Wednesday, January 21, 2015

For Love Or Money...Just Money, Actually

Money makes the world go around
The rich are different because they have things to fight over that the rest of us don't have. Namely, money. And when it comes to money, they fight like jihadists.

Men who make money by the millions are very appealing to women who would like to enjoy the lavish lifestyle that comes with wealth. No matter how not handsome a man like Bill Gates is, he can still command the admiration of the female sex. It's supposed to be all about resources for child-rearing, something hardwired into our prehistoric brain centers that helps the fittest survive. Just because said ugly man has a life partner, however, does not take him off the market for those who lust after money.

Ken Griffin made a tidy fortune by managing a hedge fund, and if all a lady is admiring is the size of his bank account, he's one of the best looking men in the world. His wife is equally driven to succeed, and managed her own hedge fund before settling down with the man of her dreams. They made a nice little family, with three children, over the course of an eleven year marriage that went wrong.

Chicago socialites would have noticed that the power couple stopped appearing together at various functions in 2012, when Mr. Griffin moved out of the family's home. Being polite, they wouldn't have talked about it, except among themselves. Who wants the servants gossiping about a person's private life?

Then the money entered and the divorce proceeding is very, very, very public and the servants, along with the rest of us non-1%ers, are shaking our heads in amazement.

There's little children involved, we say, and all these people care about is who gets the most money in the end? What's best for the kids? It doesn't seem to matter. Unless, of course, the kids can be used by the parents as pawns in this game.

And it is a game, one with winners and losers. These are high-powered, driven people engaged in a fierce battle over assets that go far beyond a bungalow on Chicago's south side. Millions of dollars in property and art are at stake, with the winner coming out of the war with the most trophies to display as evidence of their victory.

You might wonder what sort of marriage it was anyway, if the wife was paid monthly in accordance with a pre-nuptial agreement. Is it really a union if the missus tracks the required monthly payments that were her compensation for abandoning her own hedge fund to be a stay-at-home mother?

The court case is playing out in the newspapers, with every "He said, She said" dutifully reported. Pettiness is on parade as the aggrieved parties lob their little arrows that are meant to do damage. Accusations and counter-points fly, while those of us who cannot imagine taking a vacation beyond the Wisconsin Dells watch people with far too much money slug it out in a determined effort to keep as much of that money as the best lawyers in Illinois can manage.

And they haven't even started to fight over custody of the three children yet.

Maybe a price could be set and one of the other of the warring factions could buy them?

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