“Have you ever known me to speak for anyone? You ever know me to speak nicely on behalf of anybody,” an angry Browne said. Adding that he was like activists Afra Raymond and Peter Permell, in demanding accountability, Browne said, “I’m not speaking on behalf of anyone!” Further, Browne also defended himself against Imbert’s criticism of his (Browne) opinion column in a newspaper. Imbert complained that Browne’s article alleged $3.5 billion in “fees” surrounding the Clico bailout, with Imbert saying this sum in fact encompasses several items such as “funding”, so that “fees” makes up just $250 million.
Browne said he had got the $3.5 billion figure from the Government’s own affidavits and called on Imbert to give a complete breakdown, including any arranger’s fee paid.
“I didn’t make it up. It’s your numbers,” Browne charged.
Browne said that the State, in its current control of Clico, is a trustee of taxpayers funds but is “plundering the company” in a clear breach of its duty of care.
He alleged that Government was trying to represent a $100 billion company as being worth a mere $23 billion.