From his comfortable abode in New York, the best leader any nation has every had ever since man stood upright, has spoken. And no, Spartacus is not talking about Malcolm Turnbull (the second best leader any nation has every had ever since man stood upright). It is Kevin Michael Rudd who has written in the AFR How we staved off recession and the GFC.
Spartacus does not really want to dissect another of Mr Rudd’s attempts at legacy building beyond noting the absence of a very important 5 letter word in Rudd’s essay. That word being more than a word; it being a country. China. Yes. The middle kingdom land of rat f*ckers. Funny how China expert Rudd seems to have forgotten China’s role in the GFC recovery.
What saved Australia was not what Rudd, Swan and the Wombat man did. It was the Chinese government’s stimulus, a stimulus equivalent to US$586 billion, that dragged Australian commodity prices to record levels and Australian exports to record levels which in turn contributed to dragging the Australian dollar to record levels – contributing to cheap imports and lots of money swirling in the economy.
To be fair, when the crap is flying everywhere, Rudd and crew can’t be faulted for trying. But in the cold hard light of history, it is clear that most of what the Rudd government did was for nil, but it did leave a nice legacy of debt and government profligacy.
The issue here is not who to blame (or who should try to take credit), but what to learn. And as long as the myth of the Rudd government’s economic skills is maintained, Australia will be vulnerable to another government flight of stimulus folly.