Greensill Bank Lex Greensill
Greensill Bank in Germany (Image: EPA/Focke Strangmann)

Well, that escalated quickly. Three weeks ago, Lex Greensill was fated as one of Australia’s richest people, the Queensland farmer who created a financial powerhouse worth $6 billion. Now, it's gone.

It’s been a while since we’ve had a genuine big corporate collapse. But with Greensill Capital belatedly slipping into insolvency yesterday, we’ve finally got one.

Not all business collapses are equal. Some figures, like the high-flying Alan Bond or Christopher Skase, become intergenerational memes for greed. Others, like the late David Coe of Allco or Blue Sky’s Mark Sowerby, are able to escape with a large degree of anonymity and millions of dollars of lucre invested in houses and cars safely ensconced in their spouse’s name.