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Goldman Sachs' Arty Dilemma Solved
What is interesting about an ugly office building on the Farringdon Road, derelict and boarded up (pictured below)? If I tell you it involves Goldman Sachs and important art, it suddenly becomes a lot more interesting.
Goldman Sachs got planning permission in 2005 to turn this site - and later an additional neighbouring building - into its European headquarters, covering 54,000 square metres and sitting almost next to its current building on Fleet Street.
The only problem was that a - frankly ugly but nonetheless listed - ceramic mural by Dorothy Annan adorned the Farringdon Road facade. The mural, made up of nine porridge-coloured panels which describe in semi-abstract the 'wonders of communication as a heroic human endeavour' (quote and picture below: spitalfieldslife.com) was listed in 2011 and would have had to stay in place, stopping the development, or at least compromising it. This was not pleasing to Goldman Sachs.
Pictured above: The first panel from Dorothy Annan's mural on the Farringdon Road
Last September, the Vampire Squid was given permission to move the mural, and Bloomberg said then that 'the murals will initially be stored and may eventually be displayed near the Guildhall School of Music.'
Passing by before Christmas, I spoke to one of the security guards who have been guarding the building for years now, standing silent sentry in what I imagine is the most boring job in the City of London. He told me that the murals had been moved and put into storage, hence the black fence, which suggests that work is about to begin.
Goldman Sachs is about to experience an implosion on Farringdon Road, but let's hope it's only in the two old buildings they own.
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In this new anti-tax-avoidance era, when so many tax reliefs have been withdrawn, I've heard that investing in a Business Property Renovation Allowance scheme is one of the few remaining good opportunities for maxing your tax position. Is it true that you can get up to 100 per cent tax relief on the amount invested? And what exactly are these schemes? How do they work? What are the upsides? Downsides?
In this climate, it is a relief to see one potentially attractive tax allowance come through unscathed from recent criticism
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Links to blogs we like
Long or Short Capital
The Wealth Report
Real Time Economics
Iain Dale's Diary
ITA Wealth Management
The Lesperance Letter