Hedging bets on the future

Featured in

  • Published 20090901
  • ISBN: 9781921520761
  • Extent: 264 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm)

IN 1985, I was a very junior lawyer in a blue-ribbon Sydney law firm. Over expensive cocktails at a function, the head of an overseas bank – the recipient of a freshly minted banking licence – flashed his gold Rolex and boasted that he had ‘plenty of money’ to spend and his company would revolutionise not just Australian banking but the whole country. Later, the party continued back at his harbourside penthouse, but I was tired of him and went home. He was an obnoxious, materialistic little man. Little did I know that the city would soon be full of them.

That year, Treasurer Paul Keating had granted sixteen foreign banking licences. Suddenly, Sydney was bursting with expat bankers and foreign capital. Australian businesses no longer had to go cap in hand to their local bank to get money to expand; they had a choice. The city, thanks to the reforms implemented by Premier Neville Wran, was already changing – and this new money, which arrived with the Keating-led program of financial deregulation, was the accelerant that transformed it.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

If you are an educator or student wishing to access content for study purposes please contact us at griffithreview@griffith.edu.au

Share article

About the author

Margot Saville

Margot Saville graduated from Arts/Law at the University of Sydney. In 1985 she was admitted to practise as a solicitor and the following year...

More from this edition


ReportageWHEN A SHOPPING centre is dying, its patronage slipping away, it is referred to as a greyfield. At this point annual sales have slumped...

The Ministry of Going In

PoetryThis is what happensI go insweep the floorclear the dishesinterview the Secretary of State over a flat whiteand lamingtonand ask about Afghanistan and postmodern...

Material or post-material?

EssayTHE AMERICAN POLITICAL scientist Ronald Inglehart argues that ‘the basic value priorities of western publics' shift in affluent times ‘from giving top priority to...

Stay up to date with the latest, news, articles and special offers from Griffith Review.