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June 13, 2006

Art Basel.. Going Strong in the Face of a huge sell off in Stocks Worldwide!!

Well.. Today starts Art Basel.. the streets of Chelsea must be empty, cause it's the worlds largest art sale fair.  Everybody who's anybody in the art world is there.. Hence why losers pikers like me are still in the office working this week!

So, Here's an early glowing report from Linda Sandler and Katya Kazakina of Bloomberg News. Basel Art Fair May Sell More Than $300 Million!! Bloomberg ArtBasel06_Story.txt

Some of the quotes from this report are insane great :

  1. "People aren't even waiting to get to the fair before they buy!",
  2. "Barbara Gladstone just sold four of five pieces in 30 minutes",
  3. "Everything if flying off the shelf.."
  4. "A lot of art is overpriced and it's inspiring speculators to want to own art"
  5. "Demand had quadrupled contemporary prices sine 1995"

Well, Not to be a Debbie Downer.... But, it's amazing to see this contemporary art buying euphoria, given what's just occurred in the world wide stock markets.

Below are two charts. They both start in Jan 2004, one of the US S&P 500 stock market index, and the second chart is of the Euro S&P 50 stock market (both shown in US Dollar terms). Now, most certainly, I'm NOT in the camp of "The Art Market is going to crash and burn soon," But seeing a few TRILLION DOLLARS get wiped out in stocks the last 2 months, can't be a good thing for contemporary art prices... but who knows...

It's not like they keep making more contemporary art, right ? Yikes!

S_and_p_500 S_and_p_euro50


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Still higher than in January.

Oh, WAIT, all that money is being taken out of the equity markets and being sent directly to Basel (and I'm not talking UBS). I'm so happy I put all my money in Beany Babies three months ago.

Beany Babies & Loretta Lux are both just a passing fads!!

FYI.. both of these Stock Markets are negative YTD..

The US S&P 500 is down 2.1% and
Euro S&P 550 is down 4.3%

The Nikkei Index is now down 11.75% YTD. Ouch!

It will be interesting to see how closely (or whether) the art market follows stock downturns, now that so many investors consider art an alternative asset class. Will speculators dump art to raise cash, or will art be the new gold?

Didn't you make a very bold prediction about interest rates soaring a few months ago? How's that panned out?

And how clever of you do include some Bloomberg graphs while you blog from work. I'll bet no one was the wiser!

Oh, my apologies. I saw the beginning of the graph and thought you did a ytd grab , not a 2004. (I don't actuall read your blog, I just look at the pretty pictures...) Oh, yes, both are down. I miss my Bloomberg terminal.

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