Thursday, September 08, 2005

Government wearing two hats

The Government is both a majority shareholder of Telstra and a regulator of Telstra. So when Telstra informs the Government of market sensitive news, did Telstra also have an obligation to inform the rest of the shareholders?


1. It could be argued that Telstra is negotiating with the Government playing it's role as the regulator. However, clearly talking about having to borrow money to pay dividends doesn't sound like regulatory issues to me.

2. The other option is to argue that the information is already readily available, and that financial analysts could already deduce that information from public records.

3. Now if there were additional information that was made available to the Government and the Government is acting on the information to sell its shares to the disadvantage of other people in the market, does this constitute as insider-trading?

4. The government argues that it is illegal for them to reveal the substance of discussion to the general public, under advice from the Department of Finance.
"The reality is that according to the advice I have from the Department of Finance, and from my own department, it would have been against the law for the Government to have done so," he told Parliament.

How come he didn't ask the Department of Attorney General. I thought that when two laws contradict, the newer law has legal effect. Apparently, the information was "... provided to the Government in accordance with the Telstra Corporation Act".
(I'll look these up later)

Oooh, so many questions. Let's so not-have-another-enquiry-this-time-because-no-heads-are-going-to-roll-and-maybe-someone-will-get-a-plum-ambassador-appointment-again.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Arabic Trojan butts into porn surfing -

Security experts today issued a warning after detecting a malicious Trojan horse which tries to interrupt the surfing of adult websites by displaying messages from the Koran.
At last, the Christian Right and the Muslims can find some common ground.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Hurricane Katrina

There's been a lot of criticism on the Bush government's response to Hurricane Katrina. For example, "people didn't leave because they didn't have cars". However, I just don't think the government is alone to blame here.
In Asia, if people relied on the government to save them, well, that's as reliable as waiting for God. A Muslim school teacher used to tell me that the Prophet Muhammad said: "Have faith in God, but you should still tie-down your cow to the fence post".
Of the disabled people who were left behind, I want to know what their neighbours did. Did they just leave these people behind to die?

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Policy and taxes

The comments to John Quiggin's blog on simplifying taxes reinforce how taxation is becomes a tool of social policy.

There were some snide comments about the 2% tax on revenue proposed by Pauline Hanson. Let's say if they manage to get around the problem of not taxing financial transactions by banks, the end result would be very large businesses, which benefit from lower costs by avoiding tax cascading. However, the end result would be very much like the old Australia, where Australia becomes a workers paradise, in contrast to UK - a nation of shopkeepers. I can imagine the government of the day then pandering to the workers instead of chanting industrial reform.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Play that funky music, white boy

Michael Sippey writeswrites:
New Orleans is under water, gas is headed to $4 a gallon, Iraq's a fucking mess and our fearless leader is strumming guitars with country stars.

Reminds me of Indonesia's last President, who preferred to spend time cooking rather than meeting foreign emisaries.