Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Entrepreneur exposes elected official to Moral Hazard

Isn’t the following sort of akin to the US feds bailing out Fanny and Freddy?

Australian businessman Dick Smith has pledged to help Australian Greens leader Bob Brown pay a $240,000 legal bill which is threatening to force him into bankruptcy.

Senator Brown has to pay the money to Forestry Tasmania after failing in his efforts to stop logging in Tasmania’s Wielangta Forest.

So, now Mr Smith — who of all people should appreciate the importance of market forces — wants to bail out Senator Brown from the consequences of his actions.

Speaking from his helicopter over Lake Eyre today ...

(er, Mr Smith tends in recent years increasingly to style over substance)

... Mr Smith said it was inappropriate for the industry to threaten someone’s political future.

“I’m very disturbed when I understand the legal letter which came in to Bob Brown threatened to make him a bankrupt, and of course, Forestry Tasmania would know that means he’d have to vacate his seat from Federal Parliament,” Mr Smith said.

But, hey, Senator Brown knew that too when he stuck his beak into the Wielangta Forest.

Meanwhile, fiscal conservative PM Kevin Rudd seems unlikely to intervene:

“I’ve actually got a lot of time for Bob just as a person, a bloke I’ve got to know over the years,” he said.

“I didn’t actually know these facts until I read them in the press today so I’m quite concerned about it for him personally.

“As for what can be done about it, that’s a separate matter.”

Zzzzzzzzz... Decisive as ever.

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Blogger Father Park said...

A committee of enquiry will report on options for the PM.

After the next election no doubt.

10/6/09 5:40 PM  
Blogger Caz said...

What could happen to him was a thousand or more people kicking into the kitty with so much money he's now swimming in it.

I like Dick Smith, a good man, a very good man, but he's being a genuine dickhead when he implies any wrong doing or sinister motives on the part of the opposing parties. After all, it was the Supreme Court that made the rulings, including costs, not some bloke on a street corner or from a forestry commission, nor some "industry" threatening to bankrupt anyone.

Brown has been ordered to pay a bill. A bill he has known for years was coming. Talk about bad faith.

Other people get stuck with these sort of costs, but you don't see charitable outpourings to help them.

For a few seconds, a momentary fantasy, I envisaged Brown being tossed from his seat. Ah. Bliss.

12/6/09 9:40 PM  

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