The Real Deal Miami

Jeffrey Greene: South Floridian billionaire came from modest beginnings

December 08, 2009 01:37PM

Jeff Greene, who recently purchased the La Bellucia mansion in Palm Beach County’s largest sale of 2009, was made a billionaire largely with the success of his bet against the subprime mortgage market. But the swaggering figure the Wall Street Journal dubbed the “Meltdown Mogul” doesn’t come off as such, the Miami Herald wrote in a profile of the South Floridian investor this week. Green said his own father’s story — one of a small New England businessman who worked in vain to fight trends of cheaper labor migrating jobs to the South — impressed on him how fates can change. He said his own belief that the real estate market had become unmoored was the reason his wealth is now at an estimated $1.3 billion. His bet on the opposite side of market calls by the largest institutions of Wall Street, which were snapping up mortgage bonds, including billions in subprime adjustable-rate loans, worked well for Greene. [Miami Herald]