Monday, November 21, 2011

Too Much: An Inequality Geography Primer, 21/ Nov/ 2011 @ Too Much News Weekly

Sandy Weill, the former CEO at Citigroup, owns two apartments at 15 Central Park West, the most pricey address in Manhattan. In 2007, he paid $43.7 million for his first, a ten-room spread complete with a oval-shaped master bedroom that offers picture-perfect views of the sun rising over Central Park's expanses.

Weill now has this plush pad up for sale — at $88 million. He could well clear, say realtors, over $40 million. But Weill is taking great pains to point out that any profits he makes on the sale “will go to what we can give away to try to help make the world a better place.”

Weill clearly expects us all to applaud. But would we applaud a druglord who started bankrolling good causes back in his 'hood? Weill’s Citi empire, to be sure, has never pushed drugs. Only toxic securities. Last week, Citi agreed to pay $20 million to settle claims that this pushing had bankrupted five credit unions. Last month, to settle a totally separate fraud case, Citi agreed to pay $285 million.

Sandy Weill has plenty of high-flying company. America’s deepest pockets have, almost without exception, survived in grand style the Great Recession that their behavior so recklessly triggered. In this week’s Too Much, a geographical look at just how well they’re thriving. Together.

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