We are all the royal commission now

From Lyndsay David today:

I guess we can all thank god that ASIC and APRA don’t regulate the aviation industry. Because if they did, there would be planes falling from the sky.

The Banking Royal Commission is slowly shifting from becoming a serious one-off investigation into misconduct within the financial services sector to nothing short of a pork comedy.

The key problem with this commission is that it is merely shedding light on what we already know. That there is systemic misconduct thriving within the financial services sector. All of which could have easily been thwarted by our regulators over the years. But no, the regulators, such as ASIC and APRA appear to be captured by the very institutions they regulate. This is 90% of the problem, but not even the Royal Commission wants to go near.

When investigating misconduct within the financial services sector, it will be impossible for the Hayne Commission to come to a reasonable conclusion on why such acts of systemic misconduct have taken place without putting our financial regulators under the most intense of scrutiny. Because there are a few key questions that need to be asked. Particularly the issue of why do the regulators only appear to investigate allegations of misconduct that are reported to the regulators by the very institutions that commit the misconduct, but not when general members of the public make allegations.

We Australian’s are a more often a remarkably tolerant population, but with the laws bound upon us, we know the lines in the sand and endeavour not to cross the lines. Why? Because we know if we do something like park illegally, drink drive, deal drugs, or rob a bank that there are enforcement officers ready to impose strict penalties, or prevent the crime from happening in the first place.

But for the major banks and other major financial institutions, their cops are ASIC and APRA, whom have allowed the financial services industry to commit crimes against individuals with no legal recourse. Only now is the broader society coming to the shocking reality that these regulators don’t properly enforce the laws they are bound to uphold, indeed impose stiff penalties. This is a big problem that many in Australia’s elite ‘little boys club’ of politicians and regulators didn’t want the public to find out. Hence they went to extraordinary lengths to avoid a Royal Commission altogether.

Should the Hayne Commission dive deeper into the root cause of why so much misconduct in the Australian financial services industry exists, it will have no alternative but to tackle the key issue of regulatory capture and have the regulators answer some serious questions that will no doubt lead to an unfortunate aha moment. One thing we know from previous instances of systemic misconduct across a financial system (Lets use the American or Irish examples prior to the GFC) is that no matter what allegation of misconduct is made from members of the general public to ASIC or APRA, these regulators do not investigate the matter. The end result always seems to end up with the masses unfortunately seeing their net-worth wiped off the map due to the systemic failure of regulators to enforce the law.

Financial regulators turning an early blind-eye to illegal conduct has always been the nucleus of systemic misconduct. Hence we must ask who are the accountable individuals that are employed at the ASIC and APRA that have not only turned a blind-eye, but allowed misconduct within the financial services industry to thrive. Because the sooner those folks are sacked and replaced by individuals who actually give a damn, the sooner the Australian public and banks can start to rebuild trust with one another.

The regulators, yes, they’ll have to be reformed. But it doesn’t stop there. They were just the elite enablers. The corruption at the heart of the great Australian property bubble seeped into our entire economy and culture. It oozed under every door, entered every home and visited every BBQ. It bent every business.

It ruined our media and distorted our politics. It infected our entire place in the world, disenfranchised from the Australian dream entire generations. It has choked our cities. And sold out the national interest to Chinese speculators, threatening our very freedom.

There has never been a more comprehensive bubble in any nation. We have been engulfed by it. The world’s first total bubble.

Yet at its heart was not a miracle but prosaic bank corruption. Only the failure to assess expenditures and incomes, the failure to report accurately and honestly, the failure to advise with integrity and responsbility made any of it possible.

Everything else flows outward from this black singularity. Your wealth. Your lifestyle. Your retirement plan. The roof over your head not being over someone else’s. All of it stems from the core corruption of a banking system that disgorged massive sub-prime mortgages across our firmament.

I really have no idea what attempted snow job we will see next. But it is over. It is now only a matter of time before the Australian housing supernova collapses towards the banking black hole at its centre, sucked back into the void from whence it came.

We’re all the royal commission now.

Comments

  1. Sounds like it is time to buy and back the truck up for mortgage debt! Also i’ve seen a few financial planners lately. I’ve called out to them that I could buy ANZ and get about 6% yield vs fuck all for a Sydney rent’vest property. No one has shot me down yet. Eagerly awaiting to be challenged on why I should do something I don’t want too or its just negative sideways movement.

    • You might see some negative sideways movement in bank shares too…

      Go long nooses and flaming torches!

      • SchillersMEMBER

        I second that emotion. How much longer can bank shares defy gravity? When will we reach the Wylie Coyote moment?

      • Don’t overlook the fact that most people’s Super fund allocations are heavily exposed to banks.
        I sorted through every option until I found the ones with no domestic bank shares and switched into those.

  2. Do not underestimate the power of the Moron Side of the Force. It has ruled the land for some time and it is deeply entrenched to every corner of the land now.

    “I guess we can all thank god that ASIC and APRA don’t regulate the aviation industry. Because if they did, there would be planes falling from the sky.”

    I often use an aviation analogy to describe the bubble dynamics, it is interesting to see that somebody else out there is catching up. Here is an idea: subsume ASIC and APRA to ATSB.

    • CASA and ATSB are not the holy grail we should be aspiring to. Thanks to the revolving door of Directors, generalist managers in a permanent honeymoon period and clueless Ministers they are just as bumbling, bureaucratic and backside covering as the best of them.

