Letter from Dr Evan Jones - Sydney University Political Economy - to ACCC - 28th February 2007 + Case Study Of Bank Fraud

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Courageous academic Dr Evan Jones (Sydney University Political Economy) 28th February 2007, speaks out against corruption of banks and government bodies. This letter should have been on the front page of every mainstream newspaper and website in Australia.

Evan Jones

Dr Evan Jones joined the Faculty of Economics at the University of Sydney in 1973 and has taught in the political economy program since that time. He is coordinator of the Master of Economics (SocSci) in Australian Political Economy program. His research interests are in the political economy of industry and economic policy, Australian economic development, and in the methodology and sociology of the economics discipline. Dr Jones’ publications have appeared in the Economic Record, the Review of Radical Political Economics, the Journal of Australian Political Economy, the History of Economics Review, and the Australian Journal of Public Administration. He has written extensively for the respectable press and is the co-author of a textbook, Engineering and Society.

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Note: Also see three attachments at bottom of this document
1. Case Study Dr Evan Jones 2 ecop2004-31b.pdf - 860.35 KB: http://loveforlife.com.au/files/Evan%20Jones4%20#2.pdf
2. JonesRidgwayACCC28207.doc - 91 KB: http://loveforlife.com.au/files/JonesRidgwayACCC28207.doc
3. JonesNABCaseStudiesWPRevd404.pdf - 329.86 KB: http://loveforlife.com.au/files/JonesNABCaseStudiesWPRevd404.pdf

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Letter from Dr Evan Jones (Sydney University Political Economy) to ACCC - 28th February 2007
Note: There are two attachments at bottom of this letter. One is the original of this letter and the other is The Case Study of Banks and Small Business Borrowers : case studies of adversity by Dr Evan Jones.

THE UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY
Political Economy
Faculty of Economics and Business
Merewether Building
NSW 2006
AUSTRALIA
Fax: +61 9351 8596 Telephone: +61 2 9351 6617 Email: evanj @ econ.usyd.edu.au

Nigel Ridgway
General Manager
Compliance Strategies
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
PO Box 1199
Dickson ACT 2602

28 February 2007

Dear Mr Ridgway

This letter is in response to the letter under your name of 8 April 2005, which in turn was a response to my letter to John Martin, Small Business Commissioner, of the 13 January 2005. My letter to Martin was a consequence of not receiving any response to my dossier and covering letter addressed to ACCC Chairman Graeme Samuel on 6 April 2004. The silence on my part following your April 2005 letter reflected a demanding workload rather than agreement with and an acceptance of the substance of your response. Retirement from teaching has now allowed me to return to the issue.

My April 2004 dossier summarised eight cases of adverse experience of (all but one) small business/farming customers with the National Australia Bank. (I note in passing that your 8 April letter, presumably on behalf of Commissioner John Martin, dealt with the dossier but did not respond to the broader issue raised in my Martin letter of the parlous state of legal and regulatory protection for small business in Australia.)

Your letter contained a response involving both detailed treatment of each of the eight cases and broad generalisations. The response to the cases could be characterised as falling into a number of categories – the cases did not involved unconscionable conduct; the cases (potentially) involved unconscionable conduct, but occurred before s.51AC (or even s.51AA) had been legislated; the cases involved (potential) fraud but the appropriate jurisdiction in such cases is criminal rather than civil.

The convenient by-product of such classification is that there is nothing in my dossier that warrants any action, or indeed any thought, from the ACCC. Indeed, your letter bears all the hallmarks of a ‘Yes Minister’ response.

There is the curious comment ‘In each case where the ACCC declined to pursue an unconscionable conduct action it did so because it was assessed that the conduct did not amount to unconscionable conduct’. I am unaware that the ACCC has actively considered the application of the unconscionable conduct provisions to banks; one could count action by the TPC/ACCC against banks on the fingers of one hand. The correspondence between complainants and the ACCC that I have sighted indicate that the ACCC has declined to involve itself in the substance of the complainant’s case as a prelude to advising them to take the matters into their own hands.

The classification of cases into non-actionable categories is complemented by a variety of generalizations, two of which I proceed to query below.

Banking malpractice not merely existent but a systemic problem for small business

Representative is a paragraph in response to the issue of ‘cumulative conduct by one party’ (page 2). The paragraph points to variations in detail across different complainants, and the varying location in time of the complaints. These concerns might be relevant to a class action (whether there is a difference in banking that differs qualitatively from tobacco cases that renders litigation in one industry more readily successful than in the other is a moot point). But this issue is not the one that I brought up. To quote my 6 May 2004 letter ‘The merit of treating these individual cases collectively is that interpretation of the sources of these conflicts is more naturally confronted as a systemic problem, rather than the failings of a particular small business.’

In raising the concern about variations of detail and in time your letter diverts from the prospect of malpractice amongst bank lenders, the NAB in particular, as a systemic problem.

In my view, bank malpractice against small business problems is systemic; it is therefore a problem to be treated systemically by the authorities. My view is shared by my collaborator in these matters, Brisbane-based retired NAB branch manager and longtime banking malpractice consultant John Salmon.

In your noting that my eight cases ‘span a period of 17 years’, there is the implicit notion that these are sporadic affairs, even if they were to be taken seriously. On the contrary, they are the tip of the iceberg; and only the three score and ten years allocated to one’s time on earth delimit the time and energy available for a lone individual with no resources to document the extent of the iceberg.

I point you to the foreign currency loan saga of the 1980s, certainly one of the great financial sector scandals in Australian history. What started out as greed mixed with incompetence in a new environment of deregulation led three of our four major banks (Westpac, the CBA and the ANZ) into corrupt practices as they attempted to displace entire responsibility on hapless small business borrowers. Here was transparent evidence of a systemic problem in banking practices, ably documented in the minutiae by contemporary journalists but, alas, ignored by experts and deflected by officialdom. The deflection of the foreign currency loan scandal by officialdom is an important story in itself, but elaboration on that theme would detract from the emphasis here.

The common variety bank malpractice was also alive and well in the 1980s. Indeed, it was the cumulation of individual cases brought to the attention of the then Democrat Senator Paul McLean that led him to champion the cause of bank victims in Parliament. Then, as now, Parliament was little interested.

The publicly-owned Commonwealth Bank figured prominently in the cases brought to the attention of Senator McLean. These days, the National Australia Bank has the distinction of topping the malpractice tables, by a considerable margin.

Channel 7’s Today Tonight program ran an episode on the 5th April 2006 dealing with three NAB casualties. The program was put together by Today Tonight’s Adelaide producer, Frank Pangallo, after he was approached by a South Australian builder against whom NAB had reneged on an insurance contract after an injury to the builder. Pangallo sensed an injustice, and used a program that has a reputation for trivia to handle an issue that is neglected by more respectable outlets.

The program went to air in April, but only in South Australia. Curiously, the program did not go to air, as scheduled, in the other States, not least because the other two cases on the program emanated from Queensland. One of these cases was the McMinn child care centre case, documented in my dossier. Nothing that should concern us here, says your letter. Yet the McMinns received an offer of $1,700,000 for the centre, which the Bank prevented the McMinns from accepting, and the receiver/Bank subsequently sold the property for $1,180,000, leaving a residual debt that conveniently swallowed up the McMinn family home along the way. It is this kind of detail that should alert inquiring minds as to the nature of this conflict.

The third case on the Today Tonight program was that of the Troianis. Sante Troiani ran a highly successful brick business out of Bundaberg, building up substantial business and property assets of many millions of dollars. The evidence points to not your garden variety malpractice but a strategic ‘sting’ operation (to use the expression of my collaborator John Salmon), in which the NAB induced Troiani to shift his business to the NAB (in late 1993), after which Troiani’s business was systematically defrauded.

Belatedly, the April 2006 Today Tonight program, albeit edited, appeared in the Eastern States and Western Australia on 4 January of this year. In the ensuing couple of weeks, Pangallo was inundated with phone calls and emails from people who considered themselves victims of bank malpractice, all by NAB except for a Westpac case. The number is well over one hundred.

On the Today Tonight program, NAB executive Ahmed Fahour acknowledged that there were problems that needed attention. That mild contrition was not to last. The NAB had published in the Melbourne Age under Fahour’s name on the 23 January a panegyric to the company, citing its brilliant socially aware contribution to community support. The NAB then wheeled out its public relations flak to pronounce that ‘NAB has a very good relationship with millions of Australian customers and it is in the bank’s interest to see those customers and their businesses succeed. On rare occasions businesses regrettably fail and disputes do sometimes arise, however, NAB works hard to resolve those situations to the satisfaction of all parties.’ In short, pure spin. Business as usual.

The Commonwealth Bank is not to be outdone by the NAB’s ‘competitive advantage’ in malpractice. Cases in the last ten years, some of which have dragged on until recently, include Muirhead in Queensland (primary producer), Cooke in Queensland (medical centres), Timms in New South Wales (negligent advice in business purchase) and Heinrich in South Australia (primary producer). Muirhead and Cooke shared the same corrupt lending manager. The CBA was particularly active in maltreatment of customers of its small business subsidiary Commonwealth Development Bank in the mid 1990s in the course of restructuring then closing down the CDB – Tratzea in New South Wales (horticulture) and Cassegrain in New South Wales (property development) are notable cases of transparent skullduggery.

Even the relative small fries St. George and Bendigo Bank are now aping the big boys on the block, the latter having acquired a lending manager from NAB in Queensland who has carried over an unsavoury culture with him.

How many cases of alleged victimisation does one need before one confronts the possibility that there is systemic malpractice against small business borrowers in the banking sector? One first has to be willing to confront the accumulating evidence.

One also needs to learn to read the signs regarding what is readily attributable to incompetence, possible malfeasance, on the part of borrowers, and what seems like a calculated default by the bank lender. Recently, I came across a case reported in the financial press of a builder, Stuart Bros Pty Ltd, which had collapsed in 1994/95. The press reported the collapse cursorily, but it had all the elements of a calculated default by the NAB. Stuart Bros had been a long established and reputable firm, readily discarded as collateral damage.

Bank culture

How many cases does one need to sit up and take notice? Large numbers carry important implications, but ultimately the character of even one or two cases ought to be decisive in ringing alarm bells. Kabwand/Somerset (NAB) and Heinrich (CBA) are two such cases. The common element is that two hard-working and successful farming families are deceived by corrupt lending managers. The key issue for us, however, is that the bank hierarchy then steps in and enacts a process dedicated to the destruction of the deceived borrowers. The CBA has even had Heinrich declared a ‘vexatious litigant’ – this in the pursuit of justice!

The experience of the Somerset and Heinrich families provide a window into the culture of business practice in banking. Business culture is a phenomenon unknown to the economics profession that pervades the bureaucracy and regulatory agencies, and we have had to draw on the low-status sociologists and management writers for insight. The March 2004 APRA report, Report into Irregular Currency Options Trading at the National Trading Bank, embodied a rare official recognition of banking business culture and the potential for the entrenchment of unsavoury elements. The APRA report focused narrowly on the NAB’s trading desk, but even casual readers of the financial press would know that the NAB has generated a series of debacles, product of a dysfunctional culture that has been evidently more widespread than the trading desk of late. Nevertheless, the APRA report has offered legitimacy to the recognition of banking culture, of the possibility of elements of that culture being a product not merely of incompetence but of a lack of ethics, and thus the prospect that unsavoury business practice will become entrenched.

In short, a dysfunctional business culture generates systemically undesirable business practices. There is that word again, that one is not allowed to speak, and the concept behind it, that one is not allowed to conceive.

The evidence indicates that the Asset Structuring unit of the NAB has possessed an unsavoury culture for some time. One would have expected the new broom at the top to address this inheritance. Certainly, the new broom has restored the NAB to magnificent profitability, but it has curiously chosen not merely to tolerate but to reinforce this cowboy element in the business. Rumours have passed in business circles that former NAB CEO Cicutto was forced to fall on his sword not because he failed to stem incompetence or corruption but because he failed to stem adverse publicity. (One might add in passing that Westpac has devoted considerable resources to advertising its corporate social responsibility, seemingly risen above the pack, but Westpac has as yet declined to clean out its own cultural closet regarding treatment of small business.)

Legitimate business interests?

Your letter (bottom page 2) considers the possibility that many of the cases that I described in my dossier may be the consequence of the NAB ‘implement[ing] and review[ing] its procedures to manage its lending risk, and are therefore a product of ‘legitimate business interests’.

One shouldn’t have to point out that there is wide latitude for a bank to manage its lending risk without resorting to oppressive practices. Adherence to first principles in managing risk would point to the necessity for appropriate training of relevant staff, for appropriate management structures for deliberation, communication, information and documentation flows, for appropriate audit procedures on lending managers’ books, for functioning human resources management procedures in the credit hierarchy, for relative stability in personnel placement both for customer relations and corporate memory, and so on. This is bread and butter stuff. It was not in evidence in the NAB’s ill-considered cleanout of its loan book in 2002 (some say inspired by exert insider fear of a global downturn post-September 11!). It is not in evidence in the Walter and McMinn cases (as per my dossier) where the customers faced high turnover of branch lending managers as a prelude to foreclosure. A lateral thinker would infer from high staff turnover that there are other explicit priorities regarding staffing and procedures that displace sound risk management, including the reproduction of incompetence as a practiced art but not restricted to that time-honoured imperative of large organisations.

More dramatically, the same paragraph in your letter canvases the possibility that oppressive conduct may be graced with the tag of legitimacy, that s.51AC allows such a judgment, and that ACCC culture is prepared to absorb such a judgment. Quoting your letter: ‘certain conduct, or a course of conduct, might be detrimental to the interests of the small business concerned, however if it is referable to the stronger party’s legitimate business interests, this may indicate that the conduct is less likely to contravene section 51AC’. Similarly, the details of the McMinn case (bottom page 4) are considered ‘unlikely to be construed as going beyond tough business practices or hard bargaining to breach section 51AC’.

Frankly, I find this line of reasoning disturbing. It is not in the spirit of the exemplary 1997 Reid Report, Finding a Balance, which finally put small business concerns against corporate business predation on the political map, and which is supposed to have generated an ACCC administration more understanding of and sympathetic to the small business environment. One expects the support of ‘tough business practices’ to emanate from the Business Council of Australia (and its Law Council of Australia minders), which has been strident in its opposition to reform of s.46 or s.51AC, but from such a source the view is transparently recognised as self-interest.

It is pertinent to highlight that small business bank victims have perennially succumbed to a permanent state of shock after confronting the dishonesty and duplicity of their bank and its personnel, and the realisation that their business practices to that date had been based on a flawed because overly generous understanding of human nature. Some of these victims had had a relationship extending over decades, indeed over generations. The key word here is ‘trust’.

The structured imbalance of power in banking relationships is a product of the intrinsic nature of the debt instrument itself, the occupational positions that carry a professional status, the attendant possession of knowledge and information not possessed by the borrower, and the discretion over the use and disclosure of knowledge and information and in the terms placed on the debt instrument.

All bank borrowers know implicitly that they are to place themselves in a dependent subordinate relationship, but they have also implicitly rebalanced the equation with the trust that bank personnel will act as ‘professionals’, that is, that bank personnel will fulfil their privileged role with integrity. Imagine if a person’s GP or recommended specialist had decided to leverage their professional status and its associated culture of trust by advising the client that their health was dependent upon the removal or an organ or limb or two, of course in a private hospital, with the prospect of the medicos gaining a tidy sum from the exercise. Unthinkable? Well we have the equivalent in banking, and nobody turns an eye.

Bank personnel have strategically leveraged the inherited culture of trust to engage in calculated fraud and defaults. They have abused the unspoken trust in the professional status of ‘banker’, and trust in the status of the institution itself. In the early 1980s, Westpac and CBA personnel, who threw their companies into the deep unknown waters of foreign currency loans in a floating rate regime, brought in unsophisticated small business borrowers on the reputations of, respectively, an institution almost synonymous with the history of White Australia and of a publicly owned institution, the People’s Bank. The borrowers, knowing nothing of the mechanics or perils of foreign currency denominated debt, were led into disaster on the basis of misplaced trust in long-established institutions and in the professionalism of their staff. That the banks advertised their non-existent skills in foreign currency management and displayed their whiz-bang dealing rooms to prospective borrowers as symbols of a chimera further enhanced the deceit.

