Financial Regulation, Australian Style

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The Australians have been providing plenty of content for this blog of late. Australians appear on this blog here, here, here, and here…What is it about being upside down, in a parallel universe, that makes people act funny? 

They’re even cheeky enough to take a swipe at US financial regulators!


I’ve updated the most recent KPMG/New Century post to add some info from a down under site called Crikey

What’s a Crikey, you say?

The Crikey mission

Crikey’s aim is very simple: to bring its readers the inside word on what’s really going on in politics, government, media, business, the arts, sport and other aspects of public life in Australia. Crikey irritates the powerful by revealing how they operate behind the scenes, and it tackles the stories insiders are talking about but other media can’t or won’t cover.

Crikey sees its role as part of the so-called “fourth estate” that acts as a vital check and balance on the activities of government, the political system and the judiciary. In addition, Crikey believes the performance and activities of business, the media, public relations and other important sectors are worthy of public scrutiny.

Crikey is a “clearing house” for information that might otherwise remain suppressed. It’s a place where people can go – anonymously or not – with information they believe is in the public interest. If Crikey publishes such information, its status is identified. Crikey aims for full transparency in what it publishes, but we recognise that unconfirmed reports can often be the starting point for the disclosure of important information. Where published material cannot be 100% confirmed, Crikey aims to ensure its readers know it is unconfirmed or uncorroborated.

Well, here’s a definition of some other financial terms, with an Australian twist. I’ll be writing tomorrow about one of their biggest scandals yet, Opes Prime, with the help of my confidential correspondent in Melbourne, D.

World of regulation provides plenty of regular laughs

The revelation that underworld figure Mick Gatto had gone to Singapore to sort out the missing millions of failed stockbroker Opes Prime has shone a light on some very shady people. Mick Gatto’s no paragon of virtue, either.

If this keeps up, self-monitoring in the finance industry might get a bad name. Regulators could be forced to take extreme measures — like regulating, for instance. Here are some irregular words.

Auditors. Professionals who like to study human behaviour in the vain hope that auditors also might become human.

Analyst. A finance functionary whose predictions do not have to be true; they just have to be obvious. A bird that likes to fly in formation.

Don Quixote. A novel by Cervantes about a middle-aged gentleman from Spain, who reads too many business books so decides to take up his lance and sword and invest in commodity futures, even though they do not exist yet. He makes lots of money, and spends the rest of his life tilting at a windmill in the mistaken belief that it is a global credit crisis.

Experts. People whose specific knowledge is inversely proportionate to their ignorance of how boring they are.

Ten Commandments. A moral guide that desperately needs streamlining. “Don’t, or else” covers all the relevant points and is easier to remember.

US Federal Reserve. A privately owned corporation that appears to be a government body established to oversee privately owned corporations. Fortunately, the banks own the Fed, so there is no possibility of conflict of interest.

David James is investment writer for BRW magazine and author of The Business Devil’s Dictionary.