It takes a different sort of person to want to work for ASIC -- Australia’s corporate watchdog. The pay is far less than you would receive in the private sector and the hours can be arduous. But aside from a secure role, those working in ASIC’s enforcement division can at least lay claim to be doing good -- catching bad guys and ensuring that investors don’t fall victim of financial fraud. In theory, anyway. However, it appears that the reality is quite different, with ASIC almost frozen in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. No criminal or civil legal actions have yet being taken against directors and executives of collapsed companies such as ABC Learning Centres, Babcock & Brown and Allco Finance Group.
It has been almost two years since those collapses and with the exception of the odd civil claim (such as that against various MFS executives), the perpetrators of some of the greatest Australian financial collapses (Babcock’s $5.6 billion 2008 loss remains the second biggest in Australian corporate history) remain free to roam the corporate landscape.