Rodney Adler still dominates the business press after popping up on ABC Radio’s Sunday Profilewith Monica Attard. The interview, recorded just before Adler was sentenced last week, reveals his fears about jail, relief that it’s all over, and his refusal to accept blame for the collapse of HIH.

Following the broadcast, The Sydney Morning Heraldreports that Adler spent $7.5 million on legal costs since the collapse of HIH, in addition to the $8 million compensation he was ordered to pay to HIH creditors by the NSW Supreme Court in 2002. And The Daily Telegraph reports that weeks before he was sentenced, Adler sent a letter to the Justice Ministry begging to serve any jail time at the John Morony Correctional Centre near Windsor, so he can have regular visits from his wife and children. But John Morony is also one of the state’s most progressive correctional facilities, where many of the inmates are employed preparing meals for distribution to the state’s other 25 jails.

The Agehas an exclusive report that HIH liquidator Tony McGrath has lodged a confidential damages suit in a New York court potentially seeking $400 million from Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway – which owns two insurance companies that sold financial reinsurance to FAI Insurances shortly before the company was sold to HIH in 1998.

Meanwhile, outgoing Fairfax CEO Fred Hilmer has commandeered half a page of the Fairfax-owned Fin Reviewto push for reform of Australia’s media ownership laws. Under the headline, ‘A chance to put Australia’s media on a growth path,’ Hilmer steps up the lobbying effort with words like this: “Media reports that the legislation may be delayed are seen as out of character with the government’s reputation for forthright continuation of its reform agenda”.

The Finalso reports that the federal government is reviewing the way it assess the burden of the new superannuation choice regulations on small business after concerns the sector could be swamped with paperwork when the new regulations take affect in July.

And the effects of the “runaway oil price” are being felt by consumers at the petrol bowser and in airline tickets, reports The Australian– but now rising oil prices are hitting Australian consumers elsewhere as the cost of transportation and oil-based resins used in plastic PET bottles are added to product prices.

Peter Fray

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