Opportunity missed to right the wrongs of our system

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While not quite a once-in-a-lifetime chance to right the wrongs of our financial system, Commissioner Kenneth Hayne did have a rare and important opportunity to prove to ordinary law-abiding Australian citizens that if you break the law, you cop the consequences.

Sadly, despite his frosty rigour during the hearings, it seems he has wimped out.

Yes, he has put forward 76 recommendations for improved practices in areas covering banking, super, financial advice, mortgages, insurance and regulation.

But when it comes to dealing with the executives who knowingly broke the law, time and time again, it seems he was not prepared to name these people or directly refer them for civil or criminal prosecutions.

Instead, he has referred 20 cases back to the ‘twin peak’ regulators, ASIC and APRA, for possible referral to the Director of Public Prosecutions: the very same regulators that the Commissioner himself found to be entirely missing-in-action while the country’s largest financial institutions were perpetuating the worst of these white-collar crimes.

These are the regulators whose willful lack of actions in enforcing the law the Commissioner had previously noted: “The conduct regulator, ASIC, rarely went to court to seek public denunciation of and punishment for misconduct. The prudential regulator, APRA, never went to court. 

So what will change now? As Fairfax journalist Adele Ferguson notes in her commentary today, there are a couple of new commissioners at ASIC, but APRA has kept ‘the same old faces’.

So there we have it.

In a royal commission, truncated and under-resourced by a federal government dragged into having it, at least 20 instances of white collar crime have been revealed – all to the detriment of the consumer, while serving the greed of the institution and the individuals it employs.

The (potential) prosecution of these individuals and financial services institutions has been placed in the hands of the regulators who failed to act or to enforce the law to the degree necessary to support an ethical rules-based financial services system.

And just in case you think these ‘maybe’ prosecutions might happen any time soon, Ben Butler in The Australian today reports Professor Dimity Kingsford-Smith’s prediction that it may take 10 years to work through all the cases involving the ANZ, Commonwealth, NAB, AMP amongst others.

It seems crime does pay, after all. Just not for you and me?

What do you think?

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Written by Kaye Fallick

129 Comments

Total Comments: 129
  1. 0
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    Its an outstanding final report and the recommendations entirely appropriate

    Time to move on from this silly witch hunt and focus on what really matters, like providing shareholders with a great return and rising share price

    • 0
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      It was neither silly or a witch hunt, please explain

    • 0
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      Lothario. What you wish is precisely what those crooks have been doing for years and the shareholders have feasted from the most bountiful profits and share price increases in history. From those very same criminals that the Royal Commission has identified, but, weakly failed to directly prosecute.

      And Josh Freidenberg this morning says that they will leave it up to those very same beneficial shareholders to act against the perpetrators!! The very same shareholders who have very happily grabbed those ill gotten dividends and sat back and highly rewarded the executives who have gained them!! Amazing!!!
      Gutless wonders all round!!

    • 0
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      Grateful -0 your interpretation of the report and Josh’s response is totally wrong.

      The regulators will he held accountable . Its their responsibility, not shareholders.
      And Josh has said that they will implement immediately 75 of the 7 recommendations with the remaining one to be reviewed after 3 years. iTS THE RIGHT THING TO DO

    • 0
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      I agree it was a silly witch hunt that wasted way too much taxpayer’s money.

      Best thing is that it reorganised that people need to take responsibility for their own greed and not blame the banks.

    • 0
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      Lothario & OG please explain how this was a witch hunt & the RC was silly

    • 0
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      Simple nothing will change other than those who need a home loan wont get one but those who don’t we be given more money than they need. That is just stupid.

    • 0
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      Simple nothing will change other than those who need a home loan wont get one but those who don’t we be given more money than they need. That is just stupid.

    • 0
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      If you are not a shareholder get out now. There are other Institutions not run to profit shareholders. Mutual Banks for one and credit unions as well. You can’t trust the bankers. That much is obvious.

    • 0
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      Lothario. Get your facts right before you say that someone is wrong.
      Check out the script on the RM programme around 7.40 this morning. Josh WOULD leave it up to the shareholders as to what happens to the banks’ executives.
      And if we have to wait for ASIC and APRA to accept what Hayne has said, forget about ANYTHING happening to those highly paid, extremely well lawyered executives, probably, in some of our lifetimes.
      Hayne spat the dummy where it counted most. Why, even Terry McCann was “surprised” how mild the recommendations were and called the report “brilliant”. Guess why???!!

    • 0
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      Paranoid much, Lowthie? Nobody is after shareholders – they should and will be after the managers and such who arranged the rorts… shareholders are just by-product….. if you throw your money onto the shares roulette table and the house is shut down in a police raid and you lose as a result – tough titties.

    • 0
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      Well so much for the witch hunt Lothario, 2 of the NAB Bank witches have just resigned.

    • 0
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      2 good men lost their jobs . And you smirk
      They were honest people who spoke the truth at the RC
      Not like the industry fund people who are experts at political correctness and doublespeak

    • 0
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      more BS Lothario just so you think you have the last word. You just can’t accept the truth or you can’t handle the truth more likely.
      Industry funds where found to have no wrongdoing & the union representatives worked hard for the members without multi million dollar salaries & bonuses.
      You just can’t handle being wrong Like a spoilt little brat, go take your bat & ball home as no one cares about you anyway. ROFLMFHO

    • 0
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      “Ken Henry says he and outgoing NAB CEO Andrew Thorburn are “deeply sorry”, after both men announced their departures from the bank in the wake of criticism from royal commissioner Kenneth Hayne.”
      Let’s hope they are replaced with good union people who will always have the interests of members & clients first & foremost without multi million dollar salaries & bonuses

    • 0
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      Hahahahha

      Ken Henry and Thorburn are men of integrity who have fallen on their swords to protect the company and its shareholders
      Union thugs will bleed the company dry, oh and not to mention use company credit cards for massages and happy endings

  2. 0
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    When it’s all said and done, ASIC, APRA and the RBA have more regulatory power than a RC. We need to back them not weaken them by way of nepotism.
    The unions got what they wanted, some hobbles put on their competitors in the race for the superannuation market. Lets see the same rules equally applied to industry funds.

  3. 0
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    Spoken like a right wing loyalist Lothario, of course you would agree that nothing needs to change wouldn’t you, couldn’t expect anything else, you are probably a banker yourself or work in the finance industry because no one else would agree with your comments about the RC.

    • 0
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      lots of people agree with my comments RC. Not the ones who live in leftie cuckoo land of course

    • 0
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      I agree with you 100% you can tell the liberal supporters as their comments are always Orwellian and without real substance, leftie and such come on, at least us lefties do not come up statements that are nothing but jabberwocky. A sign of real desperation.
      The banks, the insurance, government, just about every institution is rife with corruption and something has to be done, but sadly all that happened if a lot of hullabaloo from the right wing media and supporters designed to misdirect and coverup

    • 0
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      Except for industry super funds. They are squeaky clean.

    • 0
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      I think the first one to go to Jail should be Anna Bligh isn’t she in charge of the banking Asssociation, all this happened during her shift, she nothing but a complete fool.

    • 0
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      Robbo, it wouldn’t be a good look to have more labor people in gaol.

    • 0
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      I agree Robbo. I had dealings with her when she was Qld Premier and I was rather alarmed at her stance on taking action against white-collar criminals.

  4. 0
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    I see the employees of the LNP are in full swing this morning on all the stories about the Banking Royal Commission – remember the one the LNP didn’t want, wasn’t needed, nothing to see here.

    • 0
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      Labor didn’t want it either and in the end the banks had to ask for it. Good thing too as it showed the banks are doing a great job.

