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Narev: a boy and his blame game

Narev: a boy and his blame game

Are there no depths to which the taunters of Commonwealth Bank boss Ian Narev will not descend? Now they're even mocking his stint as a child TV star.

YouTube is the scene of the latest salvo in a long-running guerilla war run by customers who are still angry about the CBA's $2.1 billion takeover of Bankwest, which Narev ran at the height of the GFC in 2008.

Unhappy former Bankwest borrowers reckon the CBA aggressively pushed them into default following the takeover, something the CBA has always denied.

On Friday, YouTube user "The Narev Tragedy" posted a re-dubbed video of a segment from the 1979 New Zealand period drama Children of Fire Mountain, in which a very young Narev played impish rapscallion Davie. There are even helpful arrows pointing out Narev, who sports a frightening red mop of curls - as opposed to his current sleek chrome dome. The segment has Davie and the other urchins trying out their slingshots in front of a butcher's shop. But the butcher's boy - also apparently named Ian Narev - spies them and deliberately breaks the shop window.

Blame, of course, falls on the kids.

"I'll do what I can to look like I'm helping out, even though I caused the impairment in the first place," older Narev is made to say as he flounders around in ineffective pursuit of the children.

"That's not fair. Ian Narev intentionally impaired that business asset and he's telling everyone it was us," one of the kids says. "No one's going to believe he did it - he's so well respected.

"Well, I say we swear a pact, a pact against Ian Narev - that none of us will rest until this villain is brought to justice. And what's more, we'll swear it in blood."

Dramatically, the screen fades to black. Did young Ian (Davie) get even with old Ian (butcher's boy)? We may never know.

Home on the Grange

No wonder the Gold Coast mansion built by LM Investment Management founder Peter Drake failed to fetch as much as previously expected: Drake himself has been talking down the posh spread.

The Mermaid Avenue mansion sold for $7.35 million on Sunday, far short of earlier claims of $20 million. It seems everyone had it wrong about the level of luxury on offer in the beachfront getaway.

Real estate agents McGrath boast that it features a gym, a skate park, a wine cellar and a home theatre complete with "a multi-coloured lit dance floor" - perfect for practising fancy financial footwork.

But here's what Drake had to say about the spread late last month: "My wine cellar is not chock-full of Grange; there are only four bottles of Grange in there."

That was just one of the complaints in a long August 27 article carried by Australia's most parochial paper, the Gold Coast Bulletin.

The Bully, which has never met a pair of white shoes it didn't like - as long as they were attached to the feet of a local lad - allowed Drake plenty of room to state his case.

According to him, the $43 million LM lent to him before its collapse were "fair dinkum", and there was "nothing wrong with the funds or the business" when it was handed over to administrators FTI.

"The accusation that I have accumulated assets through the use of wrongly received funds is totally incorrect."

Clearly, then, the decision by the Federal Court on Friday to freeze Drake's assets and seize his passport is an overreaction.

Flush out Foster

Still on the Gold Coast, where fraudster Peter Foster apparently isn't. The former Samantha Fox squeeze failed to show up to the Federal Court in Brisbane on Friday, where he was found guilty of contempt of court, and warrants have been issued for his arrest and imprisonment. If you've seen him, do drop CBD a line.

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bbutler@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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