NEWSFLASH! In September I will join The Conversation as its Business and Economy Editor. I have been honoured to work at The Age for the past ten years, originally alongside the legendry Tim Colebatch, and for the past four years as economics editor in my own right.

At The Conversation, my job will be to make the best thinking from Australia's 40 univerisites accessible to the widest possible audience. That means you. From the new year I will also write a weekly column.

On this site are most of the important things I have written for Fairfax and the ABC over the past few decades. I recommend the Search function. The site is a record for you, as well as me.

I'll continue to post great things from The Conversation and other places here, and also on Twitter and Facebook. Enjoy.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Stealing money from very rich people.

It is so easy. A senior official at the Australian Securities and Investments Commission shared his theory as to why. These self-made businesspeople get rich by handshakes, one on one deals, and deals that are out of the ordinary. They get rich by letting their defences down.

We considered calling the SBS Dateline version of this story NABed because of the bit part played by Australia's National Australia Bank in the swindle.

In the end we called it The Big Sting. Read the transcript, or watch the hard-to-believe story.

Mark Davis's introduction:

The collapse of New York's twin towers two years ago tomorrow also marked the collapse of an international swindle that stole millions from some very prominent Australians. Not that many of them are keen to talk about it. Nor is the National Australia Bank, where the funds were deposited. Peter Martin reports. (Includes footage from The Profiteers, by Studio Hamburg Documentaries)