Thursday, January 22, 2009

740 Park Avenue

Michael Gross wrote a great book on 740 Park. It's also where John Thain calls home, after spending $29.5 million for a two bedroom apartment from Anneberg heiress Enid Haupt, two years ago. He paid $2 million over the $27.5 million listing price, for the two bedroom apartment, which equals about $8,000 a square foot.

John Thain had bad timing in CDO's but good timing of his purchase at 740 Park, and his membership in America's ruling class. Today they wouldn't let him in.

Who lived there? The Vanderbilts, Rockefeller, Bouvier, Bancroft, Bronfmans, Chrysler, Mellon, Steinberg, Schwarzman, Tisch, Lauder, Araskag, Kravis, Perelman, Koch families, and then of course, we have John Thain. Old money, oil money, new money, borrowed money and other people's money.

Why bring up 740 Park? Because history repeats itself. Saul Steinberg, (whose son Jonathan, married Maria Bartiroma) hated to part with his apartment, (that he bought from Rockefeller-yes the purchase signified that he had arrived) and finally sold it in 2000, for $30 million as his insurance company Reliance imploded. Reliance then stopped his dividends, took away his bonus, and then $5 billion "vaporized" in the largest insurance failure in the US. (Now we have AIG which makes Reliance look like small potatoes!)

Today the names are different. Instead of Steinberg, we have Thain, and instead of Reliance, we have Merrill Lynch. Reliance was brought done by "market forces" while Merrill Lynch was brought down by "legacy assets."

740 Park says Steinberg took his adversity with dignity. Now John Thain's adversity is just starting.

We'll see if he takes it with dignity.


Anonymous said...

Facts are all wrong. When facts are wrong, then credibility is destroyed. Those in glass houses.....

Palmoni said...

Speaking of glass--Didn't Leslie Gordon Glass live at 740 Park?

What did she find in the floorboards of 15/16D when it was renovated?

A lobbed rock only can pierce an area of vulnerability.

Ask Goliath.