||Issue No. 138||31 May 2002|
Interview: The Star Chamber
Politics: The Odd Couple
Media: Audiences Before Politics
International: The Off-Side Rule
Economics: The Fake Persuaders
History: Terror Tactics
Poetry: Food, Modified Food
Review: Spiderman Spins Out the US
Satire: England's World Cup Disaster: Star Hooligan Breaks Foot
The Locker Room
Week in Review
In Defence of Latham
Swans A Pathetic Con-Job
Packer Wealth Dives, But He's Still Richest
Kerry Packer may have lost almost $1 million a day in the past 12 months, but he is still Australia's richest man, worth $5.9 billion, according to the annual BRW Rich 200 List. Packer, whose PBL was hit badly by son James's misadventure into the collapsed phone company One.Tel, owns Australia's fastest-falling fortune, which has shrunk by $300 million. The fastest-growing fortune belongs to Frank Lowy, whose shopping centre empire Westfield is worth $700 million more than at this time last year. The nation's 10th and newest billionaire is Kerry Stokes, whose Perth-based tractor and equipment business Westrac more than made up for the recent fall in the share price of his Seven television network. High-profile departures include One.Tel founders Jodee Rich and Brad Keeling, as well as Rodney Adler, who could not withstand the collapse of two companies he was associated with - One.Tel and HIH insurance.
Full list at http://www.brw.com.au/
Patrick Delivers Healthy Rise to CorriganM
Chris Corrigan's rapidly expanding transport group, Patrick, has posted a 10.1 per cent rise in net profit to $38.98 million for the six months to Marchthanks to continued waterfront productivity gains, higher port throughput and contributions from new acquisitions. The initial contribution from the newly acquired National Rail and FreightCorp, bought jointly with Toll Corp, was the focus of attention as the $1.1 billion acquisition was bedded down. Patrick booked an initial $2 million net profit contribution from the rail companies, but nothing from Virgin Blue, in which it recently acquired a 50 per cent stake.
Rip Curl Considers Offshore Production
Two colourful members of the BRW Rich List are considering moving production for their Australian surfwear company, Rip Curl,off-shore. The Torquay-based company was formed by two Victorian surfers, Brian Singer and Doug Warbrick, in 1963. Michelle O'Neil from the Textile Clothing and Footwear union says an off-shore move would cost 46 jobs, and would be outrageous. She says the pair's presence on the Rich List indicates that Ripo Curl is a pretty healthy company that's giving them some good return. A company spokesperson has stressed that no decision on the move has yet been reached.
Greenpeace Turns Corporate Lingo On Itself
Greenpeace, the most strident of all environmental groups, now wants to tackle the corporates by using their terminology. In a world first, the Australian arm of Greenpeace has developed benchmarks to monitor the way businesses handle green issues. The benchmarks focus on how companies stand on environmental policies and reporting, climate change, the protection of ancient forests, genetic engineering, the nuclear threat, ocean biodiversity and fisheries, and toxic-waste production and disposal. Greenpeace corporate environmental campaigner Monica Richter says Greenpeace will be asking Australia's biggest companies how they measure up on the issues so it could separate the progressives from the laggards.
Enron Fallout Reaches White House
A United States Senate committee has voted to subpoena the White House for documents related to contacts with the collapse of energy giant Enron. The vote was along Republican-Democrat party lines, with Republicans arguing that the decision to subpoena the White House was both premature and inappropriate, as well as overly broad in its scope. Meanwhile, investigatorshave recovered more than 29,000 electronic files and e-mails deleted from Arthur Andersen computers before a federal probe was launched, an FBI agent has testifiedAndersen is accused of destroying tonnes of paper documents and thousands of electronic files from its client Enron to hide its role in accounting irregularities at the energy firm before its spectacular meltdown last year.
Bank Pays $180m To Settle Investigations
The investment bank Merrill Lynch has agreed to pay about $180 million to settle an investigation into allegations that its analysts misled tech stock investors. The bank, which is one of Wall Streets most prestigious names, has not admitted any wrong-doing. The New York Attorney-General, Eliot Spitzer, had been investigating claims that bank analysts gave overly optimistic opinions of stocks they privately disparaged in order to win people over as investment banking clients. Mr Spitzer says the agreement will create a buffer between the stock analysts and the investment banking part of the business.
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