Carl Icahn’s Failed Raid on Washington
In August 2016, financier Carl Icahn telephoned the Environmental Protection Agency. Icahn is one of the wealthiest men on Wall Street, and thrived, largely because of his capacity for intimidation.
A Texas-based oil refinery in which he had a keen interest was to lose money because of a dark rule that Icahn’s environment considered too cumbersome.
Icahn is a fickle critic of a government regulation that forces his business. So I wanted to talk to the person responsible for implementing the policy: a senior official in the US. Named Janet McCabe.
Icahn works from a set of offices above the General Motors building in downtown, decorated in the oak and leather style of a gallant tycoon in a nineteen movie.
During this decade, Icahn made his reputation as one of the original corporate invaders, who were pioneers in the art of hostile takeover and settling down as a human machine – a fighting machine, and greed wagging.
By the time he called the US, he was eighty years old, and had long since relinquished any personal or dynastic need to earn money; According to Forbes, it’s worth about seventeen billion dollars.
Many titans who are not as old and not as wealthy as Icahn have chosen to spend their remaining years spending their money, or abandon it. It’s not Icahn. A great man of fashion, he has recently developed a white beard, which softens his round face, giving him the look of an old Mouffett. But he did not lose the taste for killing him.
A few years ago, he sold his mega-yacht because he was thinking he was bored. He participated in philanthropy, construction of charter schools, and a stadium on Randall Island that bears his name. But the charity circuit is a siesta.
What Icahn loves beyond everything is getting up late every morning, then spending the rest of the day and a good part of the night working the phone, doing business. Years ago, a reporter asked Icahn why he kept making money when he already had more than he could afford.
“It’s a way to keep score,” he said. He is one of the richest people not only in the world, but in the history of the world – a man who depends on many things, one of which is his ability to approach anyone on the phone.
“He’s on vacation,” McCabe’s assistant said.
For how long?
For Icahn, there was something that simply did not count on the parties and left behind its work. Undoubtedly, he insisted, could McCabe interrupt any recreational activity that was committed to taking an urgent phone call from Carl Icahn?
No, McCabe’s assistant informed him. Could not.
The old riddle about whether it is better to love or fear has never posed much dilemma to Icahn.
In “Rey Icahn” a 1993 biography, author Mark Stevens described his theme as “man germophobe, individual, relatively loveless,” and quoted a contemporary account: “Carl’s dream in life is to have the only truck of Firefighters in the city.