According to Marc Porter, president of Christie's in the Americas, last year people were "distracted" by the shit that was hitting the fan and focused on "assessing their own net worth" (rapidly dwindling by the hour!), and not on buying art. Now that the "worst of the financial crisis seems to be over people are once again focusing on collecting," which is nice. In what must please Tim Geithner and the stripper community to no end, Warhol's "200 One Dollar Bills" just sold for $43.7 million (more than three times its $12 million high estimate).
Despite his name being floated, we're told Stevie-boy was not the buyer, and that it was most likely Philip Niarchos or possibly Bernard Arnault. As for why the big guy would pass this up, we're going to assume he wasn't vying for the piece (nobody outbids the BG) and go with one of the more likely explanations that he's either saving his pennies for a new series of house cats suspended in formaldehyde or considered the fact that the bills were silk-screened rather than real an insult to the pole-dancing denizens of the world that he wouldn't stand for. Or the SEC froze his assets. (Obviously I'm kidding here because as has been stated many timesby usand SAC, there's nothing funky going down up in Stamford.)