Talkback host Mike Hosking thinks people are just envious and resentful of the financial 'success' of Hanover Finance co-founder Mark Hotchin.

Hosking, in a fine display of media clownmanship, says that poor old Hotchin is just a victim of the 'tall poppy syndrome'.

'"What's his crime? There isn't one ... he's not charged, he's not in court, he's not in jail. What he did was make some bad decisions, borrow too much, gear too highly, and the company fell over."

Well, its a bit more than that Mike.

What Hosking characterises as 'bad decisions' includes Hotchin using Hanover Finance as his own personal bank to fund his own residential developments.

It also included Hotchin and Eric Watson overvaluing their loan book. Was this just a 'bad decision', Mike?

Allied Farmers. who took over Hanover's loans in December last year, wrote the Hanover loan book down from its $400 million valuation to just $175 million.

That valuation has continued to plummet. Last week Allied said the value of Hanover's assets had fallen to $87 million.

And, if we use Hosking's warped logic, then it was just a 'bad decision' by Hotchin and Watson to take out $70 million from Hanover in the form of personal dividends shortly before the company imploded.

Overall, the two men took out some $91 million in personal dividends from Hanover.

Perhaps Hosking, before he rushes to the defence of Hotchin again, should be reminded of Gerrit Bax.

Ninety one year old Mr Bax died after finding out his life savings in Hanover Finance would not be available to pay for his nursing care.

In December last year business commentator Bernard Hickey reported that 'Bax, an active man of 91, died in October without telling his children he could not afford to go into nursing care. Bax stopped eating and eventually died weighing 43kgs despite being 6 foot 1 tall'.

It is just of one of many tragic stories that emerged after Hanover froze its $554 million worth of assets.

Though investors agreed to the Allied Farmers rescue deal in December, it is highly unlikely that investors will ever get their money back.

Meanwhile Mark Hotchin and his family are presently staying in a luxurious Hawaiian holiday home for three months. The home costs some $43,000 a month to rent. Hotchin has also flown out the children's nanny and his own personal trainer.

Work on Hochin's $30 million Auckland mansion has stopped amid reports that bills are going unpaid.

Despite this Hotchin has reportedly been buying up property on Waiheke Island.

It seems that he's still got money to throw around - but none in the direction of the 16,500 former Hanover investors.

All this is just fine and dandy according to Mike Hosking.


  1. Talking of bludgers:

    Our favourite 'Urban Visionary' has appeared in the Press twice in as many days, a media beat-up of course:

    Can't find Thursday's article though, was in the business section.


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