The Maltese Falcon, the World's Largest Floating Metaphor for the Financial Collapse, to Sail Into Port Everglades

Categories: News, News
maltese-falcon.jpg
The Maltese Falcon stands for something, and it's something you can't afford.
Sometime this week, a giant, floating, three-masted metaphor will arrive in Port Everglades. Specifically, it's the Maltese Falcon, one of the world's largest and most expensive private boats. The 289-foot ship is every inch an example of a simple fact of the times: While the poor struggle with a weak economy, the superrich hoist their gleaming white sails.

Now sure, that might sound a bit negative, but check out how the Maltese Falcon ended up floating into port here sometime on Wednesday or Thursday, according to a source who spoke to the Pulp on
condition of anonymity.

Venture capitalist Tom Perkins had the Maltese Falcon built back in 2005. It was said to be the most expensive and fastest sailing ship ever built, with a risky design employing 15 sails on carbon-fiber masts.

You might recognize Perkins' name from the days when he served on the board at Hewlett-Packard. He quit after the company used some dastardly means to investigate the board. Or you might know Perkins for his ex-wife: author Danielle Steele.

Anyway, Perkins got sick of his toy boat and listed it for sale four years later. Nobody bit for the asking price of $165 million, so Perkins was forced to lower it substantially -- tough times, you know. In August 2009, the highest-paid woman in Britain, hedge-fund manager Elena Ambrosiadou, plunked down the nine-figure asking price, reportedly about $100 million.

Elena Ambrosiadou.jpg
You don't want to know what Elena Ambrosiadou planned to do with her yacht.
Ambrosiadou began her climb to boating history while working as an executive at BP. In 1992, she used just $97,000 to open a hedge fund that she grew to a value of $324 million. For her brilliance, she has paid herself as much as $25 million a year.

After the purchase, she told the London Times that her big boat will likely go unused. "I work 16 hours a day, seven days a week," she told the paper. "I doubt if I'll be spending much time on her."

So, let's recap: This week, a boat will come to our fair city with a value equal to the amount of money President Obama ordered cut from the federal budget. It's also the amount Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg gave to Newark schools in the hopes of creating a decent district. In other words, if you're rich enough to build yourself such an extravagance, you can either hoist 15 sails on carbon-fiber masts, or you could save the federal budget or fix the schools of a major U.S. city.

Then you have the owners, who mention all the keywords of the past decade's financial collapse, like hedge funds, corporate malfeasance, venture capitalists, and BP. One of them tired of this toy in just a few years, and the other bought it knowing she'd rarely, if ever, board it. This is the money you don't have, and this is the money you don't have going to a toy she doesn't really even want.

So yes, the Maltese Falcon earns the right to be called a floating metaphor. Head to the beach and you might catch a sighting of its white masts, emblazoned with a black falcon. That is, if you can afford the beach parking.

Follow The Pulp on Facebook and on Twitter: @ThePulpBPB. Follow Eric Barton on Twitter: @ericbarton.
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57 comments
Futuredatabank Globaltrends
Futuredatabank Globaltrends

Everyone needs to get this correct... (REPOST ON TWITTER, FACEBOOK)

America is controlled by the 3 privately owned states (district of columbia, the city of london, and the vatican.) Each has it's own flag, pays no taxes and has it's own laws. All 3 are part of an interlocking "ONE" called "City Of The Empire" Or "Black Sun". 

When you pay taxes it goes to The Bank Of London and straight to the vatican. These 3 privately owned tiny nation states are owned by 13 families that rule the entire planet militarily, financially, and spiritually. Without a doubt. OPEN YOUR EYES AND YOU WILL SEE IT.

They control the markets, the religions, the media, and they rob you of your wealth. Wake up. Time to wake everyone up. Nothing will change until the people SEE the TRUTH about their miserable extistence that has been dictated to them by these CREEPS

Annoyed
Annoyed

Applause!!!!, Cheering.  Another terrific post.  Great on you.  The wealthy dont solve world problems, choices and decisions of policy makers do.  Well, at least they should,

Annoyed
Annoyed

Mr. Barton,BTW as you may have heard, the Marine and yacht industry provides over a hundred thirty thousand (130,000) jobs and almost $4 Billion a year to South Florida.  So, maybe you want to consider how many mortgages would not be paid at all without this disgraceful yacht in here.  Get a grip.

Disgusted Reader
Disgusted Reader

This article is a disgrace. Given that marine industrygenerated over 134,000 Jobs and 3.7 Billion in gross wages directly into BrowardCounty in 2010 (http://ci.ftlaud.fl.us/2011Bud...

), you should be welcoming the Falcon into port with openarms instead of judging how successful people spend their hard earnedmoney.  Our county's economy would be a lot weaker if it wasn't for these "expensive private boats".

