Last year, Russian billionaire Sergei Polonsky's ego went supernova, claiming "those who don't have a billion [dollars] can go to hell." He went on to ridicule us commoners, saying anyone without a billion bucks was a "loser."
Well, enjoy the loser-infested inferno, Sergei.
Polonsky's real estate company, Mirax Group, is now on its deathbed. He admits it himself. Mirax Group is "'struggling with the storming seas of the economic crisis' and may not survive," Polonsky's blog claims, according to The Associated Press, adding, Polonsky now humbly admits, "If we are destined to perish, we'll do it with our heads up high."
Personal financial misfortune isn't something to laugh about, but the schadenfreude involved here is too much to ignore. If you're looking for proof that greed, egotism, and stupidity were raging during the boom years, there it is. Big and bold.
In fairness, Polonsky isn't the only one guilty of this. Here are a few other terribly ironic quotes spewed by those whose egos may have gotten in the way:
"It is hard for us, without being flippant, to even see a scenario within any kind of realm of reason that would see us losing one dollar in any of these transactions."
-- Former AIG
"Political leaders must make the sound decisions critical for economic success, even when the politics are difficult."
"Acquiring one of the premier wealth management, capital markets, and advisory companies is a great opportunity for our shareholders."
-- Bank of America
"The strict risk discipline imposed on our trading desks is reinforced by the strong sense of ownership that permeates the culture of the corporation."
-- Bear Stearns annual report, 2006, T-minus two years to self-destruction.
"[Books have] them little words. Plus it makes you think too much. Too confusing. I just don't like to read."
-- Lenny Dykstra on his financial astuteness. Unrelated to this article, but really, really awesome.
Got any others? Feel free to share 'em in the comment section below.
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