1. The Olympic games are a time when the countries of the world should put aside their differences to engage in sport. Whether that actually happens, however, is debatable. While the athletes are surely capable of focusing on the competition, it can be hard for long-standing disagreements to be forgotten -- even temporarily -- by their home countries.
5. People are still looking at old masters for pleasure, if not as lucrative investments. Sotheby’s said 6,000 people visited its Dec. 5 to 9 viewing, compared with the 6,400 who saw its Impressionist and contemporary sales in June. At the lower end of the price scale, many historic paintings do find a market — Christie’s and Sotheby’s day sales of old master paintings on Dec. 9 and 10 had solid-enough selling rates of 67 and 65 percent apiece.