This morning, prime minister Malcolm Turnbull announced a royal commission into misconduct in the financial services sector.
The commission will report back in February 2019, and will examine misconduct by financial services entities and their employees, and the adequacy of Australian laws and regulations over the sector.
It took the PM about five minutes into his press conference to get to this particular detail, after going on about all the things the government was already doing and how a royal commission hadn't been necessary.
He didn't seem too keen on it, though, and made it obvious that it was all about politics.
"Now this royal commission’s establishment will end the uncertainty and speculation," he said. "It will conduct an inquiry in a thorough and conventional fashion and in so doing safeguard the integrity of our banks and our other financial institutions, thereby ensuring Australia’s confidence and trust in this critical industry is well founded."
The PM was facing the prospect of the Nationals teaming up with the Greens, Labor, and some of the cross bench, to pass legislation for a banking inquiry in the Senate and potentially in the House of Representatives, while the government doesn't have an absolute majority.
And then the banks came out on Thursday and backed the royal commission they had long opposed.
So that was that, and now (almost) everyone is taking credit for the victory.
Labor says it was them wot dun it, almost two years ago.
Pauline Hanson says she is responsible, as she called for a royal commission into banking when she entered the Senate 18 months ago.
The Australian Greens, however, wants everyone to know that it has been pushing for the royal commission into banks for almost THREE years.
Sidenote: In the middle of the debate on marriage equality amendments yesterday, Liberal senator James Paterson said that if you wanted to know what Labor policy would be in five years, just look at Greens policy today, to which Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young responded by yelling across the chamber: "I'll pay that!"
On the PM's Facebook and Twitter, there is no information about the royal commission (at the time of publication) other than mentioning an "important announcement".
So why can't the PM claim credit for something his own government has just announced?
Well, there are simply too many recent examples of the PM saying the government would not hold a royal commission.
Just ... So. So. Many.
And this is just in the last week and a bit. Seriously.
He just kept ruling it out. Again and again.
And how does he now explain the change in policy?
"Well you know government's policy remains the same until it's changed," Turnbull said.
"Obviously, there's been a lot of changes in the political environment here. We've got two by-elections underway, our numbers are down in the House of Representatives.
"You all understand the political circumstances and our job is to manage these issues and lead on these issues in a way that protects the national economic interest of Australia and all Australians."
Essentially, the PM would have gotten away with no royal commission had it not been for pesky Section 44 of the constitution, which forced Barnaby Joyce and John Alexander out of the parliament and into by-elections.
Josh Taylor is a Senior Reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.
Contact Josh Taylor at email@example.com.
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