Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant the accuracy of closed captions. These are derived automatically from the broadcaster's signal.
Lateline Business -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) now and a new concerns that low

interest rates could undermine

the economy are revealed in the

latest Reserve Bank Board minutes. Interest rates were increased earlier this month

for the first time in 18 months

after the RBA cited concerns

suggest there were about inflation. The documents

suggest there were Opposition

to the rate moves. With to the rate moves. With the

Phillip details finance correspondent details finance

Phillip Lasker. Australia's

Reserve Bank is taking up where

it left off before the global

seeing the Reserve financial crisis hit. We are

starting to shift back towards seeing the Reserve Bank

more of a focus on inflation,

and away from being concerned

about the downturn in the

economy. When they put up rates

a few weeks ago the board saw

an Australian economy

performing better than expected, and believed the

Asian region, which is bouncing

back is becoming more relevant

to Australia than struggling

developed economies like developed economies like the

United States. And despite

previous Government denials,

the Minister showed the board

did take account of stimulus

spending in its interest rate

deliberations. The board

recognises that fiscal stimulus

has already peaked and is

beginning to taper away. It

recognised that a rate rise

might be premature, but in the

end the cause for an increase

won. The board said:

Between the performance of

Australia and other developed

economies and the low interest rate setting:

Isn't it the case, Treasurer,

that the current expansionary

setting of fiscal policy is

also no longer necessary and

possibly imprudent? I mean

there they go again. They can't

stand the fact that the

stimulus was successful. The

Board is worried that the Board is worried that

global financial crisis hasn't

removed Australia's inflation

problem and it's concerned

about low interest rates

fuelling economic instability,

so they are going higher. I

don't see 100 basis points or

1% moves in the next few

months, I think they'll

probably move by 50 basis

points in a couple of weeks

time. And it all helped propel

the Australian dollar beyond 93

US cent. Well, there's been a

humble gesture from one

departing politician, and

another that wants to stay is

eating humble pie. The day

after formally resigning from

Opposition Leader Brendan parliament the former parliament the

Nelson took to the streets to

thank supporters in the North

Sydney electorate of Bradfield.

Dr Nelson will become Australia's Ambassador to the

European Union next year, and a

Bradfield by-election is

expected to be held next month.

Meanwhile after a failed

attempt for a safer seat,

Liberal frontbencher Peter

Dutton announced he'll recontest the Queensland

electorate of Dixon. I'm in a

case where for many of my

constituents I have tested

their Loity and support over

the last month. It's my job

now, between this point and the

next election to win back that

support, and faithing and

that's what I - faith, and

that's what I intend to do. He

attempted to win Liberal

pre-selection in the seat of

MacPherson, when the boundary

turned Dickson in a notional

Labor seat. Seven years after

the death of Dianne Brimble,

the man charged with her

manslaughter walked free from

court after the jury was unable

to reach a verdictment the

jurors have been discharged and

the court is yet to decide whether Mark Wilhelm will face

a retrial. More from court

reporter Liv Casben. Seven

years on and the case isn't

closed for Mark Wilhelm. You

must be frustrated that there's

no conclusion still? As he left

court his lawyer had little to

say to the media The matter is

before court, there won't be a comment. Dianne Brimble's

family wasn't there as the jury

was discharged but her

ex-husband and ex-partner are

are disappointed the case isn't

over. Both David and I and the

children and family have the conviction to see this conviction to see this through

to the endment the crown

alleged Dianne Brimble decide

of alcohol and the drug

Fantasy, and Mark Wilhelm

Fantasy, and Mark Wilhelm

encouraged her to take the drug

before having sex. Dianne

Brimble's naked body was found

crumpled on the floor in 2002.

The jury was asked to decide

whether he gave her the drug

knowing it was dangerous. The

offence maintained she could

have taken an additional dose

when Mark Wilhelm left the

cabin, Mark Wilhelm was on

board with friends. The case pitted friend against

pitted friend against friend.

