Crime may not pay (but Bernie's auction sure did)
Just a brief post today to let folks who may have missed the news know that the Pieces of Bernie and Ruthie auction - sort of like the "results" that Madoff delivered - exceeded expectations. But, unlike Madoff's financial results, which occurred only on paper, the auction off of B&R's personnel effects brought in cold, hard cash - about $1M. Twice what the auctioneers thought they'd get going in.
That Mets jacket that Bernie won't be needing in the stir?
The auctioneers had valued it at up to $720, but some sport forked over $14.5K for it.
Bernie's Hofstra College Class of 1960 ring brought in $6K. The pre-auction estimate was $360.
Bernie's gold irons also went for an order of magnitude beyond the estimate.
Ruthie's diamond dangle earrings went for $70K per pair - pre-auction worth was set at $9.8 and $21.4K.
One of the items that under-performed was one of Bernie's 17 Rolex watches. Someone got that for a $65K song - $10-20K less than its appraisal.
Of course, there must have been many other under-performing assets, or the auction would have brought in more than double what was expected. I.e., everything obviously didn't go for a multiple of 10. (Wonder what the cow creamer and the Post-it notes went for?)
But, overall, the auction was a mega-success. Kinda sorta like the results that Bernie's victims thought they were getting, no? An interesting parallel.
I'm assuming that most of those who paid inflated prices did so anticipating that the value of anything Madoff will increase. Hard to believe that anyone would pay a real premium for this stuff.
But in terms of the value increasing, that may not happen A couple of years from now, Bernie Madoff may well have faded completely out of our individual and collective consciousness. (Think Bernie Ebbers.)
Meanwhile, a separate auction of Bernie's yachts (and Ruthie's Mercedes) took in $2M.