Global Guru Friedman slightly poorer
American intellectual Thomas L Friedman is one of the great gurus of our generation. Winner of 3 Pulitzers, Thomas had the foresight to see a more collective and collaborative world. Thomas writes for the New York Times and many other international media. In India, he is best known for his brilliant book ‘The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century’
As one of the most respected names in America, Friedman got input for the book from the likes of Bill Gates and Michael Dell. Thomas Friedman was quoted as saying two Indians – Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani and ex-Wipro supremo Vivek Paul helped ‘him crack the code of globalisation’.
Quite understandably, Thomas is a popular and welcome guest in the offices and homes of our IT and BPO business heads.
Gawker is reporting that that much of Thomas Friedman’s wife fortune was invested in a company called General Growth Properties which filed for bankruptcy last week.
The Gawker report read in part:
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman didn't have a column in yesterday's paper. Was it because the company that his wife's fortune is invested in went bankrupt last week, and he's too sad to type?
General Growth Properties filed for bankruptcy on Thursday, which is notable because it's one of the nation's largest mall operators, with 200 malls in 44 states—the Times called the company's failure "one of the biggest commercial real estate collapses in United States history."
It's also notable because Friedman's wife, Ann Bucksbaum Friedman, is an heir to the family that founded GGP, and her family still owns about a quarter of the company. Two years ago, a quarter of GGP was worth more than $4 billion. Today it's worth less than an olive tree. Friedman does OK—incomprehensibly so—with his books and speaking gigs, so he's got a little breathing room. Still, it's got to hurt when your spouse's family loses $4 billion.
Mainstream media are avoiding the story while a number of American blogs have picked it up. As Thomas was never involved in the running of his wife’s company, mainstream media have not picked up the story. Thomas also writes for the prestigious New York Times and journalists are always reluctant to report on the family of one of their own.
American blogs like Gawker rightly feel that the public should be in the loop about every important piece of information so that they can take informed decisions. After all globalisation is one of the main reasons that American businesses have been hit hard.