Bond-Loving Billionaires and their Toys

Robert Frank Any average millionaire can buy the Omega Seamaster 300 worn by Daniel Craig in the new James Bond movie, “Spectre.”

“Take Elon Musk. When he was a kid, the billionaire Tesla chief watched “The Spy Who Loved Me,” the 1977 flick starring Roger Moore as James Bond. Musk has said he was amazed by the Lotus Espirit sports car that turned into a submarine.”

But only a multimillionaire or billionaire can afford the original Aston Martin DB5 used in “Goldfinger,” valued at a minimum $5 million.

Memorabilia and super toys based on the Bond franchise have become increasingly popular with today’s rich, many of whom grew up watching the movies.

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“So when one of the cars used in the film came up for auction in 2013, he bought it for just under $1 million. When Musk discovered that it didn’t actually function as a car, he said he would install a Tesla powertrain to make it work as a true submarine car.”

While many of the spy’s accessories — from his martinis and suits to his watches and sunglasses — are affordable, billionaires have the money to fund much bigger Bond fantasies.

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Take Elon Musk. When he was a kid, the billionaire Tesla chief watched “The Spy Who Loved Me,” the 1977 flick starring Roger Moore as James Bond. Musk has said he was amazed by the Lotus Espirit sports car that turned into a submarine.

So when one of the cars used in the film came up for auction in 2013, he bought it for just under $1 million. When Musk discovered that it didn’t actually function as a car, he said he would install a Tesla powertrain to make it work as a true submarine car.

The 220-foot, $50 million "Spectre" yacht.

Source: Benetti Yachts The 220-foot, $50 million “Spectre” yacht.

But it’s the Dezer family, who own and develop real estate in Florida and other states, who have what is believed to be the largest collection of Bond cars in the world.
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Oops! Russian Hedge Fund Founder Disappears With All The Firm’s Money

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 reports: The value of the ruble isn’t the only thing that is vanishing in Russia. A Moscow hedge fund chief executive has disappeared, along with all the money in the firm’s accounts.

That’s according to a stunning feature in The Wall Street Journal. Kim Karapetyan, 29, the youthful founder of Blackfield Capital CJSC, has disappeared, much to the dismay of his staff, which didn’t know until a group of men charged into the firm’s plush offices.

From The Journal:

The firm’s employees didn’t know anything was amiss until mid-October, when three men charged into Blackfield’s offices in an upscale complex along the Moscow River in central Moscow, said people who were there.

The men, who didn’t identify themselves, said they were looking for Blackfield’s 29-year-old founder, Kim Karapetyan, according to the people who were there.

But Mr. Karapetyan wasn’t in the office that day or the next, when senior executives explained to the staff of about 50 that there was no longer any money to pay their salaries, said one former senior executive and ex-employees. The executives disclosed that all the money in the company accounts — some $20 million, including investor cash — was also missing, they said. It couldn’t be determined whether investors were from Russia or other countries.

“Our CEO just … disappeared,” said Sergey Grebenkin, one of the firm’s software developers, in an interview.

No attempts to contact or find Karapetyan were successful, and he is still MIA. The company’s website brags that its “systematic investment process helps avoid human-factor, cognitive-biases, and emotional-trading errors,” but the CEO running away with all your money seems like a fairly big human error. Read the rest of this entry »