You are here:





0 MB


0 MB

Clips (1)

  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

Post a comment

I am:

Please keep your comments relevant to this title. Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments.

Comments (38)



Simply gambling is correct. A follow up on DFC would be interesting. In the market DFC stood for duck for cover, and the government tidied that one up.
These guys were not earing money for NZ, they were earning it for the banks and themselves.



New World Order full steam ahead

 Michael Potton

Michael Potton | website

@ Thomas - You might be thinking of a segment featuring this documentary from The Unauthorised History of New Zealand, hosted by Jeremy Wells.



@John Key - What happened to the bit that showed John Key with a hose going down inside his trousers, so he could urinate without having to leave his desk? It was in this very video here a while ago, has it been edited out? Why?



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.

Show 5 more comments


You need to be logged in to add to your favourites.

Related Titles (21)


Television, 1987

More 80s money and excess

 Gliding On

Television, 1981

A less-pressured 80s office environment

 Revolution (part three) - The Great Divide

Television, 1996 (Full Length Episode)

Political and economic history series featuring the sharemarket crash


Television, 1996

Series on the political and economic context of the time

 Someone Else's Country

Film, 1996 (Full Length)

A polar opposite perspective on the market

 Dead Certs

Television, 1995 (Excerpts)

Gambling with less remuneration

 Open Door - Problem Gambling

Television, 2009 (Full Length)

Gambling gone bad

 Every Second Counts - 8 October 1987

Television, 1987 (Full Length Episode)

Another 'Before They Were Famous' flashback

 The Hollow Men

Television, 2008 (Full Length)

Documentary about 2005 Election includes John Key

 The Listener Gofta Awards 1987

Television, 1987 (Excerpts)

Another time-warp to the pre-crash 80s

 Hometown Boomtown

Television, 1983 (Full Length)

More Wellington 80s excess


Film, 1989 (Full Length)

Big dealing in 80s Auckland

 Flatmates - Episode One

Television, 1997 (Full Length Episode)

Another young banker at home

 My God - Gareth Morgan

Television, 2009 (Full Length Episode)

More high finance

 The Shadow Trader (Part One)

Television, 1989 (Full Length)

Fictional 80s wheeling and dealing

 The Shadow Trader (Part Two)

Television, 1989 (Full Length)

Fictional 80s wheeling and dealing

 Old Money - Nathan, Myers, Wilson, Horton, Winstone

Television, 1999 (Full Length)

More 80s commerce

 The Aphrodisiac Trail

Television, 1983

More 80s market trading


Short Film, 2013 (Full Length)

Another young man obsessed with money

 Wellington - Promises, Promises

Short Film, 1985 (Full Length)

More 80s capital trading

 Flight 901 - The Erebus Disaster

Television, 1981 (Full Length)

Also directed by John Keir

Collections.   See all collections ›  

Included in:

 All-Time Top 20 Greatest Hits
 Before They Were Famous


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.