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Turnbull Government will ignore this call to extend Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry at its own electoral peril "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"
Remember When Australian Prime Minister and former merchant banker Malcolm Bligh Turnbull ruled out a bankig royal commission?
Telling the nation; "I can tell you wehave as a government decided not to have a royal commission, we made thedecision a long time ago, not because we don't believe there is nothing goingon in terms of problems with the banks, it is because we want to take actionright now and we are".
Recall the time and other limits placed on the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry when it was finally established on 14 December 2017? Giving it the power to ignore anything that it wanted to that would otherwise be within its scope.
Well things did not go entirely to plan for Malcolm and his banker mates.
Because since13 March 2018 the curtain has been drawn back revealing the systemic unethical, deceitful, rapacious, sometimes fraudulent and, in certain instances criminal behaviour, of the financial sector.
National Australia Bank, Westpac, St George, Citibank, ANZ, AMP Insurance and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, along with their financial services spin-offs, had all come under some degree of scrutiny by mid-April with more hearings still sheduled.
Now, I know that Im meant to write satire but sometimes I just have to use my language skills to point out what is probably bleedin obvious. Compare the way the conservatives among us thunder on about burglaries and carjackings to the way they respond to people who are prepared to steal your life-savings No,
Ben Potter, who as a useful idiot, was leaked a copy of the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) report by the Victorian Government, reports today that the states are likely to sign off on the NEG at their meeting tomorrow. Potter is excoriated by Terry McCrann in todays Herald Sun for his pandering to green energy myths.
NEG has twin features of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector together with a measure that ensures wind supply has a firming contract to compensate for its inherent unreliability.
Former Senator Ron Boswell entered the fray with a piece in todays Australian calling for Liddell to be replaced saying,
Some have likened the option to socialism. Rubbish. The energy market was socialised by intervention a long time ago. A $45bn subsidy and guaranteed market share for renewables is not socialism? Would the car market be a real market if the government said 23 per cent of cars sold had to be a Tesla and that Tesla would receive a subsidy of $30,000 for every car sold?
Boswell also argues that under the amended section 44 of the trade practices act AGL could be forced to sell since its closure would be substantially lessening competition in a substantial market. And the Acting NSW Premier, John Barilaro, today came out in favour of a forcible acquisition of the Liddell plant.
Hardly any MPs Craig Kelly being a notable exception have undertaken the laborious research necessary to understand the energy market and its many faceted regulations; most accept the bromides that demonise coal and promote the need to reduce emissions to save the world. But politicians do recognise the fact that prices have risen and voters are not pleased. Moreover, voters have no allegiance to private property rights that are not their own as this recent Yougov survey illustrates.
Many fear that the Alliance missile strikes on Syria on the weekend utilities will trigger another world war, however contributing editor-at-large Tess Lawrence says the first one never ended. read now...
Thanks to everyone who the first eight chapters of my book-in-progress, Economics in Two Lessons. Ive found the comments on Chapter 8 valuable, but havent yet found time to edit in response to them. Soon, I hope!
In the meantime, Ive posted a draft of Chapter 9: Market Failure. Comments, criticism and praise are welcome.
The book so far is available
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: What is opportunity cost?
Chapter 2: Markets, opportunity cost and equilibrium
Chapter 3:Time, information and uncertainty
Chapter 4:Lesson 1: Applications.
Chapter 5: Lesson 1 and economic policy.
Chapter 6: The opportunity cost of destruction
Chapter 7: Property rights, and income distribution
By Anthony Andrews The world is about to end! Not really, its just that, like on the TV news or at the box office, real world events that arent at the extreme ends of the spectrum dont grab anybodys attention we want monsters. We want heroes and villains. We want drama! Unfortunately, most of the
I can almost forgive Dr Henry for his recent tantrums about the lack of progress on tax reform which he had neglected when Treasury Secretary for 10 years.
But his latest comments are absolutely outrageous. He blames investors for the poor behaviour of banks and investors also for driving up banker bonuses.
Here he is the chairman of NAB which has enjoyed far flung board/executive retreats on his $790,000 salary and responsible for the setting of executive remuneration for NAB and its culture.
Investors have no control over remuneration or culture and limited control over the Board after all under the three strikes rule it is just about impossible for a diverse range of small holdings to sack a board.
The largest shareholder in NAB is HSBC custody nominees. That is a proxy for other investors and while listed with 23.9 per cent of the shares, HSBC does not have 23.9 per cent of the vote. But in any case, is Ken Henry complaining that banks own banks? So even if his arguement was correct, it is the banks themselves with the control.
