Analysis: the banker in your bedroom

Would you like a banker permanently positioned in your boardroom, or bedroom, because that could happen if the banks lose the infamous Bell Group legal battle.


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The problem with Tim's article is that it suggests business life was reasonably normal back in 1990 and the standards and conditions of today should be considered as having been in force 21 years ago. In fact, by 1990, the WA Inc fiasco was in full force, with public money being handed over to private people and corporations, and the taxpayer ultimately being the loser when the suspect deals (which most sane people suspected of being suspect) ultimately failed. Any bank that considered lending money to Alan Bond, Laurie Connell, Dallas Dempster and a few other high rollers at that time would have know of the widely held concerns about these people and their business dealings. I don't pretend to understand the basis on which Justice Owen has made his ruling. But I have no doubt that the banks must have known the huge risks they were accepting when they agreed to lend money or extend loans to people like Bond in 1990. Bad decisions by the banks must sometimes mean that they (i.e., their shareholders) lose. With WA Inc, it was mostly the taxpayers of WA who lost, so I hope that the taxpayers have a win here, if only to send a message to the banks that they and the executives involved need to accept responsibility when deals go wrong.

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