dopey australians

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    I didnt say this.
    Tim Colebatch the economics editor if The Age says

    Australia has enjoyed two decades of strong growth, financed largely by borrowing and asset sales. Since the Coalition took office in 1996, the nation's net debt has soared from $193 billion to $353 billion: not for business investment, but for banks to lend to households to drive up home prices.

    There are many good reasons why countries borrow overseas. But one of the dopiest is to finance a housing-price boom. It produces nothing that can generate foreign income to pay off the debt. And it creates a false sense of prosperity, when asset values, in fact, depend on unsustainable foreign borrowing.

    The authorities skite about Australia's high growth, attributing it to economic reforms. But any country that borrows $350 billion from the rest of the world can finance above-average growth, until the lenders ask for it back. Then things will get sticky, particularly if all we have to show for it is overpriced housing.

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