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.


WT said...

Wouldn't that have been August 2008?

Peter Martin said...

I reckon Verrender does mean August 2007, an eventful month that really kicked things off as indicated by the Wikipedia timeline.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't this slight be leveled against Deputy Governer Batellino, who said in August 2008:

"My feeling is that the worst is behind us there," he said.

"I mean the write-offs that banks are making in America and Europe have actually lessened in recent times.

"So there's no doubt more to come but my feeling is the big blips and losses are behind us now."

Unlike August 2007, it was no minor thing at the time, and by then plenty of people were forecasting worse to come.

Why aren't journalists questioning unelected officials who have far more impact on Australia's economy and seem to have spent the 2008 year misreading the entire situation?

Anonymous said...

looking at the GFC you have to differentiate between pre-Lehman Bros and post Lehman Bros.

In that way Rick , like most central bankers around the world was fairly positive.

After that all were very negative

Anonymous said...

Except, plenty of analysts were predicting the collapse of Lehman Bros, and the likely collapse of other major institutions. It wasn't like Lehman's collapse came out of nowhere.

Anonymous said...


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