'Brother can you spare a dime?' cartoon by Reg Lynch, Sydney Morning Herald, 2008


This is a cartoon by Reg Lynch which shows a United States one dollar note. On the note is a voice bubble coming from George Washington which says, 'Brother can you spare me a dime?'

Educational value

The collapse of the United States subprime mortgage market in 2008 had a ripple effect throughout the world. The subsequent collapse of several American banks and falling international stock markets had severe implications for the world economy. For cartoonists, the challenge was to reflect rising fears centred on the stability of interest rates, superannuation funds and the credit squeeze with pathos and humour.

Political cartoons have a long history in Australia, and remain one of the most popular forms of political commentary. Though caricatures and satirical illustrations appeared in some of Australia's earliest newspapers, it was not until the 1830s that they became a frequent and respectable feature of the print media. Publications such as the Melbourne Punch, the Sydney Punch, the Bulletin featured both caricatures and cartoons, and it was through these publications that political cartoons became a popular element of the Australian press.

Reg Lynch has been a cartoonist, illustrator, designer, lecturer and a curator since 1982. His work has been published in the Sydney Morning Herald, the Independent Monthly, the Bulletin and the Age.

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