These days the National Australia Bank has perfected the art of the manipulation and cynical leverage of reputation. The NAB devotes resources to sponsoring high profile events/organizations (the Commonwealth Games, the National Press Club, the pre-season AFL competition, etc.), and to a variety of small-scale community projects. The Bank devotes considerable resources to disseminating the facts of its sponsorship. On the other hand, the Bank devotes equally considerable resources to deflecting adverse publicity, which inevitably keeps bubbling to the surface. Journalists who have raised concern about NAB practices have mysteriously disappeared from this line of work. Following the Today Tonight program’s second showing in January, instead of addressing concerns, the Bank harasses the sources. This is combined with the Fahour article in the Melbourne Age on 23 January, extolling the NAB as a socially responsible corporation. The creation and abuse of reputation is thus an ongoing binary process – active and strategic.

A recent ready vehicle for calculated default is use of the 12-month facility. Promises, verbal, even written, are made that the facility will be rolled over. Then after 12 months a decision comes down that the facility will attract a significantly higher interest rate or that the facility will not be renewed. If security over the family home can be appended, then it’s further money for jam for the bank. This arrangement was the case with the Walter family.

Another recent example of the abuse of the 12-month facility is that of Ozden Inak, who contacted me after the Today Tonight program appeared in the Eastern States in January. Mr Inak, with partners, borrowed from the NAB to embark on a small-scale investment in residential property, to supplement his building supplies small business. The NAB offered a very competitive rate of 5.65%, and the contract stated that the loan would be renewed on the same terms after 12 months. (Note that the NAB’s advertised rates for the week at which the loan was arranged were 5.99% fixed rate tailored home loans 12 mths, and business mortgage instalment loan 6.80%, commercial mortgage instalment loan 7.75%, and the base rate 9.10%. A good deal for Mr Inak and partners!) A mere week into the loan the Bank increased the rate to 5.85%. At the end of the 12 months, the rate was increased to 19.65%; and when payments were not able to be made at this usurious rate, the rate was boosted to 21%. The Bank took possession of the properties, failed to sell them at auction. Meanwhile personnel apologise, claiming that they had lost the contracts, but have declined to restructure the terms. Inak and partners have no control over the properties which have now been partially destroyed, and an impasse has ensued. This is how ‘tough business practices or had bargaining’ operate on the ground.

Other means for calculated default have been available for a longer period. Such is the lowly overdraft, the bread and butter facility for business operation. The NAB’s overdraft contract includes the following, Section 5:

Despite 6 below [regarding review of the customer’s operation of the facility], the Bank may cancel the facility at any time whether or not you are in breach of this agreement. Where the facility is cancelled:
(a) the Bank will give you notice of the cancellation as soon as practical.

The Bank used this formal overarching and terrifying power as an excuse, post-foreclosure, for its cavalier treatment of the Goonan hardware businesses (outlined in my April 2004 dossier). The leverage that the NAB has given to itself with this unconscionable clause is dramatically enhanced by the tying of other facilities to the overdraft – default on the overdraft immediately signals default on the other facilities. Whereas a customer might conceivably find refinancing at short notice for an overdraft debt, the possibility of refinancing all debt at short notice is zero. This particular ruse was used by the CBA to destroy Claude Cassegrain when the CBA was in the process of cleaning out its Development Bank portfolio with little regard to propriety.

When one examines the fine print of the means by which ‘the stronger party’s legitimate business interests’ are pursued in banking, one would have to ask why anyone with integrity, leave alone anyone with institutional responsibility for regulating business behaviour, would join in support of this mode of doing business.

Structural subordination in the capitalist economy and its reflections in Australia

Certain arenas of economic exchange in the modern capitalist economy involve the structural subordination of one party to the other. Indeed, there is a hint in these structures of the reproduction of social relations prevalent in pre-capitalist society. The most notable of these arenas have been the employer-employee relationship (in which pre-capitalist master-servant law and culture was carried over explicitly), the landlord-tenant relationship, the distributor/processor-farmer relationship, and (albeit unevenly) the capital lender-borrower relationship. Later developments in organizational forms have produced additional arenas – the giant retailer-supplier relationship, the landlord-tenant relationship in its commercial shopping centre manifestation, the franchisor-franchisee relationship, and the contractor-subcontractor relationship (in which the hiring contractor is the sole or dominant purchases of the subcontractor’s services).

Of course, many parties in a position of structural dominance do not take advantage of the structured imbalance of power. However, there have always been parties that have sought to take advantage, and it is these situations that have ultimately been responsible for the establishment of organisations to countervail or bypass the power imbalance, and for the evolution of countervailing legislation and regulation.

Curiously, the professions with a significant role in interpreting and regulating economic exchange, economics and the law, have for long failed to come to grips with this socially important domain of the structured imbalance of power. The neglect by economists might be explained by their general employment in the ivory towers of academia and the bureaucracy. The legal profession has no such excuse, having seen the whites of the eyes of parties to unequal exchange.

But there are parallel consequences in both professions. This failure has led to an impoverished corpus of economic theory, and subsequently to inadequate structures of economic regulation; ditto in respect of legal theory and the law. The failure of the latter is reflected in the marginalisation of the principles of ‘fiduciary duty’ and ‘duty of care’, and the insouciance with which the legal profession dismisses such principles in the Australian courts.

The evidence points to entrenched adversity for small business vitality from corporate predation in the Australian business environment. I have expressed this opinion briefly (if polemically) in my submission to the 2003 Senate inquiry into the Trade Practices Act, and more systematically in a September 2005 working paper, ‘Small Business – Corporate Business Relations: Dimensions of structural subordination in Australia’ (available on my University Home Page).

This adverse environment in Australia is a product of a combination of forces, including an impoverished intellectual inheritance, as outlined above; aggressive practices by corporates to acquire and employ structured power, coupled with aggressive lobbying to defend such practices; and political action and legislative change that is weak and unsustained.

The ACCC is part of the problem

The ACCC is part of the problem. Admittedly, the ACCC has its hands full with s.50 and s.45 matters, and constrained resources, but the small business arena has been put on the back burner. The changes that resulted from the Reid Inquiry were partial; even less, their activation has not embodied the spirit of the Inquiry.

The franchise code is a definite improvement, but this improvement constitutes slim pickings. The position of Small Business Commissioner is token. Section 51AC was formally a major achievement, acknowledging belatedly in the law the capacity for business to business predation; but substantively it has been weak from the start. Worse, the ACCC has acted as if Section 51AC has guts. The ACCC’s booklet Guide to Unconscionable Conduct is an embarrassment, effectively telling potential small business complainants to go away as they are more likely than not a bunch of whingers who can’t face the heat of the marketplace.

This implicit mentality is reproduced in speeches by senior ACCC personnel. John Martin’s address to the Wine Grape Growers in November 2004 carried the implicit message – there is nothing we can do for you. Ditto Chairman Graeme Samuel’s address to the Victorian Master Grocers Association in February 2004 and his speech to the AGSM in November 2004. The message is: ‘competition is tough; shape up or ship out’. There appears to have been an uncritical absorption of the ‘Contestability’ approach to competition, naturally a school of thought loved by the corporates.

Corporate predators have enhanced their power and their extractions under the generally benign umbrella of the ACCC and bipartisan political indifference. Westfield, and Woolworths and Coles, in particular, are serial offenders, yet offenses are conceived of by the authorities as one-off affairs. Meanwhile, the companies are rewarded for their sins. Their market share rolls on under a weak merger rule and a ‘contestability’ mentality. The settlement with Westfield in 2004 on a ‘no admissions’ basis was a disgrace. Water off a duck’s back.

The significant action by the ACCC against Woolworths and Coles regarding harassment of independent liquor retailers was initiated under the previous Chairman’s administration. The belligerent reluctance of Woolworths CEO Corbett to acknowledge wrongdoing in this case is representative of Woolworths’ unrepentant culture. (Corbett was also exposed as a liar in appearance before the 1999 Baird retail sector inquiry, but without being admonished.)

This entrenched culture did not register with the ACCC when it sent personnel to Western Australia on the matter of Woolworth’s 2005 takeover of Foodland’s Action retail stores, treating supplier concerns cavalierly and condescendingly. ACCC personnel’s refusal to take on board the fundamental significance of evidence from suppliers being heard in camera led to the supplying community reasonably concluding that the ACCC was worthy of contempt, for failure to grasp some basic tenets in how the structured imbalance of power operates in the retail supply chain.

With respect to the retailers, the 2002 ACCC report (under instructions from the Senate, post Baird inquiry) on supplier-retailer relations is flawed. The Commission inferred, without examination and without evidence, that that there was no discernible anti-competitive dimensions to grocery price determination, and that there has been no breach of the law. The Commission also saw fit to reiterate its belief that ‘price discrimination can also produce a positive outcome and simply reflect competition at work’.

Also of relevance is the 2004 consultancy report by Whitehall Associates for the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. This report similarly and inappropriately draws strong conclusions regarding the healthiness of pricing and the retail supply chain from non-existent evidence in the body of the report. The Whitehall report’s treatment of market power is in a throwaway paragraph; no examination is taken of this significant phenomenon. There is evidence that the Whitehall consultancy downplayed the evaluation of market power in the report due to the perceived demands of key stakeholders, not least the sponsoring federal Department. The report was a politicised and hence political document, and its nugatory treatment of market power merits little attention.

Ironically, the Whitehall report reproduced uncritically propositions from the flawed ACCC report. In turn, the general conclusions of the Whitehall report have been reproduced uncritically, not least by ACCC Chairman Samuel in the November 2004 AGSM speech.

As I have written elsewhere (unpublished document), ‘We are thus witness to a peculiar phenomenon in which reports blessed with official status are interpreted as denying the existence of large retailer market power although the reports avoided an examination of the issue. The reputed absence of retailer market power has thus acquired definitive status, although the grounds of its declaration are hollow. Wishful thinking has been converted into tangible reality.’

The ACCC and bank-borrower relations in particular

One returns to the blank sheet that is actions by the ACCC regarding bank malpractice. I refer to a letter from an ACCC staffer to a complainant seeking assistance. This letter is representative in tone of letters sent to complainants regarding alleged bank malpractice (‘we can’t help you’), but it is more fulsome in detail, and thus merits attention.

Carmen Walter (principal of the Wodonga brewing/restaurant business defaulted by the NAB, outlined in my April 2004 dossier) wrote to the ACCC on 17 April 2001. Ms Walter received a reply from Angusha Kangatharan, ACCC Senior Investigator, on 24 April. The letter states, inter alia:

Under Part V of the Trade Practices Act 1974 (“the Act”) businesses are prohibited from engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct. Thus, in the present case, based upon the information you have provided the conduct in question may raise concerns under section 52 of the Act.

However, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (“the Commission”) is unable to pursue all matters that are brought to its attention. Its efforts are aimed more towards achieving compliance with the Act for the benefit of the public as a whole, than towards achieving resolution of particular complaints. The Commission’s selection criteria for matters which it will pursue include the following;
(i) an apparent blatant disregard of the law;
(ii) significant public detriment;
(iii) the potential for action to have a worthwhile educative or deterrent effect;
(iv) a significant new market issue; or
(v) an opportunity to test the reach of the Act in appropriate circumstances.

Furthermore, the Commission does not as a matter of policy become involved in matters where private legal action has been taken. Accordingly, I regret to advise that the issue you raise is not one this office can pursue.

Apart from the message of the last paragraph, a regular and key component of ACCC letters to such complainants, and the failure of the writer to mention section 51AC as being of possible relevance to the Walter inquiry, the middle paragraph merits attention. The author writes of the necessity for selectivity in choosing arenas to pursue, listing selection criteria. Ms Kangatharan fails to take the small step and a natural application of logic to note that most of the criteria listed fit closely the circumstances complained of by aggrieved small business borrowers. It is readily arguable that there is no more worthy arena deserving of the ACCC’s resources that would be directed ‘towards achieving compliance with the Act for the benefit of the public as whole’. The ACCC has not taken this step.

Ms Walter then wrote to the Hon. Joe Hockey, then Minister for Financial Services and Regulation. Hockey’s office replied in mid June, saying (as per usual) that it was inappropriate to intervene in a private matter, but that she should contact the ACCC. (An ACCC press release was appended to the Hockey letter, in which the ACCC was trumpeting success against the NAB with respect to a personal guarantee case. It would not have been clear from the ACCC press release that the NAB has, to this writer’s knowledge, never lost a court case except on a handful of personal guarantee cases, for which there is established legal precedent supporting the hapless defendants.)

Ms Walter wrote again to the ACCC, care of Ms Kangatharan, on 9 July 2001. The essence of the letter was that, if the ACCC could not intervene in the Walter case, ‘we would expect the responsible government bodies to take action outside our personal case to prevent matters as ours in future (sic)’. The ACCC did not reply to this letter. A follow up letter from Ms Walter on 13 August 2001 met with a similar silence.

Enter the Australian Securities and Investments Commission

As if s.51AC was already not a damp squib, into the equation comes ASIC, which is handed responsibility for business to business unconscionable conduct in relation to financial dealings in March 2002. Whoever is responsible for the conception and execution of this handover should be taken out the back and shot.

ASIC’s skills and associated culture are incommensurate with the skills required to regulate unconscionable conduct. Even were ASIC interested in acquiring skills, which it is not, ASIC does not have the resources to regulate unconscionable conduct. There appears to have been an implicit but mistaken belief that one could readily tack on the regulation of business to business unconscionable conduct to the management of consumer protection.

In correspondence with me in relation to ASIC’s coverage of bank malpractice, letter dated 15 June 2004, ASIC’s Greg Tanzer (for Greg Kirk), wrote, inter alia:

To date we have not relied upon the unconscionable conduct provisions in any proceedings involving credit.

Tanzer proceeded to elaborate at length on the difficulties, constraints, and so on.

One might also highlight that Bruce Ford, sometime CBA victim (Tratzea) spent an inordinate time with ASIC personnel before and during 2004 in trying to get ASIC to take seriously the use by banks of the ‘shadow ledger’ system for customers in the process of being defaulted. The shadow ledger system facilitates extraordinary discretion for banks to manipulate customer indebtedness, with implications not merely for the hapless customer, but also for reporting accountability to the Tax Office and to the banking regulatory authorities. Ford was heard on a personally sympathetic level, but the issue ultimately was shelved.

The plot thickens. I quote from an article in the Australian Financial Review, dated 18 February 2005 (authored by David Crowe and Alesandra Fabro):

The crackdown on property spruikers was being hampered by overlaps between two key regulators, prompting ‘intense frustration’ among investigators as they tried to prosecute offenders, a senate committee heard yesterday. … [ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel] described the situation as ‘less than satisfactory’ after the separation of financial services regulation under ASIC. …

The Productivity Commission last month described the overlaps between ASIC and the ACCC and other bodies as a ‘source of confusion to industry’. Mr Samuel said there was ‘intense frustration’ among some ACCC staff when they needed to refer matters to senior counsel to determine whether they had jurisdiction to investigate a case. …

Labor consumer affairs spokeswoman Kate Lundy described the overlap as a ‘dog’s breakfast’.

To this writer, Ms Lundy’s evaluation is on the generous side. The situation, to be kind, is a shambles and a disgrace. The outcome? There is effectively no regulatory oversight of business to business unconscionable conduct in financial services.

The broader parlous environment for small business bank victims

There is no doubt that confronting the abuse of the structured imbalance of power by corporates is a Herculean task. Even by these demanding standards, banking malpractice is in its own elevated category. Even if s.46 and s.51AC had robustness, and if ACCC personnel had both sympathy and commitment to small business complainants, the broader environment remains unappetising.

The political class declines to go near bank victims. Democrat Senator Paul McLean was forced out of Parliament in 1991, McLean himself experiencing exhaustion and disgust at the lack of integrity of Parliament on this issue. The Martin Banking Inquiry closed down the issue, and nothing has been heard from Parliament since (except for the very occasional intrusion from backbenchers putting in their two bits for constituents during the Adjournment Debates, to be immediately ignored).

With political supineness as background, the banks’ foreclosure process has sucked up and compromised other sectors, in particular the receiver/manager sector and the property valuation sector. The public bankruptcy trustee, the Insolvency and Trustee Service Australia, lacking resources, has lapsed into a cowardly neglect of its responsibilities to those who have been trapped by bank bankruptcy proceedings.

But the centre of the larger problem is the legal profession and the judiciary. The NAB public relations machine recently tells it thus: ‘All if the material [put forward by foreclosed complainants] has been the subject of exhaustive investigation many times by ourselves and by multiple courts of law. In each case the courts have found the allegations to be unfounded’.

