As most Crikey readers know, ABC TV runs a mildly successful Sunday morning program called Insiders, where a bunch of hacks sit around on a couch and chew the political fat. But are they really insiders? Of course not — these are the true Australian insiders:

  • The insider traders who invest in companies like ABC Learning, Toll, QBE and Transurban (see item 1 today) who appear to have had advance knowledge of recent deals or profit upgrades and pushed up the share prices of those four companies by 6.24% in less than two weeks.
  • The former politicians, bureaucrats and Prime Ministerial chiefs-of-staff who transfer effortlessly and profitably from the public to the private sector without even the hint of a decent interval.
  • The financial supporters of incumbent political parties who get jobs on the Reserve Bank and other plum public boards.
  • The media families and their executives who get even richer from inexplicable changes to media ownership laws.

Australia is a country made up of most of us (>99%) and serial insiders (<1%). The combination of growing prosperity and diminishing public ethics has swelled the ranks (and the bank balances) of the insiders to the point where it could now be described as a significant social trend — but not, naturally, one that is ever recorded by official statistics.

Peter Fray

Get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for $12.

Without subscribers, Crikey can’t do what it does. Fortunately, our support base is growing.

Every day, Crikey aims to bring new and challenging insights into politics, business, national affairs, media and society. We lift up the rocks that other news media largely ignore. Without your support, more of those rocks – and the secrets beneath them — will remain lodged in the dirt.

Join today and get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for just $12.


Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey