In conversation with Adele Ferguson

Adele Ferguson will be in conversation with Andrew Leigh on Adele's new book Banking Bad: How Corporate Greed and Broken Governance Failed Australia.

Few people were more instrumental in bringing about the Hayne Banking Royal Commission than journalist Adele Ferguson. Through her exposes in print and on television, she pursued the truth about funds mismanagement, fraud, lack of probity, and the hard-sell culture that took over the finance industry after deregulation in the 1980s.

But it wasn't just light-touch regulators and crooked bankers growing fat on bonuses she put under the spotlight. It was also their victims - men and women who had lost everything, and had no recourse when they discovered empty accounts, egregious fees, forged documents and broken promises.

Now in Banking Bad, Ferguson tells the full story of the power imbalance, toxic culture and cover-ups. She describes the long fight for justice by whistleblowers, victims and political mavericks, and she looks at the outcomes of the royal commission - the falls from grace, the damaging hubris, the scathing assessment of the regulators, and the colossal compensation bill - an estimated $10 billion.

Finally, she asks whereto from here? In May 2019, the Coalition government, which resisted calls for a royal commission, was re-elected. Bank stocks surged and lending regulations were loosened. Will it all be business as usual from now on, or have our financial executives learned that their wealth cannot come at the expense of ordinary Australians?

Adele Ferguson AM is a multi-award winning senior business writer and columnist for The Age, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Australian Financial Review. She is a regular guest reporter on ABC's Four Corners and 7.30, and is the author of the bestselling unauthorised biography Gina Rinehart: The untold story of the richest woman in the world. With more than 20 years' experience, Adele has received eight Walkley awards, including a Gold Walkley, two Gold Quill Awards, two Gold Kennedy Awards, a Logie, and the Graham Perkin Journalist of the Year award.

Dr Andrew Leigh MP is the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury, Shadow Assistant Minister for Charities and Federal Member for Fenner in the ACT. He holds a PhD in public policy from Harvard, and his latest book is Randomistas: How Radical Researchers Changed Our World.

The vote of thanks will be given by David Crowe, the chief political correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. David is a regular commentator on national affairs on the ABC's Insiders program, the Nine Network, Sky News and ABC Radio National.

Pre-event book signings will be available from 5:30pm and again after the event. This event is in association with Harry Hartog Bookshop and books will be available to purchase.