Australian dreams of prosperity were built on the wealth trinity – a good well-paying job, a nice house and comfortable retirement financed by superannuation. Unfortunately this has now become an illusion. Australians are now members of the ‘precariat’, the precariously employed proletariat. Globalisation’s combination of off-shoring and relentless technological change has reduced job security and income for all but a select few. Housing was seen as an Australian birth right and retirement nest egg leading to massive over-investment in real estate. Now lower housing affordability and reliance on housing prices has undermined this pillar of the Australian prosperity. As for superannuation, unrealistic expectations, poor returns and investment losses mean that the golden years of retirement funded by super have vanished. How did the great Australian dream come to this?
Satyajit Das outlines the reality of Australian prosperity. In this provocative talk, he shows how in the words of historian George F. Kennan: “The truth is sometimes a poor competitor in the market place of ideas -- complicated, unsatisfying, full of dilemmas, always vulnerable to misinterpretation and abuse”.
Satyajit Das is a former banker and the author of the books Extreme Money and Traders Guns & Money. He is a regular financial commentator for international news outlets, and appeared in the Oscar-winning documentary Inside Job as well as television documentaries for PBS Frontline and BBC TV.
Chair: Whitney Fitzsimmons hosts the Business Today program on ABC News 24 and on Australia Network. Previously, she presented news for Australia Network, worked as a senior producer for Lateline and reported on stories for the ABC's domestic news service.