Friday, May 24, 2013

Penny Pritzker is Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams

President Obama has nominated Penny Pritzker to be Secretary of Commerce. She has a reported net worth of $1.85 billions dollars. That's billion, with a B. Her wealth is mainly inherited, as she is a member of the famous Pritzkers of Chicago, who made their fortunes in the hotel industry—specifically Hyatt Hotels.

But Ms. Pritzker is not merely an heiress. She makes tons of money on her own. In fact, she makes so much money that, in filings with Congress, she accidentally understated her income over the last decade by 80,000,000 dollars. To be clear, she didn't understate her net worth; she understated her income. The mistake was chalked up to "a clerical error," and she has corrected it.

So, how did Ms. Pritzker make all this money? Basically, it looks like she got paid a fortune for managing the fortune:
Documents released last week show Pritzker received $32.2 million for a decade’s worth of consulting on the restructuring of domestic trusts. The filings released yesterday show she earned at least $80 million for that work, according to Bloomberg’s compilation of the data. The revised total is in addition to the amount reported last week, according to Anderson.
Pritzker, whose family founded Hyatt Hotels Corp, ... disclosed last week that she earned $54 million in consulting fees last year for a similar restructuring of trusts based in the Bahamas, also over 10 years. The Bahamas’ income wasn’t changed in the amended disclosure document.
* * * 
“Ms. Pritzker was engaged by the U.S. trustee of trusts for the extended Pritzker family for advice on restructuring trust investments for the purpose of dividing assets along individual family lines,” Anderson said. They included investments in Hyatt, Marmon Holdings Inc., Union Tank Car Co. and non-hotel real estate investments including the Hyatt Center office tower in Chicago, she said.
So, if I'm reading this right, Pritzker has "earned" about $165,000,000 over the past decade for "managing various trusts." [CENSORED.]

About the only controversy regarding Ms. Pritzker's nomination is that her family owned bank failed back in 2001. She testified that "ya know, I feel very badly about that." But she asserts she had no management role in the bank so bears no responsibility. Honestly, what could she have done? She was too busy earning $31 per second (every second of every day of every year for a decade) managing those pesky trusts.


  1. Maybe you can get that trust management gig if she is confirmed. It sounds like good work if you can get it.


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