Monday, August 15, 2022

Ping Pong And Beer

After writing that post I went to remind myself what I had written about WeWork before, and, well, I repeat myself (but so does he).
Now I think I get it - attract a bunch of money by marketing itself to investors as a some sort of new economy thing (hip millennial working spaces with Ping-Pong and beer!!!), and use that money to go long on a massive portfolio of commercial real estate leases. Then hope for the best!
It wasn't an entirely crazy plan, but while Neumann was for whatever reason the one to attract the investment, he perhaps isn't the best person to run it!
In conversations with people inside and outside the company, Neumann’s pronouncements became wilder. He told one investor that he’d convinced Rahm Emanuel to run for president in 2020 on the “WeWork Agenda.” (Emanuel did not respond to a request for comment.) Neumann told colleagues that he was saving the women of Saudi Arabia by working with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to offer women coding classes, according to a source. In another meeting, Neumann said three people were going to save the world: bin Salman, Jared Kushner, and Neumann. Shortly after the news broke in October 2018 that Saudi agents tortured dissident and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi and carved his body with a bone saw, likely on order from the crown prince himself, Neumann told George W. Bush’s former national security adviser Stephen Hadley that everything could be worked out if bin Salman had the right mentor. Confused, Hadley asked who that person might be, according to a source familiar with the meeting. Neumann paused for a moment and said: “Me.”
He can still charm the usual group of rich lunatics, apparently!