The author has been described by News Ltd as an "iconoclast", "Svengali", a pollie's "economist muse", and "pungently accurate". Fairfax says he is a "Renaissance man" and "one of Australia’s most respected analysts." Stephen Koukoulas concludes that he is "85% right", and "would make a great Opposition leader." Terry McCrann claims the author thinks "‘nuance’ is a trendy village in the south of France", but can be "scintillating" when he thinks "clearly". The ACTU reckons he’s "an enigma wrapped in a Bloomberg terminal, wrapped in some apparently well-honed abs."

Monday, February 13, 2012

SMH: BankWest Bailed-out by RBA for CBA's Benefit

Michael West has a stonking story:

According to Mr McLernon, the Reserve appeared to have had BankWest ''on a drip'' from August to December 2008 as the lender struggled to source funding for its loan book. Banking statistics lodged with the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority show that either the Reserve or Australian financial institutions were providing monthly cash to BankWest.

''And all my instincts as a criminal lawyer tell me that the RBA [rather than other banks] was the lender,'' Mr McLernon told BusinessDay. ''Although I am not suggesting that the RBA and the government should not have assisted at the time.''

The documents show BankWest received $29 million in August 2008, rising to $3.75 billion in December that year. The amount increased during the zenith of the financial crisis but ceased once CBA had settled on the BankWest deal in December.

A former Treasury official told BusinessDay last week that it was the collateral pledged by troubled lenders such as BankWest that was the critical factor in determining whether these facilities should be characterised as cash ''bailouts''. ''The US Fed was accepting car loans at the time. That is clearly a bailout.''