Saturday, October 22, 2011

Hedge Funders Use Art Collections to Secure Loans and Eric Cantor Refuses To Speak At A Forum Where People Might Disagree With Him

Michael SteinhardtWith borrowing costs at record lows and prices for top-tier artworks soaring at auction, private banks are increasingly doling out loans to ultra-rich clients who use their art collections as collateral. Former hedge fund manager Michael Steinhardt and his wife, Judy, have pledged part of their $200+ million art collection for a loan on a Manhattan real estate project. They chose 20 paintings and drawings, including five by Pablo Picasso and one by Jackson Pollock, as collateral for a loan from JPMorgan Chase Bank NA, according to New York state records.
The loan was made for an investment in the former American Stock Exchange building, which Steinhardt bought for $65 million in cash earlier this year. - ARTFIX

and Eric Cantor Refuses To Speak At A Forum Where People Might Disagree With Him

We were expecting to hear a speech by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) about inequality in America. We were particularly intrigued to hear the speech because Cantor has previously characterized the Occupy Wall Street movement as a “mob” that wants to “divide America.” But, shortly after noon today, Cantor abruptly canceled his speech at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. His office complained that the University was making his speech open to the public, but Cantor only wanted to speak to a “selected audience.” (Cantor’s decision followed plans for a large march and protest prior to the speech.) Cantor had claimed that the University of Pennsylvania changed its attendance policy at the last moment, thus forcing him to withdraw. But in a statement released moments ago, the University explained that the speech was always open to the public. “The Wharton speaker series is typically open to the general public, and that is how the event with Majority Leader Cantor was billed,” a statement read. Speaking of income inequality, we wanted to share a few important facts with you. Since the late ‘60s, the middle class share of income has fallen in tandem with the decline rate of union membership in America. Meanwhile, the top 1 percent has experienced a precipitous rise. If Cantor were truly interested in reducing income inequality, here are five proposals we offered that he could embrace:

1. Promote Unionization
2. Rein in CEO Pay
3. Fair, Progressive Tax Reform
4. Increase the Capital Gains Tax Rate
5. Promote Economic Mobility Through Education

Faiz Shakir

You can read the full text of the speech that Cantor did not deliver here:

Monday, October 10, 2011

#Occupy Pittsburgh Oct 15 #Occupy PCA Oct 13

LUCKY LEROY'S Artist Talk Oct 13 2011 6 PM at The Pittsburgh Center for the Arts 6300 Fifth Ave Pittsburgh 15232

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Hank Williams Jr.

apologized Tuesday for comparing President Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler.

My Giving Tree

The Tree and the Sky
There’s a tree walking around in the rain,
it rushes past us in the pouring grey.
It has an errand. It gathers life
out of the rain like a blackbird in an orchard.

When the rain stops so does the tree.
There it is, quiet on clear nights
waiting as we do for the moment
when the snowflakes blossom in space.

Copyright © Tomas Tranströmer, translated by Robin FultonThe 10 million kronor ($1.5 million) 2011 Nobel Prize in literature was awarded on Thursday to Tomas Transtromer of Sweden.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Protests