Daily Archives: September 15, 2008

Damien Hirst Update

While the financial world was suffering, Mr. Hirst did well today, bring in $127.2 million at the first session of his art being auctioned at Sotheby’s. Remember, unlike Van Gogh, the artist is alive and well. Very well, financially.

However if you fear that everything is sold and there is nothing left, fear not. For the article said that:

‘One of his more macabre works, “Devil Worshiper,” a canvas with dead flies, didn’t sell. And neither did “Theology, Philosophy, Medicine, Justice,” which featured four bullsharks floating in two tanks.’

So there is still time. For more details, see Damien Hirst’s Mammoth Art Auction Attracts Plenty of Bidders, Despite Financial Turmoil – NYTimes.com

Some good advice to take away from the meltdown on Wall Street

As I am reading about the meltdown occurring, there are lots of complex terms and ideas being used that discourage  people — like myself — from believing I could understand what is really going on. But you don’t have to understand everything to know when things are going wrong. I thought of that when I came across this nytimes.com blog that said this:

“It was a couple of years ago that we learned AIG had sold, and bought, so-called finite insurance to manipulate financial statements. At the time, the predominant reaction among Wall Streeters was amazement that Hank Greenberg would do that when AIG was so strong without it.

I thought, but don’t think I ever wrote, that perhaps we should wonder if the strength we thought we saw reflected other games that we had not recognized.

Lesson: If you find out management is willing to cut corners in the financial statements, you should flee.

I put the lesson in bold, because the smart money does flee when it sees things like this.