Thursday, December 4, 2008

Money and art

UBS -- the Swiss banking giant which employs retired Texas A&M economics professor, former senator, handmaiden to high finance, and noted pissant Phil Gramm -- the Swiss banking giant which was the center of a recent tax-evasion scandal involving indictments of its Global Wealth Management division and Gramm's fellow UBS board member Raoul Weil over a scheme to allegedly hide $20 billion or more in assets belonging as many as 17,000 US citizens from the IRS -- that UBS -- is the main sponsor of this year's Art Basel Miami Beach. UBS was a sponsor last year's event in Florida, too.

UBS likes art. Or art collectors. Or art collectors' lucre.

ABC News reports:

According to the indictment, UBS bankers "solicited new business from existing and prospective United States clients at Art Basel Miami Beach."

"They sent their salespeople here. They have encrypted computers. They smuggled assets out of the country to help those people conceal what they should have paid the IRS," said Jack Blum, a Washington tax lawyer and consultant to the IRS. "So the question is, why should a bank like that be allowed to continue in business?"
So you go to an art fair to see some art? What're you some kind of schmuck? It's about the cash, numnutz. Sure you can pick up a Clemente at Mary Boone or a Sugimoto at Gagosian. Who can't? And what about a Francis Bacon doodle or a sweet sweet Larry Rivers bauble at Marlborough? Heck pal, with all those tax-free Swiss franks, why not get them both? But don't forget to drop by the smilin' folks over at the UBS booth. The can fix you up for some fine tax scams that'll make your capital gains -- aesthetic or financial -- just plain disappear.

Only chuckleheads play fair.

I don't know. It just came to me.

1 comment:

Morse said...

I'll bet that UBS and Phil Gramm would love JSG Boggs' work. They may have even taken it for their business model.