There's a burning question facing this country as the resources boom tans and the world recession looms: who is Australia's best Bond villain, in politics, business or media?

Professionals call this the "white cat rating", as in "s/he's only one white cat away from being a Bond villain ...". For years the unquestioned No. 1 Bond villain has been Michael Costa, former Trotskyist, former Laborist, now hard-core Hayekian, and, in five years, the guy in a saffron robe giving out free paperbacks in front of Gopal's vegetarian restaurant: