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There's A New Documentary On NYC's 2 Park Avenues—One Rich, One Poor


Women entering Mercedes Benzes, white-gloved doormen saying "good morning," and diamonds sparkling in windows, all set to opera music, set the scene for a new documentary about the glitziest street in New York City: Park Avenue.

"Park Avenue: Money, Power & the American Dream” will air on PBS Nov. 12.

The documentary is actually a tale of two Park Avenues; the ritzy one located that runs through the Upper East Side, newly declared America's most expensive neighborhood, and one in the Bronx, which is one of the poorest congressional districts in the country.

While real estate shots of the Manhattan's Upper East Side are shown in the trailer, the voiceover says, "the rich here haven't just used their money to buy fancy cars, private jets and mansions, they've also used it to rig the game in their favor."

The film is a directed by muckraking documentary vet Alex Gibney and features interviews with Michael Gross, author of a book about the rich and famous residents of 740 Park Ave., according to The New York Post. Gibney is the filmmaker behind “Taxi to the Dark Side” and “Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer.”

Check out the trailer:

DON'T MISS: Take A Tour Of The New Most Expensive Zip Code In America

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Phil And Lisa Falcone Are Selling 36 Acres Of Farmland In The Hamptons For $8 Million


The New York Post's Jennifer Gould Keil reports that billionaire hedge fund manager Phil Falcone, the founder of Harbinger Capital, and his wife, Lisa Maria Falcone, have listed 36 acres in the Hamptons for $7,995,000.  

Here's the description of the property from the listing on Corcoran

More than 36 acres, encompassing a pair of 2+ acre building parcels and a 32 acre reserve, present a variety of interesting scenarios along the farm fields of Water Mill's Deerfield Road. With each lot having room for a significant house, pool, pool house and tennis court and the reserve capable of hosting a significant equestrian facility, the possibilities for fertile minds seems endless....  

Back in June, the Securities and Exchange Commission sued Phil Falcone and his Harbinger Capital Partners with securities fraud.  Falcone's attorney called those allegations "completely unsupported."  

All that aside, check out the images via Corcoran: 

falcone hamptons property

falcones hamptons farm

falcones hamptons land

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See Dorothy's Red Slippers And Superman's Cape At A New London Exhibit


If you've ever dreamed of seeing Dorothy's ruby red slippers, Superman's famous uniform or John Travolta's 1970s-style white suit from Saturday Night Fever, now's your chance.

The Victoria & Albert Museum in London is hosting an exhibit on The Hollywood Costume, sponsored by Harry Winston. The exhibit, which opens on Saturday, October 20th, will include all of the Hollywood greats, from Charlie Chaplin to Indiana Jones to Avatar and beyond.

The exhibit explores how costumes tell a story and bring a film character to life.

“This landmark exhibition provides a once in a life-time opportunity to explore the most beloved characters in Hollywood history and gain insight on the role of the costume designer and their vital contribution to cinema storytelling,” Deborah Nadoolman Landis, Hollywood costume designer and senior guest curator, said in a press release.

But of course, most people will just come to gawk at their favorite characters' costumes. There are over 130 costumes on display that span 100 years of filmmaking, from 1912 to 2012. Expect to see Dorothy's blue and white gingham dress (1939), Scarlett O’Hara’s green ‘curtain’ dress (1939), Holly Golightly's little black dress from Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), and a whole series of Elizabethan dresses from Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007).

Here's a preview of what visitors can expect to see:

The holy grail of Hollywood costumes: Dorothy's ruby red slippers from The Wizard of Oz.

Dorothy's ruby red slippers

It's a bird... it's a plane... it's Superman (flying overhead in the exhibition space).

Superman costume, Victoria & Albert museum

Queen Elizabeth's gown from Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007) is surrounded by a royal court of characters.

Queen Elizabeth costumes, Victoria & Albert Museum

Now see the Louvre's new Islamic Art Wing >

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First Bono, Now U2 Bassist Adam Clayton Wants To Sell His $8.695 Million El Dorado Apartment Too


u2 bassist adam clayton sells upper west side pad for $8.965 million

U2 bassist Adam Clayton has listed his Upper West Side apartment for $8.965 million, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The three-bedroom, four-bathroom apartment is in the El Dorado Building at 300 Central Park West.

Clayton's bandmate Bono also used to live inside the El Dorado towers, but he sold his condo in 2008 for a pad down the street. Now it's Clayton's time to go.

Clayton bought two apartments in the building and renovated and combined them into one large unit.

The apartment is on the fourth floor with a 38-foot-long gallery.

He originally bought the first apartment in 1993 for $620,000 and the other for $430,000 in 1994.

Alec Baldwin and Moby all used to live in the building but have also recently sold, according to Curbed.

Source: Curbed

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Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Michael Jeffries Had Crazy Rules For His Models


abercrombie fitch male models hong kong

Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Michael Jeffries is known for micromanaging his chain. It's said he chooses what songs play in the stores and decides what displays will look like. 

But a new report shows how his micromanaging extended to actors and models who worked on the company jet. 

Sapna Maheshwari at Bloomberg reports some crazy details from the company's manual, which was recently disclosed in an age-discrimination suit brought by an ex-pilot:

  • The flight crew had to wear Abercrombie jeans, polo shirts, flip-flops, sweatshirts and a winter coat. 

  • Men had to wear a spritz of the retailer's cologne along with Abercrombie jeans and boxers. Flip-flops were also mandatory. 

  • Men weren't allowed to wear jewelry except for wedding rings or watches. 

  • Black gloves had to be used while handling silverware, while white gloves were worn to lay the table. 

  • The song "Take Me Home" had to play when passengers entered the cabin on return flights. 

  • Jeffries three dogs, Ruby, Trouble and Sammy, were given different seating arrangements based on who was traveling. 

  • Staff weren't allowed to "expose the toilet paper" or "fold the end square," a rule that also applied to Jeffries' home.               

With Abercrombie quickly declining in value the company is seen as a takeover target. It's hard to imagine such a controlling CEO relinquishing any of his power. 

Many analysts say that the retailer has struggled because it hasn't adapted to the fashions and times of its young customers. 

If Jeffries and the rest of management want the company to succeed, they're going to have to work on revolutionizing Abercrombie's image. 

DON'T MISS: How Abercrombie & Fitch Finds The Shirtless Dudes Who Stand Outside >

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MILLIONAIRE TOY OF THE DAY: An ATV That Transforms Into A Watercraft


The latest in luxury toys for billionaires is the Quadski, an amped-up ATV from Gibbs Sports Amphibians Inc.

Hailed "The World's First Amphiquad" on the company website, the Quadski can reach speeds of 45 mph on both land and water, and can transition between the two in under five seconds.

The Quadski can race across land with 80 horsepower or, with the press of a button, its four wheels will effortlessly fold into the vehicle and the Quadski can speed across the water with 140 horsepower.

This is the first commercially available sports amphibian to exceed 10 mph and retail on the U.S. market. The all-terrain vehicle is 10.5 feet long, and weighs approximately 1,300 pounds.

The Quadski is built with a BMW Motorrad K-1300 engine that is coupled with the company's own patented water jet propulsion system. Its lower center of gravity is partly why it remains so balanced on land and water.

This incredible amphibious sports vehicle has a starting price of $40,000 for the first 1,000 production units, according to a report by Popular Mechanics.



See it in action below.

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FACT: White College Applicants Get More Preferential Treatment Than Minorities


college t-shirts

While affirmative action is about to get torn apart by the Supreme Court, other preferential treatment in college admissions goes uncontested. You know, the kind that favors white kids.

