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Following in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), recession spread rapidly throughout the world's economies. The Rudd government strove to bolster the Australian economy with its stimulus package, while the Reserve Bank aggressively lowered interest rates to encourage investment. Commentators and politicians speculated on what the crisis meant for economic theory and corporate ethics.

As the year drew to a close, relief about Australia avoiding a recession was tempered by fears of rising interest rates and concern about the size of the government's deficit.

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