Anorak News | In The Black

In The Black

by | 1st, September 2004

‘IT is a familiar sight on a Friday afternoon outside Anorak Towers – old Mr Anorak climbing into his chauffeur-driven Roller laden with suitcases full of cash.

‘Everything I have I owe to Anorak’

From there he is driven to his Mayfair pied-a-terre, where he and his 21-year-old wife Svetlana will normally dine with 20 of the great and good before flying off in the company jet to one of their many boltholes on the Continent.

It is an arrangement that has suited old Mr Anorak (and the various Mrs Anoraks) very well over the years, but the signs are the good times may be coming to an end.

A report in this morning’s Telegraph reports on how its former owner and Mr Anorak’s dear friend, Conrad Black, is in trouble for just such behaviour.

Like our esteemed proprietor, Lord Black (ennobled for services to corporate greed) looted his American publishing company to fund his extravagant lifestyle.

In just seven years, Black and his fellow cronies on the board of Hollinger International plundered a staggering $400m from the company – 95% of the company’s net income.

The Independent says the report by Richard Breeden, a former chairman of the powerful Securities & Exchange Commission, describes the “self-righteous and aggressive looting” of a company so extensive there are few parallels in history.

The money was used to fund the lifestyle of Black and his wife Barbara Amiel (aka Lady Black), including $1.4m for private staff at the Blacks’ residences, a $1.1m salary for Lady Black (even though she did minimal work), $90,000 to refurbish a Rolls-Royce for Black’s personal use, $43,000 for a birthday party for Lady B and $140 for a jogging suit for Lady B’s use.

Hollinger International is now suing Black and his fellow major shareholders (who include mass murderer and former US Secretary Of State Henry Kissinger and former US defence adviser Richard Perle) for $1.25bn.

Black meanwhile is countersuing, describing the investigating committee in July as “Breeden and his fascists…who are a menace to capitalism as any sane and civilised person would define it”.

We like to think of ourselves as sane and civilised people here at Anorak Towers, so here goes:

Capitalism (n): an economic and political system wherein the already rich and powerful make themselves richer and more powerful at the expense of everyone else.

Sounds fair to us. Eh, Mr Anorak?’

Posted: 1st, September 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink