Der Kommissar

There is an excellent oped in the AFR today about the Liberal-National Government’s decision to embed ASIC officials into banks with the potential to embed them later into other businesses.  This on top of the recently implemented Liberal-National Government’s BEAR regime which allows APRA to meddle in and veto some bank management decision.  Another scheme with the potential to be extended beyond banks.  Oh and of course there is the Liberal-National Government’s bank tax, which also has the potential to be extended to other industries.

Are we really comfortable with ASIC government spies in businesses

Here is a snippet:

These steps also make a mess of the normal principles of governance. APRA and ASIC are in the process of becoming deeply embedded in the running of private businesses. They can stop firms hiring certain people, they can dictate how they are paid, they can stop certain products from being developed, and they can sit in on private meetings, not just board meetings, but a range of others as well. Who is responsible then for the performance of the company?

The thing about precedents is that those that come after are always tempted to test them.

One thing is for certain, the next time time a Liberal Prime Minister accuses a Labor opposition about misleading voters (eg Mediscare), perhaps the same Prime Minister might explain the Liberal party misleading voters by calling his party “Liberal”.

Don’t turn around, oh oh
Der Kommissar’s in town, oh oh
You’re in his eye
And you’ll know why
The more you live
The faster you will die

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37 Responses to Der Kommissar

  1. Bruce of Newcastle

    There is an excellent oped in the AFR today about the Liberal-National Government’s decision to embed ASIC officials into banks with the potential to embed them later into other businesses.

    Hey I have an idea!
    Let’s embed an ASIC watchdog into all political party HQs.
    Seeing that the rorts that pollies get up to are legendary.
    Watchdogs in party room meetings would be good too.
    I propose that every MP and party official submit daily reports to the watchdog.
    Just to be safe.
    The cost of the ASIC watchdogs can be paid for by a 10% levy on all MP’s salaries.
    Surely MPs like Ms Husar would support such a very justified measure?
    Think of all the extra jobs that would be produced to fill out the forms!
    After all politicians cost us much more than the banks ever do.

  2. Habib

    Every time I think these useless, malfeasant, fraudulent cretins couldn’t possibly be more commie they beclown themselves in spectacular fashion. Being hurled from helicopters is far too merciful for these statist swine.

    The brazen bull beckons. They are our enemy.

  3. Pyrmonter

    Spart is (as usual) heading in the right direction, but here, I fear, misses a trick.

    The danger isn’t so much that the ’embedded staff’ become some sort of internal Stasi; it’s that they’ll become complicit in the decisions taken by management. The scope for corporate mistakes and misconduct then to become the ‘problem’ of the state is almost limitless.

  4. Habib

    BoN, or an even better idea I’ve touted for some time, make parties, governments, unions and NGOs subject to the same raft of intrusive, micro-managing and obnoxious legislation and regulation they inflict of business and individuals, and the same tax regime. It’d lead to a jail building and staffing boom.

  5. candy

    These ASIC spies become more vulnerable to corruption simply by being in the company and having coffee and lunch with the workers and becoming mates.

    Human nature.

  6. And guess from which side of politics both APRA and ASIC will start gathering employees to embed in corporations.

    I’m cobbling together a story about ‘1984 – Already Here?’ and at every turn something else crops up adding to the tale.

  7. Bruce

    “These ASIC spies become more vulnerable to corruption simply by being in the company and having coffee and lunch with the workers and becoming mates.”

    “Unintended consequences”?

    No!

    “UNDOCUMENTED FEATURE”

  8. Bob in Castlemaine

    We will no doubt see similar embedded “supervision” extended to organisations such as the ACTU, CFMEU and the AWU?

  9. Helen

    In the Live Ex business, independent vets are on board to senure things are done right.

    The antis argue that they cannot remain independent – that human nature means they will identify with the (evil) exporters or their (bad) employees. I am being very kind in my paraphrasing of the antis sentiments – they are actually quite different in their sentiments and verbage than me.

    One way around this is to not let anyone stay on the one boat or one journey too long, by rotation of staff. I imagine ASIC will do the same.

    But I object, most strongly to having ASIC (and soon to follow- the ATO, the gender studies person, the diversity person, the union person – hang on they are already there) embedded – like they are a journalist in a war zone – in anyone’s company.

    The state does not own the company, shareholders do. There are already structures in place and accountability measures for Directors or companies that stray. They get found out and haorrible things happen to them, like possible jail.

    Leave it at that, Nanny Stazi governement.

    Where in the world can one go to, that is still free? Perhaps Venezuela when it emerges from its divorce from socialism.

  10. sabena

    So the Government wants to incur a liability for every act or omission of the banks?
    How stupid.

  11. Pyrmonter

    @ Helen

    And yet the banks were (and are) happy to get into bed with government to gain the benefit of express and implicit deposit guarantees, and to stifle competition through the introduction of ever more stringent (and complex) lending and recovery laws. The banks are no victims here; if anyone is, it’s the taxpaying public.

