The last days of HIH Insurance before it collapsed on March 15 2001 looked more like a closing-down sale in a bargain bazaar during a power cut than a dignified exit from the corporate scene. Insiders at the stricken Sydney-based insurer helped themselves to more than $10 million in last-minute cash settlements while the company’s policy holders had to accept a trickle of payouts that was just fast enough to escape official intervention. While HIH held off paying insurance claims because of their cash flow crisis, Ray Williams had overseen a massive spending spree: $1500 worth of jelly beans, a clutch of gold watches worth almost $10,000 each and four nights a week at the Intercontinental Hotel in Sydney for Williams’ personal assistant, for most of the previous year. This is the biggest corporate failure in Australian history, a chronicle of arrogance, ignorance and self delusion that focuses on the key players: Williams, Rodney Adler – the over-indulged son of businessman Larry Adler – and Brad Cooper, one-time jeans salesman and motivational speaker…and there’s more twists and turns than the most far-fetched work of fiction. Illustrated with black and white photographs.