Very convenient for the NAB to hide behind the fulsome integrity of the Australian legal system. The public relations entourage can sleep soundly at night because it is its role to write the script to order. The detail conveys a contrary story.

Anyone who has cared to examine a court case or two from the foreign currency litigation would already have acquired a less sanguine view of the Australian legal system (with some honourable exceptions). It is more of the same with recent bank litigation. A representative case is the Heinrich v CBA litigation in South Australia. It is a disgrace. Hyland J settles the case for the Bank by preferring the credibility of the corrupt lending manager Saunders to the credibility of the hoodwinked farmer Heinrich. The a priori presumption of bank staff integrity, rather than a forensic investigation from available documents and testimony, determines the outcome. Why bother wasting resources going through the motions when the outcome is predetermined?

In principle, the structured asymmetry of legal firepower to the banks’ advantage should not inhibit the bench from looking behind the rhetoric. Yet we have learned members of the bench perennially displaying contortions of logic, acts of faith in bank personnel and documentation, and selective appropriation of evidence to find in favour of the more powerful party. Judges perennially accept statements on faith by bank staff on events and claims regarding the debt quotients. There is a pervasive ignorance of bank procedures amongst the judiciary, and a pervasive lack of interest in acquiring a workable knowledge of such procedures.

In particular, the issue of who the receiver/manager owes allegiance to – the mortgagor or mortgagee – provides a colourful legerdemain. The law says that the receiver/manager owes allegiance to the mortgagor, but the practice is that the receiver/manager is the chattel of the bank. Spender J, in National Australia Bank v Freeman, FCA 244, March 2002, more honest than most, exposed the distortions necessary to turn the law to the advantage of the practice. Those in more of a hurry to dispense with niceties (such as Dodds-Streeton J, in National Australia Bank v Walter, VSC 36, February 2004) merely crash through the inconsistencies to find the desired result.

Some judges come to office having acted for banks, not surprising as banks are most prevalent in litigation and have the resources to match the demand. Such has been the position of Paul de Jersey, now Queensland Chief Justice, with Westpac; ditto Richard Chesterman, now Queensland Supreme Court, with Westpac; ditto George Fryberg, now Queensland Supreme Court, with the NAB (Fryberg was senior counsel for the NAB in the Kabwand/Somerset case, another disgraceful outcome).

We then find judges presiding over cases in which a previous long term bank client is one of the parties. Thus did de Jersey J preside over a decision for his previous benefactor Westpac in the crucial foreign currency case Westpac v Potts, Queensland Supreme Court of Appeal, No.657 of 1991, April 1992, a case resulting in what Queenslanders in the know consider to be one of the worst decisions in recent judicial history. This decision had the not inconsiderable effect of not merely reversing the lower court ruling in favour of Potts but also a series of decisions in the Federal Court against Westpac in Chiarabaglio, Thannhauser and Ferneyhaugh, whose cumulative impact was threatening to damn Westpac comprehensively over its foreign currency loan debacle. With the Potts reversal, the significance of which was duly advertised to all and sundry by Westpac, Drambo was subsequently won for Westpac. As with the equally culpable CBA, the remaining foreign currency loan casualties were left to rot and dissolve unlamented into history.

Similarly judges routinely preside, without embarrassment, over litigation in which one of the parties is the bank with which they have a financial interest or a personal banking relationship. Judge Dodds-Streeton admitted to beneficial interest in NAB shares worth a quarter of a million dollars in National Australia Bank v Walter, but claimed that impartiality would prevail on her watch.

Chief Justice de Jersey has admitted to a personal banking relationship with the NAB. And yet His Honour presided over a Summary Judgment Hearing in early 2001 on the matter of Troiani as guarantor and majority owner of Wide Bay Bricks. The Judge delivered a decision in favour of the NAB and judgment on debt which allowed the NAB to proceed to pursue the Troianis to bankruptcy. The NAB offered no proof of debt, and there was no transcript of the hearing. The additional advantage of this summary judgment was that there was nil discovery of documents, documents which would have disclosed a telltale path of how the Troianis were defrauded by the NAB. Curiously, Sante Troiani was not present on that fateful day because his then barrister, a friend of the court, had advised him against attendance. Estimate of net debt at time of appointment of receiver/managers in 1999 is impossible due to apparent widescale NAB manipulation of accounts (as an instance, the NAB stole $3.985 million from WBB accounts shortly before appointment of receiver/managers), but a rough estimate would have the Troianis’ net equity in Wide Bay Bricks at $40 million. Add $20 million in personal assets, and the NAB has neatly appropriated $60 million from the Troianis through a judicial auto-da-fé.

‘Exhaustive investigation’ indeed.

In sum

At present in Australia, banks are effectively above the law with respect to small business customers. Banks operate, self-consciously, in the realm of the law of the jungle. The public image of the Australian regulatory system is that the rule of law prevails. The ACCC, ASIC, APRA, and so on, are the public face of this public image. The public image in this domain is a lie.

Most victims, good law-abiding citizens, have lapsed into passivity, which suits the banks and the regulatory agencies perfectly. The less fuss the better. The victims have been reduced to idleness (when not futilely seeking assistance from politicians and regulators), supported by relatives, and/or are on pensions at public expense. Family breakdown is par for the course. Suicide is not unknown, especially amongst farmers (drought is a contributing factor to depression in the bush, but bank thuggery is also a contributing factor, well known to those affected but suppressed by the media and rendered oblivious to those in authority). Frankly, one can understand if bank victims took the view that they could achieve better justice if they themselves took the law into their own hands and operated according to the same law of the jungle.

It follows

The intellectual and moral frailty of the legal profession is a larger problem, but there are lessons for the bailiwick of the ACCC.

1. The ACCC needs to confront that there is a problem with bank malpractice in this country, and that it is systemic.

2. The ACCC should lobby the government post-haste to retrieve the unconscionable conduct in financial services provisions from ASIC.

3. The ACCC should cease to pretend that the current s.51AC has any guts and should support the small business lobby’s current efforts to have it strengthened.

4. The ACCC should consider mounting a test case or two in the courts against bank malpractice. There is no shortage of cases to choose from. The ACCC’s existing selection criteria regarding prioritisation, as outlined conveniently by Ms Kangatharan above, highlight that the ACCC already has the tools to hand to expedite this process. The availability of a quality legal team to a bank victim would be a welcome change to the perennial dependence on lesser talents or the inability to hire any legal assistance because of penury. ACCC involvement would also bring much needed publicity to an arena starved of publicity, given the extent to which financial journalism has been cowed in matters of banking malpractice.

5. The ACCC should hire an individual experienced in bank procedure and culture, preferably someone from an asset structuring division who has seen the light and wishes to reclaim his/her soul.

Yours sincerely

(Dr) Evan Jones
Political Economy
University of Sydney

cc.

Mr Graeme Samuel, Chairman, ACCC
ASIC (Greg Kirk, Compliance and Campaigns, Consumer Protection Directorate; directed to Robert Drake, Acting Assistant Director)
Various relevant Members of Parliament
Various small business organisations
Various bank victims and friends

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Banks Operate According To The Law Of The Jungle
Tue, 27/03/2007 - 08:57 — Evan Jones

University of Sydney Shield- by Dr Evan Jones

At present in Australia, banks are effectively above the law with respect to small business customers. Banks operate, self-consciously, in the realm of the law of the jungle. The public image of the Australian regulatory system is that the rule of law prevails. The ACCC, ASIC, APRA, and so on, are the public face of this public image. The public image in this domain is a lie.

Most victims, good law-abiding citizens, have lapsed into passivity, which suits the banks and the regulatory agencies perfectly. The less fuss the better. The victims have been reduced to idleness (when not futilely seeking assistance from politicians and regulators), supported by relatives, and/or are on pensions at public expense. Family breakdown is par for the course. Suicide is not unknown, especially amongst farmers (drought is a contributing factor to depression in the bush, but bank thuggery is also a contributing factor, well known to those affected but suppressed by the media and rendered oblivious to those in authority).

Frankly, one can understand if bank victims took the view that they could achieve better justice if they themselves took the law into their own hands and operated according to the same law of the jungle.

University of Sydney Shield-------------- ORIGINAL LETTER TO ACCC

THE UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY
Political Economy
Faculty of Economics and Business
Merewether Building
NSW 2006
AUSTRALIA
Fax: +61 9351 8596 Telephone: +61 2 9351 6617 Email: evanj @ econ.usyd.edu.au

Nigel Ridgway
General Manager
Compliance Strategies
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
PO Box 1199
Dickson ACT 2602

28 February 2007

Dear Mr Ridgway

This letter is in response to the letter under your name of 8 April 2005, which in turn was a response to my letter to John Martin, Small Business Commissioner, of the 13 January 2005. My letter to Martin was a consequence of not receiving any response to my dossier and covering letter addressed to ACCC Chairman Graeme Samuel on 6 April 2004. The silence on my part following your April 2005 letter reflected a demanding workload rather than agreement with and an acceptance of the substance of your response. Retirement from teaching has now allowed me to return to the issue.

My April 2004 dossier summarised eight cases of adverse experience of (all but one) small business/farming customers with the National Australia Bank. (I note in passing that your 8 April letter, presumably on behalf of Commissioner John Martin, dealt with the dossier but did not respond to the broader issue raised in my Martin letter of the parlous state of legal and regulatory protection for small business in Australia.)

Your letter contained a response involving both detailed treatment of each of the eight cases and broad generalisations. The response to the cases could be characterised as falling into a number of categories – the cases did not involved unconscionable conduct; the cases (potentially) involved unconscionable conduct, but occurred before s.51AC (or even s.51AA) had been legislated; the cases involved (potential) fraud but the appropriate jurisdiction in such cases is criminal rather than civil.

The convenient by-product of such classification is that there is nothing in my dossier that warrants any action, or indeed any thought, from the ACCC. Indeed, your letter bears all the hallmarks of a 'Yes Minister' response.

There is the curious comment 'In each case where the ACCC declined to pursue an unconscionable conduct action it did so because it was assessed that the conduct did not amount to unconscionable conduct'. I am unaware that the ACCC has actively considered the application of the unconscionable conduct provisions to banks; one could count action by the TPC/ACCC against banks on the fingers of one hand. The correspondence between complainants and the ACCC that I have sighted indicate that the ACCC has declined to involve itself in the substance of the complainant's case as a prelude to advising them to take the matters into their own hands.

The classification of cases into non-actionable categories is complemented by a variety of generalizations, two of which I proceed to query below.

Banking malpractice not merely existent but a systemic problem for small business

Representative is a paragraph in response to the issue of 'cumulative conduct by one party' (page 2). The paragraph points to variations in detail across different complainants, and the varying location in time of the complaints. These concerns might be relevant to a class action (whether there is a difference in banking that differs qualitatively from tobacco cases that renders litigation in one industry more readily successful than in the other is a moot point). But this issue is not the one that I brought up. To quote my 6 May 2004 letter 'The merit of treating these individual cases collectively is that interpretation of the sources of these conflicts is more naturally confronted as a systemic problem, rather than the failings of a particular small business.'

In raising the concern about variations of detail and in time your letter diverts from the prospect of malpractice amongst bank lenders, the NAB in particular, as a systemic problem.

In my view, bank malpractice against small business problems is systemic; it is therefore a problem to be treated systemically by the authorities. My view is shared by my collaborator in these matters, Brisbane-based retired NAB branch manager and longtime banking malpractice consultant John Salmon.

In your noting that my eight cases 'span a period of 17 years', there is the implicit notion that these are sporadic affairs, even if they were to be taken seriously. On the contrary, they are the tip of the iceberg; and only the three score and ten years allocated to one's time on earth delimit the time and energy available for a lone individual with no resources to document the extent of the iceberg.

I point you to the foreign currency loan saga of the 1980s, certainly one of the great financial sector scandals in Australian history. What started out as greed mixed with incompetence in a new environment of deregulation led three of our four major banks (Westpac, the CBA and the ANZ) into corrupt practices as they attempted to displace entire responsibility on hapless small business borrowers. Here was transparent evidence of a systemic problem in banking practices, ably documented in the minutiae by contemporary journalists but, alas, ignored by experts and deflected by officialdom. The deflection of the foreign currency loan scandal by officialdom is an important story in itself, but elaboration on that theme would detract from the emphasis here.

The common variety bank malpractice was also alive and well in the 1980s. Indeed, it was the cumulation of individual cases brought to the attention of the then Democrat Senator Paul McLean that led him to champion the cause of bank victims in Parliament. Then, as now, Parliament was little interested.

The publicly-owned Commonwealth Bank figured prominently in the cases brought to the attention of Senator McLean. These days, the National Australia Bank has the distinction of topping the malpractice tables, by a considerable margin.

Channel 7's Today Tonight program ran an episode on the 5th April 2006 dealing with three NAB casualties. The program was put together by Today Tonight's Adelaide producer, Frank Pangallo, after he was approached by a South Australian builder against whom NAB had reneged on an insurance contract after an injury to the builder. Pangallo sensed an injustice, and used a program that has a reputation for trivia to handle an issue that is neglected by more respectable outlets.

The program went to air in April, but only in South Australia. Curiously, the program did not go to air, as scheduled, in the other States, not least because the other two cases on the program emanated from Queensland. One of these cases was the McMinn child care centre case, documented in my dossier. Nothing that should concern us here, says your letter. Yet the McMinns received an offer of $1,700,000 for the centre, which the Bank prevented the McMinns from accepting, and the receiver/Bank subsequently sold the property for $1,180,000, leaving a residual debt that conveniently swallowed up the McMinn family home along the way. It is this kind of detail that should alert inquiring minds as to the nature of this conflict.

The third case on the Today Tonight program was that of the Troianis. Sante Troiani ran a highly successful brick business out of Bundaberg, building up substantial business and property assets of many millions of dollars. The evidence points to not your garden variety malpractice but a strategic 'sting' operation (to use the expression of my collaborator John Salmon), in which the NAB induced Troiani to shift his business to the NAB (in late 1993), after which Troiani's business was systematically defrauded.

Belatedly, the April 2006 Today Tonight program, albeit edited, appeared in the Eastern States and Western Australia on 4 January of this year. In the ensuing couple of weeks, Pangallo was inundated with phone calls and emails from people who considered themselves victims of bank malpractice, all by NAB except for a Westpac case. The number is well over one hundred.

On the Today Tonight program, NAB executive Ahmed Fahour acknowledged that there were problems that needed attention. That mild contrition was not to last. The NAB had published in the Melbourne Age under Fahour's name on the 23 January a panegyric to the company, citing its brilliant socially aware contribution to community support. The NAB then wheeled out its public relations flak to pronounce that 'NAB has a very good relationship with millions of Australian customers and it is in the bank's interest to see those customers and their businesses succeed. On rare occasions businesses regrettably fail and disputes do sometimes arise, however, NAB works hard to resolve those situations to the satisfaction of all parties.' In short, pure spin. Business as usual.

The Commonwealth Bank is not to be outdone by the NAB's 'competitive advantage' in malpractice. Cases in the last ten years, some of which have dragged on until recently, include Muirhead in Queensland (primary producer), Cooke in Queensland (medical centres), Timms in New South Wales (negligent advice in business purchase) and Heinrich in South Australia (primary producer). Muirhead and Cooke shared the same corrupt lending manager. The CBA was particularly active in maltreatment of customers of its small business subsidiary Commonwealth Development Bank in the mid 1990s in the course of restructuring then closing down the CDB – Tratzea in New South Wales (horticulture) and Cassegrain in New South Wales (property development) are notable cases of transparent skullduggery.

Even the relative small fries St. George and Bendigo Bank are now aping the big boys on the block, the latter having acquired a lending manager from NAB in Queensland who has carried over an unsavoury culture with him.

How many cases of alleged victimisation does one need before one confronts the possibility that there is systemic malpractice against small business borrowers in the banking sector? One first has to be willing to confront the accumulating evidence.

One also needs to learn to read the signs regarding what is readily attributable to incompetence, possible malfeasance, on the part of borrowers, and what seems like a calculated default by the bank lender. Recently, I came across a case reported in the financial press of a builder, Stuart Bros Pty Ltd, which had collapsed in 1994/95. The press reported the collapse cursorily, but it had all the elements of a calculated default by the NAB. Stuart Bros had been a long established and reputable firm, readily discarded as collateral damage.

