Henry or Deans? John Key says Deans. Instinctive decisions are important. Reading the first part of the Weekend Herald's "unauthorised biography" last weekend I felt something close to excitement at the idea of a forex trader running the country.
His instincts are not mine. I still say Henry. But Key has moved millions on foreign exchange margins in a moment. I'm nervous at the need to do something serious with my newly released retirement savings. This time last year I might have put them in a finance company.
It is interesting that he takes a conservative option on a rugby coach. Deans would definitely be the safer bet; Henry has been reaching for something more sublime and it is probably too risky to think, as I do, that he will get there.
Good gamblers are not daring, they simply have complete confidence in their instincts. They've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, as Kristofferson said in the song that Labour ministers oddly chose to lampoon Key.
You would need caution and supreme instinctive confidence, moment by moment, to survive in forex dealing. One trade described last weekend gave an insight to the psychology required.
On a memorable day 20 years ago, Key said, he walked into his dealing room at Bankers Trust in Wellington and announced, "Roger Douglas is going to be sacked at 2pm, the kiwi's going to collapse, what position have we got?
"They all looked at me and said, `Nah, no, no ..."'
Now, I don't believe anybody in Wellington that day could not have heard the drums beating. But I can believe the dealing room did not expect the dollar to drop. David Lange had been trying to halt Rogernomics all of that year and every jerk of the reins had only made the Cabinet more determined to confirm the economic course.
Caygill, a Douglas clone, would take over and nothing would change. That would have been the dealers' rational analysis shared by Key at the time. But dealers do not necessarily act on personal wisdom, everyone acts on their assessments of others.
Key said he immediately went out and sold "this massive amount". By 2pm he was buying back in. "It was mayhem after that," he recalled, "We were there to about 9 o'clock. But I knew I had made a lot ... it was millions ..."
Maybe I could have made money that day, but not every other day. A finance trader must constantly understand commercial events, know the market's likely response, take the right positions and be able to reverse them in the flicker of a number.
Instinct is possibly no way to run a country. I will be reading the second part of the Weekend Herald's examination of him today for hints of what Key might do if he is elected. He has talked often of "leveraging" or "gearing up" the economy in some way but I don't think he knows how he might do that or even what the result could look like.
He has been quite open in his view that the country should be carrying a higher level of public debt, a fearful suggestion to those who have been heeding strictures from the Treasury for the past 30 years. It reinforced an impression I had gained that his career had taken him out of the country for the crucial years of the 1980s, but evidently not.
The Weekend Herald spread last weekend told me he had not only been in Wellington but had been in the vortex of the excitement, trading in the newly floating dollar. He must have been following the fortunes of the economy and politics through the long winter of change.
Now I want to know whether he knows exactly why it all was done. He does not seem to have absorbed the lessons as others did, even opponents of change. Clark and Cullen, for all their rhetoric, have been as wary as anyone of public investment.
The debates that haunt them do not interest Key. He has a pragmatic view of history: it's dead.
It is not. The confident political investments that dominated this economy when Key was a conservative schoolboy, defending Muldoon, are still the popular default setting. If the economy is now in shape for a higher "gearing", we had better be careful about it.
It seems to me better to rely on instincts than a plan, so long as the instincts are more reliable than those of the last accountant we put in charge.
Key's only new expensive commitment so far _ broadband to every home _ is not exactly inspired. If anything, he could be too cautious. Deans?
But his life so far seems to be a story of supreme self-assurance and instincts that have been right.