This shocking—but totally logical—passage comes from The Price Of Admission by Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Daniel Goldkin:

The number of whites enjoying preference far outweighs the number of minorities aided by affirmative action. At least one third of the students at elite universities, and at least half at liberal arts colleges, are flagged for preferential treatment in the admissions process. While minorities make up 10 to 15 percent of a typical student body, affluent whites dominate other preferred groups: recruited athletes (10 to 25 percent of students); alumni children, also known as “legacies” (10 to 25 percent); development cases (2 to 5 percent); children of celebrities and politicians (1 to 2 percent); and children of faculty members (1 to 3 percent).

These estimates might be conservative. Robert Birgeneau, chancellor of the University of California at Berkeley, told me that he once calculated the proportion of admission spaces open to "regular students' at one Ivy League university, which he declined to name. His startling conclusion: students without any nonacademic preferences are vying for only 40% of the slots. Birgeneau added that Ivy League schools typically understate the number of students whose alumni ties facilitated their admissions. For instance, most Ivies don't count grandchildren as legacies, even though alumni often give the most money — and thus wield the greatest sway over admissions — after becoming grandparents.

Not to mention all of the advantages white kids get growing up ...

So what do you think about the college system? Please vote in our annual survey!

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Don't miss: Here's What They Don't Tell You About Getting Into An Ivy League School >

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HOUSE OF THE DAY: A Former Toys 'R' Us VP's Cape Cod Mansion Is About To Hit The Auction Block


Cape Cod Home of Toys R Us EVP $12.5 millionCape Cod Home of Toys R Us EVP $12.5 million

The Cape Cod home of Jim E. Feldt, the former executive vice president of Toys R Us, is hitting the auction block Nov. 28. Known as "Idlewild," it had been listed for $12.5 million, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The home, in the town of Cotuit, is a 8,000-square-foot residence with four bedrooms and seven bathrooms.

The property spans eight acres.

Welcome to Pinquickset Cove Circle.

The home was built in 2008.

The listing touts the home's 18 rare chandeliers.

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Billionaire Bahraini Prince Tossed Off Flight After Drunken Rant In Cockpit


British Airways

An Arab prince was marched off a passenger jet at Heathrow by police officers armed with Taser guns after he drunkenly stormed the cockpit to complain about the poor service.

Mubarak Hamad, 29, a Bahraini billionaire prince who lives in London, has been charged with being drunk on an aircraft and is due to appear in court later this month.

Shortly after boarding the British Airways Boeing 777 to Doha in Qatar via Bahrain, it is understood that the prince began shouting and complaining about the service.

Members of the crew were allegedly forced to call the police after he made his way into the cockpit and refused to go back to his seat.

Mr Hamad was then dragged off the plane by officers armed with stun guns and taken to a police station where his DNA, mugshot and fingerprints were taken.

He was bailed, but was told he was being formally charged when he answered his bail on Wednesday. He is due to appear before magistrates in London later this month.

Mr Hamad, who is believed to be a close relation of Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, lives in Eaton Square, Belgravia. Past and present residents of the square include Sir Sean Connery, Sir Roger Moore and José Mourinho, the former Chelsea football manager.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “Mubarak Hamad, 29, of Eaton Square, Belgravia, was charged on October 17 with being drunk on an aircraft and has been bailed to appear at Uxbridge magistrates’ court.”

Human rights campaigners have in the past criticised King Hamad, whose regime has been accused of violently repressing pro-democracy activists.

This is not the first time that members of the Middle East’s elite have found themselves on the wrong side of the law in Britain.

Saud Abdulaziz bin Nasser al Saud, a Saudi prince, was jailed for life in 2010 for beating and strangling his servant at a five-star hotel in London.

When arrested, he at first wrongly believed he had diplomatic immunity.

The son of the billionaire Emir of Ajman, part of the United Arab Emirates, had his £200,000 Ferrari FF seized by police and displayed outside Scotland Yard because it was uninsured.

Sheikh Rashid Bin Humaid Al Nuaimi boasted later that officers handed back the keys as soon as they discovered who he was, writing on Facebook: “Arab money talks.”

 Now read about the wild lifestyle of the crown prince of Dubai >

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This Horse Is Worth More Than $160 Million


frankelAs Frankel faces his final race, Brian Viner talks to his trainer, Sir Henry Cecil, and others who know the world's greatest racehorse best.

Frankel. It is not a name that rolls off the tongue, like those of some other great thoroughbred racehorses, such as Nijinsky, Mill Reef and Brigadier Gerard.

But in racing people it ignites sheer wonder, for Frankel is the superstar of Flat racing, not simply unbeaten in 13 races, but untouchable.

In monetary terms his potential to sire future champions makes him the most valuable single sporting commodity on the planet. It is said £100 million would not buy him.

At Ascot this afternoon Frankel and his jockey, Tom Queally, will attempt to extend their winning run to 14 races out of 14. Should they fail, the shock will radiate far beyond Berkshire, the more so as today’s big race, the Qipco Champion Stakes, is likely to be Frankel’s valediction. At four years old, the racehorse said by some to be the greatest ever foaled is on the verge of retirement.

If his owner, the billionaire Saudi businessman Prince Khalid Abdullah, does decide to call time on this epic chapter in Flat racing (as distinct from National Hunt, or jump racing), then when today’s meeting is over Frankel will be driven back to the Warren Place stables in Newmarket, owned by his trainer, Sir Henry Cecil, and attention will turn to his forthcoming stud career, where his colossal value now lies. Some 120 brood mares a year will visit him, their owners paying at least £100,000 in the event of a foaling. That might go on for the best part of two decades.

No one could have foreseen all this on the day Frankel was foaled – February 11 2008 – at Banstead Manor stud near Newmarket, the breeding arm of Prince Khalid’s Juddmonte racing operation. True, the young bay colt had a marvellous lineage. His parents were the 2001 Derby winner, Galileo, and Kind, a mare who had won five consecutive races in 2004. But equine breeding is an inexact science. 'As [the American breeder] Bull Hancock said, “You send the best to the best and hope for the best,”’ Philip Mitchell, who runs Banstead Manor stud, told me.

The first signs that the progeny of Galileo and Kind might not only live up to expectations but exceed them emerged on a July morning in 2010, the day of Frankel’s first proper gallop, with Queally in the saddle, on the vast Limekilns training ground a couple of miles outside Newmarket. Among those watching was Prince Khalid’s racing manager, Lord Grimthorpe, whose job it is to liaise every day with the 14 trainers of the prince’s 250 horses worldwide, and report nightly to his patron. In a lifetime in racing, he said, he had never seen a spectacle like it. One moment Frankel was bunched up with his stablemates, the next he was streaking away as if the others were hauling ploughs.

'I have to watch a lot of gallops and know how misleading it can be when you don’t know all the horses, weights or instructions,’ Lord Grimthorpe told the racing journalist Brough Scott. 'But you could not mistake this. He was going so fast at the end we thought he would finish in Newmarket High Street. When we gathered afterwards, nobody said anything, and Queally was white as a sheet.’

Henry Cecil knew better than anyone that impressive speed on the gallops is not always replicated on the track, yet his natural reticence hid a growing excitement at the possibilities for this still-unnamed colt. 'I realised he was out of the ordinary about halfway through the year,’ Cecil told me in his oak-panelled study at Warren Place. 'There was something very different about him.’

