Curious what people with unlimited resources spend their numerous greenbacks on? Bloomberg Ranx put together a list of four astronomically expensive luxury items that only the world’s richest 1% can afford to own.
• The most expensive car of 2014 in the Lamborghini Veneno Roadster. Only nine of these amazing luxury vehicles were produced so far this year. They can reach a top speed of 221 mph and can be yours for a mere $4.5 million. Why not get two?
• Cars seem to be all the rage these days, and not just recent models. In the classic car department the Mercedes-Benz 1954 W196R “Silver Arrow” has the distinct designation as the most expensive car ever sold at auction. Only 14 vehicles were ever produced. An anonymous bidder took this baby home for $33,636,351. Wow!
• It seems billionaires are not happy just staying put, since they seem to be spending the big bucks on means of transportation. The second most expensive billionaire’s toy turns out to be an airplane. Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov purchased his very own custom Airbus A340-300X. This airplane which has a 9000 mile range on just one tank of gas can hold 375 of Usmanov’s best friends. It is actually larger than the plane that Vladimir Putin uses for his jaunts around the Russia and beyond. But what the heck, for only $500 million who wouldn’t run out and buy their own plane?
• The most expensive luxury toy is another way to get around the world, just a bit slower than in a plane, and a bit more relaxing then speeding around in a car. A yacht dubbed the Eclipse, and owned by another Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich. The Eclipse is a generous 536 feet long, has two swimming pools, a mini-submarine, and set Abramovich back about $1.5 billion.
Global X Management CEO Bruno Del Ama, Graham Fisher’s Joshua Rosner and Bloomberg’s Julie Hyman all take turns commenting on Google’s purchase of startup Songza Media. Here, they speak with Trish Regan on “Street Smart”.
They discuss that it’s certainly not surprising that Google wants to get into the very hot music business. Google has already tried to display Facebook with Google Plus and has had a very hard time doing so. Amazon has already entered this market with streaming music for their Prime subscribers. However, Amazon is only offering music that is six months old. This makes it questionable if Amazon will be a force in this space. Google, of course, is trying to become a real player here and time will tell if it succeeds in doing so.
Recently, the Clean Energy View Radio Show host June Stoyer sat down to talk with energy expert Michael R. Brower. He is the President and CEO of the American Council on Renewable Energy. He explains that the American Council is an umbrella group that helps the United States to use clean and renewable energy.
The Renewable Energy Finance Forum is an annual event in its 11th year. It is the most go-to event in renewable energy in the United States at the moment. They have 66 speakers in the 2.5 days of their event. These include the Director General of the International Renewable Energy center, private law firms, investment bankers and many others.
He explains that the changes in the renewable energy technology have been logarithmic in nature. He discusses the changes going up in clean energy and the way that people can be involved.
Wall Street’s Bull Market Making Investors Smile
This month marks the 5th anniversary of the current Bull market on Wall Street, making it one of the longest and strongest in history. Yet US stock ownership is at a record low and less than half of Americans trust banks and financial services. In the last two weeks, the New York attorney general and the Commodities Futures and Trading Commissioner in Washington have both launched investigations into high frequency computerized stock trading that now controls more than half the market.
In best-selling author Michael Lewis’s new book Flash Boys, the argument is put that the stock market is now rigged to benefit the group of insiders who have made tens of millions of dollars exploiting computerized trading.
The Museum of American Finance
The New York Stock Exchange was recently visited by representatives from The Museum of American Finance, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and the nation’s only independent museum dedicated to finance. Along with them, to ring the Opening Bell, were representatives from R.W. Pressprich, a NY Based institutional broker dealer, and the Boys’ Club of New York. For the second consecutive year, R.W. Pressprich has sponsored free student admission during the summer and financial education programs at the Museum for Boys’ Club of New York members.
From Tuesday through Friday from 10-4, students are invited to tour the Museum free of charge as a result of R.W. Pressprich’s efforts.
