Hardcore Art Flippers: Taking The Art Market To Its Logical Conclusion

Stefan Simchowitz took collecting and "art advising"—that's helping people choose which art to buy—to where it was always going to go. He has a posse, a gang of 100 (100 men, seemingly), who buy artists (men, seemingly) in bulk when he says go. ("Sean Parker, Steve Tisch, Orlando Bloom, Guy Starkman, Enrique Murciano, and Rob Rankin, who is the head of investment banking at Deutsche Bank worldwide," he told Artspace.) He's a "disruptor" and a "cultural entrepreneur," he believes in "inexpensive channels for art that allow it to get redistributed and redistributed and redistributed with great virality." That means resale. (He was also producer of Requiem for a [...]


Are You Getting Hosed by Your Internet Provider? Yessir!

Most New Yorkers will be happy to hear that, on average, Time Warner delivers 91% of promised internet upload/download speeds. Not terrible! Those of us who have AT&T as our Internet provider, however, should all be signing on for a class action lawsuit—although the results of this FCC survey of actual deliverables will not be a surprise to any of us who've benchmarked our speed and found it sorely, wildly lacking. And is anyone surprised that Comcast Cablevision (good morning! Things that start with "C"! More coffee please, interns!), a thoroughly terrible company (check the immense Cablevision archive at Consumerist, for starters!), comes out looking so terribly? (Related: [...]


Gay Dads, Gucci Bags, New York Slags

Once—during one of those conversations in which you and a spouse/friend/coworker are formulating an alternate reality—my husband suggested that we move to Japan and become reality television stars. We're an interracial gay couple with the two cutest kids in the universe. In this country, we get occasional stares. In Japan, I'm confident we could be stars.

Gossip personality Perez Hilton is going to co-produce and star in a reality television show about gay dads, right here in America. It has a very descriptive name: "Gay Dads Of New York." We are not going to be on it. We weren't asked to be, nothing like that, and we're not the kind [...]


The Global Human Hair 'n' Kidney Black Market

"Most of the hair that gets shorn is from men. That gets sold to chemical companies and gets reduced to an amino acid called L-cystine, which is used as a leavening agent in baking goods." —Hi, I'm trying not to throw up. Here's a great primer on Scott Carney's look at the markets for humans and their parts. Obviously the incredibly large industry of kidney-harvesting is more truly disgusting but, ack: human hair food. I guess the world isn't really quite that flat after all, since white babies are worth more in the adoption market and expensive organs in "the west" fetch next to nothing to their original owners [...]


Investment Firm Divests Of Assault Rifle Manufacturers

"Calling the shooting a 'watershed event' in the national debate on gun control, Cerberus Capital, a New York-based firm that manages over $20 billion, said in a statement Tuesday it planned to sell off its investment in the Freedom Group. Freedom Group bills itself as a 'family' of more than a dozen firearm companies including Bushmaster Firearms." —Looks like a certain New York bunch of urban elitists are getting their man cards revoked.


A Proposal for a Commodities Market for the Legal World

Who wants in on my new firm? Here's how we're going to do it. We're going to open a simple trading market, right, which'll easily get approved by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, led as it is by Goldman Sachs alums. This will have a forward-facing straight-up predictive betting market on investment-backed lawsuits. (Later we'll open up that market to straight-up gambling on all law cases, because, who wouldn't want to go big on counterintuitive Supreme Court outcomes what with the new Justices?) Then we'll package and roll-up the investments in class action and high-end litigation. We'll let the lawyers openly re-sell their actual debts and [...]