Ryan Kuchel, and Leo Silvestri

evaded jail bay giving evidence

against Mark Wilhelm. Mark

Wilhelm showed no emotion as

the jury was discharged. The

judge told jurors:

It's now up to the Director It's now up to

decide whether Mark Wilhelm of Public Prosecutions to

should face a retrial. That

will be discussed when the case

returns to court in just under

three weeks time. We need to three weeks time. We need

feel confident and believe in

the system of justice, that we

will get to the matter of the

truth in the end. That's what truth in the end. That's

we are chasing. Out on we are chasing. Out on Bale

Mark Wilhelm continues to

maintain his innocence. And a

quick look at the weather, a

morning shower in Melbourne,

afternoon storms for Darwin,

fine and mild in the other

capital cities. That's all from

us, Lateline Business coming up

in a moment. If you'd like to

look at the interview with

Smith Stephen Smith or review

stories and transcripts, go to

the web site at abc.net.au/lateline. Here is abc.net.au/lateline. Here

Lateline Business with Ali

Moore. Thanks, tonight -

Woolworths reports and

disappoints: Q1 sales were

good, but not great. The market

was expecting a really striking

number. Pacific Brands a

victim of the surging

dollar. We were in a tight

position in our company, as we

all knew, when the dollar was

down, and we had to make tough decisions. Can ethics and

profits survive the global

financial crisis? Business is

at a low point of public trust

all over the world. I happen to

think capital is the greatest

think invented. I think we are

it. in danger now of really killing

To the markets, To the markets, following

Wall Street's strongly, the All

Ords raced up in early trade,

losing ground later in the day,

but end the 1% higher, the ASX

200 gained 53 points. The

Nikkei rose 1% after a solid

wave of US company wave of US company earnings,

Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up

with renewed confidence about

China, but in London the banks

led the FTSE lower in morning

trade. Retail giant Woolworths

tabled its slowest first

quarter sales growth since

listing on the Australian share

market. A 20% drop in fuel

prices dented supermarket

gauges, but Chief gauges, but Chief Executive

Michael Luscombe is confident

for the full year and is

confident the company's

expansion into the hardware

market won't be derailed by competition concerns. Desley

Coleman reports. Woolworths is

the first of the major

retailers to table quarterly

sales figures for the new

financial year. Turnover is up

4.2%, to 13.3 billion. It was a

really good solid quarter, good

start to the year. It was a

really good quarter for

Australia and New Zealand

families that price s for

basics like food are coming

down. At a divisional level the

Australian food and liquor

business was up 7.8%, shoppers

spending more to take advantage

of Woolworths loyalty program

linked with Qantas's frequent fliers, Big W increased sales

by 5.8, hotels with modest

gains, the drop in the petrol

price saw the value of sales

fall 16.4%. The market was

looking for a total sales

growth of 5%. Q1 sales were

certainly good, but not great.

The market had been expecting a

really striking number. We saw

yesterday the share price run

2.5% as the investors clamoured

to get on board. When it failed

to meet expectationses on the

headline result we saw stock

trade. Chief Executive Michael

Luscombe reiterated sales

forecasts of high single digit

growth but was quick to point

out the economy was

fragile Lets get through the

first anniversary. Let's get

through the program we had in

December, let's get through one

or two interest rate rises, depending on what the Reserve

Bank decides to do, and let's

reassess the situation come January. But the Woolworths

boss is unlikely to reassess

the retailer's plans to break

into the hardware market

despite a review by despite a review by the

Competition Watchdog. The ACCC

last week raised concerns over

Woolworths's joint venture plan

with Lowes to take over

hardware supplier Gdansk, but

the Retailers Association is

concerned. I hope the ACCC will

see this for what it is, a

see this for what it is, a slap

in the face for competition, a

narrowing and constriction of the hardware market in

Australia, and something that

at the end of the day will be

bad for consumers and push up

prices in the medium to long

term. Grant Crowle has been

involved in the independent

hardware business for more than

15 years and is worried the

Woolworths purchase of Danks

will cut supply options in

half It lessens our ability to

get better pricing because of

the reduction of competition

from our suppliers. Happy for Woolies to compete in the

market as we think we offer a

good offering and independent

hardware store owners do. The

customers out there are looking

for better service than they

achieve from Bunnings or a

Woolies-type brand of

store. Michael Luscombe insists

the company is cooperating with

the ACCC but for hardware

operators like Grant Crowle, it

will take more than Woolworths

cooperation to convince him the

planned joint venture won't

crush independent outlets. The

maker of some icon irk brands,

chesty bonds and Holeproof has

fallen victim to the dollar. At

its AGM Pacific Brands revealed

the rise in currency would cost

the company. It follows a

series of bad news

announcements. It restructured

its business, including the

sacking of 1200 workers. Neal

Woolrich reports. It's been a tumultuous year for Pacific

Brands, which in February

announced plans to cut 1800

jobs and move a substantial

part of its manufacturing

activities offshore. It wasn't

an easy few weeks, I'll admit to that. Pacific to that. Pacific Brands Annual General Meeting in Melbourne

has been a more subdued affair

as the company reported its

transformation plans are on

track to deliver cost savings

of $150 million a year. Chief

Executive Sue Morphet says the

restructure is being

implemented seamlessly and will result in lower sales numbers

as product lines are cut, but

greater profitability. We have

removed about 150 brands from

the portfolio so far. Many are

small, so probably not all that

material. We have still got

more to remove, probably about

50 over this financial year,

they'll be the harder ones,

because there's some business

attached, they'll need to be

migrated and moved around. We

think it's been a positive 12

months and the company is better shape than

better shape than previously.

