Sam Lefrak: Enjoying The Last Laugh

It's a little distracting. Disconcerting, even. Here's Sam LeFrak, looking for all the world like a reincarnation of W.C. Fields, proclaiming loudly why so many real estate developers bit the dust in the 1980s--the "Decade of Swine," as he calls it. And over his shoulder, grinning her toothy grin, is Barbra Streisand in life-size cutout. You've just been ushered into LeFrak's office through a doorway crowned with an enormous moose head ("Shot it right through the brain," LeFrak says). On the wall to the left you can't help noticing a framed set of gleaming shark's teeth. As the billionaire barks out opinion after opinion, you listen politely. But inside, a thought is gnawing at you: "How," you wonder, "can I take this guy seriously?"

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