Signs and portents

by BN13 Mar 2012

With all the dour economic news out there, it's easy to see why some Australians fear the sky is falling. Remarkably, that's what passers-by in Melbourne last month probably quite literally thought when a chunk of concrete fell off the Suncorp building and exploded on the sidewalk below. The metre by metre-and-a-half chunk of concrete fell several floors, landing in a courtyard in front of a cafe, with shards of concrete ricocheting through a nearby shop window. Fortunately, no one was injured, but an eyewitness described the incident as sounding like a bomb going off, and said he presumed there had been an explosion in a nearby store. No, that wasn’t an explosion. It was just the sound of the world’s largest metaphor. Insider sure hopes this doesn’t portend future calamity for the Australian banking system. He would rather see the banks’ buildings crumble than their asset quality and liquidity.