PATIENCE WHEATCROFT: The human factor

PATIENCE WHEATCROFT: The human factor - If a novelist had drafted the plot for the Six Continents I saga, it could hardly have been better crafted. Here was a tale of David and Goliath brought up to date: lone entrepreneur attacks mighty corporation.

by Patience Wheatcroft, business and City editor of The Times

If a novelist had drafted the plot for the Six Continents I saga, it could hardly have been better crafted. Here was a tale of David and Goliath brought up to date: lone entrepreneur attacks mighty corporation.

The human dimensions were apparent. A previously apathetic chorus sprang into life, pointing accusing fingers at the villain. One man was fighting for his reputation; another desperately battling for the career advancement he had wanted for so long - and the future of many thousands could depend on the outcome.

Then there was the money. Billions of pounds of it, with personal as well as corporate fortunes at stake. And the drama looks set to continue over many months.

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