from Robert J Lee
How did Rabobank get into Australia to take the place of the Commonwealth Development Bank?
The Netherlands-based Rabobank has its origins in Australia thanks to former Labor Prime Minister Paul Keating and his then wife Annita, a Dutch-born Australian.
Reputedly the world’s largest rural bank, Rabobank reportedly was asked to hang up its shingle in Australia by the Keatings when he was Prime Minister in 1995.
Several years before the Keatings were involved with Danish interests in setting up a string of large piggeries in NSW.
Eventually the business failed and the Keatings were left holding the bag with the Commonwealth Development Bank reportedly for about $4million however according to then Senator Michael Baume, who doggedly pursued Keating over his debts at the time, it could have been much more.
To get out of debt in one foul swoop, Keating wound up the CDB in 1995, and put Rabobank in its place. Senator Baume said at the time the CDB debt was not ever repaid by Keating.
Most Rabobank profits go back to European shareholders. Paul Keating today drip feeds hundreds of thousands of dollars each year from the public purse, his reward for destroying Australian manufacturing and opening up Australia to the rapacious foreign banks.
Even today Keating still maintains Australia should be a ‘service country’, an ideology carried on by Malcolm Turnbull and the Liberal Party.