The same might be said of the charismatic Cecil. He started training as an assistant to his elderly stepfather, Sir Cecil Boyd-Rochfort, before striking out on his own in 1969. There followed 30 years of steady and sometimes spectacular success, before a precipitous, disastrous decline at the start of the new century in both his professional and personal fortunes. His beloved twin brother, David, died of cancer; his second marriage disintegrated; he even lost his driving licence for five years. Then he, too, was diagnosed with cancer, of the stomach, and all the while the yard produced fewer and fewer winners, hitting an all-time low in 2005, with only 12.

Many racehorse owners severed their ties with him, but Prince Khalid stayed loyal. The 75-year-old prince, the brother-in-law of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, had been involved in British racing since the 1970s, and with Cecil since 1990. They had forged a firm friendship. But business is still business. And although Cecil’s travails had compounded the affection in which he was held by the racing public, plenty felt he was a busted flush.

Happily, the yard returned to form. And little though anyone knew it on the day Prince Khalid sent him 'the Galileo colt’, Cecil’s greatest triumphs were yet to come. For Lord Grimthorpe it is the comeback of all comebacks. 'Henry’s gone from the Premier League to practically the Conference and back,’ he said, offering a football analogy. 'It is one of the great sporting achievements.’

Characteristically, Cecil plays down his talents. 'I’m qualified to do nothing,’ he said. 'I was the first student ever to fail Common Entrance into Eton from an Eton prep school. But I got a chance as my stepfather’s assistant. I’ve been very lucky.’

His luck remains variable. Cecil, 69, is currently being treated for cancer for the second time. The weight has dropped off him, the beautifully cut suits hang limply, and, when we talked, a throat infection had reduced his voice to a hoarse whisper. 'I look like death,’ he rasped, 'and when people see me they’ll think I’m going to die tomorrow. But I’m not.’ Chemotherapy, he assured me, was doing its job. He would get better. All the same, his illness adds poignancy to Frankel’s success. The horse appears to have intensified Cecil’s already fierce will to live.

'I love life,’ said Cecil, whose staccato sentences have more to do with his patrician background than his ill-health. 'I’ve always been a winner. I’ve had bad times – personal or financial, no horses, bad years – but I don’t like being an also-ran. I have responsibilities. I’m married again. And I’m very determined that I have to be there for Frankel. So he has helped to keep me going.’

Three months after his first gallop at Limekilns, the horse, by now named Frankel (after Bobby Frankel, one of America’s most successful trainers, who trained many winners for Prince Khalid, and who died of leukaemia in 2009), demonstrated his abilities where it really mattered, at Ascot. The Royal Lodge Stakes was Frankel’s third race, but the first in which he obliterated top-class opposition, winning by 10 lengths and pulling clear of the others 'like a greyhound that had just slipped its leash’, according to Brough Scott.

It was becoming clear that the length of Frankel’s stride would be the main weapon in his armoury. Along with a formidable lung capacity, it helps him to accelerate more than once in a race. Even the finest racehorses can normally find only one extra gear; Frankel has two, sometimes three. The horses that can keep pace with him the first time he quickens have nothing left to give when he quickens again. And although he is not huge, he has unusually large feet, which even in a gallop he sets rather than stamps down, making him less reliant than most horses on the condition of the ground.

Following the Royal Lodge Stakes, the bookmakers, always a nose ahead of the betting fraternity, immediately slashed Frankel’s odds for the following year’s 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket, the first of the Flat racing season’s so-called Classics (five prestigious races open only to three-year-olds).

On April 30 last year Frankel started the Guineas as the shortest-priced favourite since 1974, and went on to make his 1/2 odds look downright generous: his performance was simply one of the most dominant in the venerable race’s 200-year history. In the Queen Anne Stakes at Ascot this summer, which he started at odds of 1/10, Frankel won by 11 lengths, compelling racing correspondents to reach for new superlatives. 'This was not just Frankel’s finest performance,’ Greg Wood wrote in the Guardian, 'it was possibly the best single performance by any horse, on any track, since three Arabian stallions were imported into Britain to found the thoroughbred breed in the early years of the 18th century.’

Of course it isn’t simply Frankel’s natural assets that propel him across the turf so much faster than the competition; he has been impeccably handled by Cecil and his devoted team at Warren Place, all of whom speak about him with great affection, and some as if he were human.

'He’s very much his own person,’ Cecil said. 'He has a presence. It’s rather like people. Through my training career I’ve come across so many people I’d never otherwise have met, whether it be princes or successful businessmen. Most have an ambience about them, a lot of presence and panache. Good horses have the same thing.’

Shane Featherstonhaugh, a 35-year-old Dubliner who rides Frankel daily in training, agrees. 'He’s a big alpha male,’ he says. 'He’s not one for petting.’ Like his colleagues, Featherstonhaugh tries not to think about Frankel’s eye-watering value. 'They talk about hundreds of millions, but that has no meaning to me,’ he said. 'I don’t understand those numbers.’

What he does understand is riding, yet neither he, nor Cecil, nor anyone else, can make any racehorse run quicker than muscle and sinew allow. All they can do is minimise the dozens of imponderables that might obstruct its development.

'What people don’t sometimes understand,’ Lord Grimthorpe explained, 'is just what it takes to get a horse to the races in good fettle once. To get him there 13 times, to get out of him the sort of performances that people crave, want and adore, is quite extraordinary. The combination of things that have to go right is not quite the Lottery… but it’s up there.’

Among those charged with ensuring that the Lottery balls fall as favourably as possible is Frankel’s groom, Sandeep Gauravaram, a 32-year-old former jockey from Hyderabad. An engaging but shy man, he is still not comfortable with the attention that Frankel’s fame has brought his way. But, brought in to Cecil’s study to talk about the wonder horse, he became animated.

'He wants things done his way,’ he said. 'We tried to move him to one of the bigger boxes, and he didn’t like it. He tried to jump out, he sulked, he wouldn’t eat.’ This was the stretch of stables known by staff as Millionaires’ Row. It is where Cecil has kept all his most prized horses, but not Frankel. He stayed in his swanky new surroundings for less than two days before being returned to the barn in the oldest, least salubrious part of the yard, where lorries come and go all day, and where, traditionally, the also-rans live.

Such willpower made Frankel tricky to handle early on in his career. As Cecil’s travelling head lad, responsible for getting horses to courses, and for their welfare once they are there, Michael McGowan had a few run-ins with the rising star. 'As a two-year-old he was quite difficult,’ McGowan recalled. 'But at three he became more settled, and now he’s the complete professional.’

This was confirmed by the 29-year-old Irishman whose happy destiny it is to be forever bracketed with Frankel in the record books. 'He’s grown up no end,’ Tom Queally told me, as he sat outside the weighing-room at Newmarket Racecourse. 'He’s so mature now, much more relaxed. Even as a three-year-old he could be very fiery, but pure class got him through. Now, I’ve amazing belief in him. I couldn’t pull him up at York [where Frankel last raced, in August, winning the Juddmonte International Stakes, sponsored by Prince Khalid, by a street]. Some horses are triers, but they’re normally low-grade animals. For a horse with so much at his disposal, he just gives you so much. I’ve ridden some very good horses, but when they get to the front they think they’ve done enough.’

Henry Cecil has grown used to the claim that Frankel is the greatest racehorse of all time, and treats it with a mix of pride, gratitude and self-deprecation. 'Good horses help make successful trainers,’ he said, 'and I’ve had a lot of champions. And I didn’t live in the days of Sceptre [the only horse to win four British Classics] in the early 1900s. So it’s very difficult to compare. But it would be wrong to say he isn’t the best horse there’s ever been… because he could be.’

Cecil admitted that there will be a tear in his eye on the day Frankel leaves the yard. 'I may be training for 30 more years,’ he said – with a wry smile, as if daring me to contradict him – 'but it’s very unlikely that I’ll get another one like that.’

