Paul Mason travels to Spain to investigate how this once thriving economy has become the latest casualty of the Eurozone crisis.
BBC Two: The Great Spanish Crash
Greece, Ireland and Portugal have all received massive bailouts with strict conditions. But Spain is different. One of the largest economies in the world, for nearly twenty years “cool Espana” meant cutting edge architecture, the world’s best restaurants and the magic of Barcelona Football Club. Spain was a European success story.
The transition to democracy after Franco’s dictatorship created a financial and political system that left the country vulnerable to catastrophe when the world economic crisis struck in 2008. One of the keenest advocates of the European single currency, Spain is now the biggest victim of the Eurozone crash with youth unemployment running at more than 50%.
Interviewing key players, including former prime minister Felipe Gonzalez and European commissioner Joaquin Almunia, Mason reveals how Spain’s extraordinary credit and construction boom has collapsed, leaving millions facing poverty and the politicians still bickering about a massive potential bail out.
Over six terrifying, desperate days in October 1929, shares crashed by a third on the New York Stock Exchange. More than $25 billion in individual wealth was lost. Later, three thousand banks failed, taking people’s savings with them. Surviving eyewitnesses describe the biggest financial catastrophe in history.
BBC: The Great Crash
In 1919, the US had emerged victorious and dominant from World War One. Britain and its European allies were exhausted financially from the war. In contrast, the US economy was thriving and the world danced to the American tune.
Easy credit and mass production set the tone in the roaring twenties for an era of consumption like none that had ever been seen before. The stock market rose and investors piled in, borrowing money to cash in on the bubble. In 1928, the market went up by 50 per cent in just 12 months. The crash was followed by a devastating worldwide depression that lasted until the Second World War. Shares did not regain their pre-crash values until 1954.
Alastair takes a look at the ten most expensive paintings to sell at auction and learning more about the stories behind the huge amounts of money that are paid for some pieces of art. He also pays a visit to the home of author and art collector Jeffrey Archer and pays a visit to the auctioneers Christie’s.
BBC: The Worlds Most Expensive Paintings
Featuring works by Picasso, Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh, Klimt and Rubens, Sooke enters a world of secrecy and rivalry, passion and power. Highlights include a visit to the art-crammed home of millionaire author Lord Archer; a rare interview with the man at the heart of the sale of the most expensive old master of all time; privileged access to auctioneers Christie’s; and a glimpse of the world of the Russian oligarchs.
These revelatory journeys allow Sooke to present an eye-opening view of the super wealthy, and their motivations as collectors of the world’s great art treasures. Art critic Alastair Sooke tracks down the ten most expensive paintings to sell at auction, and investigates the stories behind the astronomic prices art can reach. Gaining access to the glittering world of the super-rich, Sooke discovers why the planet’s richest people want to spend their millions on art.
|10||$72,840,000||White Center||Rothko||Royal Family of Qatar||Rockefeller|
|09||$76,529,058||Massacre of the Innocents||Rubens||Kenneth Thomson||Austrain Familiy|
|08||$78,100,00||Au Mouilin de la Galette||Renoir||Ryoei Saito||Betsey Whitney (Vanderbilt)|
|07||$80,379,591||Water Lilly Pond||Monet||J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller|
|06||$82,500,00||Portrait of Dr Gachet||Van Gogh||Ryoei Saito||Siegfried Kramarsky family|
|04||$87,936,000||Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II||Klimt||Ronald Lauder||Maria Altmann|
|03||$95,216,000||Dora Maar au chat||Picasso||Boris Ivanishvili||Gidwitz family|
|02||$104,168,000||Garcon a la pipe||Picasso||Barilla Group||Greentree foundation|
|01||$106,482,500||Nude, Green Leaves & Bust||Picasso||Frances Lasker Brody Estate|