Dr Ken’s lessons on how to respond to criticism

This is what Kenneth Hayne said in his final report yesterday:

I thought it telling that Dr Henry seemed unwilling to accept any criticism of how the board had dealt with some issues.

This is what Dr Henry said in reply this morning:

In his final report, Commissioner Hayne said I seemed unwilling to accept criticism of how the Board had dealt with some of the issues raised by the Commission. I am disappointed that the Commissioner formed this view. I know that it is not so. The Board and I have reflected deeply on those and other issues and, as I have said previously, we take them very seriously.

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45 Responses to Dr Ken’s lessons on how to respond to criticism

  1. stackja

    And Ken, you now seriously quit and return your remuneration?

  2. bollux

    He should be iterating this from a cell. Along with Bligh and a host of others.

  3. Shy Ted

    He got KRudd’ response to the GFC right too, just ask him.

  4. Dr Faustus

    The Australian Banking Association has leapt to the defence of the NAB bosses.

    ABA head Anna Bligh said the commissioner had formed an opinion based on one session of evidence at a hearing last year.

    “All I can say is that I have seen both of these men on a number of occasions at meetings in rooms where they have had to put their hand up for reform and change and they have always been adopters and promoters of change, not resisters,” she told Nine Network.

    Yes, that’s probably all you can say.

  5. …they have had to put their hand up for reform and change and they have always been adopters and promoters of change…

    Reform and change for who’s benefit?

  6. stackja

    Scott Pape, Barefoot Investor, News Corp Australia Network
    February 5, 2019 12:42am
    Subscriber only

    Sir John Barnard was by all accounts a ripping bloke.

    He was one of the first officials to fearlessly take on the finance industry, and ask a simple question:

    “How do we stop these greedy finance bastards from ripping us off?”

    His answer was to pass investor protection laws, which later became known as ‘Sir John Barnard’s Act’.

    Yet get this: these laws ‒ which aimed to stop the spivs and protect the public ‒ were passed in 1734.

    Yes, society has been trying to rein in the finance industry for centuries … without much luck.
    Today’s Sir John Barnard, Kenneth Hayne, has now had his go, and he’s done an admirable job cleaning up the corporate kitty litter which our banking fat cats have soiled themselves in.

    Yet the truth is that Hayne, like Barnard, is up against it.

    That’s because human nature hasn’t changed in 285 years, and it never will. Gordon Gekko ‒ the cigar-chomping, suspender-wearing Wall Street character ‒ nailed it when he said, “Greed is good”. (Well, for bankers at least.)

    Greed is what caused the public to be fleeced (and outraged) in the South Sea Bubble of the 1720s, the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 (where bankers made billions in bonuses ‒ and only one went to jail), and the dodgy dealings that the Hayne Royal Commission uncovered.

    And like clockwork, every decade (or so), the ramifications of this greed come to light and shock the public. New laws are brought in … and then, a few years later, things largely go back to normal.

    The bankers are going to bank, and the lobbyists are going to lobby.

    And so, if the industry isn’t going to change … we must.
    While Commissioner Hayne should be thanked by every Australian for the work he’s done, arguably the biggest gift the Royal Commission has given us is the proof that financial institutions do not have our best interests at heart. Strip away their fluffy advertising, and the talk of cultural change, and the fundamentals haven’t changed since 1734.

    No one cares more about your money than you do.

    If we really want genuine change, we need to teach the next generation this simple truth. By my reckoning, kids spend a total of around 2,300 days at school. Yet not even one of those days is dedicated to teaching them how to pass the ‘money exams’ they’ll be tested on every single day of their lives.

    Mark my words, greed isn’t going away. Therefore, we owe it to our kids to make sure they learn the lessons we didn’t. And that’s why this Royal Commission should be about kicking off a financial revolution, that begins with us banking on our kids.

    Because if we don’t the bankers will.

    Tread Your Own Path!

  7. Blair

    So Doctor Henry was willing to accept criticism of how the Board had dealt with some of the issues raised by the Commission and has acted accordingly.

  8. RobK

    It seems that those on super-human pay grades generally perform sub-normally when under public scrutiny.

