The Financialisation of Art
Plus: Buy Now Pay Later, British Bicycle Mania, Shadow Banks, Happy Holidays
It’s a rite of passage for any budding hedge fund manager to buy some art. For me, it happened a number of years ago. I’d just bought a new house and one particularly plain wall screamed out for adornment. The house itself was a nice place to live, but it also served as an investment; why not extend that duality to the internal decor? If I could brighten up my walls and earn a return at the same time, what’s not to like?
Trouble is, while I knew my way round the equity market (I was a budding hedge fund manager after all) I had no idea how to navigate the art market. Fortunately, one of my close friends is an art historian with expertise in contemporary art; he agreed to be my sherpa through this unfamiliar terrain.
It didn’t take long for my friend to identify an up-and-coming artist he thought worth backing. She was represented by a swanky Mayfair gallery and we arranged to meet there for a viewing. I was eager to go straight in, cheque book in hand. But my guide stopped me. Apparentl…