KPMG and the other Big Four audit firms are at a crossroads. Their work with multinational clients to skirt ethical accounting rules and regulations has been on show time and time again. They need to decide what they really are: a salesforce or – what they profess to be – an accounting profession.
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Thatcherism and Reaganomics led to huge transfers of income and wealth from the poor to the rich. Increasing the tax rates on the highest earners would instead send a powerful message that we really are all in this together.
On nearly every economic indicator of wellbeing, Australians have gone backwards in the past six years of the Coalition government. Yet it, and particularly the Finance Minister, is lauded at every turn. Alan Austin takes a closer look at the figures.
Do the grandchildren really pay the debt? The problem with Scott Morrison’s plan for recovery, and MMT
The Government’s plan for economic recovery is wrong. Michael West investigates Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) and the false assumption that the national Budget is like the household budget, or a business. They are already creating new money while denying the proposition that creating new money will expand the economy; preferring to punish casual workers and Arts students, and pursue austerity instead.
In 2018, when Westpac executives skimped on embedding proper controls to track financial crimes, they earned significant bonuses after reporting an operating profit of A$8 billion but they put children at risk of sexual abuse. The bank is now facing a $1 billion penalty, but only $A20 million has been clawed back from those 38 individuals. Nathan Lynch reports.
Is the Morrison Government’s HomeBuilder scheme another case of pork-barrelling which targets the Liberal base? Financial adviser Harry Chemay says it will benefit some first-home buyers and the building lobby – but can also be accessed by wealthy self-funded retirees to increase the value in their home and access the pension.
Australia’s banking sector is a haven for government ministers, prime ministers, state premiers and a slew of top bureaucrats. Our Revolving Doors investigation into this most mollycoddled of industries begins today. We expose, not those who have “taken the money and run”, but those who have run for the money.
The Coalition won the 2013 federal election beating their chest about Labor’s “debt and deficit”. Thanks to COVID-19, we’re unlikely to see a surplus in our lifetime or our children’s. But, let’s not forget that the current debt blow-out occurred well before the coronavirus impacted the economy. Alan Austin checks how Australia shapes up against other OECD countries.
The switch has been flicked from saving lives to saving money via a Josh Frydenberg press blitz today. The newspapers as one ran big on the same story. Get ready for “reform”
Just because Alan Joyce has a Masters degree in mathematics and Michael McCormack is one of two of Australian cabinet ministers who do not claim to have a tertiary education, does not mean Joyce got the better of McCormack in the latest airline subsidies negotiation
If this was the first time Australia’s cosseted superannuation sector found itself in a crisis-induced crunch, you could forgive the industry its current consternation. This is however starting to look like a replay of the Global Financial Crisis, little more than a decade ago. Worryingly, unless there is genuine reform, the next crisis will likely produce the same outcome. Harry Chemay reports.
Virgin Australia is pleading for a bail-out twice what its shares a worth. Its wealthy foreign shareholders can afford to pay. They’ve scampered. What is the answer? The answer lies in an Act of British Parliament, that is Section 51 of Australia’s Constitution. Michael West reports on a neat solution to a very untidy problem, the looming wave of defaults by large corporations.
Aren't the banks lovely to let their home loan customers take a six month break from mortgage repayments! Only one catch ... they are charging compound interest; interest on their interest. Michael West reports on the hardship of the banks versus the hardship of their...
Credit card rates are now up to 80 times higher than the Reserve Bank of Australia’s cash rate. Despite the coronavirus chaos and the banks swimming in an abundance of cheap credit, their credit card remain at all-time highs. Callum Foote reports.
The Morrison Government’s emergency measures to protect the economy are another massive subsidy from embattled taxpayers to Australia’s largest corporations. They are a failure of government to govern.
The Morrison government just bailed out Australia’s airlines with a $715 million relief package. This corporate welfare response is the harbinger of things to come
Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg can kiss their cherished budget surplus goodbye. They never quite got there. Now we await their stimulus package, surely a more decisive affair than the bushfire response.Markets cratered around the world overnight on a 30 per cent...
Compare the pair. Thulasisi Sivapalan is Australia’s most prolific super fund investor. The PhD researcher from UTS tried to join 41 super funds just to get their financial statements. It was a tough journey; navigating mystified admin people, unhelpful regulators at APRA, even an abattoir. On a mission to find out how much tax super funds pay, Thulasisi discovered hundreds of millions of dollars in discrepancies between what Australia’s super funds were telling their investors and what they were reporting to APRA. Callum Foote reports on a peculiar road-trip.
ASIC investigates Westpac’s $2.5 billion capital raising, executed just before AUSTRAC’s lawsuit against the bank for 23 million breaches of money-laundering and terrorism-financing laws
For two years, the people of of Westborough, Massachusetts, tried to find out who owned their town cinema. They searched high and low. Alas, not even the tenant, Interstate Theater Inc, knew the owner
It was hardly the venue for violence, the Joint Parliamentary Inquiry into Regulation of Audit in Australia. The Committee transcripts have now dropped and we can report on an extraordinary day in the history of audit, the day when, finally, there were calls for violence.
Westpac has been running an invisible banking system, invisible to regulators, where multinational company clients even had their on log-ons and could act like banks themselves
The banks have virtually stopped lending to farmers, writes cattleman and veteran columnist for The Land newspaper John Carter. As the provision of credit is an essential service, there needs to be a rethink in the role of the Reserve Bank in society and the cherished...
Bankrolling pedophiles, facilitating massive money-laundering schemes and terrorist-financing have branded Westpac, deservingly, an instant pariah of the banking world. As regulatory intelligence expert Nathan Lynch reveals here however, Westpac is unlikely to be alone. The story behind the story is industrial scale tax avoidance, the concealing of enormous cross-border payments
Why the secrecy? Most of the Big Four’s audit inspections are blacked out; huge chunks redacted by the corporate regulators. In what other field of society would multiple breaches of the law be tolerated? asks Michael West.
This submission by Jeffrey Knapp to the current Parliamentary Inquiry into the Regulation of Auditing in Australia documents how the Big 4 audit firms – KPMG, PwC, Deloitte and EY – have undermined Australian auditing and financial reporting practice for multinational clients.