Turnbott adds ASIC to his trail of destruction

Mr Fixit on the run that is, from The Australian:

The Turnbull government is set to restore funding to the corporate watchdog, enabling it to conduct high-intensity surveillance of hot spots for misconduct in the financial services industry.

The government’s package of measures, which respond to an ASIC capability review and are designed to neutralise the Labor Party’s popular call for a banking royal commission, is likely to be announced today after being held over from its scheduled release yesterday.

It is understood that a proposed ASIC-led review of the banking industry — dubbed a Clayton’s royal commission — has failed to make the final cut.

The government is wary of any perceived similarity to a royal commission, which it has dubbed an expensive “two-year talkfest”.

While nobody doubts that Prime Minister Turnbull has an impressive policy cortex, his record on policy implementation is abysmal and getting worse. This is not all of this own fault. Some of it is the result of his political rivalry with Tony Abbott but he’s doing it nonetheless and it has become the hallmark of his leadership.

Today’s ASIC absurdity is only the latest malformed solution. There should obviously be some form of high level investigation into rampant banking malfeasance before deploying more funds to the very regulatory body that failed to prevent it, especially so when it was a back flip on previous funding removal. Simple probity demands it. But this is only the latest of PM Turnbull’s botch jobs:

  • he was deployed to fix the NBN and instead reduced services at a marginal reduction in cost when it was the only major government project adding growth and productivity enhancement without costing the Budget a penny;
  • he was deployed to fix Australia Post losses as structural change overwhelms mail usage and instead gutted services and ramped the cost of stamps, tipping the entity into an accelerating doom loop in which even less folks will now use mail more quickly;
  • he campaigned for years for taxation reform to rebalance inequities and inefficiencies that are dividing Australian generations and making them all poorer then got into power and salted the earth around all potential policy changes so thoroughly that his party will be unable to revisit them for a generation;
  • he wrote for years about housing bubbles and affordability problems but since his election to the leadership there has been a clear slowing in the ATO’s enforcement of foreign buyer law;
  • he set about fixing the inefficiencies of horizontal fiscal equalisation in the Federation and instead blew them up in under 24 hours;
  • he set himself the task of repairing Abbott’s broken policy processes and has instead gotten even worse with constant captain’s calls and hare-brained schemes;
  • he was deployed as leader of the Liberal Party to bring it back to the centre and repair its electoral chances but has instead joined its cavorting pre-historic troglodytes and is sinking with them.

The pattern is one of overt pragmatism over values and policy process and it has cut a destructive swathe through the national interest of everything he has touched.

He was supposed to fix Australia and has instead broken it even more.

Comments

  1. Terrific legacy for his tiny subscript footnote in history. Another of the short term Aussie failed leaders from our dark age. Imagine the discussion 20 years from now…

    “Remember Turnbott? Was he the third or fourth, I can’t remember? He was the banker with a face on his undies, I think. Maybe it wasn’t Turnbott. Maybe it was Abbull. Bloody idiot anyway.”

    • I’ll remember him forever! The most gutless PM in our history! The most devoid of conviction.

      Seriously. When you’re a self made millionaire, who’s managed to get the top job in the country and have the chance to make a real difference – what the hell was he afraid of?

      I mean, there was no chance he was going to get dumped by his iwn party – would the libs have had any chance if doing that ? Of course not.

      What was it? Did they have pictures of him in a gimp suit that they were threatening to release???? Why so gutless?

  2. Set up to fail. Poor ASIC. Nothing less than a royal commission into the banks is required – and it is long overdue.

    • “Set up to fail. Poor ASIC. Nothing less than a royal commission into the banks is required – and it is long overdue.”

      Yes -spot on. ASIC was worse than useless EVEN WHEN it had full funding. The Banks are obviously terrified of a full investigation -ALL the more reason we must have one. Vote Labour even if it hurts:)

  3. “he was deployed to fix the NBN and instead reduced services at a marginal reduction in cost when it was the only major government project adding growth and productivity enhancement without costing the Budget a penny;”

    Without costing the budget a penny….

    LMFAO

    Macrobusiness please be serious

    • Hi Jim from qld its time to play : “DID YOU KNOW !!?”

      This game is all about separating facts from your own cognitive bias. Are you read to begin ?

      DID YOU KNOW !???

      Labors NBN would have paid for itself and started to return a profit to the company in under ten years from the start date ?

      How did you go Jim ? Didn’t know that, or don’t want to know that ?

      Second question, are you ready ?

      DID YOU KNOW !???

      LNP NBN policy would NOT return profit, would not pay for itself and would instead cost the government BILLIONS but WOULD return vast profits to Telstra.

      How did you go Jim ? Did you get that one right or does your inability to see past your bias for all things LNP prevent you from accepting basic facts, the truth and reality in general ?

      Let us know how you went.

    • So you are saying you were unaware that LNP sold off the project to the telcos while the ALP NBN would have returned a profit, or, that you are unable to accept the facts ?

      Yes – as a statement of FACT the NBN under labors plan would have returned a PROFIT – 100% FACT.

