Squiz Today / 01 December 2017
Squiz Today – Friday, 1 December
“A major weather event”
There are predictions of some bad weather around the joint this weekend, particularly in Victoria. Please stay safe.
TURNBULL RAILROADED INTO BANKING ROYAL COMMISSION
Exhausted from an intense months-long fight, the Turnbull Government and the banks have agreed to a Royal Commission into the financial sector. The chairs and CEOs of our four biggest banks yesterday wrote to the Treasurer Scott Morrison saying that while they do not believe an inquiry is necessary, the uncertainty has to end and confidence in the sector rebuilt. PM Malcolm Turnbull said; “We have got to stop the banks and our financial services sector being used as political football.” The inquiry will include all banks, wealth managers, superannuation providers and insurance companies.
HOW DID WE GET HERE?
Here are three things to note:
1. Critics of the banks and financial sector point to mishandling of financial advice, insurance schemes and compliance (think Commonwealth Bank’s failure to report 58,000 incidents of money laundering) as the reason to have a good look over the sector.
2. With the Turnbull Government short of numbers in the House of Reps next week and some Nationals taking on the issue, it was better for Turnbull to announce it himself and take control of the terms of the inquiry than be humiliated on the floor of the parliament.
3. Reports this morning say former NSW Premier/now NAB executive Mike Baird and its chair/former Treasury Secretary Ken Henry, as well as Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe told Morrison a Royal Commission was the way to go given an inquiry of some description was looking likely.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
You mean besides watching Team Turnbull argue that a Royal Commission is a way to help the economy by preventing further damage to the financial sector’s reputation? Call us old-fashioned, but we remember a time when it was a way to investigate wrongdoing and recommend changes… Next steps are for a commission panel to be found for the 12-month inquiry. There has been $75 million allocated for its operation and it’s estimated the banks will spend $400 million in legal and other fees. Who knows, maybe it will uncover something that hasn’t turned up in the 39 completed reviews, investigations and inquiries that have been undertaken (or the 12 that are ongoing) in the last 10 years. The victims of misconduct in the sector are certainly happy it’s going ahead.
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SHANGHAI SAM STEPS DOWN FROM PARTY ROLES
But Sam Dastyari is not going to quit his job as a Labor senator for NSW. Dismayed that a tape of his comments to the Australian-Chinese media contradicting Oz policy on the South China Sea did not match his recollection, Dastyari told his colleagues he was shocked. Shocked, he said! It is the second time he's been demoted over the same incident. Labor leader Bill Shorten said Dastyari has a long way to go to restore the party's confidence in him. Team Turnbull maintain he should resign from parliament given his repeated lapses in judgement and close connection with Chinese influence.
NEW ENGLAND BY-ELECTION TOMORROW
That’s the one where former Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce will re-contest his seat (taking in Armidale and Tamworth in NSW) after discovering he was a dual Kiwi citizen. Joyce, representing the Nationals, is one in a field of 17 candidates (including someone called Meow-Ludo Disco Gamma Meow-Meow - we are not making that up…) and is the favourite to win. If he does, he’ll be welcomed back with open arms by Turnbull who has struggled to rein in the Nationals team who have been quite unwieldy since Joyce and Deputy Nationals leader Fiona Nash were ruled ineligible by the High Court.
MANDATORY CODE COULD HELP DAIRY FARMERS
Following years of struggle and instability in Australia’s dairy industry, an interim report by the competition and consumer regulator has found that there’s a power imbalance between the farmers and milk processors. ACCC commissioner Mick Keogh summed it up pretty well; “What’s clear is that processors, often under pressure from supermarkets or export market competition, use their relative bargaining power to shift risks onto dairy farmers.” The suggested fix is a mandatory code of conduct to help farmers get a fair deal. The report also found that Coles’ and Woolworths’ move to $1 milk has not had an impact on the price farmers get for their milk.
OROTON PUT INTO ADMINISTRATION
The 79yo company had been in a trading halt on the stock exchange since Tuesday following a review that looked into privatising or selling the company. But in the end, its 80% share price slump since the start of the year and worsening financial position saw the leather goods brand and retailer put into administration. It will continue to trade while administrators look at a sale or recapitalisation.
AUSSIE LIFE EXPECTANCY UP
Updated figures from the Institute of Health and Welfare released yesterday show women continue to have a longer life expectancy than men. Kiddos born in 2013–15 can expect to live to 84.5 years for women and 80.4 years for men. People living in Northern Sydney have the longest life expectancy (ahem), followed by eastern Melbourne. And people in the NT have the lowest with an average life expectancy of 77.7 years. With all the new shows coming out on Netflix and the like we’ll need the extra time.
We have some strong views on standard household practices. For example, there's only one way to hang a business shirt on the line and that's with pegs, upside down at the side seams. But we can be a little flexible. We're a recent convert to putting tomato sauce in the fridge. But putting apples in the fridge? No way.
Photographer Akiko DuPont’s grandfather Jiji was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and he started to shut down to his friends and family. But he had an extraordinary connection with a cat named Kinako. This is a beautiful and sad photo essay.
SQUIZ THE DAY
ABD Data Release - Disability, Ageing and Carers, 2015
Annual General Meeting - Premier Investments
New England By-Election
2.30pm (AEDT) - Ashes Series Cricket Test 2 Starts - Australia v England - Adelaide
4.45pm (AEDT) - Women's Rugby League World Cup Final - Australia v New Zealand - Brisbane
8.00pm (AEDT) - Men's Rugby League World Cup Final - Australia v England - Brisbane
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