    • 0
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      Wrong OG, the ALP hounded the government for a RC but Turnbull wouldn’t budge. It was within the LNP itself that pushed Turnbull & Morrison to act because of the way Australian farmers were being badly treated by the big 4

    • 0
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      Wrong it was the banks led by the NAB that asked for it.

    • 0
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      1984 you have read the book, congratulations so you know what I mean when I mention Orwellian government and supporters. I wish I had thought of that name :). and what is being suggested is nothing but Orwellian changing of the facts. from this, it is the ABC the only media that the right wing hates with a vengeance and has just about crushed for its truth-telling. it is now a glorified weather station at one time if had great insightful current affair programs.
      https://www.abc.
      et.au/news/2017-11-30/banking-royal-commission-how-did-we-get-here/9210248

      The Prime Minister said it wouldn’t happen, but it has. The banks said they didn’t want it, but they do.
      Thank god for the internet though I imagine it won’t be long till the ministry of truth has its way.

    • 0
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      This makes me sick. Yes the banks in the end did send a letter asking for it. In their arrogance they virtually tried to set the terms of reference. One of them was that the RC should be completed in a timely manner thus making the government restrict the time for it.

      Read the letter here

      https://www.abc.
      et.au/news/2019-02-05/big-banks-ask-government-to-call-short-royal-commission-letter/10778928

      It also amazed me that on the news today Morison was claiming that he called it. This was after it was rejected by the LNP 26 times.

      I am confounded that no names were released for prosecution. There was no reluctance to release names in the Union RC.

      It also amazing me that they were sent to the very same regulators for action, yes the ones that were criticized by the RC.

      It would also appear that some posters here have no sympathy for those people who were screwed by the criminal activities by some of these financial institutions.

      I wonder about the heartfulness of some people.

    • 0
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      FACT CHECK re who called for the royal commission into banking and financial services.
      About four years ago, firs toff the blocks was Greens senator, John Whish Wilson.
      In NOv 2017 the Labor Party added their support
      Joined by cross benchers last year
      and probable defection of Nationals MP George Christensen forced then PM Malcolm Turnbull to say yes on November 29, 2017.
      (now) PM Scott Morrison claimed at the time that there was nothing to be found.

    • 0
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      OG – why do you just lie, outright lie, what’s the point, everyone knows the truth, just more BS from you as always.

    • 0
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      Kaye – where did you get your “facts” from ?

      Scott was right – there really was nothing of note to be found . The RC should have been on ASIC and APRA the incompetent government bureaucracies

    • 0
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      June 2015, the Senate had voted down a motion for the Abbott government to hold a royal commission into misconduct in the financial services industry.
      The Greens were supported in their motion by Nationals senator John Williams, who crossed the floor. Crossbenchers Glenn Lazarus and Jacqui Lambie sided with the Greens and Senator Williams while Bob Day and David Leyonhjelm voted with the government and the ALP.
      Fairfax Media understands Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and shadow treasurer Chris Bowen were not keen to help launch an investigation into the entire financial services sector.
      Labor senators, including Sam Dastyari, who had been a strong supporter for a royal commission into misconduct in the financial services sector, did not cross the floor. So while they say they wanted it they did not vote that way.

    • 0
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      Thank you for the real facts Adrianus

    • 0
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      Banks and politicians can’t be trusted. Any customer blithely doing business with them or believing them deserves what they get now. There are no excuses as we have been warned.

    • 0
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      One would have to wonder, if nothing of note was found, how come the high profile resignations and rush to revise policy and procedures? Just wondering.
      At least Adrianus gives credit where it is due, he commends the left for voting down the original call for an investigation, seems the left tried to save all that wasted money that the Libs. spent on the RC.

  5. 0
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    Gee I was right it was just a witch hunt.

    • 0
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      Please explain

    • 0
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      What else would you call it?

    • 0
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      You’re not answering my question.