Bank culture

How many cases does one need to sit up and take notice? Large numbers carry important implications, but ultimately the character of even one or two cases ought to be decisive in ringing alarm bells. Kabwand/Somerset (NAB) and Heinrich (CBA) are two such cases. The common element is that two hard-working and successful farming families are deceived by corrupt lending managers. The key issue for us, however, is that the bank hierarchy then steps in and enacts a process dedicated to the destruction of the deceived borrowers. The CBA has even had Heinrich declared a 'vexatious litigant' – this in the pursuit of justice!

The experience of the Somerset and Heinrich families provide a window into the culture of business practice in banking. Business culture is a phenomenon unknown to the economics profession that pervades the bureaucracy and regulatory agencies, and we have had to draw on the low-status sociologists and management writers for insight. The March 2004 APRA report, Report into Irregular Currency Options Trading at the National Trading Bank, embodied a rare official recognition of banking business culture and the potential for the entrenchment of unsavoury elements. The APRA report focused narrowly on the NAB's trading desk, but even casual readers of the financial press would know that the NAB has generated a series of debacles, product of a dysfunctional culture that has been evidently more widespread than the trading desk of late. Nevertheless, the APRA report has offered legitimacy to the recognition of banking culture, of the possibility of elements of that culture being a product not merely of incompetence but of a lack of ethics, and thus the prospect that unsavoury business practice will become entrenched.

In short, a dysfunctional business culture generates systemically undesirable business practices. There is that word again, that one is not allowed to speak, and the concept behind it, that one is not allowed to conceive.

The evidence indicates that the Asset Structuring unit of the NAB has possessed an unsavoury culture for some time. One would have expected the new broom at the top to address this inheritance. Certainly, the new broom has restored the NAB to magnificent profitability, but it has curiously chosen not merely to tolerate but to reinforce this cowboy element in the business. Rumours have passed in business circles that former NAB CEO Cicutto was forced to fall on his sword not because he failed to stem incompetence or corruption but because he failed to stem adverse publicity. (One might add in passing that Westpac has devoted considerable resources to advertising its corporate social responsibility, seemingly risen above the pack, but Westpac has as yet declined to clean out its own cultural closet regarding treatment of small business.)

Legitimate business interests?

Your letter (bottom page 2) considers the possibility that many of the cases that I described in my dossier may be the consequence of the NAB 'implement[ing] and review[ing] its procedures to manage its lending risk, and are therefore a product of 'legitimate business interests'.

One shouldn't have to point out that there is wide latitude for a bank to manage its lending risk without resorting to oppressive practices. Adherence to first principles in managing risk would point to the necessity for appropriate training of relevant staff, for appropriate management structures for deliberation, communication, information and documentation flows, for appropriate audit procedures on lending managers' books, for functioning human resources management procedures in the credit hierarchy, for relative stability in personnel placement both for customer relations and corporate memory, and so on. This is bread and butter stuff. It was not in evidence in the NAB's ill-considered cleanout of its loan book in 2002 (some say inspired by exert insider fear of a global downturn post-September 11!). It is not in evidence in the Walter and McMinn cases (as per my dossier) where the customers faced high turnover of branch lending managers as a prelude to foreclosure. A lateral thinker would infer from high staff turnover that there are other explicit priorities regarding staffing and procedures that displace sound risk management, including the reproduction of incompetence as a practiced art but not restricted to that time-honoured imperative of large organisations.

More dramatically, the same paragraph in your letter canvases the possibility that oppressive conduct may be graced with the tag of legitimacy, that s.51AC allows such a judgment, and that ACCC culture is prepared to absorb such a judgment. Quoting your letter: 'certain conduct, or a course of conduct, might be detrimental to the interests of the small business concerned, however if it is referable to the stronger party's legitimate business interests, this may indicate that the conduct is less likely to contravene section 51AC'. Similarly, the details of the McMinn case (bottom page 4) are considered 'unlikely to be construed as going beyond tough business practices or hard bargaining to breach section 51AC'.

Frankly, I find this line of reasoning disturbing. It is not in the spirit of the exemplary 1997 Reid Report, Finding a Balance, which finally put small business concerns against corporate business predation on the political map, and which is supposed to have generated an ACCC administration more understanding of and sympathetic to the small business environment. One expects the support of 'tough business practices' to emanate from the Business Council of Australia (and its Law Council of Australia minders), which has been strident in its opposition to reform of s.46 or s.51AC, but from such a source the view is transparently recognised as self-interest.

It is pertinent to highlight that small business bank victims have perennially succumbed to a permanent state of shock after confronting the dishonesty and duplicity of their bank and its personnel, and the realisation that their business practices to that date had been based on a flawed because overly generous understanding of human nature. Some of these victims had had a relationship extending over decades, indeed over generations. The key word here is 'trust'.

The structured imbalance of power in banking relationships is a product of the intrinsic nature of the debt instrument itself, the occupational positions that carry a professional status, the attendant possession of knowledge and information not possessed by the borrower, and the discretion over the use and disclosure of knowledge and information and in the terms placed on the debt instrument.

All bank borrowers know implicitly that they are to place themselves in a dependent subordinate relationship, but they have also implicitly rebalanced the equation with the trust that bank personnel will act as 'professionals', that is, that bank personnel will fulfil their privileged role with integrity. Imagine if a person's GP or recommended specialist had decided to leverage their professional status and its associated culture of trust by advising the client that their health was dependent upon the removal or an organ or limb or two, of course in a private hospital, with the prospect of the medicos gaining a tidy sum from the exercise. Unthinkable? Well we have the equivalent in banking, and nobody turns an eye.

Bank personnel have strategically leveraged the inherited culture of trust to engage in calculated fraud and defaults. They have abused the unspoken trust in the professional status of 'banker', and trust in the status of the institution itself. In the early 1980s, Westpac and CBA personnel, who threw their companies into the deep unknown waters of foreign currency loans in a floating rate regime, brought in unsophisticated small business borrowers on the reputations of, respectively, an institution almost synonymous with the history of White Australia and of a publicly owned institution, the People's Bank. The borrowers, knowing nothing of the mechanics or perils of foreign currency denominated debt, were led into disaster on the basis of misplaced trust in long-established institutions and in the professionalism of their staff. That the banks advertised their non-existent skills in foreign currency management and displayed their whiz-bang dealing rooms to prospective borrowers as symbols of a chimera further enhanced the deceit.

These days the National Australia Bank has perfected the art of the manipulation and cynical leverage of reputation. The NAB devotes resources to sponsoring high profile events/organizations (the Commonwealth Games, the National Press Club, the pre-season AFL competition, etc.), and to a variety of small-scale community projects. The Bank devotes considerable resources to disseminating the facts of its sponsorship. On the other hand, the Bank devotes equally considerable resources to deflecting adverse publicity, which inevitably keeps bubbling to the surface. Journalists who have raised concern about NAB practices have mysteriously disappeared from this line of work. Following the Today Tonight program's second showing in January, instead of addressing concerns, the Bank harasses the sources. This is combined with the Fahour article in the Melbourne Age on 23 January, extolling the NAB as a socially responsible corporation. The creation and abuse of reputation is thus an ongoing binary process – active and strategic.

A recent ready vehicle for calculated default is use of the 12-month facility. Promises, verbal, even written, are made that the facility will be rolled over. Then after 12 months a decision comes down that the facility will attract a significantly higher interest rate or that the facility will not be renewed. If security over the family home can be appended, then it's further money for jam for the bank. This arrangement was the case with the Walter family.

Another recent example of the abuse of the 12-month facility is that of Ozden Inak, who contacted me after the Today Tonight program appeared in the Eastern States in January. Mr Inak, with partners, borrowed from the NAB to embark on a small-scale investment in residential property, to supplement his building supplies small business. The NAB offered a very competitive rate of 5.65%, and the contract stated that the loan would be renewed on the same terms after 12 months. (Note that the NAB's advertised rates for the week at which the loan was arranged were 5.99% fixed rate tailored home loans 12 mths, and business mortgage instalment loan 6.80%, commercial mortgage instalment loan 7.75%, and the base rate 9.10%. A good deal for Mr Inak and partners!) A mere week into the loan the Bank increased the rate to 5.85%. At the end of the 12 months, the rate was increased to 19.65%; and when payments were not able to be made at this usurious rate, the rate was boosted to 21%. The Bank took possession of the properties, failed to sell them at auction. Meanwhile personnel apologise, claiming that they had lost the contracts, but have declined to restructure the terms. Inak and partners have no control over the properties which have now been partially destroyed, and an impasse has ensued. This is how 'tough business practices or had bargaining' operate on the ground.

Other means for calculated default have been available for a longer period. Such is the lowly overdraft, the bread and butter facility for business operation. The NAB's overdraft contract includes the following, Section 5:

Despite 6 below [regarding review of the customer's operation of the facility], the Bank may cancel the facility at any time whether or not you are in breach of this agreement. Where the facility is cancelled:
(a) the Bank will give you notice of the cancellation as soon as practical.

The Bank used this formal overarching and terrifying power as an excuse, post-foreclosure, for its cavalier treatment of the Goonan hardware businesses (outlined in my April 2004 dossier). The leverage that the NAB has given to itself with this unconscionable clause is dramatically enhanced by the tying of other facilities to the overdraft – default on the overdraft immediately signals default on the other facilities. Whereas a customer might conceivably find refinancing at short notice for an overdraft debt, the possibility of refinancing all debt at short notice is zero. This particular ruse was used by the CBA to destroy Claude Cassegrain when the CBA was in the process of cleaning out its Development Bank portfolio with little regard to propriety.

When one examines the fine print of the means by which 'the stronger party's legitimate business interests' are pursued in banking, one would have to ask why anyone with integrity, leave alone anyone with institutional responsibility for regulating business behaviour, would join in support of this mode of doing business.

Structural subordination in the capitalist economy and its reflections in Australia

Certain arenas of economic exchange in the modern capitalist economy involve the structural subordination of one party to the other. Indeed, there is a hint in these structures of the reproduction of social relations prevalent in pre-capitalist society. The most notable of these arenas have been the employer-employee relationship (in which pre-capitalist master-servant law and culture was carried over explicitly), the landlord-tenant relationship, the distributor/processor-farmer relationship, and (albeit unevenly) the capital lender-borrower relationship. Later developments in organizational forms have produced additional arenas – the giant retailer-supplier relationship, the landlord-tenant relationship in its commercial shopping centre manifestation, the franchisor-franchisee relationship, and the contractor-subcontractor relationship (in which the hiring contractor is the sole or dominant purchases of the subcontractor's services).

Of course, many parties in a position of structural dominance do not take advantage of the structured imbalance of power. However, there have always been parties that have sought to take advantage, and it is these situations that have ultimately been responsible for the establishment of organisations to countervail or bypass the power imbalance, and for the evolution of countervailing legislation and regulation.

Curiously, the professions with a significant role in interpreting and regulating economic exchange, economics and the law, have for long failed to come to grips with this socially important domain of the structured imbalance of power. The neglect by economists might be explained by their general employment in the ivory towers of academia and the bureaucracy. The legal profession has no such excuse, having seen the whites of the eyes of parties to unequal exchange.

But there are parallel consequences in both professions. This failure has led to an impoverished corpus of economic theory, and subsequently to inadequate structures of economic regulation; ditto in respect of legal theory and the law. The failure of the latter is reflected in the marginalisation of the principles of 'fiduciary duty' and 'duty of care', and the insouciance with which the legal profession dismisses such principles in the Australian courts.

The evidence points to entrenched adversity for small business vitality from corporate predation in the Australian business environment. I have expressed this opinion briefly (if polemically) in my submission to the 2003 Senate inquiry into the Trade Practices Act, and more systematically in a September 2005 working paper, 'Small Business – Corporate Business Relations: Dimensions of structural subordination in Australia' (available on my University Home Page).

This adverse environment in Australia is a product of a combination of forces, including an impoverished intellectual inheritance, as outlined above; aggressive practices by corporates to acquire and employ structured power, coupled with aggressive lobbying to defend such practices; and political action and legislative change that is weak and unsustained.

The ACCC is part of the problem

The ACCC is part of the problem. Admittedly, the ACCC has its hands full with s.50 and s.45 matters, and constrained resources, but the small business arena has been put on the back burner. The changes that resulted from the Reid Inquiry were partial; even less, their activation has not embodied the spirit of the Inquiry.

The franchise code is a definite improvement, but this improvement constitutes slim pickings. The position of Small Business Commissioner is token. Section 51AC was formally a major achievement, acknowledging belatedly in the law the capacity for business to business predation; but substantively it has been weak from the start. Worse, the ACCC has acted as if Section 51AC has guts. The ACCC's booklet Guide to Unconscionable Conduct is an embarrassment, effectively telling potential small business complainants to go away as they are more likely than not a bunch of whingers who can't face the heat of the marketplace.

This implicit mentality is reproduced in speeches by senior ACCC personnel. John Martin's address to the Wine Grape Growers in November 2004 carried the implicit message – there is nothing we can do for you. Ditto Chairman Graeme Samuel's address to the Victorian Master Grocers Association in February 2004 and his speech to the AGSM in November 2004. The message is: 'competition is tough; shape up or ship out'. There appears to have been an uncritical absorption of the 'Contestability' approach to competition, naturally a school of thought loved by the corporates.

Corporate predators have enhanced their power and their extractions under the generally benign umbrella of the ACCC and bipartisan political indifference. Westfield, and Woolworths and Coles, in particular, are serial offenders, yet offenses are conceived of by the authorities as one-off affairs. Meanwhile, the companies are rewarded for their sins. Their market share rolls on under a weak merger rule and a 'contestability' mentality. The settlement with Westfield in 2004 on a 'no admissions' basis was a disgrace. Water off a duck's back.

The significant action by the ACCC against Woolworths and Coles regarding harassment of independent liquor retailers was initiated under the previous Chairman's administration. The belligerent reluctance of Woolworths CEO Corbett to acknowledge wrongdoing in this case is representative of Woolworths' unrepentant culture. (Corbett was also exposed as a liar in appearance before the 1999 Baird retail sector inquiry, but without being admonished.)

This entrenched culture did not register with the ACCC when it sent personnel to Western Australia on the matter of Woolworth's 2005 takeover of Foodland's Action retail stores, treating supplier concerns cavalierly and condescendingly. ACCC personnel's refusal to take on board the fundamental significance of evidence from suppliers being heard in camera led to the supplying community reasonably concluding that the ACCC was worthy of contempt, for failure to grasp some basic tenets in how the structured imbalance of power operates in the retail supply chain.

With respect to the retailers, the 2002 ACCC report (under instructions from the Senate, post Baird inquiry) on supplier-retailer relations is flawed. The Commission inferred, without examination and without evidence, that that there was no discernible anti-competitive dimensions to grocery price determination, and that there has been no breach of the law. The Commission also saw fit to reiterate its belief that 'price discrimination can also produce a positive outcome and simply reflect competition at work'.

Also of relevance is the 2004 consultancy report by Whitehall Associates for the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. This report similarly and inappropriately draws strong conclusions regarding the healthiness of pricing and the retail supply chain from non-existent evidence in the body of the report. The Whitehall report's treatment of market power is in a throwaway paragraph; no examination is taken of this significant phenomenon. There is evidence that the Whitehall consultancy downplayed the evaluation of market power in the report due to the perceived demands of key stakeholders, not least the sponsoring federal Department. The report was a politicised and hence political document, and its nugatory treatment of market power merits little attention.

Ironically, the Whitehall report reproduced uncritically propositions from the flawed ACCC report. In turn, the general conclusions of the Whitehall report have been reproduced uncritically, not least by ACCC Chairman Samuel in the November 2004 AGSM speech.

As I have written elsewhere (unpublished document), 'We are thus witness to a peculiar phenomenon in which reports blessed with official status are interpreted as denying the existence of large retailer market power although the reports avoided an examination of the issue. The reputed absence of retailer market power has thus acquired definitive status, although the grounds of its declaration are hollow. Wishful thinking has been converted into tangible reality.'

The ACCC and bank-borrower relations in particular

One returns to the blank sheet that is actions by the ACCC regarding bank malpractice. I refer to a letter from an ACCC staffer to a complainant seeking assistance. This letter is representative in tone of letters sent to complainants regarding alleged bank malpractice ('we can't help you'), but it is more fulsome in detail, and thus merits attention.

