We’ve said it before and, sadly, we have to say it again. SMH business
columnist Elizabeth Knight yesterday produced a column about Macquarie Bank. Sure, she had a couple of digs, but it also included this:

Macquarie has gone well beyond being classed as a traditional investment
bank. However, it’s fair to say that if it was valued as such the share price
would be where it should be. If, however, it is approached as a fully integrated infrastructure and funds
management house with investment banking functions, then the longer-term value
would be much greater.

This model has a more stable earnings outlook because its clients (to a large
degree its own spin-offs) are therefore captive. Macquarie has taken a bigger slice of control over its own destiny in this
respect. It is also more diversified than its investment bank peers.

As usual, the tame declaration at the bottom merely stated that “The author has an indirect interest in Macquarie Bank
shares.”

Yeah, and I own 12 Macquarie Bank shares. So what. Liz should come
straight out and declare that she is married to Alex Pollack, Macquarie’s
long-time media analyst and a director of the bank.

Her trifling “indirect interest” probably runs to seven figures, but
you’d never know it. Liz would benefit significantly if, as she writes,
Macquarie was valued “as a fully integrated infrastructure and funds
management house with investment banking functions.”

A decent disclosure would reveal the exact
interest and ideally point out Pollack’s salary and bonus scheme too.

Peter Fray

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