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Hyperinflation Chronicles, Part 1: Einstein’s Scribble, Newman’s Watch, And Dot-Blockchain


By: John Rubino



 -- Published: Friday, 27 October 2017 | Print  | Disqus 

When governments create insane amounts of money, the recipients of that money tend to behave accordingly. Consider:

Einstein scribbled his theory of happiness in place of a tip. It just sold for more than $1 million.

(Washington Post) – He is known as one of the great minds in 20th-century science. But this week, Albert Einstein is making headlines for his advice on how to live a happy life — and a tip that paid off.

In November 1922, Einstein was traveling from Europe to Japan for a lecture series for which he was paid 2,000 pounds by his Japanese publisher and hosts, according to Walter Isaacson’s biography, “Einstein: His Life and Universe.” During the journey, the 43-year-old learned he’d been awarded his field’s highest prize: the Nobel Prize in physics. The award recognized his contributions to theoretical physics.

News of Einstein’s arrival spread quickly through Japan, and thousands of people flocked to catch a glimpse of the Nobel laureate. Impressed but also embarrassed by the publicity, Einstein tried to write down his thoughts and feelings from his secluded room at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo.

That’s when the messenger arrived with a delivery. He either “refused to accept a tip, in line with local practice, or Einstein had no small change available,” according to the AFP.

Instead, Einstein wrote two short notes and handed them to the messenger. If you are lucky, the notes themselves will someday be worth more than some spare change, Einstein said, according to the seller of the letters, a resident of Hamburg, Germany who is reported to be a relative of the messenger.

Those autographed notes, in which Einstein offered his thoughts on how to live a happy and fulfilling life, sold at a Jerusalem auction house Tuesday for a combined $1.8 million.

“A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness,” reads one of the notes,written in German on the hotel’s stationery.

It just sold for $1.56 million. The letter had originally been estimated to sell for between $5,000 and $8,000, according to the Winner’s Auctions and Exhibitions website.

———————

Luxury homes can’t keep up with high demand

(CNBC) – The supply shortage that has been plaguing the nation’s housing market for the past two years has now affected the most expensive homes.

The number of multimillion-dollar listings is suddenly dropping, and that is only making these pricey homes, well, pricier.

The top 5 percent of homes by price sold in the third quarter saw their values increase 4.9 percent compared with a year ago, hitting an average of $1.71 million, according to Redfin, a real estate brokerage.

“There is still strong buyer demand for high-end homes,” said Redfin’s chief economist, Nela Richardson. “Despite declining inventory, luxury sales soared in the third quarter.”

Sales of homes priced at or above $1 million were up 11 percent from a year ago, while sales of homes priced at or above $5 million were up almost as much at 10 percent, Richardson explained.

———————

Paul Newman’s watch auctioned for record $17.8 million

(Yahoo!) – A constant beloved companion of Paul Newman for years, the late Hollywood star’s Rolex has sold for $17.8 million, setting a world auction record for a wristwatch, Phillips said Friday.

Given to him by his wife Joanne Woodward and lovingly inscribed while the couple filmed and co-starred in the 1969 movie “Winning,” Newman was photographed wearing the iconic stainless steel watch on countless occasions.

Auction house Phillips said it was snapped up late Thursday in New York by an anonymous telephone buyer for $17.8 million after 12 minutes of frenzied bidding in a sale that attracted collectors from more than 40 countries.

———————

Company adds ‘Blockchain’ to its name and its shares surge nearly 400%

(GATA) – A British company that has been investing in internet and information businesses is having its best day on record.

On-line Plc jumped as much as 394 percent today after announcing plans to change its name to On-line Blockchain Plc, following an initial climb of 19 percent on Thursday when it announced the news. It’s the biggest one-day gain for the small-cap company since its December 1996 listing. The trading volume that reached 2.9 million shares by early afternoon in London is equal to more than 16 times the entire year’s trading before the last two days.

The first question that comes to mind here is psychological/spiritual. Say you have a spare 20 mil lying around and can do one of two things with it: Either lift 40 or so poor kids out of poverty for a lifetime or buy some dead actor’s wristwatch. In Scenario One you spend your remaining years on this Earth following the progress of people who because of you are living good, useful lives (the details of which they’re happy to share with their benefactor). In Scenario Two you have a (seriously ugly) watch in a glass case surrounded by security sensors to show your friends. And you…choose the latter. Seems like a hard thing to carry around, but hey, the money keeps rolling in so maybe with the next 20 mil…

The second question concerns levels of self-involvement. Money spent on a handful of Einstein’s countless extant words could finance the research of a biotechnologist working on a cure for aging or cancer. If you’re rich and of a certain age, seems like you’d be more concerned with living longer to enjoy your wealth than owning a piece of paper, regardless of what’s written on it.

The last question is about simple intelligence. If you’re rich you’re presumably old enough to recall the 1990s when stocks would soar after adopting a dot-com suffix – and what happened to nearly all of those stocks in 2000. And yet here you are falling for the same scam. A fool and his money indeed.

This is not to say that some of the trophy assets listed above aren’t valuable. But the opportunity costs of paying today’s prices for them are both shocking and sad. The fact that so many seem willing to accept those costs implies that beyond a certain point money doesn’t just destabilize the currency markets. It also twists its owners.

 


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 -- Published: Friday, 27 October 2017 | E-Mail  | Print  | Source: GoldSeek.com

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