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Diseased Economy Spreads To Charity T&A Circuit

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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GOING TWICE... Charitable contributions (Photo: Getty Images) A charity auction is intended to be the sort of event where people reap status points by paying way too much for things. It's also the kind of thing our superwealthy friends do for fun (and moral satisfation, of course). But, after a month of the greatest wealth destruction since the Hoover administration, does the upper class still have it in them? A swank gathering last night in Manhattan called Be Bare offered a mildly decadent spin on the traditional charity auction—in this case people were bidding to have models disrobe on stage, with the monies going to benefit blind children in Vietnam and poor families in rural Madagascar—and seemed like it might offer a barometer on the state of things.

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And you'd think that a gaggle of imported models traipsing around in next to nothing is always ample reason to overpay, right? Not exactly.

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