Nationalising privatisation

I discovered this too late to put it in Zombie Economics, but it has to be the sharpest irony of the Queensland privatisation debate. The sale of our public assets is being managed, in part, by the Royal Bank of Scotland which, thanks to the gross incompetence of its private managers, is now a wholly owned subsidiary of the British government.

13 thoughts on “Nationalising privatisation

  1. If this was for a novel, the publisher would say ‘come on, you’ve got to make it appear at least a bit believable …’

  2. We ought to be impressed by just how unimpressive the Queensland Government has been on this issue.

  3. And I suppose, when the next crisis hits, the Singaporean government will end up owning the Australian stock exchange ????

  4. @Chris Warren
    what’s that line about selling the rope to hang themselves.
    In the end though these decisions will work well for those who partake in them. Not so good for everyone else.

  5. This was not the first. The same thing
    happened in Mexico. In the early 90s,
    two banks that handled the privatization
    in Mexico were rescued by the Mexican
    Government (read taxpayers) in 1995.
    Royal Bank of Scotland was not rescued
    by Queensland Government.


  6. Ikono – there is something rotten in the state of QLD and in the state of NSW and in the Governments of Australia. They have been dancing the cha cha with so much privatisation with the private sector now that they no longer know the difference between public accountability in their positions and their own private self interest.

    The State Governments in QLD and NSW are standouts for this. Just finished a book by Humphrey McQueen (2000 or so) where he laments the loss of archival material and research assistance from the National Library, since 1991, to be replaced with “technological gadgets that they “cant get to work”, so that in his approx words “we got told the greatest lie of all time throughout the 1990s – “its on the net”.
    He makes a special thankyou to three people from the National Library offered him the sort of assistance “that used to be normal.”
    Idiots who have blindly followed the line that “its on the net” and eg reduced library services and collections are going to decimate universities the way disposable equipment and increasing technology in this area decimated hospitals after the 1970s by placing dependence on foreign pharmaceutical companies with their “specialties”. Ah but it was supposed to save costs because disposables were so much cheaper…….but only to start with and only until all local competition had been eradicated.

    Our university libraries are going the same way – privatised journal access to be later fleeced by foreign database publishers.

    The jnl databases dont even work sometimes Ive noticed now, and it will end up like foxtel (want to see a decent movie? You need to pay a higher payment level. Want the most recent research – oh that will cost the uni more…only it will creep up and up over time as it has already)

    This is so predictable. Why not open the door and say “its a great big globalised world – come in and take over the unis completely and while you are at it – can you run the National Library badly for us?!”

  7. Oh, Alice,

    “can you run the National Library badly for us”

    what a scary thought. I can just see how the asset stripping disposed private industries could operate national libraries and historical archives.

  8. The Royal Bank of Scotland?
    Am sure that copped a right flaying on a public broadcasting ( ABC, from memory ) doco series identifying the factors and causes leading up to the GFM of 2007, maybe six months back.

  9. @BilB
    How could the private sector run national libraries and historical archives? Im sure Rupert mudoch would have plenty of “Rupert right wing archived media pieces” he could replace real history with.

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