Jumping the gun? A full 24 hours before the Liberal leadership spill, Malcolm Turnbull’s printer had a request for a short run of business cards — with the words “Opposition Leader” printed on them. We knew Malcolm was adept at making fortunes, but it seems he can tell them as well.

What has happened at Melbourne Airport this morning? My friend, who is on flight from China, said there was a power failure and he narrowly missed a mid-air collision!

I just got off the phone to friend at Lehman Bros in London. Everyone has packed up and left, taken what they can  — they can’t email out — only internally and all of them were in over the weekend emailing out the important files to take with them. The press are all out on the streets outside and they blame the CEO trying to get a better price and the time cost them this. The Koreans were interested but the CEO took too long to make a decision. The Bank of America were also interested until Merrill Lynch made a quicker decision for the sale … they just let Lehman Bros go…

Citigroup and ML/Berndale are to clear trades for suspended Lehmans/Grange? It begs a few questions. What happens if the Third Party Clearers cannot clear all the obligations of Lehmans? If other brokers fail as a result will the Third Party Clearers step in to cover those brokers too? The ASX recently announced that all brokers will need to have $10m to cover clearing liabilities — is $10m sufficient for the likes of ML and Citigroup to have available to cover their trade obligations? Some individual trades will be worth that much.

A case of too many chiefs and not enough workers? The Age now has two Operations Directors. David “I closed the Age canteen and The Age Shop” Skelton has been demoted, stripped of his “Chief Operating Officer” title. Today Skelton calls himself “Business and Operations Director”. Slight problem there, apart from a related matter hanging over him. Title of “Operations Director” is currently held by someone else — Age manager, Danny Trainor. Gives new meaning to “removing duplication”. Must only apply to us editorial types.

Christopher Pyne attended the Democrats convention, yet his Facebook site supports McCain/Palin ticket. Is he really a Democrat at heart?

It appears lobbyists won’t only be at work in Western Australia under a Labor Government. With Roger Cook finally winning the seat of Kwinana at the State Election, CPR has replaced him with John Preston, who was Chief of Staff to Troy Buswell during his time as Liberal Opposition Leader. Preston is ex British Conservative Party and did previous stints as an advisor to Tony Smith, when Parl Sec to John Howard, and as a researcher to the Victorian Liberal Party.

CBA fresh from the rejection of the ABN Amro deal are said to be sharpening the pencil on the merits of a deal to acquire Macquarie Bank in a shares for shares deal.

Peter Fray

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