RICH PICKINGS: A wealth of influence

Gina Rinehart's new stake in Ten Network is believed to be an attempt to buy influence, but media investment is just one of many ways billionaires gain access to the halls of power.

That faint sound you've been hearing this week was the sound of thousands of entrepreneurs, analysts, executives and commentators scratching their heads at Gina Rinehart's decision to purchase a 10 per cent stake in Ten Network.

It's baffling move. Rinehart has a history of avoiding the spotlight, and sticking tightly to the mining sector, and particularly iron ore and coal. She has no track record in the media sector, and no real background in public company investing.

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