There’s a useful point to be made in the Terry Serepisios saga, and that’s that this is how our economy works. We have booms and busts and speculative bubbles, and some risk-takers make large fortunes during these cycles while some go bankrupt, and some fortunes are lost on the down-turn, and some aren’t.
But for various reasons, our society idolises risk-takers like Serepisios when they’re at the top of the cycle. They have all that money! They must possess superhuman wisdom! They must know the answers to all of societies problems! And, famously, Serepisios was the star of a reality TV show screened by TVNZ called The Apprentice, which was based on the premise that he was a financial genius instead of a risk-taker who managed to stay on the right-hand side of the wealth curve for several years during a speculative property bubble.
Which is not to deride speculators – the economy needs them – just the popular view that the (temporarily) successful ones are gods amongst us, we should structure our entire economy around their whims, they shouldn’t have to pay any tax, etc.