Tom Perkins has been a barometer of plutocratic spending amid economic meltdown. That barometer is now signaling a comeback, if only for the real estate market, as Perkins scoops up a royal penthouse atop the San Francisco skyline.

Near the start of the financial crisis, Perkins began trying to sell his epic yacht, the Maltese Falcon, seen in the attached 60 Minutes clip. He also put his palatial, $20 million Belvedere home on the market.

Things are now looking decidedly up. The uber venture capitalist, who co-founded top-tier VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, is now said to have yanked the Belvedere house off the market. And he's scooped up yet another pad: Perkins bought a $9 million, 4,800-square-foot penthouse atop the brand new, 60-story Millennium Tower in San Francisco. The story, first reported by the blog Front Steps, was confirmed by Bloomberg, to whom Perkins said, "It's a good time to buy things other than paper."

Perkins had reasons to be so optimistic: His condo buy was reportedly financed by the sale of that yacht, which had languished on the market for more than a year. Billionaires, it seems, are finally spending again. Hallelujah.

Business Insider has some nice pictures of the building, inside and out.

(Pic: One of Millennium Tower's "Grand Residences," via Millennium Tower.)