Zero Hedge wrote:
There is something morbidly ironic when one of the world's richest men, in this case South African Johann Rupert, who has made billions (his net worth is roughly $7.5 billion) peddling Cartier jewelry and Chloe fashion as founder and chairman of luxury conglomerate Richemont, whose 20 brands also include Vacheron Constantin and Montblanc, said tension between the rich and poor is set to escalate, that the "envy, hatred and the social warfare" may crush society, and that "we are destroying the middle classes at this stage and it will affect us."Rupert purchased portions of Lehman Brothers Inc., the division advised by Jeb Bush. FT reported in March 2009:
According to Bloomberg, Rupert said that “we cannot have 0.1 percent of 0.1 percent taking all the spoils,” adding that “it’s unfair and it is not sustainable." Being among the 0.1% of said "0.1% of 0.1%" he should know.
“How is society going to cope with structural unemployment and the envy, hatred and the social warfare?” he said. “We are destroying the middle classes at this stage and it will affect us. It’s unfair. So that’s what keeps me awake at night.”
Lehman Brothers had close links to Mr Rupert, advising him on the spin-out of his tobacco holdings last year. More recently, LBMB invested with Mr Rupert's holding company, Remgro, in the $2.5bn takeover of Hirslanden, the Swiss hospital group. LBMBowns stakes in 27 portfolio companies.
Rupert knew which Lehman private equity assets to buy on the cheap after the implosion. It helped the Fed loaned Lehman $138 billion after it fell. That assured Rupert of having something to buy. Back to Zero Hedge:
There was some hope in 2008 when resetting the "unfair" system was a distinct possibility, however it was if not Rupert, than his billionaire banker peers who hijacked the system once more, transferred some $50 trillion in wealth away from the global middle class to the "0.1% of 0.1%", and have virtually assured a revolution or war.It was part Rupert. I imagine a pure play luxury goods maker is doing quite well.