Sunday, February 22, 2009

Joe Hockey - where angels fear to tread

Ian Verrender writes in Saturday's Sydney Morning Herald:

"Sticking your neck out can be a dangerous business. Professional gamblers offset their bets, financial types hedge their investments and politicians usually err on the side of caution by never actually answering a question.

But sometimes a pollie goes out on a limb. Take this little missive to a constituent from Joe Hockey, the federal member for North Sydney who this week was elevated to the role of Opposition spokesman on Treasury.

Dear Mr M…

Thank you for your letter of 12 August, 2007 concerning the global finance system.

I have noted your views. I however disagree vehemently with your analysis that the world is facing a collapse of the financial markets. The last few days have indicated that the financial markets, with the support of the central banking institutions, are able to meet the demands that have been placed on them.

Yours sincerely, Joe Hockey.

Oops. August 2007 was the beginning of the greatest meltdown in financial markets that the world has ever seen. August 2007 was when credit markets froze completely and the Australian sharemarket officially went into a "correction", a 10 per cent fall.

In Hockey's defence, no one could have foreseen the extent of the collapse..."

Hockey was busy at the time.

Fresh from questionable administration of a $1 billion plus information technology project, he was ducking and weaving in an attempt to sell WorkChoices.

Ross Gittins has some advice for him in his new role.