Posts Tagged: Markets

Who's Looking Out For Jasper Johns?

Two decades ago, Martin Lang paid £100,000 for what he thought was a painting by Marc Chagall—a reclining nude, dated 1909-10. Recently, at his son’s behest, Lang submitted the painting to the producers of the BBC art program "Fake or Fortune?" Unfortunately for Lang, "Fake or Fortune"'s analysis came up fake: it showed that the painting's blues and greens used pigments only developed in the 1930s.

Upon this discovery, Lang was issued a writ by the Chagall Committee—based in Paris and headed by Chagall's two granddaughters—which is the only body with the authority to declare the authenticity of a Chagall. Now that Lang's painting has been shown to [...]


Facebook IPO the "equivalent of a must-see Super Bowl Sunday showdown"!

"Facebook’s debut is not just a market event. For the millions of Americans who have no intention of ever buying or selling a share of Facebook (although the mutual funds in their 401(k) may have other thoughts), the trading on Friday is the the [sic] equivalent of a must-see Super Bowl Sunday showdown for people who don’t ordinarily watch a football game," opines the New York Times. It's "a pop culture spectacle"! I sure wish they'd said "spectacular." So basically, the Facebook IPO is "The Hills" but with more money. It's so important that we watch the manipulation of a market and a company's share price! Meanwhile, everyone's [...]


Behind the Franzenfreude

Time's recent declaration of the obscure and notoriously media-shy writer Jonathan Franzen as our "Great American Novelist" was met, at first anyway, with shocking equanimity, it seems to me. Sure, he has a new book, Freedom, coming out. Sure, Sam Tanenhaus declared said novel a "masterpiece of American fiction" in the New York Times, though he did so nearly a month before regular readers would be able to challenge that view. Sure, such is the confidence of Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux in this book that it is pre-selling as an ebook at the unusually-high price of $14.99. Me, I read The Corrections, enjoyed it, and promptly [...]


The End Of Interns

Our government runs on unpaid internships. During the recent shutdown, as many federal staff members were laid off, unpaid interns filled in the gap. Although considered volunteers, they were doing the work of a five or six figure salary just for the heck of it. That exciting opportunity to work for free may sound appealing to eager college graduates wanting to climb up the career ladder, pad their resume, and avoid working at the local plastic flower factory, but from a labor perspective it’s abominable. There’s no reason why they shouldn’t be paid. If the government can’t pay the people it takes to run the government, then there [...]


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 [...]


Why Would Anyone Buy Annie Leibovitz Now?

I've been on record with my dislike for most of Annie Leibovitz's work, but even I figured it was a good value in the photography market. Her auction record is something like $57,000; today, you can actually buy prints for like $8 grand. But what are you getting? When she got into deep financial trouble, her arrangement with Philips resulted in a "Master Set" of 150 photographs, in an edition of 7; three of the set are broken up for solo sale. So, right: oh, look, a brand new edition! There's World Cup soccer photos in monster editions of 50; photographs, in an edition of 40, and sized [...]


Frightening Man To Use Wealth To "Target" Women On Internet!

A "serial entrepreneur" is in "stealth mode" for his "new blog" which, he reveals, is going to "target female readers," because "so much of the new media publishing focus is still on men" and "there is a massive market failure going on right now" and "so few new media properties have tried to capture the demographic ." No, I've actually cherry-picked the good sentences

I know, it's so crazy, absolutely no one has touched the market for women online, now maybe finally someone will build a web publishing company that "targets female readers" and then take it public, because what an amaaaaazingly good [...]


Damien Hirst: The End of His Era

Damien Hirst is in some hot formaldehyde these days. The secondary market for his works has collapsed by at least 93% in the last two years, and he's been accused of plagiarism by Charles Thomson, artist and co-founder of the Stuckists, a British arts group that promotes figurative painting. The jocular pontifications of these Stuckists fall somewhere in tone between Viz magazine and Prince Charles yammering on about "traditional" architecture. Thomson weakens his case enormously by claiming, for instance, that Hirst's "Pharmacy" was lifted from Joseph Cornell's work in the forties. Which, of course, it was. The "quotations" of fine artists-concepts, techniques, poses, etc., lifted [...]