Carmen Walter (principal of the Wodonga brewing/restaurant business defaulted by the NAB, outlined in my April 2004 dossier) wrote to the ACCC on 17 April 2001. Ms Walter received a reply from Angusha Kangatharan, ACCC Senior Investigator, on 24 April. The letter states, inter alia:

Under Part V of the Trade Practices Act 1974 (“the Act”) businesses are prohibited from engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct. Thus, in the present case, based upon the information you have provided the conduct in question may raise concerns under section 52 of the Act.

However, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (“the Commission”) is unable to pursue all matters that are brought to its attention. Its efforts are aimed more towards achieving compliance with the Act for the benefit of the public as a whole, than towards achieving resolution of particular complaints. The Commission's selection criteria for matters which it will pursue include the following;
(i) an apparent blatant disregard of the law;
(ii) significant public detriment;
(iii) the potential for action to have a worthwhile educative or deterrent effect;
(iv) a significant new market issue; or
(v) an opportunity to test the reach of the Act in appropriate circumstances.

Furthermore, the Commission does not as a matter of policy become involved in matters where private legal action has been taken. Accordingly, I regret to advise that the issue you raise is not one this office can pursue.

Apart from the message of the last paragraph, a regular and key component of ACCC letters to such complainants, and the failure of the writer to mention section 51AC as being of possible relevance to the Walter inquiry, the middle paragraph merits attention. The author writes of the necessity for selectivity in choosing arenas to pursue, listing selection criteria. Ms Kangatharan fails to take the small step and a natural application of logic to note that most of the criteria listed fit closely the circumstances complained of by aggrieved small business borrowers. It is readily arguable that there is no more worthy arena deserving of the ACCC's resources that would be directed 'towards achieving compliance with the Act for the benefit of the public as whole'. The ACCC has not taken this step.

Ms Walter then wrote to the Hon. Joe Hockey, then Minister for Financial Services and Regulation. Hockey's office replied in mid June, saying (as per usual) that it was inappropriate to intervene in a private matter, but that she should contact the ACCC. (An ACCC press release was appended to the Hockey letter, in which the ACCC was trumpeting success against the NAB with respect to a personal guarantee case. It would not have been clear from the ACCC press release that the NAB has, to this writer's knowledge, never lost a court case except on a handful of personal guarantee cases, for which there is established legal precedent supporting the hapless defendants.)

Ms Walter wrote again to the ACCC, care of Ms Kangatharan, on 9 July 2001. The essence of the letter was that, if the ACCC could not intervene in the Walter case, 'we would expect the responsible government bodies to take action outside our personal case to prevent matters as ours in future (sic)'. The ACCC did not reply to this letter. A follow up letter from Ms Walter on 13 August 2001 met with a similar silence.

Enter the Australian Securities and Investments Commission

As if s.51AC was already not a damp squib, into the equation comes ASIC, which is handed responsibility for business to business unconscionable conduct in relation to financial dealings in March 2002. Whoever is responsible for the conception and execution of this handover should be taken out the back and shot.

ASIC's skills and associated culture are incommensurate with the skills required to regulate unconscionable conduct. Even were ASIC interested in acquiring skills, which it is not, ASIC does not have the resources to regulate unconscionable conduct. There appears to have been an implicit but mistaken belief that one could readily tack on the regulation of business to business unconscionable conduct to the management of consumer protection.

In correspondence with me in relation to ASIC's coverage of bank malpractice, letter dated 15 June 2004, ASIC's Greg Tanzer (for Greg Kirk), wrote, inter alia:

To date we have not relied upon the unconscionable conduct provisions in any proceedings involving credit.

Tanzer proceeded to elaborate at length on the difficulties, constraints, and so on.

One might also highlight that Bruce Ford, sometime CBA victim (Tratzea) spent an inordinate time with ASIC personnel before and during 2004 in trying to get ASIC to take seriously the use by banks of the 'shadow ledger' system for customers in the process of being defaulted. The shadow ledger system facilitates extraordinary discretion for banks to manipulate customer indebtedness, with implications not merely for the hapless customer, but also for reporting accountability to the Tax Office and to the banking regulatory authorities. Ford was heard on a personally sympathetic level, but the issue ultimately was shelved.

The plot thickens. I quote from an article in the Australian Financial Review, dated 18 February 2005 (authored by David Crowe and Alesandra Fabro):

The crackdown on property spruikers was being hampered by overlaps between two key regulators, prompting 'intense frustration' among investigators as they tried to prosecute offenders, a senate committee heard yesterday. … [ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel] described the situation as 'less than satisfactory' after the separation of financial services regulation under ASIC. …

The Productivity Commission last month described the overlaps between ASIC and the ACCC and other bodies as a 'source of confusion to industry'. Mr Samuel said there was 'intense frustration' among some ACCC staff when they needed to refer matters to senior counsel to determine whether they had jurisdiction to investigate a case. …

Labor consumer affairs spokeswoman Kate Lundy described the overlap as a 'dog's breakfast'.

To this writer, Ms Lundy's evaluation is on the generous side. The situation, to be kind, is a shambles and a disgrace. The outcome? There is effectively no regulatory oversight of business to business unconscionable conduct in financial services.

The broader parlous environment for small business bank victims

There is no doubt that confronting the abuse of the structured imbalance of power by corporates is a Herculean task. Even by these demanding standards, banking malpractice is in its own elevated category. Even if s.46 and s.51AC had robustness, and if ACCC personnel had both sympathy and commitment to small business complainants, the broader environment remains unappetising.

The political class declines to go near bank victims. Democrat Senator Paul McLean was forced out of Parliament in 1991, McLean himself experiencing exhaustion and disgust at the lack of integrity of Parliament on this issue. The Martin Banking Inquiry closed down the issue, and nothing has been heard from Parliament since (except for the very occasional intrusion from backbenchers putting in their two bits for constituents during the Adjournment Debates, to be immediately ignored).

With political supineness as background, the banks' foreclosure process has sucked up and compromised other sectors, in particular the receiver/manager sector and the property valuation sector. The public bankruptcy trustee, the Insolvency and Trustee Service Australia, lacking resources, has lapsed into a cowardly neglect of its responsibilities to those who have been trapped by bank bankruptcy proceedings.

But the centre of the larger problem is the legal profession and the judiciary. The NAB public relations machine recently tells it thus: 'All if the material [put forward by foreclosed complainants] has been the subject of exhaustive investigation many times by ourselves and by multiple courts of law. In each case the courts have found the allegations to be unfounded'.

Very convenient for the NAB to hide behind the fulsome integrity of the Australian legal system. The public relations entourage can sleep soundly at night because it is its role to write the script to order. The detail conveys a contrary story.

Anyone who has cared to examine a court case or two from the foreign currency litigation would already have acquired a less sanguine view of the Australian legal system (with some honourable exceptions). It is more of the same with recent bank litigation. A representative case is the Heinrich v CBA litigation in South Australia. It is a disgrace. Hyland J settles the case for the Bank by preferring the credibility of the corrupt lending manager Saunders to the credibility of the hoodwinked farmer Heinrich. The a priori presumption of bank staff integrity, rather than a forensic investigation from available documents and testimony, determines the outcome. Why bother wasting resources going through the motions when the outcome is predetermined?

In principle, the structured asymmetry of legal firepower to the banks' advantage should not inhibit the bench from looking behind the rhetoric. Yet we have learned members of the bench perennially displaying contortions of logic, acts of faith in bank personnel and documentation, and selective appropriation of evidence to find in favour of the more powerful party. Judges perennially accept statements on faith by bank staff on events and claims regarding the debt quotients. There is a pervasive ignorance of bank procedures amongst the judiciary, and a pervasive lack of interest in acquiring a workable knowledge of such procedures.

In particular, the issue of who the receiver/manager owes allegiance to – the mortgagor or mortgagee – provides a colourful legerdemain. The law says that the receiver/manager owes allegiance to the mortgagor, but the practice is that the receiver/manager is the chattel of the bank. Spender J, in National Australia Bank v Freeman, FCA 244, March 2002, more honest than most, exposed the distortions necessary to turn the law to the advantage of the practice. Those in more of a hurry to dispense with niceties (such as Dodds-Streeton J, in National Australia Bank v Walter, VSC 36, February 2004) merely crash through the inconsistencies to find the desired result.

Some judges come to office having acted for banks, not surprising as banks are most prevalent in litigation and have the resources to match the demand. Such has been the position of Paul de Jersey, now Queensland Chief Justice, with Westpac; ditto Richard Chesterman, now Queensland Supreme Court, with Westpac; ditto George Fryberg, now Queensland Supreme Court, with the NAB (Fryberg was senior counsel for the NAB in the Kabwand/Somerset case, another disgraceful outcome).

We then find judges presiding over cases in which a previous long term bank client is one of the parties. Thus did de Jersey J preside over a decision for his previous benefactor Westpac in the crucial foreign currency case Westpac v Potts, Queensland Supreme Court of Appeal, No.657 of 1991, April 1992, a case resulting in what Queenslanders in the know consider to be one of the worst decisions in recent judicial history. This decision had the not inconsiderable effect of not merely reversing the lower court ruling in favour of Potts but also a series of decisions in the Federal Court against Westpac in Chiarabaglio, Thannhauser and Ferneyhaugh, whose cumulative impact was threatening to damn Westpac comprehensively over its foreign currency loan debacle. With the Potts reversal, the significance of which was duly advertised to all and sundry by Westpac, Drambo was subsequently won for Westpac. As with the equally culpable CBA, the remaining foreign currency loan casualties were left to rot and dissolve unlamented into history.

Similarly judges routinely preside, without embarrassment, over litigation in which one of the parties is the bank with which they have a financial interest or a personal banking relationship. Judge Dodds-Streeton admitted to beneficial interest in NAB shares worth a quarter of a million dollars in National Australia Bank v Walter, but claimed that impartiality would prevail on her watch.

Chief Justice de Jersey has admitted to a personal banking relationship with the NAB. And yet His Honour presided over a Summary Judgment Hearing in early 2001 on the matter of Troiani as guarantor and majority owner of Wide Bay Bricks. The Judge delivered a decision in favour of the NAB and judgment on debt which allowed the NAB to proceed to pursue the Troianis to bankruptcy. The NAB offered no proof of debt, and there was no transcript of the hearing. The additional advantage of this summary judgment was that there was nil discovery of documents, documents which would have disclosed a telltale path of how the Troianis were defrauded by the NAB. Curiously, Sante Troiani was not present on that fateful day because his then barrister, a friend of the court, had advised him against attendance. Estimate of net debt at time of appointment of receiver/managers in 1999 is impossible due to apparent widescale NAB manipulation of accounts (as an instance, the NAB stole $3.985 million from WBB accounts shortly before appointment of receiver/managers), but a rough estimate would have the Troianis' net equity in Wide Bay Bricks at $40 million. Add $20 million in personal assets, and the NAB has neatly appropriated $60 million from the Troianis through a judicial auto-da-fé.

'Exhaustive investigation' indeed.

In sum

At present in Australia, banks are effectively above the law with respect to small business customers. Banks operate, self-consciously, in the realm of the law of the jungle. The public image of the Australian regulatory system is that the rule of law prevails. The ACCC, ASIC, APRA, and so on, are the public face of this public image. The public image in this domain is a lie.

Most victims, good law-abiding citizens, have lapsed into passivity, which suits the banks and the regulatory agencies perfectly. The less fuss the better. The victims have been reduced to idleness (when not futilely seeking assistance from politicians and regulators), supported by relatives, and/or are on pensions at public expense. Family breakdown is par for the course. Suicide is not unknown, especially amongst farmers (drought is a contributing factor to depression in the bush, but bank thuggery is also a contributing factor, well known to those affected but suppressed by the media and rendered oblivious to those in authority). Frankly, one can understand if bank victims took the view that they could achieve better justice if they themselves took the law into their own hands and operated according to the same law of the jungle.

It follows

The intellectual and moral frailty of the legal profession is a larger problem, but there are lessons for the bailiwick of the ACCC.

1. The ACCC needs to confront that there is a problem with bank malpractice in this country, and that it is systemic.

2. The ACCC should lobby the government post-haste to retrieve the unconscionable conduct in financial services provisions from ASIC.

3. The ACCC should cease to pretend that the current s.51AC has any guts and should support the small business lobby's current efforts to have it strengthened.

4. The ACCC should consider mounting a test case or two in the courts against bank malpractice. There is no shortage of cases to choose from. The ACCC's existing selection criteria regarding prioritisation, as outlined conveniently by Ms Kangatharan above, highlight that the ACCC already has the tools to hand to expedite this process. The availability of a quality legal team to a bank victim would be a welcome change to the perennial dependence on lesser talents or the inability to hire any legal assistance because of penury. ACCC involvement would also bring much needed publicity to an arena starved of publicity, given the extent to which financial journalism has been cowed in matters of banking malpractice.

5. The ACCC should hire an individual experienced in bank procedure and culture, preferably someone from an asset structuring division who has seen the light and wishes to reclaim his/her soul.

Yours sincerely

(Dr) Evan Jones
Political Economy
University of Sydney

cc.

Mr Graeme Samuel, Chairman, ACCC
ASIC (Greg Kirk, Compliance and Campaigns, Consumer Protection Directorate; directed to Robert Drake, Acting Assistant Director)
Various relevant Members of Parliament
Various small business organisations
Various bank victims and friends

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When Banks Decide To Pull The Plug

By Dr Evan Jones - Sydney University

Canberra Times - Wednesday 21st November 2001

The banking sector was a distressing omission from pre-election agendas. Labor’s finance spokesperson, Steve Conroy, was shoved to the rear in the bipartisan bull’s roar to Fortress Australia.

Labor’s banking policy emphasises retail banking, but the small business sector deserves attention. Major bank practices towards small business and the family farm range from the insouciant to the malicious, with parlous effects. This environment has been facilitated by comprehensive indifference to bank practices by borrower representative bodies, regulatory authorities and political parties.

Let us construct a composite case, involving elements that have been applied to farmer and small business clients.

A significant recent practice is that of pulling the plug on clients though they are not in default on payments. The process involves demanding repayment of an overdraft at short notice. In one New South Wales rural case in 1998, the repayment deadline was a mere three working days away. The client inevitably fails to make the payment, the bank ‘issues demand’, and the client goes into default.

The overdraft instrument is technically repayable at call, but this technicality is being abused increasingly. If the instrument was employed systemically in this fashion, the raison d’etre of the entire Trading Bank system would collapse.

Manipulation of the overdraft is complemented by an enhanced inequality structured into contractual arrangements. In the last decade, banks have tightened contracts, incorporating sections that give the banks extraordinary discretion to change the loan terms at will. This issue received rare publicity in a Sydney Morning Herald article on September 24, albeit solely with regard to home mortgages.

The defaulted client is then forced into an asset structure. Investigative accountants may be called in, formally to investigate the viability of the client’s business. However, the ‘investigative accountant’ changes hats and later arrives as a receiver, armed with details of the client’s business that were divulged under the pretext of an impartial evaluation of the business’ prospects.

The asset restructure process has an arrangement for mediation, product of past dissent against bank practices. Yet the mediation process remains unequal. Mediation agreements are written by bank personnel, clients are under duress to sign them, and the documents contain ‘release’ clauses that sign away clients’ rights regarding past grievances.

In one 1997 Queensland rural case, the mediator urged the farmer to accept the bank’s foreclosure because it had the upper hand, even though the bank manager had engineered the client’s ‘default’ through diversion of funds intended for the account. In a subsequent Supreme Court litigation, the Judge ruled in favour of the bank because the mediation release clause nullified any consideration of malpractice. Then comes the stage of asset valuation. An internal valuation will put a low value on the property, often given general confirmation by an external valuer. It appears that respected valuers are prepared to compromise their integrity for the sake of continuing bank business. The low value triggers the bank’s demand. A property over which a bank has security will then be sold off at below market prices.

In a 1996 Queensland case, a bank issued demand peremptorily, arranged the contract and price of a doctor client’s three medical centres, then appointed receivers to legitimate the process. Alternatively, if a client is still in control of the sale process, the bank will interfere by attempting to influence the agent and potential buyers. Why would banks want to sell secured assets for less than maximum price? Partly, the bank recoups more of the sale price than is dictated by the original loan through discretionary charges. Partly, there appears to be a desire to retain a residual debt on the client’s account (which can be as low as $1), to retain leverage over the client. On occasions when a client initiates legal action, the bank will preempt the action by initiating a bankruptcy petition.

