Cashflow spreadsheets provided the bulk of the colour and movement during yesterday’s resumption of hostilities between former One.Tel founder Jodee Rich and ASIC in the NSW Supreme Court, reports The Daily Telegraph. The court heard that One.Tel’s finance director, Mark Silbermann, ordered a staff member to defer payments to creditors to disguise the extent of the telco’s financial plight. The Australianreports that Samantha Randall painted a picture of a company bleeding money much faster than it was coming in.

The next move in official interest rates could be down, amid warnings that the employment market will be hit by a “large downward correction” and worries that the trade balance may remain in the red indefinitely, reports The Age.

Also in The Age, Rio Tinto’s shock purchase of a 50% stake in the Hope Downs project could be worth more than $3 a share, and push the global miner closer to challenging Brazil’s CVRD as the world’s biggest iron ore producer. Rio shares gained 8¢ to $45.20 yesterday as analysts digested the ramifications of the 50-50 partnership with Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting – a deal they hailed as a masterstroke by the Australian and London-listed miner.

Tattersall’s beneficiaries and the handful of retail investors who picked up shares in this year’s biggest stock market float are in line for a significant stag profit when the company lists on Thursday, reports The Australian. The managers of the $2 billion Tatts float last night raised the issue price for institutional investors from a range of $2.40-$2.90 a share to $2.90-$3.20 citing strong demand for the stock.

And the Fin Review reports that a discounting war is growing among the big banks as increased competition has forced them to substantially cut interest rates on home loans and make their high-interest-bearing savings accounts more attractive. Also in the AFR, the recall of Mars and Snickers bars is costing MasterFoods more than $2 million a month in lost sales revenue in NSW.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey