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5 Signs the Rich Have Way Too Much Money

The massive accumulation of wealth at the top hurts all of us.
 
 
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Here's something to read after you get done trying to figure out how to make the mortgage or the rent or the car payment this month. It's a little story about how the other half lives. Well, maybe not the other  half, exactly. More like the obscenely wealthy .01%.

What do you do when you just have too darn much money? Let’s say you already have  your mansion(s), your jet, your yacht, your cars, your $50,000 watches, and you’ve still got too much money left over. (Yes, this really is a problem some people have.) While many, many Americans are struggling to get by, and a very few ultra-wealthy have too much money, here are five signs that the rich are just  too rich.

1) You can  eat a $95,000 truffle. The restaurant  Nello, a Wall Streeter hangout in New York, offers a truffle for $95,000. A Russian billionaire named Vladimir Potanin recently ate one. Keep in mind that $95,000 is to a billion as 95 cents is to $10,000. If $10,000 is an amount you find too much to fathom, it’s like 9.5 cents to $1000. (PS, enjoy the  terrible reviews the place gets on Yelp.)

2) You can get a $5,000 hamburger for lunch. The Fleur de Lys restaurant in Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay  offers the "Fleurburger 5000" for $5,000. The burger consists of a Kobe beef patty “topped with a rich truffle sauce and served on a brioche truffle bun. And this burger comes with its own beverage, a bottle of 1990 Chateau Petrus that is served in Ichendorf Brunello stemware that you get to keep.”

3) You can get a $500 milkshake to go with your $5,000 hamburger. The Powder Room restaurant in Los Angeles is selling a milkshake for $500. For your money you get “special stuff: edible gold, Belgian chocolate, and a crystal ring.”

What Next?

A lunch with a $95,000 truffle, a $5000 hamburger and a $500 milkshake doesn’t even add up to pocket change. So how about a bottle of wine? Of course, you can’t just swill down any bottle of wine—life is too short. So let’s go for it.

4) A bottle of 1811 Chateau d’Yquem  sold at auction for $117,000. If you want a larger bottle of wine, the Le Clos wine shop in Dubai International Airport  is offering three 12-liter bottles of 2009 Château Margaux for $195,000 each.

What do you look at while you are eating and drinking your awesome, and awesomely expensive, luxury?

5) A piece by Francis Bacon sold for $142 million at an art auction. Three other pieces sold for more than $50 million; 11 for more than $20 million; and 16 sold for more than $10 million. An Andy Warhol piece sold for almost $60 million.

Too Much In The Hands Of Too Few

This really is all about too much money in the hands of too few people. Agustino Fontevecchia at Forbes writes in "The Reason Why Francis Bacon's 'Lucian Freud' Is Worth $142 Million":

"As the ultra-wealthy become even wealthier, the top-end of the art market, along with real estate and other luxury sectors, have experienced an incredible surge as cash is being channeled into alternative investments."

Fontevecchia explains,

"The final, and possibly most important factor is the rise of the mega-rich. “Since the recession, the wealthy appear to be becoming even wealthier, while middle-class wages are more stagnant,” said Galbraith, who notes this is apparent in the art market where the high-end is experiencing more activity. “The ultra high net worth and the newly wealthy are looking to get into the art market,” said Markley, who notes contemporary art is accessible and acts well as a status symbol. If the Forbes 400 is any indication, the wealthy are getting wealthier, with the 400 richest Americans now worth a cumulative $2 trillion, up $300 billion from a year ago and with an average net worth of a record $5 billion, an $800 million increase from a year ago."

 
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