      • I work in the aviation industry. It’s a disgrace too. In the industry CASA is known as C*#$s Against Safety in Australia. A bunch on useless beurocrats that have never worked in the jobs they are regulating. They’re captured by the big Airlines (mainly Qantas) and make rule changes based upon what they lobby for.
        You should see the absurd way they have eroded the strict requirements that were in place to grant maintenance engineers a licence. Now they are handing them out like candy. It’s dangerous.

    • It is surely a factor that the voting masses in our decadent times, have completely lost any healthy cynicism, skepticism, common sense, call it what you like – that would have marked past “Great” generations. It is right to criticise venal politicians and regulators but I have been years tearing my hair out at the idiocy of “ordinary people” around me. Housing is not the only subject on which evidence is on display that it is time for our civilisation to fall.

      • Of course people lost common sense and skepticism when for decades they made more money sitting on their ass in their ordinary house than they could ever hope to earn in their day job.

        It has turned people fat, dumb and lazy.

      • I’m occasionally asked what a collapsing civilisation looks like to those living through it. My answer is “just look around you. It’s happening right now, bit by bit.”

      • I don’t see any lack of cynicism or scepticism. If anything there’s far too much of it, tending to paranoia.

        What we have lost are generosity, empathy and any belief or understanding we live in an inter-dependent community.

        But that’s what decades of people with power and influencing regarding such traits with something between a sneer and open contempt will deliver.

    • JunkyardMEMBER

      The moron side of the force indeed.

      While this is all very visible to those who frequent this site, I got a reminder of just how little awareness the average person has of the RC.

      We had one of those management roadshows this week at my work, and the EGM is talking about our brand and asked us which organisations come to mind when thinking about customer service and positive brand. First answer from the floor was “banks”.

      I couldn’t help myself and before I know it I’m saying “wait isn’t their RC into banks right now for fraud, corruption and other illegal practices”. Everyone just looked at me like I had two heads. The EGM mumbles something about dodgy credit card rates then moved on.

      The average punter is a million miles away from understanding any of this. And it won’t be visible to them until they wakeup one day and notice friends are posting images on Snapchat of their neighborhood on fire.

      Like othe developed countries it will have to burn down around people before they will take notice. People feel very comfortable after so long without a decent economic shock.

      • And then you’ll have 3-4 years of news reports talking about how naughty the banks were that caused all this hardship and put people in these precarious positions. They will all want someone to blame for the bubble and it’s bursting… This is exactly what happened in Ireland. Suddenly the banks made them do it (drown themselves in debt).

      • “People feel very comfortable after so long without a decent economic shock.”

        Yes. This RC should be stopped right now. Australians, particularly we Boomers, Xers and Yers have worked hard and saved all our lives to lift ourselves out of the plebian ruck. Nobody helped us!!! Now stop all this before ALL the hard won wealth of Australia disappears.

      • kiwikarynMEMBER

        That’s why all the business and financial news is behind paywalls. So the masses dont find out about this stuff. Keep ’em happy with property porn and AFL/NRL scandals. Thats all people will pay for these days.

  3. C.M.BurnsMEMBER

    i strongly resent this forced association with everything that is wrong. None of what you have described is true or fair for myself and many of my peers including many other punters here on MB

    by ascribing blame to all, you absolve everyone. call out institutions, call out parties, call out cohorts, call out individuals, but not in my name.

      • bolstroodMEMBER

        The villain you are looking for is unfetterd, unregulated Neoliberal Globalism, promulgated by all politicians since Thatcher and Raegun had dinner with Murdoch back in the 1970’s. Even they were but the mouth pieces for the Business world that had plotted it’s rise to power since WW2 ended.
        This ironically is Fascism, what we fought WW2 to prevent.
        Even “the best laid plans of mice and men are oft to gang aglay”

    • Unfortunately Mr Burns,

      The “tar brush” is unavoidable until fundamental reform of the role of banks in our monetary system takes place.

      The role is now completely unecessary and even if some justification could be invented by the Private Bank Apologists, it is crystal clear that effective and sustainable regulation is simply not possible. Every generation or so will be fighting outbreaks of corruption and dysfunction.

      If you wish to work in an industry of true financial intermediation then you and your ‘clean’ colleagues must fight the hardest for reform.

      https://theglass-pyramid.com/2017/12/04/real-economic-reform-starts-with-a-banking-royal-commission/

      The Royal Commission has shone a light on the rot and decay but how many really understand the implications and the reform project that is required.

      The current role of banks in our monetary system must end.

      Now.

      We are all “money cranks” now.

      • “The Royal Commission has shone a light on the rot and decay but how many really understand the implications and the reform project that is required.”

        0.1%?

      • I’d say there are probably less than 100 people across this land who have any idea of the mess we are in economically, socially, ethically. There are probably about 30 of those here in MB.

      • Well there have been 35,000 hits on the Glass Pyramid and only 85% of them are my mum.

        Oh yes I see your point. 🙂

      • We don’t need no silly Dod Frank thingys the banks fixed the problems in the GFC so we’ll never get subprime shyte packed into some form of MBS ever again. Nobody would be that silly to offer subprime mortgages to people who can’t afford them. That was clearly just a clerical error. We need less regulation to keep economies humming…

        What was that Jeremy Irons film about selling out before it all went to custard? Some bloke is driving a flash car across Brooklyn bridge and he says it’s all the punters faults. They want to live in houses they can’t afford and buy stuff they can’t afford with debt. They want to keep believing in the delusion or something along those lines.

