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The Liar's Ball: The Extraordinary Saga of How One Building Broke the World's Toughest Tycoons by Vicky Ward

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Chapter 13 The Fall That Wasn't

I did not want this story to be about me. . . . I'd learned my lesson. I wanted this to be about the building.

—Harry Macklowe

Mort Zuckerman kept Harry Macklowe on as a tenant in the building of Harry's dreams. To this day Macklowe has the same corner office on the 21st floor. He keeps it white, minimalistic, save for the photos of his family on the walls.

Liliana Coriasco still acts as his office sentinel from her perch outside his lair. But Macklowe Properties is much reduced from what it used to be. There are only a handful of executives. And there is no Billy. In 2008, right after the sale of the GM Building, he denigrated his father in the Wall Street Journal. He said he had disagreed with his father privately, all along, about the Equity Office Properties (EOP) deal, about giving Pete Briger his personal guarantee. “You should always be opposed to recourse,” he said. “There's not a lot of complicated math around that.”

He said he had wanted to “exit” the EOP deal as soon as it was done. “The issue was my father seeing the victory of the deal as closing the transaction; I saw victory as exiting the transaction.”

After they'd gone to the Middle East, he said he'd told his father to “step aside. . . . We had a series of very specific conversations.”

He told the Journal, “There's a new way of business going forward.”

Harry Macklowe's friends and colleagues—even many of his competitors—were horrified.

Rob Horowitz called the Journal reporters ...

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