Friday, August 21, 2009

The Rise of the Super-Rich Hits a Wall



"The rich, as a group, are no longer getting richer. Over the last two years, they have become poorer. And many may not return to their old levels of wealth and income anytime soon."

(full article)

Over on Facebook, I posted a link to a story in today's New York Times about how the 'Super Rich' are losing their wealth at a fast pace these days. Case in point, John Mcafee, founder of the antivirus software company, fortune has dropped from a peak of $100 million to $4 million. The story goes on to detail how this situation is affecting other segments of the economy.

The story was ripe for snark, so I added a fictional, one-sided conversation of a father talking to his daughter to the link:

"Honey, hi, this is daddy. How are you? Good, good. Um, listen, your mother and I have discussed it...and i'm afraid that we won't be able to give you that 20-room mansion on a private island that you wanted for your sixteenth birthday.

The good news is that there is still the hotel on the Riviera. You might have to share the building with other guests, but you'll still have ten floors to yourself...I know, I know, but the economy is a little down right now and we have to pinch pennies where we can..."

The link post received a few comments, but artist and fellow art blogger, Joanne Mattera, took it to a whole other level. Her three comments are posted together here:

"Honey, hi. You know that painting we wanted to buy? The impressive large work by that midcareer artist we love? We really can't afford it. I guess we'll have to call the dealer to say we can't get it. No, I'm so embarrassed, I not even going to call the dealer."

"Honey, hi, another thought. That dealer is probably hurting. The artist is probably starving. Let's ask for 50% off and see if we can't negotiate down from there."

"Honey, hi. I have another thought. Why don't we go right to the artist? That's 50% off there. Then we can negotiate for another 50% off and work down from there. We should be able to pick up that painting for pennies on the dollar."

This was fictional, but I can imagine conversations close to it having taken place behind closed doors all over the art-collecting world this last year or more.


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