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Who wants to be a Billionaire? is the story of James Packer's desperate battle to win his father's love and respect. It's also a tale of billion-dollar bets gone disastrously wrong.But above all it's the portrait of a troubled relationship between a dominant father and dutiful son.
In this powerful sequel to his number one bestseller, The Rise and Rise of Kerry Packer, Paul Barry reveals how Kerry derided his son as 'too soft', 'too close to his mother' and 'a loser', and refused to relax his grip on the empire until he came close to death. In response, James has tried to prove himself - in the only way the Packers know -by making more money.
Having watched Kerry lose hundreds of millions of dollars in the world's casinos, James chose to bet billions on buying them instead, and almost lost the lot. As the global financial crisis sent stock markets spinning in early 2009, James Packer's fortune shrank by 4 billion and he lost the title of Australia's richest man. He started smoking again, put on weight and shut himself off from friends.
A year on, calm has returned and markets have recovered. But will James bounce back? Or was his father right?
- Allen & Unwin, September 2010
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