The waste management company, Wheelabrator Westchester, continues to find innovative ways to transform waste into safe, clean, renewable energy for nearby homes and businesses. Recently after nearly 30- years of service to Westchester County, the Wheelabrator Waste 2 Energy facility located in Peekshill, New York, announced a first of its kind renewable energy partnership, with White Plains Linen, the county’s largest commercial laundry operation. The new partnership enables Wheelabrator Westchester to provide White Plains Linen with clean, renewable steam to power its laundry facility. This steam power will decrease its use of natural gas and enable the business to reduce its carbon footprint by 90 percent.
Stephanie Ruhle reports on Bloomberg the breaking news from the Third Point website of Dan Loeb who criticized the business model of the Sotheby’s. Loeb criticized the directors of Sotheby’s for being “short term investors” something Loeb himself has been accused of.
“We believe the Company’s slide is a consequence of failed leadership by a Board of Directors who collectively own a scant 0.87 % stake,” Loeb stated on his website, the Third Point.
Loeb’s long, seven-page letter is a response to a letter sent by Sotheby’s not just to Loeb but to also their shareholders. Sotheby’s letter stated that ‘Dan Loeb was unable to act constructively as a director, adding no relevant skills, experience or expertise.”
Loeb lobs it back, saying in his letter that Sotheby’s has made no sincere effort to cut costs, the money is going to the wrong place, the model they employ to attract listings so they don’t end up at Christies is all wrong. In addition, Loeb states,
“Sotheby’s current challenges are well-known consequences of poor corporate governance and malfunctioning board processes. Our view is that Sotheby’s sorely lacks innovation and creativity at its most senior levels and requires an infusion of leadership, accountability and transparency.”
The massive selloff has been at the forefront of headlines as investors continued profit-taking. Hardest hit were the so-called momentum stocks – the high flying popular companies like Amazon, Google, Priceline, and Teslar. Biotechnology companies have also ben affected by this. Analysts don’t seem to think this is the end of the Bull market, but rather an adjustment back to stocks with lower prices and better value. A few days ago the Federal Reserve released minutes of their March 19th meeting. Policy makers agreed to drop the unemployment target as a condition for raising rates. There was also a reiteration in the belief that the Federal will remain “very accommodating” in an attempt to keep the recovery on track. Thursday, jobless claims for the week ending April 5, were released at 300,000 a massive 32,000 drop from the prior week.
Chairman, President and CEO of the Red Apple Group, John Catsimatidis talks about Warren Buffett’s involvement in New York City real estate. In an interview Catsimatidis explained that if Buffet finds it good to invest in New York, it must be a good investment.
Asked whether rising rents make it harder to do business, Catsimatidis answered that yes, it is “very, very, hard to operate.” Rents for grocery stores are ten times higher in New York than just outside of the city. The high rents then cause the cost of the groceries to go up, and then there is a spiral of increasing prices which becomes a burden on the consumer.
Discussing the overhaul of property taxes in New York City Catsimatidis stated that although he would hesitate to raise taxes to single family home owners, but he also does not think it is a good idea to raise taxes and chase people away from New York.
RK Walker of Financial Buzz summarized the financial news for the week of February 14 from the New York Stock Exchange.
The beginning of the week started lackluster as the economy was waiting for a resolution to the stand-off by the federal government on the budget. Things picked up on Thursday when House Speaker John Boehner said that Republicans would be willing to temporarily increase the debt ceiling in exchange for discussions with President Obama about other budget and deficit issues. During these discussions it seems that Republicans are not so interested in taking away funding for Obamacare. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 both rallied more than 2% on the news of the possibility of negotiations to end the government shut-down.
In what is good news for the stock market, President Obama nominated Janet Yellen to replace Ben Bernanke as the head of the central bank. Yellen is considered dovish, meaning that she supports the easy money of the Fed. Since Yellen’s nomination was already widely expected, there was not that much of an effect on the market.
Jobless claims had a huge spike this week, coming in at 374,000, however most of the increase is due to computer problems in California, so the numbers are not very reliable. Several reports that were due to come out this week, such as the Producer Price Index and the Retail Sales Report were delayed due to the government shut down.