And if the Board of NAB does not in fact control the decisions of the banks strategy, risk appetite, policy, governance and remuneration, why dont they resign?
Because his argument is crap. The Board is responsible for all of that and he is the chairman. Stop blaming others Ken for your own errors.
If there is a complex remuneration policy with over 30 pages in its annual report it is because the Board agreed to it. The Corporations Act makes quite clear that the Board has responsibility for the actions of the bank. If Henry wants to abdicate that responsibility he should resign or ASIC should act against him for neglecting his directors duties.
The biggest problem in the banking sector is certainly not investors. It is the principal-agent problem where the Board and Executives are extracting rent from the owners. The terrible behaviour observed at the Royal Commission is due to poor behaviour by Boards and Executives, not investors.
Ken Henry its time you accepted responsibility rather than shirking it. If the remuneration practices at NAB need to change, that is something you can act upon. Otherwise step aside and let someone else take over who is willing to act.
I've had a lot of bad OIA experiences, and my fair share of
Ministers and officials playing games with extensions to delay
access to documents until an issue is out of the media. However,
I've never had anything as bad as this Canadian requester, who had
give itself an 80 year extension on an Access to Information Act
A federal institution has given itself what may be the longest-ever time extension to respond to a citizen's request under the Access to Information Act at least 80 years, which will delay the delivery of documents to 2098 or beyond.
"I may get those records in my next lifetime," 70-year-old Michael Dagg, the requester and longtime user of the act, said in an interview.
Dagg asked Library and Archives Canada (LAC) for files from Project Anecdote, an RCMP investigation into money laundering and public corruption that was launched in May 1993.
No charges were ever laid in the massive probe, which concluded in 2003. The voluminous Mountie files were eventually turned over to the government archives.
"You will note the extensive list of responsive records and we will need up to an 80-year minimum (bringing the due date to the year 2098)," LAC advised Dagg in writing last week, warning that consulting other departments would add more time.
Back in March, I received
some OIA'd documents from Clare Curran, the Minister of Open
Government. Among other things, they showed that SSC had presented
her with an draft open government strategy in November. Naturally,
it was kept secret. I was curious about this, so sent in a followup
request seeking information about this strategy. Today I received
response. Despite at least four months having passed since it
was given to the Minister, the strategy is still being kept
secret, supposedly because it is under "active consideration" (as
opposed to under a desk somewhere being ignored). One thing that is
clear however is that SSC's proposal that the strategy be consulted
on at the same time as the Open Government Partnership action plan
was rejected - that consultation is currently underway, and
there's no mention of the strategy at all.
SSC did release some pretty powerpoint slides, including one of "actions taking place in the open government system". Naturally, this includes something secret. But it also mentions under international actions the idea of "New Zealand taking a leadership role in the Open Government Partnership". Of course, to do that, we'd have to start by developing an action plan which actually displayed some ambition, rather than just being a grab-bag of unambitious business-as-usual policies. And they'd need to walk the talk on consultation, rather than treating it as a box to be ticked. Whether they're actually doing that is left as an exercise for the reader.
The most shocking thing about the Banking Royal Commission is how shocked so many profess to be by its findings. read now...
Tony Shepherd has been paid $55,000 for 17 days work producing a report which recommended that the rules governing the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund be changed to allow the government to pretty much do what it likes with its five billion dollar slush fund. Thats the same Tony Shepherd who was paid $85,000 for a
The post Tony Shepherd is well paid to tell the government what it wants to hear appeared first on The AIM Network.
The global market for medical products is shaped mainly by the demands of wealthy consumers. It rarely calls into being the tools needed to combat diseases that afflict primarily poor countries therapeutics, diagnostics and vaccines, as well as technologies that prevent the spread of disease such as insecticide-treated bed nets. Where such products do exist, its often down to the needs of tourists and soldiers and those products tend to fail over time as microbes and vectors evolve to evade our defences.
At the same time, governments and publicly or philanthropically funded research institutions generally do not have all the expertise required to discover, develop and create production pathways for such products.
Thats where Product Development Partnerships (PDPs) come in. PDPs are lean, not-for-profit public health intermediary organisations. They catalyse the discovery and development of global health products by bringing together public and private sector research and development expertise across a broad portfolio of product candidates. Some candidates succeed, some fall by the wayside.
The net effect of the 16 major PDPs work over the past two decades has been an impressive reinvigoration of the pipeline of tools for global health. Most importantly, a growing number of these tools have been approved for use, are under consideration by regulatory agencies, or are in late-stage trials.
