Author: Sandi Keane

Bonfire of the Big Four: accounting firms a risk to world economy

Have the Big Four accounting firms – Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC – grown so big, so pervasive and been cut so much slack by world governments, that they now pose a risk to the world economy? One of their foremost critics – and a tax lawyer formerly of EY, PwC and Arthur Anderson – George Rozvany, unpacks the factors that could lead to another economic cataclysm. He talks solutions too … break them up and demand more transparency and accountability. Summarising the critical factors: Lack of transparency and self-discipline This poses a serious threat to the stability of the global...

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Bruce Mountain: Our power bills fund useless investment

The preliminary report on energy prices released last week by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) suggests that the consumer watchdog is concerned about almost every aspect of Australia’s electricity industry. It quotes customer groups who say electricity is the biggest issue in their surveys, and cites several case studies of outrageous price increases experienced by various customers. Bruce Mountain investigates what has been a lucrative little earner for the energy industry — useless infrastructure. THE REPORT is long on sympathy about the plight of Australia’s electricity users. But the true picture is even worse — in reality, the ACCC’s assessment of...

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Paul Budde: and so the NBN blame games start

Paul Budde, one of the world’s foremost telecommunications management and business consultants who was interviewed on ABC Four Corners ‘What’s wrong with the NBN’ this week, argues that replacing FttN with FttC (fibre to the curb) is the only sensible solution to the ongoing waste of taxpayers’ money even if this requires a delay or another one or two years. IT HAS taken four years for the government and the nbn company to finally admit what many people have been predicting since the very beginning of the change in NBN plans from FttH (fibre-to-the-home) to FttN (fibre-to-the-node). The prime minister now...

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New TI Report: rent-seekers and corruption risks in the Australian mining industry

Following the latest report from Transparency International warning of rent-seekers and corruption risks in the Australian mining industry, John Menadue argues the case for a Royal Commission on regulatory capture, major changes in political donations, tough and transparent regulation of lobbyists and a standing anti-corruption commission. Back in April 2015, Gigi Foster and Paul Frijters wrote in Pearls and Irritations: “The vast majority of the richest Australians work in property, mining and banking/finance. … Tellingly, the highest earning workers in these industries do not invent or use advanced production or distribution technology… People in these highly regulated industries are handsomely rewarded when...

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David Cay Johnston: Trump’s Tax Plan a Cure in Search of a Disease

Donald Trump’s tax plan has been criticised for lack of detail and as a $US1.5 trillion bet on trickle down economics which is overwhelmingly skewed in favour of the rich. Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Trump biographer and multinational tax avoidance expert, David Cay Johnston, looks at it from a business and accounting point of view and evaluates the winners and the losers. Johnston is in Australia next week for the Sydney University’s Dark Money project, a collaboration between <ahref=””>Sydney Democracy Network and DONALD TRUMP’S 100-word proposal on taxes, which would slash by 57 per cent the rate at...

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New Michael West Podcast

Created by PodcastOne, this 3 part series looks into how Australia has gone from one of the cheapest countries in the world for energy to one of the most expensive, and reveals just what has happened with our gas and electricity supply and why we are on the verge of an energy crisis.

Listen to THE ENERGY TRUTH on the PodcastOne website