ASIC caught out on preven­tion

The Saturday Paper - - Letters & Editorial -

Michael West re­ports that “Last year, the gov­ern­ment awarded ASIC with $348 mil­lion for its bud­get. In re­turn, ASIC col­lected $1.2 bil­lion for the gov­ern­ment – sharply up from $998 mil­lion the year be­fore. The agency is a huge cash cow for the Com­mon­wealth gov­ern­ment. Spend­ing money pros­e­cut­ing banks would put this at risk.” Surely that goes against the pri­mary func­tion of a reg­u­la­tory agency, which is to pre­vent harm to both nat­u­ral per­sons and le­gal per­sons. Any­one with ex­pe­ri­ence of law en­force­ment knows the best preven­tion is the per­ceived risk of get­ting caught mul­ti­plied by the price for get­ting caught. If ei­ther of those is zero then preven­tion is also zero. The corol­lary be­ing that to pre­vent harm in the first place, the agency must demon­strate that there is a high like­li­hood of get­ting caught and ad­ver­tise the prices to be paid by mis­cre­ants.

– John F. Sim­mons, Kam­bah, ACT

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