Gerry Harvey Get’s His Knickers In A Twist, This Time Calling A Former Friend”A Dog Of A Man”
It all blew up when Harvey was doing an interview with Sky News presenter Peter Switzer and ended up calling a former so-called friend “a dog of a man”.
During the interview Harvey accused John Hempton, of hedge fund Bronte Capital, of having sparked the questioning that has led to an investigation of Harvey Norman accounts and the short-selling of 10.8 per cent of the register.
When Switzer asked Harvey about the accounts, Harvey let rip, attacking “a short seller” who had “made up lies”.
“I’m flabbergasted that someone as smart as you could even suggest … asking that question is outrageous,” Harvey told Switzer, before adding that any journalist who wanted to ask him about accounting (or Amazon) shouldn’t bother interviewing him. Harvey, for what it’s worth, thinks the market is wrong on his company and that buying Harvey Norman shares at the price they are should be “compulsory buying for everyone in the country”.
According to the Financial Review Harvey purchased another 1 million shares, worth $4 million, the day after his results last week.
According to the AFR Bronte Capital’s John Hempton has a rather vivid recollection of the one time he met Gerry Harvey.
Harvey said he doesn’t remember meeting “him”, though his son showed him evidence he had. “He said have a look at this picture on the phone. And I said, ‘that’s John Hempton with me, with my arm around him smiling’,” he said, finally naming Hempton. “He pretended to be a friend.”
“He pretends he’s this wonderful person, and that he knows everything,” Harvey said. “But he’s a dreadful dog of a man as far as I’m concerned. And I’ll never put my arm around him again and smile. I didn’t know the enemy when I did it.”
The AFR said that Hempton, for what it’s worth, did remember the lunch. Vividly. He wouldn’t comment when we asked him about Harvey Norman’s results last week, but he did tell us then that he met Harvey in 2012. “I found him charming,” Hempton said. But things went downhill. “I told him though that I had heard the phrase Harvey Norman used as slang for ‘your middle-aged wife’ – as in ‘your Harvey Norman’.”
Harvey looked puzzled so Hempton explained the phrase to mean a wife with “no interest” for months at a time. Hempton said Harvey bristled, and “he hasn’t liked me since”.