Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Greed Addendum -- Pot and Black Kettle Version

Friday night, after putting up a post about small business and greed and all that, I saw the tail end of "Greed Gone Wild", a 20/20 piece about, guess what? Greed.

It opened and closed with one Geoffrey Raymond who had painted portraits of some of " the business titans some say are responsible for today's financial crisis." Seems that Mr. Raymond is taking his paintings to Wall Street and offering passersby a chance -- via red Magic Marker -- to make their own comments on the paintings. You can imagine the comments.

But the closing part of the segment was what attracted me. I couldn't tell exactly which side of the equation 20/20 was coming down on, but they did point out that Raymond is selling those paintings for anywhere from $20,000 - $28,000.

Karen and I have noticed that in the midst of this financial crisis, there are all kinds of folks -- those who charge homeowners a fee to restructure their mortgages, a service that non-profits perform for free, for example -- who are busy trying to capitalize on this mess. And for my money, Geoffrey Raymond is one of them. Under the pretense of making some sort of statement about, um, greed.

I checked out his blog, linked from ABC. His plan, he says is "to become the pre-eminent American portrait painter of the 21st century. This blog chronicles that journey."

His art is actually pretty good. But I'd say he is more on the way to becoming one of the country's pre-eminent hypocritical scuzzbuckets.

The sad thing is, people are actually buying the things.

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