April 22, 2009

Not Born a Pratt, But Dies a Pratt

Crikey - Richard Pratt near death: a Crikey wrap - Richard Pratt near death: a Crikey wrap
All the newspapers this morning, it's all front page everywhere: who gets what, basically.

Meanwhile the Melbourne establishment is queuing up to say what a terrific bloke Dick Pratt is, all of them, you know, the usual suspects, Jeff Kennett, the trade union leader Bill Shorten, Carlton football players, Premier John Brumby comes out to say that Dick Pratt was a remarkable Australian, a stunning success story, all that, all of which is true but spare us the hypocrisy. He was also a crook.

He ran one of the crookest business operations in the country, a price fixing racket, a cartel in the packaging business which ripped off, cheated customers and companies out of about A$700 million.

So his philanthropy, his generosity, was with other people’s money. I mean, give me a break.

1 comment:

Bukko_in_Australia said...

Why, he was every bit as noble a businessman as Kerry Packer!

But seriously, folks, when the indictment came out in 2006, there was a huge headline in Teh Age saying "Billionaire Pratt charged with fraud." Mrs. Bukko's best friend in the U.S. has the surname of Pratt. She comes from a hardscrabble family in the mountains of western Maryland. (The dad was a tank crewman in WW II who lost his eyesight during a battle in France, so when he got home there was only one thing he could do, which is why the friend was one of six children...)

Anyway, this family was a long way from being "billionaire Pratts." I cut out the headline and posted it to her. She found it amusing. There's one good thing that Richard P. did.

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