New Book: Game of Mates

My book about the grey corruption Game in Australia has been officially released today. It explains how the Game is played, how much it costs, and what to do about it. In this book you get a much deeper and more comprehensive look at how networks of favouritism form, whether legal or illegal, informed by my own academic research, and that of many others. We also use new economic analysis to show how much the Game costs across some of Australia’s major industries, using new economic analysis.


Read Michael Pascoe’s terrific article reporting the arguments in the book, and the proposals in my submission to the CCC inquiry into developer donations to councils. 

Praise for the book

This book will open your eyes to how Australia really works. It’s not good news, but you need to know it.
Ross Gittins, The Sydney Morning Herald Economics Editor

Australians pride themselves on their egalitarianism. But that’s wearing thin. Murray and Frijters are both highly trained dispassionate scholars but their conclusions will shock you. Or I hope they will. If their calculations are even half right you’ll be shocked at how far the Mates have their hand in your pocket!
Nicholas Gruen, CEO Lateral Economics

While we are distracted by mythical battles in the Game of Thrones, we are being robbed in the real world “Game of Mates” where the well-connected clip the wages and profits of the hard working. Murray and Frijters provide an entertaining and well researched expose of how privilege and rent-seeking dominates the Australian economy, enriching the Mates in the Game while robbing the rest. And they propose how to end the Game. And they name real names too. This is an explosive and essential book for all Australians. Except the Mates.
Professor Steve Keen, Kingston University

If you want to understand what is going in the corridors of power in Australia and how a deep network of insiders are using governments to line their pockets you need to read this book. In my own area of urban planning, the richly documented cases described in the book clearly show how potential public benefit and potential revenue is being siphoned off into arms of selected members of the development industry. Governments need to held accountable for these processes. This book will help Australians understand what is going on – its describes how a small but powerful group of insiders have their noses in the public trough in a range of industries.

Professor Peter Phibbs, University of Sydney


James is our most mundane villain. His victim is Bruce, our typical Aussie, who bleeds from the hip pocket because of James’ actions. Game of Mates tells a tale of economic theft across major sectors of Australia’s economy, showing how James and his group of well-connected Mates siphon off billions from the economy to line their own pockets. In property, mining, transport, banking, superannuation, and many more sectors, James and his Mates cooperate to steal huge chunks of the economic pie for themselves. If you want to know how much this costs the nation, how it is done, and what we can do about, Game of Mates is the book for you.

What if I told you…?

Buy book

Buy the ebook at the following online retailers:
iBooks / iTunes

Buy the paperback at:
Book Depository
Barnes & Noble


  1. boomengineeringMEMBER

    OMG Just when I thought I was overdosed on economics books and no more, another must read comes along.

    • boomengineeringMEMBER

      Stopped reading ”The Road To Ruin” by James Rickards (global elites) but now will quickly finish it to read this one.

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Went from $16.99 to $38+, maybe should have opted for free postage if bought more books.

  2. Looks really good! Will add it to my list. You guys should try and get some excepts out there. The AFR might bite?

    • Next week you will get Chapter excerpts and videos each day here at MB, and a network of other non-mainstream media.

      • Good job at the CCC yesterday Cameron.
        Chair Alan MacSporran and Counsel assisting Glen Rice are both very bright guys and have seen a lot of white collar crooks in their time
        I hope something comes of it

      • You might like to provide some information about your proposals to increase housing coats through increasing taxes.

        You propose a universal Land Tax that is intended to reduce the size of blocks of land by taxing people more if they have back and front yards.

        You also propose taxing developers more for any capital gain in property they are developing which will mean less supply and higher retail prices to home owners and renters.

        Your economic strategy appears to be to tax and tax instead of facilitating supply and increasing the security of home ownership while also reducing rental costs.

        You appear to be driven by greed and wanna be values to take from people and control them whilst rejecting facilitation of creative ideas to make life easier for all Australians.

        I note that you choose to not answer my comments and you apparently prefer to answer those who share your values.

        Perhaps you will answer this time.

      • McPaddyMEMBER

        We only need “creativity” in the housing market in order to protect the windfalls of vested interests. Personally, I’d rather a lot less creativity in that regard. The answers are pretty simple really.

      • Are you intending to tax any “Grey Gift” books that you give to your friends.

      • What an extraordinary motto you have.

        “Grey Gifts, sell them or tax them”. (Quoted from one of your self promotion videos at ).

        You assert that every potential product or asset should be taxed more or sold under government control.

        Joseph Stalin would have been delighted to have you on his staff.

        As many people know there is government and business corruption. Your suggestions about how to fix the ‘Grey Gifts’ corruption are hugely destructive.

        You even want to have everybody’s freehold property titles converted to 99 year leasehold titles so that governments can have even greater control over people’s homes and businesses.

    • boomengineeringMEMBER

      Any one thinking of buying, advice is, bought mine through Amazon cost $10 more than others, Any price conscious buyer beware and do your homework. My case is bought,Mauldin,Dent, Bonner etc through Amazon so had a history on record.

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Wow didn’t realize how many books(some multiple) I’ve read by Michael Casey, Jonathan Tepper, Steve Keen, Marc Faber, Michael Yardney, Michael Gerber, Robert D McHugh Ph.D, Addison Wiggin, Peter Schiff, the list just goes on and on, wish I could remember it all.

  3. The speculators are already flipping.
    Amazon new paperback $16.99
    Amazon 2 Used from $19.46

  4. Congratulations to the authors of this important book.

    This conversation is long overdue in Australia … and New Zealand too.

    Back mid 2013 I penned this …

    Suffocating Bureucracy & Failed Institutions | Scoop News

    We get the politics and public institutions we deserve. They are a reflection of us.

    Unaffordable housing is dysfunctional local governance. There is screeds of material on my archival website

    On a lighter note, check out this video …

    Crony Chronicles: I Want To Be A Crony – YouTube

  5. Degenerate British style local government … as reported by the UK Daily Mail some years ago …

    Public sector inertia at a council office where employees take six-month sickies | Daily Mail Online

    Local government in Australia and New Zealand is infested with these clowns.

    Towards the end of AN ADVOCATES TALE I touch on some of the antics of the Clueless (Christchurch) City Council … do check it out (with the hyperlinks too) … extract …

    ‘ … Over the last year or so, the poorly thought through ‘bureaucratic initiatives’ of the NZ (Anti) Local Government Commission (why hasn’t this been shut down ?) for the amalgamation of the local authorities within the Wellington, Hawkes Bay and Northland regions … “bombed’.

    The whole lot of them.

    How gratifying.

    The voting publics was acutely aware of the amalgamated disasters of Auckland and Christchurch.

    Like the British and Brexit, they knew which way to vote !

    The wisdom of a well-informed and engaged public.

    The British sitcom Fawlty Towers has serious Antipodean competition recently with the ‘basket case’ Christchurch City Council Draft Housing Policy, I labelled within a recent General Email as ‘The Twilight Zone Of Idiocy.’

    There was no need for me to add anything further to this fiasco … the hour long video show … from Page 103 the Council Agenda … and some outline information on the staff member leading this, a Mr Cottam here and here . … read more via hyperlink above …

  6. “Read Michael Pascoe’s terrific article reporting the arguments…”

    Did i just read that on MB???

    • Yep, the big name mainstream media opinion makers are now jumping on board as the Titanic starts to tilt – having rubbished us for years. F*k those clowns !

  7. Hill Billy 55MEMBER

    Is it coincidental that the AFR had yesterday a screed on how these “mates” are so generously giving back a tiny portion of their ill-gotten gains to the populace as a sop for their thievery (obviously not the AFR’s take on their ‘gift’s)?

  8. The *Game of Mates* (or much, much more accurately The Game of Scumbags, Criminals, and Traitors, aka The Elite) has been the central political-economy theme of MB and most of its posters since the day dot. Perhaps we should be allowed to purchase the book at a large discount.

  9. I’m looking forward to seeing the “praise” from anyone working for News Limited.

  10. reusachtigeMEMBER

    Sounds like a great book. There’s a lot that the losers on here could learn from it so that they too can profit from the system. Cheers!

  11. GunnamattaMEMBER

    I’ll be buying a copy for sure.

    Just from the promo video the notion that lots of us are actually quite tolerant of a degree of ‘insiderness’ or corruption reflects very closely a decades worth of dealing with business types and lawyers in Russia where any chance i would get I would ask them about their corruption issues. They would all say three basic things. 1-Russia is profoundly corrupt. 2-Russia needs a very strong leader and 3-if they were the strong leader they would look after their friends and families.

    As a former Industrial Relations man I would also observe that any management structure and culture becomes inward looking very quickly once it coalesces around personalities and that people employed in, and connected with that structure start to display weird subservient indicating behaviours to acknowledge greater degrees of power (or ‘connectedness’ as I once had a psychologist put to me) which starts to take on a favor seeking and allocation pattern, and tends to make those at the top the ripest possible participants in corruption, while being the most adamant that they have some form of entitlement or that they are simply according with practice in that workplace over time.

    Corruption (IMO) requires constant (and sometimes expensive) commitment to preventing and wiping out, and it is a constant in any environment where permissions are sought for economic purposes (or which have economic outcomes), even where every last man jack of the power structures making the decisions are telling themselves the ‘process’ is square.

  12. Just a polite query. Are members of APRA and of the RBA required to submit, and keep updated, an asset register , such is required of our Members of Parliament ? Being able to assess the quality of the judgement of our members of Parliament is of great assistance. Are we able to do this in regard to the key members of APRA and the RBA. If not, is it too much to ask of them ?

    • Hi Reg. Let me respond to your polite query with a rude answer. NO F&CK1NG WAY. IF YOU DON’T LIKE HOW THE GAME IS PLAYED F4CK OFF.

      • You Posted; “NO F&CK1NG WAY. IF YOU DON’T LIKE HOW THE GAME IS PLAYED F4CK OFF.”. If the members of the RBA and APRA, proven in recent years to have been so wrong in their response to the housing affordability issue, share your arrogance, then the requirement should be imposed upon them. Their incompetent avoidance of addressing the obvious need to reduce immigration needs to be sheeted home. A petition on ‘Get-Up’ and, hopefully, support from the Affordable Housing Party, may at least raise the issue to the importance it deserves.Thank you for your stimulating reply.

  13. The Fat Cats are clipping the ticket and making unearned income … meantime …

    Housing affordability crisis keeps families locked out of home ownership – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

    It’s not just first-time buyers struggling to purchase houses in Sydney — with families squeezing into small apartments long after they have outgrown them as they struggle to make the financial leap into house ownership. … read more via hyperlink above …

  14. Tassie TomMEMBER

    “Australians pride themselves on their egalitarianism. But that’s wearing thin. Murray and Frijters are both highly trained dispassionate scholars but their conclusions will shock you. Or I hope they will. If their calculations are even half right you’ll be shocked at how far the Mates have their hand in your pocket!
    Nicholas Gruen, CEO Lateral Economics”

    WTF? Lateral Economics is a 3-man band Coalition-subcontracted think tank. Just about everything they report is pro-corporation; pro-privatisation; pro-globalisation. Nicholas Gruen isn’t shocked – he already knows all about ticket-clipping – he promotes it!

    Check out Lateral Economics’ propaganda: