Tag Archives: HIH

Malcolm Turnbull – The Goldman-churian Candidate?

20 Jul

h/t to @JamesJohnsonCHR for inspiring the title phrase.

Regular readers of this blog will doubtless not all be Twitter users.

And so, many will not have had opportunity to bear witness to the following example of the intransigence of our politicians, when it comes to transparency concerning possible conflicts-of-interest.

In particular, that of Mr Malcolm Turnbull, who I have written of previously with respect to his past associations and their possible bearing on his long and strident advocacy for an Australian emissions trading scheme (and only an emissions trading scheme) –

Compassion For Malcolm – He Just Wants His Balls Back

Malcolm’s Motive: His ETS Lie Unravelled

Doing God’s Work – Turnbull An Angel Of ‘Death Derivatives’

“Turnbull Once Said To Me, ‘You Capitalise On Chaos'”

On Thursday 14th July, prompted by another blog article I published that day “Spread The Word – ‘Untouchable’ Turnbull Is A Goldman-Plated Turd” , the following exchange took place on Twitter between myself and Mr Turnbull, along with interjections from Twitter onlookers.

I’ll not comment with my own views as to what – if any – conclusions might be drawn from Mr Turnbull’s responses, or their implications for the present state of political honesty, transparency, and accountability in our nation.

I will simply leave readers to draw their own conclusions.

If you find it too hard to follow, then skip past this Twitter dialogue to the bottom.

There, you will find a very interesting quote from the Royal Commission into the collapse of HIH, which exonerated Mr Turnbull of any wrongdoing … in rather curious circumstances:

* Click on the bold ” @____ ” titles to view original tweets.


@nqcowboy_@barnabyisright@getuppr barnabyisright.com is such a courageous website there is nowhere can be found the identity of the author


@TurnbullMalcolm Would you care to offer FULL disclosure re Goldman, HIH, FAI, “confidential settlement” Mr Turnbull? @nqcowboy_ #auspol

(Interjection by) @gtwarrior47

@TurnbullMalcolm @BarnabyisRight @ Politics is a dirty game Malcom.The goal is to get the labor/green coalition off the treasury bench,


@gtwarrior47 Disagree. The goal is to have an honest, open, transparent Parliament, w/out conflicts-of-interest etc @TurnbullMalcolm #auspol

(Interjection by) @makiwa

@BarnabyisRight Agree. Without full accountability and transparency, we will only have an illusion of change! @gtwarrior47 @turnbullmalcolm


@BarnabyisRight@nqcowboy_ and who are you? Or are you as cowardly as you are scurilous?


@TurnbullMalcolm Not relevant, Mr Turnbull. What is relevant are the facts viz GS, HIH, FAI, ur “confidential settlemnt” @nqcowboy_

(Interjection by) @snowytristan

@BarnabyisRight @TurnbullMalcolm @nqcowboy_ We would like to to know Malcolm. Sounds like Gillard and her cover-ups.


@snowytristan @barnabyisright @nqcowboy_ ok whats the question?


@TurnbullMalcolm RU willing 2 provide public w/ ALL documentation viz GS/HIH/FAI “confidential settlement”? @snowytristan @nqcowboy_ #auspol


@TurnbullMalcolm RU willing 2 publish sworn affidavit that u’ve 0 obligations of any kind 2 GS/their CT interests? @snowytristan @nqcowboy_


@TurnbullMalcolm RU willing 2 publish sworn affidavit that u will receive 0 benefit – financ/otherwise – from ETS? @snowytristan @nqcowboy_


@BarnabyisRight a bit rich from someone who wont reveal his name..but I have no obligations to GS re carbon – only a paranoid wd say I did.

(Interjection by) @KeeptheBshonest

@TurnbullMalcolm @barnabyisright MT, we understand your frustration you will never be PM of Aust but calling folks Paranoid is a bit rich!!


@KeeptheBshonest @barnabyisright conspiracy theorists usually are. Especially when they dont have the guts to say who they are.

(Interjection by) @KeeptheBshonest

@TurnbullMalcolm @barnabyisright No Guts is about you sucking it up and “fully supporting your leader” in the fight for govt old mate, JS


@TurnbullMalcolm You are obfuscating Mr Turnbull. Ad hom. is not honest response to the 3 simple Q’s posed, implies guilt. @KeeptheBshonest


RU willing to publish sworn affidavit to that effect? @TurnbullMalcolm “..I have no obligations to GS re carbon” #auspol


@TurnbullMalcolm RU willing 2 provide public w/ ALL documentation viz GS/HIH/FAI “confidential settlement”? @FixNSWLegal @JamesJohnsonCHR


@TurnbullMalcolm RU willing 2 publish sworn affidavit that u, family, assoc’s, will receive 0 benefit – financ/otherwise, from ETS? #auspol


@BarnabyisRight If you are not prepared to say who you are, then I regret our interesting dialogue will have to come to an end.


@TurnbullMalcolm Sir, it appears you are not prepared to openly, directly, & honestly respond to reasonable questions of public record.

(Interjection by) @NOH8ER

@TurnbullMalcolm That’s not reasonable – what matters is the value of what is said, not who says it, Malcolm. cc.@BarnabyisRight

(Interjection by) @maatilda

@TurnbullMalcolm This tweep has a large following and if you dont respond you condemn yourself @BarnabyisRight


@TurnbullMalcolm As I iterated earlier Mr Turnbull, who I am is irrelevant to the facts. You are the public “servant”. Pls answer direct Q’s

(interjection by) @joneschris79

@TurnbullMalcolm @barnabyisright – don’t let it end. Best Aussie twitter 2n and fro ever. Plus…we want the answers.


@KeeptheBshonest @TurnbullMalcolm @barnabyisright I actually wanted MT to be PM but the GS affair is unsettling.


@NOH8ER @turnbullmalcolm @barnabyisright never liked the kid who took his bat & left a game mid way through because a point went against him


@KeeptheBshonest Never liked “public servants” who attack the man when asked simple, direct Q’s of national import @NOH8ER @turnbullmalcolm


@BarnabyisRight @noh8er @turnbullmalcolm you keep asking the tough q’s mate, MT lacks ticker, that’s why Libs turfed him out


@KeeptheBshonest No, disagree. Think Mr @turnbullmalcolm has lots of ticker. Q’s go to issue of obligation, opportunity, not courage @noh8er


@TurnbullMalcolm I looked forward to you as an alternative to Abbott, then I found out about the Goldman Sachs affair. @BarnabyisRight

Readers may be interested to consider the following excerpt from an article commenting on the HIH-FAI-Goldman-Turnbull affair.

It is noteworthy that Mr Turnbull’s standard defence when this topic is raised, is to point to his exoneration by the HIH Royal Commission.

Perhaps the following may assist readers who are unfamiliar with just how … questionable … the efficacy of our legal system is, in their own reflections on whether or not Mr Turnbull has anything to hide.

From nineMSN ‘Money’, 23 May 2008 (my emphasis added) –

One question [to Mr Turnbull], though, got a very terse response, suggesting it might have made its target a little uncomfortable. It was badly asked, revealing the questioner’s lack of knowledge about the issue. But the question on Turnbull’s expectations as to the timing of the HIH liquidator’s legal action against him (and a number of other respondents involved not with HIH, but the insurer it acquired in 1998, FAI Insurances) earned the questioner a firm lecture.

The royal commission report into the HIH collapse had found no wrong-doing on his part, Turnbull told the questioner. This is true. The HIH liquidator will struggle in a courtroom to make any case against Turnbull.

Turnbull’s answer at the National Press Club, and the predicament in which he finds himself, must be viewed in the context of the fact that the royal commission spent more time examining the deal in contention – HIH’s 1998 takeover of FAI – than any other transaction. For about three months, anyone even remotely connected with the takeover was grilled intensively.

In the end, the royal commissioner Neville Owen became impatient and ordered his counsel assisting to move on. Owen was obliged to find that the acquisition did, in fact, contribute to the collapse of the merged company.

Turnbull’s role as adviser to FAI in its “defence” against HIH was complicated by the fact that he and Goldman Sachs had considered leading a recapitalisation of FAI a few months before HIH launched its bid, partly using the investment bank’s own money. This proposal was called Project Firelight.

Goldman Sachs’ New York office finally canned the idea in early September 1998 for reasons that were never fully explained, but most likely because of volatile global markets at the time (very similar to recent subprime global liquidity squeeze) caused at the time by the Russian bond crisis and the Asian currency crisis.

In his subsequent role as adviser to the FAI board in relation to the HIH bid, Turnbull made a presentation to FAI directors in support of his recommendation that they accept the HIH offer, which was 47 percent above the previous FAI share price. The presentation covered three scenarios, one of which was similar to the Project Firelight proposal.

The royal commission found that he didn’t directly tell any of the board members about the earlier exercise. Turnbull told the royal commission he assumed that managing director Rodney Adler, who had hired him, had informed the board. Adler said he told John Landerer, the chairman. Landerer denied this. Who do you believe? Is it important?

After three months and millions of dollars of expenditure chasing the line that Turnbull and Goldman Sachs were somehow responsible for the collapse of HIH, this is what the royal commissioner says in his concluding remarks about their role in the FAI takeover:

It would have been of assistance to the directors of FAI to have known that GSA had spent considerable time in the course of 1998 analysing a very similar proposal in which Goldman Sachs might invest its own money but had decided not to proceed with it.

Such information should have been revealed to the FAI board by a financial or corporate adviser, like GSA, because it would have assisted the directors to decide whether to appoint GSA as their financial adviser on the takeover. It would also have assisted the directors in forming their opinions about the viability of the ‘break up and sell clean general insurance company’ proposal, which [was] presented by GSA as a potentially more attractive alternative than the takeover.

The fact that these matters were not revealed to the board of FAI is regrettable. This is particularly so in light of the evidence of some directors that it might have affected their attitude to the appointment of GSA.”

Having heard months of very aggressive evidence from his counsel assisting, designed to build a case against Turnbull and Goldman Sachs, this was all the royal commissioner was prepared to say about their role.

It would be a brave person who would try to predict the outcome of a court case, given the dysfunction of the court system, but this is hardly the basis of a successful $500 million claim. Turnbull’s protests that there is no case against him have merit.

I will leave it to readers to judge for themselves whether they agree with the concluding comment by the author of that piece.

As we know, just over 1 year after that article was written, Goldman Sachs did in fact make a “confidential” settlement on Mr Turnbull’s behalf.  Meaning that he did not have to suffer the embarrassment and indignity of facing up to the charges in the NSW Supreme Court. This occurred in mid-2009.  Right at the time that Mr Turnbull as leader of the Opposition was negotiating the bipartisan agreement with Kevin Rudd to introduce an ETS in Australia (dubbed at that time, the “CPRS”).

The implications of which, given Goldman Sachs’ extremely prominent role in emissions trading and the drive for globalised emissions trading, I leave to readers to ponder for themselves.

Malcolm’s Motive: His ETS Lie Unravelled

24 May

Did Malcolm Turnbull lie about the real reason for changing his mind about his decision to quit politics, barely two weeks after announcing it?

From ABC’s Sunday Profile, May 28 2010:

Mr Turnbull is my guest on Sunday Profile. Welcome to the show. I’m Monica Attard.

When he rescinded that much publicised resignation from parliament Malcolm Turnbull says it was Prime Minister Rudd’s decision to shelve the ETS (emissions trading scheme) until at least 2013 which spurred him on.

Got that?

It was Rudd’s decision to delay the ETS that spurred Malcolm to go back on his decision to quit politics.

So, when exactly did Kevin Rudd announce his decision?

From ABC News, May 4 2010:

Rudd confirms ETS delay

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says the Government’s emissions trading scheme is being delayed until 2011.