  9. Rusty of Qld

    And nothing will change, time will roll on the blood sucking parasites, known as banks will still hold the whip hand as the creators/manufacture’s of all money as an interest bearing debt on the backs of the workers and taxpayers, governments will come and go as the finance tap is turned on/off by the banks as the controllers of finance and the peasants, that’s us, will continue to be sucked dry by banks and inept, ineffectual politicians.

  10. Myrddin Seren

    I am disappointed that the Commissioner formed this view. I know that it is not so. The Board and I have reflected deeply on those and other issues and, as I have said previously, we take them very seriously.

    Translation:

    Stall until the Federal election.

    Then Ken and Anna go for a sit down with Chris Bowen and work something out.

    Mind you – it might be worth more to Labor to toss Ken under the bus and finagle more of their Maates in to the board and CEO offices. Chairman Gillard anyone ?

    Ken possibly over rates his own worth to the Bruvvas.

  11. Rusty of Qld

    Stackja,
    Thats why Keating was awarded the Treasurer of the year. He gave away the peoples Commonwealth bank to the blood sucking parasites and thus the last piece to deliver the entire country’s finance creation into the parasites complete control.
    Stroked Keating’s vanity no end though, he still can’t get over himself.

  12. Bruce of Newcastle

    The big four up 4 to 7 percent so far in ASX trade this morning. ROFLMAO!

  13. tombell

    isn’t it contempt of the Commission to give it the two fingered salute?

  14. Real Deal

    “Malcolm Turnbull has opened up a new war with his former Liberal colleagues by declaring the government should have called the banking royal commission earlier…”

    Who was the PM when the Government was resisting the Royal Commission? Has Turnbull no shame? Stupid question to be sure.

  15. stackja
    #2925772, posted on February 5, 2019 at 10:20 am

    That is one of the few sensible things that’s been said about this whole circus.

    But it will fall on deaf ears.

    No politician (apart from perhaps Leyonhjelm and maybe Bernardi) is going to advocate that people take more responsibility for their own affairs.

    And the education system will never allow valuable time to be wasted on teaching children competence and self-reliance when there’s so much for them to learn about activism, identity politics and non-procreative sexual gratification.

  16. NuThink

    There are a few phrases or slogans for want of a better word that people in power often use that really irks me such as

    we take them very seriously

    They are do nothing meaningless motherhood statements and should be called out by the pretend so called journalists as to what that means.

  17. Megan

    The Board and I have reflected deeply on those and other issues and, as I have said previously, we take them very seriously.

    Sure, Ken. But what action have you actually taken?

  18. NuThink

    That’s because human nature hasn’t changed in 285 years, and it never will.

    It has been going longer than that, just read some of the sayings of Cornelius Tacitus who lived in Roman times.

    https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/tacitus

  19. min

    One can go back further in history than 1734 for evidence of human greed however not sure when laws were introduced to protect the customer.
    The Medicis used to run two copies of their books , one for taxes and the other for themselves. Then there was the Church with Indulgences, nepotism, tithe collection which is how Bici Di Medici got the bank going.
    Back in 1400s in Siena a bank was started it finally went under last year. They used to pay employees 13 months pay for 12 months . Even when they got into trouble, kept overpaying staff .
    Even if people go to jail ,human nature will not change.
    By the way Henry and Turnbull have personalities in common.

  20. Bruce of Newcastle

    The problem is of course that APRA, ACCC, ASIC and Mr Hayne all apply the microscope only to the banks.

    No one applies a similar microscope to politicians or government.

    No one ever does, until tumbrils are rolled out.

  21. Terry

    “Commissioner Hayne should be thanked by every Australian for the work he’s done”

    Hayne is incompetent. It is clear he has no understanding of what he presumed to sit in judgement of.

    His big recommendation. More regulation (a new regulator to regulate the regulators even – GENIUS!).

    Is anyone surprised when a bureaucrat suggests more bureaucracy as a panacea? Has it ever worked?

