Thursday, 5 February 2009

I'm buying Nigeria - here's how

I’ve been told to make this column uplifting. Readers don’t want to hear about doom and gloom, they want to hear tales of daring and adventure.

Well, to be fair, I don’t know where to start. I’m doing great, thank you very much.
And things are going to get even better this year. For me, anyway. I’m just about to pull off the deal of the century. Remember where you heard it first.

This doris called Kristen Heather – I think I met her at some charity do at the Sheridan Suite – and if I remember rightly she was wearing this red dress that revealed… (Get on with it – editor).

It started on the first day back after New Year, when I’d just got back from Val d'isere. I got this email marked “private”. Everyone likes one of these. The secretary leaves them for me to deal with so I don’t get mithered by all the muppets chasing unpaid invoices and begging letters from corporate financiers who haven’t done a deal in six months.

This lad at the Kristen Heather Investment Bank in the Isle of Man must have heard that I’m a bit of an international wheeler dealer and all-round entrepreneurial guru and asked for a bit of help. They don’t send these letters to anyone, you know. Anyway, they’ve managed to get this grant from some European fund to back this consortium of Russkis who are banged up in some Gulag in Siberia for backing the wrong side in the last scrap over there.

They’ve got about £2bn in a bank in the Isle of Man and need me to set up a facility to get their hands on it. Basically I get a 10 per cent fee. I love a win-win deal like this, and I’m always keen to keep the wheels of international finance oiled. All they need is a few grand to get in motion – the usual “performance bond”, which is normal in cases like this, and we’re on our way.

So, in the spirit of spreading my joy around, once the cash clears I’ve already got my eye on one of those Bombardier Global Express XRS jets and a new Ferrari 599, just like the one Cristiano Ronaldo pranged in the tunnel on Altrincham Road (the wall was never ten yards away – boom boom). I also quite fancy one of those islands in that resort in Dubai that’s shaped like a map of the world. Trouble is, where would you buy? Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have already bought Ethiopia, which is mental, and some Russian has bought Iceland.

I mentioned all this in the email to the lad who’s setting it all up for me. He said I should buy Nigeria. Strange choice.

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