Sunday, December 23, 2007

When Art meets Finance

Art intersects, sometimes collides with finance in different and often serendipitous ways. Titans of finance acquire and trade rare pieces like a child collects baseball cards or cats-eye marbles, perhaps because, in their lifetimes, there is little else upon which to spend such vast sums. There are those that choose to donate large sums in most un-anonymous ways to museums partially returning to the public what has often been accrued (or stolen), but not without trying to cheat the fate of time by extracting a named wing, or other honor. Others try to find the nexus where they can use money (often not their own) to stroke their vanity by narrowing the proximity between themselves and celebrity - often with disastrous results, economically speaking, at least i the realm of film finance. But we shouldn't ignore that there are undoubtedly many well-heeled donating and supporting the arts and artists anonymously with altruistic (or conscious-cleaning) intent. Bravo for them, and everyone please give them a moment of kharmic suport.

Then, there is the wholly serendipitous collision of art and finance. One example begins with Gary J. Aguirre, a name perhaps familiar to most as a former senior SEC official-turned-whistleblower, fired for the transgression of reporting wrongdoing, in regards to the SECs buckling to political pressure in its non-investigation of John, Mack, Art Samberg & Pequot over insider-trading allegations, detailed so well at Naked Shorts by financial sleuth and slayer of hubris, Greg Newton. The result made Martha Stewart and Sam Waksal - both of whom served time - appear, by contrast, as horrific victims of justice-gone-awry. On the other hand, it might just be that the American justice - in the Aguirre affair - was subverted in a most pathetic way. You should all re-read Mr Newton's well-written details on the affair, and form your own opinions.

Yes it's a mad world, a fact not lost upon Mr Aguirre directly, nor, evidently upon his son. For while neither Mr Mack nor Mr Samberg have been headlibne buyers at Sotheby's latest impressionist auction, nor were their collections ever called in to repay margin loans, there is an art connection: Gary Aguirre's son, is the contemplative musician, Gary Aguirre Jr. (performing under the name of Gary Jules). Mr Jules as you might know has a nice repertoire of original music, but is perhaps best known for his somber, haunting cover of the "Tears For Fears" hit, "Mad World" below, perhaps a lament or prophetic vision of the world in 2007.



For the year 2007 has been a most-strange one, in almost every way - socially, politically, economically, and financially. And while change may be afoot, there is something profoundly apt about the the sad poetry of this song, and Mr Jules interpretation.
All around me are familiar faces, worn out places, worn out faces
Bright and early for the daily races
Going nowhere, going nowhere
The tears are filling up their glasses
No expression, no expression
Hide my head I want to drown my sorrow
No tomorrow, no tomorrow

And I find it kind of funny
I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I'm dying are the best I've ever had
I find it hard to tell you
I find it hard to take
When people run in circles it's a very very
Mad World
Mad World

Children waiting for the day they feel good
Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday
And they feel the way that every child should
Sit and listen
Sit and listen
Went to school and I was very nervous
No one knew me
No one knew me
Hello teacher tell me whats my lesson
Look right through me
Look right through me

And I find it kind of funny
I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I'm dying are the best I've ever had
I find it hard to tell you
I find it hard to take
When people run in circles it's a very very
Mad World
Mad World
Enlarge your world
Mad World

Here's hoping that 2008 will yield more optimistic thoughts, and events for all.

2 comments:

Bonita Applebaum said...

CasSantadra:

We are eagerly awaiting this year's Christmas presents a la last year. Please don't disappoint.

TIA,
Bonita

OldVet said...

Dear young Sir or Madam, You just need to turn that frown upside down like Putin's artists have done for him: http://scrapsofmoscow.blogspot.com/

Even better for late 2008, get your Nanny McPhee outfit ready and go harpoon a 2-for-1 deal on prime waterfront real estate in Cape Coral are of Florida next December when the yokels have capitulated.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/23/business/23house.html?hp=&pagewanted=all

Cheer up, in 2008 the markets're either going up or down, and those well positioned can lose money either way! Ridding themselves of the root of all evil. :)