The Wall Street Journal reports today that very important Wall Street people in very big American mansions are having very big foreclosure woes. “Houses with loans of $5 million or more will likely see a sharp rise in foreclosures this year,” says the paper. In February, for example, there were 352 houses in that tip-top category that had to suffer the indignity of a foreclosure auction–and only 1,312 in all of last year.
Like Nic Cage, whose real estate problems have been well documented, the former Merrill bigwig Robert Fuscone is in trouble. His 18,471-square-foot Westchester mansion (“two swimming pools, two elevators, six fireplaces, 11 bathrooms and a seven-car garage”) was scheduled for a Thursday foreclosure, which was postponed after he filed for bankruptcy.
According to a press release at the time of his 2000 retirement from Merrill, Mr. Fuscone had held nice-sounding jobs at the firm like executive chairman for Latin America and Canada (sadly, the Journal leaves out the Canadian part), the COO of Merrill’s Corporate and Institutional Client Group, the co-head of Global Fixed Income and then the sole head of Global Debt Markets. “Rick has built an outstanding reputation for his business savvy, leadership skills, sound judgment and personal integrity,” two company executives said then. “We are grateful for his many contributions to our firm and wish him the very best in his future endeavors.”
In a 1979 Forbes piece, Mr. Fuscone gave an interview about commercial paper while staring “soberly into a Virgin Mary in the executive aerie atop Merrill Lynch.” He is also seen “nibbling nonchalantly on a bread roll.”