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Posts Tagged ‘James Packer’

Justice Robert Austin’s 3,000 page legal judgement of Jodee Rich’s role in the One-Tel telephony company failure incidentally offers fascinating insights into the workings of  Australia’s finest business minds and commercial strategies.

Rich’s actions as a company director have been exonerated, but others with names like Murdoch and Packer are still to face the liquidator’s more focussed legal challenge to their liability in withdrawing promised funds from the struggling start-up back in 2001.

The rather grotesque spectacle of Packer & Fils getting into a stoush at the time, tears and all, and old Cranbookian boys in business falling out as it all went pear-shaped, were high grade tabloid. With all that disloyalty and charged emotional catharsis going on at the time it’s no wonder that one would want to put the painful One-Tel memories all behind one.

His Honour was so impressed by the power of the mind to block them out that he actually counted the memory lapses of his star mogul witnesses during their evidence in the case brought by ASIC. Under questioning Junior Packer had a faulty memory (can’t recall, etc.) on 1,951 occasions over 9 days, and Junior Murdoch came way behind with a paltry 881 lapses.

Admittedly the painful events occurred a few years ago, but it’s doubtful that Kerry or Rupert would have suffered the same forgetfulness. Maybe the genes are weakening over the generations. As for the business acumen displayed in the One-Tel dealings, suffice to say that clear judgement & good timing went missing in action, in a cloud of fraternal hubris.

The Can’t Recall record of celebrity witnesses is long and distinguished, with stand-outs like Alan Bond, but its latest notable addition, ‘Labor Identity’ Graham Richardson, has refined the standard with new logic. In a recent NSW Government Upper House enquiry into the so-called McGurk Affair, his memory was quite faulty about meetings with government planning officials and so on, but he had no records or diary of events, as he keeps everything in his head!

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Pathetic Packer

A new biography of James Packer, inheritor of Australia’s biggest fortune, apparently reveals little of uplifting value to the community, only inside stories and celebrity voyeurism.

The pathos of a grown man willingly bullied by his father during tycoon apprenticeship is leavened by his own greed, predilection for extravagant ‘boys toys’ and that juvenile 80s expression about he who dies with the most wins. His toys are excessively gross, including a 50m super-yacht burning 400 litres of fuel per 10 km. Female partners are good-looking models and his entourage of hangers-on macho sycophants.

Financial dealings revolve around ‘selling off the farm’ of the PBL media empire, carefully exploited by his father & grandfather, and getting into casino developments overseas, while losing two-thirds of his $6.2 billion fortune. Observing his father’s gambling losses, James apparently decided that gambling business by definition must be money-making. Motivated by ambitions to pile up even more, his energies have concentrated on this sole objective.

That such a vacuous and uninspiring life story would interest fellow citizens is testimony to the shallow celebrity zeitgeist of our times. Signs of Packer’s benevolence, community concern, philanthropy, or interest in environmental and social issues, are not apparent. Consider the contrast with an inspirational Bill Gates’ rise from garage start-up to global benefactor applying his considerable skills, intelligence and personally-made fortune to eliminating major illnesses in the developing world. 

Money definitely talks, but how pathetic the story can sometimes be!Outback cliff holes

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