The Herald’s John Roughan is wild about John Key
Reading the first part of the Weekend Herald’s “unauthorised biography” last weekend I felt something close to excitement at the idea of a forex trader running the country . . . You would need caution and supreme instinctive confidence, moment by moment, to survive in forex dealing.
I’ve worked at merchant banks in London, New York and Tokyo and known many an FX trader – although none as successful as John Key. But as far as I can tell you don’t need any of the attributes Roughan is fantasising about – what you need is a good memory, concentration and the ability to work very long hours without a significant deterioration in those skills. So far Key has not shown any special insight into matters of economics or finance – certainly not compared with his deputy leader Bill English. As a senior manager at Merrill’s Key was probably good at strategy, organisation and handling his staff – all qualities he’s shown as leader of the National Party.
The reality of life in the banking world is that it is very boring and very demanding; not many people do it for more than a few years. The pay is good because the job REALLY sucks, not because the skills you need are particularly rare. And all the money in the world isn’t enough to compensate for the ever persistent knowledge that you are wasting your life. That’s probably why Key left it all behind to kiss babies in Pakuranga.