Game of Mates

It may have escaped the notice of some that the 60 Minutes program has recently featured a story on the collapse of CEC back in 2011. In typically sensationalist style this paints Roy Lavis as a battler victim of the bank. The story was apparently based on a leaked report.

The Australian Financial Review has responded:

Why 60 Minutes stitched up the Commonwealth Bank

Liberal MP Warren Entsch set up anti-CommBank meeting

And further from AFR:

CommBank takedown a low point for the once-great 60 Minute

As a keen observer of corporate events in Cairns during that period I also posted last year on this: Revisionism at the Cairns Post

However the best response so far is probably a letter in todays Financial Review:

The company involved in the CEC case was large and listed.  It had an experienced and well connected board capable of, and responsible for, making business decisions.  It embarked on substantial investments, with borrowed money, with the aim of making a profit, at what turned out to be a bad time.
This wasn’t a case for the Small Business Ombudsman. Kate Carnell makes this clear when she explains she had to seek expertise from elsewhere to manage it.  It only makes matters worse that the case was a referral from a parliamentary review, which presumably takes us back to the well connected board.
The conclusion of the Ombudsman was populist.  The idea that the board is absolved of its task of making good decisions because the bank encouraged it in any manner is legal nonsense.  The notion that the bank should be pilloried for acting in accordance with the agreed terms of the loan because Ms Carnell is able to review events with the benefit of hindsight is also nonsense.
Ms Carnell has accepted a case neither she nor the Ombudsman were competent to run. She has used it as a vehicle to continue the vandalism of our banking system by career politicians.
She should be removed.
Thomas Miller
Darlinghurst, NSW

Thank you Thomas.

Note: Game of Mates is the title of a recently published book. Co-author Dr Cameron Murray will apparently be speaking at an event in Kuranda this Friday evening.


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