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How Dietmar Machold Allegedly Became 'The Bernie Madoff Of Violins'


Dietmar Machold

The world's biggest violin dealer, Dietmar Machold, is facing the music in court, accused of fiddling millions from investors.

News of the arrest last year of the international violin dealer Dietmar Machold in the Swiss resort of Zermatt was met with incredulity by many in the arts.

It seemed unthinkable that the German millionaire who supplied such orchestras as the Vienna Philharmonic with fine violins and lent multi-million-dollar to artists including Midori, Hilary Hahn, Robert McDuffie and Shlomo Mintz had committed a crime.

It was not until last December, when Machold was extradited to Austria, where he was put behind bars, that the world's auction houses, concert halls and conservatoires began humming with intrigue.

In musical circles Machold, 63, was a major figure: few in that world had not done business with him over the past 25 years. With an empire that stretched from Vienna, Berlin, Bremen and Zurich to New York, Chicago, Tokyo and Seoul, he dealt almost exclusively in rare stringed instruments by the 17th- and 18th- century Italian masters Antonio Stradivari, Guarneri del Gesù, Carlo Bergonzi and JB Guadagnini; he persuaded hedgefund managers, banks and other institutions to buy these costly instruments as an investment and lend them to the rising stars of the concert hall.

Regarded by many as the most influential dealer in the world, Machold, who went on trial last month on charges of serious fraud, embezzlement, misappropriation and fraudulent bankruptcy to the tune of about €250 million, may soon be reviled as the 'Bernie Madoff of the violin world'.

With his trial due to resume on November 5 in Vienna (following an adjournment), musicians, arts organisations and financial institutions are waiting to learn how it will be suggested that Machold could for so long have got away with buying and selling the world's most sought-after violins without anyone suspecting that his apparently stellar business was an elaborate charade.

To outsiders, the global violin market's lack of transparency, its absence of an independent regulatory body, and its tiny group of major dealers make it seem potentially more corrupt than any other area of the art market. It is common for dealers not to disclose either the provenance or the original purchase price of a violin, or their own commission, which can be as much as 30 per cent of the sales price. Deals may be concluded with a nod and a handshake without an invoice changing hands, and it is accepted practice for one dealer to send an instrument to a colleague to find a buyer, allowing both dealers to split an extra-large commission. This explains why clients were slow to question whether Machold was double-crossing them. Those who entrusted their instruments to him for sale were told to be patient, sometimes for several years, when apparently there was no buyer.

The prosecution's case is that Machold was able to use the same violins as collateral for loans from numbers of banks and financiers without being found out because it is accepted practice for rare instruments bought as investments to remain in the dealer's climate-controlled vaults, or to be lent to musicians (Machold's mantra was that rare violins must be played constantly to preserve their unique qualities; many experts disagree). It is suggested that some violins that he pledged to cover loans simply did not exist: names and provenances were invented, fake certificates supplied. His valuations were also vastly inflated, by as much as 75 per cent, it is said – mark-ups that lenders never challenged.

Creditors fearing that millions of euros lost through fraudulent deals will never be recouped believe the complete truth may be yet to emerge in a case riddled with cover-ups, conspiracies and unanswered questions. In Vienna there is gossip over the length of his likely prison sentence, which – if he is found guilty – could be up to 10 years.

Not everyone is surprised at Machold's reversal of fortune. Within the trade the image emerges of a charming and sophisticated wheeler-dealer with a largely self-styled reputation as an unchallenged expert in fine violins. 'It wasn't a question whether Machold was going to get into trouble with the authorities,' one leading London dealer says. 'The only question was when it would happen, and how many millions would be involved.'

Most established violin makers and dealers have always been perplexed by Machold's image as a glamorous power dealer with an ostentatious playboy lifestyle. 'He seemed to do business with incredibly powerful, wealthy people, not with the artists, orchestras and schools most of us deal with,' says Simon Morris, a partner of the London dealer Charles Beare, regarded as the world's leading authority on stringed instruments. As Morris points out, not even top-end violin dealing confers riches of the kind flaunted by Machold.

Born into a modest Bremen family of violin makers with a business that had been founded in 1861, Dietmar Machold began making his name only in the 1980s. There was always something of the Jay Gatsby about him. According to the Philadelphia violin appraiser and historian Philip J Kass, 'He seemed to come out of nowhere. None of us knew anything about him: he was an arriviste. Suddenly he was doing a tremendous amount of business in big-name instruments, although Germany had no market presence. No one knew his origins or how he managed to get his hands on so many very valuable instruments.'

Machold qualified as a lawyer before joining his father's violin business in the early 1980s. It was clear that his talents lay less in the violin maker's craft than in financial speculation. Roger Hargrave, a respected violin maker who from 1981 helped Machold expand the Bremen firm, which became an empire with branches around the world, recalls it as a heady experience.

'It was dynamic and fun to be a part of,' he says. 'I was handling Strads, Amatis, Guarneris on a daily basis. I would fly to Boston to fit a sound-post, to Budapest to cut a bridge, and be driven through Checkpoint Charlie in a diplomatic car to East Berlin's North Korean embassy to adjust the odd Strad or two. Dietmar was a wizard in his own field: making, working with and moving money. He could have sold carpets and done the same kind of deals. It did not surprise me when he began to open shops all over the world.' But eventually Hargrave declined Machold's offer of a partnership. 'By 1984 I began to see things that were very unsettling. There were too many overnight trips to Switzerland with unmarked briefcases.' In 1986 Hargrave left to start his own business.

It was a prime time to be a dealer. With the emerging Japanese and Korean markets, sales of fine violins were booming. Whereas Stradivari's Lady Blunt violin had sold at Sotheby's for a record $200,000 in 1971, by 1986 Yehudi Menuhin's Soil Strad went for $1.25 million. In 2000 a Seattle collector paid a reported $6 million for a Guarneri from Menuhin's estate. Violin prices are soaring, despite global recession. Last year the Lady Blunt again broke records, fetching £9.8 million.

By the 1990s Machold had forged close links with the National Bank of Austria, to which he sold 27 rare violins, violas and cellos, including many Stradivaris and Guarneris, then worth more than $50 million. The instruments have since been on loan to world-class orchestras, principally the Vienna Philharmonic.

He transferred the hub of his business to Vienna, where he bought a 14th-century castle once owned by Napoleon's youngest sister. Its grandiose halls were the setting for musical soirées and galas attended by high society, artists, politicians and the business world. He drove a yellow Rolls-Royce and collected a fleet of vintage cars, hundreds of rare cameras, watches and other treasures.

The Austrian government awarded him an honorary doctorate in recognition of his contribution to national industry and culture. In 2005 he was presented with the Grand Gold Medal of Honour for Services to the State. But as early as 2000, however, some had begun to question the rise of Machold. He had formed a business relationship with the eccentric American philanthropist Herbert Axelrod, whose fortune came from pet-care books and sundries. A violin collector and arts sponsor, Axelrod became one of Machold's best clients. However, in 1997, when Axelrod had donated four matching decorated Stradivari instruments to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, the consensus among top dealers was that the instruments, long familiar to insiders as neither the finest nor even authentically matching Stradivaris, had been overvalued by Machold at $55 million.

In 2002 Dr Neil Fitzgerald, an American antiques expert and an economist with a Denver merchant bank, was asked by his employers to carry out due diligence investigations into Machold, who had approached the bank searching for investors in rare violins at a projected annual 25 per cent appreciation.

