Letter to Sydney Morning Herald in response to Weekend Business article on 23 January

24 January 2010

Dear Sir 

Macquarie Group strongly rejects the claim of your Business columnist, Ian Verrender, in his Saturday column (23/1/10) that in 2008 Macquarie "was in danger of collapse". Mr Verrender's comments are wrong and he has disregarded all the public information concerning our strong balance sheet and cash position. Throughout the crisis Macquarie remained profitable with significant excess liquidity and surplus capital.

The Australian Government introduced a guarantee as part of a coordinated global response to the financial crisis. To suggest the actions of the Australian Government, or any other, were initiated for the benefit of a single institution is simply misleading and wrong.

In Australia, more than 200 financial institutions - not all banks - have been covered by the guarantee. For accessing the guarantee Macquarie pays the government an annual fee, currently in excess of $200 million. 

Mr Verrender has again missed the significance of global events by failing to recognise Australia is part of a global financial system; not separate to it.

Yours sincerely

Greg Ward
Chief Financial Officer
Macquarie Group