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Today's quote:

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The measure of all things?

 

Not so long ago, auctions were the refuge of a tiny group of professionals who stood in silence, barely moving an eyelid, as the auctioneer deciphered their every tiny twitch.

Today's real estate auctions, in particular, are like gambling rooms, vanity parades and surrogate stock markets, with overtones of bullrings, cockfights, dogfights, and gladiatorial man fights. It is as if the collective unconscious of the newly-moneyed world has come out of hiding and every last instinct of greed and cupidity and ostentation is let loose.

The audience waits for the moment at which two men, like Sumo wrestlers weighed down with layer upon layer of financial fat, match will against will and fat against fat. One of them has to give up, and in the end one of them does.

When the spectators burst into applause, they applaud themselves for being there but, more important, they applaud the end of a private and personal combat, with no holds barred, between man and man. They clap their hands at the proof - if proof is needed - that money is the measure of all things, at least in today's world.