Feb 10, 2014

Mayne: conflicts of interest and the financial services inquiry

Is there a potential conflict of interest for former Commonwealth Bank CEO David Murray when he conducts a review of Australia's financial system?

Stephen Mayne — Journalist and Founder

Stephen Mayne

Journalist and Founder

When then-treasurer Peter Costello appointed Stan Wallis to conduct a sweeping review of Australia’s financial system shortly after the 1996 federal election, the former Amcor CEO sensibly disposed of all his personal shareholdings in financial services companies. Wallis complained at the time that it cost him a lot of money, but it was the right thing to do to avoid even the perception of a conflict of interest.

Fast-forward 18 years and another newly appointed federal Treasurer, Joe Hockey, is repeating the Wallis inquiry exercise, but this time it will be conducted by former Commonwealth Bank chief executive David Murray, who will make an important speech on the topic at a Committee for Economic Development of Australia function on Friday.

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6 thoughts on “Mayne: conflicts of interest and the financial services inquiry

  1. Alex

    But, will there be a debate?

  2. Robert Smith

    First paragraph – it should be David Murray and not Stan Wallis who is the former CBA CEO

  3. Kevin_T

    A rather unfortunate misprint in the email newsletter:
    “an independent foundation” which is “not owned by the Liberal Party”. reads as “an independent foundation” which is “now owned by the Liberal Party”.

  4. Jimmyhaz

    “He also says that “donations are made to free enterprise organisations other than the Liberal Party” in line with its charter to support “the private sector”, “individual enterprise” and “an intelligent, free and liberal democracy”.”

    Ugg, looks like the slavish devotion to the free market rhetoric that infests American vested interests is starting to make its way over here.


    In 2008 the US Federal Reserve met Westpac and NAB requests for secret loans of $US1.09 billion and $US4.5 billion respectively in all likelihood preventing their collapse. When finally revealed in 2010 this was scarcely reported in the local media. Funny ’bout that.

    The TBTF (Too Big To Fail) banks HSBC and JP Morgan own a controlling interest in the Westpac NAB ANZ and Commonwealth banks.

    Twelve months or so ago the US Justice Department fined HSBC the equivalent of five weeks profit – $US1.9billion for laundering drug and terrorism money. They laundered money for the likes Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel suspected in the murder of thousands. They moved money for Hezbollah.
    No individual from HSBC was fined and no one did time.

    These guys make Frank Nugan and Michael Hand look saintly by comparison. Murray should take a look at HSBC operations in Australia and reassure us that they are not moving local drug money.

    Too Big To Jail my eye.

  6. klewso

    David Murray – or should that be “Moai”? With his flexibility and openness to persuasion?

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