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On the money

A Warhol (maybe) for $250

A custom-built robot produced 999 forgeries of Warhol’s Fairies

🎨 🖼️ 🤑 Andy Warhol once said: “I don’t know where the artificial stops and the real starts.” Now a Brooklyn art collective has found a canny way to monetise that sentiment, says Taylor Dafoe in Artnet. MSCHF (pronounced “Mischief”) purchased an early Warhol sketch called Fairies for $20,000, custom-built a robot to create 999 identical forgeries, then mixed the original in with the fakes. They’re now selling each picture – which has a 0.001% chance of being the original – for $250. So if they sell them all, they’ll make a nifty $250,000. The twist? The buyers will never find out if they’ve got the real thing. It’s hard to know if this is “some kind of pseudo-conceptual artwork unto itself or simply an elaborate troll job”. Either way, Warhol would be proud.

The $200m disloyalty bonus

🕵️ 💰 🏦 If bankers ever feel they’re not earning enough, they might want to try snitching on their colleagues, says Paul Davies in Bloomberg. Last week it emerged that a former Deutsche Bank employee has received a record payout of almost $200m for telling US regulators the bank was up to no good. The whistleblower’s intel, relating to the manipulation of the Libor interest rate, resulted in Deutsche being fined almost $2.5bn – out of which the $200m came. The US Securities and Exchange Commission’s reward programme, which gives whistleblowers up to 30% of the total penalties incurred, has paid out more than $1bn since its creation in 2010. But you have to wonder whether it is a touch overgenerous, says Davies – “$200m is a crazy amount of money for essentially just doing the right thing”.

Paying an unfair share?

📈 💵 😭 Democrats have a cunning new scheme to fund Joe Biden’s trillion-dollar spending plans, says Nick Allen in The Daily Telegraph: “Make billionaires cry.” They want to force the 800 or so Americans worth nine figures or more to hand over a quarter of any gains they make in shares each year – even if the stocks aren’t sold. Particularly hard hit would be the two richest men in the world, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, whose personal wealth has soared to $274bn and $197bn respectively as their companies have risen in value. Musk, unsurprisingly, thinks it’s a bad idea. “Eventually, they run out of other people’s money,” he wrote on Twitter, “and then they come for you.”