    • Ronin8317MEMBER

      The fund for building the NBN is not on the budget, since it’s expected to have a 7% ROI. As a legislated monopoly, the 7% ROI can be achieved.
      Labor botched the NBN rollout by placing politics ahead of business concerns, so the roll out started in marginal seats instead of where it’s most profitable.
      The LNP stuck with FTTN to keep Murdoch happy: it is now possible to do FTTP at the same cost as FTTN! The NBN is trailing it right now, but they are prevented from adopting it since ‘FTTN is LNP policy’.

      http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/nbn-trials-cheaper-allfibre-option-20160302-gn8cj3.html

    • Now listen, Jim from QLD, I’m trying to have a deeply intellectual conversation with our new acquaintance, young Mr Hume, but you keep butting in. Can’t a man be abused in peace any more …

  4. Playing a broken record about a broken record.
    Here’s mine: Malcolm is not the problem, he’s the symptom. Fix the system to fix the problem. Or the next one, and the one after that, will be no better.

    • Pretty good system really – previous government implemented a vast array of nation building projects and legislation which would have set the country right. The problem was idiots who think its a popularity contest and not a governance test – like you.

      • Welcome to MacroRage, young Mr Hume. I will gladly accept your rash but uncannily accurate judgement of my rampant idiocy.
        I shall now return to my corner and quietly reflect on how much smarter I am than those who think that one major political party in Australia is better than the other.

    • I shall now return to my corner and quietly reflect on how much smarter I am than those who think that one major political party in Australia is better than the other.

      Good. Because they are. One has consistently delivered better economic results, economic and market reform, better education, infrastructure, transparency, growth, education, health, etc – while the other, the LNP, has not.

      Its a statement of historical and empirical fact.

      Sitting there trying to claim that Labor is a shit as the LNP is just moronic on a galactic scale.

      • Oh bugger. I could live with being recognised as an idiot. But I was really hoping no-one found out I was also a moron.
        Obviously the corner isn’t working. I will now go outside and have a more meaningful conversation with my chooks.

      • Unless you come from NSW, that is, (Is that you Eddie Obeid?), or Queensland, or the NT, or WA (Brian Burke anyone?), and it was a surely stellar ALP performance in Vic that had people turn to Kennett was it not?

        LOL!

        That the ALP today is better than the Coalition is hardly a ringing endorsement either. Sort of like asking whether I want to eat a turd battered or deep fried?

    • Jumping jack flash

      Auld Kodjer,
      It is really amazing how some people can still differentiate between the parties.
      Only a couple of short years ago, gee how time flies, we were saying the same things about Rudd and Gillard and their team. “They’re the worst ever”. “Never voting for that pack of losers again”. “Such flaccid policy”. And on and on it went.

      A nation of people with ADD perhaps? Memories short as goldfish? Overwhelmed by screaming, sensationalist media?

      You are quite correct, the problem is the system. Also, the people we elect aren’t strong enough or don’t see the need to stand up to it and actually lead once they find themselves in office. Taking into consideration they actively diminish their influence over anything useful whenever possible.

      This is the final stages of Thatcherism – the government eventually becomes so small and efficient it becomes entirely irrelevant, an entity in and of itself, until it packs itself neatly, and politely, away on a shelf somewhere, in between the good tea set and the letter opener, never to be referred to again. It is supremely British.

      Our “leaders” are now purely in the game for the perks and the pension – they only work for six months of the year (on average) every four, and get paid as much, or better, than someone who actually does something productive. What a job!

      • why does everyone pick on goldfish. I have goldfish. I like my goldfish. They are nice to look at… What are you? myso-goldfish?

      • Thank you JJ. I was starting to wonder if it was even possible to have a civilised discussion about politics any more. I actually admire young Hume’s passion; I just wish those who have fire in the belly would learn to use it constructively. You know the old saying: “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”
        I’m not brave enough to let the Thatcher genie out of the bottle, but I will say this:
        I am tired of people putting down the Australian electorate – I think the smartest thing they do in our imperfect system of Government is to keep rotating power between the equally disappointing major parties, and diffusing power by voting for one party at Federal level, and the other at State level.
        I am also weary of politicians putting careerism above good policy, and always blaming the previous Government / the other tier of Government / the Senate for their own poor – and frankly cowardly – performance.
        So I am yet to be dissuaded from my favourite ideas for better Government for a better Australia: two-term limits at all tiers of Government to address the distortions of careerism; and greater use of “direct” Government, by offering the populace the opportunity to vote – electronically and regularly – on important matters which are first shaped, debated and simplified by those we have bestowed the privilege to do so in Parliament.

  5. Rent Seeking Missile

    ‘Today’s ASIC absurdity is only the latest malformed solution. There should obviously be some form of high level investigation into rampant banking malfeasance before deploying more funds to the very regulatory body that failed to prevent it, especially so when it was a back flip on previous funding removal.’

    Precisely.

    Give more money to the same people who failed last time. Knee-jerk reaction to get the issue off the front pages, with no thought as to the optimal solution to the problem.

    No structural change at ASIC (senior personnel, culture, focus) leads to no change in outcomes for retail investors.

    We are destined to keep banging our heads against the same brick wall.

  6. I guess the assessment of the success or otherwise of this decision very much depends on what youre trying to achieve. If youre trying to fully investigate the issue and address any misbehaviour on the part of the banks then sure its undoubtly a failure. If you trying to maitain the status quo and kill the issue politically then it may well be a win. I question the intent more than the competence of turnbull on this one.

  7. FiftiesFibroShack

    “he was deployed to fix the NBN and instead reduced services at a marginal reduction in cost ..:

    You’re being too kind. The cost of maintaining the copper over the medium to long term will see any savings turned into extra costs.

    Nothing but economic vandalism driven by political ideology.

  8. Reminds me of a quote by Frasier to Niles:

    “the only thing holding you up is the starch in your shirt”