It is a safe bet there will never be another Nathan Tinkler.
A former apprentice electrician Tinkler went from living with his parents to becoming Australia’s youngest ever billionaire – and last week going bankrupt.
His extraordinary rise and fall took just 12 years and neatly sums up an unprecedented mining and commodities boom that has now imploded.
Vast mining companies have been battered by the global slowdown especially in China – and have written off billions from the value of their assets.
In recent weeks mining shares have recovered a little but BHP Billiton is still down from A$47 in 2011 to A$17 today and Anglo American has tumbled from £34 a share to just 558p over the same period.
And there have also been casualties among mining entrepreneurs – like Tinkler who made a vast fortune from bold plays on two coal projects he kickstarted with just A$1m (£522,000) of his own money.
It was a fortune built entirely on speculation on the value of coal in the ground and Tinkler squandered much of it on ill-fated forays into racehorses – sports teams and day trading as well as the obligatory extravagances of the super-rich such as private jets and luxury homes in three countries.
His prickly reputation among associates and journalists however robbed him of any working-class-hero status he might otherwise have enjoyed.
He was dubbed ‘the boganaire’ – bogan being the pejorative Australian term for a blue-collar character.
More recently Tinkler’s billionaire horseracing buddy Gerry Harvey said Tinkler was invariably loathed by those who met him because he behaved like an ‘arsehole’.
Tinkler now claims to have just A$2,000 (£1,000) to his name and was last week bankrupted over a A$2.8m debt on a Dassault Falcon private jet that a former employee once said he ‘loved like a child’.
That bill was among a string of debts which range from a A$323,000 credit card bill to A$9.5m said to be owed to Harvey – A$11.5m to the taxman – and A$329m to global financiers.