Weekly Update

Greed at a Glance

A quick update on avarice in America and beyond

Back in 2007, three MIT grads were taking jobs on Wall Street for every one who went to work for a software company. Now two are choosing Silicon Valley’s flip-flops and beanbag chairs for every one who goes high finance. But banking giant Goldman Sachs is fighting back — with a charm offensive that’s highlighting Wall Street’s fantastically lucrative rewards. Notes Goldman tech exec R. Martin Chavez: “As soon as we start talking to the candidates about what our starting packages look like, the lifestyle questions about flip-flops and beanbags really start to go away.” Profs who teach tech are decrying this new pressure on young grads to cash in quick. Laments Duke’s Vivek Wadhwa: “It breaks my heart when my engineering students use the talents I taught them to engineer the financial system instead of engineering solutions to the world’s problems.”

Gil DezerGil Dezer, America’s “youngest developer of luxury high rise residential,” may soon be America’s richest luxury developer of luxury high rise. Dezer is teaming with Austria’s Porsche Design on a new 60-story “ultra-luxury” tower now rising in South Florida. The new tower, once complete in 2016, will host 132 residents — and two to four cars per household, all parked in “sky garages” right outside the condo living rooms. Dezer has already racked up $600 million in sales for his new “Porsche Design Tower,” and the future occupants so far include 22 billionaires. The billionaire interest doesn’t surprise Dezer. As he told the Miami Herald: “You don’t spend $5 million on a condo if you only have $15 million.” The tower’s four-story penthouse will actually run $32.5 million . . .

More evidence that the super rich are leaving the merely very rich behind: A new City private bank report is noting that sales of smaller private jets dropped 17 percent last year. But sales of king-sized private jets rose 18 percent. Some super rich, to be sure, do seem to prefer buying a private jet ride over buying a private jet. For these souls, the Four Seasons hotels are offering for the 2015 ski season a $65,000 private jet excursion that winds up in Wyoming’s Jackson Hole, where Olympic gold medalist Tommy Woe himself will join the jet-set skiers for slaloms. Observes wealth watcher Robert Frank on the new super-rich scene: “For decades, a rising tide lifted all yachts. Now, it is mainly lifting megayachts.”

This Greed at a Glance originally appeared in the Too Much weekly newsletter. To receive Too Much in your email inbox, just sign up here.

Discussion

2 comments for “Greed at a Glance”

  1. I like the way Greed at a Glance givs actual data on CEO salaries and severance pay. There’s no arguing with those facts.

    Posted by Theo Halladay | October 18, 2011, 9:10 pm
  2. Any idea who Joanne Margossian is? How did she make her loot? I’ve worked on that island and the upkeep is phenomenal.

    Posted by Dave Kenny | February 17, 2013, 9:51 am

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