Swans Commentary » swans.com March 11, 2013  



Blips #132
 From The Martian Desk


by Gilles d'Aymery





"The rich are the scum of the earth in every country."
—G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936)


(Swans - March 11, 2013)   THE ECONOMIC CRISIS does not touch the happy few. According to the latest list of billionaires compiled by Forbes there are 1,426 happy few (200 more than last year) combining a wealth of 5.4 trillion dollars (compared to $4.6 trillion last year). The club includes 40 hedge fund managers -- people who produce nothing but make money from impoverishing everybody else. The 82-year-old George Soros, worth over $19 billion, played the currency game yet gain, this time against the Japanese yen, and once again he won big time -- and the Japanese suffered. Leeches. Some 138 women belong to the list, the wealthiest one being the senile 90-year-old Liliane Bettencourt ($30 billion), heiress of the cosmetic giant L'Oréal, who inherited the business in 1957 and never had to work a day in her life.

I HEAR that the Emir of Qatar, Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, just bought six Greek islands for peanuts where he wants to build villas to host his guests, friends, and family (he has three wives, 11 sons, and 13 adoring daughters). The problem is that Greek law limits the size of houses to 250 square meters (2,690 square feet). This is an inconvenience for the emir because on his estimation his bathroom alone is at least 250 square meters, and he needs 1,000-square-meter terraces just to receive his guests. Undoubtedly the Greek law will be amended to comply with his highness's wishes.

MEANTIME, while he's waiting for the Greek law to change, he could rent a cottage in Los Angeles. It's a small house with 17 bedrooms and 27 bathrooms, swimming pool, two tennis courts, and much more, on 3.7 acres. It's called the Beverly House, located in the heart of Beverly Hills. It used to be the home of media mogul William Randolph Hearst and actress Marion Davies. It is said that John and Jacqueline Kennedy honeymooned there and that the property appeared in a couple of movies (The Godfather and The Bodyguard). The emir would have plenty of bathroom space. The rental price is only $600,000 a month or $7.2 million a year -- a pittance for a billionaire. Any one of them -- 442 in the U.S, 386 in Asia, 366 in Europe, 129 in the Americas, and 103 in the Middle East & Africa -- can afford this little cabin, an elegant pied à terre.

Ah, the life of the rich and famous. Just obscene; simply obscene.

 . . . . .

C'est la vie...

And so it goes...


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About the Author

Gilles d'Aymery on Swans -- with bio. He is Swans publisher and co-editor.   (back)


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Swans -- ISSN: 1554-4915
URL for this work: http://www.swans.com/library/art19/desk132.html
Published March 11, 2013