||Issue No. 268||17 June 2005|
Courting Public Opinion
Interview: The Baby Drought
Industrial: Lies, AWAs and Statistics
Workplace: The Invisible Parents
History: Bruce’s Big Blunder
Politics: All God's Children
Economics: Spun Out
International: Shakey Trials
Legal: Civil Distrubance
Review: Crash Course In Racism
Poetry: You're Fired
The Locker Room
Once Upon A Time In America
The Truth Is Out There
Cash Cow On Private Tax Farm
The $50 Million Man
In his tenure as head honcho of what was once the labour movement's pride and joy, David Murray managed to steer the Commonwealth bank out of the hands of the many and into the hands of a few.
The departing Commonwealth Bank CEO managed to turn the people's bank into the person's bank, with our Tool Of The Week being that person.
A less discerning person would recognise this sort of theft for what it is. In the old days people used to rob banks; under Murray this transaction was reversed.
David has taken full advantage of the Not Nailed Down Act during his time at the helm of an organisation that he moulded in his image, making Attilla the Hun look humane and personable by comparison.
During the ravages of the restructuring he so wholeheartedly supported, our Tool Of The Week was often to be seen on the economic battlefield, rolling the corpses over and pocketing anything shiny.
He trousered the assets of anything with the word state in it. The NSW State Bank, the State Savings Bank of Victoria. For a while there the only state he didn't own was a state of excitement.
Murray has his $50 million payout to keep him company in the Tool Shed.
What an extraordinarily talented man is David Murray that he is recognised with a payout of such magnitude.
What wondrous life saving, socially useful and community spirited contribution has David made that he shall be adjudged to be deserving of fifty million smackeroos?
Well, it should be said from the start that you'd have to work very hard to bugger up the Commonwealth bank, and, for forty years, he did.
Many of us will remember a Commonwealth bank that had the common touch, looking after ordinary people who don't think it's possible to accept $50 million for sitting on your fat arse and still show your face in public. It was a bank that underwrote the dreams of working families. It was a symbol of staid fiduciary integrity.
The Commonwealth bank is now none of the three.
His $50 million works out at around $3333.33 for every person he sacked along the way, or $83,333.33 for each branch he shut down. Cheap at half the price.
In the meantime a few privileged customers and even more privileged shareholders have benefited. Many small businesses, working people and farmers have been bent over the table and been given a solid lesson in free market forces.
David Murray is about as cheerful as a bushfire on Christmas day. The pity is that he decided to spend forty years inflicting that arrogant misery on the rest of us.
The greatest regret we can have of his retirement is that it didn't come sooner.
It is forty years too late.
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