In the meantime, the bank may have decided to write off part of the value of the client’s loan. The opportunity to write off a loan portion became available with the 1992 Taxation Laws Amendment Act (No.3), one of a dog’s breakfast of tax concessions arising out of Labor’s One Nation statement.

This change has opened the door to discretion relating to the tax treatment of a bank’s loan book, and has provided a substantial opportunity for tax evasion. Write-offs can be effected without sale of secured assets.

The courts are not impartial places for aggrieved bank clients. There is a structural imbalance in the scale of resources available to fight a legal dispute. Moreover, litigating clients will typically lack adequate documentation regarding their case as the bank will have ceased to provide statements on the nature of the debt. Documents that are obtained may be doctored copies of originals.

Dogged complaints by some aggrieved customers belatedly led to a hearing by the Parliamentary Joint Statutory Committee on Corporations and Securities in August 2000. A Commonwealth Bank spokesman at this inquiry claimed that ‘there has been little purpose in providing information that the customer may perceive as incorrect and may further inflame the dispute’. This fatuous claim is vitiated by the perennial failed attempts of clients to achieve ‘discovery’ of documents basic to their case. A bank will go into a court with its own version of debt and have the court accept the details as gospel. The bank’s case can be assisted by bank officers committing perjury. During hearings on foreign currency loans in the late 1980s, a Westpac employee was considered by the Foreign Currency Borrowers’ Association to be a serial perjurer. The rural Queensland case mentioned above includes perjury by a bank officer. The Queensland Court of Appeal recently turned down the borrower’s appeal, ignoring the context of the perjury.

The judicial and regulatory system is failing aggrieved bank clients. The Report of the 1991 Martin Banking Inquiry marginalised the submissions that outlined similar accounts of injustice. The major banks have used the era of self-regulation to good effect.

Dr Evan Jones

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The Cristian Family November 2006

We Stand For NO SYSTEM

Kindom (Do No Harm Communities) is the dream for freedom, but it is the dream for the freedom of those around us who also live the dream of freedom, because it is in living for the freedom of others that we get our freedom. When we live for the dreams of Kindom of those around us, we live life as a gift because we live for (dedicate our lives to) their dream of freedom, truth, peace, joy, abundance, etc, just as they live for our Kindom dreams too. This is true co-creation (cooperation) with no attack on the uniqueness of each of us. When we live this way, we have no need for any man-made system - everything/everyone has already been taken care of by our love for life.

Just as we do not have to jump 10 feet across the room to grab our next breath, neither do we have to worry about food, water and shelter because it has all been taken care of as we each co-create Kindoms/Kin-Domains for everyone. Now everybody and everything of the dream of life that is Kindom/Paradise is free (has been set free once again). The issue is greed and selfishness, power and control trips, arrogance, ignorance, being fed many many lies and being traumatised. The issue is not overpopulation - there is more than enough land available for every family to have a hectare (2.5 acres Kin-Domain) to care for. The land of Australia can provide a Kin-Domain for every family across Earth, each with a food forest, clean fresh drinking water and plenty of space for building natural do no harm habitats and with plenty of land left over.

Everyone must have the freedom to take full-responsibility for their lives, for the water they drink, the food they eat and for their shelter. Currently, "The System" forces everyone to give up taking full-responsibility so that we become grown up children accustomed to sucking on the nipples of "The System" corporations for everything, having to use money to get by and to follow the rules of money because we are not co-creating freedom, peace, truth, joy and abundance for each other. Money only leads to haves and have nots and all the abuse, manipulation and distractions that we are subjected to as slaves to money.

When we give up living for other's Kindom dreams, we start creating hell ("The System") all around us because we become self-centred - now it's all about "my freedom","my money", "my land", "my belief", "my saviour", "mine", "mine","mine", "i","i", "i", "own", "own", "own", etc. To protect what we claim we own requires a man-made system with FORCE to protect those self-centred claims. This is ALL trauma based and all story-telling (brainwashing/braindirtying).

NO SYSTEM = KINDOM/DO NO HARM COMMUNITIES
NO SYSTEM = KINDOM/DO NO HARM COMMUNITIES photo Kindom_zpsa6d24e8a.jpg

Our true freedom comes when we set our thoughts of freedom into motion so that we live freedom rather than just talking and thinking about it while we still slave for "The System". Kindom will not happen while we meditate for hours in the bush or do yoga retreats or wait for Jesus or follow the processes of the OPPT (One People's Public Trust now called One People). This is not freedom because we are not living freedom because we are living the story-telling of Jesus or Zeitgeist or The Secret or Thrive or One Earth/Consciousness/People.

Living Kindom is very, very hard work as we set about repairing the damage to MAN/Earth/Nature that we are ALL responsible for but the burden becomes lighter the more of us put our life-energy into the dream of returning Earth to Paradise. Day-after-day, we all have to work our arses off until Kindom is all around us (MAN) once again. This is the price we pay to set each other free on a piece of land (Kin-Domain), so that no one is under the image-power (education/brainwashing/story-telling) of another MAN anymore and so that everyone can have their space of love to create and live their unique, do no harm dreams. This only happens once we have the Kindoms set up so that everyone is provided for.

Once we re-create the food forests, whether on land or in the suburbs, we can re-claim our freedom, breaking the strangle-hold of "The System" because we are no longer reliant on its services and benefits and no longer turning each other into slaves of "The System", cogs in the wheels of "The System" machine. If we don't put the effort in to set everyone and everything free all around us then we still live in HELL ("The System"). The key is to live for everyone else's freedom so that we can have it too.

From Bare Dirt To Abundance
A Year In The Life Of The
Love For Life Food Forest

Arthur & Fiona Cristian
8th February 2013
51 Minutes 46 Seconds
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sJCcCvZ97A

From Bare Dirt To Abundance Part Two A
5th November 2014
http://youtu.be/TPTPn8tgcPI
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8545

From Bare Dirt To Abundance Part Two B
Coming Shortly

We live for NO SYSTEM. We do not lose anything by not having a man-made system and, in fact, we gain. We gain our freedom and we gain abundance. Let go of the fear.

The Cristian Family November 2006

A Collection Of Various Love For Life Posts
Providing The Big Picture We See

Sequential Order

We ask you to NOT believe anything we say/share and instead use scrutiny like an intense blow torch and go where the logic of truth/sense takes you. This is very, very important. Put everything you believe up to the test of scrutiny to see how it stacks up. If you are true to your heart/senses and go where the logic of truth/sense takes you will find that NO belief, etc, will stand up to the test of scrutiny. They just do not stack up because they are lies/fraud.

After you have watched and read all the material and any questions are left unanswered, send us your landline number and we will use the internet phone as a free unlimited call. We are on Sydney NSW Australia time. Best times for us to chat are between 11.00am and 6.00pm.

It is critical that you fully comprehend Image Power, "Spelling", Trauma, Reaction To Trauma, Curses, Processing Curses, Full-Responsibility/Liability, Limited Liability/Responsibility (passing-the-back), Slavery, Senses/Sense vs Non-Sense/Senses, Re-Presenting Intellectual Property such as but not limited to "Name", Storytelling/Storytellers, Duality, Black-Magic, Belief, Lies, "i", All Seeing "i" (eye), etc..... These themes and others are covered over and over and over again.

If you do not comprehend these insights and are unable to use your senses to sense your way through all the non-sense/non-sensory-images that enslave MAN under their image power (darkness = "The System" = Hell), men and women will remain deeply trapped under a terrible state of trauma. Our intention is to inspire you to remedy by showing you how to move away from reacting to trauma in all its nefarious and devious forms.

IMAGE POWER
Superb Diamond Range Interviewing
Arthur & Fiona Cristian 4th February 2014
http://youtu.be/qFnuuw3kLog
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8501

His-Story/Her-Story (History)
Arthur Cristian - Love For Life
2005-2007 - Re-posted July 2014
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8529

The Dream Of Life Part 6
Under The Spell Of Intellectual Property

Arthur Cristian - 51 Minutes 52 Seconds
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMK7CkU1ih8

Trauma Induced Fantasy
July 2013 Interview With
Jeanice Barcelo And Arthur & Fiona Cristian
http://youtu.be/CZVj-ddUoZw
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8500

The Dark Side Of The Moon
The Background To "The System"

Arthur & Fiona Cristian Interviewed By
Jahnick Leaunier, The Tru-Mon Show
24th August 2016
Love For Life - 142 Minutes
https://youtu.be/C5TViw1NLr4

Eric Dubay's Flat Earth Is A Cult
The Background To The System Part Two

Arthur & Fiona Cristian Chatting With
Jahnick Leaunier On The Tru-Mon Show
Love For Life - 31st August 2016
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8585
154 Minutes
https://youtu.be/rCPWgEQg-2M

Eclipse Of The Sun - Video (Arthur swears in this video)
The Background To The System Part Three
Arthur & Fiona Cristian Chatting With
Jahnick Leaunier On The Tru-Mon Show
Love For Life - 25th October 2016
https://youtu.be/FMOsOi1kNRc

The "Name" Is The Mark Of The Beast
The Strawman Identifying
Your Slave Status In "The System"

By Arthur Cristian - Love For Life
5th February 2012 - 56 Minutes 25 Seconds
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdOag66v7uo

The Satanic Craft Of Inculcation In Practice
Fiona's ACT Supreme Court Affidavit Explaining Inculcation & Illumination
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
4th March 2016
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8578

The Spinning Top
Full Bloom Inculcation

Arthur And Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
Facebook Discussions Between The
8th December 2016
And
26th January 2017
Link: http://loveforlife.com.au/content/16/03/04/satanic-craft-inculcation-pra...

The Shit Of Death
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
28th January 2017
Link: http://loveforlife.com.au/content/16/03/04/satanic-craft-inculcation-pra...

The Selfie Of Freakenstein
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
17th March 2017
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8588

Three Sets Of Fiona Cristian Documents Filed With ACAT
Merged Into One Document For Downloading
https://www.scribd.com/document/327370355/Fiona-Cristian-Affidavit-ACT-S...

Fiona Cristian Affidavit
ACT Supreme Court / Court Of Appeal

https://www.scribd.com/doc/316218306/Three-Sets-of-Fiona-Cristian-Docume...

Dancing With Magic (Lies)
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Videos, Articles, Comments
And Pending E-Book
Love Fort Life
September 2015
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8575

Dancing With Magic Part One
Arthur & Fiona Cristian - Love For Life
5th September 2015
https://youtu.be/hx7qJ7r2OS4

Dancing With Magic Part Two
Arthur Cristian - Love For Life
12th September 2015
https://youtu.be/b_KuEFdKmnA

Dancing With Magic Part Three
Arthur & Fiona Cristian - Love For Life
13th September 2015
https://youtu.be/9pJc1NfnAcI

Dancing With Magic (Lies) Part Four:
Arthur & Fiona Cristian - Love For Life
16th September 2015
https://youtu.be/kSVURGwm1Go

Introduction To Kindom Video
By Arthur & Fiona Cristian - Love For Life
6th March 2015
https://youtu.be/7SspPm9wRgo

To Be Educated Is To Have No Soul
The System Is Soul Destroying

Frederick Malouf & Michael Tellinger's
Contrived Gifting
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
1st September 2016
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8586

Illumination IS Definition
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
26th to 29th January 2016
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8577

IMAGE POWER
The Nefarious Tactics Used
To Disguise Truth And Distract Us
From Remedy

Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
24th January 2014
This post contains many recent Facebook comments
and email replies which collectively provides a big picture
into exposing the deception behind IMAGE POWER.
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8496

The Pull Of E-Motion
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
8th February 2014
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8499

Processing Curses
A Lie Is A Curse
Liars Process Curses

Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
26th February 2014
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8503

How The System Is Really Constructed
Bouncing Back Curses Upon Curse Makers
To Stop Harm Forevermore

Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
27th February 2014
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8504

Slave To A Name
Parts One, Two, Three, Four,
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
3rd to 6th March 2014
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8505

Educated Slaves
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
20th March 2014
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8506

The Only Path To Freedom
Beware The False Steps

Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life - 2nd April 2014
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8508

Free-Dumb For All
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life - 5th April 2014
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8510

Revoking The Ego
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life - 8th April 2014
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8511

How MAN Commits Spiritual Suicide
Arthur Cristian
Love For Life - 3rd April 2014
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8509

How To Detect Intel Operatives Working
For The New World Order Agenda
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life - 10th April 2014
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8512

How The Psyop Program & Intel Networks
Are Messing With Your Head +
His-Story/Her-Story

Arthur & Fiona Cristian - April 2014
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8513

Godzilla Through The Looking Glass
Destroyed By Name"

Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life - 20th April 2014
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8514

What It's Going To Take
To Co-Create Freedom Forevermore

Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life - 22nd April 2014
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8514

Falling For Fairy Stories
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life - 24th April 2014
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8514

A Disassociation From The Work
Of Kate of Gaia

Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life - 17th May 2014
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8517

Separating The Wheat From The Chaff
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life - 22nd May 2014
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8516

Revolution Or Revolution
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life - 25th May 2014
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8520

Routing Out Psyop Programs
Routs Out Intel Operatives
Exposing Max Igan's Psyop Program

Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life - 31st May 2014
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8524

The Psyop Program Scam
Behind Religion Belief Faith
& Associated Opinion

Arthur Cristian
Love For Life
11th June 2014
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8525

Another Delusion
Arthur Cristian
Love For Life
11th June 2014
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8526

A World Of Words Is A World Of Lies
Arthur Cristian
Love For Life
13th June 2014
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8527

E-MAN
The Name Of The Beast Is MAN

Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life - 9th May 2014
Includes Mountain MAN Arrested
Facebook Discussion About "Name"
Uploaded 25th June 2014
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8528

E-Motion
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life - 13th August 2014
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8537

Discussion With Brother Gregory
Clearly Demonstrating Christianity
Is Part Of The Problem
And Not The Solution

Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
Between the 12th May 2014 and 30th August 2014
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8542

The Psyop Program Behind Free Food
And Permaculture

Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
29th October 2014
Facebook Discussion With Unconditional Love Moon
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8544

Head So Strong
Music and Vocals Arthur Cristian
Backing Vocals and Vocal Effects Arthur Cristian & Hannah Wood
Lyrics Fiona and Arthur Cristian
Written during our spare time between Aug & Oct 2014
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OG4UQCTsqwU

The Time Of Trauma That Destroys Us
Arthur Cristian - Love For Life
9th November 2014
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8547

The Most Powerful Video On Spirituality
And Happiness FOR SLAVES
Or
How To Accept Slavery And Be Happy About It

Arthur Cristian - Love For Life
6th August 2014
Facebook Discussion About The Work Of Eckhart Tolle
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8548

What Can We Do What Can We See
Arthur Cristian - Love For Life
A series of Arthur Cristian Facebook
posts and discussions
between 17th and 21st November 2014
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8552

The Misuse Of Love By Intel Networks
To Create Doubt And Uncertainty
With The Intention To Destroy Love
And Therefore Destroy MAN
(True Freedom, Peace, Joy, Abundance And Truth
For Everyone)

By Arthur Cristian - Love For Life
26th November 2014
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8554

The Void Of E-GO That Is Spiritual Suicide
The Justification Of Laziness
That Perpetuates System Creature Comforts
Ensuring Our Fall

Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
13th December 2014
Massive Update Occurred 14th Dec 2014 3.10pm Sydney Aust time
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8556

Darkness Visible Part One A, B, C, D
The Freemasonic World In Plain Sight
Decoding George Washington Lithographs

Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
14th December 2014
Part One A http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8557
Part One B http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8567
Part One C http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8568
Part One D http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8569

Darkness Visible Part Two
Yin And Yang, Duality, Spiritual Suicide
And Frank O'Collins UCADIA / One Heaven

Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
14th December 2014
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8558

Darkness Visible Part Three
How The Word Sausage
Re-Presents The New World Order
Boiling Point & Out To Get Us

Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
27th December 2014
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8560

Darkness Visible Part Four
Aleister Crowley - Thelema - OTO
And The Black Magic Psychedelia Of The Intellect

Facebook Discussion
4th to 10th January 2015
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8561

Darkness Visible Part Five
Living MAN Fiona Cristian's Standing
+ Decoding Judeo/Judaism

Fiona Cristian & Arthur Cristian
Love For Life
24th January 2015
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8562

Darkness Visible Part Six
The Many Fingers Of The Hidden Hand Appearing
YouTube Community Flagged A Video
Posted To The ArthurLoveForLife YouTube Channel
As Being "Hate Speech"

Fiona Cristian & Arthur Cristian
Love For Life
4th February 2015
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8563

Darkness Visible Part Seven
The Full Responsibility For Setting
True Freedom For All Into Motion
In Present-Sense Forevermore

Fiona Cristian & Arthur Cristian
Love For Life
10th February 2015
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8564

Who We Really Are Does Not End
At The Surface Of Our Skin

Arthur Cristian & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life - 22nd February 2015
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8565

Introduction To Kindom Video
By Arthur & Fiona Cristian - Love For Life
6th March 2015
https://youtu.be/7SspPm9wRgo

The Rot Parts One, Two, Three
Arthur Cristian
Love For Life
5th June 2015
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8571

"The Good Guys" And The "Bad Guys"
Working Together To Bring In
The New World Order

Arthur Cristian - 18th July 2015
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8572

Can You Spot The Ego?
Where's Wally? Part One

Compilation of Facebook & Youtube
Insight Posts During Aug/Sept 2015
By Arthur Cristian
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8573

Can You Spot The Ego?
Where's Wally? Part Two

Compilation of Facebook & Youtube
Insight Posts During Aug/Sept 2015
By Arthur Cristian
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8576

Dancing With Magic (Lies)
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Videos, Articles, Comments
And Pending E-Book
Love Fort Life
September 2015
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8575

Dancing With Magic Part One
Arthur & Fiona Cristian - Love For Life
5th September 2015
https://youtu.be/hx7qJ7r2OS4

Dancing With Magic Part Two
Arthur Cristian - Love For Life
12th September 2015
https://youtu.be/b_KuEFdKmnA

Dancing With Magic Part Three
Arthur & Fiona Cristian - Love For Life
13th September 2015
https://youtu.be/9pJc1NfnAcI

Dancing With Magic (Lies) Part Four:
Arthur & Fiona Cristian - Love For Life
16th September 2015
https://youtu.be/kSVURGwm1Go

Illumination IS Definition
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
26th to 29th January 2016
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8577

The Satanic Craft Of Inculcation In Practice
Fiona's ACT Supreme Court Affidavit Explaining Inculcation & Illumination
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
4th March 2016
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8578

The Dark Side Of The Moon
The Background To "The System" Part One

Arthur & Fiona Cristian Chatting With
Jahnick Leaunier On The Tru-Mon Show
Love For Life - 24th August 2016
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8583

Eric Dubay's Flat Earth Is A Cult
The Background To The System Part Two

Arthur & Fiona Cristian Chatting With
Jahnick Leaunier On The Tru-Mon Show
Love For Life - 31st August 2016
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8585

To Be Educated Is To Have No Soul
The System Is Soul Destroying
Frederick Malouf & Michael Tellinger's
Contrived Gifting

Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
1st September 2016
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8586

New Love For Life Kindom Facebook Group
Started March 2015
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1434747556816918
Includes 63 Minute
Introduction To Kindom Video
https://youtu.be/7SspPm9wRgo
By Arthur & Fiona Cristian
and
Facebook Kindom Group Guidelines
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8566
The Love For Life website home-page provides
the bigger-picture background to the themes
touched on in this video: http://loveforlife.com.au

Crop Circles Are A Massive Hoax
Facebook Discussion On Simon Kawai's Wall
Involving Arthur & Fiona Cristian
31st August 2013
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8470

OPPT & Slavery Through Intellectual Conscription By Deceit
Arthur & Fiona Cristian - Love For Life
27th February 2013 onwards...
Part One: http://youtu.be/Qjp_9nlrBao
Part Two: http://youtu.be/tbybeOWZ-Bc
Part Three: http://youtu.be/yOWoxH-HbVw

Water Is The Life Of MANS Consciousness (Breath)
Arthur & Fiona Cristian - Love For Life - 8th February 2013
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8350
Part One: http://youtu.be/4ze66_33wxM - 70 Minutes 5 Seconds
Part Two: http://youtu.be/43gIi-sjxJc - 81 Minutes 13 Seconds
Part Three: http://youtu.be/oooY6W63K-M - 70 Minutes 18 Seconds

What Do You Believe On Origins?
Who Said There Was A Beginning?
Who's Truth Do You Accept?
Belief Is A Strange Idea.

Discussion Lyndell, Scott and Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Between March and April 2013
Posted 29th October 2013
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8487

So You Want The Good Bits Of "The System"
But Not The Bad Bits?

By Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life - 12th August 2013
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8468

Turning Away From The Reflection
Of MANS Looking Glass

Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
30th April 2013
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8404

REMEDY

From Bare Dirt To Abundance
A Year In The Life Of The
Love For Life Food Forest

Arthur & Fiona Cristian
8th February 2013
51 Minutes 46 Seconds
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sJCcCvZ97A

From Bare Dirt To Abundance Part Two
5th November 2014
http://youtu.be/TPTPn8tgcPI
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8545

From Bare Dirt To Abundance Part Three
7th March 2016
60 Minutes
https://youtu.be/SH9i8ZStzWI

Love For Life Food Forest & Native Garden March 2016
Extension Of The Love For Life Food Forest And Establishment
Of A New Native Garden At The Front Of The Rental Property
In East Bowral - 24th October 2015 to Mid February 2016.
15 Minutes
https://youtu.be/y-Uz8HmnSIM

Control The Land
And You Control MAN On The Land
Displace MAN From Land
And You Turn MAN Into Slaves

Arthur & Fiona Cristian - Love For Life
April 2011 (Updated 14th September 2011)
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8237

The Divine Spark
Facebook Discussion With Raymond Karczewski
Arthur & Fiona Cristian & Others
2nd October 2013
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8483

Capturing Another MANS Uniqueness
A Facebook Debate With
Arthur & Fiona Cristian - Love For Life
And Raymond Karczewski
Starting 13th May 2013
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8414

The Spell Is Broken
Taking The Land To Create Kindom

Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
3rd March 2013
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8365

The Steps Of Kindom
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life 2006/2007
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8304

To explore these themes in greater detail go here where you can find links to all our Love For Life comments, articles, debates, discussions, videos, podcasts, etc: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/3385

All the best
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life

Website: http://loveforlife.com.au
Email : action@loveforlife.com.au
Mobile : 0011 61 418 203204 - (0418 203204)
Snail Mail: PO Box 1320 Bowral 2576 NSW Australia
Facebook Arthur Cristian : http://www.facebook.com/arthurcristian
YouTube Arthur Cristian : http://www.youtube.com/ArthurLoveForLife

Register To The Love For Life Mailing List: http://loveforlife.com.au/content/09/05/14/mailing-list

Facebook Group Why Aren't We Free Discussion : http://www.facebook.com/164918753537287
Facebook Group Kindom/Do No Harm Community Discussion : http://www.facebook.com/151811728195925

Links below will kick in when the professionally recorded Love For Life music is released.

SoundCloud : http://soundcloud.com/loveforlife
Nimbit Music : http://www.nimbitmusic.com/loveforlife
Twitter : https://twitter.com/loveforlifemusi
Facebook Music : http://www.facebook.com/loveforlifemusic
YouTube Love For Life Music : http://www.myspace.com/loveforlifemusic
MySpace : http://www.myspace.com/loveforlifemusic
Google + Fiona Cristian : https://plus.google.com/100490175160871610090

Peaceful Transition Through Sacrifice And Service

We feel there is an essential peaceful do no harm transition required to get all of MAN back to standing on MANS feet without reliance upon another MAN for water, food, shelter. As it stands everyone in "The System" are highly dependent and reliant on the "group mind-set" that forms "The System" of slaves providing services and benefits for the emotionally addicted slaves to "The System" (and you can put us in the same basket too). The transition is to get MAN back to relying ONLY on nature without 3rd party interlopers, intermeddlers, interceders getting in the way. The transition is a team effort with the foresight for setting all of MAN free down-the-line so that MAN is no longer dependent on slaves and masters providing services, benefits, privileges and exclusivity while being bound to contracts, rituals, procedures, conditions, rules & regulations which compromises MAN severely.

This transition is all about shifting from limited liability/responsibility to full liability/responsibility. This full responsibility is all about caring for our health, nature all around us, clean uncorrupted (pure) water and food, partner/co-creator, children, shelter, animal-friends in partnership, etc. In "The System", we are already together destroying each other - we have to come together to create peace together so that we can all have peace. We cannot live peacefully when we are islands, not taking full responsibility for the lives of those around us until EVERYONE can take full responsibility for their life, which means that EVERYONE is healed of system trauma. In "The System", we all come together to make slaves of each other - now is the moment to come together to set each other free, to live for each other's freedom, peace, joy and abundance. Once we have set each other free, we are free.

Control The Land
And You Control MAN On The Land
Displace MAN From Land
And You Turn MAN Into Slaves

Arthur & Fiona Cristian - Love For Life
April 2011 (Updated 14th September 2011)
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8237

The Spell Is Broken
Taking The Land To Create Kindom

Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
3rd March 2013
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8365

"The Steps Of Kindom"
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8304

---------

Once we fix these issues, we or our children or our descendants to come, can start focusing on the even bigger picture of getting back to where our ancestors were, as breatharyan's, before they fell into non-sense images to be enslaved by them.

All the best to you and your family
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life

The Cristian Family November 2006

The Cristian Family Declaration

The Cristian family and The Love for Life Campaign are apolitical, non-religious, non-violent, anti weapons, anti drugs (both pharmaceutical and recreational) and anti any ideology that denies the existence of Do No Harm Communities (Kindoms) and suppresses the uniqueness and freedom of all men, women and children.

The Cristian family and our Love For Life work is unaligned to any big business corporation, intelligence agency, government body, "system" law, "system" think tanks, "system" green or environmental movements, religion, cult, sect, society (fraternity, brotherhood, sisterhood, order, club, etc,) secret or not, hidden agenda, law or sovereignty group, occult, esoteric, New Age or Old Age.

The Cristian family supports and promotes the remedy that brings an everlasting peace, freedom, truth, joy, abundance and do no harm for all of life without causing loss of uniqueness or the need for having slaves and rulers. We are not into following the one in front or being shepherds for sheeple. Most importantly, we take full-responsibility for everything we think, feel and do.

The Cristian family are not Christians.

Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life

December 2006

The Cristian Family November 2006

THE CRISTIAN FAMILY PLEDGE

Being of clear brain, heart and intention, we each declare the following to be true:

• We have no intention of ending our own lives.

• We will not tolerate suppression of truth, ideas, freedom, or our work. We stand for freedom of speech.

• We stand together to support others in the expression of truths and freedom to speak out no matter how radical those ideas may seem.

• Standing for freedom takes courage; together we shall be strong in the face of all odds.

• If it is ever claimed that we have committed suicide, encountered an unfortunate accident, died of sickness/disease, disappeared, been institutionalized, or sold out financially or in any other way to self-interested factions, we declare those claims false and fabricated.

• We testify, assert and affirm without reservation, on behalf of all those who have dedicated their lives to the ending of secrecy and the promotion of freedom of thought, ideas and expression that we shall prevail.

• We Do Not Have Multiple Personality Disorders

Arthur Cristian
Fiona Cristian
Jasmin Lily Cristian
Emma Rose Cristian
Frances Hannah Cristian
Xanthe Jane Cristian

15th December 2006 (Edited/Updated 18th September 2011)

The Cristian Family November 2006

Update Regarding The Love For Life
Home Page And Quick User Guide

We are turning the Love for Life Quick User Guide http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6608 into a blog of all the main insights of our work since March 2005, whether through articles, videos, podcasts or discussions/debates.

As we do not have the time to compile everything we have written into a book, as many have suggested we do, compiling all our most important work into one area of the website is a way of providing easy access to this work so those interested are able to fully comprehend the big picture.

Instead of having to find our different articles, videos, etc, in various parts of the website, it will all be accessible here: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6608 and here: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/3385.

Love For Life Videos

As amateurs and posted in the Quick User Guide below the Facebook links, we're currently creating and posting a series of videos called "The Dream Of Life" which covers the ground of all the Love For Life insights. We plan to have the videos completed by December 31st 2012. Once this is behind us, our intention is to create a 2 hour or so video covering the body of this work. All videos are embedded in the quick user guide http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6608 and uploaded in Arthur's YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/ArthurLoveForLife.

Love For Life Music

We have started recording songs, with others, that express the themes of Love For Life. They are now being posted on Arthur's YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/ArthurLoveForLife and are embedded in the quick user guide http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6608. We have over 100 songs to record. A few rough demos have already been used as the soundtrack on the first "Dream of Life" video.

About Us - Love For Life & The Cristian Family

Also, everything we, the Cristian family, have gone through, from bank fraud and the theft of the family home to death threats and attempts on Arthur's life, is documented in the Quick User Guide too. If you, the reader, are prepared to put the effort in, you will comprehend the extent to which we have all been tricked into becoming slaves, giving up our uniqueness and our full-responsibility for life and destroying everything of life to the point where life is in danger of dying out completely. You will also comprehend the remedy to all this chaos; a remedy that requires only love for life and the determination to do what needs to be done. Though our focus is very strongly on the remedy that creates a world of freedom, truth, peace, joy, abundance and Do No Harm for all of life without loss of uniqueness or the need for slaves and rulers, we realise that it is vital to comprehend how to get there and what stops us from getting there. This is why there is so much information on the hows and whys of everything going wrong in the world today. We are not into peddling conspiracy theories, we are into routing out all forms of organised crime.

Saturday 26th November 2011

Arthur and Fiona Cristian
Love For Life

Website: http://loveforlife.com.au
Email: action@loveforlife.com.au
Mobile: 0011 61 418 203204 - (0418 203204)
Facebook Arthur Cristian: http://www.facebook.com/arthurcristian
YouTube Arthur Cristian: http://www.youtube.com/ArthurLoveForLife
SoundCloud: http://soundcloud.com/loveforlife
Nimbit Music: http://www.nimbitmusic.com/loveforlife
Twitter: https://twitter.com/loveforlifemusi
Facebook Music: http://www.facebook.com/loveforlifemusic
Facebook Why Aren't We Free Discussion: http://www.facebook.com/164918753537287
Facebook Do No Harm Community: http://www.facebook.com/151811728195925
YouTube Love For Life Music: http://www.myspace.com/loveforlifemusic
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/loveforlifemusic
Google + Fiona Cristian: https://plus.google.com/100490175160871610090
Register To The Love For Life Mailing List: http://loveforlife.com.au/content/09/05/14/mailing-list

1. For The Body Of The Love For Life Work by Arthur and Fiona Cristian

Which Unravels The Reasons For The Chaos, Mayhem and Confusion Being Experienced In The World Today, Explains The Need For "Community Immunity" and Responsibility, and Focuses On The Creation Of Kindoms - Do No Harm, Life-Sustainable Communities (As The Remedy That Heals All Mans Woes) - And How We Can Co-Create Them. For Comments, Articles And Discussions, Go Here: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/3385 - Also Go Here To See Podcasts And Videos Posted by Arthur & Fiona Cristian: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/7309 - The Information Shared Comes From Inspiration, Intuition, Heartfelt-Logic And Information Gathered From Nature And Many Amazing Men And Women Along The Way. It Is Not Found In Any Books Or Channellings, Or Talked About By "Experts". Go Here To Read A Brief Synopsis Of Why We Started Love For Life: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8182

2. For Information About The Ringing Cedars of Russia Series

go here: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/1125 and for more on Eco Homes, Villages, Organic and Permaculture Gardening and Life-Sustainability, etc, go here: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/3641 and here: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/1985 and Mikhail Petrovich Shchetinin - Kin's School - Lycee School at Tekos: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/5173

3. For How To Eat A Raw, Living Food Diet,

go here: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/5068 - LIFE is information. When we distort LIFE and then eat, drink, absorb, think, feel, hear, see, touch, taste, smell and perform these distortions, the information of LIFE, your LIFE, our LIFE, our children's lives, everyone's LIFE, is distorted.

