Michael Pascoe launched a stinging attack on Melbourne yesterday,
home of alleged cartels, high-profile insider traders, real gang wars
and John Elliot.

While he was right in relation to big Jack, Melbourne still has a
fair way to go before it catches up to Sydney in terms of grubbiness. Michael has
obviously forgotten the collapse of HIH in 2001 – still Australia’s
largest – which was caused by a combination of greed, illegality and
downright incompetence by the Sydney-based Rodney Adler, Ray Williams
and Brad Cooper. While the alleged cartel behaviour by Amcor and
Visy may have resulted in a few multinationals paying a bit more for
cardboard, the collapse of HIH left disabled victims without income
support, homeowners with half finished houses and hard-working small
business owners closing their doors.

With regard to insider traders, Sydney still lays claim to the only two
insider traders who were convicted of an offence – Rene Rivkin and
Simon Hannes of Macquarie Bank. As for the gang wars, I’m sure most people would rather a good ol’
fashioned whacking to the riots involving thousands of drunken youths
which seem to be occurring in Sydney on a regular basis.

And while Melbourne may be bleak, at least you don’t need to be in the Rich 200 to be able to afford a quarter-acre block.