Today in the New Gilded AgeComments
The hard times of the uber wealthy:
Billionaire hedge fund manager Dan Loeb and Lightyear Capital Chairman Don Marron are among the collectors who will head to the Swiss city of Basel to check out the world’s largest modern and contemporary art fair.
Art Basel opens to invited guests on June 16 in the quiet Swiss city on the Rhine River. The fair’s 46th edition includes 284 galleries from 33 countries showing works by 4,000 artists. Insurer AXA Art estimates there’s 3 billion euros ($3.4 billion) of art on view, about the same as last year.
Last month’s New York auctions set new records as $2.7 billion of art changed hands — up 23 percent from a year earlier — and a Picasso painting fetched $179.4 million.
“Interest rates are so low that people have so much money they don’t know what to do with it,” said Robert Landau, owner of Landau Fine Art, which is offering a $30 million Pablo Picasso painting. He said one of his clients is a 37-year-old man who retired after earning a fortune and is “sailing around the world and buying paintings to put on the boat.”
Warren Buffett’s NetJets Inc., a sponsor of the fair for the 12th year, said it has booked about 110 private flights in and out of Basel, a 10 percent increase from a year ago.