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, May 24, 2010

A Reserve Bank currency firm was willing to supply prostitutes and pay bribes...

Today's Age, tonight's Four Corners:

Sex, bribes in banknote deals

RICHARD BAKER AND NICK MCKENZIE

A RESERVE Bank currency firm was willing to supply prostitutes and pay bribes to win contracts, according to a federal police witness at the centre of Australia's most serious corruption investigation.

The revelation is one of many made by a key witness in the federal police inquiry into the Reserve Bank company, Securency International, which makes polymer banknotes.

The witness has told an investigation by The Age and ABC TV's Four Corners - aired tonight - that a middleman hired by Securency to win contracts from foreign governments told him that he intended to bribe a central bank governor from an Asian country.

The witness, who was a Securency employee, has given the Australian Federal Police his diary in which he recorded the middleman telling him in 2007 that the ''governor would be very happy if the commission [payment] was increased''...



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