Alan Bond. Entrepeneur. Genius. Something else. Dead at 77. But what was this man? Who was this man? Born in London in 1938 he made his first good investment when he paid ten pounds for a ticket to Australia and only went up from there. Starting a signwriting business, he soon started speculating in property development. Buying up seaside property and selling it at an immense profit. How did he do it? He covered the sand dunes with bitumen and painted them green. Anyway, he diversified into mines and media, and then bought his way into high society by sponsoring challenges to the ledgendary obscure yacht race the America’s Cup. Winning the race back in 1983 inspired many songs and questionable fashions, with the Prime Minister himself getting plastered and announcing that any boss who would sack somebody for not turning up to work is a bum. Inspired by this new fame, he started buying breweries never stopping at just one, no, and then he bought the largest television network in Australia for a billion dollars and all the telephones in Chile. Not to mention purchasing Van Gough’s Irises for the price of 53 million dollars. He put this latest prize in his boardroom in Perth where he could stroke it in private, and he bought up many other old masters, some of which he paid for. A brilliant businessman, he was able to get the loans to pay for the debts to finance the loans to buy airships by loading up companies with debt and then when the auditers were not looking, load them up with more debt while he borrowed more money with more debt to finance assets to offset his debt. Anyway, when a large Hong Kong bank failed, he had to start borrowing more money and selling businesses off. The breweries had gone bankrupt, the television network was bought back by packer for a quarter the price but with extra stations added, and all the money disappeared. And then came the court case, where brain damage caused by heart surgery meant he could not remember where he hid the money and monets and was sentenced to four years prison for a billion dollar fraud. Luckily when released he remembered whree he kept all the money and went back to England to start again. And start again he did, with money mysteriously arriving as easily as it disappeared, putting together another business empire until he had another piece of bad luck on the cardiac surgeon’s table.