Monday, November 17, 2008

Ah, Schadenfreude! The Sweet Smell of Flop-Sweat...

For those of you who are not regulars at Jon Shapiro'sSchwarz' A Tiny Revolution are missing a regular treat.

Over the weekend, there appeared a post which is utterly awash in the delectable sweetness in delight at the discomfiture of the detestable. Shorter ATR: The mega-mall holding corporation on whch the fortune of Tom Friedman's multi-billionaire in-laws depends has lost 98% of its worth (on paper) in the last TWO MONTHS.

This state of affairs apparently led Friedman to discourse in an atypically honest column late last week at in NY TIMES. Quoth ATR:
Suck. On. This.

Schadenfreude has never been so, so sweet:
It would be easy to dismiss today’s rant (however spot-on it might be) by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman as yet another ideological tirade against the U.S. automobile industry. But based on the bad news coming out of shopping-mall owner General Growth Properties [GGP], it is no wonder Friedman is feeling crankier than usual. That’s because the author’s wife, Ann (née Bucksbaum), is an heir to the General Growth fortune. In the past year, the couple—who live in an 11,400-square-foot mansion in Bethesda, Maryland—have watched helplessly as General Growth stock has fallen 99 percent, from a high of $51 to a recent 35 cents a share. The assorted Bucksbaum family trusts, once worth a combined $3.6 billion, are now worth less than $25 million.

If you click through to this chart, you'll see the drop has actually been even more precipitous than described above. GPP was trading at $27.55 the week of September 8th. It's now at $0.44. Thus, it's lost 98% of its value in the past two months.
SO, THIS is how a "Free Market" works? Schweet, schweet, schweeeeeet! Down from $3.6 BILLION, to "less than $25MILLION"? WhaddaRIDE!

My own (substantial, to me, though amounting only to some 10s of THOUSANDS of dollars) losses (retirement accounts down 30-35% in two months) somehow don't seem so terrible.

1 comment:

jurassicpork said...

It's Schwartz, not Shapiro.

Fascinating factoid, nonetheless. Another FU for Friedman.