From twitter, a tweet that's going viral, including among climate change skeptics (action against climate change is being discussed at Davos):

The cognitive dissonance in the first & last sentences of this excerpt is something to behold http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2015-01-21/billionaire-greene-goes-long-on-u-s-while-bemoaning-jobs-crisis.html

Quoted section (emphasis added myself):

America’s lifestyle expectations are far too high and need to be adjusted so we have less things and a smaller, better existence,” Greene said in an interview today at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “We need to reinvent our whole system of life.”

The 60-year-old founder of Coral Gables, Florida-based Florida Sunshine Investments said his biggest fund was up more than 20 percent last year with bets on Apple Inc. (AAPL), Google Inc. (GOOG), bank stocks and mortgage-backed securities.

“I’m remarkably long for my level of pessimism,” he said. “Our economy is in deep trouble. We need to be honest with ourselves. We’ve had a realistic level of job destruction, and those jobs aren’t coming back.”

Greene, who flew his wife, children and two nannies on a private jet plane to Davos for the week, said he’s planning a conference in Palm Beach,

Wikipedia's article on Jeff Greene indicates that he's a billionaire, so he can afford a private jet plane, and that he has a luxury yacht, which means that he's likely to own and use a private jet plane. It also indicates that he's politically active.

The main thing I'm skeptical about is whether the first sentence is incorrect and/or taken out of context. The Bloomberg article doesn't link to a transcript of the interview in question.

  • 4
    He may have been saying that their lifestyle expectations are unrealistic for their pay grade. Unskilled workers on minimum wage can't, for instance, expect brand-new iPhones as soon as new ones come out. People end up taking out loan after loan to fund an unsustainable quality of life. That's probably what he's referring to. Jan 22, 2015 at 10:51
  • 1
    While Mr. Greene may be a billionaire, that has little to do with owning a private plane. There are many people whose net worth is orders of magnitude less than that, and own private planes of varying sizes. (My uncle, for example, although his plane is too small to fit his four sons plus luggage now that they're teenagers.)
    – Brian S
    Jan 22, 2015 at 15:41
  • 4
    I don't see what's so surprising about it. Rich people really are that out of touch, and people in general are quick to believe that they deserve everything they have but everyone else doesn't.
    – HamHamJ
    Jan 22, 2015 at 15:56
  • What's the basis for being skeptical of the claim?
    – user5341
    Jan 22, 2015 at 16:41
  • 8
    This has been reported in multiple reliable news outlets. If you don't accept those sources, what sources are you going to accept? Jan 23, 2015 at 16:12

1 Answer 1


According to Billionaire Says Bloomberg Fabricated His Quote About Americans Needing To Have A 'Smaller Existence':

Greene said that he "was completely misquoted," not misunderstood. He also said that the comments were made in a "busy, noisy room" and "maybe [Matthew G. Miller] didn't hear me."

A rep for Bloomberg News says that the company stands by its reporting.

  • 1
    So what did he actually say?
    – DonielF
    Jan 4, 2018 at 1:06
  • @DonielF i doubt this site is for primary sources :) Jan 10, 2018 at 7:49

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