3 January 2009

Labor's salvation would be the moral courage

And the political courage to turn on those who used a once in a lifetime credit bubble to enrich themselves by looting public companies. The complication is that the money captured the ALP as well and they would have to start with a good long look at Sussex Street.

Verrender in todays SMH is building a nice list:

"If David Coe was in the wrong place at the wrong time in 2008, the corollary is that his success during the previous two decades was all down to luck, an argument that was never put forward during the boom. On the contrary, a famous article in one business journal during that time proclaimed Coe and several others as "Masters of the universe."

Charming, disarming, hugely ambitious, intelligent and driven, Coe knows how to work an audience, either en masse or individually. He's a master in the art of massaging public opinion.

Until late 2007 he almost universally was regarded as a "good bloke", who had established himself as a benefactor and philanthropist. But it became clear that generosity began at home when he and his erstwhile business partner, Gordon Fell, crossed the line with their aptly named Rubicon Holdings.

This was a property management company with listed trusts operating in Europe, America and Japan. In a short space of time, Coe, Fell and another partner loaded the company up with debt, spent billions acquiring what turned out to be overvalued real estate and then bought dodgy debts from other real estate players which sweetened the blancmange. Then, shortly after the credit squeeze hit late last year, they sold the whole mess to Allco.

Between them, the Rubicon founders personally pulled about $64 million from the sale of their privately controlled company to Allco, a public company of which they were both directors. That doesn't take into account the $100 million or so in fees they raked from Rubicon before the sale."

Lets put David Coe on the short list, anyway.

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