Bernanke’s Zero Rates: a Jelly Donut Scream

The Bernanke Fed’s Jelly Donut force-feeding of the economy isn’t making a dent in the unemployment rate, but it’s inspiring a scream at the art auction.  Carol Vogel reports for The New York Times,

It took 12 nail-biting minutes and five eager bidders for Edvard Munch’s famed 1895 pastel of “The Scream” to sell for $119.9 million, becoming the world’s most expensive work of art ever to sell at auction.

Just a year ago this space considered the art market.  “The speed of the art market’s recovery is astonishing, but it’s a differently revived market,” said Michael Plummer, a principal of Artvest. “The lesson of the crash was to do your homework. Collectors feel wiser for the experience.”

The Scream’s price eclipsed the previous record, made two years ago at Christie’s in New York when Picasso’s “Nude, Green Leaves and Bust” brought $106.5 million.

While the crowd inside was gasping and applauding as the price of Munch’s work worked its way upward, the 99%ers outside were expressing their outrage.  According to the Times, demonstrators were protesting the company’s longtime lockout of art handlers by waving placards with the image of “The Scream” along with the motto, “Sotheby’s: Bad for Art. The  mix of union members and Occupy Wall Street protesters let out screams when the Munch went on the block. One protester, Yates McKee said, Munch’s work “exemplifies the ways in which objects of artistic creativity become the exclusive province of the 1 percent.”

But of course, as zero rate money finds its way into leveraged finance, the new robust junk bond market, and other walks outward on the risk curve, like say, the art market, it’s a sign Bernanke’s policies are working just as he planned.

In fiat currency, fractionalized banking systems, those who get the money first benefit at the expense of the rest.  Or, put another way, the 1% get the jelly, the 99% get the crumbs.

 

 

Comments

  1. “exemplifies the ways in which objects of artistic creativity become the exclusive province of the 1 percent.”

    Woah that’s beyond sad.

    I am passing at least 5 different art objects financed and maintained by taxes on my way from work. I go to a (quite likely public) museum and look at all the stuff for a few bucks, though I rarely feel the need to. I can open a book in a library and look up Munch’s works. Hey, I can even build my OWN objects of artistic creativity.

    I really don’t see where the 1% come in.

    Next: “factories exemplify the ways in which objects of the capital structure become the exclusive property of the 1 percent.”

  2. THIS essay illustrates the magnitudes of difference between people who use 80% of their annual increase to pay monthly bills an those who don’t know how to spend as much as 20% of their annual increase in capital. They spent millions for art in the same way that someone with a decent union job can still afford to blow money to occasionally pay the parking tab at a football game.

    In other words, the reason why the multimillionaires should be treated differently in the tax code from the working class. Yes, I know that there are no mere working class readers of Misis except myself. It is amusing to play “middle class.”

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