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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 14 Aftermath

Real estate is basically a circle of men holding a revolver to each other's heads.

—Industry proverb

Perhaps because people saw some part of themselves reflected in Harry Macklowe and his cautionary tale—and because in the strange, incestuous web of real estate so many people were, in some way, connected to what happened to him—many were thrilled to see Harry rising again. It meant good news for everyone. Jonathan Gray chuckled, “Will he go and put it all on red 17 again? Maybe.”

At this point in his life, Harry Macklowe had earned the prerogative to do so. He was the unofficial lord of the Liar's Ball, a warrior who had survived the worst—and was now back in contention.

As for the others in his circle, well, true to form, they kept on scheming—though not without reflecting on what the story of the GM Building meant to each of them.

Jonathan Gray was widely considered to be the heir apparent at the Blackstone Group. The Equity Office Properties (EOP) deal cemented his place in the hierarchy of the storied private equity firm. And even though every purchaser of EOP ended up losing money in the short term, Gray was quick to note that, in the long term, prices came roaring back. The price Harry paid for EOP no longer looked unrealistic—something Macklowe was glad to hear when it got back to him. “His mistake was not the price he paid . . . it was the way he financed it,” said Gray.

Donald Trump still felt irritated about losing the GM Building, but was glad ...

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