figures showing the biggest current account deficit ever recorded, at 6 per cent of GDP.
Low commodity prices, high government debts and high interest rates were, indeed, crippling the economy.