From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Next up for David De Garis. In the next few months politics watchers will be keeping their eyes out for just where Michaelia Cash’s now former media adviser will end up next. David De Garis, who resigned after admitting to tipping off media outlets to the AFP raids on the Australian Workers Union offices. Those familiar with such things know that he won’t be unemployed for long. De Garis has previously worked for former Victorian premier Denis Napthine and for the late federal MP Don Randall. It’s just over a year since Christopher Pyne’s staffer Jack Walker was forced to resign after being caught up in the Budgie Nine scandal in Malaysia — he was in a government relations role at major IT and engineering company Leidos not that long after handing in his notice. We’ll be watching out for where De Garis appears next.

Former shepherd joins wolf pack. Former Reserve Bank Governor, Glenn Stevens has raised eyebrows by popping up on the board of the country’s biggest investment bank, Macquarie Group — not the sort of financial institution you would have expected the conservative Stevens joining. From some media reports, Stevens was lined up to join the Commonwealth Bank (which looked a more appropriate fit) until the proverbial hit the fan over the money laundering scandal. Not going through with the CBA approach is understandable for a former RBA Governor, but what is also curious is his ‘edgy’ choice of his first move into the private sector — a hedge fund 25% owned by James Packer’s Ellerston Capital is a commentary he has just penned on inflation).<

But he is not the first RBA Governor to join one of the institutions he had oversight of — his predecessor Ian McFarlane joined the ANZ as an independent director, while a former deputy governor, John Phillips had a long list of directorships. Bernie Fraser, McFarlane’s predecessor, joined the boards of a number of industry super funds, and for a while was a board member of Members Equity Bank. A former RBA Governor, Sir Jock Phillips was a director of Lend Lease back in the late 1970’s. And Stevens’ fellow board member, then-Treasury head Ken Henry, is now chair of another bank, the NAB.

During the GFC, Stevens, as Governor of the RBA, helped keep the economy and financial system on track, along with Wayne Swan and Henry. The Rudd government introduced a three year loan guarantee that enabled Australian banks, including Macquarie to survive the shut down of foreign funding sources. Stevens can now survey the consequences of his handiwork from much closer to the action.

Hate to say. Last night was the final episode of Channel Ten’s The Bachelorette, with audiences around the country tuning in to see an overly-long, sponsor-soaked event where former popstar Sophie Monk chose which man she would settle for. Usually the results of these shows are closely guarded secrets, with tabloid press looking for any hint on social media or in the real world of just who walks away as winner. This time around the rumour mill was working overtime even before eventual winner Stu Laundy had any screentime. The brother of Liberal MP Craig Laundy was an intruder on the show at the start of the month, when Ms Tips wrote:

“Viewers of the Bachelorette on Channel Ten tonight may soon notice a familiar name pop up: Stuart Laundy is set to be revealed as an ‘intruder’ on the show where men vie to win the heart of Sophie Monk. The ‘publican playboy’ (as he refers to himself) has been rumoured to be the one to steal Monk’s heart on the show.”

As always, we are at your service.

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Peter Fray

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