    • The honourable minority is a minority indeed. Almost everyone truly deserves what is coming. And I am not optimistic that there will be any admissions of “who we need to start listening to in future”. The narrative will be “no-one saw this coming” (and by implication no-one really should be held “to blame”). Has there been any changes in selection criteria for regulators, public officials, etc anywhere in the world following crashes? Have any of the “doomsayers” been promoted into positions of influence? What doomsayers? No-one saw this coming. These people are only ever recognised BEFORE the crash, as “doomsayers”. If they are recognised at all afterwards, they might be acknowledged as a “stopped clock”.

      • MB readers know who Australia’s handful of doomsayers are.

        These annoying individuals kept ringing the fire bell, pointing to the levitation of debt, borrower/broker/lender fraud, ridiculous net rental margins, dud tax laws nourishing speculation and screwing labour, sell-out of the national interest and regulators not doing the job they were paid for.

        Well, now it is midnight.The land market is out of Greater Fools.

        The next task is an onerous one: to prevent the contagion of bankruptcy so the prudent and solvent are not destroyed by Nathan Birch and brigade who gambled and won, doubled their bets and gambled again – urged on by self-printing bankers and a conflicted media.

        Are you personally prepared for a country-wide liquidity event of enormous scale and long duration? Hope so.

        Don’t Buy Now!

      • @ David,
        Where’s the safest place to park my money for the next few years? With little risk?
        Cheers in advance 🍻

      • Phil – spot on! I didn’t see your post before I posted just above.

        T I’m not sure there is such a place.

      • No doubt the “no-one saw this coming” narrative will be tried. However this time it’s going to be interesting to see how successful that gambit is. There are a lot more records on the internet and submissions etc as a counter point.

      • T: I regard the safest place to park capital now, as southern USA growth cities, there won’t be a significant crash because there isn’t giddy heights of a bubble to crash from. Heck, even buying up absurdly cheap properties in busted Detroit would make sense compared to bubble cities and countries. There is slow renewal happening, all it requires from investors is patience.

      • C.M.BurnsMEMBER

        well said Phil. Sadly, I agree with everything you say even though i don’t want to !

      • Poor old Vlad. Such rotten luck being subject to so many false flag attacks and surrounded by the bodies of so many self-harming journalists.

      • Hi andrew.

        Yeah the back lash to the Chicago schools adventurism is kinda harsh, but then those bonds did go boom in a big way.

    • Quite right.
      There is a difference between rule of law and rule by law. It is a sad state where people only do the right thing for fear of being caught out. What happened to moral compass? No doubt there is a need for an effective corporate cop but 99.5% of people will do the ethical thing.

    • But, personally culpable, woke or not, almost every single Australian will be on the hook for this shit show. Our kids’ inheritance a shadow of what it should have been too. Some of this degradation is unfortunately permanent. Yes, I mean the vibrancy.

  4. The “Greens” are also elite enablers. Refusing to cap negative gearing handouts while refusing to give handouts to the poorest voters. Refusing to build high speed rail – only to see the money get wasted on 12 submarines. Refusing to have a national cash for cans scheme – only to see NSW put one in.

    CASA is probably a disaster too. The corruption and incompetence outraged Dick Smith so much that he threatened to unseat Abbott.

    he would challenge former Prime Minister Tony Abbott in his seat of Warringah because the Coalition had backed away from a promise to install radar technology at regional airports.

    Abbott giving Gillard a run for her money when it comes to lies!

    There have been close calls and passengers escaping the jaws of death by the skin of their teeth:

    EK 407 belted off the end of the runway it used at Tullamarine doing close to 280 kmh it took out an instrument landing system antenna

    it missed a brick building by as little as 50 cm

    • St JacquesMEMBER

      Jacob, I’m not at all in favour of high speed trains. All the countries that have gone over the top installing them did so for political and commercial rent-seeking reasons and are finding they suck huge quantities of money from more conventional passenger and freight train services that should have been upgraded/

    • The Greens are inherently in the pockets of the zero-point-one-percenter rentier capitalists right from the outset. “Conservation” of resources and especially land for urban use, creates massive opportunities for rentiers and incumbents. The zero point one percent aren’t as rich as they are without understanding these realities better than the 99.9%. Guess why “The Club of Rome” and all those nascent global-action movements started with Rockefeller funding. Soros and others have joined the line-up of sugar-daddies to Green political movements since.

      • St JacquesMEMBER

        Exactly. Many are two faced professional bastards who on average earn well above the average wage and look down on others RE. Many of them are the sort of people who love the vibrancy of the inner city, then use the council to shut down music venues in pubs that have been running for decades. They talk about inclusiveness but love to live in their gentrified suburbs. TOOLS.

      • Labour in the UK seems to have become the first mainstream lefties in the world to work out that you need to use the traditional lefty tactic of compulsory acquisition of property if they are to keep the faith on central urban planning but don’t want to be the rentier-class’s useful idiots.

        Of course the Tories are deeply responsible for letting things get to this state. Back in the 1950’s they could scream “communism” and Labour would abandon compulsory acquisition in fright – but 7 decades of rentier capitalism sucking blood out of the real economy and society is pushing their luck too far. It is distressing that the bipartisan experts who designed the British Town and Country Planning system in the 1940’s emphasized that compulsory acquisition of greenfields land would be essential to avoid the consequences that have been incurred since. But the rentier class, via the Tories, won that game for seven decades so far.

  5. Just looking at where your last Chair of ASIC came from, and dare I say it where he went to, captures the heart of the issue. Arguably, securitisation was at the heart of the GFC and its creeping back in. What chance for change is there? Whatever there is I hope one of its names in Hayne…..

    • change will come when the punters defalut and go into liquidation
      What we are seeing atm is that the methodology of handling our money and managing money was very deficient
      that does not alter the fundamental economics, to wit.most of these investments are in entities which will not return the money.The banks & FIRE are in trouble atm for misdemeanours;
      but it is the punters who will be crucified when the banks liquidate em out.
      this is gunna be HUGE,

      • Look!!! We are going to need these people. They are the only ones who understand the mess! They will probably agree to stay on if we ask them really nicely and double their current Jack n the beanstalk salaries.

        As someone wisely pointed out above – we want to see where this is going to go – look at the post GFC.

  6. Tassie TomMEMBER

    I agree with the thrust of the cross-posted section. These shocking horror-stories are not going to the root of the problem.

    What I’m hoping is that this is part of Commissioner Hayne’s tactics – reveal a heap of media-friendly horror stories to drum up public outrage such that the government has not choice but to widen the terms of reference and to extend the timeframe of the royal commission.

    Yes ASIC and APRA have failed, but what is the root cause of their failure? I’d strongly suggest the root cause is corrupt capture by the banks of those who build, manage, and fund the regulators – our elected members and senior public servants. These links are what really need to be revealed by the RC.

  7. there are only two way young people in Australia can secure decent life: move out or move out

    • And it is a question where to? The racket in housing is an epidemic in the decadent western world. The USA is the only country that has a good number of still-sane cities where there is real economic growth and population growth, and housing supply rocking along nicely keeping the prices affordable and contributing to the REAL economy.

      But plenty of countries are nowhere near as bad as Australia.

      • In addition to most of USA, most of Europe is also fine, beside few cities like Paris – even Paris looks dirty cheap compared to Sydney (in outer suburbs near a RER line you can still buy a house for E150k).
        Even in UK (London is expensive but most of the country is still not that bad)
        Australia is just nuts, even in the most remote place prices are higher than in Berlin or Rome

      • Correct! It’s not housing or banking – it’s the whole current economic system that was itself generated by the US need to be able to continue to indulge itself at a level far beyond its entitlement. All Western academic institutions have slavishly followed the model.

      • Yeah Germany is “underpriced” relative to most of the Anglo world. And DrX, well spotted about France – actually if you live outside the main city of Paris, in its suburbs, or anywhere else in France, it is like the next best to Southern USA for affordability. They have surprisingly libertarian land-use policy in actual practice in some parts. But Europe has cultural oddities different to but every bit as “unusual” as Southern USA.

        But Eastern Europe (as opposed to Western) is very like Southern USA in some respects; the liberty and guns kind of thing.

    • You get what you pay for – anywhere!

      “When you buy or rent a home in Germany, you should have no expectation that a kitchen is included. There is a room that you could use as a kitchen but mostly, it will be a completely empty”

      • for the difference I rent between Sydney and Berlin, one can buy new kitchen every year (keep in mind that the reason why there is no kitchen is because tenants who sign up for very long lease usually want their own kitchen)
        Average rent in Berlin is 6-7 Euros per sqm per month – in Sydney it’s 6-7 AUD per sqm per week – so for a 100sqm place annual difference is $20k per year

      • Well said, Dr X

        We constantly hear the excuse from the pro-planning types; oh but we must have “standards”, some new developments in Southern USA don’t even have curbs.

        But you get what you pay for OVER THERE; it is a fat lie to claim that “you get what you pay for” HERE.

        I mean the budget stuff over there is $150,000 new and the gold-plated stuff is $450,000. HERE we have only $450,000 upwards and the “standards” are constantly being eroded and dodged due to land cost pressures. Shitty door handles and other fittings, etc etc. The equivalent of the $450,000 gold-plated stuff in Texas, here, is $1.5 million. The size of home and section is NEVER good value here.

  8. “Yet at its heart was not a miracle but prosaic bank corruption. Only the failure to assess expenditures and incomes, the failure to report accurately and honestly, the failure to advise with integrity and responsbility made any of it possible.”

    …as Mr. Foundation used to say – credit is the ultimate fundamental. We are all Foundationists now!

  9. Many, many will hate this, but we need a regulator of regulators. Seriously, with independence, teeth and transparency.

      • Swiss style democracy would only work where sufficient numbers of citizens have suitable capabilities and expertise, as Solon had found out about 26 centuries ago.

        No chance of success in a country where 99% would switch from a RC broadcast program to a cricket one.

      • St JacquesMEMBER

        The Swiss are not geniuses and not every Swiss person closely follows politics. It would take some time to get used to it, but people will eventually work it out. You have to start somewhere.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        Rest assured the average Swiss punter is not smarter or more informed than the average Aussie punter.

        I would argue they have a much more entrenched culture of community than Australia, which after decades of neoliberal right rule, with its accompanying emphasis on glorifying individualism and selfishness, has largely devolved us into a view of community best described as “me want, fuck you”.

