Here are your big sure-fire investment tips for 2023: Art, classic cars and shares that are selling at a low price and will go up during the year.
The prices of the first two and possibly the third will be driven even more by the NSW fascist government’s (partly supported by the communist opposition) introduction of a mandatory cashless gaming card for poker machines.
You see, once again NSW leads the 16 states and territories. Yup, well done cockroaches, you are the winners in the gambling caper, slipping $95bn in cash through the pokies each and every year.
A NSW Crime Commission (our motto: Analyse. Investigate. Confiscate.) report found that a lot of that cash is coming from the baddies. Commissioner Mick Barnes said poker machines offered criminals one of the last remaining safe havens where cash from criminal enterprises could be cleaned with virtual impunity.
So, the billions that the laundry workers were cleaning and spending in casinos, pubs and clubs will have to go somewhere else, and art and classic cars are proven winners. Both have very attractive features for washerpersons.
“Art is a very attractive vehicle to launder money. It can be hidden or smuggled, transactions often are private, and prices can be subjective and manipulated – and extremely high,” former US prosecutor and now compliance consultant Pete Hardy says.
High-priced pictures and cars can be bought and sold publicly and privately, and crims can use both types of sales anonymously. So, the pictures and cars become “invisible assets”.
As a 2022 US Treasury Study on Illicit Finance in the High-Value Art Market told us: “In transactions facilitated by auction houses or galleries, it is not unusual for the seller, buyer, or both to be listed as a ‘private collection’ and not disclosed to the other party or to potential intermediaries.
“Complex ownership structures, such as the use of shell companies or third-party art dealers and advisers to purchase, hold, or sell specific pieces of art and to accept and remit payment, can provide additional layers of anonymity in a private transaction.”
The same could be said about the high-value classic car market where it’s difficult to see if record prices paid at some Australian auctions were actually paid and who the buyers and sellers were.
In the cash-converting business we call this process of making the source of illegal money as difficult to detect as possible by progressively adding legitimacy to it, layering.
Take Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, 54, Vice President of Equatorial Guinea, son of the President of Equatorial Guinea, late of two houses in South Africa, former owner of a now confiscated $50m compound in Malibu, California, a $150m 460m2 home on Square de l’Avenue Foch (seized by Les Flics), rap music entrepreneur and bon vivant, fond of Lamborghinis and long trips to Hollywood and Rio de Janeiro and petrol head. Not bad for someone earning $100k a year.
You might remember we wrote about Teo a few years back when Bonhams sold some of his cars for about $25m. But at least he kept his $400k crystal Michael Jackson glove, Batmobile and a private jet.
And he wasn’t shy about his lifestyle. As the Daily Mail reported, Teo regularly posted pictures of himself “skiing, abseiling, scuba diving, walking with lions, partying with semi-naked women, sipping champagne, enjoying helicopter rides, eating in five-star restaurants and driving supercars, top-of-the-range motorbikes, speed boats and submersibles around a series of palatial estates”. And the problem is?
Then last year our own Feds “restrained” properties, dozens of vehicles, cash and gold bullion, suspected of being the proceeds of crime following an investigation into some entrepreneurs importing what people on the street might call coke, blow, flake, candy, nose candy, coca puffs, “C”, Charlie, toot, gold dust, vitamin C, snow, girl, glass, white lady, okey doke, into Sydney.
Criminal Assets Confiscation and Restraining Commander Steve Fry told prying journalists that: “Profits from criminal activities also form a vicious circle as cash and other assets are used to fund the next drug import or pay for the next grow house, or help criminals evade law enforcement.” Steve’s untouchables restrained 47 vehicles in the raid including 31 classic cars, the highlight of which was a classic Holden ute.
Talking of high-value cars, on Wednesday RM Sotheby’s sold a 2022 Bugatti Chiron Profilée for $15m, claiming a record price for a new car.
Some potential Bugatti customers had said they would buy a Bugatti in a car that was slightly “less radical” than the $5m Chiron Pur Sport.
Bugatti started to work on what would become the Profilée but the Chiron models sold out faster than they thought and they were left with this one Chiron Profilée. It is absolutely unique. Only one exists, and there will never be another.
It will be the very last brand-new Bugatti with a W-16 engine. This Profilee is the fastest accelerating of all Chiron models, capable of reaching 100km/h in 2.3 seconds, 200 km/h in 5.5 seconds and 300 km/h in a near incomprehensible 12.4 seconds.
With only 396km of test mileage, full factory four-year warranty, free Bugatti pens, Bugatti universal travel adaptor and a long-sleeved Bugatti polo shirt (normally $500), this was well bought at the same price that Max the Axe paid for his Dassault Falcon-900EX private jet.
Our campaign to attract younger viewers has been somewhat successful, mainly through and I hope you’ve noticed, our use of hip language like cheugy, situationship (which you and I would know as a Claytons, the relationship you’re having when you’re not having a relationship), zaddy (a man, like Mick and me, who are of a certain age oozing sex appeal, experience, and swag) and of course whip as in “Damn! … that’s a pretty whip you got there, bro, is it a Bugatti Chiron Profilée?”