Is Australia becoming a nation better known for its solid banking sector and recession-beating economy than its sporting prowess?
Consider how much things have changed in less than three years. Rewind to early 2007 and the Aussies had just pulled off an amazing Ashes whitewash, but who outside these shores would have considered ANZ, Westpac, CBA or NAB to be paragons of banking prowess? London still ruled the financial world and British firms were helping to lead the global banking boom.
Now look where we are. Ricky Pointing’s men have been soundly thrashed in the final Ashes test, but Australia’s bankers and regulators have earned the country a glowing global reputation for financial competence.
The Big Four dominate global league tables of AA-rated banks, while many of the UK’s top brands – Lloyds TSB, HBOS etc – have been decimated by the financial crisis. And ANZ has rubbed salt into British banking wounds by buying large chucks of struggling RBS.
So should we swap our cricket boots for suits? Will the world soon see us as a national of boring bankers, rather than sporting superstars?