Clap on for Kloppers. Just one executive of an Australian company made it onto the list of US business rag Barron’s best 30 CEOs in the world: BHP Billiton chief Marius Kloppers.

Kloppers’ made the cut for the second year running because he “knows as much about doing business with China as anyone (except perhaps the Chinese?)”, wrote the editors at Barron’s, noting Kloppers was in China for the long haul.

He’s in good company, depending on how you rate the work of the other 29 on the list. Super billionaire and please-let-me-pay-more-tax obsessive Warren Buffett’s up there, as is Starbuck’s Howard Schultz.

Nick Minchin’s prolific letter writing. Either Nick Minchin’s got plenty of time on his hands, or the former Liberal powerbroker’s determined to ensure his opinions stay relevant. The Power Index can’t help but notice Minchin’s regularly appearing byline in the letter pages of our national papers, nor his keen interest in support Labor government decisions.

Today, Minchin from Tusmore SA has written a letter to The Australian Financial Review in support of the Labor government’s decision to ban Chinese telco Huawei from working on the National Broadband Network, noting he’s “disappointed by Coalition criticism”.

Last week, in a letter to The Australian, he wrote in support of the government’s decision to appoint David Gonski as the Future Fund’s chairman, saying the Coalition was wrong to think the government should have appointed Peter Costello instead.

It’d be different in Howard’s day, the Liberal Party’s once spiritual leader must no doubt be thinking.

Piers Akerman defends the nanny state. News Limited columnist Piers Akerman is frothing at the mouth today over Childcare Minister Kate Ellis’ claim that the childcare rebate should not be extended to nannies because they are often hired to be chauffeurs, chefs and ironers.

“There are several flaws in the Ellis argument,” Akerman blusters, after noting the minister does not have children. “The first is the assumption that she can think or has an independent thought process.”

Akerman believes Ellis, like Wayne Swan with his attack on the influence of billionaires, is fanning the flames of class envy.

Miranda Devine’s exception for nits. Speaking of the nanny state, Akerman’s fellow conservative commentator Miranda Devine usually prefers individuals to take control of their lives rather than rely on the state to intervene. But when it comes to nits, she’s willing to make an exception. According to Devine, “the lice plague has become a national public health concern, which ought to be treated seriously”.

“Lice can never be totally eradicated but mandatory lice checks, children sent home to be treated, long hair tied in braids, subsidised treatments for those who can’t afford it, would keep them at bay,” she wrote yesterday.