Friday, November 14, 2008

Thomas Friedman's econimic thoughts may be evolving

Elaine Meinel Supkis:

Thomas Friedman’s World Is Flat Broke: Politics and Power:

It would be easy to dismiss today’s rant (however spot-on it might be) by New YorkTimes 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.

But don’t expect Friedman to go from Beirut to Jerusalem begging for money. The distinguished columnist (and former New Establishment member) is still said to get at least $50,000 per speaking engagement on top of the millions he makes writing best-sellers.

He lost 99% of his wealth? This is good news. I wonder if he will finally figure out that he was a fool, a knave and a bastard? He is totally at fault here. The mess that ate up his wealth is the same that is eating all wealth: too much debt. The organization that allowed this beastly man to live in a mansion and ride in a private jet and lecture us little people from his high perch was all based on debt.

[. . .]


When stocks were at $70, I bet old Friedman felt like a king. Well, I hope he enjoys his new pauper status. Maybe he can write a book about how great it is to be protected rather than ravaged by exterior forces. Maybe this fool will connect more than two dots and figure out how his wife’s stocks became a bubble. For what we are looking at is where just one part of the massive Japanese carry trade lending flowed: to any organization willing to sop it up. This flood of funny money is now vanishing and so all the stocks that fed off of it are falling off the exact same cliff.

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