NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN (ALMOST)
14th May, 1986 : The Australian dollar plunged three cents against US currency today after the Federal Treasurer, Paul Keating, bluntly warned that unless industry became more competitive Australia was destined to become “a third-rate economy, even a banana republic”. The shock waves of the Treasurer’s surprisingly candid, some say foolish, remarks, were felt immediately, triggering a currency free-fall. The dollar fell from 73.05 US cents to a low of 69.30 US cents before closing at 70.30 cents. Mr Keating, who has been castigated by some commentators for losing his cool, was commenting on the April balance of payment figures which showed a deficit of $7,476 million in the value of exports against imports.
[The ‘foul-mouth’ Keating was never ‘cool’, only the sycophantic journalists made him appear so.]