    • 0
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      Yes, and a lot of heads need to roll

    • 0
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      Yes a witch hunt that found no witches. In others words they found nothing.

    • 0
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      The heads of a lot of greedy customers who got caught and lost their loot are the only heads that will roll.

    • 0
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      well for a start read this https://www.afr.com/opinion/editorials/those-who-act-for-customers-must-do-so-20190204-h1atl1

      and that is a right wing outlet, or at least that is my belief.

      there were crimes and the commissioner has taken the easy road not wanting to destroy everything (or was told) there is a clear indication of criminal activity as I read it.

      but the liberal Orwellian Ministry of Truth is hard at work convincing us otherwise.

    • 0
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      ‘greedy customers’? They invest their money in good faith on advice given by the institution they invest in, and are ripped off, and you call them greedy? Do you call bank CEOs greedy for getting into the business on the advice given and copping a hefty earner? Do you call those who gave the advice greedy for talking people into investing and then taking them down the garden path?

      You ‘righties’ are hilarious – and not just today – you proclaim from the rooftops the virtues of ‘business’ and the culture of money – but when people follow that route and are mislead and robbed, you say they are just greedy losers, but those who did the dirty deed are not.

      If it weren’t so painful for so many – the whole thing would be hilarious.

    • 0
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      Oh so easy to deal with your naïve childish comments
      Tell me oh not wise one :
      The poor public who invest their money and their hopes, invest in good faith on advice given by lefties like you, and are ripped off, and you call them greedy?
      Do you call those who gave the advice greedy for talking people into voting Labor, and then taking them down the garden path?

      No Trebor, I call all of them including you, stupid and greedy. Greedy because you don t get enough of trying to convince the public that your outdated ideas work

    • 0
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      Sorry to tell you Lotghario, I thought you would have worked it out for your self by now but no one is listening to your B–L S–T. Oh and what makes you think it was lefties handing out advice to bank customer’s, were you there in all their offices when this advice was given?.

    • 0
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      Misty, me thinks Lothario is a little peeved & name calling & angry because his top end of town mates have been caught thieving, lying, deceiving all because of greed & the excuse they use, looking after the stakeholders, bugger the investors. & now they’ve been caught out they may face criminal charges, one can only hope so, yes, Lothario is trying to baffle them with BS & playing down the corruption that has been exposed.
      And you are right, nobody is listening to him, actually we’re all most likely ROFL.

    • 0
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      Wrong on every front, as usual, Loathie – now toddle along and stop trying to make a name for yourself. You’ve got one already, but I won’t repeat it. Now we all know you love the attention like any good little troll – but it’s time for beddie-byes.

  6. 0
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    Lothario, Old Fart, rubbish as usual.

  7. 0
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    I have just finish reading the APRA. (you know that regulatory authority who supposed to work for use and make sure the financial institutions behave themselves) response to the RC interim report last October.

    The response is 20 pages long

    https://www.apra.gov.au/sites/default/files/submission_apra_response_to_interim_report_october_2018.pdf

    All they say about the naughties is they look for misconduct and that they do not penalize every misconduct as it may upset things.

    Not once in the document do they mention what they do if they find criminal misconduct. Actually the word “criminal” by itself wasn’t even mentioned. It would appear to them then that criminal conduct just doesn’t exist.

    It would appear to APRA that even criminal misconduct should not be penalised.

    Whoa! there are they saying if they see criminal conduct they do nothing about it? Technically criminal conduct should be reported to the police. If APRA don’t do this could it be said that they are knowingly aiding and abetting by not doing so which is a criminal offense itself.

    • 0
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      That is APRA that pushed through the Bank Bail In to take deposits if the banks mess up. They aren’t there for the customers obviously. Trust banks at your own peril.

    • 0
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      Isn’t charging dead people fees fraud?, and isn’t fraud a criminal offense?, if I committed fraud I am sure I would be charged and face jail time.

