|From Which Bank?|
There are two kinds of people in the world - those who think they have the
right to spend their money in the manner they choose, and those who think
they have the right to spend other people's money in the way they choose.
Lefties and Liberal-leader-wannabes demonstrated they were in the latter
group today when commenting on a termination payment of over $AU32 million paid
by the Commonwealth Bank to Chris (rolling in it) Cuffe, the
former head of its fund management arm.
The story got the usual media-round, pointing out how many mortgages / apprenticeships
/ orphanages / refugee sponsorships / third-world budgets it was equivalent to.
Then Peter (this-will-make-me-popular) Costello weighed in with
I find it impossible to believe that any executive is worth 32 million
dollars, and I would say to the directors - they had better have a very good explanation
to their shareholders.
Excuse me? Since when did the aspiring leader of a party standing on a
platform of small government and free enterprise get off on telling people how
much money they should give, and to whom?
This was not money taken by threat of force from taxpayers. It was money
given by a private company (yes, Peter, the ALP sold it when they were in
government - it was in the papers) to one of their (ex) employees.
In other words, Peter, it is none of the government's business unless they broke the
law. Even then, it wouldn't be the responsibility of the Treasurer, or any
other politician, regardless of their leadership aspirations - it would be
the responsibility of law enforcement officials.
Yes, the share-holders have a right to an explanation - and so far, the
explanation is that they inherited the contractual obligation when they merged
with (they don't call them takeovers in the Banking business) Colonial
First State, and the money was largely productivity bonuses for growing
Colonial First State from a small bank to a multi-billion dollar enterprise.
Shareholders may not like that explanation, and many of them may scream - but
they are the only ones who have call to, and even then, only at each other, and
their employees (the Board).
But not to be outdone, Bob (hysteria-in-moderation)
McMullan weighed in with some even crazier rhetoric.
It's not enough for the government to cry crocodile tears on these matters -
they need to see what they can do in the law to stop companies from making
these excessive payouts.
We have to look at the levers available to government, including the tax laws
to see what we can do about one person, however meritorious he might be,
getting a $33 million payout of share holders funds.
In other words, if the ALP wins government they are going to introduce caps
on wages. Most people thought that the principles of command economies were
discredited after the collapse of communism last century, but old habits die
hard in the ALP's old guard.
The ALP think they are going to create a better world by telling people who
they can give their money to - in other words by taking away people's rights to
their private property.
Meanwhile of course, Chris Cuffe is laughing all the way from The Bank.