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Learning the hard way

Last week's story about international education shed a bit of light on media shy entrepreneur Barry Gregory and his Alexander Education Group.
While he's made a few easy dollars out of the company, The Note was reminded by a thoughtful reader that not everything in Mr Gregory's business past has gone so smoothly.
In July, for example, the administrators for Odin Central Services Pty Ltd offered their final circular to creditors stating that there were no further distributions to be made, more than five years after the plumbing contractor appointed them.
Mr Gregory was the sole director of Odin, which traded as Gregory's Plumbing & Pipeline Services. The administrators reported that unsecured creditors that were owed almost $6 million received 32 cents in the dollar.
Salary sacrifice
As the pay debate rages over what we pay our executives in both listed companies and the bureaucracy, The Note was amused to find something that puts it all into perspective.
In Singapore, ministerial salaries are understood to dwarf anything we pay here to people working in government - whether elected or appointed.
While The Note can't verify rumours that Singapore's president and prime minister are among several leaders whose pay packets nearly reach $S4 million ($A3.1 million) and that most of cabinet gets more than $S2 million, past reports indicate these numbers are likely to be close to the mark.
For instance, in 2007 the New York Times reported that Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong pay jumped to $S3.1 million, five times the $US400,000 earned at the time by former US President George W. Bush.
The Note hears he now gets $S3.8 million, just behind President SR Nathan on $S3.9 million.

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