    Regulation stifles competition. Reduced competition allows the Big Bank oligopoly to dictate to the market and get away with bad behaviour (“what are you gunna do about it?”).

    Matching the risk of lending (risk of losing your capital) to the reward of lending (opportunity for a positive return on your capital) combined with as much competition as possible, with only a few well-targeted regulations is enough to ensure a fair market.

    That should have been the aim. Instead, we get this mess.

    Want to know what the banks think of Hayne’s wet lettuce leaf? Check the share prices.

  22. Infidel Tiger

    The big four up 4 to 7 percent so far in ASX trade this morning. ROFLMAO!

    Yeah, well when a Royal Commission into bad behaviour by the banks recommends removing all their competition, that is not unexpected.

  23. Des Deskperson

    I was a aways fascinated and intrigued by the way that Ken Henry, back when he was Secretary to the Treasury and appearing before a Senate Estimates or other Parliamentary Committee, used to astutely mark out the TV cameras, their areas of vision and the lighting in the chamber and then carefully position himself so that they would pick up highlight what he considered to be his best angles and sides.

  24. Megen de la Mer

    Given the economic illiteracy displayed in most of the recommendations by Royal Commissioner and lawyer Hayne, and his fellow legal mate (Orr), Henry should wear this criticism as a badge of honour. Glaring examples of economic lunacy include Rec 1.3 (Francis Quesnay anyone?) and Rec 6.14 (George Stigler anyone?).

  25. John A

    stackja #2925772, posted on February 5, 2019, at 10:20 am

    Scott Pape, Barefoot Investor, News Corp Australia Network
    February 5, 2019 12:42am

    Yes, greed is the underlying cause, but The Barefoot footloose Investor forgets that greed is also in the hearts and minds of the customers as well. Many went into fancy “get-rich-quick” schemes with their eyes open and only squealed when they started to incur losses.

    I also deplore the generalised attack upon punitive fees for bad behaviour (eg. dishonour charges on cheque drawers without sufficient funds to meet the cheque when presented). The moves to scale fees back to the level of actual processing costs involved will backfire because it removes a strong disincentive to engage in the bad behaviour.
    .

  26. Squirrel

    Had Ken Henry’s appearance before the Royal Commission been delivered by a business figure with high profile connections to the Right, he would already have been hounded from office by a social media storm over “mansplaining” and “highly gendered discourse” etc. etc. etc.

  27. NuThink

    In the late 80’s I took out a home loan with one of the big banks. I still trusted them at that time. They were supposed to take the mortgage out every fortnight, and it was only when I received the end of year statement for the loan that I noticed the loan amount had increased and was now higher than the initial loan. What was done by the bank was to take the fortnightly amount out every calendar month and so it had increased. Mistake or by design, I will never know. I should have checked but did notice that money was being taken from my account to pay the mortgage but was not keeping an eagle eye on it as I trusted the best banks in the world. My stupid mistake not to have been more thorough.

  28. Tel

    I’m curious as to how Dr Henry can be sure he knows how his behaviour seems to other people.

    Maybe he has some technique that could be useful to others.

  29. Ian of Brisbane

    Does he realise he just proved Hayne’s point?

    Never had any respect for Henry after his ridiculous “Go early, go hard, go households” blah.

  30. David Brewer

    Hayne: I thought it telling that Dr Henry seemed unwilling to accept any criticism of how the board had dealt with some issues.

    Henry: I am disappointed that the Commissioner formed this view. I know that it is not so.

    Welcome to the mind-reading festival. One of them “thought it telling” that the other “seemed unwilling”; and other “knew” that the first was wrong to “form this view”.

    Both of them – but especially Hayne as Royal Commissioner – should have stuck to facts and spared us their thoughts on each other’s thoughts. But they couldn’t resist – the pair of them are so far up themselves only their feet are showing.

  31. stackja

    Liberty Quote
    The government is committed to fiscal responsibility and has committed to offset all new spending as part of the budget process. We will be returning the budget to surplus in 2012-13.

    — Penny Wong

  32. Rockdoctor

    No criminal charges were preferred. Why would the wombat whispered & his arrogant CEO go anywhere… Slapped with lettuce leaf in a mention, they must not believe their luck. Who was the guy that pulled the fake medical emergency? Did he get mentioned?

