Under the current regime at the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, insider trading, ripping off investors and breaching director’s duties can be a highly profitable activity. The risk of getting caught is low and the penalties if you do get caught minimal.

Part of the reason is ineptitude and indifference. Michael West in the Fairfax press on Saturday revealed he had warned ASIC of the looming disasters of Storm Financial, Allco, Babcock & Brown, ABC Learning and others. The regulator, though, wasn’t interested. Six months before Storm collapsed, ASIC gave it a "clean bill of health".