Can’t avoid a recession forever: Ralph Waters

Woolworth’s & Fletcher Building Chairman, Ralph Waters is not surprised either that we have hit a bad patch. Yesterday, I expressed my view the current downturn was inevitable following a stimulus package designed to temporarily prop up an unsustainable, household-debt ridden economy.

Mr Water’s told the Australian Financial Review the Government had only delayed the pain of the GFC though stimulus spending. “I’m not saying that [the stimulus] was the wrong thing to do or what was the better thing to do. We haven’t had a recession, life hasn’t gotten too bad, so on balance, it’s pretty hard to criticise. But equally, it’s pretty hard to be ­surprised we are going through our dull moment,”

“Australia avoided [a recession] but you can’t do that forever and ­eventually we all have to have our moment. The difference in our moment is we are paying the debt and interest we tried to run up to avoid this.”

» Rate cuts not enough: Woolworths chairman – The Australian Financial Review, 5th December 2012.


  1. The last sentence nails it. Whether it was right or wrong, completely mis-managed, or ill advised. When the GFC hit, and hit Australia too, borrowing all that money for hope, hope that the GFC would blow over before it swallowed us, I don’t know, was short sighted, reactionary, and just plain dumb. Then again, those that made these damning descisions that led us to this, have been paid very well. That’s why I don’t even buy into what I just said, in a way.

    I get a gut feeling that this economic downturn will clearly divide societies into three classes. You don’t want to be a 3rd class citizen, in the 85%ers that is.

    Look out for yourselves, there is no Government strategy for recovery (we’ve been seeing it for the past 4-5 years), no huge investment projects which people in general will benefit. Wealth is private, debt is yours. The tide is going out, and many had no pants on.

  2. It is coming up to election year 2013 and Swan will hold off as long as he can and do one last dash to stelmate the economy. He has to do it just right to early people will for get be election time. To late the economy may not be able to be selvage for when we go to vote.

  3. ” … no Government strategy … Wealth is private, debt is yours …”

    It is very ironic, isn’t it? Or should I say ” …. Welcome to the REAL world ….” All while those “smarties” (PhDs etc) are preaching about how to “fix” the economy or …. to “save” the planet …..

    There should be more people like you (BotRot) and several others that dare to hit the nails on the head …. The truth is … there are not so many …. if they are still … alive …. anyway ….

    ” …. many had no pants on ….”

    I would LOVE to see them naked ….. when the time comes …. Coz I just want to make sure that it is the same pants that we are all been talking about …. Take care!

  4. “Australia avoided [a recession] but you can’t do that forever and ­eventually we all have to have our moment. The difference in our moment is we are paying the debt and interest we tried to run up to avoid this.”

    I cant you tell you the number of people I have told this too. You cant keep pilling debt onto debt. Eventually Australia will have to face up govt and the people. I am worried what I kind of Australia my kids are going to be growing up in when they are older.

  5. In my opinion, any Australian under 40 has no idea what a real recession is…….not a clue. Try crippling austerity for size or 25% unemployment or mass emigration. Man up and grow a set Australia, you’ve gone soft. Australia is doing very well considering the rest of the world is in the shit house. A little pain is probably whats needed to get you lot back to a hard days graft and a little productivity.

  6. The gov’t & RBA have been trying for 5 years to create a “soft landing” for the economy and “slowly deflate” the housing bubble. It’s stupid. All it will do is suck life out of the economy until balance in achieved. That could take a decade.

    Instead of the flu, policy makers have chosen cancer. F*cking morons.

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