Sam Zell

Sam Zell’s warning at the end of 2005 in his annual “holiday card” that excess liquidity, falling yields and narrowing spreads will violently return to equilibrium seems awfully prescient. Zell produced a parody of the song “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head,” with lyrics detailing his take on the current economic situation.
It’s not that there was a lack of doomsday prophesizing before the subprime shoe dropped and credit started drying up, but not that many people were out of the closet as early as 2005 (there was still another record year to juice returns from!) and in such a fancy musical outfit.
Zell’s take is so prescient that he ran out of ideas by 2006, when his holiday card consisted of a typical anti-SarbOx rant. You can view all of Zell’s musical endeavors here (with a special shout to TMQ for reminding us this existed in the first place), but here’s the Theory of Relativity vid:

The lyrics for those unable to harness the YouTubes after the jump…

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Sam Zell Examines New Crockery, Has Neck Problems

zell.jpg Sam Zell reportedly made a trip to one of his new (awaiting FCC approval) Tribune properties at the LA Times. Despite Times Publisher David Hiller’s attempt to make Zell seem as fuzzy as possible, other accounts contend that Zell tore the Times a new one.
Among Zell’s alleged “constructive criticisms” of the LA Times:
-It has a crap business section
-Its reporting is not guided by popular demand
-It lacks a focus on foreign coverage
-Called the idea that front-page ads compromise the integrity of the paper a crock of shit
-Said that the paper was pretty bland in general
Hiller’s memo provided a laundry list of Zell-isms and Zell advice, designed to summarize a videoed Q&A that was posted for employee viewing (if anyone has a copy of the vid, send it or a link over to tips at dealbreaker dot com). Some of the gems:
–“I promise you I did not come here to be captain of the Titanic”
–“My head and neck only look forward;” “I don’t really give a [ ] about the past”
–“I can’t do it” has to be eliminated from our vocabulary
–The future is up to us; Sam wants our plans not his plans; wants open, candor from us (doesn’t kill the messenger)
Hiller’s take on Sam Zell [LABizObserved]
Zell’s Big Dis [Slate]