Packer’s Lunch, Neil Chenoweth
Mum gave me Packer’s Lunch as a Christmas present last year, what an eye-opener! Although I’m sure it exists here as well, the “old school tie” network endemic to Australian business isn’t nearly as visible in the States; Chenoweth weaves his story naming a who’s who of high-profile Australian business from the late 80s to the present. Great to read about all the wheeling and dealing from the last couple of decade’s newspapers collapsed into a single, coherent volume.
While the title suggests the book concentrates on the Packer family exclusively, it’s really a discussion of the Sydney business network as a whole: the favours, tax dodges, stodgy deals and all the investigations to follow. And, of course, most Australians know the suicidal conclusion to the story of one of the foci of the book, Rene Rivkin… Rene’s story was especially interesting, as his involves the most drama, deception, tax evasion and, ultimately, the taking of his own life. Quite a fun read, although a non-Australian reader might get a little lost without any knowledge of the background of all the characters Chenoweth discusses.