4. To Find A Menu For The Extensive Research Library (over 8,000 items posted embodying over 11,000 documents, pdf's, videos, podcasts, etc)

Which Covers Topics From Health to Chemtrails/Haarp to Brain Control to Archaeology to Astronomy Geocentricity Heliocentricity to Pandemics Bird Flu Swine Flu to Fluoride to Cancer to Free Energy to Global Warming, 9/11, Bali Bombings, Aspartame, MSG, Vaccinations, Aids/HIV, Mercury, New World Order, Satanism, Religions, Cults, Sects, Symbolism, etc, etc, go here: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/82

5. If You Would Like To Read About The Cristian Family NSW Supreme Court Case

(Macquarie Bank/Perpetual Limited Bank Fraud Condoned By Judges, Registrars, Barristers, Lawyers, Politicians, Public Servants, Bureaucrats, Big Business and Media Representatives - A Crime Syndicate/Terrorist Organisation) Which Prompted The Creation Of This Love For Life Website December 2006, And The Shooting And Torture Of Supporters Who Assisted Us In Reclaiming The Family Home, Joe Bryant And His Wife, Both In Their Late 70's, go here: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/5 And Read Some Of Our Email Correspondence With Lawyer Paul Kean - Macedone Christie Willis Solari Partners - Miranda Sydney May 17th-June 27th 2006: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/7300

6. For The Stories Of Other Victims Of The System,

go here: http://loveforlife.com.au/australian_stories (If you have a story you would like us to put up, we would love to here from you:
action @ loveforlife.com.au)

7. For Documentation Of Harm Done By The Powers-That-Be And Their Representatives,

Evidence Revealing How Victims Did Not Break The Peace, Caused No Crime or Harm, There Were No Injured Parties. Documenting Incontrovertible Evidence Demonstrating How The Powers That Be (PTB) And Their Lackeys Will Break All The Laws They Are Supposed To Uphold. They Will Kidnap, Intimidate, Terrorise, Rape, Pillage, Plunder And Lie And Take Responsibility For None Of It. All Part Of Their Tactics Of Using Fear And Trauma To Keep Us In Our Place. Relatives Of Those Under Their Radar Are Also Not Safe From Attack And Intimidation. All Starting From A $25 Fine For Not Voting And A $65 Fine For Not Changing A Dog Registration. We Do Not Have Freedom And Can Only Appear To Have Freedom If We Comply. Regardless How Small The Matter The PTB Throw Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars Away To Enforce Their Will.... Go Here:
Fiona Cristian Reply To State Debt Recovery Office - Part One to Part Ten - From 17th October 2008 And Still Continuing:
http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6319 or
Fiona Cristian Reply To State Debt Recovery Office
Part One: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/5742 - From 17th October 2008
Part Two: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6135 - From 18th December 2008
Part Three: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6295 - From 9th January 2009
Part Four: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6296 - From 14th January 2009
Part Five: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6375 - The Sick Puppy - From 20th February 2009
Part Six: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6390 - Police Officers, Sheriff’s Officers, Tow Truck Driver and State Debt Recovery Office Blatantly Ignore the Law To Rape, Pillage and Plunder The Private Property Of Fiona Cristian - From 11th March 2009
Part Seven: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6445 - Affidavit Of Truth - Letter To The Queen + Australia: Fascism is Corporatism - From 30th March 2009
Part Eight: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6652 - The Pirates Auction And The Ghost Of VSL386 - From 4th April 2009
Part Nine: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/7073 - Arthur Cristian's Letter To Pru Goward MP - From 15th December 2009
Part Ten: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/7500 - Should We Be In Fear Of Those Who Claim To Protect Us? "Roman Cult" Canon Law - Ecclesiastical Deed Poll - The Work Of Frank O'Collins - From 13th October 2010

8. If You Are Interested In Information On Freedom From Statutes, Rule-Of-Law, Free Man/Free Woman, Strawman, "Person" and Admiralty Law (The Law Of Commerce),

go here: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/895 - For Common Law, Democracy, Constitution, Trial By Jury, Fee Simple, etc, go here: http://loveforlife.com.au/category/main/law-articles-documents

9. If You Are Interested In Banking and Money Created (Fiat/Credit/Debt/Mortgage/Loan/Overdraft etc) Out-Of-Thin-Air, How Banks Counterfeit Money,

go here: http://loveforlife.com.au/banks

10. For A List Of All The Latest Posts In The Love For Life Website,

go here: http://loveforlife.com.au/tracker

11. For Links To Many Hundreds Of Videos, DVDs And Podcasts

go here: http://loveforlife.com.au/video_dvd

12. To See The Cristian Family Pledge, Legal and other Disclaimers

go here: http://loveforlife.com.au/content/06/12/05/love-life-legal-disclaimer

13. To Read About How A Representative Of The NSW Jewish Board Of Deputies Had Threatened To Shut Down The Love For Life Website

go here: Part One: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6616 Part Two: THE STEVE JOHNSON REPORT AND VIDEO: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6665 and Part Three: Latest Update On James Von Brunn: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6673

Conscious Love Always
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
action @ loveforlife.com.au
www.loveforlife.com.au
0418 203204 (int: 0011 61 418 203204)
PO Box 1320 Bowral 2576 NSW Australia

Arthur Cristian

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The Cristian Family November 2006

Love For Life Legal Disclaimer

The information contained on this world wide web site (the web site and all information herein shall be collectively referred to as "Web Site Information"), under the registered url name, loveforlife.com.au, resides on a host server environment in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15203, United States of America.

The Web Site Information has been prepared to provide general information only and is not intended to constitute or be construed as providing substantive professional advice or opinion on any facts or circumstances. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, nor does its receipt give rise to, a professional-client relationship between 'Love for Life' and the receiver.

While every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy and timeliness of the information prepared and/or reported on this site, 'Love for Life' is not responsible for any errors or omissions or for the Web Site Information not being up to date. The Web Site Information may not reflect the most current developments.

The impact of the law, policy and/or procedure for any particular situation depends on a variety of factors; therefore, readers should not act upon any Web Site Information without seeking professional advice. 'Love for Life' is not responsible for any action taken in reliance on any Web Site Information herein.

'Love for Life' is not responsible for any action you or others take which relies on information in this website and/or responses thereto. 'Love for Life' disclaim all responsibility and liability for loss or damage suffered by any person relying, directly or indirectly, on the Web Site Information, including in relation to negligence or any other default.

'Love for Life' does not warrant, represent or hold out that any Web Site Information will not cause damage, or is free from any computer virus, defect(s) or error(s). 'Love for Life' is not liable to users for any loss or damage however caused resulting from the use of material found on its web site.

'Love for Life' does not necessarily endorse or approve of any Web Site Information linked to and contained on other web sites linked herein and makes no warranties or representations regarding the merchantability or fitness for purpose, accuracy and quality, of any such information.

The sending of information by you, and the receipt of it by 'Love for Life', is not intended to, and does not, create a professional-client relationship.

All Web Site Information is considered correct at the time of the web site's most recent revision.

ADDITIONAL DISCLAIMER

THE CRISTIAN FAMILY SUPPORTS
FREEDOM OF SPEECH - FREEDOM OF THOUGHT

The Cristian Family November 2006

Posted Wednesday 17th June 2009
Updated September 2011

NSW Jewish Board Of Deputies
Has Threatened To Shut Down
The Love For Life Website

No Freedom Of Speech - No Freedom Of Thought

Love For Life does not support harm doing in any shape or form. However, we are supporters of free speech and post articles, documentaries, etc, that represent a wide cross section of ideas. See the Love For Life extensive research library where over 6000 documents, articles and videos are posted: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/82. We clearly see the evidence of the destruction to MAN and the earth that has been caused by ALL religions over the centuries and are therefore not supporters of religions, cults, sects or any group that demands conformity of thought, speech or action, or has rules, regulations or rituals that must be followed. Religions, nationalities and cultural "identities" are formed as a result of the brainwashing we receive from childhood. They are part of the tactics the Establishment uses to keep us all divided from one another and fighting one another.

All religions promote discrimination and division, leading to hatred and even violence and murder. None of them have yet to produce a remedy to all the suffering, poverty, unhappiness and discrimination in the world. If any religion truly had the remedy to all the suffering on earth, there would no longer be any suffering. What have Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, atheism and the New Age done to end the suffering in the world?

Since December 2006, there have been many attempts to take down the Love For Life website. Any attempts have been thwarted by Love For Life supporters inundating the harm-doers with emails, etc, objecting to them taking down the website for a variety of reasons. The trouble makers usually back off when they realise that they can post all their views, arguments, beliefs, etc, in the Love For Life website without censorship or restriction imposed. They get to see that even the Queen, Pope, Prime Minister, President of America, etc, can post all their views without hindrance or sabotage and that we support freedom of speech/thought which means we support the right of all sides to express their views.

Of note, there is a vast amount of information posted in the Love For Life website which we do not agree with but we leave it all up because we refuse to be biased, opinionated or self-centered/self-serving. Of the many thousands of comments posted over the years we have only removed posts containing secret links to commercial advertisements, terrible foul language, threats of violence and death, etc, and attacks on other people's characters that avoid the subject/debate at hand. Besides links to advertisements, we have taken down less than six comments due to the above. We usually leave everything up, all warts and all, even those posts threatening to do terrible things to Fiona, our children, our dogs, our friends, family & supporters, etc.

The Love For Life website has information from all sides on many subjects, whether about Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Law, health, psychology, mind control, vaccination, aspartame, MSG, Chemtrails etc. There are over 11,000 articles, documentaries etc on the website and they are so diverse that we are sure that everyone would be able to find something they loved and something they hated, if they took the time to search. If we removed all the articles hated by everyone, there would probably be nothing left! We are not anti anyone but freedom of speech is freedom of speech and no one should condemn the work of another without taking the time to research the subject themselves. Yes, there are articles by those who have a less-than-rosy-viewpoint of Judaism, but there are also articles on the dark side of Tibetan Buddhism (and it is very dark) for those who are interested in the truth: Tibet - Buddhism - Dalai Lama: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6271 Should the authors of these articles be abused and imprisoned for daring to challenge the widely conceived reputation of Buddhism as being the religion of peace and love and that of the Dalai Lama as a saint, or should those interested be allowed to study the work and come to their own conclusions? The same applies to all the articles, documentaries, etc, about Christianity, Islam, Freemasonry, New World Order, etc.

The Love for Life website also shows how the Rule of Law, the Bar, the Government, the Monarchy, the system of commerce, the local, national and multi/trans-national private corporations, all the courses and careers on offer from our universities, all the educators, scientists, academics and experts, the aristocrats and the Establishment bloodlines have also done NOTHING to end the suffering in the world. The website maps the insanity of a world where there is no help for those in need, just as there was no help available for us when we were victims of terrible bank fraud: "NSW Supreme Court Case - Macquarie Bank/Perpetual Limited vs Fiona Cristian - Victims Of Bank Fraud Condoned By Judges" http://loveforlife.com.au/node/5 (orchestrated, condoned and protected by an international crime syndicate/terrorist organisation of judges, barristers, registrars, lawyers, politicians, banksters, big business representatives, media moguls and other lackeys who, all together, put up a wall of silence despite our trying many, many avenues. After the family home was stolen and business destroyed we were left close to poverty and destitution caring for 4 young daughters. Three years later not much has changed regardless of all our efforts. Where were all the followers of all the religions to help us? Or do we have to be members of those religions to receive help from others involved in them?

The New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies accused us of being anti - Jewish, see: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6616 and http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6665 because we had posted an excerpt from James von Brun's book: Kill the Best Gentiles: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6054 in which he blames Jews for the problems of the world. Obviously this is not our view because of what we have stated above. We do not hate anyone, whatever religion they follow. We are always open to talk to any religious leader or politician and meet with any judge, member of the Bar, experts, academics, educators etc to share the remedy we offer that heals all the divisions between MAN and MAN, and MAN and the EARTH.

Today, a representative of the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies is threatening to close the website down, because they have decided it is anti - Jewish and that we promote racism. What has the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies done to end the suffering in the world? Can they show that they are concerned with the suffering of ALL men, women and children AND ARE SEEN TO BE DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT or are they only concerned with Jewish affairs? If so, they, along with all the other religions that only care for their own, are part of the problem, not part of the solution. The man who rang Arthur today was only concerned with Jewish affairs; he was not interested in our intentions or in anybody else, just as most Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Catholics, etc, are only interested in their own. While we separate ourselves into groups, dividing ourselves from others with rules, regulations, rituals, procedures and conditions, we will never solve our problems.

No matter what we in the Western World Civilisation of Commerce have been promised by our politicians, religious leaders, scientists, educators, philosophers, etc, for the past two hundred years, all we have seen is ever-increasing destruction of men, women and children and the earth. None of the so-called experts and leaders we have been taught to rely on are coming up with a solution and none of them are taking full-responsibility for the fact that they can't handle the problem. All religious books talk about end times full of destruction and suffering but why do we have to follow this program when there is an alternative to hatred, mayhem and death? Why are our leaders following the program of destruction and death rather than exploring the alternatives? It seems that any mainstream politician, priest or academic are only interested in supporting the RULES OF THE DIVIDE, that maintain the haves and the have nots. For 200+ years, 99% of the world population have been so trained to pass on their responsibility for themselves, others and the earth, that the 1% of the population that make up the leaders of the rest of us are making all the decisions leading to the destruction of all of us and the earth. Let's not forget the education system that brainwashes the 99% of the population that we are free and have equal rights while, in fact, we are feathering the nests of those at the top.

At the root of all our problems is self-centredness, an unwillingness nurtured by the Establishment that keeps us concerned only with our own needs rather than the needs of others around us and the Earth. Instead of creating and releasing acts of love for those around us as gifts to benefit them and the earth, we take, take and take, until there is nothing left. The whole point of the Love for Life website is to show people the root of all our problems and to share the remedy. The extensive research library is there to attract browsers and to provide access to information not available through mainstream channels. If the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies can, after careful examination of our work, prove that anything we are saying is wrong, we will be happy to accept their proof. If they cannot, and they are still insistent on closing the website down, they will be showing themselves to be traitors to MAN because they are not interested in pursuing any avenue that can end the suffering in the world.

All religions, corporations and organisations that support and maintain the Western World Civilisation of Commerce are part of the problem because our civilisation is a world of haves and have nots, racism, violence, hatred, poverty, sickness, discrimination, abuse, starvation, homelessness, corruption, collusion, vindictiveness, social unrest, arrogance, ignorance, fear, war and chaos. While we support civilisation, we support death and destruction because ALL civilisations that have ever existed are apocalyptic by design.

If we truly want peace on earth and freedom for all, we have to let go of all that which keeps us divided, and come together as MAN, conscious living co-creators of creation. The Love For Life website offers a remedy to the problems we all face in the form of DO NO HARM COMMUNITIES: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/3641 For more details see here: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6511 and here: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/3385 - We also highly recommend that everyone read the brilliant Russian books called The Ringing Cedars: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/1125 - The Love For Life Website Homepage also provides lots of inspiring remedy based information: http://loveforlife.com.au - If you want to be kept up to date with our work please register to the Love For Life Mailing List here: http://loveforlife.com.au/content/09/05/14/mailing-list. We usually send two postings per month. Presently (September 2011) there are over 7000 registrations reaching over 500,000 readers across Earth. The website now (September 2011) receives up to 12 million hits per month. Since December 2006, over 100 million people have visited the Love For Life website.

Conscious Love Always
Arthur and Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
17th June 2009

The Cristian Family November 2006

Clarification Regarding Our Intentions
Behind The Use Of Donations

The Love For Life website is offered for free without a fee and without any conditions attached. If people are inspired to donate money, then we accept their gift and have provided an avenue for them to support the work we do through Fiona's Paypal or ANZ bank account http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8515. There is no obligation whatsoever to donate and all are equally welcome to our work and to our "time", whether they donate or not. Over the last 9 years, all the Love For Life work has been put out for free and it has often been donations from supporters that have enabled us to renew the domain name, etc, to keep the website going. While some complain that we have an avenue for donations, others complained when we didn't! Either use it or don't - the choice is yours.

Since Love For Life started March 2005 and website December 2006, Arthur has worked 16 hours a day, 7 days a week unpaid for much of this period, putting together the website and sharing insights to wake people up to what has been done to them, whether through the 11,500+ individual articles, videos, podcasts, debates, discussions, pdf's, research documents, etc, found amongst the 8,500+ posts, as well as helping many, many men and women over the phone, and through email, website correspondence, Facebook and YouTube, and creating the Love For Life food forest vege garden and Love For Life music recording studio. This is our life is a gift commitment to serve MAN/Nature/Earth but we are still severely compromised by "The System" and still have to give to Caesar what is claimed to belong to Caesar, which is where the donations help us.

Fiona & Arthur Cristian
Love For Life
21st July 2014