February! The shortest month of the year. Blink and it’s over, yet, as usual, there was no shortage of governance bloopers to keep our heads shaking in disbelief.  In this blog we cover:

  • If governance starts at the top we’re in serious trouble
  • Securities exchanges and their dodgy numbers
  • From the brink to an ASX listing in a single bound
  • Playboy shenanigans

If Governance starts at the top we’re in serious trouble

Anyone who knows anything about governance, risk and compliance will tell you that governance starts from the top. Ultimately it all comes down to “culture”.  As a consultant, if those at the top play lip-service to governance, fail to “set the tone” and don’t “walk the talk”, you can pretty much pack up and go home because without the right cultural platform, good governance is simply not achievable.

During the week your humble blogger had reason to be in our nation’s capital, as parliament had its first sitting for the year.  Having a bit of time to kill in the airport lounge the obvious entertainment was to watch our nation’s top governors in action.

Hmmm … “embarrassing” is the first word that comes to mind, no matter which side of politics you come from.  First there was Tony and Julia’s hilarious name calling act (Julia Brown.. Tony Hanson .. get it!!) and … just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse along came South Australian Senator Mary Jo Fischer doing the climate change hokey pokey. Its pure gold if you haven’t seen it http://ht.ly/499tn.

Securities exchanges and their dodgy numbers

Last month we provided you a link which highlighted the fact that US SEC’s books have been in disarray for years.  This month it seems that the ASX was having a few problems with its own numbers.

In early February they released an announcement letting us all know that the total capital raised on the exchange in January was $857 million, a decrease of 21% from the same period last year.   According to the SMH about a week later the ASX announced that it had found an extra $904 million to bring total capital for January to $1686 million which turned the 21% decease into a 56% gain. ASX (quasi regulator) to ASX (listed entity): Please explain?

From the brink to an ASX listing in a single bound

For the regular readers of this blog you may remember the little piece on Allied Medical, a company owned by Dr Edelsten’s former business partner which managed to lodge 5 years of financials in one hit and whose auditor was quoted as saying that there was “material uncertainty” regarding its ability to continue as a going concern because it apparently has a deficiency in net assets.

Well February may be a short month but you can’t keep a good entrepreneur down. Quiet as you like, Allied Medical has slipped into the ASX through the backdoor via BioMD, taking a 70% of the shares on issue in the combined group.  The announcement proudly notes that Allied Medical had “unaudited net tangible assets” of $4.8 million.

Now there is one for the turnaround specialists turning a “deficiency in net assets” to “$4.8 million in net tangible assets” with the stroke of a pen and presumably sacking the old auditor (who obviously can’t count real good).

Playboy shenanigans

Last but not least is Hugh Hefner and Playboy Enterprises’ shenanigans in attempting to value the 29 room playboy mansion at a mere $1,200,000 as they attempt to take the playboy empire private.  By all accounts there are some pretty peeved shareholders given that the property was originally purchased in 1971 for $1,050,000 and has since had a few major renovations, including the addition of a pool, tennis courts and a gym. We knew the US property market had tanked but this valuation seems a little risqué given local estate agents think that $40-50M is more on the money.

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