        You can see this all the way down to the micro level of action, for example in a shopping centre carpark where people can’t even be arsed to put their trolleys into the rack with the same size.

      • Just to clarify, I did not mean individual intelligence or political inclinations by “sufficient numbers of citizens have suitable capabilities and expertise”. It is to do with what I would term “political infrastructure” or “institutional infrastructure” for a system to work as intended / designed.

        Ask yourself: why is “democracy” not working in many nominally “democratic” Asian, African, former USSR or Latin American countries even though the constitutional framework is in place?

      • St JacquesMEMBER

        Why are western style “democratic” institutions not working in non-western cultures the way they do in western cultures? hmmmmm tough one that…..
        The last time I looked, the Swiss were still a western society, so is Australia.

      • It is not a matter of western culture or not, St Jacques. Italy and Switzerland are both in the west. In fact they are neighbours. But the difference is quite stark.

      • Ask yourself: why is “democracy” not working in many nominally “democratic” Asian, African, former USSR or Latin American countries even though the constitutional framework is in place?

        Do these countries have the same direct democratic constructs as the Swiss, or are they more “elective dictatorship” type constructs like ours ?

      • drsmithy, Aussies are not in the same league as the Swiss. Few countries are. And that has been my point.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        My point is that in the two years I lived in Switzerland, I saw little reason to believe they are any more informed or ignorant than Australians, as a group.

        What they have, that we we lack, are direct forms of democracy.

      • St JacquesMEMBER

        I take your point that deeply entrenched local habits matter a great deal and it is true the Swiss have had centuries to perfect and get used to their way of doing politics and we are used to our way.. However, for the reason given by drsmithy, I do not think it is beyond us.

      • Perhaps we should emulate to become another Iceland first. We can talk about the Swiss after we have achieved that goal. Step by step.

        See the link by BB below.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        Much as I thought the SSM opinion poll was a farce, I think the response to it shows there’s plenty of desire for greater democratic participation in the political process by the people.

    • It won’t work, mate. “Regulators” are just people. Little people. In cubicles. They can’t really be proactive. They are certainly not omniscient. The senior ones need to be political.

      Parliament (and royal commissions it calls) are probably the best you can do in his system. Parliament should get more trigger-happy on calling royal commissions though – that needs to be a more credible threat.

    • Crocodile Chuck

      No we don’t.

      We need guilty bankers with their heads on pikes in Martin Place.

      And a long queue of them waiting to be disemboweled.

      Talk about setting an example!

      • CC your correct
        As a result of the actions of the FIRE mob, some people will die.
        My call, is the FIRE mob, should be accountable for at least involuntary manslaughter

      • Then what? The next CEO steps up with the $12m carrot to do whatever’s required.

        The problem is the wages. The problem is the politicians that know and let it happen. Without addressing those, nothing will change.

      • Yes…but BEFORE they get that far – a few weeks in stocks down at the local shopping centres and pubs with a good supply of canes and whips to hand for us all to be able to give them a good flogging. NO need to worry about cross infection from the blood – they will be on your programne shortly afterwards.

    • That would be politicians we vote for.

      I agree with you, we need regulators of the regulators, but we already have them.

      Trouble is, they’re corrupt.

      Who’s not being investigated? The prime one’s that should be. Politicians.

      • If everyone votes for the minors, they become majors, and will be just as corrupt as the current crop. See the greens for an example. The system itself produces these outcomes by design, along with the bonus of convincing the masses that if only they voted differently they could fix it, thus preventing any real threat of change to the system. The only solution is to scrap the entire system for something better.

  10. Those opposed to the RC should be publicly asked to stand down immediately.

    As custodians of the welfare of Australians, Turnbull and Morison’s positions are surely untenable.

    Let’s not forget Gillard and Rudd who guaranteed banks with ZERO caveats. Make them accountable.

    It’s all politicians that have allowed APRA and ASIC to act in favour of banks.

    I can’t recall even a single politician asking about what was discussed here every day regarding ASIC and APRA.

    Nor FIRB or an other regulator. Regulators do what they’re told by politicians.

    Reform must start at the top. Politicians must pay, or they’ll always find patsies willing to earn big money pushing their agendas in all corners of our society.

    This problem is entirely, 100% Australian politicians, and what they can and can’t get away with.

    That’s what needs to change.

    • In case you haven’t noticed, with very limited exceptions, politicians set the rules so can get away with whatever they think they should get away with, and this won’t change within our current system.

      • True, have you ever run for parliament Ric? It cost a lot in both time and money, and guess what, the people willing to expend the most of both are the people most likely to exploit a position in parliament for their own benefit. The politicians are corrupt because that is what the system we have generates. So tomorrows politicians will be of the same ilk as todays, wether they are lib, lab, ON, palmer united, Xenophon or independent.

      • bjw678

        I agree. So I guess, the real problem we’re both talking about is we all vote for scum and get what we deserve.

        I’ve been on about that for thirty years. We need to change who and what we vote for. Vote for anyone but, rich, powerful, LNP, labor or Greens.

        And of course the corrupt media that directs our vote to their partners in crime.

  11. “The corruption at the heart of the great Australian property bubble seeped into our entire economy and culture. It oozed under every door, entered every home and visited every BBQ. It bent every business.”
    At the heart of the heart of all this is modern globalist economics that is taught in every academic institution in the Western World and is as corrupt in its practices and any of these Banks and Funds.

