Gina Rinehart:

Graeme Major writes: Re. “Ita Buttrose to Fairfax: put Gina Rinehart on the board” (Tuesday, item 13). Ita Buttrose’s thoughts on having Gina Rinehart on the board of Fairfax are pretty shallow. Currently being excluded has nothing to do with Rinehart being a woman. It has everything to do with Rinehart’s lack of media experience, an apparent inability to compromise, a warped understanding of science and technology, and a conspicuous lack of public empathy, among a range of dubious attributes.

Rather than sit at boring board meetings herself, I would expect her to delegate that role, and choose to appoint someone else who would faithfully reflect her own — and her father’s — views. High on that list would have to be Ian Plimer, already one of her directors of Hancock Prospecting.


Lou Moretti writes: Re. “Mayne: why the Big Four banks should be brought to heel ” (yesterday, item 3). I feel Stephen Mayne is a poor financial analyst, a fact clearly demonstrated by his analysis of the banks.

“When the world’s seventh most valuable listed bank reports a record pre-tax profit of $US10.4 billion, you know it must be onto a good thing.” Quotes Mayne about the CBA.

A true measure of the performance of any business is the return on net assets as this relates the size of the profit to the size of the entity. In the case of the CBA the average return on net assets between 2000-2004 was .99% per annum compared to .98% for the average return 2007-2011.

We might not like the banks because they are too big or too powerful but when you look at the financial analysis we need to employ analytical techniques which present a true picture without bias.

Also Mr. Mayne fails to acknowledge that:

  1. Banks provide the government with 30% of their profits in income tax. A pretty good return for one shareholder.
  2. The major shareholders in banks are in fact superannuation funds which I assume would provide benefits for most Australians.
  3. Australian banks have proven to be more stable than their overseas counterparts. A benefit to the financial stability of Australia.

Please be a bit more balanced Mayne, if you want me to read your articles in the future.

First Dog and Target:

Vicki Bonet writes: Re. “First Dog on the Moon” (Wednesday, item 5). I love Crikey, and First Dog is my lunchtime treat. So consistently funny, until Wednesday’s cartoon.

First Dog you are so wrong to trivialise and dismiss the claims of  women who are upset by the increasing s-xualisation of children (and the marketing of clothes for children).

I worked on some research on this matter about seven years ago and, initially, I thought it was a load of rubbish, but then after more research realised that my doubts were, to my horror, mostly there because I’d become acclimatised to children being presented to society this way. This is largely due to marketing and among the culprits were David Jones and some other big retailers.

So I was sad when I read your cartoon. I’m not a mother by the way and I buy clothes from Target for friend’s kids — but not the “s-xy” ones — of which there are plenty.

Thought you’d like to know.