When the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop, launched Australias Health Security Initiative for the Indo-Pacific region in October 2017, she announced that Australia would commit $75 million over five years to support the work of PDPs from 2018. This represents the Australian aid programs single largest commitment to global health research and development, and a 50% increase in PDP funding in annual terms.
Not bad men! They are evil beyond belief. From Instapundit.
After anthrax spores killed five people, infected 17 others, and showed up in envelopes mailed to U.S. senators and media organizations in 2001, the current special counsel, then director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, spent years chasing and destroying the reputation of a microbiologist named Steven Hatfill, zealous in the belief that Mr. Hatfill was the guilty party. Another zealot, James Comey, then deputy attorney general, said he was absolutely certain no mistake had been made.
After Mr. Hatfill was exoneratedhe received more than $5.5 million in damages from the governmentMr. Mueller then decided that another microbiologist, Bruce Ivins, was the culprit. When Ivins committed suicide, Mr. Mueller pronounced the case closed. A subsequent investigation by the National Academy of Sciences suggests Ivins too was innocent.
Mr. Mueller is not a bad man, nor is Mr. Comey. Its just that both show particular confidence when making mistakes, which makes one grateful for safeguards like the attorney-client privilege.
Well, I wouldnt say that Mueller and Comey are good men. And neither has faced any significant accountability for his mistakes and misbehavior.
The latest episode of ABC Q&A revealed just how formulaic and two-dimensional the show is in its approach to serious issues, writes Binoy Kampark. read now...
We need to communicate aid better is a constant chorus among those working in aid and development in Australia. Against the background of major aid cuts and the integration of AusAID into DFAT, parliamentarians tell the aid community we need to sell the message better. Minister Julie Bishop has said, support for our invaluable aid program has to come from home, from the Australian taxpayer. So the Australian taxpayers must support it, and that will come with a better appreciation of its purpose, its intent and the outcomes. The winning 3-Minute Aid Pitch from the 2017 Australasian Aid Conference was that we need to communicate aid better. Agencies band together to campaign for Australian aid. DFAT earnestly tweets happy snaps of aid events and initiatives. And yet something isnt working: further deep cuts to aid are being floated and the public seems largely indifferent.
So: are there some simple aid messages that we aid enthusiasts in government, NGOs, academia, and the private sector can use when we engage with non-aid enthusiasts? We know that aid and development assistance is complex. There are a multitude of issues and strands that can be bewildering for those of us working in this sector, let alone those who dont. We easily slip into the jargon of aid and development, but it can be like putting up a brick wall against those whose support for aid we actually want to encourage.
Here is an attempt at three simple messages to help explain the aid program:
Message #1: Overseas aid is less than 1% of Australian Government spending
The aid community talks about Australia only spending 0.22% of GNI on aid, against the UN target of 0.7% and with that sentence alone weve probably lost most of our potential audience. So lets talk about a more commonly understood idea,...
Australian human rights lawyer and member of the legal team defending Wikileaks since 2010, talks about the hacker from Queensland who chose to fight against surveillance capitalism. Interview.
Yorgos Boskos (YB): How did you get involved in the first place with WikiLeaks and Julian Assange?
Jennifer Robinson (JR): Julian first reached out to myself and a colleague of mine, the Australian human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson, in around September 2010. This was just before WikiLeaks was about to publish the Iraq war logs. Julian was in London, preparing that release, which came several months later, at the end of November. He was working with the Guardian and a group of other international newspapers.
It was around the time when there was concern about what might happen in Sweden, where there was an open investigation into sexual allegations that had previously being dropped. It now seemed that Julian might have to answer those allegations. So, Julian required assistance and advice. It was also the time, of course, that Chelsea Manning was arrested, and a US criminal investigation in grand jury had been announced.
YB: What was your first impression on meeting Julian Assange?
JR: Here was a man with a small group of volunteers and a backpack. And in his interactions with me what he was really doing was making his very brave decisions about what to publish. There were a lot of public threats being made against him at that particular time. He was incredibly security-conscious - conscious of the fact that they were pursuing him, trying to find ways to prosecute and investigate him. So apart from his remarkable work, the other factor was the strength of the state response that was building against him. He was perceived to be the most powerful man in the world, in that period. And why? Because he had access to that information.
YB: During your TEDx speech in Sydney in 2013, you stated that courage is contagious. Do you...
Given representatives of the Institute of Public Affairs Limited (IPA) turn up as guest commentators so frequently these days on television, radio and in newsprint - usually without mention of who they actually represent - perhaps it's time to update deatils of the corporate structure, finances and aims of this group.