Fitzgerald, aided by his contacts in the violin market, probed Machold's transactions, and found insufficient evidence to endorse either his investment plan or the valuation of the Axelrod quartet donated to the Smithsonian.

'I told my bank Machold's proposal was unsubstantiated. The record price of a better-than-average Strad in 1997 was barely $1.5 million. Some experts took the view that the four instruments were worth $12 million, tops. The Stradivarius cello had been given a modern decoration to match the others – something admitted by Axelrod and known in the trade,' he says.

It emerged that the Smithsonian had accepted Machold's $55 million appraisal on the understanding that Axelrod had turned down Machold's offer to buy the set for that sum. Fitzgerald believed he had uncovered an attempted tax dodge by Axelrod, who under United States tax law could claim a hefty rebate against the donation.

At that time highly publicised negotiations were taking place between the debt-ridden New Jersey Symphony Orchestra (NJSO) and Axelrod, who had offered to sell the orchestra a 'fine 18th-century Italian stringed instrument collection' at a much-vaunted 'bargain' $25 million. The 30 instruments, known as the Golden Age collection, had been appraised by Machold at $50 million. But other experts were dubious about the condition and value of some of the collection, estimating its value at less than $20 million. In 2003 the NJSO bought the collection for $17 million, selling it in 2007 to two hedge-fund managers for $20 million.

Fitzgerald became uneasy when Machold telephoned him to ask about the bank's response to his proposals. 'He was talking conspiratorially, businessman to businessman. I asked for proof that a fine violin was a prime investment. What if the market went down or demand declined?' Fitzgerald says. He recalls Machold's answer. 'He said, "I make the prices of Stradivaris. They go up when I make them go up. The other dealers all follow me."' Asked to justify valuations far in excess of the market, Machold retorted, 'I have contacts in every orchestra in the world and can produce the necessary documents. I know them all well. They will all accept my valuations, even higher ones.'

Fitzgerald then filed a statement with the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Senate Committee on Finance, which was then investigating tax fraud through donations of overvalued artworks to charities. Alleging 'a taxation fraud perpetrated by an eminent American collector with Mr Machold's collusion', he claimed that others in the trade had similar concerns but were too cautious to speak out as 'because of his power in the industry, everyone had at one time or another to deal with Mr Machold'. Despite a subsequent probe by the IRS, the FBI and the Senate Committee on Finance into Axelrod's and Machold's transactions, the investigation fizzled out. In 2005 Axelrod was convicted of tax fraud involving an entirely unrelated business matter, for which he served an 18-month prison sentence.

Had the authorities reacted more aggressively when Fitzgerald blew the whistle, many of Machold's later deals might have been prevented. Instead, it was business as usual.

When I was in Vienna in 2005 researching an art fraud case for a British newspaper, I was interested in finding out whether the fallout from the Axelrod affair had had an impact on the international violin market. I arranged to meet Dietmar Machold at his office near the Opera House. Sweeping into the elegant premises, the fox collar of his coat turned up against the chill, he was all charm. Not only did he claim that accusations that he overvalued instruments had no impact on the business, he also insisted that within the tiny, elite world of top dealers in Britain and the United States, which he described as 'part gentleman's club, part Mafia cartel', he was in any case seen as an outsider.

'It's not a nice set-up and I don't belong to the choir,' he said. ' I'm the independent one. If there is a hated person among my so-called colleagues, it's me. It is the price of independence. I'm an honest person and as we say here, "Much honesty, many enemies". There is tremendous abuse of power. That group tries to set market values. The most important thing that sets me apart from all the wheeler-dealers who just juggle instruments, whatever their condition or quality, is my responsibility for the merchandise, the guarantee of a certificate of authenticity.' He denied overvaluing Axelrod's collections, adding he would value them far higher today. 'Nowadays even a poor-quality Mickey Mouse Strad sells for €2 million – that's the market. It's because there aren't that many Strads around any more.'

Soon after our meeting rumours began circulating that Machold was in trouble. In 2005 an Austrian actress, Kyra Sator, started civil proceedings against him, claiming he misappropriated a collection of valuable stringed instruments inherited from her grandfather. In 2001 a minor Czech dealer, Nicolai Nantschev, had introduced her to Machold, who offered to sell part of her collection for her. According to court documents, Machold persuaded Sator to agree to a permanent swap of seven of her cellos for two of his Stradivaris and two del Gesùs. He explained that he wanted her cellos for an exhibition he was planning in Korea and would undertake the cost of restoring her neglected instruments, which she could not afford. A certified safe-keeping receipt signed by Machold, issued to Sator on June 6 2003, confirms that the violins, valued at $21.3 million, are her property and that she had authorised him to safeguard them and to show them to potential buyers. Sator has not seen those Strads and del Gesùs since. In her action against Machold, which she is pursuing vigorously, Sator says she also gave Machold some of her grandfather's instruments to sell without receiving any part payment or loan. Meanwhile, keen to learn more about the market, she turned detective, befriending musicians and scouring trade websites for sales and other transactions.

What she discovered made her blood run cold. When I met Sator, a cheerful, outgoing 46-year-old, recently in Vienna she told me that while her claims against Machold are finally vindicated, the long legal battles have drained her finances, ruined her health, cost her her home and tainted her professional reputation. Since 2005 she has had todeal with accusations by Machold and Nantschev that she feigned ownership of a collection of valuable instruments in order to obtain financial advantages. 'But it hasn't damaged my spirit. I am the only one who has continued to fight all these years, and now people see I am not a crazy person, as Machold claimed,' she says, laughing.

During her investigations Sator discovered evidence that the four violins that Machold claimed to have transferred to her in 2003 in exchange for her cellos had never belonged to him. The real owners of the two Stradivaris, the ex-Emiliani and the ex-Derenberg, were two professional violinists who had no idea that Sator had been given title to their instruments. A del Gesù ex-Pollitzer, also supposedly Sator's, was being played by another musician, and another del Gesù, Sainton, also belonged to someone else. 'It was perfectly obvious that these violins did not belong to Machold. He said so himself when questioned in court,' she says.

Encouraged by Machold's and Nantschev's high opinion of some of her instruments, she took two violins (a 1710 Francesco Gobetti, a Rogeri with an incomplete label partially dated 170…) and a 1764 Ferdinando Alberti cello to London's venerable 350-year-old violin maker DR Hill & Son. The director there confirmed them to be genuine and issued certificates. Later Sator entrusted the instruments to Machold for sale. To her horror, in 2006 she discovered that he had sold her Rogeri to Herbert Axelrod, who had sold it to the NJSO as part of his Golden Age collection. Her Gobetti violin, which she had lent to a Dutch violinist, was returned to Machold, whereupon it disappeared. 'Both Machold and Nantschev told the court that I am a liar and my grandfather's collection was a complete fantasy – although there were witnesses and photographs of many instruments, as six years of proceedings before the Vienna Commercial Court have proved beyond reasonable doubt.'

Had she known more about Nantschev, Sator might have been more careful. In 1992 The Strad, a specialist magazine about stringed instruments, reported that he had pawned a Guarneri del Gesù at the Dorotheum auctioneers in Vienna for a loan of £400. When he defaulted on repayment the Dorotheum put the violin up for auction at an estimated £1-2 million – until another dealer recognised the violin as a perfect replica made in 1983 by Roger Hargrave, who had sold it to a music student. Nantschev was never accused of wrongdoing, but the violin was withdrawn from sale and heads rolled at the Dorotheum.

