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Who's afraid of public debt?

The Evatt Foundation in association with the Australian Financial Markets Association presents a seminar on public debt

The foreshadowed move to zero public debt is a significant issue for all citizens, not just the financial markets. Embracing zero debt also means dramatically curtailing public investment. The infrastructure of this nation is owed to the fact that earlier generations of Australians had the foresight to maintain substantial public investment. Get briefed on the issues at this seminar.


Is the desirable level of public debt zero?

Dr Tony Aspromourgos, Faculty of Economics & Business, University of Sydney

How I learned to stop worrying and love the bonds: The 10 best reasons to retain the Australian bond market

John R. Rappell , Australian Financial Markets Association

The seminar will be chaired by Professor Frank Stilwell

About the seminar

The Howard government has promised to eliminate all Australia's public debt using the proceeds from the sale of the rest of Telstra. Should it go ahead, this would be the most significant structural change to Australia's financial market since the deregulation of the early 1980s. In addition to imposing unprecedented constraints on the financial capability of the public sector, the elimination of Australian government bonds would spell the end of the 'Australian financial market' in any meaningful or distinctive sense.

The Evatt Foundation has long argued for a sensible approach to public debt, objecting to zero debt as a populist justification for privatisation and insisting that governments should maintain stable public investment policies with due regard to the social costs and benefits. The prospect of the full privatisation and globalisation of the nation's debt market has now alarmed the nation's bond traders, who have argued that the proposal could put up to 20,000 jobs at risk. This has opened the way for a novel collaboration between the Evatt Foundation and the Australian Financial Markets Association. Don't miss this unique opportunity to get the full story, before it's too late! Put the date in your diary.

About the speakers

Tony Aspromourgos is a graduate of the universities of Queensland, Melbourne, Chicago and Sydney. He has published extensively in international economic journals - including Australian Economic Papers, Oxford Economic Papers, and the Review of Political Economy - and is the author of On the Origins of Classical Economics: Distribution and Value from William Petty to Adam Smith, Routledge, London, 1996. Awarded the Academy of Social Sciences (Australia) Medal for Scholarship in 1996, Associate Professor Aspromourgos also serves on the Editorial Board of theEuropean Journal of the History of Economic Thought. His research interests include classical economics, long-period theory, & monetary economics.

John Rappell is the Director, Policy & Consulting, at the Australian Financial Markets Association. He began his career as a futures trader in 1983, and traded money market, derivatives and FX products until 1995, when he joined AFMA. AFMA is the national peak body and self-regulator for participants in the off-exchange financial markets, including bonds. FX, derivatives, energy, commodities, precious metals and money markets. AFMA is a member of the Treasurer's Debt Management Review Reference Committee.

Frank Stilwell is a member of the Evatt Foundation Executive Committee & Professor of Political Economy within the Faculty of Economics & Business, University of Sydney.


Event date: 19 November 2002 Type: Breakfast Seminar Location: Macquarie Room, Southern Cross Hotel, Sydney (cnr Elizabeth & Goulburn Streets) Time: Tuesday 19 November, 7.30am for 8am to 9am Cost: $14 (includes breakfast) RSVP: Evatt Foundation: 9385 2966


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