Tobias passing

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

TOBIAS FOX, VICE president of sales, arrived at our Canberra sales office by taxi. This was the last stop on his nationwide recession-chasing tour. For some weeks prior to his arrival, motivated by primal emotion, our team pored over spreadsheets, deals and opportunities, trying to construct a future. Our creatively optimistic forecasts failed to obscure the fragility of our predicament. The numbers looked terrible, and for Tobias the numbers meant everything.

Growth is a fundamental imperative of capitalism, and for some it is an end unto itself. For more than a decade the world forgot that endless growth is unsustainable. That’s why we have great recessions – to remind us. Since the late 1990s my wife and I had reclined on a bed of puffed-up middle-class comfort. Like so many we were oblivious to the growing troubles and ignored the debt hole beneath our mattress: a mortgage, school and university fees, HECS debts, tax debts and big-boy’s-toy debts.

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