Rinehart row fails interest test
By · 11 Oct 2013
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11 Oct 2013
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Rinehart row fails interest test

The family fight between Her Roy Hill highness Gina Rinehart and two of her four children has been billed the modern day Dynasty.

But it didn't contain any soap opera sizzle on Thursday, as a group of 12 teenagers - one wearing a Batman T-shirt - discovered when they marched into court room 12 D of the NSW Supreme Court.

The teens walked out, eyes glazed, after less than an hour of hearing dry dissertation on the finer points of trust law and arguments for and against keeping the constitution confidential, courtesy of the bevy of barristers running the case.

There's $5 billion at stake and my learned friends are certain to get their rightful share, with Rinehart's silks alone likely to be costing more than $80,000 a day.

But it was money well spent, as Rinehart's youngest daughter, Ginia, who has sided with mum, won the argument to keep her warring sister Bianca from nominating to replace Rinehart as trustee of the family trust.

Disgruntled son John Hancock asked Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest to give him a character reference on Tuesday, and on Thursday Bianca had her good friend, Perth businessman and former Alinta Group chairman John Poynton, do the same.

Yet at the end of the day it wasn't enough to convince her younger sister of the "suitability" of her nomination - a position backed by a confidential affidavit which Justice Paul Le Gay Brereton agreed should be sealed.

Maybe if the juicy details had been released it might have lived up to the teenagers' expectations of a fun day in court.

McIntyre video

Losing his bid for the seat of New England hasn't been all bad for wealth spruiker Jamie McIntyre, who has reaped a $15,000 payout from the taxpayer for his efforts.

McIntyre was flogged by the National Party's Barnaby "Barnyard" Joyce, who moved down from the upper house.

But, even if the electors of northern NSW don't love him, at least McIntyre can bask in the adoration of his loyal staff - right?

Perhaps not. A video of McIntyre's 21st Century operation, posted by the man himself, shows one staff member caught during lunch break who seems less than happy to be caught on camera.

Spotting the lens, she whiplashes her neck around, providing a great view of the back of her head for the remainder of the sequence.

We also see the operations of 21st Century TV, which appears to consist of three empty desks and a portable fan. "That's an expanding division," McIntyre explains.

The video also features McIntyre extolling the virtues of the Property Direct arm of his empire, run by Konrad Bobilak, an associate of failed property spruiker Henry Kaye.

As Fairfax Media reported last month, Bobilak has been selling investors "options" in a land development that is actually just a paddock. Perhaps fittingly, the video shows that Bobilak's operation appears to be run out of a mens' toilet.

Bankers' distress

There's so little money in banking, it's a wonder anyone bothers to do it. That's the picture painted by the head of the banking cartel, sorry peak body, Australian Bankers' Association boss Steven Munchenberg.

He's taken to talking down the profitability of his members, claiming they are in fact under-performing compared to global peers. In a blog post published on the ABA website, Munchenberg describes the ever-increasing bottom lines of Australia's banks as "so-called 'record' profits". Er, perhaps they're "so-called" because they are?

Directing attention away from the dollar figures, Munchenberg reckons big Aussie banks make a smaller return on equity than their foreign counterparts - 16 per cent, compared to 18 per cent in Canada and more than 20 per cent in China.

Does this mean pay cuts for Ian Narev, Gail Kelly, Mike Smith and Cameron Clyne?

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