Last month Pink Floyd frontman David Gilmour sold his guitar collection for $21.5 million, including one piece – his famed "Black Strat" Fender Stratocaster – that went for nearly $4 million to the owner of the U.S. National Football League's Indianapolis Colts.
The "Money" singer set a musical instrument sales record in the charity auction, marking yet another milestone for a booming market just weeks after New York-based art dealer Sotheby's Holdings, auctioned Claude Monet's "Meules" for $110.7 million, the most ever for an Impressionist painting.
And it is not just instruments or paintings in high demand among the world's billionaire set. Auction houses themselves now appear to be prized vanity purchases: Just a few days before the Pink Floyd auction, Franco-Israeli cable magnate Patrick Drahi, whose firm Altice earned significant money in the United States, made a $3.7 billion bid for Sotheby's, which had just hosted the Monet sale.
Welcome to the longest U.S. economic expansion in history, one perhaps best characterized by the excesses of extreme wealth and an ever-widening chasm between the unfathomably rich and everyone else.
Indeed, as the expansion entered its record-setting 121st month on Monday, signs of a new Gilded Age are all over.