The Age reports
How Australia's richest person, mining heiress Gina Rinehart, secured a $US694 million ($764 million) loan from American taxpayers is surely one of the great ironies of the capitalist system, reports The Australian Financial Review.The rich, as they say, get richer.
The case is the latest example of a flaw in the United States political economy: what some see as crony capitalism.
...The Ex-Im Bank's loan to an Australian billionaire, who is worth $22 billion according to the 2013 BRW Rich 200 list, is symptomatic of a broader malaise in the US system. American policymakers and lawmakers appear captured by big business rent seekers, lobbyists and political donations.
Hancock Prospecting is not the only Australian company to benefit from America's, at times, peculiar capitalism.
QBE Insurance, the second-largest crop insurer in the US, has been a big recipient of federal crop insurance subsidies, which have tripled to about $US9 billion a year for the industry over the past decade.