What's worse than calling a banker dishonest? Calling them stupid. That may be the best defence of the former Citigroup, Deutsche Bank and ANZ Bank executives who've been charged with criminal cartel offences over a 2015 placement of $2.5 billion of ANZ shares.
Top executives from Citi, Deutsche and ANZ are among the six named in the case brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission – a shocking development in a market that has tended to take an indulgent approach to misconduct at the big end of town.
A shake-up of financial regulation in this country is long overdue, and needs to go further in many ways than the current government is likely to take it. But here, the regulator may have overstepped the mark.