Picasso's Women of Algiers (Verison O) sold for a record $179 million at auction on May 11. Image from Time.com.
I recently returned to my audiobook of Thomas Piketty's Capital in the 21st Century. I'm on hour 14 of 24. As a layman, the best current illustration of wealth inequality and the lack of a middle class is exemplified by the juxtaposition of two recent news stories:
1-Consumers confidence has fallen for the 4th time in the last five surveys. A U. Michigan survey found that , "Confidence fell in early May as consumers became increasingly convinced that there would be no quick and robust rebound following the dismal first quarter..."
2- Contrast that with this article, wherein Christie's has reported the first ever $1 Billion sales week in the art world. New York Times
The first quarter statistics for United States GDP are in, are they aren't pretty. The economy grew at just 0.2% for the first three months of the year. The blame portfolio remains very diversified, with the strong dollar, falling oil prices, a harsh winter & US trade balances holding the largest positions in pundit assessments. BUt only the relative poor care about stats like that.