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Well, we were OK in the 90s. The mining boom, and the fact that overseas lenders are only just starting to question our ability to take in more debt has what has kept us out of recession, for now.

Medium term, we might be in for a beating, like the US. Long term, we need more innovation. Name Australian innovation. Easy, right? Now name one innovative Australian company.

The boom was abruptly interrupted here, as it was everywhere else, in 2008 when the GFC kicked off. My old man works for Rio, who dumped tens of thousands of contractors almost immediately, freezing tens of billions of dollars of projects.

What really saved our bacon was a) labour market flexibility (ie many companies renegotiated hours instead of being forced to sack people) and b) that the Reserve Bank had lots of room to manoeuvre. The Commonwealth could also borrow deeply because it had no long term debt.

None of these conditions was accidental. They were, as I said, consequences of decades of sensible reform by both major parties.

> Easy, right? Now name one innovative Australian company.

There are thousands. They're just not necessarily talked about by the HN set. Off the top of my head there's Cochlear, the half dozen companies spun off from NICTA, Kaggle, Computershare which was the first of its kind and so on.

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