Archives For art

Our greatly lamented colleague Lary Ribstein was a movie buff. Some time ago he wrote an encyclopedic article on business in the movies, “Wall Street and Vine: Hollywood’s View of
Business.”  At the time of his death, he and I were in discussions about publishing this article in the journal I edit, Managerial and Decison Economics.  After his tragic death, I contacted his widow, Ann, and received permission to publish the article.  It is now published in the June issue of MDE.  (If your library does not subscribe to MDE, the article is still available on SSRN.)  Anyone with any interest in the movies and their perception of business must read this article. Given the volume of Larry’s scholarship, it is amazing that he had time to see as many movies as he discusses in this article.

Congressman Mica’s mission to oust the Federal Trade Commission from its current digs continues.  Mica is the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and has made the move top priority (Washington Post):

“You won’t believe me, but this is my only priority as chairman,” he says — a fact that has the commissioners sputtering.  “I know the commissioners have fourth-floor balconies with great views of the Capitol,” Mica says dismissively.

Commissioner Rosch responds:

“I have no view,” exclaims Commissioner Tom Rosch, pointing out that (a) he is a Republican and (b) his term will expire before any eviction could take place. “And I suspect that Mica has a bigger office than I do.”  “We need to examine this gentleman’s motives,” Rosch continues. “Is it because he has a grudge against us? . . . Is it that he would like his picture emblazoned on their brochure? . . . Is it ego? . . . I don’t know.”

The text of the bill (HR 690) is available here.

(HT: Steve Salop)


Art vs. money vs. nature

Larry Ribstein —  12 September 2010

Friday’s WSJ reported on Christo’s project to dress 42 miles of the Arkansas River. Christo does spectacular art that usually intrudes, at least temporarily, on nature. In this case it seems he may have met his Waterloo.

Interest groups are lining up at the BLM to have their say. The nature lovers want nature for themselves, particularly the part of it that’s in their backyards. The WSJ says that, for them, Christo is an “eco-terrorist.” They told the WSJ that

  • It’s “our canyon” and “art is not supposed to play God over the elements” [leaving me to wonder whether it was their canyon or God’s]
  • “Hanging rags over the river is the same as hanging pornography in a church” [well, since it’s God’s, it must be a church]
  • And, the bottom line: “I couldn’t care less about Christo’s artistic vision. We have to live here.”

On the other hand, art lovers like seeing Christo’s reinterpretation of nature, if only briefly and from afar. Some of the neighbors like the jobs and tourists.

Nature didn’t have much to say about what it wanted.

The BLM is ultimately going to decide this, probably leaving about 50% of the interest groups unhappy.

Perhaps if we can get past God, spreading around enough money could satisfy everybody. In order for this to happen, somebody needs to capture the full economic value of this project and then pay off the other claimants. While Christo sells his art to support the lawyers and other logistics, he probably can’t sell enough sketches to pay all the neighbors. Too bad, then, that he “shuns corporate sponsors,” according to the WSJ.

So probably everybody is going to stay pure and unhappy.