ACCC’s leading man gasping for power. Rod Sims won’t be deterred by a setback in the Federal Court on Wednesday that means Metcash is able to proceed with its purchase of the retail business of Franklins, despite the ACCC’s upcoming appeal against the sale.

After all, it was Sims himself who said, during his maiden address three weeks ago, that the watchdog’s win rate was “too high” and that they effectively needed to lose some ground in order to gain some back. But should the ACCC lose its appeal against the sale it could also lose a significant portion of its power and effectiveness. — Angela Priestley (read the full story here)

Gail Kelly anoints new female exec. Gail Kelly has drafted a woman on to her executive team, muting criticism that the Westpac boss hasn’t been doing enough to improve gender representation in powerful positions.

Christine Parker has been tapped to take up the role as new group executive for human resources and corporate affairs at Westpac. She’ll take the HR portfolio from Peter Hanlon, who will become group executive for transformation and productivity.

The pair will start their new roles on October 1. Kelly was recently profiled in The Power Index’s Money Movers Top 10, in which it was noted that the South African-born banker was facing criticism for not having any women on her executive committee. — Tom Cowie (read the full story here)

World’s luckiest treasurer? Australia has done the double and scored another “World’s Greatest Treasurer” award from the UK magazine Euromoney. And wait for it, only Slovakia and Russia can match our feat of being two-time winners.

Sadly, The Power Index does not have those European names to hand, but our latest champion is, of course, the current Treasurer Wayne Swan, who has taken out first prize for steering Australia through the GFC.

As we noted a couple of days ago, Swan and Kevin Rudd certainly did do the right things in 2008 when the GFC struck, taking quick and decisive action to stimulate the economy and protect the banking system. So perhaps all those people who banged on about the disastrous BER scheme will now belt up. But, as we also noted, this year’s Finance Stakes was not the hardest race to win. — Paul Barry (read the full story here)

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
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