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  1. Excerpt from the 10 Sep 1987 episode of current affairs show Close Up.


This episode of current affairs show Close Up offers a fascinating portrait of 80s job du jour: foreign exchange dealer. The intrepid reporter heads into "the pit" (trading room) and chronicles the working life of a senior 'forex' dealer, 25-year-old squash-playing accountancy graduate, John Key. The "smiling assassin" (and future Prime Minister) is a now-familiar calm and earnest presence amongst the young cowboys playing for fortunes and Porsches in the heady pre-sharemarket crash world: "they're like addicts who eat, breathe and sleep foreign exchange dealing".

Credits (6)

 John Keir
 Geoff Conway
 Jono Smith

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Comments (34)



Black Monday was Oct 19th in 1987. Was actually Tuesday in NZ. This episode was played in September before the crash and so if it had been a few weeks later the conversations would have been very different. NZ took years to recover from the cowboy trading which peaked in 1987. Some would say faith in the NZ market still has not recovered.



Every second their jobs are on the line. Poor them! Peoples lives are on the line thanks to them!!!

 Gordon Wilson

Gordon Wilson

His competency is secondary to his purpose. His skill and insight have not alerted him to the fact that our debt based monetary system is killing us; that we have scarcity and poverty for the many; that an "export driven economy" is the biggest lie this country had ever swallowed from a financial perspective. The catch phrase should have been something synonymous with a "self-sufficient economy". Our country (like almost every other) cannot survive without exorbitant debt and huge exports and imports. These two things keep us poor and entrapped. Our country is managed by international bankers who like party politicians to do their bidding. So what is John Key's purpose?...



Wasn't the stock market crash in 1987, this is simply gambling.
Good to know he is now running the Country and continuing to sell, sell, sell.



I love the old technology. It's a totally different world now.

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It’s the sort of job where you can come to work in a BMW but if you make a million dollar mistake during the day then, as far as the boss is concerned, you can go home on the bus. 
When the boys arrive in the morning, it’s a bit me like me throwing raw meat into the pit [trading room] ... and saying ‘eat that then go out there and kill them’. 
John has an uncanny ability to know when to hold positions and when to cut positions ... he seems to have a sixth sense about where the market is about to move to.