Nor did Sator know at the time of her first, 2005 action against Machold the extent to which his business was beginning to unravel. His staff complained of unpaid salaries; customers threatened to sue him for not returning their allegedly unsold violins or failing to pay up for those that were sold. He closed his New York branch, then his Chicago business was wound up. In Austria the public prosecutor in Krems ordered an investigation into whether money laundering might lie behind several of his transactions, but police failed to uncover concrete evidence and dropped the case. Soon, though, three Austrian banks sued Machold for exceeding an overdraft and for unpaid debts. More seriously, some banks had called in other experts to appraise instruments he had stored in their vaults as collateral for multi–million–euro loans. Two Stradivaris together valued at €5.5 million were unmasked as fakes worth between €1,000 and €2,000: certificates and labels had been digitally faked. An expert called to examine a 'rare' cello on behalf of another German bank dismissed it as 'junk'. Incredibly, not one bank had sought independent appraisals, instead relying on Machold's global reputation.

Unable to pay his staff or the rents and maintenance for various premises, let alone repay hefty bank loans, Machold declared bankruptcy on October 29 2010. The Viennese insolvency administrator Dr Jörg Beirer, realising Machold had been insolvent for several years, seized his assets. The yield was modest. The heavily mortgaged castle brought in €3.5 million; its contents fetched €120,000, the Rolls-Royce €330.000. Civil claims topped €200 million. Eight major banks were among the creditors, including the Austrian National Bank and clients whose instruments he had allegedly sold secretly. To Beirer's disbelief, no violins were found either at Machold's castle or at his Vienna business premises. As investigators trawled through his business records it became clear that up to 200 priceless instruments that his clients believed they had bought for investment had vanished; grimmer still wasthe realisation that many of them may not have existed, or already belonged to other people.

In 2009 Machold had transferred seven instruments, valued at €80 million, from his Swiss premises to his Berlin business: listed is a Stradivari ex-Muir Mackenzie against which he had already secured a loan from a German bank in 2002, when he had sold it to a New Zealand collector. Two violins belonging to his nemesis, Kyra Sator, were pledged to another bank to cover a loan; the same two violins have since turned up on the website of a leading dealer. With more than 100 other instruments gone, the FBI and Interpol issued alerts for these 'most wanted' treasures.

Facing criminal charges, Machold was arrested in Zermatt and imprisoned in March 2011. Over the following 18 months, in parallel criminal and civil investigations, an astonishing scenario has unfolded as Machold's facade crumbled to reveal a desperate man conjuring deals that prosecutors describe as 'purely virtual' with 'little to do with reality'. His Zurich offices consisted of his bookkeeper's flat in a building otherwise used as a brothel. The Berlin premises were an address at which he was unknown: post lay unopened before being returned to sender. As banks weighed in with claims ranging from €1.5 million to almost €6 million, concerns arose that Machold may have been already insolvent in 2006 when he allegedly began selling the same violins repeatedly to different clients, including banks that received documents giving them title to the instruments in return for credit. A Dutch lawyer and publisher, William Lie, an old friend, is attempting to recoup €8 million still owed to him for instruments he gave Machold to sell, which Machold pledged in return for credit at an Austrian bank. The bank, arguing it now owns the instruments, refuses to return them to Lie. Two other banks are suing one another over ownership of an instrument that Machold sold to them both.

On his first day in court last month, Machold denied charges of fraud and confessed only that he hid five rare instruments entrusted to him for sale by clients. 'All these instruments were used illegally. I confess fully,' he said, explaining that he needed money after losing a lawsuit brought by a construction company refurbishing his castle, and admitted he is saddled with debts of €250 million, mainly from loans and purchases of instruments for an €80 million sale to an Italian billionaire collector, which, he claims, is not yet concluded. Otherwise he has denied all charges of overvaluing instruments or deceiving clients. What his creditors manage to claw back in later court actions is anyone's guess; whether their instruments will ever turn up is unlikely, since Machold refuses to tell police or the administrator where the instruments are.

For Sator these are days of sweet justice. Nikolai Nantschev, the Czech dealer who defamed her, is also on trial as Machold's co–defendant. Forced to abandon her case against Machold in 2010 when he went bankrupt, this year Sator was granted a judicial settlement entitling her to €1 million for the loss of two instruments. The sum has been entered as a provable debt against Machold's estate, although she has yet to see a cent. The judge in the civil court proceedings believed her word against that of Machold and noted in the minutes of the last hearing that she had more rights to the violins in her 2003 safekeeping document than he. She has been granted leave to pursue her claim against him for €16 million. But, like many of her fellow claimants on the creditors' committee appointed by the administrator, Sator fears she will never see her instruments again. And if Machold serves a long prison sentence, hopes of recovering any of her money are probably non-existent.

On one thing many of Machold's victims are agreed. He is on trial for crimes amounting to €4.74 million in damages – a sum that is derisory. Austrian police have received 46 criminal complaints from Australia, Belgium, Holland, Germany and the United States. An even bigger scandal may be just beginning.

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Here's What Fashion Designer Karl Lagerfeld Thinks Of Francois Hollande


karl lagerfeld, chanel, paris, airplane fashion show

Parisien fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld is no fan of French President Francois Hollande, it seems.

In an interview with Spanish Marie Claire, excerpts of which have been published in the El Mundo newspaper, Lagerfeld says:

“This imbecile, he’ll be just as disastrous as [former Spanish premier José Luis] Zapatero. Hollande hates the rich. He clearly wants to punish them -- they’ll leave [the country] and nobody will invest. Foreigners won’t invest, and things will stop working."

“Apart from fashion, jewelery, perfume and wine, France has no edge. Nothing else sells. Who buys French cars? Not me.”

German-born Lagerfeld is the head designer of French fashion house Chanel, and is guest editing the 25th anniversary issue of Spanish Marie Claire. He is far from the only wealthy person in France to be angry with Hollande.

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Chipotle's Former Chairman Wants To Make A Big Difference With A Mediterranean Concept



Roti Mediterranean Grill is growing, and it's got the backing of a big-time fast food guy.

The force behind Roti, an upscale fast casual concept that launched in 2007, is Mats Lederhausen. He's a former McDonald's exec and former chairman of Chipotle Mexican Grill. He helped grow the burrito chain from 2003 to 2006 in the run-up to its big IPO.

"I spent 100 percent of my time on building businesses that solve human problems," Lederhausen tells us.  "I want to work with businesses that I believe have a purpose that's bigger than their product."

In this case, he wants to help change how people eat.

If you're not familiar, Roti offers sandwiches, salads and plates of its Mediterranean selection, along with sides of hummus or falafels. The chain currently has 14 restaurants.

And now, Roti is coming to New York City.

"Our type of food matches up very well with the New York customer," says Lederhausen. "They have a slightly more sophisticated palette."

After all, if you can make it in NYC, you can make it pretty much anywhere. Roti is planning on opening 10 locations in Manhattan over the next two to three years.

"I think it's a great test for a concept to really see and get better," he says. "If you survive, I think you're going to be better for it."

The fast casual segment that Roti competes in is intense and rapidly growing. Competition is always tough, since every restaurant — not just ones with similar types of food — fight for every meal.

But it's not all about growth. Roti has other priorities.

"We're not a quantity kind of company. We are a quality-based company," says Lederhausen. "We don't have ingredients that you can't pronounce."

He wants Roti to be about good, clean, healthy food, though he doesn't want health concerns to be the singular focus of the brand.

"I don't believe that the solution is to lead with health. People at the end of the day want to eat really good tasting food that they crave," he says. "There's no guilt. You can eat whatever you want and you feel really good because it's fresh and there's good ingredients — and you'll still be really full."

