American commercial real estate expert John Goff admits he “wasn’t smart enough” to predict the Great Recession of 2007. However, the billionaire suspected something.
He was serving as chairman of the board for Crescent Real Estate, a Fort Worth-based REIT with a portfolio of 54 office buildings, at the time. Everything we had was being offered,” Goff explains.
“I didn’t grasp the pricing, found nothing to buy,” he says of his inspection of the market. That’s why, in August of 2007, he did the logical thing and put the house up for sale.
Crescent was purchased by Morgan Stanley during the height of the real estate market for $6.5 billion. Goff’s $220 million share profit came at a perfect time. He watched in disbelief as the portfolio his team had developed collapsed in value, yet he was unharmed.
By the year’s end of 2009, Morgan Stanley had already taken a $3.5 billion loss on its investment in Crescent and turned over control of the company to Barclays in exchange for a transfer of ownership.
Barclays partnered with Goff to manage the portfolio and attempt to recoup its investment because it reasoned that no one knew the properties better than Goff.
Which he accomplished and then some over the following few years by selling off over $2 billion in office buildings into a recovering market.
Goff personally invested in his most prized properties, such as the luxurious Canyon Ranch spa. While ending their joint venture together last year, Barclays also returned the Crescent name to Goff.
Batsmen have been taking head blows in cricket for decades.
But for Phillip Hughes, the effects were quite different. Peter Brukner, a doctor for the Australian cricket team, said that the illness that killed Hughes was “extremely unusual,” occurring just once previously with a cricket ball.
Brukner further mentioned that Hughes’s condition, a dissection of the vertebral artery, was extremely rare, accounting for only 100 cases worldwide. Brukner described the incident as “a freak event” because the victim suffered a neck injury that led to a cerebral hemorrhage.
We’ve only seen a handful of cases of this illness in all of human history. Only about one hundred cases of vertebral artery dissection resulting in subarachnoid hemorrhage have been recorded in the medical literature. The injury was devastating, according to Dr. Tony Grabs of St. Vincent’s Hospital.
A total of 23 “bouncers” (a ball thrown with the intention of bouncing up towards the batsman’s midsection) were bowled that day, and 20 of them were directed at Hughes.
Except for the last one, Hughes was “comfortably coping” with the short balls thrown at him because of his better batting ability.
The ball slammed fatally into his neck because of “a tiny misjudgment or a slight error of execution.” The attorney for the Hughes family said nine straight short balls bowled at the batsman “was going too far” during the October inquiry.
When other players testified that they couldn’t remember what happened that day, the family left the hearing in protest.
Expressions of Sadness
The cricketing community’s palpable anguish was heartbreaking to witness. At Phillip Hughes’s funeral in his hometown of Macksville, the Prime Minister of Australia, Tony Abbott, was there.
As the Indian cricket team was already in Australia at the time, the Test series was delayed and the lineup was altered somewhat so that everyone could attend the burial. As a memorial to Phillip Hughes, baseball fans throughout the world have been setting out bats with caps atop the handles.
While in Sharjah, both the New Zealand and Pakistan teams opted to take the day off to reflect on the loss of Phillip Hughes, who was a key member of both teams’ batting lineups.
During the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup, Phillip Hughes served as Australia’s 13th and 16th man for a few games. Australia’s captain at the time, Michael Clarke, honored the memory of his “brother” Phillip Hughes by donning a black armband during this time.
An official investigation concluded that the incident in 2016 was an accident in which neither players nor umpires were at fault. But cricket evolved through time. The helmets have been upgraded with a protective grill for the side of the neck.
Even now, the rate of Bouncer deliveries remains high. And yet, on that fateful day of November 27, 2014, cricket experienced a tragedy unlike any in the sport’s contemporary history.