Australia’s private sector management is in record disarray

Australia’s private sector management is in record disarray, by Robert Gottliebsen.

I have been reporting and commenting on large enterprises in the Australian private sector for more than half a century. I have never seen significant lumps of the private sector in such disarray as I am now seeing. …

In banking we find our largest bank has been taking in drug money and sending some of it to terrorists. We can blame ATMs and computers but there is no excuse that counts. In housing, banks didn’t bother to check loan application forms so lying has become prevalent. In wealth management and insurance we have seen a whole series of scams.

Companies have got around the trade practices act by working in collusion with unions. And so we saw Toll pay the transport union to spy on its competitors (before the Japanese takeover). We see large builders and small contractors pay large sums to unions to protect their patch from competition. The trade practices act never envisaged that companies would use unions as the middle person to get around the act.

And in some ways that extends to enterprise agreements where if you sign your staff up with the union you get an agreement that offers better shift allowances than your non-union competitors.

In superannuation some of the big industry funds are paying sums to unions and industry bodies for suspect services. The government keeps talking about unions getting a slice of superannuation money but it may go a lot further. We don’t know because there is poor disclosure, which is hard to believe given its public money.

The Coalition government is acting in banking and I think it’s going to get the stick out, not just in court imposed fines but in regulations that go way beyond the current ones and extend to executive appointments and salaries. And when the regulators slash bank CEO salaries, that movement will extend around the country. I never have a problem paying CEOs that do well but the poor performers are also scooping the pool.

If the current government runs its full term we will be a very different nation as all of the above situations are tackled. The ALP and the Greens are huge financial beneficiaries from many of the above activities and so will fight change at every corner. …

The power mess has been created mainly by political vandals in NSW, Victoria and South Australia seeking green votes at the expense of consumers and telling lies about the risk of blackouts and the real cost. But higher gas prices are also part of the power problem.

There needs to be some penalty for the rogue state governments in NSW and Victoria who are stopping the development of their gas, again for green votes. The penalties must be severe but they can start small.

A disturbing picture emerges of a corrupt corporate culture, enabled by and channeling many dollars to the left.