  12. Steve

    Given that the Union Super funds, who manage $500 billion of members funds, vehemently resist Independent Board membership, perhaps ASIC should have an embedded representative in every Union Super Fund as well, including IFM

  13. struth

    The socialist Hitler saw no need in owning the means of production because socialusm only requires CONTROLLING the means if production.
    We are most definitely a socialist state niw and soon there will be no state just a global socialist UN province.

  14. Speedbox

    ….they’ll become complicit in the decisions taken by management. The scope for corporate mistakes and misconduct then to become the ‘problem’ of the state is almost limitless.

    Yeah, I thought the same thing. No doubt the ASIC member will be covered by an indemnity (provided there is no collusion to conceal). But this could still end badly and expose the Govt to allegations that ASIC failed to perform their duties adequately or with sufficient professionalism (blah blah). If the performance of the entity is demonstrated to have been compromised or God forbid, the precious ‘social licence’ is besmirched, then the Govt could easily end up in court. That is not to say the action will be successful, but it will act as a rallying point.

    We are all governed by the rule of law. If those laws are inadequate or need fine-tuning, then do so. There are numerous tools to ensure compliance if necessary. But to place Govt overseers in private business is, IMO, asking for litigation at some point.

    Alternatively, what message does it send about Australia to overseas companies thinking of investing in this country? We are a back-water with high (and climbing) operating costs plus significant regulatory and taxation issues – why add to that?

  15. Given that our esteemed leader does things like this:

    Barrier Reef Foundation grant ‘unthinkable, mind-blowing’, former board member says

    When do we get an independent overseer in government?

  16. This is NOT communism, this is fascism.
    Communists own the means of production. Fascists control the means of production without the responsibility of owning them.
    So lets call this what it is, FASCISM.

  17. H B Bear

    The danger isn’t so much that the ’embedded staff’ become some sort of internal Stasi; it’s that they’ll become complicit in the decisions taken by management. The scope for corporate mistakes and misconduct then to become the ‘problem’ of the state is almost limitless.

    Exactly! What happens when the banks blow themselves up again and Bob from ASIC was sitting in the next office and attended all the meetings that lead up to it? The only difference will be that the taxpayer is on the hook directly instead of the defacto guarantee provided via the Banking Act.

  18. Perhaps it could be called the ‘Banking Guarantee II’.

  19. Tel

    The socialist Hitler saw no need in owning the means of production because socialusm only requires CONTROLLING the means if production.

    True, but banks don’t produce a whole lot. They are mostly the means to control other people’s production. There have not been genuinely independent banks in Australia since the central bank was established and the Banking Act carved out a government controlled cartel.

    You cannot compete with the bankers because you don’t have a licence. Banks work hand in glove handing all your personal activities over to the government for tax analysis and then those white horse regulators get to ride in and pretend to be the good guys. Vaudeville…

  20. RobK

    I expect that if the regulator applied the current laws in the intended manner, there would be no need for this peculiar type of intervention. To me it reeks of an escape from blame for derelict duties of the regulator. They need a kick up the preverbial.

  21. .

    This is fucking mental. A 70 million AUD brain fart and we’re 1 trillion AUD in debt with no chance of paying it off for decades.

    This is how great Empires fall. Except we’re not a great Empire.

    The rise and fall of the Great South Sea Republic: A performance art work.

  22. Habib

    No sympathy for the banks, the biggest pack of crony capitalist xnuts in the country. That this is occurring on the watch of “conservatives” serves to reinforce the need for the complete and utter destruction of the liberal and national parties.

  23. We don’t really need this at all, as Facebook is already onto it:

    If no other Facebook-related privacy issue hasn’t made you leave the social platform in disgust, perhaps the notion of Facebook become bosom buddies with your financial institution will. Probably not. You’ve made it quite clear you have no intention of quitting Facebook. What’s a bit more data surrendered at this point? Facebook already knows everything else about you, it may as well be privy to the intimacies of your financial transaction data as well right?

    According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Facebook has spent the last year asking banks like JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and U.S. Bancorp for partnerships that would result in Messenger enhancements that unlike 360 degree video would be 360 degrees of your checkbook instead. But hey, maybe you could get fraud alerts in Messenger instead of your banking app. That seems better right?

  24. .

    Banks getting involved with FB is a bad idea.

    For the banks.

    FB’s advertising programmes are scammier than a bitcoin ponzi.

    FB also lost recently hundreds of billions in valuation on dishonest accounting.

  25. Tim Neilson

    I expect that if the regulator applied the current laws in the intended manner, there would be no need for this peculiar type of intervention. To me it reeks of an escape from blame for derelict duties of the regulator. They need a kick up the preverbial.

    Of course.

    Imagine you’re a regulator. Imagine there’s been the most appalling things going on incessantly on your watch for years, and finally it gets forced upon the attentions of the politicians.

    When you’re grilled about it publicly you can answer either:
    (a) yes, we stuffed up and I should carry a good deal of the blame; or
    (b) this shows that the organisation I’m in charge of needs more powers and resources.

    Which answer do you think gets given time and time again?

  26. Dr Faustus

    One thing is certain, this is a stonking precedent for the Shorten/DiNatale Government to introduce Social Licence Compliance Officers into the offices of Big Businesses Who Pay No Tax to ensure fairness in the implementation of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997.

    There is no alternative.

  27. Dr Faustus

    The problem is that the people who, in a few weeks time, will be embedded in the Bastard Banks are the same people who have floundered around in a deeply unfashionable quango for the past 20 years.

    No chance of CSI-style backroom superheros. Based on years experience with ASIC (and other regulators) I confidently predict they will be cynical hacks, or the duller variety of Jobsworth Drones.
    The best Morrison can hope for is that they will be grit in the gears of graft.

  28. testpattern

    ‘There is an excellent oped in the AFR today about the Liberal-National Government’s decision to embed ASIC officials into banks with the potential to embed them later into other businesses’

    No it’s pathetic and ill informed. Govt spies masquerading as observers have been posted on Aust long distance fishing vessels for years. But you are correct, it replicates the Soviet period system of political commisars who were posted on their distant water fleets.

    ‘All operators are required to carry observers when requested by AFMA’

    http://www.afma.gov.au/monitoring-enforcement/observer-program/

  29. Tim Neilson

    One thing is certain, this is a stonking precedent for the Shorten/DiNatale Government to introduce Social Licence Compliance Officers into the offices of Big Businesses Who Pay No Tax to ensure fairness in the implementation of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997.

    There is no alternative.

    Pretty much every large business is already subject to constant “compliance activity” from the ATO.

    But that doesn’t mean you’re wrong Dr F. After all, what’s a few tens of millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money spent on duplication if it virtue-signals to the SJW’s?

  30. Dr Fred Lenin

    Good to see the extreme left turnbull clique assiduously implementing the u.n. Communist /soros destruction of the West programme. The centre left corrupt alp woukd not have been as game,it might interfere with the unionmafia stealing members money trade . “There’s no way them uni socialist wankers are gonna take our right to steal away for some wankers in the u.n.” , I can hear some representative of the working class say.

  31. None

    Every time I think these useless, malfeasant, fraudulent cretins couldn’t possibly be more commie they beclown themselves in spectacular fashion. Being hurled from helicopters is far too merciful for these statist swine.

    Statist? Stalin and the Stasi look like pussies compare to the LNP.

  32. Texas Jack

    The farquits in the Lieboral Party don’t seem to realise how dead they are, shafting their base and easing the path for the Left to exploit. I’ll be voting for Don Key when next we vote and finding a close seat to hand out how-to-votes for a horrid lefty – all in the interests of the long game. The current batch of piss-weak Libs need to be utterly destroyed. Burned to cinders. Maybe from there something useful my claw its way back into sunlight.

  33. Oh come on

    There is an excellent oped in the AFR today about the Liberal-National Government’s decision to embed ASIC officials into banks with the potential to embed them later into other businesses.

    So how are we are different from the communist Chinese regime’s insistence on placing CCP cells inside of any decent-sized corporation?

    This on top of the recently implemented Liberal-National Government’s BEAR regime

    It’s called the BEAR regime? Really? Bear in terms of the effect it has on markets, or bear in reference to the Soviet Union?

    Oh, both. Makes sense I guess.

  34. .

    So how are we are different from the communist Chinese regime’s insistence on placing CCP cells inside of any decent-sized corporation?

    People here still think Tony “Jesus Christ” Abbott will come again.

    It’s called the BEAR regime? Really? Bear in terms of the effect it has on markets, or bear in reference to the Soviet Union?

    Tu-95. We need some Tomcats and AIM-54s stat!

  35. Diogenes

    very time I think these useless, malfeasant, fraudulent cretins couldn’t possibly be more commie

    Not commie. This Fascism 101

  36. These ASIC spies become more vulnerable to corruption simply by being in the company and having coffee and lunch with the workers and becoming mates.

    Human nature.

    Spot on, Candy. This will have the opposite effect than intended.

  37. Tim Neilson

    The farquits in the Lieboral Party don’t seem to realise how dead they are, shafting their base and easing the path for the Left to exploit. I’ll be voting for Don Key when next we vote and finding a close seat to hand out how-to-votes for a horrid lefty – all in the interests of the long game. The current batch of piss-weak Libs need to be utterly destroyed. Burned to cinders. Maybe from there something useful my claw its way back into sunlight.

    Fair strategy for the HoR. But cast a valid ballot in the Senate. You needn’t put a number next to any member of the Michael Trumble Election Winning Machine. You should be able to fill the minimum required number of squares with conservative or libertarian candidates (some excellent, some so-so, some batshit crazy no doubt, but at this point who cares?).

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