Hedging bets on the future

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  • 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.

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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...

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