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Opinion

An eBay for billionaires

A new website advertised as the online marketplace for billionaires launched in 2009.

Going for a song: bids start at $49mln on BillionaireXchange.com

Going for a song: bids start at $49mln on BillionaireXchange.com

As 51-carat pink diamonds, $74 million Mexican resorts and $1 billion mansions hit the sales room there was just one thing missing... the billionaires.

With only 793 billionaires on the planet the market seemed tight. The members-only site expanded the net rapidly to allow anyone with a mere $2 million in liquid assets to gain entry.

One report quoted Phil Ruffin, Forbes’s 193rd-richest guy in the US, saying he would never log on to a website to go shopping. Apparently for him half the fun of buying something expensive is bartering with the owner.

But Quintin Thompson, the executive partner of the BillionaireXchange.com website, is positive, especially since the site has rapidly gained in popularity in recent months. When asked where he would like to see the company in three to five years’ time he said: "I would like to see BillionaireXchange reach the level of Sotheby’s or Christie’s. I believe with the speed of technology and the change in times it’s totally viable."

It seems Goldman Sachs’s bonus committee are taking this ambition very seriously and plying Thompson with many more eligible candidates.

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