The most flamboyant risk-takers and wheeler dealers of the '80s saw their empires crash at the decade's end. After a spell in hibernation, most of the whizz kids have returned to the fray.
If the early and mid '80s were party-time for risk-takers and wheeler dealers, the end of the decade and the years that followed were to prove quite some hangover. Heavily geared deal-makers who had acquired business upon business when interest rates were 7% were crippled when the rates doubled almost overnight. And those entrepreneurs who maintained a quaint, old-fashioned belief in organic growth did little better. Often equally highly geared, often in retailing, they proved utterly blind in their belief that consumer spending power could not go down as well as up.