Jayman931
Jayman931

Save the federal budget with 100 million dollars? What planet are you from?  We are in a 1.5 trillion dollar deficit...We don't have a budget. Lets put that in a way that you boat owners will understand...you could by 15000 Maltese Falcons with 1.5 Trillion Dollars.  We have a chinese credit card.  Maybe we should just not give Pakistan 10 Billion Dollars in the last 10 years ( or 100 Maltese Falcons).....think how many schools we could save if we didn't give Pakistan 10 Billion dollars ini the last 10 years.

Michael
Michael

Cheap compared to the last America's Cup campaign 

I believe in capitalism
I believe in capitalism

The state of America today:

Work hard, have inspiration, be ambitious, take chances, make money......then get criticized or almost demonized by those who also work hard, but never had an inspiration, serious ambition or took a chance. 

unowho
unowho

"LAWYERS SUCK "   for PM...............  "ANY ARRESTS" for Pulpsters

Msmith
Msmith

Virgil....sounds like you need to get laid.

DeathFrog3
DeathFrog3

What is with the warfare on wealth? The chick made some hefty cash in ENGLAND, part of Europe one of the few areas in the world with an economy worse than our own.

There is a sure way to end the stability of a market. End speculation. The model exists. Onions. In 1958 the federal gvt outlawed onion futures. The result was a more volitile onion market not less. This is fact.

Speculation is not the problem no more than home ownership was the problem in the housing market. The problem is "free" speculation. A speculator puts 10% or less down on an investment if it tanks his LLC walks away from the loss. Require anyone buying futures (or shorting) to put up at least 50%.

Virgil, when are you going to encourage your employees to organize? Do you offer them a free defined benefit pension? You must right? Its the right thing to do.

skydove
skydove

Without the text explaining that the Maltese Falcon is a metaphor, I would have assumed it was a sculpture by Claes Oldenburg: three baby giants' milk bottles canted with infantile abandon along a hunk of gear-cluttered board. In the water. Very original. Even a little alarming.

Suppose it's a boat, as alleged? No way could that upper deck be used for fund-raiser cocktail parties or self-congratulatory bashes such as the VC crew were once famous for. The action would have to take place below. There must be several stories of expensive design components: jeweled falcon icons on every bar, chandeliers, trees, pool tables, to-die-for staircases. Maybe even a chair or two. No wonder the owner can't seem to find the time to hang there.

IrvingFeiner
IrvingFeiner

 Elena Ambrosiadou is the hottest woman I have ever seen.

Tony
Tony

The tone of this article sounds for lack of a better word socialist. Why do we want to tell people how much then can earn and how to spend it? That's a slippery slope that could conceivably let the government dictate how much you earn and where you are allowed to spend your money. I am afraid this country has become a good bit like Europe where class envy rules the day.   

Virgil Starkwell
Virgil Starkwell

Incidentally, hedge funds who engage in commodity speculation are directly responsible for the artificial rise in the price of oil. Only days ago, Goldman Sach's chief energy analyst announced that Brent crude oil was being artificially manipulated by speculators. Based on Goldman's own formula, Reuters estimates that the price of a barrel of oil is 20-25 dollars higher than it should be solely because of these elite parasites who add nothing to society. The irony is that Goldman are the Babe Ruth of speculators.

Remember that next time you fill up your car.

We should have sent the SEALS into Downtown Manhattan, because no one has done more harm to the United States than the ultra wealthy.

And that is the truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God.

Ft. Lauderdale Resident
Ft. Lauderdale Resident

In 1992, she used just $97,000 to open a hedge fund that she grew to a value of $324 million. For her brilliance, she has paid herself as much as $25 million a year.  And why are we faulting her? As quoted in the article, she built a financial empire starting with $97K.  Maybe we should all strive to be as successful instead of bitching and crying about being "poor".  It's all relative.  As a middle class guy, many people are financially better off than I am, many people are not.  This class war nonsense is getting our country nowhere.....insteaded of higher taxes on specific groups of people, we should all pay a flat % tax of our income but it will never happen due to special interests, accountants, attorneys, and an IRS that would actually run efficiently.

Virgil Starkwell
Virgil Starkwell

I think that the government local state federal should tax these multi-millionairs at a minimum of  85% of their incomes.  This money could be used to finance green projects and feed the hungry around the world.  It is totally obscene for anyone to have that amount of money.  Think of all the suffering in the world. 

Guest
Guest

Rich or poor it’s nice to have moneyF. Scott Fitzgerald 

What About Bob?
What About Bob?

Been looking and cannot find a Bob's blog on channel 10.  Has anyone seen him on tv or found his blog since leaving?   

Annoyed
Annoyed

 Applause!!!!, Cheering.  Another terrific post.  Great on you.  The wealthy dont solve world problems, choices and decisions of policy makers do.  Well, at least they should,

Annoyed
Annoyed

 Well said.  Both the current and previous owner are completely self-made and brilliant individuals.  Yes, please lets demonize them and argue they should not be allowed their success.  Does anyone seem to know anything about Tom Perkins or what his VC firm did.  Maybe look into a company called Genetech that he started with nothing but an idea and made usable insulin what it is today.  Definitely a demon to be punished.  Or google and Netscape that are allowing you to write the crap that you are on here.  Get it together people.  Capitalism is based on growth and the idea and ability that the US affords people to make anything happen.  You could do it too if you had the idea and forethought to make it happen.  Focus on that rather that negating what those who have done it already have proven.

Parkland man
Parkland man

Hey that's funny good one,the girl in the picture looks like Victoria gotti,if there was ever a look alike that would be one.now I don't know the answer but I wonder if any lawyers ever had the balls to sue John gotti he would never look at that as a part or price of doing business, I don't think so.

unowho
unowho

Ya Virge I thought you were a raging heterosexual??? 

Virgil Starkwell
Virgil Starkwell

You just proved my point. The speculation that exists today is responsible for the collapse of the financial system in 2008, and it is largely because of deregulation.

Deregulation led to the leveraging problem, however, whenever anyone suggests that markets need to be regulated, they are automatically labeled a socialist and are compared to Castro.

All I am suggesting is that we save capitalism and return to the regulated markets that we enjoyed for decades.

P.S. My employees very much appreciate and enjoy the same health insurance plan that my own family benefits from.

unowho
unowho

I agree Love At Fir$t $ight !!!!.......Christine LB you are such a Gold Digger!!!

The Pulp Blog
The Pulp Blog

Hey Tony, no the point wasn't to promote socialism (which, by the way, I don't support). But it does seem like bad timing to come sailing into South Florida on a $100 million yacht when a lot of people couldn't afford the gas go to see the thing.

Virgil Starkwell
Virgil Starkwell

You don't understand what a hedge fund engages in and how it can harm our nation. You speak the language of the corporate indentured servant.

"Thank you, Sir. May I have another"?

IrvingFeiner
IrvingFeiner

This is one of the few and very far between times that I completely agree with  you, VS.

That said, Elena Ambrosiadou is the hottest woman I have ever seen.

Patti Lynn
Patti Lynn

 The flat tax truly negatively impacts the poor and lower middle class, (I guess ALL of the Middle Class is now the LOWER middle Class).  It's just like the sales tax...it hits the poorest people the hardest.  I guess that it's tough for those rich people to understand how hard it is to keep a roof over your head and feed yourself and, if you have them, a family.I cannot understand those who do not have empathy for those struggling to survive.  If we do not PROPERLY educate the poor, we are condemning them to dead end jobs and a hopeless future.  When we do that, we are increasing the social burden on our tax revenues.  Look at Leonard Pitts' column of several years ago about "What Works."  We have to find a method to educate those whose parents don't make that their number one issue.  It's not that they don't want to, but, they don't know how; they're working more than one job to keep the roof, food, and clothes in the house.

Check out the HIPPY program at Family Central.  Now there's a program that WORKS!!!  If it only had a little more funding, we could help change the tide of education in Broward County.

Virgil Starkwell
Virgil Starkwell

Because you don't comprehend how these asset strippers earn their fortunes. Millions of jobs have been sent overseas by hedge funds who have purchased American companies, for the sole purpose of dismantling them.

There is an education gap in the U.S. in understanding what these people engage in, and it is cavernous.

nanook5
nanook5

 well...in this country you have the right to be greedy swine...that doesn't change the fact that people are dying while this hoarding continues

Annoyed
Annoyed

 Really, are you kidding me?  Let me ask a simple question, would you work hard to your best at your job, and move forward in life if you knew that as you did better, you were going to be punished for it increasingly, and have more of what you were working for taken away?  Honestly, you people are just ignorant.  IT DOESN'T Work like that!  You would still be pissing in a bush rubbing sticks together if there wasn't reward for hard work and ingenuity.  Get a grip.  Maybe she could buy a puppy or a peace sign bumper sticker for everyone in the world.  Afterall, it is her responsibility to give it all away after working for it.  Don't worry, the Falcons visit was short, and is heading for NYC.  I for one will be there with bells on for the first excessive cocktail party.  I'll be toasting to your stale cheez-its from the couch while you "Blog" your way to better reality.  I perfer to go out there and make reality.  I'll take my chances over yours!!!!!

Virgil Starkwell
Virgil Starkwell

I wouldn't go that high, but as a matter of historical fact, when the elite were taxed at 85%, the U.S. was:

1) The world's largest creditor nation;

2) The world's unmatched manufacturing Giant;

America was in it's prime when it taxed these elitist scumbags.

And if you are one of them, F you and the computer controlled sailboat you sailed in on.

