Gumption And Bon Bons: Real Estate Billionaire Sam Zell Knows Lots Of Candy Store Owners Who Were Living Below The Poverty Line And Became 1 Percenters


As you may have heard, a couple weeks back venture capitalist Tom Perkins wrote a letter to the editor in the Wall Street Journal warning that the persecution of the 1% today bears many "parallels" to "fascist Nazi Germany" and "its war on its one percent," i.e. the Jews. As is typically the case when one throws around the term "Kristallnacht" and suggests that attacks on Danielle Steele in the San Francisco Chronicle are not unlike attacks on Jews during WWII, Perkins took a lot of heat for his op-ed, with the company he founded which still bears his name (along with those of a few others) basically saying they've never heard of the guy.

What did billionaire Sam Zell think of Perkins's comments, BloombergTV's Betty Liu asked today? 1. That Perkins is right, and the 1% are being "pummeled" because it's "politically convenient." and 2. That while we're on the subject of the 1%, the people attacking them should instead being "emulating" them, because "the 1% work harder," which brings us to this delightful bit of dialogue:

Liu: But Sam, try telling that to the person who is on minimum wage, who is living below the poverty line, that they should try to emulate the 1%. How are they going to get there?
Zell: Oh, the stories are rampant of people who started with a candy store and took it from there. There are lots of people who have the ambition and have the motivation and have succeeded.

Zell: The 1% Work Harder and Should Be Emulated [BloombergTV]


Formula 1 Heiresses Recommend Real Estate, Dog Facials

Last year, Petra Ecclestone, daughter of Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone, gave the California housing market a boost when she bought 90210 widow Candy Spelling's 57,000 square foot mansion for $85 million, as a crash pad for when she's in Los Angeles (she also owns a six-story house in London’s Chelsea neighborhood purchased for £56 million). Around the same time, Petra's sister, Tamara, paid $70 million for "a 16,000-square-foot historic brick home across the road from Kensington Palace." And while some would simply write the Sisters Ecclestone off as spoiled rich girls whose parents have footed the bill for these places (mom is Slavica Radic, a former Croatian model who lent Petra $82.4 million for the LA house), the Wall Street Journal sees what the haters will not: a couple of savvy investors who you might consider asking to manage your money. In an interview with the paper, which dubbed the Sisters Ecclestone "The First New Family of Real Estate," Tamara explained her investment thesis: Wearing Lululemon yoga pants and a fitted hoodie, Ms. Ecclestone sat in her living room, overlooking an outdoor lap pool, and explained that she sees their real estate holdings as smart purchases. "I think London [property] is a really good investment," she said. "There's no bank in the world that can give you that return." Ecclestone also shared some pearls of wisdom re: dealing with critics looking to bring you down, of which her fellow billionaires, newly minted or old, should take note. Last year Ms. Ecclestone starred in a reality program about her life called "Billion $$ Girl." One episode depicted her taking her dogs to Harrod's for facials and pedicures. Another shows her debating cancelling a meeting because she woke up with a pimple on her face. Her participation in the show, in the midst of a recession, drew criticism from many, including her father. Mr. Ecclestone said he could barely make it through one episode. "I spoke to her before and said… 'They're never going to show you in a good light,' " he said. "She was stupid to do it." Ms. Ecclestone took the criticisms in stride. "It's like water off a duck's back," she said. The First New Family Of Real Estate [WSJ]