I am unable to imagine any worse case than yours.’
With these words, in January 1930, a judge sentenced Clarence Hatry to a prison term of 14 years. On discovery of an outrageous fraud, Hatry’s companies had collapsed causing a crash on the London stock market which reverberated in New York and precipitated the Wall Street crash.
Hatry was the last of the flamboyant company promoters. In Scotland, he had promoted Jute Industries, the vehicle by which the jute barons of Dundee realised their equity.
In this lecture, by examining some of his deals, we will look at how he went about his business, how investors were misled and how he brought about his own downfall.
Chris Swinson is a Visiting Fellow of Durham University Business School and a former President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.