Guest commentator Matt Caine has prepared this review of a recent book by Adele Ferguson, whose journalistic investigations were instrumental in prompting the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry:
This is a brilliant read, so what is it about?
It is the story of the tail wagging a big, stupid dog.
Of barrels full to the brim with bad apples.
Greed at all costs, where cash isn’t everything, it is the only thing.
The story of sycophants just following orders.
Of total incompetence at the highest levels of Australia’s largest companies.
Of their low and inept smear campaigns.
Of a few good men heroically standing up to be counted.
Of the Government’s Finance Minister trying to cut regulation while evidence of theft, fraud and money laundering are staring him in the face.
Of how white collar criminals get off the hook.
Of a failed advertising man becoming Treasurer and a Prime Minister who sells his soul to the devil, both telling us that problems are being addressed, and made to look the buffoons they really are.
How Australia’s major parties are easily bought.
Of Government that forgets who it represents.
A merry-go-round of people working in politics, the financial sector and the regulator.
How a regulator choked of funds becomes ineffectual, and gets cosy with those it is supposedly regulating.
Of people whose life savings are stolen from them by narcissists who still have their jobs or have escaped scot free, with monies obtained by fraud.
Of how media suck up to advertising clients.
A Royal Commission with terms of reference written by those sympathetic or beholden to those being investigated.
And why the Government picks a member of the Melbourne Establishment to head it.
Whether anything will change.
A fascinating horror of a true crime that continues today.
Who should read this?
Everyone who has ever held a bank account.
Anyone who holds a loan, insurance, investments or superannuation.
Everyone who holds shares on the ASX.
Anyone who votes.
Those who care about their fellow Australians.
You owe it to yourself to become informed: it could save your financial future and your life.
Most of all, it is a riveting story, brilliantly told by the journalist instrumental in blowing the whistle on some of the worst criminals of our time.
Adele Ferguson AM, I salute you – a thoroughly deserved AM award – and a true champion for all Australians.