Standing in front of Gustav Klimt's fabulous Adele Bloch-Bauer, now part of the collection of the Neue, I remembered that it sold last year for $135 million, the highest ever paid for a painting.
A Warhol just sold for a record $71 million, four times the previous record for his work (his Mao sold last year for $17.4 million). A Mark Rothko sold last week at Sotheby's for nearly $73 million, a new record for postwar art. A Jasper Johns also set a record, $17.4 million last week at auction at Christie's.
Shopping recently at the huge daddy watch store of them all, the Tourneau store on Madison, I noticed the latest styles are full of bling and zing - pearl faces, diamonds and sparkle. The over the top flashy trends that were popping out before the last time the market tipped way down. The looks are celebratory, the styles are not toned down or understated anywhere. The Dow is setting records - up 74% from its October 2002 low and the hedge fund cowboys are riding high. Forbes in the May 21 issue's article, Top Guns, wrote that the 20 top Wall Street fund managers earned an average of $658 million in 2006 versus $145 million for the 20 highest-paid chief executives. James Simons, top of the Top Gun list, earns $850 million more than the top-earning chief executive, Apple's Steve Jobs.
I was in Oklahoma City when Penn Square Bank fell and in Houston when Enron seemed to be an ephemeron (and in Atlanta when it fell). Funny money. NYC feels flush. Eyebrow raised, I wonder: too, too much?