Dr Ken Henry, one of the most highly regarded public servants in Australia, an exemplar of public sector leadership during his time as treasury secretary, seems sure to end his career irrevocably tarred. Henry is singled out in Kenneth Hayne's financial services royal commission report, which concluded that the National Australia Bank under Henry was slow to act, and seemingly indifferent or unable to grasp the seriousness of the issues it encountered. To be singled out as worse than the other three big banks (knowing what we now know) is damning indeed.
Could this be the same Ken Henry who was one of the key public servants in crafting a policy response that would pull Australia through the Global Financial Crisis? In 2010, Crikey described his policy response in the following terms: