Watching the detectives

Bigwigs at ASIC and the ASX have done some soul searching and given themselves a clean bill of health, despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary. MR BANKER

Banker of Last Retort

By Mr Banker

Regular readers will be aware that I have been sceptical about the effectiveness of our regulators – but that is all now in the past.

What has prompted my change of heart?

Well, the performance of ASIC has been subject to a searching scrutiny by… its chairman. In a speech to the Securities and Derivatives Industry Association, the chairman of ASIC Tony D’Aloisio explained that “regulators have worked effectively to maintain confidence in the integrity of our markets”. When he posed the question “Should we have done more?” the answer was apparently a resounding “no”.

Not to be outdone, Eric Mayne, the chief supervision officer of the ASX, has also done some soul-searching before telling the conference that “nothing could be further from the truth” than the suggestion the ASX was conflicted.

There we have it. Confronted by the most striking endorsement since Mick Gatto (arguably better known for shooting Andrew Veniamin to death than for his forensic accounting skills) pronounced himself satisfied with the work done by the administrators of Opes Prime, I must withdraw my objection.

In other regulatory developments, I was intrigued to learn of the proposal that criminal offences should not be taken as such if committed with an artistic intention. Opponents of this suggestion query how it is possible to determine the perpetrator’s intention – but apparently this is easy; ask a commercial art gallery director.

As your correspondent is acquainted with many a balance sheet that qualifies as works of fiction, he concludes that ASIC and the ASX will need to recruit some art gallery directors – or is it the other way around?


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