Macquarie Bank’s top 200 executives will split
almost $320 million in long-term incentive payments in the next ten
years, the reward for two decades of staggering performance from the
home-grown investment bank, reports The Australian. The massive cash pool, designed to ensure executives continue to
perform and don’t defect to rival companies, will swell by $90 million
this year alone as the bank basks in record earnings.

The Smage reports that jailed former HIH director Rodney Adler will be charged today
with breaching prison rules in relation to allegations of
conducting personal business from behind bars. A NSW Department of Corrective Services spokeswoman said
penalties for breaking prison rules can include withdrawal of
privileges such as visiting rights.

Whether or not the sharemarket raid by Robert Champion de Crespigny’s latest resource
investment vehicle, the tiny Buka Minerals, on the $1.8 billion
mineral sands group Iluka Resources gives him a return
ticket to the resources sector big time remains to be seen, says Barry FitzGerald in The Age.
what’s known is that de Crespigny has missed the chance to
re-establish his credentials as a resource-sector heavyweight twice
before, making him all the more determined not to be
sidelined for a third time.

Investment bankers from UBS and
Caliburn have finished their government-commissioned scoping study,
1,000 pages on the marketability of the government’s 51%
stake, but there’s little doubt, however, that their advice will need to
be modified to line up with the wishes of Trujillo and the board
that will need to be backing him, says Elizabeth Knight in the SMH. The sad fact is that the public will never know to what extent
the advice of these investment bankers will be heeded, because it
will never become a public document.

The Fin Review
reports that John Howard has signalled the federal
government is considering relaxing foreign ownership restrictions on
Qantas, a move that would open the way for Singapore Airlines to buy
into the Australian carrier. Also in the AFR, Australia’s major
law firms are churning partners at a faster rate as they seek new
strategies to respond to a more competitive legal market. The annual AFR
partnership survey shows that the overall size of firms isn’t
increasing and many are shrinking as they become more focused on the
bottom line.

And The Age has today launched a new weekly business supplement – “Enlightened Self-Interest” – devoted to the concept of corporate
social responsibility (CSR). Because that’s what CSR is, says
business editor Michael Short, and it’s anything but a soft issue. It’s based on
a hard-nosed, rational business case and is on the agenda of almost
every one of Australia’s bigger companies.

On Wall Street, US stocks were mixed overnight as a profit warning from
Ford Motor Co.
overshadowed a modest pullback in crude-oil prices – the Dow Jones
closed down 11.74 points at 10.587. MarketWatch has a full report here.