But Howard has enjoyed a charmed life when it comes to. . .his tenure as Treasurer. . . .he simultaneously presided over an economic mess. . . .interest rates reached 21%. . . .In 1981 wages grew by 16%. . .leading to a recession. . .stagnant growth and high inflation. By the time Howard handed. . .over. . . to Labor in 1983 the economy was growing at only 1.4%, the unemployment rate was 11% and inflation had reached 11%
. . .expose the banks to international competition. . .deregulate the banking system. . .free float the $A. . .remove all restrictions on capital [inflows and outflows]. . .finish the freeing of trade in govt bonds. . .open home funding to all comers. . .steadily lower tariffs. . .
I asked Ted Evans, Sec of Treasury. . .about the importance of KeatingHe was unique as a persuader within his Party. . .[Treasury warned Keating] that the [Howard] budget deficit must come down. His first repsonse was that he needed an argument to put to. . .caucus. . . .So I sat down and write him a presentation to caucus. . . .[Keating] rewrote [Ted's 3rd draft] in longhand into his own words. He had an ability to know what he didn't understand and to admit this. . . .When he went to caucus he took me along. . .And as I listened to him present it I thought to myself "I could not have hit the mark as nicely. . ."
. . .he spoke like a Bastard from the Bush. . . .described Malcolm Fraser as a man with his arse stuffed full of razor blades. . . Snedden as a carcass swinging in the breeze that no one had gotten round to cutting down yet. . ."
Evans described Keating ". . .innately intelligent. . .but more. . .he knew how to learn." A visionary.
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