Tony Mokbel and Opes Prime. According to a lawyers acting for one of the lending banks, apparently the Opes Prime crisis has been precipitated (at least in part) by the involvement of a huge amount of Tony Mokbel’s money which has been invested in or through Opes (using offshore companies or nominee accounts of course). I have information that when the market began moving against investors (from Nov 07 to date), Opes staff did not ask Mokbel (Why? Through fear? More likely Mokbel simply wouldn’t be in a position to make his margin calls since his core business has been somewhat curtailed by incarceration in Greece). In any case, the non-payment of Mokbel margin payments increased the burden on other investors and forced a liquidity crisis on the company – and hence the lending banks moved in.

The Democrats’ South Australian headquarters (below) was in fact a funeral parlour before they bought it. They were also once given a plot of land in Canberra’s Parliamentary triangle, but this is no longer in their ownership. Apparently there’s a murky story as to why they no longer have it as an income source…

So concerned is Glenn Burge about the lack of advertising in BRW, that he is taking it upon himself to visit the top end of Banking/Finance clients himself. So much for editorial integrity!

Staff at Quest Newspapers in Brisbane are livid over the failure of the company to give upgrades and have numerous other grievances. Loyal employees are being moved between offices against their will and are sick and tired of being told that they are “appreciated” at the same time as being denied pay increases while taking on extra responsibilities. Staff not on workplace agreements are being particularly targeted.

Jenny Goddard, Deputy Secretary of Prime Minister and Cabinet, is cooing praise to the PM’s office about her long-time partner Patricia Scott who is the Secretary of the new spaceage Department of Broadband. Scott, who styles herself as a no-nonsense troubleshooter but who is seen by most as an underperformer during the Howard years, is on the nose with her Minister who would like to get rid of her. It will be interesting to see whether Jenny’s conflicted advice to the PM will protect Scott from the boot.

The West is either two-faced, or two-ars-d? Note that The West Australian yesterday berated the ALP over the plight of their “mate” John D’Orazio. Quite a contrast to the character assasination the rag committed on John after the CCC findings last year.

Peter Fray

Inoculate yourself against the spin

Get Crikey for just $1 a week and protect yourself against news that goes viral.

If you haven’t joined us yet, subscribe today to get your first 12 weeks for $12 and get the journalism you need to navigate the spin.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey