Australia is unlikely to ever see a corporate
crook spend as much time behind bars as Bernie Ebbers, says Blair Speedy in The Australian. Here, the crimes
are a bit smaller and the sentences are a lot shorter. And while Steve Vizard may not be in the same league as Ebbers, says the AFR’s Chanticleer, the comparison between the penalty facing the disgraced show pony and the life sentence against Ebbers is telling

The SMH reports that the civil case against One.Tel’s founder, Jodee Rich, and the
failed company’s former finance director, Mark Silbermann, suffered
another blow yesterday when the judge hearing the case threw out a
second expert’s report. Justice Robert Austin had already rejected most of a report by
another expert on the basis that many of the
conclusions about One.Tel’s financial position in the months prior
to its May 2001 collapse were based on assumption rather than
fact.

The Fin Review reports that Australian share funds delivered a
median 27.8% return for the year to 30 June – their best
performance on record. But fund managers have warned they’re unlikely
to match the record returns amid concerns that earnings growth will
slow. Also in the AFR, partners in mid-tier law firms are
facing a backlash from their staff after many managers delivered
themselves large salary increases at the expense of senior associates
and junior lawyers during recent pay reviews.

On Wall Street, US stocks rose strongly overnight as positive data,
a steep fall in the
price of oil and a strong earnings report from Apple
lifted the Nasdaq (up 8.71 points to 2,152) to a 2005 high and the
S&P 500 (up 3.21 points to 1,226) to its best close since since
July 2001. The Dow Jones rose
71.5 points to 10,628, a four-month high for the benchmark index – MarketWatch has a full report here.

Peter Fray

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