Top critical review
on 27 September 2014
Pretty awful read… The writer insists on coming back to “lifestyle” (the yacht, private jet, heli, pink champagne and such) and how Maxwell and Kevin managed to keep the banks at bay by lying their heads off. Trifles…
The writer does not answer the key question: How come a man so smart, so charming, so ruthless and so driven as Maxwell lost so much money? He owned reasonably profitable companies and knew every trick to max profits and minimize tax. So why did the empire melt down? It wasn’t a technology shift (the internet). That would come 20 years later. And it wasn’t bad deal making. Somebody who could out-manoeuvre Saul Steinberg (in the Pergamon deal) was no fool.
In short, the book offers only a surface treatment of one of Britain’s most interesting business failures and for that reason remains unsatisfactory.