Developer of rhyming blame
Watch out William Shakespeare, Mark McIvor is here to seize the poetical crown.
Property development didn't turn out so well for McIvor, with the Gold Coast solicitor's Equititrust mortgage fund collapsing in a $200 million heap in November 2011. McIvor has long blamed banks, advisers and ASIC and has now resorted to poetry to get his point across. In his submission to a Senate inquiry into ASIC, McIvor slams the corporate watchdog ("incompetence ... misfeasance ... an indictment of ASIC conduct"), finishing with a poem, The Crooked Fiduciary.
But will his rhymes challenge the likes of Lord Byron, Walt Whitman or Australia's own laureate, Gina Rinehart? With lines such as "Ruling elite do as they please, always certain their palms to grease" and "For of this to be sure, there is dirty money behind that door", a place in the high-school curriculum seems unlikely.
Kim Williams (right) may have gone from Rupert Murdoch's News Corp empire, but he's far from taking a back seat when it comes to the media. Today he will give the Hector Crawford Memorial Lecture in Melbourne, named after the man whose Crawford Productions' TV shows included Homicide and The Sullivans. But Kim is one up, having been on TV as a teenage Lego champion. Maybe he can compare notes with Commonwealth Bank chief executive Ian Narev who was in New Zealand television series Children of Fire Mountain.
Love in the dairy
It's been a long courtship for Warrnambool Cheese & Butter with three suitors donning their best gumboots. One, Lino Saputo jnr, whose Canadian company is the front-runner, was reflecting on the dating game. "Meeting with the dairy farmers is like sitting down with the father of the bride and explaining why we want to marry her," he told Canada's The Globe and Mail newspaper. "Our intentions are noble and we are not out to destroy the dairy industry as they know it."
Proving he has embraced the new era of electronics and online retailing, James Packer's Ellerston Capital, with private equity group CVC, could end up joint largest shareholders in mobile marketing company Mnemon if the takeover of DealsDirect Group gets the green light. Under what is colloquially termed a backdoor listing, Mnemon has made an offer for the shares in DealsDirect, via a placement and issue worth about $8 million. This is a canny move as last accounts show DealsDirect's revenue was about $60 million, with a five-star rating for online stores from Canstar. Under the scheme, if approved next month, Ellerston Capital will hold 19.3 per cent and CVC 19.8 per cent.
Chiefs of credit
Continuing CBD's survey of the borrowing habits of bank execs: NAB's annual report showed top brass extended their credit with the bank to a cool $14.8 million this year. Chief teller Cameron Clyne had the biggest facility with the bank, even though the outstanding balance fell slightly to $3.29 million during the year. Business banking boss Joseph Healy was next-biggest borrower - he owed $3.23 million at September 30. Loans to directors such as Clyne are made at arm's length, while those to other executives are on similar terms to those available to other staff, the bank says.
BHP Billiton shows it can still pull a crowd when it puts on a house warming. Helping BHP move across Melbourne town to Collins Street on Monday night were ANZ boss Mike Smith, trucking magnate Lindsay Fox and former pollies Peter Costello, Simon Crean and Steve Bracks. Former competition boss Graeme Samuel also joined BHP heavyweights Jac Nasser and Andrew Mackenzie.
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