Are you a NAB shareholder

If you are a shareholder of the NAB, consider this.

Your Chairman is Dr Ken Henry AC.  Dr Henry, not that long ago was the Secretary of the Commonwealth Treasury.  He was the lead Treasury official during 1st Government of Kevin Rudd.  It is Dr Henry that coined the expression:

Go hard, go early and go to households.

the expression that provide the cover for the Rudd government to put the Australian government on its current path of run away government spending and debt.

But appearing today in a Victorian Court looking at the cancellation of the home insulation (pink batts) scheme, Dr Henry said this:

I did raise concerns (to a special budget committee set up in response to the global financial crisis)

I had two concerns; were there sufficient insulation materials needed for the scheme? And where there enough staff in Australia available to undertake the program?

FMD.  These were his concerns!  Sufficient material and labour!

How about whether the program was an appropriate use of tax payer resources?  How about why the hell is the government doing this?  How about what are these people drinking and smoking to even entertain such a program?

If this is the quality of questions that come from the Secretary of the Treasury, one must equally wonder about the quality of the questions that come from the Chairman of NAB, one of Australia’s largest company’s and 4th largest bank.

God help us all.

Follow I Am Spartacus on Twitter at @Ey_am_Spartacus

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24 Responses to Are you a NAB shareholder

  1. stackja says:

    Pink batts in Henry’s ivory tower?

  2. Leigh Lowe says:


    #2735034, posted on June 12, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    Pink batts in Henry’s ivory tower?

    Are you suggesting batts in the belfry?

  3. H B Bear says:

    For a real laugh track down the Wombat Whisperer’s evidence to the Senate Committee on the first iteration of Wayne Goosesteen’s Resource Super Profit Tax and marvel at Ken’s understanding of commercial banking practice.

  4. Entropy says:

    The legacy of this particular program is four dead, dozens of house fires and a doubling of home insulation costs compared with prior to the introduction of the scheme as suppliers extracted economic rent from the program and established a new paradigm for price ever after.
    Badly designed, no price control measures, no CBA, indirect policy aims (Keynsian expenditure goals designed to prop up the GDP figure, dressed up as a emissions reduction program). An example of extremely poor policy development.

  5. JC says:

    This is of course the dishonest oaf who criticized the Howard government for spending $10 million on the Murray Darling water rights scheme and had the gall to say that speaking in front of a couple of hundred people was supposed to be a private gathering and wasn’t supposed to be made public. He reckoned the Howard government was spendthrift. It was of course, but the wombat whisperer can talk.

    He also implied recently that he didn’t give a shit about the NAB shareholders and they were only one portion of the stakeholders.

    How he chairman is beyond all understanding.

    He takes home over 700k in that role.

  6. JC says:

    You know, Karl Marx was not entirely wrong suggesting capitalism would sow the seeds of its own destruction, but not in the way he intended.

    Capitalism has created so much surplus that it allows some like the wombat whisperer to earn over a million bucks a year.

    That’s the soft underbelly of the capitalist system and a very serious problem.

  7. Egor says:

    Good old Ken is just a garden variety Keynesian simpleton.
    The massive failures caused by QE are yet to arrive.
    Still, I shouldn’t complain, best profits were and are always in times of chaos and destruction.
    Ken’s my man, more Keynes please.

  8. Percy Popinjay says:

    Not any more. Made a tidy little profit on them as well.

  9. New Chum says:

    Some of the largest shareholders of the big banks would be the industry super funds.

  10. JC says:


    Ummm Australia didn’t have QE.

  11. Egor says:

    No it didn’t, QE is a Keynesian concept applied in the US.
    Its results will eventually hammer the globe.

  12. JC says:


    Can I see your trade chits showing the bets you’ve taken that QE will hammer the globe. In what stocks or instruments are your shorts?

  13. Egor says:

    Not yet, too early. Bad timing is equal to being wrong, as you’ll know if you trade much.

  14. JC says:


    I’ll take a gentleman’s bet with you. The S&P will be double in 5 years. I’ll see you on June 12th 2023, God willing and will collect on the bet.

  15. Egor says:

    You’d win that. The Trump euphoria should suffice. The Don’s replacement will be a Democrat lusting after all the control forgone by the Trumpian State. There’s your window.

  16. miltonf says:

    Sparty, I sold my NAB shares after KH became chairman.

    I think it was also Schumpeter who said capitalism would destroy its self.

  17. John Constantine says:

    “Near-perfect peace prevailed as the board meeting of Blue Sky Mines No Liability opened yesterday.

    The only sound to be heard was Bottle the geologist sloshing a generous tumbler of Teachers from the decanter, but as Pierpont listened carefully he could also detect a low, grinding hum as Sir Mark Time, our boneheaded chairman, tried to get his mind working.

    The rest of the directors were outwardly tranquil. Pierpont was nonchalantly piercing a Cohiba Lancero. Spender the accountant was idly thumbing an atlas to see if there was any remote tax haven where he had not already incorporated, while Penwiper, our poor but dishonest company secretary, was passing the time by practising forgeries of Sir Mark’s signature. Not that Penwiper needs much practice. His forgeries have reached the point where the bank prefers his signatures to Sir Mark’s.

    Our languid air was deceptive. Around the table four cunning, devious minds were rehearsing answers in case Sir Mark should ask an awkward question. It took some time, because Sir Mark was staring at the agenda paper with as little comprehension as if it had been written by James Joyce.

    Pierpont had smoked halfway down to the label on his Corona and Bottle had refilled the decanter before our chairman found voice. “I say chaps,” he muttered, “I’m not sure I understand this. Why do some Johnnies in the Bahamas want to buy our shares? Have we struck gold or oil or something?”

    Truly, Sir Mark Time, the chairman of Pierpont’s Blue Sky Mining was the cookie cutter that so many of Australia’s asx chairmen took the form of.

    Obviously, we must replace fifty percent of chairmen with revolutionary Stalinist wymynsys to solve the problem.

  18. Roger says:

    Nothing has changed since Donald Horne complained of our second rate leaders c. 1960.

  19. Egor says:

    ” second rate leaders c. 1960.”
    Second rate urban population is the real problem. Kath and Kim is only a slight exaggeration.

  20. Tim Neilson says:

    I had two concerns; were there sufficient insulation materials needed for the scheme? And where there enough staff in Australia available to undertake the program?

    No, we imported most of it, thus sending a few billion $ to the Chicoms;
    Yes, we could even afford a casualty rate similar to a low level military operation.

  21. jock says:

    Yes when i read his testimony i was amazed at the paucity of his comments. No business case? No stragic oaper going through the issues. Despite what people think i dont think the nab chairman tegarded the batts programme as worth much thought.

  22. max says:

    Kenneth Ross “Ken” Henry: “Go hard, go early and go to households.”


    Andrew William Mellon
    “Liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate the farmers, liquidate the farmers, liquidate real estate…It will purge the rottenness out of the system. High costs of living and high living will come down. People will work harder, live a more moral life. Values will be adjusted, and enterprising people will pick up the wrecks from less competent people.”

  23. Procrustes says:

    To be fair to Ken, the Rudd government was so dysfunctional that he’d probably only seen the proposal five minutes before the meeting.

    What concerns me more is that he is disclosing cabinet deliberations – albeit to a court.

  24. Eyrie says:

    Cab this git be arrested and tried for treason?

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