"A dazzling white smile glitters across his face," gushes the feature writer.

"This is a man whose tailoring business was forced into receivership" but (and I edit) "by the time the news became public, a way forward had already been found: he has bought back his business from the receiver."

Very odd. I never knew you could do that sort of thing.

I only once heard of something vaguely similar - not in the wool trade. One's mind, if hanging on to reasonably high principles, turns to the unpaid suppliers - no, surely not the banks, they'll have seen they're all right - who might have been adversely affected by the bankruptcy.

If it's in tailoring, what about the folk who took on orders for the cloth?

It may be that naughty people out in Asia cancelled the highly-priced tailoring orders unexpectedly, causing the problem in the first place, but it would be a bit unfair if total innocents on the supply side were to suffer, while the business continues, with a renewed splurge of favourable publicity and no question of an attempt at disguise.

Payment was always a problem in the wool and textile trade. It still is, all around the world, and very much so.

I heard the other day of a chief executive in a high ranking (overseas) wool firm who travelled to China, not to get a new order, as you might expect, but trying to get paid for an old one.

Possibly he hoped that China's recent acceptance into the IWTO would help.

You still have the problem nearer to hand, too.

Telephone a salesman and he can be out of the office, not selling at all, but debt-collecting - well, trying to.

When with apparent ease you can buy your bankrupt business back from the receiver, is it surprising that such concerns continue?

Converted for the new archive on 30 June 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.