Jayman931
Jayman931

Capitalism is supposed to be Free-Market.....regulations only manipulate and in the end create a larger problem in artificially manipulating supply and demand.  Look at Pharma and Oil...

DeathFrog3
DeathFrog3

I didnt ask what insurance you offer. I asked when you are going to allow them to unionize and give them a free dfined benefit pension?

My point is any system can be scammed by scammers. Not everyone who bought a home in 2003-2006 were scammers. The scammers ruined the market. If the government didn't encourage the high risk loan practices (and the banks bundle the notes in mortgage backed sucurities) we would not have had a problem.

The lack of speculation is bad for a market. Corrupt Speculation is bad for a market. So you can't throw out the baby with the bath water. My thought is, there is already regulation, don;t allow future sales without the purchaser putting up 33 to 50 % of the deal in cash. That would eliminate the vultures. 

Dr_augusta
Dr_augusta

LOL you are soooooo wrong..... 

Annoyed
Annoyed

 Why oh Why Eric are you only picking one this one specific yacht.  7 Seas, valued at more than double the falcon was here for weeks and just left, and Katara, owned by a Saudi Oil Tycoon and probably a half Billion value sits on the wall just south of the Bridge.  What is your deal.  Get a grip buddy.  These are self made people, and have done more than you can ever dream of doing!

Bubba
Bubba

Virgil,It is sad that the only "correct opinion" on these blogs has to be yours. I guess all of the rest of the bloggers that don't necessarily agree with you shouldn't post their opinions. 

Rob J.
Rob J.

Education is available to everyone. If someone is too lazy to educate themselves, why should the rich have to take care of them. LAZY is the key word. I am not saying all but most. I have seen my fair share. The ones who cry are the ones who want to have everything handed to them. Get a life and get a job, if you don't like your job, instead of reading blogs, playing games or watching TV, educate yourself so you can have a better future. Because someone works extaordinarily hard (she is working 7 days, 16 hours) and can afford luxury, more power to them. The only complainers are the lazy, uneducated and jealous people. 

DeathFrog3
DeathFrog3

How exactly does a national sales tax affect the middle class/lower class more than wealthy?

If I go out and buy a new ford expedition for 35k I pay taxes on the 35k that I spent. Now the guy that lives on the other side of the ICW but a Mercedes g55 AMG for 125k he pays the taxes on the 125k.

When I buy jeans I spend about 70 bucks (in my scenarion I pay tax on the 70) he pays 700 on jeans and he pays tax on the 700.

We as a state do OK without the city and state income taxes like they have up north. There is no reason the country couldn't work the same.  

Annoyed
Annoyed

 A better idea would be to ship you overseas!  Try Cuba, you might fit in better there with Castro.  Obviously that works!

VS the Commie
VS the Commie

Virgil,You are, simply put, a communist.   Go live in Cuba and report back to us about how your concept (that no one should have more than the next) works.  Who are you to tell anyone how much money they should make or how they should spend it?  You dont know how charitable this lady may be, yet you accuse her of being a greedy "asset stripper" that is part of some consipiracy to ruin the world.You probably ridicule her because you secretly wish you were half as successful as she is.  But since you arent (and are likely incapable of being), you ridicule and post your idiotic rants.  Get a life, you tool.

Patti Lynn
Patti Lynn

 Virgil,

Well put, my man, well put.

Patti Lynn
Patti Lynn

 Hey Bubba,  You're putting words in Virgil's mouth.  Do YOU know what a hedge fund does? 

Virgil Starkwell
Virgil Starkwell

Hey Bubba:

Read the history of Long Term Capital Management and Enron. Enron collapsed due to risky hedge fund trading. Over 4,500 people lost their jobs and their pensions, which totaled 1 billion dollars. Former President Bush used to refer to their CEO as "Kenny Boy".

My opinions are supported by facts.

Annoyed
Annoyed

 Thank you!  Brilliant and so true!  Little sympathy in a country where the American dream truly is that, and ANYONE can go out and do it for themselves.  Funny, you don't see successful indivduals on here whining about what they don't have, they go out and get it!!!!

Virgil Starkwell
Virgil Starkwell

I am not a communist, but you certainly are a moron. All I advocate for is to return to that period of time in American history when markets were regulated. For decades, we were able to thrive economically because of proper checks and balances on the money changers on Wall Street.

Hedge Funds deal in derivatives and derivatives are high stakes casino bets. The free market is a myth because whenever these criminals overextend themselves and crash the system, we the taxpayers step forward and bail their sorry ass out.

I don't care how much money anyone makes so long as what they do does not put the entire financial system at risk and they are properly taxed. (Incidentally, hedge fund operators are often taxed at the lower capital gains rage (15%) .

So, take it easy with your ignorant characterizations of positions on issues that you don't fully comprehend.

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