Yes, the minister is right until he isn’t

As any senior public servant will tell you, the minister is always right until he is no longer the minister.

Thus, former Australian Securities and Investment Commission chairman, Greg Medcraft and his deputy, Peter Kell, will just have to suck up the Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg’s frequent implications that their leadership of the regulator was, well, less than stellar.

Amid the questioning of the Government’s intentions with respect to the 76 recommendations of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry, Frydenberg suggested more than a few times that things would be better because the Government had changed the ASIC leadership.

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“With regards to the regulators we’ve put in place a new chair, and two deputy chairs of ASIC including someone who’s going to be responsible as a special prosecutor,” Frydenberg was heard to say.

No mention, of course, of the Turnbull Government’s extension of Medcraft’s term as chairman of ASIC or, indeed, its decision to extend Kell’s term as deputy chairman but, of course, political expediency can so often drive a change in historical narrative.

Outsider is not sure what Kell is going to be doing following his exit from ASIC in December but he feels sure that Medcraft is making good use of his frequent flyer points.

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Frydenberg is so mealy mouthed. He was in Cabinet when funding for ASIC and APRA operations was cut by large amounts.

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