GOOCH PILE UNAFFECTED BY ECONO-WINDS

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The U.S. economy may be smashing into a wall, but Rumson’s Mickey Gooch — owner of and columnist at the Two River Times, sometime quarrelsome neighbor and Wall Street billionaire — is still doing just fine, thank you very much, the Wall Street Journal reports today.

In fact, despite the collapse the credit-default-swaps market on which he made his fortune, the British native seems rather in a mood to boast about his bank account.

The founder and controlling shareholder of GFI Group — an “interdealer broker” of the financial instruments many critics say are at the root of the current global credit crisis — is among 15 or so CEOs of homebuilding and financial services companies who the Journal says reaped tens of millions of dollars in personal gains in the past five years.

As reported by the ProPublica.com site,

The Journal paints the lavish lifestyles of several other CEOs, including Michael Gooch, 50, of credit-default swap broker GFI Group, Inc. With a $82.5 million payoff [in cash compensation and stock-sales proceeds over the past five years], he is at no risk of default himself:

Mr. Gooch says his only major debt is a $1 million mortgage. “It could be paid off with the spare change in my bank account,” he says

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