Lunch with Madeleine Albright

Real Estate Agent

We don't need to dwell on the faltering economy or the real estate business in particular. But problems abound in our industry and some of these difficulties are enormous. I was reading a story about a large real estate investment company that had it's humble beginnings in the grocery business. This was a generation ago but the family still controls the company, at least for now.

Like many other large organizations, they grew a bit too fast loading the company with debts of more than $27 billion. The family's ownership stake in the company six months ago was estimated at about $3.2 billion, but is now worth about $116 million. Needless to say  the acting CEO and controlling family member was asked to step down by the board of directors.

It's a long story that tracks the company's growth and eventual slide into oblivion. Not unique in this unforgiving economy. For me, the most interesting part of the story deals with the personal side. Wealthy families are different that you and I. They run around the world in personal jets and can stay at the Four Seasons Hotel in Nevis as long as they want.

Of course this family member had many homes in all the right places. The story mentioned their 70th floor Chicago condominium filled with modern art and hand-crafted furniture as well as their stone-and- timber vacation compound in Aspen, Colo., currently assessed at $20 million.

But the real interesting part is the company they keep. Wealthy individuals enjoy the benefits of their stature by associating with other rich and prominent individuals. This family frequently hosted dinner parties for famous musicians like Yo-Yo Ma and violinist Joshua Bell. Their annual New Year's party became one of Aspen's most coveted invites, attracting Madeleine Albright and other dignitaries.

I'm impressed. I would love to mingle with some of these people and enjoy their illustrious company. Just think, lunch with Madeleine Albright. I get goosebumps just thinking about it.

Who would you like to have lunch with?

Greg Saffell/South Sound Surfer
Lunch with Madeleine Albright

Comments (1)

Chad Baird
Re/Max Spirit - Dayton, OH

My Lunch would be with Regis Philben.  He makes me laugh. 

The show (and his wife) always makes fun of him for being so cheap though, so I would hope he paid for lunch.  He is scared of running out of money because his mom warned him to be careful. 


Dec 10, 2008 02:49 AM