It was touch and go for the

company. Someone may have come

in and taken them over. Clearly

they had to take strong

measures. However the meeting

was not free from controversy.

The company revealed that its

foreign exchange hedging book

is sitting on a $40 million

loss because of the surge in

the Australian dollar. Pacific

Brands hedged transactions

until December at 67 US cent,

25 cent below the current

exchange rate. We are not in

the business of predicting

dollars up or down, and we were

in a tight position in our

company, as we all knew, when

the dollar was down, and we had

to make tough decisions, one

was to shore up against the

fact that it would drop further. Upsetting small

shareholders was the quarter of

a billion capital raising in

which they say institutions

were gin preferential treatment Our policy at

treatment Our policy at the Australian Shareholders

Association is the company

should have renouncible rights

issues, shareholders should

have a chance to take as many

shares in an issue as they can,

we think a retail shareholder

has been disadvantaged by this

and other company actions in

not taking as many shares as

they could. We were

oversubscribed with institutional shareholders and

retail shareholders. We had to

make decisions to shore up our

capital base, and shore it up

in a tight credit

market. Looking ahead the rising currency will rising currency will hurt

Pacific Brands bottom line. Sue

Morphet says the company has

not suffered lasting damage

from its controversial

restructuring plan. There was a

tiny bit the the beginning as

you expect. There's not you expect. There's not that

amount of negativity without

some sort of blip in people's

review of who you are, and review of who you are, and what

sort of commercial engagement

they'd like to have with you.

When they realise there was

nothing else in the market ever

made in Australia, they surely

got back on and did business

with us. Pacific Brands says

first-half earnings are likely

to be lower than last year but

second half results will be

higher as transformation

benefits flow through. The

cautious outlook statement and

revelation of hedging losses

saw Pacific Brands shares lose

5% closing on $1.39, still more

than 10 times the stock's low

point in march of 12.7 cent. I

spoke earlier to Charlie Aitken

from Southern Cross Equities. A

good day, a bit of currency

play at work on the markets.

Ment the currency is the

dominant tinge, no doubt about

that. Every time the currency

is up, the market is up, every

time it's down, the market is

down. The Aussie dollar is up,

the index up 50-odd points. The

financials helping. Not so much

the financials, banks up a bit,

dominated by resources. We saw

a bit of switching out of the

major banks into the BHP

Billiton and Rios. Resources

outpaced banks. Looking at resources oil search shares

started trading after a

surprise $900 million capital

raising, was the reaction as

expected? I think so, they

could have been a bit lower,

the market was caught offguard

by the pull out of the

strategic investor of Abu

Dhaibu, capital raising and

cost blowouts at the PNG-Exxon. They could have been down. It

was surprising. On the other

side Challenger Finance jumped

6%, well above market. What

drove that. The listed wealth

managers have been subject to a

variety of takeover rumours, I

mean there's a theory in the

market that I believe that the

major banks will move into

wealth management. There was

data out today from challenger

that suggested their funds

under management had improved,

which surprised the market of

the broader theme underpinning

the wealth managers is one of

mergers and acquisition

s. Stockland, property group

held an AGM and say they are on

track to meet forecast profit.

This helped the stock.

Stockland were up a little

more than half a per sent. LPT

is a part of the currency

trade. Every time the currency

is up foreign investors come to

Australia, the LPTs have yield

and have a good correlation to

the Australian dollar.

Stocklands words were

encouraging, the Aussie encouraging, the Aussie dollar,

I think had a bigger role in

the share price. Into there's

no end in sight sight to

currency being a dominant

theme. Not in the short term,

but the currency is dominating

everything in equities, maybe a

few stacks are ahead of a

genuine valuation. I'm wary,

but I don't think it stops in

the short-term. Charlie Aitken,

thanks for joining us. To other

major movers, BHP Billiton up

as the Western Australian

Premier reveals he knows of two

Chinese companies interested in buying the

buying the company's Ravensthorpe Nickel

Mine. Fairfax climbed nearly

2.5% after rchl upgraded

ratings from companies set to

benefit from increased revenue

from job adds. West Australian

Newspapers up 2.5%, Moly Mines

surged after announcing a $750

million deal with a Chinese

company to develop its Pilbara

project. On currency,

speculation interest rates

would be raised pushed the

Aussie dollar past 93 US

cent. On commodity markets,

gold up again, trading above

$1,065. In New York, oil is up

for the ninth day, worth $80 US a barrel.

