Tag Archives: ASIC

ASIC Begs The Question On RBA Scandal

3 Oct

ASIC is in full ‘fire control’ mode, as a result of its astonishing failure — begging the question of complicity — in the RBA corruption scandal.

But it seems many just aren’t buying their lines:

Screen shot 2013-10-03 at 11.07.51 AM

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ALP “Reform” Encourages New Industry Of Financial Predators

4 Aug

Stories continue to emerge of Australians discovering that their “inactive” bank accounts have been emptied by our cash-strapped government.

In yet another unintended consequence of ALP policy, it appears this “reform” may have encouraged the start of a new industry — financial predators, who seek out those affected, and try to con them out of thousands of dollars for help in getting their “lost” money back.

More on that below.

First though, the latest headline example of how this government “reform” has taken the life savings of one Sydney man.

A common man who clearly did know how to balance a budget, and achieve a surplus.

Maybe “Leonard” should have been our PM.

From the Sunday Telegraph’s consumer affairs reporter, John Rolfe:

Leonard worked hard and saved diligently. Source: News Limited

Leonard worked hard and saved diligently. Source: News Limited

Family’s anger as Leonard’s secret fortune claimed by government

THROUGH a lifetime of self-sacrifice, this humble carpenter amassed a secret seven-figure stash meant to benefit his children and theirs after he died.

Instead, the Federal Government has claimed the money through changes to lost-account rules.

At the time of his death last year, 88-year-old Leonard – his family asked that he be referred to by his first name only – had covertly accumulated an extraordinary $2.42 million. The hard way. There was no Lotto win. There was no inheritance.

Just scrimping – he serviced his 1992 Ford Laser himself until his passing. And saving – every spare cent of his Sydney Water Board wage was invested with care.

Leonard’s exceptional wealth – and parsimony – have come to light as part of News Corp Australia’s efforts to create awareness about Australia’s rapidly growing pile of unclaimed money.

More than $1.2 billion is currently declared “lost”, including $816 million from bank accounts.

The largest of the 277,000 lost bank accounts now in the hands of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission is Leonard’s. His family and its lawyer says ASIC shouldn’t be anywhere near the money.

About $450 million worth of bank accounts – including Leonard’s – only became “lost” in May, after the government changed the rules. Previously, an account had to be inactive for seven years. Now it’s three. The change netted Treasury additional revenue of $109 million.

“It’s ridiculous,” lawyer Ashley Smith said. “There would be hundreds of thousands of people who would have accounts that just sit there.”

A spokesman for Bernie Ripoll, Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, said the government’s “reforms will help reunite Australians with their lost money sooner, and protect them from being eroded by fees, charges and inflation”.

“It is far easier for people to track down lost bank accounts once they are transferred to ASIC and added to the online database at the moneysmart.gov.au website,” Mr Ripoll’s spokesman said.

Leonard’s family sees it differently. If the seven-year rule was still in place the account would not have become lost in the first place.

Indeed.

Back in May this year, in comments to a blog on this issue (“‘I Call It Stealing’ – Pensioner Shock At Bank Savings Grab“), reader “Charlie” informed us of how the government’s cash grab has impacted him:

I have just discovered that an account I am trustee for has been emptied of over $120,000 by the federal labour government, in january this year…the statements only come twice a year and I mislaid the february one so did not see that the money had been stolen until yesterday! The trust I look after is a charity which looks after a church. How low and how wrong can the federal government get? Basically, federal labour plus Katter, Windsor, Bandt and Oakeshot voted it through late one night. Good on Wilkie for voting against it.
I will get it back- but when can it ever be OK to simply take money out of an account without signature and verbal permission?
I`m gobsmacked….they are a disgrace. A pox on the lot of them.

But there is another dimension to Charlie’s experience that’s worth noting:

no-one contacted me before taking over $120,000 out of a charity cash management account that I look after…No phone call, no signature. It simply disappeared over 6 months ago and i was not informed until a leach who wanted $7000 to get it back for me sent me a letter.

Unfortunately, “Charlie” did not respond to this blog’s request for further details.

If any other readers are aware of similar circumstances — in particular, of persons receiving unsolicited offers to help (for a fee) recover savings “lost” to the government’s cash grab — please let us know in Comments below.

