The Other Barbarians at the Gates
By Jessica Pressler | NYMag.com
ďItís incredible, right?Ē shouts Jeff Greene over the roar of the two-seater dune buggyís motor. ďItís 55 acres!Ē
Still in his whites from this morningís tennis match, heís giving a personal tour of his Sag Harbor estate, barreling at 30 miles per hour through the vast forest of scrubby pines and soft moss of its gated grounds. ďBeautiful nature here!Ē A blur of deer goes by, and the trees break to reveal the summer sun glinting off a grassy lagoon. Greene slows by its shore. ďThis is our swan pond, and this is our private beach,Ē he says, gesturing toward a slip of white sand encircling the edge of the North Haven Peninsula. ďIt goes all the way to the ferry. Three thousand feet of beach,Ē he adds, a smile spreading across his tanned face.
Greene made his fortune in real estate, and heís never been shy about showing it off. ďHaving money is great,Ē he says. ďItís fun. The more the better.Ē For years, he was a fixture on the party circuit, and celebrities like Lindsay Lohan and his old roommate Heidi Fleiss were not uncommon sights on his yacht, The Summerwind. In 2006, after an old friend, John Paulson, showed him how he was planning to short the impending housing bust, he replicated the trade and made himself a billionaire. Since then heís settled down, married a bubbly Chinese-Australian woman named Mei-Sze, had two children, and changed positions once again. ďIíve got a huge, huge position in mortgage-backed securities,Ē he says. ďI started accumulating them in 2009, when the market was really down and things were really scary.Ē Thatís also when he picked up this property for around $40 million (half the 2007 listing price), which he and his wife have christened ďGreene Haven.Ē ďI wish we could spend more time here,Ē he says. ďHonestly, we have so many great homes.Ē
He cuts the engine, and for a moment the only sound is the waves lapping peacefully against the shore. Greene gazes across the bay at the multi-million-dollar houses peeking from behind the trees. I assume heís quietly contemplating acquiring even more of the shoreline, but then he says something surprising. ďIf somebody wanted to go after a rich person,Ē he observes, ďthey have got their pick of the litter out here.Ē
Itís strange to imagine someone like Greene, who counts Mike Tyson as a close friend, and who has a streak that caused the L.A. party girls to refer to him as ďMean Jeff Greene,Ē feeling vulnerable. Itís hard to think of any superrich person as vulnerable, just as itís hard to think that a bear with outstretched claws and giant teeth is more afraid than you are. But over the past few months, itís become clear that rich people are very, very afraid. Sometimes it feels like this was the main accomplishment of Occupy Wall Street: a whole lot of tightened sphincters. Itís not a stretch to say many residents of Park Avenue harbor vivid fears of a populist revolt like the one seen in The Dark Knight Rises, in which they cower miserably under their sideboards while ragged hordes plunder the silver.
ďThis is my fear, and itís a real, legitimate fear,Ē Greene says, revving up the engine. ďYou have this huge, huge class of people who are impoverished. If we keep doing what weíre doing, we will build a class of poor people that will take over this country, and the country will not look like what it does today. It will be a different economy, rights, all that stuff will be different.Ē
More often than not, fears like these manifest as loathing for the current administration, as evidenced by the recent wave of Romney fund-raisers in the Hamptons. ďObama wants to take my money and give it to do-nothing animals,Ē one matron blurted at a recent party ...
Read the full article at: nymag.com
íThe Dark Knight Risesí Asks Us to Believe the Rich Can Save Us
Rich people more likely to cheat, behave badly?
UK aid helps to fund forced sterilisation of Indiaís poor
Mitt Romney: Poor Mothers Should Be Required To Work Outside Home
Census shows 1 in 2 people are poor or low-income
Most Republicans and Democrats Agree: Cut Aid for Poor People, Not Israel
Separate but unequal: Charts show growing rich-poor gap "stunning"
Alan Grayson on "The War Is Making You Poor" Act (Video)
Latest News from our Front Page
Confederate History - Dispelling the Myths
History books, the media, the school systems, etc abound in falsehoods and inaccuracies of Confederate and Southern history. This fact sheet will help to clarify and dispell some of these rampant inaccuracies.
MYTH - The War of 1861 - 1865 was fought over slavery.
FACT - Terribly untrue. The North fought the war over money. Plain ...
Gays Rights May Open Door for Pedophile Rights
Democrats have attempted to normalize pedophilia as a sexual orientation.
A recent Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage may soon allow pedophiles to argue they are suffering discrimination.
‚ÄúUsing the same tactics used by ‚Äėgay‚Äô rights activists, pedophiles have begun to seek similar status arguing their desire for children is a sexual orientation no different than heterosexual or homosexuals,‚ÄĚ writes Jack Minor ...
Government Trolls Are Using ‚ÄėPsychology-Based Influence Techniques‚Äô On YouTube, Facebook And Twitter
Have you ever come across someone on the Internet that you suspected was a paid government troll? Well, there is a very good chance that you were not imagining things. Thanks to Edward Snowden, we now have solid proof that paid government trolls are using ‚Äúpsychology-based influence techniques‚ÄĚ on social media websites such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. ...
Artificial Intelligence Takes the Battlefield: Who Is Really Running Jade Helm 15?
Who is really going to be running Jade Helm 15?
There is more to the story than just training for martial law in states designated as ‚Äúhostile states‚ÄĚ ‚Äď already a chilling pretext with overtones of greater federal power that could spiral out of control.
But it seems that it is actually A.I. ‚Äď artificial intelligence ‚Äď that is at the helm ...
Robot kills man at Volkswagen plant in Germany
A 22-year-old worker was grabbed by the robot and crushed against a metal plate
A robot has killed a man at a Volkswagen car factory in Germany.
The 22-year-old worker died from injuries he sustained when he was trapped by a robotic arm and crushed against a metal plate.
The man, who has not been named, was part of a team that ...
|More News » |