Which bank’s under the Tax Office gun? The Tax Office is looking to bounce back from the Hoges debacle by hitting a certain high-profile Australian financial institution with the full court press in order to get them to pay millions in back taxes. The bank in question is under continual audit and so has been rather smug to date about the likelihood of getting away with their “financial engineering” — but what they don’t know is that a former employee who got booted during the staff cuts in 2009 is now singing like a canary in return for a tidy consultancy gig.
Bankers are human, too. I work in one of the Asian branches of a multi-national investment bank but am an expat Aussie. I’ve donated personally to Queensland flood relief — I won’t be getting any tax deduction for the donation either. I know my colleagues in our Australian offices have organised appeals off their own bat, without being pushed to by management and without shareholders cash being used, and funds are being raised now out of their own pockets. Whatever the final amount raised is, I expect it will be donated to the relief effort with no publicity accruing to our bank or our staff. No applause or credit is due for this, but I wanted to note it because bankers are human too and are not indifferent to human suffering, even if we don’t end up getting a slot on a national TV program to discuss it.
Examining their home addresses. The Examiner newspaper in Launceston has potentially created problems for the recipients of Australia Day honours by publishing (in the most part) their full addresses.
The paper trail goes online. The Wilderness Society has been running a campaign called Ethical Paper alerting consumers to the fact that Reflex Paper is made of Australian native forests. Australian Paper — makers of Reflex — bullied Google into removing Wilderness Society adwords, and put up their own site: Ethical Paper: The Facts. What are they scared of?
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