As the big global investment

banks return to profit, bonuses

are paid while political

leaders call for restraint,

what role do ethics play in the

business world. Were business world. Were those

behind the subprime disaster

bankrupt, do ethics and profits

work together. A man that spent

the best part of his academic

career asking that last

question is Professor Ed

Freeman, usually based at the Dardin school of business in

the the University of Virginia,

he's visiting Australia as a Professor of ethics Professor of ethics at

Melbourne University, and

joined me in the studio tonight. Professor Freeman,

welcome to Lateline Business.

Was the global financial crisis

a crisis of ethics. I think at

its heart it is a crisis of

ethics, because we have

forgotten that business and

ethics have to go together. We

see business today far too much

in terms of the money just

profits and have forgotten

about what the purpose of a

business can be. That, I think

is a problem. Until we put

business and ethics together

we'll have another crisis that

will be like this one. Is it

the system and the way it's

designed or the way it's

manipulated. It's a bit of

both. It's the idea that what

makes a business successful is

that people go out and compete,

and the purpose of a business

is to make money for

shareholders. That's the story,

that's the problem. And then

people enact that story, they

think the story is true, they

go out and do it. Any business

worth their salt knows what

makes a business successful is

you have to have products a

customer wants, employees

engaged in the business,

suppliers who want to make you

better, you have to have - be a

good citizen in the community

so the community doesn't

regulate you out of existence.

Profits and shareholder value

as an outcome, it's mixed up,

we see it as the purpose.

Relate that to the core of this

problem, the big financial institutions particularly in

the US, it seems before we call

the crisis over, the

merry-go-round started again,

we have seen investment banks

report big profits with big

bonuses, are we on the same

treadmill. A CEO friend

treadmill. A CEO friend of mine

in the US said it best. Saying

we weren't hurt much by this

subprime thing, he said we

didn't see how lending money to

the customers who couldn't

afford to pay it back did any

good. Somewhere the banks had

forgotten that they exist to

create value for their

customers and employees and

others as well as shareholders.

When those things get out of

line, when you trade-off one

for the other, you don't have

sustainable value, you don't have sustainable value for

sharlds as we have seen,

shareholder val - shareholders,

as we see, shareholder value is

destroyed in bank after

bank. It's starting to be

rebuilt with generous help from

the Government. I wonder where

the incentive for change is in

the era we have of too big to

fail. That's a good point. We

need to think about maybe not

too big to fail, but too big to

mess up, if you are a manager,

you know. We have a real

obligation to our customers and

employees as well as

shareholders. We can't mess

this up. Because once you get

into the lifeboat stuff, which

is who are you going to throw

out of a lifeboat, well, we'll

keep bear, we'll throw Lehman

Brothers out, those aren't

really very interesting

questions, nobody knows enough,

either from a public policy

standpoint or economic

standpoint to know the right

answers to those questions, it

seems to me. So the financial

firms have to get back to

understanding what is the

purpose of what we are doing.

How does our purpose affect our customers and our suppliers,

and our employees, and how are

we doing to get people engaged

in the business model in the business model again.

Business is at the low point of

public trust all over the

world. I happen to think

capitalism is the greatest

think invented. I think we are

in danger of killing it. How do

you get the questions to be

asked. Is it something you regulate, is it about

education, how do you change

it. The change you are talking

about seems to me to be

fundamental issues of culture,

values, motivation, they are difficult things to values, motivation, incentives,

change. They are, and you

change on a lot of different

levels and it's probably a

generational change. A good

point is I see a lot of

business students that want to

go out - yes, they want to make

money, but do something in the

world that makes a difference. world that makes a

I think that's a good I think that's a good thing.

