Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wall St. Journal Steps Up Coverage of the Travails of the Rich

I guess F. Scott Fitzgerald was right -- the rich are different from you and me. Just check out the New York Times & Wall St. Journal, which are vying for the gold medal for coverage of the problems during the current bad economic period.

I've been chronicling their coverage because I'd think the space could be used better, that the problems of the super-wealthy is a sidebar story to the main issue, the impact on people who are truly having a difficult time of it.

The latest exhibit: "Money Pit? Chrysler Investor Hit Bumpy Road in Home Remodel: Delays, Leaks, Cost Overruns Plague $15 Million Fix of Manhattan Townhouse."

Apparently Stephen Feinberg, the founder of Cerberus Capital Management, a hedge-fund and private-equity firm whose net worth has been estimated at over $1 billion, ended up paying $15 million to fix up his Manhattan townhouse.

Now, I've renovated our house, and I know that everything takes longer and costs more to complete than expected. I know that paying three times the original estimate can be extremely frustrating and something of a hardship. And I know that I have never paid $15 million for renovations (or the original estimate of $5 million).

But Feinberg's got $1 billion. He's not going to have to hold a bake sale to make the payments.

Is this really worthy of the Wall St. Journal's front-page?

Or am I being too insensitive?

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