IMF Tells Australian Lawmakers To “Prevent Premature Disclosure Of Sensitive Information” On Bank Bail-Ins

17 Jul

IMF_technote_Nov2012

IMF: Financial Safety Net and Crisis Management Framework, November 2012, page 4 (click to enlarge)

IMF: Financial Safety Net and Crisis Management Framework, November 2012, page 4 (click to enlarge)

IMF: Financial Safety Net and Crisis Management Framework, November 2012, page 5 (click to enlarge)

IMF: Financial Safety Net and Crisis Management Framework, November 2012, page 5 (click to enlarge)

 

Orwell would be impressed with this.

In a November 2012 Technical Note on the Financial Sector Program Update for Australia, as part of their Financial Safety Net and Crisis Management Framework, the IMF has advised that there is a problem (my bold emphasis added):

Past simulation exercises revealed the need for legislative changes to prevent premature disclosure of sensitive information. Australia’s securities disclosure regime requires, for the protection of investors, immediate and continuous disclosure of information that could reasonably be expected to have a material effect on the price or value of an ADI’s securities. There is a high probability that any resolution or crisis response measures will impact the price or value of an authorized deposit-taking institution’s (ADI’s) securities.

Poor coordination of compliance with the disclosure requirements, timing of resolution or crisis response actions, and the overall public communication strategy regarding these actions could pose risks to financial stability (e.g., through depositor runs) or thwart resolution actions (e.g., through the stripping of the ADI’s assets by insiders) or cause market disruptions. Legislative changes that reduce tension between investor protection and financial stability should be pursued.

“Reduce tension” between investor protection and financial stability?!

By making laws to “prevent premature disclosure of sensitive information”?!?!

In order to prevent bank runs, which would happen if investors were to find out that a Cyprus-style “resolution or crisis response measure” is in the offing for the bank that they have their money in?!?!!!!

Truly, moral relativism is one of The greatest evils of our time.

These people have no Conscience.

None.

UPDATE:

The Treasury department put this problem to the banks in their September 2012 Consultation Paper, with a proposal to suspend the continuous disclosure requirements:

Australian Treasury, Strengthening APRA’s Crisis Management Powers, September 2012, page 26 (click to enlarge)

Australian Treasury, Strengthening APRA’s Crisis Management Powers, September 2012, page 26 (click to enlarge)

Australian Treasury, Strengthening APRA's Crisis Management Powers, September 2012, page 29 (click to enlarge)

Australian Treasury, Strengthening APRA’s Crisis Management Powers, September 2012, page 29 (click to enlarge)

… and unsurprisingly, the banks have agreed to it:

AFMA, letter to Australian Treasury, January 2013, pp 7-8 (click to enlarge)

AFMA, letter to Australian Treasury, January 2013, pp 7-8 (click to enlarge)

Company Bankruptcies Exceed GFC Peak

11 Nov

Yup.

It’s a perfect economic climate to introduce the bankers’ carbon derivatives scam otherwise known as a tax-on-thin-air (h/t MacroBusiness):

ASIC released September quarter bankruptcy data today and despite what Fairfax’s cheerleader in chief would have [you] think, company bust number surged past GFC levels…

And in pictures:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Markets Chief: No Escape For Australia

4 Mar

From the Sydney Morning Herald:

Australia is unlikely to avoid an imminent economic downturn caused by excessive government debt, a top European markets regulator says.

”Prepare for a very difficult economic time, which you will not be able to escape,” Netherlands Authority for Financial Markets chairman Hans Hoogervorsttold the Australian Securities and Investment Commission summer school yesterday.

The debt taken on by governments around the world to bail out banks and stimulate domestic economies would take ”a tremendous toll on the world economy for a long time to come”, he said.

”The problem is that there is now too much on the shoulders of government. They have basically taken on all the problems caused by the financial crisis, with the effect that most of them are in really, truly horrible budgetary shape.”

He said the only way out was for the public and private sectors to tighten spending and repay the debt.

”The problems are so serious there are no easy ways out any more,” he said. ”It is simply inevitable that economic growth for a long period will be very meagre.” And Australia’s economic luck during the financial crisis would run out, he said, because the stimulus programs running in Asian countries, which had fuelled demand for Australian resources, could not last forever.

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