You have to change in

education, change public policy

where we have to expect

companies to not only make

money, but make money and do

the right thing. You can

regulate that. I am not sure

you can, I am not sure how you

regulate those things. I'm

certain that we need a conversation among people that

think about business, among

media, academics, business

people, about how business and

ethics get connected. If we

leave them disconnected, I fear

the next time we won't be able

to work our way out of it. So

when you look at the ethical

basis of business, when you

look at the morality, how far

do you see it going. For

example, the young whiz-kid

offered a lot of money to

create products to make his

company big products, is he

meant to think all the way

through to the poor household

that is unable to afford the

mortgage he's packaging off to

sell to an investment bank. How

far us does the moral

responsibility go I think it

goes far. People are

responsible for the affect on

actions on others, that's a

basic principle. In business

sometimes we like to think

responsibility ends at the

transaction, I think the people

who did some financial

engineering, that didn't take

effect - into account what the

effects of these products were

on customers and employees

should be held accountable. The

whole board is whole board is actable. Will

they be this, is the question.

Six months ago everyone thought

this would be a catalyst for

great change, as I said earlier

it seems so much now is just

back to the future. I think if

the finance industry doesn't

begin to change itself,

unfortunately what will happen, unfortunately what will

we are beginning to see it,

we'll get regulation,

regulation is always one size

fits all. It often drives out

innovation. I'm pessimistic

about being able to regulate

this, I'm optimistic about

capitalism in a sense, dealing

with its own problems. We see

so many businesses out trying

to do this, that again, for

every Enron, there are 10,000

companies out trying to do the

right thing, try to create

value for its customers,

sometimes we put too much

emphasis on the finance part,

and not enough, you know, on

the old-fashioned business, you

have to make something people

want ultimately, and you have

to pretty much tell them the

truth about it or they won't

come back. Ethics and profits

have to go together. I get

asked all the time, you know,

should a business have ethics

or profits. I think it's a

little like do I want a heart

or do I want a young. I'm in

favour of having both of those

things. Professor Freeman,

you very much. thanks for joining us. Thank

Australia's Sovereign Wealth

Fund joined the growing list of

Telstra shareholders raising

concerns about the Government's

proposal to break up the telco,

the Government wants Telstra to

split its wholesale and retail

businesses for competition

reasons, the future fund, which

is Telstra's biggest

shareholder told a Senate

Inquiry that the idea poses

risks for the share price. When

the Government indicates how it

intends to deal with Telstra

and the assets Telstra owns and

the terms on the transfer of

the company to the NBN, that's

the issue going to the

fundamental value, that's what fundamental value, that's

we are waiting for

clarification on. The Future

Fund was set up to carry

superannuation payments for

public servants, it owns 11% of

Telstra theirs, which is worth

around $4 billion. The Reserve

Bank erased doubts about desires to increase interest

rates in coming months, the

minutes of the October board

meeting reveals how firmly the

bank believes the expansionary

setting of interest rates will

cause inflaysry problems if ket

kept in place too long.

Robility reports. The Reserve

Bank warned that improved

economic conditions were making

the cash rate of 3%

unsustainable. When the first

rate rise came, it wasn't a

huge surprise, what few

realised was the level of the

stimulatory interest rate banks anxiety about such a

position. According to the

meeting: minutes of this month's

A comment that pushed the

Australian dollar to a 15-month

high above 93 US cent as money

market traders took it to mean

one thing When they announced

the increase in the cash rate

two weeks ago the tone of the

commentary was balanced. Today,

using the word imprudent is a

step away from that, say

emergency, to suggest the cash

rate level is wrong. The reason

it's wrong is the strength in

the Australian economy which

has the Reserve Bank concerned

about inflation.

I thought the comment that

inflation is doing to trough

significantly higher than the

current forecast was the key.

The Reserve Bank officials

sound like they are worried

about having inflation problems

next year if they don't adjust

policy soon. The Reserve Bank

minutes expressed concern that:

Well, the fundamental concern

that the Reserve Bank has at

the moment is in terms of

housing and house prices, it

knows demand for housing is

super strong and supplin't

keeping up. As the Reserve Bank

revealed worries about interest

rates and inflation, there was more evidence about the

strength of the recovery in the

Australian economy. Merchandise

imports jumped 6% last month in

seasonally adjusted terms,

reflecting growing confidence

of Australians to spend. The

import system is in beat with

the upbeat view of the world by

the Reserve Bank. Imports have

been inflated by the higher

price of oil. We have got some

car imports in those figures as

well. And to some extent, that

is due to the Federal

Government's policy of giving

tax breaks to small businesses.

It will be a big surprise if

interest rates don't go up

again in November, with Craig

James and Stephen Walters in

agreement that over the next

12-18 months the Reserve Bank

will move the cash rate back to

a neutral setting of about 5%.

