FMA to seize Sheppard ‘evidence’, Sir Roger flays welfare state, fishing giants mull levy cuts and Mt Gox accounts twist

The defamation case with Hanover co-founders Mark Hotchin and Eric Watson might be settled, but there might be more to come from accountant Bruce Sheppard.

As outlined in today’s National Business Review print edition, the Financial Markets Authority wants to obtain Hanover-related information prepared in the defence of the defamation claim by Mr Sheppard, the former Shareholders Association chairman.

The Serious Fraud Office is also interested in any new material, chief reporter Duncan Bridgeman reports.

Meanwhile, in the continuation of a series of pre-budget articles, former finance minister Sir Roger Douglas says the actual performance of the welfare state over the last 80 years is depressing – and more money is not the answer.

“We have created a system that gives options to those who can afford them while denying choices to those who most desperately need them,” Sir Roger writes.

Columnist Rodney Hide details the travails of his good friend and bankrupt Dave Henderson, who has another book and movie in the offing, it seems, this time involving the Insolvency Service.

Primary industries reporter Jamie Ball tackles the $381 million of levies paid by the seafood industry over the last 10 years – and how major player Sealord and other commercial fishing companies intend to pressure the government to cut costs and give the industry more of a say on spending.

In a New Zealand twist to the Mt Gox saga, New Zealand liquidators reveal they secured access to several frozen accounts relating to their investigations prior to the Japan-based bitcoin exchange’s collapse.

Meanwhile, the NBR print edition unveils the latest boutique fund to set up shop, Forte Funds Management, established by former AMP fund manager John Phipps, with company director David Mair and investment strategist Darryl Briggs.

The government is defending the Overseas Investment Office over criticism it is running an “approvals regime.”

Economics editor Rob Hosking talks to circumspect Treasury sectretary Gabriel Makhlouf about governments’ penchant for buying stuff and sitting on it and what is now referred to as “the education speech.”

Media reporter Victoria Young catalogues a new chapter in James Hurman’s career, with start-up Previously Unavailable, and talks to Principals’ Tessa Shaw on being “that Aussie agency.”

In Initiative Matters, Oliver Hartwich argues it makes perfect sense for National to relinquish two seats to capture both the libertarian and conservative vote.

Property editor Chris Hutching covers how the New Zealand Post mail centre in Lower Hutt has been sold to a division of Hodge Group, whose principals are father-and-son duo John and Shayne Hodge.

A 10-page special report on Information Technology and ICT checks out the latest developments, the latest trends for next year (and the next 10) and what business needs to know about ultrafast broadband.

Briefly:

  • In Foreign Affairs, Nathan Smith writes the Ukraine crisis teases out a particularly ironic fracture in the relationship between China and Russia.
  • In Browny Points, Wayne Brown experiences several shocks at an Aotea Centre talkfest, as Auckland Council sets the scene for a looming debt tsunami.
  • In Tray covers the little-known report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Global Oblivion (Interpogo), and dire predictions that small nations will soon be overrun by experts who will eat all their crops.

All this and more in today’s National Business Review. Out now.

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