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Cohen selling some prized artworks

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When Steven Cohen bought Picasso's "Le Rêve" for $150 million in 2012, it was interpreted by some as a thumb in the eye of prosecutors, a calculated move to tell them that he was little affected by all their efforts.

So what will people make of his move to unload some pieces in his vast art collection? Cohen has put two major Andy Warhol works and a Gerhard Richter canvas up for sale, notes DealBook. Sotheby's is apparently scheduled to auction the works next month.

Does this mean that Cohen needs to raise funds?

Well, it's tempting to think so. After all, he's negotiating a massive settlement with federal prosecutors that will not be cheap. It could amount to more than $2 billion. But his fund, even after he honors all redemption requests, will likely have about $9 billion left in what is essentially his private fund.

So it doesn't seem like he's in any real financial hardship, though he may have to get more liquid to make some big payments. His fund has reportedly been selling stock to honor redemption requests.

To be sure, there are plenty of other reasons for a collector to sell art. "Cohen has hundreds of works in his prodigious collection and, in keeping with his trader's mentality, buys and sells them with frequency. Owners of fine art also often sell art for tax reasons, as they can defer their tax liability by exchanging one piece for another."

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