There are lots of memos that important people write to other important people on Wall Street. Silly memos, angry memos, inspiring memos, ugly memos and forgettable memos. But rarely does the Wall Street Journal run something as gorgeously perfect as real estate billionaire Tom Barrack’s recent missive about Twilight. The Colony Capital chief had recently been “caught in a vortex of meteoric movement in every aspect of life,” he writes, when he found himself alone on a boat in Turkey. There was nothing to do but read a copy of the vampire romance novel that happened to be lying around.
At first, he was nervous and ashamed. “I would be kicked out of the bench press section of the gym. My polo compadres would send me packing to the pony rides and my surfing buddies would exile me to the kiddie pool,” he says. But he read. And he read some more. He had epiphanies! “I now understand why some women are emotionally altered from merely reading a book. I have also gained a deeper realization that understanding the circumstances and points of views of those with whom we are negotiating, working, living, loving or fighting is the key determinant factor in an enduring relationship.”
He had more epiphanies! “We are the captains of our industry and we possess all the global knowledge. That which we don’t understand we push a button and it appears before us. We are lacking creativity,” he says. “It is time for all of us to become more creative, spend more time outside of the strict arithmetic cadence of our business, and understand foreign points of view. Most importantly we must really find the ‘moment.’ Anticipation is everything.”
Mr. Barrack, whose happens to be a co-owner of Michael Jackson’s old Neverland, finishes the note with a flourish. “Break through the comfort barriers, you can handle it whatever it is. The earth is turning on its axis. Planets and moons and suns are in orbit. Gravity is pulling and tugging, and molecules and quarks are warring inside of us. We need movement to live.”