The professional litigants from listed company IMF are backing a Supreme Court
challenge against Macquarie Bank over the seemingly extraordinary
situation in which
Macquarie bought $77.4 million of recoverable liabilities from Allstate
Exploration, a highly profitable insolvent company, for just $300,000
three years ago. With Allstate’s Beaconsfield goldmine in Tasmania now
throwing off $20 million a year, Macquarie has already recovered its
original $20 million loan and is now enjoying a spectacular return on
its additional $300,000 investment.

Who the hell agreed to that deal, screamed the workers waiting for their entitlements, Allstate’s shareholders and The Australian’s Margin Call columnist, Michael West, whose recent feature on
Macquarie’s extraordinary bonanza has earned Rupert Murdoch’s News
Corporation a defamation writ in the ACT Supreme Court from a very aggressive
Millionaire Factory.

Like most journalists getting sued, West appears to have been taken off
the case by his paper as today’s story was written by Amanda Varson. Without wishing to cop a stopper writ from the
billion investment bank as well, there certainly seems to be plenty of questions that Macquarie and the
administrators should be answering. Let’s hope all this litigation
won’t stifle what should be a lively public debate.

The administrator who did the deal with Macquarie Bank at a creditors’
meeting in March 2002 was a fellow called Michael Ryan and he was
assisted by Tony Woodings from Taylor Woodings. The sole director and
chairman at the subsequent AGM when many questions were asked was a
chap called Rod Elvish and he was surrounded by lawyers who regularly
advised him not to comment.