Why History Will Judge Turnbull as One of the Great Australians

Christopher Joye

Coolabah Capital

In the AFR I argue that we should have let Malcolm Turnbull run Australia like an empowered CEO, and love him or hate him, history will judge him fondly (click on that link to read or AFR subs can click here). Brief excerpt only:

Australia would have been much better off had we experimented with allowing Turnbull to run the government as a CEO would a large corporation for a single, three-year term. Rising above the politicking that seemingly suffocates all leaders these days, Turnbull could have put in place the most far-reaching and important reforms since federation.

There is certainly a credible case that Turnbull would have been a more effective prime minister as leader of Labor, pulling it to the right, rather than trying to shunt the calcified and increasingly irrational, anarchist conservatives to the left. And Labor would have been arguably much more comfortable with Turnbull's progressive reform agenda.

His son, Alex, put it best with the pithy summary: "My father fought stupid, and stupid won." That logic is hard to fault.

While a handicapped Turnbull as prime minister never remotely realised his potential – and was in the end assassinated by the far-right's suicide bombers who blew themselves, and the party's immediate political prospects, up in the process – he did stealthily achieve a great deal...

And although the insurgents left his party in tatters, there is hope that Turnbull's successors, Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg, will cauterise the wounds. To the scorn of pundits, I previously argued Morrison was prime ministerial material, although the speed of his ascendancy surprised all. The good news is that the 47-year-old Frydenberg is a freakish talent and possibly the single best person in the party to run the treasury portfolio.

Read the full column here.


Christopher Joye
Portfolio Manager & Chief Investment Officer
Coolabah Capital

Chris co-founded Coolabah in 2011, which today runs $7 billion with a team of 33 executives focussed on generating credit alpha from mispricings across fixed-income markets. In 2019, Chris was selected as one of FE fundinfo’s Top 10 “Alpha...

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