Monday, December 31, 2007


O aumento dos preços do crude está a provocar nova maré cheia de petrodólares. O mar de dólares não se enche apenas de petrodólares, a China tem os cofres a abarrotar, e há muita gente a enriquecer, ainda mais, nestes tempos de crises financeiras, que não é árabe nem chinês.
O mercado da arte é que não parece ressentir-se de crise alguma e está cada vez mais florescente. E, como sempre acontece com a afluência de novos ricos, a arte é um dos destinos preferidos dos dólares (e dos euros) dos privilegiados.

(ao lado "Debutante nurse" - Richard Prince)

in Washington Post

Art Market Sheltered From Credit Turmoil
By Ula IlnytzkyAssociated Press Sunday, December 30, 2007; Page F02

NEW YORK -- Despite turmoil in the financial markets, the art market shows no signs of softening.
The fall auction season in New York saw robust prices across most categories, with new records hit nearly every time an art auction was held.
The sales have generated billions of dollars for auction houses such as
Sotheby's, contributing to solid earnings but also exposing auctioneers to
volatility when sales didn't go as well as expected.
Among the reasons for the strong showing are the weak U.S. dollar, expanding world wealth and new buyers from countries not previously associated with the art collecting community, experts say. Over the last five years, wealthy buyers from Russia, China, India and the Middle East have greatly helped fuel the art market.
The boom has occurred against the backdrop of a dreadful year for the financial sector in the United States -- a slump that seems to have been offset by the influx of foreign buyers and big American buyers who have not been affected by the uncertain economy.
These buyers paid astronomical amounts. An Andy Warhol painting sold for more than $71 million in a May auction that brought in a total of nearly $385 million. A Matisse fetched more than $33.6 million in a November sale that also took in nearly $400 million. A limestone lion sculpture that measures 3 1/4 inches hauled in $57 million earlier this month.
Still, the art market hasn't been immune to turbulence.
Sotheby's suffered a lackluster modern and impressionist sale in November in which Van Gogh's "The Fields," estimated at $28 million to $35 million, failed to sell, and many other works sold below their estimates. Sotheby's stock plunged 28 percent that day because of investors' fears that the company had overextended itself in guaranteeing sellers' reserve -- the price the house promises to pay if a certain item doesn't sell.
Experts said the price estimates exceeded the perceived value of the works.
"If you try to sell stuff for twice what it's worth, the market's going to say no," said Ian Peck, chief executive of the art-finance firm Art Capital Group. He said he heard that the Van Gogh later sold privately for about $20 million.
Peck says his blanket advice to clients is to take a wait-and-see attitude for the next year, and see how the art market plays out. "Our view is that within 12 months, we'll know if this thing is getting worse, meaning if a recession occurs in the U.S. market or not," he said.
Generally, the art market trails the
Dow Jones industrial average and other market indexes by about six to eight months, Peck said. Stocks have been volatile since the summer.

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