Fine wines are among the items they will accept as collateral for loans, along with family jewels and fine art, a practice spreading from Britain to the US.
Prime Asset Loans, based in Durham, UK, has a specific list of wines it will loan against. In addition to the First Growth Bordeaux, it will also make loans on Burgundy's famed Domaine de la Romanee-Conti and, depending on the vintage, Australia's renowned Penfolds Grange.
"We lend up to 70 percent of the value of the wines and the term is usually seven months," said Richard Mews, a partner at Prime Asset Loans. "Investors are using this type of loan more as it is quick, easy and there are no fees. ... If used properly, it can be a very cheap way of raising short-term funds."
Exporting the concept, the real government agenda?
A British-based pawnbroker, borro.com, with an office in New York recently lent $120,000 in exchange for 128 bottles of Chateau d'Yquem. The golden Sauternes were actually worth an estimated at $250,000. They then listed several other loans that were secured with various vintages of the five First Growths Bordeaux: Chateau Haut-Brion, Chateau Lafite-Rothschild, Chateau Haut-Brion, Chateau Margaux and Chateau Mouton Rothschild. These top wines are regularly sold at auctions where cases fetch tens of thousands of dollars.
(Worth sending a suitably qualified politician on a states-visit to compound and optimise the special relationship?)
Borro.com 's clientele, whose net worth ranges from $1 million to $10 million, use the loan "for liquidity - no pun intended. They're mostly small business owners who basically are just waiting on payments and managing cash flows."
Time for NAMs and KAMs to replace the bank by raiding the cellar and sacrificing a bottle or two?
Then why not finish the case via an unprecedented St. Patrick’s Day weekend, from the Namnews team?