That's Capitalism


Dublin jewellery shop Weirs know the recession isn’t hitting most of the rich.  The Grafton Street business is currently taking orders for a limited edition Patek Phillipe watch that costs more than €250,000.   This summer Weirs sold one watch for €454,000.

A bidder has agreed to pay $2.63 million for a steak lunch with the billionaire investor Warren Buffett in a charity auction.  The highest bid in the 11th annual auction topped the previous record $2.11 million paid in 2008 by Zhao Danyang, a Hong Kong investor.  Wealth manager Salida Capital Corp of Toronto won with a $1.68 million bid in 2009

Medical multinational Elan (which employs a third of its staff in Ireland) reported in July that losses had jumped from €54 million to €169 million and their stock value fell by 73%.  So what happened to Chief Executive Kelly Martin?  He got a 25% pay rise and a bonus of €635,000.

Sarah Risley (daughter of Canadian fishing billionaire, John Risley )and Guy Barnett honeymooned on the luxury yacht Northern Star.  It boasts six decks, ‘grand country interiors’ and a helipad.  The rent is a mere €651,000 a week.

The arrogance of the Russian ruling elite is famous but even by their standards this takes a bit of beating.  As Moscow residents sweltered in an unprecedented traffic snarl-up, the governor of the region offered an unusual solution:  “I fly in a helicopter.  You should also buy helicopters instead of cars – then you do not need roads”, Boris Gromov told the Novosti news agency.

Nice to see that the rich still have a few bob to spend on really vital things.. like their art collections. London art auctioneers Sotheby’s and Christie’s have sold a Picasso for over £34 million, a Manet for over £22 million and a Klimt for just under £19 million.  Despite the recession, the auction houses reported “records being broken”.