Can Swannie really make them cut rates? When does the country’s most powerful Money Mover become not so powerful anymore? Why, when the Big Four banks decide to gang up on him of course. We’d be referring to the glacial pace of the major retail banks to pass on Tuesday’s decision by the RBA to cut official interest rates by 25 basis points.

They’re claiming economic conditions in Europe are making money more expensive, so they need time for proper scrutiny. Officially the banks are saying their rates are “under review” but mortgagers know that same statement could soon turn out to be “tough biscuits”. — Tom Cowie (read the full story here)

Seven spectacular Power fails in 2011. Everybody loves a bit of schadenfreude, so here we present seven of the most memorable power fails of 2011 …

Allan Asher: In May, the Commonwealth Ombudsman, Allan Asher, made a fateful decision. He emailed Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young a set of questions to ask him at a Senate estimates hearing. When the collusion became public in October, former NSW premier Bob Carr described Asher’s behaviour as “indefensible” and “plain unethical”; opposition frontbencher Julie called it a “dangerous precedent”. — Matthew Knott (read the full story here)

Why the arts need powerful, private money. The arts must look to private investors to secure their future in tough financial times, according to one of the country’s best connected businessmen, David Gonski.

Among Gonski’s countless company director roles is his position as chairman of the Sydney Theatre Company. And it was speaking in this capacity that he told The Australian Financial Review: “You have to work harder to raise money in the arts; in hard times health and welfare always get a bigger share.” — Lucy Clark (read the full story here)

Katter makes another unlikely political pal. Maverick MP Bob Katter is rallying around another unlikely political buddy — this time it’s Greens co-founder Drew Hutton.

Hutton is facing court proceedings against him in Dalby, 200km north-west of Brisbane. He is accused of obstructing coal seam gas company QGC without reasonable excuse during a protest in March this year. — Lucy Clark (read the full story here)