"Oh from far and wide ye young and old shall gather together for the Greifelds' Grand Family Reunion. From the Big Apple to the Emerald Isle, journey back to discover our distant Irish past in a land of leprechauns and folklore."
So read an invitation that Nasdaq chief Bob Greifeld sent to 20 of his closest family members. They were to return to Ireland and spend a week celebrating both their Irish heritage and Mr. Greifelds' recent promotion to the position of President and Chief Executive Officer of The Nasdaq Stock Market, Inc. (NASDAQ).
Indeed, Mr. Greifeld spared no expense transporting his family members back to "the old country." All but two of them flew first class to Dublin. Mr. Greifeld's father and younger brother claimed to have a fear of flying, so they made the trip in first class accommodations on the Queen Mary II for $28,000. All family members stayed at the Luttrellstown Castle on the edge of Dublin. It seems that Mr. Greifeld rented the castle for the week. The guests were toasted with the finest vintage Bâtard-Montrachet, served in the best crystal at a table set with sterling silver in one of the many stunning staterooms.
The week went on and on in grand style. The guests had a wonderful time enjoying riding, jousting, falconry, hunting, golfing, and flying around the countryside in a private helicopter (the week was captured in intimate detail on DVD because Mr. Greifeld had hired a film crew to follow his clan 24/7)
"To the simple things and family," Mr. Greifeld said, as a team of butlers removed the shoes of the ladies and placed their feet on satin pillows. The copious feasts, the entertainers, and the servants cost more than $611,000.
There was but one tiny problem with this family's return to their roots in Dublin. It seems that the professional genealogist hired by Mr. Greifeld failed in his assignment. Despite charging €1,500 for his services, the genealogist was unable to find hardly any Irish ancestors of Mr. Greifeld's.
You can read more about this absurd extravagance at http://business.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,8209-2482612,00.html.