Beer giants get a taste of our footy

The board of the world's second-largest brewer, SABMiller, got a history lesson in cricket and Aussie rules at the MCG on Wednesday night.

The board of the world's second-largest brewer, SABMiller, got a history lesson in cricket and Aussie rules at the MCG on Wednesday night.

SAB executive chairman Graham Mackay, CEO-elect Alan Clark and more than a dozen fellow directors turned up at the "G" for a night to taste their favourite tipples.

More importantly, they also got the lowdown on those funny ball games from key suppliers and customers, including Linfox executive chairman Peter Fox.

It is the first time SAB's board has visited Australia since the brewer's $12.3 billion takeover of Foster's in 2011. The night capped off a two-day board meeting in Melbourne, which included a trip to test the grog at what is SAB's biggest local brewery, in Abbotsford.

Two unnamed board members also managed to fly in a few days early, just happening to coincide with the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park on Sunday.

Economic wars

The sight of economists stoushing is one of the world's wonders - spectacles askew, elbow patches flying, textbooks torn. So it is with great disappointment that CBD reports an outbreak of peace between two of Australia's most distinguished dismal scientists.

Hostilities between left-wing economist John Quiggin (left) and right-wing counterpart Sinclair Davidson broke out last week over who was the bigger drain on taxpayer funds.

It all started when Davidson took aim at the $2 million over six years Quiggin is receiving under the Australian Laureate program to study "Black swans and unknown unknowns: financial markets and their interaction with the macro-economy in the presence of unanticipated contingencies".

Or what regulators can do to stop a repeat of the GFC.

"Looks like the taxpayer will be paying out over $2 million for radical ideas that [are] already known and apparently already command support," Davidson said on his blog, Catallaxy Files.

Quiggin hit back the same day, blogging that Davidson receives "a taxpayer-funded salary of at least $150K" from RMIT, where he is a professor. So, let's see who is goofing off on the taxpayer dollar".

He accused Davidson of providing far fewer scholarly papers produced per taxpayer's dollar. Not so, Davidson replied, saying he had put out oodles of papers and book chapters, on top of his teaching load.

Sadly, tempers cooled over the weekend. On Monday, Quiggin posted the peace treaty to his blog.

"I've had a discussion with Sinclair Davidson at Catallaxy and we've agreed not to engage in personal attacks on each other," he said. Davidson confirmed the terms of the deal to CBD.

Not for print

APN News and Media's shareholders have a long wait before they find out exactly what former boss Brett Chenoweth took home when he departed the publisher almost a month ago.

Although APN found room in its annual report, released on Friday, to squeeze in details about the forced departures - sorry, resignations - of Chenoweth and most of its board, including chairman Peter Hunt, it did not have the space to put a number on the former CEO's final cheque.

But APN has since confirmed that Chenoweth will be regarded as a "good leaver". It means he will be entitled to a year's fixed pay of $1.5 million (plus leave entitlements and about $150,000 for the first six weeks of the new year).

Although short and long-term incentives are built into his contract, the keen surfer and armchair follower of media regulation is almost certain to miss out on any bonus payments. Although we suspect that is unlikely to be a surprise to many APN shareholders.

Chenoweth's final cheque will come in addition to a total package of $1.59 million for the year to last December, a slight increase on the year prior.

It included $95,404 in non-monetary benefits.

Shareholders will get a final number on Chenoweth's departure cheque in March next year.

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