Tomorrow's business diary:

I'll speak to Qantas I'll speak to Qantas Airways Leigh Clifford on tomorrow

night's program. A look at the

news in the business sections news in the business

of the papers, Herald Sun -

prospects of interest rate

rises on Cup day looms large.

Australian - dollar surging

towards parity with the Green back. Australian Financial

Review - mounting concerns

about the Telstra about the Telstra split. Sydney

Morning Herald - Woolworths

results. That's all for

tonight. As I leave FTSE is

trading down 4 points, or 0.09

of 1%, Dow futures showing an

opening up 51 points or 0.9 of

1%. If you want to review the

program visit the web site abc.net.au/latelinebusiness

where you can watch the program

online or down load as a

vodcast. We'd love your

feedback. Email address is latelinebusiness@your.abc.net.au.

I'm Sue Morphet, goodnight. I'm Sue Morphet, goodnight. -

Ali Moore. Goodnight. Ali Moore. Goodnight.

THEME MUSIC

It was the 19th of August

and President Hamid Karzai had an election to win. It was a contest both he and his allies in the West

hoped would legitimatise their efforts

to create a democracy in Afghanistan. I hope that tomorrow, our countrymen, millions of them,

the country's stability, will come out to vote for for the country's progress. for the country's peace, things turned out. But that's not the way Now there are allegations of vote rigging and corruption. very, very bad, The election in Afghanistan has been the people, a lot of corruption.

stage what the level of fraud is. There is no way to know at this Nobody else knows. I do not know. there was widespread fraud. I can only say that though, The idea of free and fair elections,

made and broken. isn't the only promise that has been To win the hearts and minds of the people,

the West promised a fistful of dollars and more. Roads, hospitals and schools were all going to be rebuilt with billions of dollars of aid money. Reconstructing or building anew 680 schools. But eight years on there's scant evidence of the rebuilding program. People go hungry and children are attending school outdoors

as the snow falls around them.

These days in the capital, only one business is booming - crime and corruption. the luxury villa market, financed by where's the money gone? This week on Four Corners, we ask, reassessing what life would be like And why are so many Afghans

under the Taliban?

Kabul, winter, 2009.

the dollar trail. We have come to Afghanistan to follow The billions in international aid. cast living in Dollaristan. The mysterious fortune of an upstart where do they go, Where do the dollars come from,

in schools, in hospitals? how much is really invested where an ever poor population We are about to discover a country

the authorities. has lost all confidence in ground every day. A country where the Taliban gain This morning in a secured zone,

a suicide bomber. an American convoy was attacked by The marines have lost one man. They're panicking.

They seem afraid of being attacked by someone in the crowd. Four passers-by were killed by the blast. 80% of the victims of the Taliban are innocent civilians.

War is becoming more intense and poverty is at an all-time high. Afghanistan remains one of the four poorest countries in the world

and people in the streets do not believe the billions of international aid will change their fate. TRANSLATION: Money? What money? The money does not reach the people. It stays up there. It's in the pockets of the government. Where is the money?!

Starving, out-of-work people meet every morning on this crossroads. They wait here for days, hoping to earn $3 for a day's work. Did you work yesterday? No. The day before? I haven't worked in a week.

TRANSLATION: Times were better during the war.

The poor would die from bullets. Today they die of hunger. My children and I haven't eaten anything in two days. I swear I haven't eaten anything in two days!

People are dying of hunger. Who's going to help us anyway? If I tell you I'm starving, will you help me?

Where are the achievements put forward by the donating countries?

We want to see the schools that were a priority of international aid. Here is one found at random in a working class neighbourhood of the capital. It is roll call for the girls. In the south of the country, girls are attacked by the Taliban. But they continue to flock to school.

They are determined and come in numbers - in large numbers. Here, a few minor details are missing for the situation to be perfect. Details like walls and a roof. TRANSLATION: Look at our working environment.

There's nothing more to add. We're outside. There are no chairs, no tables. How can the girls learn anything in this cold? They only want to stay warm, not to listen to the teacher. How do you want them to learn? To grow? How can they be happy? Winter is coming and the morning is cold. A light snow has started to fall.

TRANSLATION: If it goes on we'll have to leave, but for now it's not much, it's alright. When the snow falls like this we stay outside. Can you study under the snow? TRANSLATION: No. But we don't have a choice. It's true. Afghan students are back in huge numbers. But where are the schools? The hundreds of schools allegedly built thanks to international aid? Reconstructing or building anew 680 schools. We contact USAID,