Peter Costello was busy showing Lee Kuan Yew around Parliament a few weeks back when the Singapore strongman was in town to pick up an honorary doctorate from ANU. The citation, perhaps, should have read: "For building the first sovereign state to own more Australian business assets than the Australian Government itself." 

Since coming to office, Peter Costello and John Howard have flogged off almost everything that wasn't bolted down, including the Defence Department headquarters at Russell Hill, something you can't imagine the Americans doing with the Pentagon.