As the media breathlessly awaits the anti-climactic results of the G20 conference in London, you really have to pity the poor sods that we have charged with saving the global economy. I don’t think there is a living soul out there who truly believes the cream of the world’s leaders have what it takes to put capitalism back on track, but doubtless we all still hope. It’s a pretty thankless task. It seems that just about every journalist and economic commentator doing the rounds has some advice in hand for the likes of Barack Obama and Gordon Brown and their colleagues, as a pocket full of chaos descends on the square mile. Eminating from about 20 metres from where I emerged from the tube every weekday morning for about a year during 2007/08, the media is beaming in images of blood, death, and stupidity on all sides; the smashing of windows, attacks on police, and the flippant teasing of protesters by office workers.
But wait! There’s more. The Keating watchers among you would no doubt have noted that our beloved former Prime Minister intervention’s into public debate have been rather more rabid and senseless than usual in recent times. The former Member for Blaxland, has emerged once more with some fairly radical advice for President Obama:
“The problem with the Americans is this: that they have a great body of large, systemic banks which are barely solvent or maybe insolvent.
“They have to decide which are insolvent and shut them and for those that are solvent, take them over and recapitalise them.”
“The Japanese took eight years before they put any recapitalised money into banks, foolishly,” he said.”The Americans at least are doing it in year one but nobody has got the bazooka and no one wants to fire all the rockets.”
One suddenly gets a mental image of Messr Keating, bazooka balanced precariously on his shoulder, firing a barrage of rockets into the heart of the dreaded GFC. One wonders what Mr. Keating would have thought about all this latter day nationalisation talk of his twenty years ago, when he was flying the flag of centre-right economic policy in government?