[B]ased on the bad news coming out of shopping-mall owner General Growth Properties[GGP], it is no wonder Thomas Friedman is feeling crankier than usual. That’s because the author’s wife, Ann (née Bucksbaum), is an heir to the General Growth fortune. In the past year, the couple—who live in an 11,400-square-foot mansion in Bethesda, Maryland—have watched helplessly as General Growth stock has fallen 99 percent, from a high of $51 to a recent 35 cents a share. The assorted Bucksbaum family trusts, once worth a combined $3.6 billion, are now worth less than $25 million.
Maybe Friedman's fall from the billionaire's club will make him come to his senses on some of this financial and trade stuff. Maybe - just maybe - he'll start realizing that the free-market fundamentalism he's been preaching for so long has some downsides.