He has also cut the price of carbon from $40 to $10 for the first year of the scheme.

From Nine News, May 4, 2010:

The federal government will delay the start of its carbon pollution reduction scheme by a year and could seek deeper cuts to emissions than originally planned.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd cited the recession, a need to give certainty to business and a chance to negotiate a global agreement in December as the reasons for the decision.

This decision was a momentous decision for Australian politics.

Careers have risen and fallen as a result. More will.

Now consider.

Kevin Rudd’s big decision was kept so secret, that not even Peter Garrett, the government’s own Environmental Protection Minister, was told about it in advance.

From ABC News, June 5 2010:

Peter Garrett has admitted he was kept in the dark over the scrapping of the Federal Government’s Emissions Trading Scheme.

The Environmental Protection Minister told Sky News today he found out the scheme had been dropped when he read about it in a newspaper report.

Now, let’s review the dates of news reports concerning Malcolm Turnbull’s announcement of (1) his decision to retire, and (2) his rapid change of mind.

From the SMH, April 16 2010:

Turnbull quits politics

From the Herald Sun, April 25 2010:

Former Liberals leader Malcolm Turnbull is seriously reconsidering his decision to quit politics.

From the SMH, May 1 2010:

Former Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull has made a dramatic return to politics, sparking a rethink on leadership and climate change within his party.

Hang on.

Didn’t Rudd announce the oh-so-secret decision to delay the ETS three days later, on May 4?

Even the Environment Protection Minister Peter Garrett says he didn’t know about the decision until he read about it in the newspaper on May 4.

So, how could Malcolm Turnbull possibly have known about it before April 26, in order for the Herald Sun to publish their story saying that he was “seriously reconsidering” his retirement decision?

Malcolm allegedly changed his mind sometime in April … while “overseas” … because he was “spurred on” by Rudd’s decision to delay the ETS.

A secret decision, announced on May 4th.

I think it is abundantly clear what the real reason is for Malcolm’s change of mind:

The Australian, March 13 2009

HIH score settled for Malcolm

Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull looks set to emerge from his long court case over HIH Insurance with his former employer, the Goldman Sachs merchant bank, making a confidential settlement on his behalf.

Learn more about Malcolm Turnbull’s real motives here – “Compassion For Malcolm: He Just Wants His Balls Back”.

Finally, it is interesting to note that many on the left of politics admire Malcolm Turnbull as a man of integrity, precisely because of his consistent strong stand on emissions trading. Malcolm Turnbull consistently polls better with Labor/Green voters on the question of Preferred PM, than he does with conservative voters.

In the interview mentioned above, Malcolm Turnbull was questioned about Tony Abbott’s famous Kerry O’Brien interview, where it is said that he “gaffed” regarding politicians and truth-telling.

This is what Malcolm had to say about it:

MONICA ATTARD: Have you ever in an unscripted moment said something that wasn’t the entire truth?

MALCOLM TURNBULL: I believe that politicians should speak the truth all the time. Invariably there will be occasions when you make statements that are factually incorrect due to an error…

But then there’s the occasion when politicians will say things that are simply not true … That is something that I think should not happen. That’s a no-no. That’s a third rail that you shouldn’t touch.

MONICA ATTARD: And that’s not what Tony Abbott was doing though in relation to the taxation that he was being questioned upon?

MALCOLM TURNBULL: I believe politicians and everybody for that matter should aim to be accurate and truthful in what they say at all times.

Now you can be truthful and inaccurate but what you shouldn’t be doing at any time is saying things that are untrue

Rudd Destroys His Minister’s Beliefs

28 Apr

* This April 28, 2010 post has since been revised, updated, and expanded with new developments in the ongoing Turnbull saga, in the following articles –

Compassion For Malcolm – He Just Wants His Balls Back
Malcolm’s Motive: His ETS Lie Unravelled
Doing God’s Work – Turnbull An Angel Of Death Derivatives
“Turnbull Once Said To Me, ‘You Capitalise On Chaos'”
“Spread The Word – ‘Untouchable’ Turnbull Is A Goldman-plated Turd”
“Malcolm Turnbull – The Goldman-churian Candidate?”


