Donald Trump, West Palm Beach & the Rise of the New Wall Street

Newsweek – March 2017

The night I flew into West Palm Beach, a string of deadly tornadoes ripped across Florida. High winds pounded surf against jagged coastline and whipsawed the 100-foot-tall trees along Royal Palm Way—what locals call Bankers’ Row.

It was just a few days after Donald Trump’s inauguration. A couple of miles down the road, seemingly oblivious to the approaching storm, hundreds of revelers packed Mar-a-Lago, the Great Gatsby–esque private resort Trump has dubbed his “Winter White House,” to fete their new king. The private event, attended by Palm Beach’s billionaires, entrepreneurs and socialites, featured dinner and dancing, a replay of Trump’s swearing-in ceremony and a mammoth ice sculpture of the American flag with “President Trump” emblazoned on the base in red.

In such rarefied circles, it’s not unusual to bump into people who spent their childhoods riding around in limos with their nannies, and, in their retirement years, put off a spouse’s funeral so they could enjoy the last days of what Palm Beachers call “the Season”—roughly four months of epic winter bashes and galas that run from late November to early April every year. When the parties end, Palm Beach island’s population promptly shrinks from 30,000 to 10,000.

The full article is available here:  Newsweek