October 3, 2012 |
Here's an example of just how hot the collector car market has become this year. Santa Monica auction house Gooding & Co. has completed its 2012 auction season and reported sales of $189.6 million, an average of $640,635 for each of the 296 cars sold. The total is 44% higher than last year's results, which also included 296 cars. The auction house said the increase demonstrates the rising demand for collector cars as well as the selection of coveted vehicles compiled by Gooding this year.
September 4, 2012 |
The letter from debt collector Resurgent Capital Services arrived at my home the other day. Enclosed was a bill for $2,852.56, originally run up in the 1990s on a Citibank credit card. The name on the account: Derrick Davis. That would be the same Derrick Davis who stole my identity about 15 years ago. The same Derrick Davis whom I tracked down in Connecticut nearly a decade ago and handed over to law enforcement. The same Derrick Davis who was found guilty of Social Security fraud and deported to his native Jamaica.
September 4, 2012 |
There are so many luxurious things $50,000 will buy - a Porsche Boxster! A dozen quilted Chanel purses! A glamorous European getaway! But if you're a certain brandy lover, the money goes to two bottles of aged cognac. An anonymous collector last week dropped 19,000 pounds on a rare half-bottle of 1789 A.C. Meukow & Co. cognac, according to the Drinks Business trade publication . The same buyer also splurged on an 1830 bottle of Remy Martin cognac, shelling out 12,900 pounds.
August 26, 2012 |
Beverly Hills further cemented its reputation as a must-shop for high-end watch aficionados when the first free-standing Patek Philippe boutique in the United States opened its doors on Rodeo Drive late last month. Owned and operated by Gearys of Beverly Hills - which also owns and operates the adjoining Rolex boutique - the 1,250-square-foot Art Deco jewel box of a space at 360 N. Rodeo Drive has walls of blond bird's-eye maple and dark Indian rosewood lacquered to a high gloss, accented with imported custom sconces, display cases and chandeliers, all by Patrick Gaguech, the French interior designer responsible for the look of the brand's company-owned stores in Geneva, London and Paris.
August 23, 2012 |
Necessity may be the mother of invention, especially when it's fueled by desperation. Humor helps, especially when it's devilish. These elements come together in “Canvas Panels: Part II,” Jonathon Hornedo's wickedly silly and wildly intelligent rendition of the downsizing that defines our times. Earlier this year, Hornedo got laid off. Sales of his paintings produced zero income. So he began making inexpensive, high-quality canvas panels, which he sold to other artists, who did what artists usually do with primed and stretched canvases: paint them.
August 20, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Hard economic times have helped push millions of Americans deeply into debt, plunging many into a dark world filled with relentless collection agents, aggressive lawyers and companies that profit mightily if they can get people to pay up. Aided by outdated laws and lax oversight, debt collection has become a $12-billion-a-year business as people increasingly have fallen behind on their bills for credit cards, student loans, hospital stays...
August 20, 2012 |
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. - The return of European bidders and an impressive lineup of cars helped the major collector-car auctioneers set a record for sales at this year's splashy Concours d'Elegance auto show. The five auction houses that participated in the annual auto festival sold a combined $260 million of vehicles last weekend, up 31% from the previous record of $198 million set last year, according to Hagerty Insurance, which tracks collector-car prices. The rapid growth in these auction sales, even in a sluggish economy, demonstrates that wealthy individuals are considering "classic cars in the way that they see fine art. It is something they can see and use and add to their investment portfolio," said Shelby Myers, managing director RM Auctions' California business.
July 21, 2012 |
It was 70 years ago that a tiny shop on Venice Boulevard in downtown Los Angeles produced its last motorcycle. At the time, Crocker Motorcycle Co. made the most powerful race bikes of any American manufacturer. But like other small companies facing supply shortages during World War II, it was forced to close, leaving only a few dozen bikes that have become a favorite of collectors and enthusiasts. Steve McQueen owned one before it was sold in auction for more than $276,000. Now the Crocker is back, with a modern, limited-production version of the Big Tank V-twin.
July 15, 2012 |
Dear Liz: I defaulted on my credit cards starting in 2003 because my business was failing. The last account was charged off in 2007. My business is now back and doing well, and I am expecting a nice little windfall in a couple of months. Should I pay these amounts I owe to the collection agencies that have been calling me, or should I contact and pay the creditors from which I obtained the credit cards? Answer: You can try contacting the original creditors, but most likely they will refer you to the collection agencies.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 15, 2012 |
It was billed as a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. " The highest bidder in an online charity auction would get his name on a plaque next to a dazzling new Shepard Fairey mural at a Los Angeles hospital, a meeting with the celebrated artist and VIP status at an unveiling ceremony. A year and a half later, Fairey's work adorns the children's wing of L.A. County-USC Medical Center, but the name of the man who won the auction appears only on a lawsuit demanding his money back. It's an unseemly legal dispute pitting one of young Hollywood's favorite charities against an entertainment industry entrepreneur and reality television figure.