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.

Monday, November 23, 2009

"Cease payments from product manufacturers to financial advisers"

I never thought I would see the day. So soon.

That's what has just been recommended by the Joint Parliamentary Inquiry set up after the collapse of Storm Financial.

Recommendation 4

The committee recommends that the government consult with and support industry in developing the most appropriate mechanism by which to cease payments from product manufacturers to financial advisers.

Here's what the Committee Chair Bernie Ripoll just told me at his 9.00 pm news conference:

"The word cease means stop".

"This is a big, big change that we have recommended. It is huge. For it to happen it has to be done in consultation with the sector."

"A clear message has come from the sector to us that this is what they want... We need to work on ensuring that what we want to deliver in intent is actually delivered in practice."

Would this apply to mortgage brokers, insurance brokers? I asked.The answer: Not yet.

"They are not defined as financial advisors under the Corporations Act at the moment."

But I'm happy. Very happy. Let's get busy.

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