Is there some sort of curse on Reserve
Bank directors? For 20 years now we’ve seen Paul Keating, John Howard
and Peter Costello stack the central bank’s board with mates, but bad
things seem to happen to the chosen few. Try this list for size:
Brian Quinn: Reserve Bank director for much of the 1990s, the former Coles Myer executive chairman did time for fraud in the 1990s.
Solomon Lew: RBA director for five years until 1997 then was booted off Coles Myer board by shareholders in 2002.
RBA director from 1991 until 2001 but then ousted from Austrim Nylex
shortly after quitting the board when he started punching the CEO at a
Christmas drinks function.
Rob Gerard: Appointed to board
in March 2003, after which he caved in and paid the full whack of $150
million to settle a long dispute with the ATO.
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Joined RBA board in March 2001 and in the following four years has been
engulfed with controversy at Telstra and as a director of James Hardie.
Was removed from the RBA board by the Hawke government in 1984 for
making bigoted remarks about indigenous Australians, but then got back
on in 1996, after which he fell out with long-time partner Alcoa and
then broke up his beloved WMC Resources and watched BHP Billiton take
it over last year.
Frank Lowy: appointed to the RBA board in 1995 and within four years had suffered public humiliation over the bogus community group
campaign at the old Arnotts factory in Sydney. Nevertheless, he
survived and prospered reaching unprecedented heights with this month’s
Dick Warburton: did two terms up until 2002 but then 2003 was a
shocker when he quit as David Jones chairman after a shareholder
protest and also bailed from Southcorp ahead of a shareholder protest.
However, life has looked up since then.
Janet Holmes a Court: appointed by Paul Keating in 1992 just as
she was going through a major workout with her bankers, which included
failed Victorian merchant bank Tricontinental.