William Lovern yesterday yesterday offered a “Pulitzer Prize-winning story”, and said he was ready to file in the United States a $15 trillion antitrust class action against the world’s biggest banks.

That’s right, $15 trillion. Or, as Lovern details in his 14-page letter to Commonwealth Bank retail banking boss Hugh Harley, $15,000,000,000,000.

Lovern was indicted in 1999 and later convicted of impeding, intimidating or obstructing an employee of the US after a tax dispute with the Richmond, Virginia, office of the US Internal Revenue Service.

A few years earlier, it was the US education system. He launched an ultimately unsuccessful lawsuit against an officer of the Henrico County Public Schools after objecting to the coach not selecting his son in a high-school basketball team.

Lovern runs a Maryland-based firm that litigates international public interest cases, has cast his litigious gaze Down Under.

He has sent letters to senior executives of Australia’s big banks, threatening to sue them via an antitrust action unless they agree to a settlement. If accepted, the bank would not be named in the action.

The threat coincides with legal action by the two leading credit card schemes, Visa and MasterCard, against the Reserve Bank. The hearing, which contests the central bank’s decision to cut credit card interchange, or wholesale, fees wraps up at the end of next week.

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