One America – Two Different Worlds

Posted By Levi

December 27th, 2011 5:06pm

Category: Economy

From Digby:

I don’t know if anyone’s noticed, but the 1% is on a buying spree. They have so much money they don’t know what to do with it. And so they are spending it on things that have no real value.

The landmark auctions of The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor at Christie’s New York from December 3-17 realized a combined total of $156,756,576 with every single item sold. The sale drew unprecedented interest from bidders throughout the world, who gathered in Christie’s flagship Rockefeller Center saleroom to compete in person, on the phone, on-line and by absentee bid to win one of the Collection’s 1,778 lots of jewelry, fashion, decorative arts and film memorabilia. The total far exceeded Christie’s pre-sale expectations for the sale as a whole and for individual items, which were frequently hammered down for five, ten, or even 50 times their estimate in some cases.Here’s how the rich determine “value”:

Look closely. The two diamond and gold bands on the right were valued at $6-8,000. They sold for $1,022,500.00
I like Elizabeth Taylor as much as anyone and I don’t doubt there’s collector value in those rings. But that’s obscene.

Still, everybody likes an auction. And there have been a lot of them this year. Unfortunately, this is the kind in which most Americans are participating:

Banks in November scheduled more than 26,000 homes to be sold at California foreclosure auctions, a 63% increase from October and a sign that a surge in discounted, bank-owned properties is on track to hit the market next year.

The uptick in scheduled auctions follows an increase last summer in homes entering the foreclosure process by receiving default notices and was largely driven by Bank of America.



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