Okay, we’re going to be honest. We missed this Reuters item last Friday and only learned about it through Robert Frank’s Wealth Report blog at the Wall Street Journal. But we found Frank’s attempt to link this wholly unrelated story about bad art lending practices embedded within a much larger case of bad lending practices toward very wealthy clients who should not need to borrow against these kinds of assets to UBS’s decision to close its art advisory services (which have nothing to do with lending against art or any other collateral) that we decided to just link to the Reuters story without giving Frank credit.
So much for that plan. Now let’s focus on one of the Netherlands wealthiest men who has been shifting his art around to keep it from his anxious bankers. This can’t be good:
JPMorgan Chase & Co has sued Dutch businessman Louis Reijtenbagh, saying he failed to pay back more than $23 million in loans and that he unlawfully moved valuable artwork by Rembrandt, Picasso and other artists out of the United States that had been put up as collateral.
The case is the second lawsuit in two weeks against the 62-year-old Reijtenbagh, a one-time medical doctor who is now considered one of the wealthiest people in the Netherlands after making a fortune through investing. [ . . . ]
JPMorgan sued Reijtenbagh for breach of contract and other claims. It contends the artwork backing the loan was supposed to be safeguarded at an apartment in the Trump Tower Condominium on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue that is owned by Reijtenbagh’s sons, Jacob and Edgar.
However, JPMorgan contends, the defendants moved the “art collateral … outside of the apartment and the United States” without the bank’s consent.
A list of the art includes works by Rembrandt, Picasso, Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Pierre Bonnard, Rene Magritte and others.