This week on Dogwalk we did the update on the Samsung family. Quick refresher...South Korea's wealthiest family. The dad died...years ago. They fake kept him alive on the top floor of a private hospital under armed guard. No photos. Nothing for 6+ years as they tried to sort out the inheritance tax with the South Korean government. They finally announced that the old man was dead last fall and the government promptly handed them an 11 BILLION dollar tax bill. So the family reached into their personal art collection featuring Picassos, and Dalis, and Monets to the tune of almost 3 billion to help pay the government so they could maintain a controlling interest of the company. Not a bad strategy.
Our boy Ed heard that and instantly went into problem solving. Take the Chicago Art Institute and just auction all of that shit off for cold hard cash and help get the city of Chicago out of debt. Seems like a fucking great idea. Pragmatic. Free market. Solutions oriented. Now...Chicago has a slightly bigger debt problem than the Lee family in South Korea. And by slightly I mean that google says the city has $36.4 Billion of debt. I've googled what the total estimated cost of the Art Institute's collection and...I couldn't find it. What I do know is that the Lee family donated 23,000 works and the Chicago Art Institute has over 300,000 pieces and one single donation in 2015 was valued at $400M. Safe to say that the Art Institute is worth approximately 2 or 3 fuck tons which should cover the city's debt. And...this is not an unprecedented move. Another midwest city run into the ground by shitty politicians almost sold their collection to fund the city's debt...Detroit
Detroit doesn't have to wait for Antiques Roadshow to come to town to know the city owns priceless treasures. The city-owned Detroit Institute of Arts holds works by van Gogh, Matisse, Renoir and other artists that could bring in tens of millions of dollars each.
And they just might sell. With the city more than $15 billion in debt, Kevyn Orr, the state-appointed emergency manager trying to straighten out Detroit's finances, has asked the museum to inventory its works with an eye toward potentially selling them off.
It's a scenario that has people in the art world up in arms. When Edsel Ford commissioned Diego Rivera to paint murals for the museum back in 1932, he wasn't thinking they might be sold in 2013 to pay for pensions.
Detroit ended up restructuring their debt so they didn't have to go down this route, but it was an interesting solution. I love the Art Institute. I don't care about the actual art so much, but it has an ELITE air conditioner. I am a sweaty guy and if you need a date in the middle of the summer girls will almost always say yes to walking around the Art Institute. Have some iced coffee and a 3chi edible and have yourself a day looking at things and pretending to understand them as you walk around in one of the greatest air conditioned buildings in the world. I don't care what is on the walls. I don't care if there is anything on the walls at all. Strip it down. Sell it. Cover the debt. And wait for more donations to come in. Incredible plan. This is the type of problem solving you'd never see from Lori Lightfoot.
The question becomes straight up...who would you rather have as your next mayor: a power-hungry, socialist leaning, authoritarian, who wields power and deals corruption or...Lori Lightfoot?
You can listen to the full episode here. I am kind of obsessed with this story. It is "Succession" meets "Weekend At Bernie's".