NOW SEE: 8 'Better Burger' Chains Poised To Conquer America >

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See How Much Home You Can Afford For $900,000


Each week we take a look at how much house you can expect to get at a specific price point. This week, we’re looking at homes priced around $900,000.

Santa Barbara, CA

115 Coronada Cir, Santa Barbara CA
For sale: $899,000

santa barbara house

Sunshine, sand and beach! Santa Barbara real estate comes with all that and more, but usually at quite steep prices. This $899,000 home is 2,167 square feet and has 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and access to a community pool and spa.

Atlanta, GA

310 Peachtree Ave NE, Atlanta GA
For sale: $899,900

Although it was built in 2012, this Atlanta home has plenty of the charms found in older homes, including a generous front porch and dormer window. The 3,300-square-foot home has 6 bedrooms and 4.5 baths.

Chesapeake, VA

1512 Bankbury Way, Chesapeake VA
For sale: $899,000

This 4-bedroom, 5-bathroom home is unusual in that each bedroom is a full suite with attached bathroom. The two-story home also has a finished attic and sits on a little over half an acre with a pool and plenty of patio space.

Naples, FL

1681 Golden Gate Blvd W, Naples FL
For sale: $899,900

Sitting on 2.5 acres in Naples, this Mediterranean-style home has recently been reduced in price by $75,000. Offering 3,608 square feet of living space, the home has 4 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms and an additional 1,900-square-foot guest house with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths.

Fort Collins

6076 Waterfront Dr, Fort Collins CO
For sale: $900,000

Love water sports? How about a Fort Collins home located on a private water ski lake? The custom-built home is a whopping 7,677 square feet on more than 3 lakefront acres with 4 bedrooms and 5 baths.

DON'T MISS: Colorado Couple Builds An Incredible Treehouse Village In Costa Rica >

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The Libero Ferrero iPad Money Bag


This is the iPad Money Bag by New York handbag designer Libero Ferrero.

Why We Love It: Libero Ferrero bags are all made by hand in the USA with custom-tanned Horween leather. This iPad Money Bag is no exception, with a hickory leather exterior and the company's signature Holland Sherry wool interior — it even comes with a small pocket for your headphones.

The solid-brass zipper wraps around two sides of the iPad case, keeping your device protected with medical grade navy nylon from the elements.

Libero Ferrero iPad bag case

Libero Ferrero iPad bag case

Where To Buy: Available through the Libero Ferrero website.

Cost: $399.

Want to nominate a cool product for Stuff We Love? Send an email to Megan Willett at mwillett@businessinsider.com with "Stuff We Love" in the subject line.

Don't Miss: Eight-Gear Electric Vector Bike By Polaris

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9 Niche Travel Sites To Bookmark This Weekend


Tokyo, travel, Japan

With the holidays rapidly approaching, it's hard to suppress those daydreams about booking a one-way trip out of dodge. 

But if the thought of braving long lines and cramped cabins is enough to make your stomach turn, we've found plenty of sites that do the hard work for you. Here are nine travel sites to bookmark this weekend: 

1. ITA's Software Matrix As we've written before, there's plenty to love about Matrix. While the interface takes some getting used to, it is incredibly helpful for pinning down elusive K-UP business fares and customizing all legs of your trip, from departure to layover to return.

Memorize some of its routing codes and you'll have a field day finding fares that fall within your criteria for layover stops, airports and seats. For example, specifying which airport you'd been keen to fly out of is as easy as typing in LGA, EWK, JFK. Then, if you're looking to fly United Airlines and American Airlines, you can type in LGA, EWK, JFK :: UA, AA. 

The only downside to using ITA is that you can't book fares through its system. For that, you'll just have to go the old-fashioned route: picking up a phone to call an agent. 

2. Vayama International fliers will love this site, which excels at finding two one-way fares that beat the price of a roundtrip fare. It's also great for flights to South America — a friend who flies there often swears by its deals. The best time to search is six weeks out when fares tend to be at their lowest. 

3. TripTuner For the indecisive traveler, TripTuner works like an all-knowing guide, using a panel of six sliders to "tune" your trip. We had fun testing out the cool interface, which looks like a recording engineer's soundboard, and the spots it suggested weren't shabby either. Maxing out the sliders on Relaxing, Adults Only, Parka, and Thrifty delivered some eclectic results, ranging from Puerto Plata to cultural hotspot Ubud, Bali. 

4. Tingo This relatively new site automatically refunds travelers when their hotel drops its price after they've booked your reservation. There isn't a cap on how much you can be refunded and it's fairly straightforward to use. The average refund's hovered around $36, but BI reporter Mandi Woodruff heard the site refunded one customer $519 after she'd paid $1,234 for a room in Las Vegas. 

5. Hipmunk The darling of the startup world offers more than a colorful interface and cool cache (Reddit founder Steve Huffman backed it). It lessens the agony of travel by helping users sort flights by what matters most, be it cost, carrier, itinerary or duration of flight. Last year, the site added hotel search that shows results on filterable Google Maps

6. The Flight Deal This blog scours the web for deals that fall within its clever 6 cents per mile criteria. "We were inspired to hunt for deals that were 6 cents per mile because we didn't want to be stuck in coach all the time," the frequently updated site told Business Insider. "Yes, we publish great deals, but we don't want them to be fixated on a destination. Chase the fare, not the destination." 

7. Want Me Get Me If you relish the good life but can't foot the bill, Want Me Get Me is holding your number. The site is still in public beta, but offers an interesting way to max out hotel amenities without getting gouged at checkout. Every hotel booking comes with guaranteed VIP status, free Wi-Fi and automatic room upgrades when available. 

8. Hack My Trip "I find the loopholes, the complicated runarounds, the mistakes, and all the other tricks that help maximize my travel dollar," writes the guru behind Hack My Trip, and that's just the beginning. From relaying the inner workings of ITA to explaining how to rack up cheap miles and points in weeks, his blog is a must for any mile jumper or travelers looking to save on their next well-earned trip.  

9. Foursquare Turns out the most annoying feature on Twitter is pretty useful for pinning whatever dish you're craving, so long as its in the U.S. Punching in Matzo Balls in Kips Bay, for example, dug up some excellent choices we couldn't refuse: Veselka (who knew?) and 2nd Avenue Deli.  

Now see 23 secrets to booking cheap fares > 

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Russian Punk Trio Pussy Riot Makes List Of 100 Most Powerful People In Art


pussy riot

Pussy Riot, the Russian punk trio jailed for campaigning against Vladimir Putin, have been named in a list of the world’s most important contemporary art figures.

The three women – Yekaterina Samutsevich, Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova – are included in the ArtReview’s Power 100 list for the first time.

They made headlines earlier this year when they were jailed for staging an anti-Kremlin protest in Moscow’s main cathedral.

Art Review said the band earned their place alongside the likes of artist Ai Weiwei, Damien Hirst and Gerhard Richter because “art has more than ever become a space for protest”.

The list is topped by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, the first woman to make number one in the annual survey and described by ArtReview as “a significant taste-maker”.

She may not be a household name, but the Italian-American curator of Germany’s Documenta 13 exhibition was chosen because “her engagement of ideas and practices from outside the sphere of contemporary art are particularly influential, prompting discussions across the art world”, according to the magazine.

Larry Gagosian, the US art dealer and owner of a string of galleries around the world, was second in the list.

Ai Weiwei, the Chinese dissident artist who topped the list last year, is at number three.

The highest ranked British figure in the list is Sir Nicholas Serota, director of the Tate, who is in eighth place.

Gerhard Richter is the highest placed artist. Earlier this week, Eric Clapton sold a Richter abstract painting for £21.3 million at Sotheby’s – a new record for a living artist.

