Just as with the others, Ms. Ecclestone’s thrift defense stands in stark contrast to her real life. We know this, because of a recent documentary, which shows her parading around in her mansion, flying around in her jet, buying a million-dollar bathtub (made from Mexican crystal) and taking her five dogs to the doggie spa at Harrods. During one scene, she commissions an elevator to be built in her home for one of her Ferraris.
If wealth is relative, so is thrift. Tamara Ecclestone, the serial handbag-buyer and heiress to part of the multibillion-dollar Formula 1 fortune, said in an interview with the The Mail on Sunday that she has always been a penny pincher…She said she got 20% off on her last car. “I love to get a deal. Who doesn’t love a bargain?” Of all the great PR lines by the wealthy, the “thrift” defense may be the most common. David Siegel, who built the largest new home in America, says he’s “frugal.” So does Mike Bloomberg, who has just two pairs of work shoes, and buys small cups of coffee, which surely outweigh the private jet and two townhouses on the billionaire “thrift balance sheet.”
By Robert Frank, March 20, 12 WSJ