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Remembering Bre-X

At the movies recently I saw a preview for a soon-to-be released movie called GOLD, which will be a fictionalized version of the true story of Bre-X, a Canadian company that lost investors billions in the 1990s as a result of a spectacular rise in stock price and then a sudden fall, based first on a fraudulent claim to the discovery of vast gold reserves in Indonesia and then to the unravelling of those claims.

In 1999 the Royal Canadian Mounted Police wrapped up a criminal investigation. The RCMP brought no charges. Somebody was presumably responsible, but proving who ... that seemed, and still seems, murky.

The story is a fascinating one and although at the time it was  rather overshadowed (for those of us in the US anyhow) by the  dotcom madness on the one hand and the related rise-and-fall of Enron on the other, the Bre-X saga has its own archaic quality that makes it stand out in recollection. It was a tale that was in the 1990s but of an earlier time.

It was a tale that reminded some onlookers of the Humphrey Bogart movie, Treasure of the Sierra Madre.

 I imagine some quick cutting between boardroom scenes in Canada and the Caymans on the one hand, and jungle scenes in Indonesia on the other.


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