Friday, November 13, 2009

E-Bay is not good enough for some people, and other signs the economy is still bad

Welcome once more to another edition of "Signs that the economy is bad" here at The Itinerant Librarian, where I take the time to look at those oh so subtle hints that the economy is bad. You know, the signs all those fancy shmancy analysts miss. And here are the news for this week:

  • The E-Bay for the high rollers: Apparently, even the big billionaires are having a tought time with the current economy, something I have highlighted before. Aww, the poor babies are having to sell some of their assets. So, like most of us, do you think they turn to E-Bay to auction off a few things? Oh no, E-Bay is just not good enough for these folks. They have their auction site. Welcome to BillionaireXchange. This is not just for any schmuck. They actually verify your income level, and they make sure "to screen for unqualified and/or undesirable elements." Are you just sick and tired of that nice mansion in Beverly Hills? Trade it in for Chateau in France. After all, you can just hop on your plane over to France. Oh wait, you had to give up your private jet? Oh, so sorry you turned out to be such a wuss. But don't worry, Quintin Thompson, co-founder and executive partner of BillionaireXchange, says that ""because of the current economic conditions in the U.S. we're seeing a lot of people who need to actually trade out or trade down from some of their luxury items and facilitate that transaction somewhere discreetly and privately so that they don't have to deal with the shame and or embarrassment of downgrade."Imagine that. The rest of us just sell our extra stuff on E-Bay, we stop eating out, and we deal with the shame of not being able to reciprocate the occasional dinner invitation from a friend if money is tight. Such is life. Except for those people, heaven forbid they face a little shame.
  • Maddoff's homes go on sale cheap: And speaking of stuff going cheap these days, maybe you are interested in getting a big fancy mansion at a distressed price. According to the article, "It's still not cheap, but Livin' La Vida Madoff may now cost a bit less." Oh yes, you can now live La Vida Madoff. Want to live in Manhattan? His old digs there are going for "$8.9 million, 10 percent below its initial $9.9 million asking price." Palm Beach? No problemo since it now ONLY "was cut 7 percent to $7.9 million from $8.49 million." On the positive side, if there is a positive to the mess that old coot caused, is that the money from the sales will go to restitution. I suppose it beats skinning him alive nice and slow for all the damage he caused.
  • And finally, schools need to raise funds once again. This school is selling points and grades for a donation. I guess the annoying chocolate sales and chili suppers were just not cutting. Actually, this sounds somewhat like my kid's school at times. They usually allow my daughter to do things like go out of uniform on Fridays or any other number of little "perks" for a monetary donation. At least, they are not selling grades here yet. On an update note, it seems the school has abandoned the scheme.

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