By James Greiff
Sandy Weill, the Wall Street maestro who put together what we know as Citigroup Inc., is in touch with the sensibilities of our economically pinched era. It is, he told the Wall Street Journal, "a pretty good time" for the rich "to be quiet."
In keeping with this new ethos of humility, Weill and his wife are "downsizing a little bit" and plan to sell their 6,744-square-foot penthouse at 15 Central Park West. The asking price is $88 million.
The Wall Street Journal said the apartment occupies an entire floor, has 12½-foot-high ceilings and 19 glass doors that open to a 2,077-square-foot terrace that wraps around three sides of the penthouse. The Weills paid $43.7 million, or $6,400 a square foot, a record at the time they bought the apartment in August 2007.
The Weills plan to move to a smaller apartment they own in the same building, which also has flats owned by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. chief Lloyd Blankfein, rocker Sting and actor Denzel Washington. The couple plans to donate "what we can give away" to charity.
The broker handling the sale said the asking price was justifiable and an appraiser said a sale might set another record.
But if someone pays the asking price, you have to wonder if Weill is right that the wealthy have decided it's time to lay low.
(James Greiff is a member of the Bloomberg View editorial board.)
-0- Nov/11/2011 17:25 GMT