    • 0
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      It is if the executors notified the bank correctly with documentation and they continued charging fees afterwards.

    • 0
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      And has anyone evidenced notifying correctly, with appropriate documentation, but not succeeding in getting the bank to stop charging? I suspect not!

  8. 0
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    If we rob a bank we go to jail as we should, if the the bank robs you the CEO .gets paid up to fourteen million per year plus perks.Up till now it was condoned by the Federal Government think about it.

    • 0
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      rubbish .
      emotional nonsense . you been reading too much leftie garbage

    • 0
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      floss people could bring legal charges against theft but they don’t bother. Australian consumers are really lazy and expect authority to sort everything out. Bankers lie all the time. What is not to understand.

    • 0
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      Lothario must be a banker or work in the finance industry, why else would he condone what the banks have been doing.

    • 0
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      He’s a shareholder so he owns a bit of them. It’s about the money. Customers need to be very very careful when dealing with banks.

    • 0
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      Lothario is a troll – he always flames and abuses in place of discussion and shows zero respect for anyone else’s views. He’s a kid.. nothing more… don’t believe one word he says, especially about his cunning shareholdings.

  9. 0
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    Lothario you and O.G are what is wrong with Australia today, greedy and bloody stupid.

    • 0
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      You need to go for anger management therapy
      And while you’re at it , get an education . A basic economics course should do

    • 0
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      No floss. People using the banks are the problem. If they walked away then shareholders would start demanding the problem be fixed.

    • 0
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      You just need therapy, Loathie…. your private health cover that you love so much should handle it for you… just accept that you need help and don’t feel ashamed to ask for it… there’s no stigma attached to your being clinically insane…..

  10. 0
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    We all expected better from the Royal Commission but don’t be too disappointed, yet – we have to get the response from that weak, incompetent, half-wit treasurer, Josh Fryenberg. Add to the incompetent regulators ASIC and APRA and your disappointment will soon be complete.
    However, help is over the horizon – the month of May and you will be able to wreak your vengeance on that ‘freak’, the Coalition government; I know I am going to and relish every moment of it as I vote them into past history and may their demise be long and painful for them.

    Luckily, the grubby little hands of this 6 year failed despicable government will not be able to do much to allow those criminal bank parasites to get away with their larceny. Pity, if this was the 16th century there would quite a few bank heads loosing their heads on the ‘chopping block’. Perhaps, we will have the common sense and the will to elect a better government to do what is right and just and we can help in that by being very active and diligent to make sure they do what is right and just. They need to know that we, the people of this nation, will be monitoring closely their performance; we have had enough and will accept no more of bad governance. This we have to make known with a new government, simply, because we cannot let the ‘status quo’ continue. I did a ‘stock’ check on all the problems, the lies and the deceptions of this government and added all the important policies they should have implemented and did not and I find our nation in a perilous economic and social condition, and will be made more perilous by international instability. Strong, good government is what we have to have and our support of such a government is vital. A good government should never resort to expensive and drawn out Royal Commissions. Royal Commissions only demonstrates that a government has lost the ability to effectively govern and should consider resigning. I believe we are living in a period of our history where dramatic and exciting changes will take place in the way we are governed. I am not worried or concerned because I see hope for the ordinary people of this nation, a bright future and prosperity. I liken it to Germany in the 1920’s and 30′, from ruin to a nation active, motivated and becoming prosperous, sadly to lose that to an evil man named Adolf Hitler. The people stopped being involved in their country by being gullible to the promises of a madman; from the beginning they should have been more aware to what was happening and while they had ‘people’ power should have blocked the evil power of a very evil man. He did, however, have a vision for Germany, our government, on the other hand, is dull minded and without vision and I just hope we get someone with a vision and the courage, strength and wisdom to carry that vision to completion. SOMEONE, UNITE US TO BE A NATION WITH HEARTS FOR OUR FUTURE AND THE FUTURE OF OUR CHILDREN.

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