By 1PETERMCC How poor is the understanding of our energy market by the Coalition government? Check these data. When Tony Abbott became PM he slashed the Renewable Energy Target from 41,000 gigawatt hours to 33,000 claiming the target could not be met. Not only was that revised target met, the original is going to be exceeded, too.
Stormy Daniels is still news, but this barely raises a ripple: US and North Korea holding extremely high level talks ahead of Trumps meeting with Kim Jong-un.
We have had direct talks at very high levels extremely high levels with North Korea, Trump said.
Well either have a very good meeting or we wont have a good meeting, he added. And maybe we wont even have a meeting at all, depending on whats going in. But I think that theres a great chance to solve a world problem. The president did not answer shouted questions about whether he has spoken with Kim.
Kims offer for a summit was initially conveyed to Trump by South Korea last month, and the president shocked many when it was announced that he had accepted. US officials have indicated over the past two weeks that North Koreas government has communicated directly with Washington that it is ready to discuss its nuclear weapons program.
Abe, who has voiced fears that short- and medium-range missiles that pose a threat to Japan might not be part of the US negotiations, praised Trump on Tuesday for his bravery in agreeing to meet with the North Korean dictator.
Id like to commend Donalds courage in his decision to have the upcoming summit meeting with the North Korean leader, Abe said.
Trump took credit for the inter-Korean talks, saying, Without us and without me, in particular, I guess you would have to say, they wouldnt be discussing anything.
Time Magazine does, however, find the right sort of nincompoop analysis: Will Trump Make a Bad Deal With North Korea?
You never know, but hell likely make a better deal than anyone else has since 1950. But it is a funny thing that I share one worry with the media and the left: whether Trump will make it for another seven years. The difference is they worry that he will and I worry that he wont.
Is the Government's cybersecurity advice following Russian trolling activity sufficient or are deeper protections required? read now...
My first reaction on reading Marianne Garneaus essay Antifa is liberalism (Ritual, April 11, 2018) was: lolwut. The second was to be reminded of Ward Churchills essay Pacifism As Pathology: in particular, his being at pains to distinguish between, on Continue reading
In short, the take-home message from the Turnbull Government is, if youre poor, its your fault. read now...
At the moment the UK government is persecuting the
"Windrush generation". People who legally migrated to the UK
and have a legal right to remain are being thrown out of their jobs
and threatened with deportation unless they can prove that fact.
But it turns out that before they started this persecution, the UK
destroyed all the evidence that they were legal
Proof that could have spared members of the Windrush generation from the threat of deportation was destroyed by the Home Office under Theresa May, it has been revealed.
Thousands of landing cards recording dates of arrival in the UK were thrown away, despite staff warnings that it would be harder for Caribbean-born residents to establish their right to be in the UK.
The files were discarded in October 2010, when the current prime minister was home secretary, a former Home Office employee revealed.
In the wake of Tony Blair's illegal war in Iraq, the UK had been
developing a constitutional convention which saw Parliament vote on
waging war, and this had prevented the UK
from bombing Syria in 2013. But over the weekend, Theresa May
violated that convention, joining the US in bombing Syria. And now,
UK Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn is
calling for legislation to prevent it from happening
Jeremy Corbyn has called for a war powers act that would stop Theresa May from launching bombing raids without first consulting MPs.
The Labour leader said the prime minister should have strived for parliamentary approval before instigating UK involvement in yesterday's air strikes on Syrian targets.
And he called for a proper debate in parliament on Monday, concluding with a vote on action in Syria.
The MP for Islington North, who also called for a war powers act in 2016, continued: "I think what we need in this country is something more robust like a war powers act so governments do get held to account by parliament for what they do in our name".
Yesterday the government announced its
interim climate change committee - a group of experts to advise
it on climate change policy. The group is intended to eventually
become a permanent independent climate change commission once the
government's Zero Carbon Act is passed, but they need advice now,
so an interim body has been set up in the meantime. And their first
order of business is working out
how to make farmers pay for the pollution they cause:
A new climate change group has been immediately tasked with working out how New Zealand farmers can pay for their climate pollution.
And the highly controversial decision about whether and when the agricultural industry is charged for its greenhouse gases could fall close to the next election.
The commission won't be set up until May, and Shaw said that in the meantime work needed to get underway on two key issues agriculture's inclusion in the Emissions Trading Scheme and the goal of moving to 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2035.
Any changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme will be finalised in late 2019, meaning if they are delayed they could be decided in the heat of the 2020 general election.
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