News Ltd’s Steve Lewis produced a cracking scoop on Mark Vaile’s moonlighting for Servcorp this morning, which has appropriately sparked a strong backlash that will play out for another 24 hours.

While AM led with the story this morning as Agriculture Minister Tony Burke kicked along the outrage, it is Servcorp shareholders who should be really worried. Coalition politicians are racking up an awful record in destroying shareholder value.

New Federal Liberal President Alan Stockdale has seen plenty of value destroyed on his boards – Mariner Financial, Senetas, Symex Holding and Axon Instruments.

Former Liberal Party President Shane Stone is a director of imploding property developer and financial City Pacific. He won’t be landing another credible directorship any time soon.

Andrew Peacock has completely smoked his reputation through his chairmanship of the still-suspended MFS , which has a similar business model to fellow Gold Coast company City Pacific.

As the Howard Government sat back and encouraged the bank cartel and Australia’s debt culture during their 11 years in office, a number of former politicians attempted to cash in.

Former Queensland Premier Rob Borbidge is chairman of Asset Loans Ltd which has plunged from 55c to 14c over the past 10 months and just reported a $2.4 million half year loss as its loan book to developers plummeted from $17 million to $7.3 million.

Jeff Kennett’s lamentable record on publicly listed boards is well known, but he’s notched up another disaster within the unlisted space. The Herald Sun reports this morning that reverse mortgage pioneer, Australian Seniors Finance, is in danger of going under if it can’t refinance a $325 million loan from the Commonwealth Bank by the end of March. Chairman Jeff will need to employ all his legendary powers of persuasion to turn this one around.

Even former Sports Minister Warwick Smith has suffered his first major corporate black eye with the implosion of advertising and marketing firm Bluefreeway which has plunged from $2.40 last July to this morning’s record low of 20c after the ALP’s favourite media buyer Harold Mitchell yesterday walked away from a possible rescue.

Nick Greiner is the only former politician who has seriously made the director’s club, but his position on the Bluefreeway board will also count against him. Based on all this, I’m fully expecting the current $60 loss on my $500 Servcorp investment to widen.

Peter Fray

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