    • bolstroodMEMBER

      I posted this in respose to H&H earlier in this thread
      bolstroodMEMBER
      April 20, 2018 at 10:22 am
      The villain you are looking for is unfetterd, unregulated Neoliberal Globalism, promulgated by all politicians since Thatcher and Raegun had dinner with Murdoch back in the 1970’s. Even they were but the mouth pieces for the Business world that had plotted it’s rise to power since WW2 ended.
      This ironically is Fascism, what we fought WW2 to prevent.
      Even “the best laid plans of mice and men are oft to gang aglay”

      • I love ‘Ode to a Mouse’
        The verse is worth copying in I reckon

        But Mousie, thou are no thy-lane,
        In proving foresight may be vain:
        The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men,
        Gang aft agley,
        An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
        For promis’d joy!

      • There is more than ‘neoliberal’ in this and that is a word that is thrown around here to describe anyhing anything anyone disagrees with. I think this is way more than ‘neoliberal’ and has infected all our universities Krugman et al and ALL modern theories subscribe to the same basic premise – that we can just print money ad infinitum; the world has infinite resources that are worth zero (negative RAT rates are desirable); debt doesn’t matter.
        In fact it has little to do with so-called ‘neo-liberalism. as such. It’s just a fundamental modern belief.

      • flawse MPS got the whole ball rolling, not Krugman, its the cornerstone to neoliberalism. Banks are a side show.

    • bolstroodMEMBER

      I base my understanding of Neo-Liberalism on the work of Thatcher and Reagan and Murdoch re dregulation and the shrinking of Government.
      Deregulation is playing out in spades at the Banking Royal Commission
      I have read of the earlier history of the planning and execution of American business figures to place their interests at the forefront of society.
      This is what I call neoliberalism, but I doubt I have the whole thing.

  12. Anyone else get the feeling this financial planning angle is a bit of a diversion from the real issue of mortgage lending? We’ve suddenly got all this public outrage yet a few weeks back we glossed over the mortgage lending issues that are potentially much higher in number and dollar value. I think they’re still ignoring the elephant in the room.

  13. No amount of 10 year jail term threats are going to change bank behaviour and it’s no use punishing the shareholders. I worked for several banks and I know the culture. If you are in the financing areas your job depends on how much profit you make. As this gets to the top the amounts involved are huge and the pressure greater. You’ll spend 10 years trying to find out which particular individual was responsible for a given policy.
    The ONLY way to change the culture is for banking & other finance industry executives at and above a certain level to have their assets fairly surveyed at the point they take the job (Care must be taken to avoid acts such as transfer of property to partners etc). The executives must agree that, in the event of the bank or organisation being responsible for a breach of honest trading through endorsed policy (ie no individual employee rogue acts) they will be fined a percentage of their assets, depending on the severity of the breach.
    The level of breach can be determined in a similar way to the way that personal injury levels have been pre-defined in Australia for the purposes of compensation (the ISV scale).
    This policy would completely change the culture. The focus for honest dealing would come from the top down.

    • Good thought! At the moment they just walk away with the ill-gotten gains. A million fine???/Pffft to a bloke who has been earning $10M a year for the past 8 or 10 years?
      BTW – you’d want to keep a close eye on family and close associate assets.

    • or jail ’em and wallop ’em with a *proceeds of crime* appropriation of assets…but negligence, conspiracy or inadequate supervision would have to criminalised…
      tricky

  14. The AMP CEO has stood down, and I’ll bet he’s hoping the law doesn’t come knocking. If it were any other country he’d be held to account, but here at this CEO level you just do the crime and walk with a nice bonus. MB should have a “Corruption Watch” section, and it’ll overflow.

      • kiwikarynMEMBER

        Wells Fargo just got a $1B fine for the financial fraud they committed in opening accounts without customer’s permissions. You might think that is really a penalty, until you realise they just made $6B in profits this QUARTER alone. Peanuts. Next quarter it will be forgotten.

      • Thanks for the answers. I know know of any Wall St Bank CEO’s who got nailed, and as far as I know they all walked, but at the same time I think here is a list.

        Top 10 CEOs in Prison:

        Jeff Skilling, former CEO of Enron
        Serving 24 years for fraud, insider trading, and other crimes related to the collapse of Enron
        Bernie Ebbers, former CEO of WorldCom
        Serving 25 years for accounting fraud that cost investors over $100 billion
        Dennis Kozlowski, former CEO of Tyco Serving 8 to 25 years for stealing $134 million from Tyco
        John Rigas, former CEO of Adelphia Communications Serving 25 years for bank, wire, and securities fraud related to the demise of Adelphia
        Sanjay Kumar, former CEO of Computer Associates Serving 12 years for obstruction of justice and securities fraud
        Walter Forbes, former CEO of Cendant Serving 12 years for fraud
        Richard Scrushy, former CEO of HealthSouth Serving 7 years for bribery and mail fraud
        Joseph Nacchio, former CEO of Qwest Communications
        Serving 6 years for insider trading
        Sam Waksal, former CEO of ImClone Served 7 years for securities fraud (released last year)
        Martin Grass, former CEO of Rite Aid Served 6 years for fraud and obstruction (just released this year)

      • Re: Top 10 CEOs in Prison.
        That looks like a list of personal misdeeds rather than being held accountable for corporate misconduct, so i guess that reinforces my statement, executives are extremely unlikely to be held accountable for the behaviour of he companies they run and the decisions they make.