The list is a mixture of dealers, artists, curators and super-rich buyers. Damien Hirst is 41st after his record-breaking Tate Modern show this year.

The highest climber is Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, who has risen from number 90 last year to number 11 as head of the Qatar Museums Authority.

Pussy Riot are at number 57, ahead of the artists Jeff Koons, Steve McQueen, Takashi Murakami and Tino Sehgal.

ArtReview said: “Art has more than ever become a space for protest, with artists, curators and organisations taking up the cause of the Occupy movements, Pussy Riot or the censorship issues raised by last year’s number one, Ai Weiwei.

“Art is seen increasingly as a space of social and political commentary.”

Power 100

1. Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev

2. Larry Gagosian

3. Ai Weiwei

4. Iwan Wirth

5. David Zwirner

6. Gerhard Richter

7. Beatrix Ruf

8. Nicholas Serota

9. Glenn D. Lowry

10. Hans Ulrich Obrist & Julia Peyton-Jones

11. Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani

12. Anton Vidokle, Julieta Aranda & Brian Kuan Wood

13. Cindy Sherman

14. Alain Seban & Alfred Pacquement

15. Adam D. Weinberg

16. Annette Schönholzer, Marc Spiegler & Magnus Renfrew

17. Marc Glimcher

18. Marian Goodman

19. Massimiliano Gioni

20. Jay Jopling

21. François Pinault

22. Klaus Biesenbach

23. Matthew Slotover & Amanda Sharp

24. Barbara Gladstone

25. RoseLee Goldberg

26. Eli & Edythe Broad

27. Patricia Phelps de Cisneros

28. Bernard Arnault

29. Nicholas Logsdail

30. Liam Gillick

31. Ann Philbin

32. Victor Pinchuk

33. Maja Hoffmann

34. Tim Blum & Jeff Poe

35. Marina Abramović

36. Dakis Joannou

37. Udo Kittelmann

38. Monika Sprüth & Philomene Magers

39. Matthew Marks

40. Gavin Brown

41. Damien Hirst

42. Rosemarie Trockel

43. Wolfgang Tillmans

44. Agnes Gund

45. Chus Martínez

46. Isa Genzken

47. Iwona Blazwick

48. Anne Pasternak

49. Sadie Coles

50. Daniel Buchholz

51. Toby Webster

52. Adam Szymczyk

53. James Lingwood & Michael Morris

54. William Wells & Yasser Gerab

55. Michael Ringier

56. Theaster Gates

57. Pussy Riot

58. Jeff Koons

59. Steve McQueen

60. Takashi Murakami

61. Boris Groys

62. Emmanuel Perrotin

63. Richard Chang

64. Tim Neuger & Burkhard Riemschneider

65. Slavoj Žižek

66. Thaddaeus Ropac

67. Chang Tsong-zung

68. Elena Filipovic

69. Tino Sehgal

70. Christian Boros & Karen Lohmann

71. Luisa Strina

72. Claire Hsu

73. José Kuri & Mónica Manzutto

74. Brett Gorvy & Amy Cappellazzo

75. Tobias Meyer & Cheyenne Westphal

76. Budi Tek

77. Walid Raad

78. Cuauhtémoc Medina

79. Massimo De Carlo

80. Bernardo Paz

81. Christine Tohme

82. Mario Cristiani, Lorenzo Fiaschi & Maurizio Rigillo

83. John Baldessari

84. Sheikha Hoor Al-Qasimi

85. Dasha Zhukova

86. Vasif Kortun

87. Anita & Poju Zabludowicz

88. Candida Gertler

89. Gisela Capitain

90. Carol Greene

91. Franco Noero & Pierpaolo Falone

92. Jacques Rancière

93. Miuccia Prada

94. Maureen Paley

95. Don, Mera, Jason & Jennifer Rubell

96. Paul Chan

97. Victoria Miro

98. Adriano Pedrosa

99. Johann König

100. Gregor Podnar

Now meet the 10 biggest art collectors of 2012 >

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A 5-Foot-Wide Home In Poland Puts All Other 'Micro' Apartments To Shame


The world's skinniest house is ready to be lived in.

At just five feet wide and a total of 46 square feet, this Warsaw, Poland apartment just might be the thinnest apartment in the world, according to The Daily Mail.

The "house" was built in an alley between two other buildings by Polish architect Jakub Szczesny. It's so small you barely realize it's there. This apartment puts the ones Mayor Bloomberg proposed for New York City to shame.

In reality, this apartment borders on unlivable. There are no windows, the fridge has room for just two sodas, and residents must climb a ladder to reach the bedroom.

The kitchen table only has room for two chairs. And as for the bathroom, there's a toilet, and a shower that hovers almost directly over it.

This tiny abode is known as the Keret house - named after Israeli writer and filmmaker Etgar Keret, who has headed the art project and will live in the property, on-and-off, for six months.

Then, it will be rented out.

keret house five feet wide, smallest house


keret house five feet wide, smallest house

keret house five feet wide, smallest house


DON'T MISS: 10 Sleek Space-Savers That Are Perfect For A Tiny Apartment

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Banana Boat Recalls Sunscreen After Reports Of People Catching On Fire


banana boat sunscreen

WASHINGTON (AP) — The maker of Banana Boat sunscreen is recalling some of its spray-on products after reports that a handful of people have caught on fire after applying the lotion.

Energizer Holdings is pulling nearly two dozen formulations of UltraMist off store shelves due to the risk that the lotion can ignite when exposed to open flame.

The recall includes products like UltraMist Sport, UltraMist Ultra Defense and UltraMist Kids.

A company spokesman said there have been five reports of people catching fire after applying the sunscreen in the last year. Four burn cases were reported in the U.S. and one in Canada.

More than 20 million units have been sold since UltraMist launched in 2010, the spokesman said.

Energizer said in a statement that the problem appears to be with UltraMist's spray valve, which is over applying the product. As a result the lotion is taking longer to dry, which raises its flammability risk.

"If a consumer comes into contact with a flame or spark prior to complete drying of the product on the skin, there is a potential for the product to ignite," the company said.

Consumers who purchased the products are being told not to use them. More information is available from the manufacturer at 1-800-SAFESUN.

Energizer said it has notified the Food and Drug Administration about the voluntary recall.


On the Web: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/energizer-holdings-inc-announces-the-voluntary-nationwide-market-withdrawal-of-several-banana-boat-sun-care-products-174970081.html

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The 31 Fastest Growing Cities On The Planet


Shenzen, China

More people in history live in cities than ever before in our planets history.

Urbanization rates have increased dramatically in the last decade, according to a new report by the U.N. Settlements Program, UN-Habitat.

But the way people are urbanizing are changing. People aren't flocking to Europe and the United States as they did a century ago . A new class of cities is on the rise, and millions of people migrating to these new hubs throughout the developing world.

Business Insider analyzed the population growth from 1990 to the 2025 estimates for just under 600 of the world's most populous cities.

31. Xiamen, China

1990 Population: 639,000

2010 Population: 2,207,000

2025 Population: 3,112,000

Growth from 1990 to 2025: 387.0%

Source: State of the World's Cities 2012/2013

30. Niamey, Niger

1990 Population: 432,000

2010 Population: 1,048,000

2025 Population: 2,105,000

Growth from 1990 to 2025: 387.3%

Source: State of the World's Cities 2012/2013

29. Nanyang, Henan province, China

1990 Population: 228,000

2010 Population: 867,000

2025 Population: 1,135,000

Growth from 1990 to 2025: 397.8%

Source: State of the World's Cities 2012/2013

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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