Good afternoon to you all.
This really is a beautiful room. And it is very appropriate given today’s topic, that we are so close to the gaming floor of one of the Southern Hemisphere’s largest casinos. But more of that later.
It really is a pleasure to be here.
Of course one of the reasons that I am glad to be here is that ANZ is a sponsor of the Chamber. So, as a dyed in the wool banker, I’m glad to have the opportunity to check out first hand where our money is going.
Now as you can guess from my accent, I originally came from the United Kingdom. But in reality, I have spent more of my life in Asia than in England and so I am going to give a much more global perspective in my talk today.
In many places across Asia, the 7th of February, marked the beginning of the Chinese New Year, a time of great celebration.
Today, the 7th of March, marks the beginning of Moomba, which I gather is the Melbourne equivalent of the Chinese New Year - without the dragons but with the fireworks. I’m looking forward to seeing the differences first hand.
Soon after I started at ANZ I spoke at a lunch in Sydney.
While I thought I made some pretty interesting remarks about the global economy, banking and the future of Asia, most of the newspapers seemed to focus on my comments on the supermodel Giselle.
Now Giselle is not just a pretty face. She is the highest-paid model in the world and also the sixteenth richest woman in the entertainment world, having earned about $40 million last year.
In my speech I pointed out that not only was Giselle rich but she was a better judge of currency markets than many foreign exchange dealers.
When Giselle signed a contract in August last year to represent Pantene hair products in Brazil, it’s reported she wanted payment in Brazilian Reals rather than US dollars.
While Giselle seems to have subsequently clarified she is happy to be paid in any currency, Gislelle of course was right.