Recessions and art and $100,000 means something again

Friday, 17 July, 2009

Hmm, one reason investors buy artworks during economic downturns is because a substantial sum of money, such as US$100,000, once again feels like a substantial sum of money.

Art Basel’s buoyancy this year has several causes: the return of fervent collectors who prefer to buy in a down market; the swift reaction of dealers willing to lower their prices to ensure a sale (collectors were in a good mood because “$100,000 means something again”); the perception that art is more solid than some other asset classes; and the keenness of many buyers to divert savings out of their Swiss bank accounts.

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Friendships, another casualty of the recession?

Wednesday, 24 June, 2009

The economic downturn has been taking its toll on friendships, in instances where one friend is working and cashed up, while the other is unemployed and struggling to keep their head above water.

Even small, nuanced class differences can be hard to negotiate. Do you feel your throat constrict when you suggest a meal with a friend at a restaurant that you worry might be too pricey, or not pricey enough? Have you ever had a friend over a few times and not been invited back, only to figure out, when you’ve finished feeling insulted, that your friend is embarrassed by her apartment? We often sidestep relationships in which spending habits don’t match up exactly, I think, to spare ourselves feelings of inadequacy or insensitivity, those awkward breaches that make intimacy feel like work.

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Yesterday’s science fiction, today’s economic downturn

Thursday, 16 October, 2008

Depressions and economic downturns in science fiction movies and books:

Unlike most politicians, science fiction tales offer a wide range of solutions to economic peril: everything from time-travel-enhanced investments to interstellar hypercapitalism. And yet at the heart of even the most Utopian solution to financial collapse there lurks a tale of human self-destructiveness, a not-so-buried wish to see the species destroyed or enslaved for its economic choices. Do our fantasies doom us to financial failure?

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Surviving the recession we have to have, again

Thursday, 14 August, 2008

A collection of advisory videos offering tips for making it through the current economic slowdown. To be taken with a pinch of salt… if you can afford it, that is.

It seems you can’t turn on your television, listen to the radio, or read the newspaper these days without hearing some new story about another bank collapse or whole neighborhoods getting decimated by foreclosures. We hate to ruin your day, but all these things point to one thing: we’re heading toward depression. But while certainly no one will enjoy this new era of financial gloom, you can at least try to make the most with what you have.

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Tech feels first pinch of global downturn

Friday, 21 March, 2008

Tech feels first pinch of global downturn

While not everyone’s favourite Tech company, Microsoft shares are a good bet in times of looming recession and economic downturn.

Although it certainly has a large enterprise business, Microsoft may still be a good bet in uncertain times, Jeffries analyst Katherine Egbert said in a research note on Monday. “Seek safety in Microsoft’s numbers,” Egbert said, noting that, following its recent decline, Microsoft shares represent a “solid refuge”. On the flip side, those likely to be hit hardest are technology firms that cater exclusively to the financial services industry or get a lot of their revenue there. “That’s a subset that is probably going to get hammered,” Vertin said. “I am aware of a number of software and software-as-a-service companies that have had contracts delayed or stopped altogether.”

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