Confessions of Mr Crapner: How Gerald Ratner made a 24-carat mess of his life

November 6, 2007

Interesting extract from Gerald Ratner: The Rise And Fall … And Rise Again by Gerald Ratner in the Daily Mail.

Very few of us will never know what it is like to have the rug of routine and security pulled out from under us and Gerald Ratner went through it when he made what has been listed as one of history’s worst decisions.

He had devoted 30 years to building a global jewellery business and then almost destroyed it by described some of his company’s products as crap in a speech to the Institute of Directors.

That speech cost me my business, my reputation and my fortune. I lost a £650,000 salary. I saw £500million wiped off the valuation of my company and a billion-pound turnover slashed almost overnight.

After sixteen years Ratner has rebuilt his career and describes how cycling saved him.

My days felt incredibly empty afterwards, but Moira saved me by sending me out on errands. So that I would be out of the house as long as possible, I went on my bike, developing an obsession with cycling that’s remained an important part of my life ever since.

Pushing up hills until my muscles ached, I experienced an intense euphoria which blotted out the pain of all that had happened. Other people turn to drink, I turned to exercise and it would prove my financial as well as my mental salvation.

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One Response to “Confessions of Mr Crapner: How Gerald Ratner made a 24-carat mess of his life”


  1. […] among the hardest things for companies to build. And the easiest things for them to destroy. Cue Gerald Ratner’s famous quote about some of his company’s products being “total crap” and others […]


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