John Howard, defender against bears
This one absolutely beggars belief:
John Howard and Peter Costello yesterday seized on the global financial market turmoil to bolster their economic credentials and warn voters of the risks of changing government.
The Prime Minister moved to reassure voters that the economy remained sound despite the market shake-up, but said the financial instability highlighted the need to keep economic management in safe hands.
Mr Costello said there was a risk that a slowdown in the US would affect Australia’s growth, something which the Labor Party would not have the experience to handle if it won the election.
It gets better!
As local share prices were falling sharply yesterday morning, Mr Howard insisted that Australia did not have the kind of problems with defaults on housing loans that were bedevilling the US.
Someone really ought to tell him about that companies like RAMS are Australian:
The non-bank lender RAMS Home Loans Group fuelled market panic yesterday when it announced it had been unable to secure refinancing for $6.2 billion in short-term loans in the US, sending the newly listed stock plunging another 36 per cent.
RAMS now faces a six-month deadline to refinance the loans at favourable rates, or face a sharp cut in profitability.
Investors who bought into the stock at its listing price of $2.50 on July 31 were savaged again yesterday. The stock fell from $1.35 to as low as 56c before closing at 87c.
I can’t wait to hear how the Prime Minister fancies himself capable of working this out. Does he have AUD6bn in the bank to bail out RAMS? What about the next one to go? And the next? John Howard, ladies and gentlemen, the safest hands in which to place your country during a global credit crunch. Jesus Junk-bond Chrirst.