The death this week of a multimillionaire lapdog puts a furry period to the end of a greed-is-good tale that now seems ancient history.
In the rare world of canine obituaries, the small Maltese named Trouble rates attention, not only for her wealth but as a reminder of the heartless rapacity that led to the depressed economy we now inhabit.
Trouble was bequeathed $12 million in 2007 by owner Leona Helmsley who, after a gaudy career of appearing in TV commercials as the demanding Queen of Manhattan’s Palace Hotel, was widely known as “The Queen of Mean” for her monstrous self-centeredness.
Like Donald Trump, her wealth came from an earlier generation’s real-estate wheeling and dealing but with a difference. Trump was born into it, Helmsley seduced and married it.
In 1972, straight-laced billionaire Harry Helmsley left his wife of 33 years to partner with the twice-divorced fireball, who set to work making his (and her) name famous.