You knew that Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild was a mega communications mogul. You knew she was married to British banking scion Sir Evelyn de Rothschild and buds with Henry Kissinger and Vernon Jordan. But did you know she was practically, like, a philosopher?
Back when John [TV/wireless mogul and gagillionaire Kluge] sold to Southwest Bell I said "Boy, you know, I want a net worth of $40 million. Because I just thought that was more money than I could ever imagine. I thought I would die and go to heaven if I ever had $40 million. And John gave me the best advice I've ever gotten in one sentence. He said, "Stop. Don't think at all about the net worth you're creating. Think about your vision for what you're creating, and that you wake up every day and you love it. The money will follow." And it was sort of so profound, and this rush came over me of "Oh my God, of course," and then I just went on from there. And that made a huge difference to me.
Lloyd Grove interviews the Lady for Portfolio's semi-irregular "The World According To" column, and it turns out the Lady has much to say about India, Rupert Murdoch, and how to acquire buttloads of cash. Since the actual interview is eight entire pages of transcript, complete with Grove's self-deprecating comments, we ferreted out the best bits.
On being referred to as a "socialite" by the Wall Street Journal: "I think women are going to get so many labels. I think we just ride through it and go on with our lives."
On why she's investing in India: "You know, there are more billionaires in India than anyplace else. Let me put it this way: Every day in India, the entire nation of Great Britain is on the train, one way or another. So the numbers are pretty colossal. Seventy million people in India can afford anything they want. It's a small percent, but that's a reasonable number. Two hundred fifty million are middle-class, so you might not go for the Chanel glasses, but you sure could go for an Estée Lauder lipstick or a Starbucks coffee."
On why she's voting for Hillary: "I think if history is our guide, we've had stronger economies, more wealth creation, under Democratic presidents than we have under Republican presidents."
On Conrad Black's looming jail sentence: "It must be awful. It must be awful. But we do live in a world of consequences, and you do not do things where jail could be an option. It's pretty obvious."
On botched projects: "Well, most of all I learned that it's better to be lucky than to be smart."
On the Dark Lord Murdoch: "I have so much respect for Rupert Murdoch, I cannot even tell you. I don't, of course, agree with his politics all the time, but I think that he is a visionary. I think he is gutsy. Everyone I've ever known who's done a deal with Rupert cannot say a bad word about him. He's honorable, and I think it's an obvious thing for him to do, and I think it was brilliant."
On la vie: "The point is to, you know, do good, have a good life, and carry on. You always know who your friends are, you know?"