The following media release by Barnaby just goes to show that he isn’t always right.  There is plenty of evidence to strongly suggest the true reason why Malcolm Turnbull really “believed” in an emissions trading scheme.

Simply take the time to review the history of the HIH collapse.  Consider the highly questionable role that Goldman Sachs Australia – of whom Malcolm Turnbull was chairman at the time – had to play in this, the biggest corporate failure in Australian history.

Consider the subsequent $500 million lawsuit brought against the key players in the HIH collapse… including named defendant Malcolm Turnbull.

Consider that only a few years after the collapse of HIH, even as those legal proceedings were being prepared, Malcolm Turnbull’s (again, questionable) takeover from Peter King as the Liberal candidate for the seat of Wentworth gave him a ready made entrance into Parliament in 2004.  Consider his rapid elevation to the key role of … Environment Minister. Followed by the first suggestion that the Howard Government should adopt an ETS.

Consider the revelation only a short time later that then Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull was to be spared from appearing in court as a defendant in that $500 million lawsuit.  Why?

Because his former employer Goldman Sachs had made a “confidential” settlement on his behalf.

Finally, consider which massive international banking power has been behind all the great bubbles in modern history – and is again behind the global drive for a new derivatives-based trading bubble, the likes of which the world has never seen.

It hardly takes a rocket scientist to put two + two together.

Malcolm Turnbull, the former Goldman Sachs chairman, named co-defendant, and beneficiary of a “confidential” settlement by his former employer, “believed” so strongly in Australia having an emissions trading scheme for a very good reason indeed.

But I personally harbour the gravest of doubts that “saving the planet” had anything whatsoever to do with it…

Media Release – Senator Barnaby Joyce, 28 April 2010:

“My heart actually felt for Minister Wong being dragged through the public teeth pulling exercise on radio this morning explaining that the Labor Party no longer has a carbon reduction scheme of any sort,” said Senator Barnaby Joyce. “In fact, it is now apparent that the only scheme likely to get up at the next election is the Coalitions as the Labor Party does not have a CPRS policy. Mr Rudd has yet again destroyed another one of his colleagues by revealing his lack of a political soul and his mercenary ambivalence that puts polls over statesmanship.”

“How can he possibly hold any credibility when he publicly denies the fundamental tenant of his political faith so illustriously espoused at the previous election? Mr Rudd has jettisoned the ETS as one would put aside a paper plate at a picnic.”

“One can now see that at least Malcolm Turnbull, although he had a view I fervently disagreed with on the ETS, was willing to put his job on the line because he believed it was right*. Likewise, Brendan Nelson. I don’t believe Tony Abbott is going to change his view to be in favour of an ETS because the polls say so, or Ron Boswell for that matter.”

“Mr Rudd is a philosophical soldier of fortune who chameleon like uses faux earnestness as a key tool of deception. He has made Peter Garrett completely recant all his former beliefs, he has handed Combet his ceiling insulation problems in a modern version of the ‘loaded dog’, and now he is piece by piece dissembling the belief structure of Penny Wong. Why? Because the poll monster told him to do so. Mr Rudd is a political bric-a-brac shop of kitsch philosophies – overpriced, under planned and dispensed at will.”

More Information- Jenny Swan 0746 251500


Post reorganised to lead with Turnbull/Goldman connection, followed by Barnaby’s media release.


Interesting. Less than a month after announcing his intention to retire from politics, Turnbull changes his mind.

Or should that be, has it changed for him.

(There are numerous anecdotal reports that Turnbull’s “overseas” trip was for a meeting with Goldman Sachs in NY)

UPDATE 3 – 19 May 2011:

h/t Twitterer wakeup2thelies

@BarnabyisRight Thats a fantastic write up Head of CSIRO also Fmr director of Aus arm of of Rothschild 2001-03 resume http://bit.ly/mqpJx9
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