  15. cycledseasoning

    Perhaps you are getting ahead of yourself ?

    There is nothing to suggest so far that anything is actually going to change.

    A couple of Board and executive resignations, a few press statements by stern looking ministers and regulator, advertising campaigns from banks to say how sorry they are…etc

    And then it’s off to the races again.

    Markets may be forcing up short rates, but the RBA can still bias rates down. Historically, debt is still extremely cheap. A tightening of lending standards may take out the most marginal buyers, but then …

    …there is immigration !!

    Strap yourself in for the Mother of all Propaganda campaigns in this country. Because immigration ain’t being cut.

    It can’t be cut. And that is because …

    There is NOTHING else. NOTHING.

    And everyone knows that, on all sides of politics and business.

    It is the only thing holding the floor up on our economy.

    And so it will continue to do so. No-one, not any mainstream political party, is going to seriously cut immigration to the point it threatens demand.

    And it is that virtuous cycle of demand from immigration that will put the floor under house and share price falls.

    There ain’t no dramatic 40%, 30% or even 20% fall in property prices coming anytime soon.

    And if there is, the people of this country will be literally on their hands and knees begging for the return of higher immigration and lightly regulated banks.

    • 20% 30% falls are already happening from what i’m hearing. i know a couple, in kellyville NSW, bought a place for 1.3 less than a year ago and now places nearby are going for 1.0. on two gross incomes, it was more than 10X and now soon to be one gross income, still more than 10x.

      it’s just an anecdote and hasn;t shown up in data, but people can beg all they want. this market is over and there is carnage ahead.

    • It can’t be cut. And that is because …
      There is NOTHING else. NOTHING.
      Absobloodyloodle!

      And everyone knows that, on all sides of politics and business
      You reckon? Maybe but I doubt they really understand what they are doing – otherwise it could not have got to here. Some idiot somewhere would have ‘tried to do the right thing’ and crashed this long ago. I always thought, for over 50 economically conscious years, someone like that would come along but they never did. So here we are.
      Certainly RBA policy is to print and have the biggest RE bubble they can produce. It’s been their stated policy. Treasury are all for the immigration generated ‘boom’. IO loans – they’ll be brought back!! IR’s to zero. Anything and everything, regions, anything resembling productive, will be thrown under the bus to (try to) keep this alive.
      If the A$ falls we’re cactus. An external shock is the only thing that can save our children and theirs from an even bigger disaster.

  16. lol @ this from a fb property group:
    “Is anyone else finding that owning property is impacting your ability to borrow? So we have had land for 5 years and are ready to build. I spoke to our broker today and got him to crunch figures to see what we can borrow. He came back with a figure at a quarter of what we need. Crap. I then got him to rerun the calculators if we sold 1, 2 or all 3 of our IPs. If we sold up, we could borrow 6x the original figure!!! Our properties are all tenanted, all below 80% LVR. They are only slightly negatively geared. We have the equity. Why are IPs now looked down upon?! Is there anything else we can do or do we just need to sell? Bloody APRA.”

    probably the wrong thread to post, but i’m not a member…yet

  17. and this one:

    Changes by APRA have us cornered. We began with our PPOR 10 years ago and in the last 3 years have acuired another 2 properties. The only way we could make this work is by taking out IO loans. We since moved from Melb to Sunshine Coast for a better lifestyle but also took a small hit on our wages, our initial PPOR became our 3rd investment and we are rent vesting. A letter from our lender last week stated that our IO loans will come to an end next month and we are now being forced into I&P, to which we simply cannot afford. I have spoken to 3 brokers to no evail.
    I have come up with 3 solutions

    1 – work 7 days a week (there goes the lifestyle)
    2 – sell up (dont want to sell retirement plan)
    3 – pay less PAYG to help cash flow, the properties are new so significant depreciation

    Other solutions?

    • Not smart enough to spell “avail” but smart enough to turn 2 families who would like to own their own home into renters. These mopes need to be crucified.

    • and because of this they probably think they deserve a position to cry for the cameras at the RC

      • Thanks, AB. If it can be read without joining FB and joining the group, I’ll have a look.

        FB kicked me off because I refused to give a company that dabbles in facial recognition and data aggregation a copy of my passport photo and data, to prove that my name on FB matches my name in real life (after some Trumpian jerk falsely claimed I was a fakenamer.)

    • Will I get kicked off the group if I just post every time “sounds like you got greedy”, “sounds like you speculated beyond your means”, “sounds like you leveraged heavily into an illiquid asset class with no diversification and no safety buffers” and “sounds like you are farked! Suffer in your jocks!”

      …?

      • LOL i’ve been banned once before, just don’t get too smart. “constructive criticism” is apparantly welcome, but beware.

  18. DarkMatterMEMBER

    Because we know if we do something like park illegally, drink drive, deal drugs, or rob a bank that there are enforcement officers ready to impose strict penalties

    That should read “enforcement systems” ready to impose strict penalties. The problem of an emerging two tier justice system, run by networks of machines, is a core part of the problems outlined in this post. Most serious research now centres on the development and deployment of various types of robo-law. Automatic detection of petty crimes and misdemenours that are faceless and unaccounted for. It starts with Red Light tickets, but with Machine Learning and AI it will extend to all the other “crimes of the deplorables”. Where robo-law will not extend is to the Banks and Financial Institutions. They wish to be left alone and maintain their priviledge.

