Now that Rene Rivkin is dead – and the dead can’t be defamed – watch
out for two things. 1) a torrent of revelations from the media, and 2)
Rivkin to become the subject of what’s quaintly known as the “Dead Man
Defence”, where someone crucial to a business deal or dealings dies and
the problems, legal actions and the doubt is blamed on them by their
former partners or associates.

This
is not to absolve Rivkin from any responsibility ahead of any
accounting for the myriad deals, dodgy, sharp and otherwise. But watch
for the suggestions wafting out of the Sydney sewers that Rivkin was to
blame for the Swiss banking problems that has engulfed others.

No doubt someone will also start whispering that he was a player
in the death of Caroline Byrne, his former driver’s girlfriend whose
body was found at the bottom of the Gap in an apparent suicide. To
police it was nothing of the sort and the driver, Gordon Wood, remains
overseas.

Never
before and never again has the media helped create a celebrity
stockbroker who built such a following with small investors. It’s just
a shame that he was a crook who failed to use this vaulted position
responsibly.

Read Stephen Mayne and Glen Dyer’s full story on the life, times
and death of Rene Rivkin, posted on the Crikey website today, here.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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