royal commission

Yesterday, Crikey readers were universal in their condemnation of the damaged caused by Australia’s banks and financial institutions. Firstly, there was Bernard Keane on the Australian Banking Association’s about-turn on fixing FOFA legislation (which it had previously attempted to break), followed by Glenn Dyer on the costs to the banks implicated in the royal commission. As readers pointed out, these costs go beyond financial.

On the financial sector’s attempt to turn it all around

Ng GJB writes: Government submissions have become a communication conduit for corporate instruction to government, the bribery and favour negotiation from party donors takes place in private. The fact that all parties benefit is the reason its not amended.

MJM writes: The royal commission has revealed many examples of blatant wrongdoing, such as plain theft. There can be no political compromise or negotiation over this. Unless there are jail sentences imposed on individual wrongdoers, as happens in the courts every day, ordinary people will have their worst suspicions confirmed — know a politician or have lots of money (or both) and you can get away with appalling behaviour.

john kotsopoulos writes: Why does it take a disaster like the GFC or the stomach-turning revelations of a royal commission for big banks and big business to concede that incentivising bad conduct is bad business.

AR writes: For all that I agree with everything above, we really are clutching at straws. Had it the moral fibre and will, Labor could have “done something” when previously in office. It didn’t then and won’t the next time. The time servers and apparatchiks are just as compromised and complicit as the tories without even the figleaf of it being their DNA. Remember when Labor was able to claim to be for the workers and be believed? By some, more in hope than confidence. Nay, nor do I. It was such a long time ago.

On the debt the banks owe

Wayne Cusick writes: How much will the royal commission end up costing the banks? Not nearly enough, obviously. What should happen is that they forfeit their profits from the years where they did wrong, the CEOs and top executives must pay back their bonuses from those years and some should possibly face criminal charges. But that won’t happen.

Peter Wileman writes: I don’t remember the Great Train Robbers being offered the option of refunding the money that they stole.

zut alors writes: No amount of recompense will ever be enough. The customers who lost their homes or business will not regain them, farmers who were forced off their land cannot return. And let’s not overlook the tragic suicides of customers under insufferable pressure. It’s not possible to calculate reparation for the above.

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