    Royal Comissions seem all about window dressing. Why did they even bother?

  33. stackja

    RD – RC can only recommend. DPP can follow up. Time will tell.
    TURC recommendations most got lost under MT. There are some court cases.

  34. Ken Henry used to be a respected individual within polite circles and virtually unknown to the wider world of us in the impolite circles. Then what happened? His “Go hard, go early, go households” idiotic advice to Kevin Rudd and Wayne Swan re the GFC; he became Chairman of NAB which allowed him to pontificate thus: perhaps shareholders or customers should sue NAB to generate an adequate NAB response to bad behaviour (WTF?) He then treated the Royal Commission with contempt (particularly Rowena Orr) as he mused arrogantly on all sorts of matters wholly unrelated to the business of a bank. This was all in the public eye. Dr Henry (is he really a PhD?) could have had a brilliant career had he limited it to his own mind. But he made his mind and his character public. A version of the Fatal Conceit, perhaps. It is the public version that will be remembered. In some respects, he is to be pitied.

  35. I too would like to be pitied on 1.2 mil pa in director fees (asx + nab). Not to mention a defined benefit pension courtessy of the taxpayers. Would it be we could all be so pittied.

  36. Clam Chowdah

    He’s always been an insufferably arrogant turd.

  37. Clam Chowdah

    Both of them – but especially Hayne as Royal Commissioner – should have stuck to facts and spared us their thoughts on each other’s thoughts. But they couldn’t resist – the pair of them are so far up themselves only their feet are showing.

    You sound like an expert on intellectual arrogance.

  38. Rob

    “Malcolm Turnbull has opened up a new war with his former Liberal colleagues by declaring the government should have called the banking royal commission earlier…”

    Who was the PM when the Government was resisting the Royal Commission? Has Turnbull no shame? Stupid question to be sure.

    Actually, the answer is more stupid than the question.

  39. jupes

    In some respects, he is to be pitied.

    You, David, are an idiot.

  40. Crossie

    RobK
    #2925776, posted on February 5, 2019 at 10:24 am
    It seems that those on super-human pay grades generally perform sub-normally when under public scrutiny.

    According to the old saying if you pay peanuts you get monkeys. The alternative is even worse, we paid pearls and got pigs.

  41. Crossie

    Mind you – it might be worth more to Labor to toss Ken under the bus and finagle more of their Maates in to the board and CEO offices. Chairman Gillard anyone ?

    No, Gillard’s time has passed. Say hello to Chairperson Sally McManus.

  42. Gertrude

    Banks are bigger and more complex organisations than most people can possibly understand. However, when mistakes are made it is usually just a case of oversight error. It is exceedingly rare for these things to be due to malicious forethought. One of the problems with the RC itself was it viewed these businesses through a legal lens rather than a commercial lens. Consequently commercial errors have been broadly interpreted as legal negligence. While it is possible, for example, to build a car or television that never breaks, there will not be a market for such a product as it is too expensive. The answer to the questions that arise from these facts is that there must be a trade-off between price and quality. And that is a fairly simple proposition. Additional regulation of the finance industry is not a free good. It will make service delivery more expensive. These issues have not been canvassed in the RC, but one hopes that the government and opposition think carefully about how much additional regulation is economically desirable. That thinking process must also consider how additional regulation will affect competition in the industry. As a general proposition, extra regulation typically inhibits competition, and bank shareholders are undoubtedly pleased with the RC proposals to stiffly regulate mortgage brokers.

  43. Megan de la Mer

    Yesterday’s bank share rally implies Henry got it right. The Commission was being conducted by two lawyers (Hayne and Orr) and the recommendations contain fine examples of their economic illiteracy For example, Rec 1.3 – Francois Quesnay, anyone? and Rec 6.14 – George Sigler, anyone?
    Of course, such an interpretation is completely at odds with the blood lust demands of the Twitface universe.

  44. Stan

    Terry is spot on:

    Regulation stifles competition.

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