    The law is being automated and tailored for the masses. This has the inherent risk that it can be used to effectively eliminate dissent. The reality will be that Robo-Law will be able to switch off your internet, debit your electronic bank account, or suspend your driver’s licence – alll without mentioning the name of a real person in the chain. If we allow this future to flourish, then even a toothless RC will be just a pipe dream.

    • I notice the cameras installed for the commonwealth games, which the laws were conveniently rushed through for, are staying post games. But if you haven’t done anything wrong you haven’t got anything to worry about, because we all know wrong doing happens exclusively to wrong doers /sarc.

      • I once went through Melbourne Airport with a reasonably freshly dry cleaned coat. Got pulled over for having explosives, ID’d and name written in book. After an extensive search and a decision I wasn’t carry explosives after all I was told I could go. I asked for my name to be removed from the book. I was a little insistent and was then threatened with the police and basically being carted off as a criminal terrorist. I decided it wasn’t worth the candle!
        Every time I went through an airport in Australia, travelling domestic or intetrnational, for about the next three years I was pulled over into a little room and searched!!! Effers!!

  19. While mind boggling/disgusting to most onlookers (most of the revelations not surprising at all to those of who have worked in this industry- esp financial advice) overall I have to take my hats off to the banks- this whole thing is genius.
    They pushed RC back (aided by their LNP accessories who insisted ‘nothing to see over here’) long enough to get their ducks in a row and would have had teams of boffins behind the scenes calculating the most effective time to make a token public display of remorse, retire a few dumb executives and throw a few advisers/broker scapegoats under the bus, cop their wet lettuce over the wrist and get back to business asap. I know for a fact they have been poaching smart grads to work on their internal review/ remediation programs, teams of legal/accounting techs paying off/settling as many upset customers as possible and making the institutions a smaller target. They have also been tightening mortgage lending for last 2+yrs under the guise of APRA changes to get a lot of the “sh*t off their books” ahead of the housing bust. They chose to do this RC on their own timetable/terms- right when the economy is cooling but still OK, prior to housing coming unglued (when that sh*t show blows up they will file it all under ‘hangovers from naughty things we did and copped to and dealt with, that happened during the ‘bad old days”/previous management… And- “we have since taken steps to improve culture and behaviour and product offerings!”)- they will use the findings of the RC to eliminate the main corruptible/most expensive link in the chain in all these RC scenario- humans. We’ll some mass redundancy’s, spin off/close their wealth arms, automate anything and everything (advice, underwriting, mortgage broking) and go direct to customer. Most of the biggest scandals in this RC involve the remuneration of the humans in the sales funnel of the process- brokers, advisers and sales teams who must sell to survive. How many service/branch staff got punted recently by a big bank to instead hire thousands of tech nerds to develop their digital capability? The banks will soon have a government mandate and social license to slash and burn their human workforce after this and re-emerge as lean mean, ‘honest’, unquestionably strong, hi-tech money makers.
    Last line of defence- If this RC all gets too nasty, they grab and twist the nation by our superannuation goolies and threaten we’ll all end up in the gutter in retirement if we hurt their businesses too badly- think mineral council mining tax campaign x10- there’s already a ‘softening up‘ campaign doing the rounds now- Australian Banks belong to you! See we are all Royal Commission already! Staging their own RC is the smartest (ruthless bastardy, but smart nevertheless) bit of business I have seen for a long time.

  20. Mining BoganMEMBER

    A lady from the IPA just said on the wireless that the banking industry is ‘healthy’. She sounded a tad hysterical and under pressure but yes, ‘healthy’.

    Systematic corruption and fraud is now ‘healthy’. She’ll be in gubmint one day. Straya is dead.

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        She did say ‘profitable’ as well. ‘Bad apples’ got a run.

        There’s a fair chance she revealed the media defence campaign.

    • From the IPA’s perspective, about the only part of the system that isn’t working as desired and intended is the RC/big-government-interference component.

  21. With all the news of housing price decline in Sydney over the past few months:
    (Sydney home values have now declined by a cumulative 4.4% over the past 32-weeks, with values also down 4.3% over the past 37 weeks) https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2018/04/biggest-sydney-house-price-decline-9-years/,
    I am not seeing any decline in prices of the “of the plan” apts in Sydney. Some are showing things like free strata for 2 years or free stamp duty, but non that I can see are showing a decrease in asking price. Wondering if they are offering discounts but not publicizing them ..?
    Examples (from the Lane Cove area in Sydney)
    https://www.domain.com.au/project/1919/quartet-lane-cove-lane-cove-nsw/
    https://www.domain.com.au/project/2804/leah-lane-cove-lane-cove-nsw/

    • Maaaate!!!!! It’s done with ‘rebates” Some years ago at Sunshine Coast rebates were available from some banks for ‘Mortgagee in Possession’ sales – and this is auction! Very easy to organise off the plan.

  22. Brilliant.
    Total is the perfect word.
    The solution to regulatory capture is to shut down APRA and to pay the Bank of International Settlemts to take over that role. It will be far harder to capture the BIS. Once adult sized (billions not millions) fines are introduced and fine sharing between whistle-blowers and regulators, that will cauterise the wound.