Macquarie Banker names Hitler as skilled leader

August 19, 2012 by J-Wire Staff
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Macquarie Bank director Michael Hawker is alleged to have described Adolf Hitler as a skilled leader when addressing business leaders in Sydney.

Michael Hawker

Melbourne’s Herald Sun has reported that the banker, a former Australian Rugby Union representative player, had been discussing leadership qualities.

The Herald Sun quoted the Australian Financial Review which published Hawker in an article entiled “Lessons from Adolf” as having said  “you have to paint a great picture of your vision for the future if you want people to follow.Hitler painted a great picture … Well, maybe not from another point of view.”

Anton Block, chairman of the Anti-defamation Commission told J-Wire: “Hawker’s choice of words is unfortunate. To be a great leader, one needs to seek consensus. Invoking Adolph Hitler is sure to be divisive.

Hitler had leadership qualities but surely will go down in history as a homicidal murderer.”

The Executive Director of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, Peter Wertheim, said the comments were “beyond belief, especially coming from a business leader”.

“If Michael Hawker was accurately quoted, his message was that Hitler’s vision of the future inspired people to follow him and marked him as a great leader”, Wertheim said. “Well, the German people followed Hitler’s evil, racist vision alright, and it brought about their utter ruin. Their country was flattened, occupied and divided, and it took their nation generations to recover. They ravaged the rest of Europe in a war and genocide in which 60 million people were killed, the majority of them innocent civilians, and millions more suffered. Vision and leadership are merely illusions if they lack a proper ethical foundation”.

Wertheim suggested that Hawker visit the Jewish Museums in Sydney and Melbourne to obtain a more realistic understanding of the nature of Hitler’s ‘vision’ and leadership. “Michael Hawker might also find it helpful to read a good history book about Nazi Germany and the Second World War”, Wertheim added.

The Herald Sun reported that Macquarie Bank had refused to confirm as to the accuracy of the AFR quote  or “address concerns the comments were offensive”.

Federal Labor MP Michael Danby told J-Wire: “I think that he realised he was making a goose of himself. Putting an argument the Nazi paradigm is a surefire way of losing it. We have recently commemorated the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the Bomber Command. 2,500 members of the command were killed during WWII. Their families will surely not agree with Mr Hawker’s choice of a ‘skilled leader'”.


15 Responses to “Macquarie Banker names Hitler as skilled leader”
  1. Michael says:

    I am hardly surprised that a banker spots Hitler as a worthy leader in Australia of a recent National Anti-Racist Strategy -what I am really wondering at is presenting Hon. M. Danby as a “Jewish politician” in The Herald Sun article mentioned with your site: till a date, your respondent somehow suggested that the Member of the Federal Parliament is serving all his voters equally if even of the Jewish enclave in Melbourne.

    Michael Kerjman

  2. Otto Waldmann says:

    And why is it that only the Jewsih community is reacting to this offensive statememnt.
    I would like to see leaders of the Sudanese community, Croatian, Hungarian, even Chinese or, why not the brave Palestinians and their religious leaders, actually why not the entire lot of dinner guests at those magnificent Parliament House Ethnic Workouts (PHEW) have a go. Unless it is only the perennial winging Jews who seem to be affected by nazi notions.
    And what of the Bankers’ Association !? Can they read actual text or only figures !!??
    That figures.

    Oh, I forget, the other ethnic dinner-friends were busy demonstrating in Hyde Park…..

  3. Bernie says:

    Michael Hawker isn’t exactly alone. Back in 1999 Time magazine ran a vote for the greatest man of the 20th Century which went on for a few months leading up to 2,000. Adolf was pipped out by Albert Einstein, but only just. Maybe all the thousands who voted for him should also be sent to see a shrink?

  4. lynn says:

    Hitler was a very inefficent leader who caused much waste and confusion in germany during wartime.
    Hitler was excessively loyal to his old nazi mates who were over promoted and never sacked even when obviously incompetent or alcaholic

  5. Otto Waldmann says:


    Sure as 380 bus to Bondi Juction the Jews reacted to the brilliant financial brains comments about a certain Adolf Hitler.

    Yet the same Hitler should be of concern well outside the 380 bus route.

    I would like to see our multicultural dinner co-guests at Parliament House feed on the moron’s utterings.
    I expect the Ugandan community leaders, the Chinese, Vietnamese, Hungarian, Croatian, Sri Lankan, Indian, the brave Palestinians say something about this incident. This is NOT a Jewish issue but a universal one.
    And what of the Australian Bankers Association !!! Is “our” Mr. Michael Hawker one of their Members at all. If so, then they should say something about the monstruosities this bloke can produce, apart from the stupendous profits Macquarie produces. If he is not part of their membership then Michael dummy half in the field of ethics, should not be a bank director. I reckon he should not be one on account of his moral deficit.
    Why is it that Jews have to carry alone the can of ethical responsibilities while watched in bemusement and apathy by the balance of human “fraternity” !!!???

  6. Otto Waldmann says:

    Just as interesting is to find out how the group Mr. Hawker , no doubt top bloke, addressed reacted to this important business personality’s informed comments in the way expected of ethical principles.
    I know how I would have tackled the front rower of our banking fraternity if present at the “motivation” little “do”…..

    Would the obvious lack of reaction from Macquarie Bank reveal approval of their Director’s views, his “intellectual’ make-up, or are we desling with a total indifference to an offence, admittedly of NO financial nature, or maybe their complete wonder at the fuss caused by all “these” winging, noisy Jews…..

    • Rita says:

      “Would the obvious lack of reaction from Macquarie Bank reveal approval of their Director’s views, his “intellectual’ make-up, or are we desling with a total indifference to an offence, admittedly of NO financial nature, or maybe their complete wonder at the fuss caused by all “these” winging, noisy Jews…..”

      Probably all of the above 😉

    • Rita says:

      “Would the obvious lack of reaction from Macquarie Bank reveal approval of their Director’s views, his “intellectual’ make-up, or are we desling with a total indifference to an offence, admittedly of NO financial nature, or maybe their complete wonder at the fuss caused by all “these” winging, noisy Jews…..”

      Probably all of the above 😉

  7. Ian says:

    The fact that Hawker felt comfortable about making such comments to his “peers” suggests a lot about the cut of the man but also about the culture at Macquarie Bank and the culture of his audience. Personally I don’t think Hawker is fit to remain a director of Macquarie Bank and if Macquarie Bank think otherwise then they are clearly sending a message to the Australian community about their corporate social responsibility or lack thereof. I don’t do business with Macquarie Bank nor am I a shareholder and this latest incident will ensure that this remain the case for a long while to come. Perhaps the Board and the other Directors should take a good hard look in the mirror and give the St. James Ethics centre a call.

  8. Rita says:

    Would that be the Macquarie Bank which made Sydney Airport one of the most expensive airports in the world – and not the best by far?

    Would that be the Macquarie Bank on whose payroll the now Foreign Minister, formerly Premier of NSW, Bob Carr was? (And perhaps still is?)

    • Shirlee says:

      THE NSW government will save at least $460,000 a year for as long as Bob Carr remains in Federal Parliament.

      A spokesman for the Premier, Barry O’Farrell, yesterday confirmed the entitlements would be suspended for as long as Mr Carr, 64, held federal office.

      Mr Carr, who served as premier for 10 years until 2005, will also have his state pension suspended as required under the Parliamentary Contributory Superannuation Act 1971.

      • Rita says:

        thanks for that link: “….Mr Carr… received $418,480 last financial year, $468,403 in 2009-10 and $464,210 in 2008-09 in entitlements for travel, a car and driver, a city office and staff and telephone costs…”

        I wonder how much the Macquarie Bank paid/pays him in addition of what we pay him via our federal taxes now.

        I fear not that his life style will be cramped by this good decision of the O’Farrell government.

  9. PATRICIA says:


  10. victor says:

    If you were to ask members of any community what sort of business person would describe Hitler as a “Great leader” the answer you would expect is “A Banker”.these comments, as reported disgrace the name of Michael Hawker and Macquarie Bank
    Hitler was a leader. An evil leader. A meglomaniacal leader. A poisonous leader. a murderous leader. Use adjectives like these. But not great.
    Bellevue Hill

  11. Paul Winter says:

    If Macquarie Bank director Hawker thinks that HItler was a good manager, then two things follow. Hawker is unfit to be a director because he believes that using force to compel workers to follow his directives is acceptable and that he believes that he is right in all matters. It also displays an abysmal ignorance of Hitler’s inability to delegate, the fanaticism he displayed in trying to achieve his goal and his disregard for the welfare of the people he needed to try to succeed.

    We don’t need him the visit the Sydney Jewish Museum. Maquarie Bank should send him to a psychiatrist to assess him for psychopathy, and if he displayed those traits, to get rid of him.

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