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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Going for broke

 

From the book's Prologue:  "3 May 1994 - It's three years since Bond's business empire finally collapsed with debts of around $5 billion. And Alan has brought sandwiches for lunch. They're in a green plastic bag he clutches in the dock. The press are impressed. Poor old Bondy. He's sitting like a zombie, staring into space, popping the occasional pill, as if he's nigh on brain dead. We're in the Federal Court in Sydney, and his interrogator is asking about bank accounts in Switzerland, companies in Panama and an accountant's office in Jersey. He seems surprised that the questions are for him. On occasion, he pauses for a minute, then asks for the question to be repeated. He's trying hard, but he keeps on losing the plot. The trouble is he can't recall. There were so many companies, it was so long ago, and he's not been well. He shuffles out of court, a small figure in a crumpled raincoat, bent and pale. A shadow of his former self. Round a couple of corners, he's out of sight of the pursuing press. He steals a look, straightens up and tosses the bag away. Later, he's at the Sheraton Wentworth, making the phones run hot. He's calling Switzerland, Singapore and the USA. Dealing, dealing. Doing business."

If you would like to copy Bond, then this is the bible for bankrupts, and how to avoid paying your debts, although a lot of the law has changed since Bondy was manipulating the system. The law was in fact changed to beat Bondy.

The book tells how Bondy ripped off Robert Holmes a’Court’s Bell resources to the tune of 1.2 billion dollars. It then goes through the history of how Bond kept his creditors at bay, as well as the police and his bankruptcy trustee.

Some of it is quite complex and hard to understand but it is still a good read, especially the bits where Bond feigned mental illness in court, only to earn him more millions. Bondy frustrated everyone at every turn, and just when they thought they had him a new twist would emerge.

Bond played the Australian legal system like a fiddle and also made a total fool of them in the process. Every single decision was questioned in court right down to the minutiae and for good reason, making more and more millions of dollars, although not his money, he is in control of it and there is no chance he will give it back.

This is a great read, as are all of Paul Barry’s books. Look out for these titles: “The Rise and Rise of Kerry Packer”. “Who wants to be a Billionaire - The James Packer Story”, and “The Rise and Fall of Alan Bond”.

And the beat goes on - click here.