Monday 14 June 2010

BP, the GFC and the resources giants

So what do the Global Financial Crisis, the BP oil spill and Australia’s mining tax debate have in common? All are a direct consequence of a world where huge corporations wield the same and in some cases more power than governments. But while in a democracy, we can assume that a government will pay for its deceptions and errors at the ballot box, huge companies will only be nominally accountable to their shareholders.

Look at the swagger of Twiggy Forrest, Clive Palmer and Gina Rineheart and then look at the thinly veiled anguish of Kevin Rudd. The resources giants seem to think that they’re more important than our elected leaders. And if they win this debate, they’ll have proved they are. I don’t much like Rudd but I am a lot more ready to entrust the nation’s future to him than his unelected, unaccountable billionaire mining opponents. Their messages deserve the same regard as those of Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Moody’s and BP.

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