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Greed and fear reign in Oz

By Malcolm King - posted Friday, 27 March 2020

Stupidity has a knack of getting its way; as we should see if we were not always so much wrapped up in ourselves. Albert Camus, The Plague

We are living in the Age of Greed and Fear and no one is immune.

This is a story about the behaviour of the 'quiet majority' who of late, have adopted the malignant and selfish values of corporate Australia.


When the economy is sailing on an even keel, the titans of commerce want the government to keep its nose out of their business. They want open markets and deregulation, while they price gouge their customer base.

When an economic storm hits – and this one will be larger than the GFC – they turn from being the apostles of the free market, to whining babies, who want the government to pump taxpayer dollars in to their businesses.

Not only is the taxpayer a victim of their malfeasance and downright criminality in some cases, but they prop up these extortionists (think banks) in the hard times. As Perth band 'Supernaut' sang back in the 1970s, "I like it both ways."

These bastards have been limbo dancing under the lowest common denominator for 40 years. You'd be an idiot to let them do it again.

People want to know how long this recession will last and how bad will it get? There's no yardstick to measure it. It's a black swan event.

So far credit markets have seized, cash supplies have evaporated and in this iteration of a global meltdown, cutting interest rates is utterly useless.


Debt amongst the big corporations and especially American companies, is colossal. American corporate debt alone is about $US19 trillion. That's a black hole sucking in matter from across the global financial system.

This recession will be very different. The economy was in a poor shape even before the virus hit. After the 1990s recession, real household income per capita fell 8 per cent, and it took nearly six years to return to the level it was back in March 1990.

Keep in mind our real household income per capita has been falling for almost six years. I expect it will take Australia ten years to climb out of this hole.

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About the Author

Malcolm King is a journalist and professional writer. He was an associate director at DEEWR Labour Market Strategy in Canberra and the senior communications strategist at Carnegie Mellon University in Adelaide. He runs a writing business called Republic.

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