Jovial Fin Review
hack and
former English stockbroker Andrew Main might be the media’s favourite
dial-a-quote on all matters HIH at the moment, but it seems his book
sales are still running behind his rival Mark Westfield.

A quick check with those who know reveals that Main’s book, Other People’s Money

, has sold the full initial print run of 8,500 copies and a second
updated print run will be available from the middle of the year, which
might see him overtake Westfield who has disappeared from the scene as
he looks after corporate clients of PR firm Cosway such as Warren
Buffett’s General Re and Kerry Packer’s PBL.

Westfield
had the advantage of writing ferociously about HIH before it collapsed,
unlike the Johnny-come-lately effort from Main, who only really
stumbled onto the story when the HIH Royal Commission kicked off
several months after the collapse in March 2001. Westfield’s book, HIH: The Inside Story Of Australia’s Biggest Corporate Collapse,

has sold about 11,000 copies and continues to shift about 25 a month.

Main,
who is perhaps Australia’s most unremittingly cheerful journalist, has
been able to play the “commentator not player” line against Westfield,
who critics accused of being too close to Rodney Adler in both his
columns in The Australian

and his HIH book. Main’s bosses at the Fin Review

have clearly cut him some slack in recent times, as he has what’s
expected to be a savage book on Rene Rivkin coming out in a few months.

The
chatty lad, who happens to be fluent in French too, will be hard
pressed to beat his tally of media appearances on HIH over the past
week, including Today Tonight, Business Sunday

, Sally Loane on ABC radio, PM

, The World Today

and a few others.

Ever the joker, Main yesterday quipped: “my motto is ‘never stand between a two bob author and a pile of unsold books’.”

Peter Fray

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