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A successful Romano sale in Florence proves there are exceptions to recessionary rulesSotheby’s recent four-day sale of the Salvatore and Francesco Romano collection in Florence contained more than 1,800 lots. International interest in the auction was keen, even though there was not a single masterpiece among the antique statues, Old Master paintings, textiles, pieces of furniture or objets d’art. Many foreign dealers and collectors who had come to Italy for the sumptuous and lively Biennale dell’Antiquarioto (which ended on October 4th) crossed the Arno to the Palazzo Magnan
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i Ferroni for a look even before the official public viewing began. (The auction, which went from October 12th to the 16th, was timed with the Biennale in mind.) Once the sale started, as many as 22 employees worked the phones, taking bids from Italy and elsewhere in Europe, America and Russia. The first-floor terrace of the palace was tented for the event, and rows of folding chairs were occupied by a changing cast of paddle wielders, many of them dealers. Others loitered in the vast, art-filled, adjoining rooms waiting for their chosen lots to come up. By its end, the sale made more than €10.5m ($15.5m), exceeding the low estimate by a little more than €72,000. Sotheby’s says it is delighted and so are the consigners. ...
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Last week's big selloff did more than just rattle investors: it put an end to a seven-month win streak that had pushed the S&P 500 more than 60% above the March lows.
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The government is finding no shortage of willing buyers for its debt as the shaky economy continues to spur demand for safe haven assets.
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Car headlamps that turn night into dayONE of the most enduring urban myths is how the patent for an ever-lasting light bulb pioneered by a lone inventor was snapped up by a cartel of lighting manufacturers, who promptly secreted it away to protect their hugely profitable replacement business. The fact is, lots of long-life bulbs have been invented over the years since Thomas Edison borrowed the best from the dozen or so different light-bulb designs patented during the early days of electrification and came up with a winner. Practically all the improvements in terms of life and brightness since
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then have come from the bulb-makers themselves. One of the most recent was Philips’s incandescent light bulb that lasts for 60,000 hours. ...
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Stocks tumbled Friday, more than erasing the previous session's gains, as investors dumped a variety of shares at the end of a rough week and choppy month on Wall Street.
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Stocks rallied Thursday in a broad-based advance as a strong report on economic growth in the third quarter reassured investors that the recovery is on track.
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Slovaks, Hungarians and missing dataTHE row is over but the problems remain. Amid an outcry from neighbouring Hungary, and discreet pressure from other outsiders, Slovakia’s government has backed away, for the moment, from implementing its badly drafted and intrusive-sounding new language law (see article).Despite the backdown, hopes that membership of the European Union and NATO would bring a permanent end to central Europe’s tribal conflicts and historical grudges now look over-optimistic. It would be good if all concerned—the Slovak government, Hungarians in Slovakia and H
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ungary’s political parties—paused for reflection about the troubling issues that divide them. But the economic crisis, and the likely victory of the tough-talking Viktor Orban and his right-of-centre Fidesz party in Hungary’s parliamentary elections next year, are among the reasons for expecting another flare-up sooner rather than later. ...
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U.S. stocks looked set for a positive open Thursday, although sentiment could change after the reading on gross domestic product growth due out later in the morning.
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Stocks tumbled Wednesday, led by the tech-fueled Nasdaq, as a weaker-than-expected new home sales report added to questions about the strength of the economic recovery.
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