Headlines, Real and Imagined

 
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by Asher Edelman

Some actual Labor Day headlines

BOND MARKET BIG NAMES BATTERED BY DEEPENING ARGENTINA TURMOIL

TURKEY BRACED FOR MARKET TURMOIL AS INFLATION RISES

TURKEY’S WOES COULD BE JUST THE START AS RECORD GLOBAL DEBT BILLS COME DUE

Trump’s Canadian Rant Threatens New Nafta Deal

CLOCK TICKS ON ITALY’S RACE TO RAISE EURO 63 BILLION IN NEW DEBT AS ROME REELS FROM SELL-OFF

North Sea Assets Worth Billions Up For Sale As Majors Scale Back

HNA STRAINS CHINA P2P FEARS

Though they were missing from the Labor Day news, I predict the following headlines will be coming soon:

TRUMP TAX LAW BITES HIGH-END ART MARKET

No Buyers At The Top: Russians, Chinese, Turks, Canadians, Brazilians, Venezuelans, Filipinos Withdraw From U.S.-Based Art Transactions. Middle Eastern Sheiks, Their G-650S Rerouted To Newfoundland, Miss The Bidding

New Leonardo Conclusively Proven To Be A “Studio” Painting

HOUSE OF CARDS GALLERY COLLAPSES UNDER STRAIN OF DEBT LOAD. COLLECTORS AND ARTISTS SEARCH FOR THEIR ART. OR, AT LEAST, THEIR MONEY

ANDY WARHOL CABAL SLIPS UP AND ACTUALLY BUYS SOME WORKS. NOW THEY HAVE TO PAY.

ART FRAUD AT TOP OF THE MARKET: PRIVATE DEALERS DEAL IN FAKES, FAKE PROVENANCES, FAKE TITLES, DISCOURAGE COLLECTORS

Auction Houses Bitten By Frivolous Guarantees. No Third-Party Players Come To The Table

QATAR LEAVES THE ART MARKET TO ABU DHABI AND THE SAUDIS AGAIN. BUT SAUDI AND ABU DHABI BIDDING STRATEGY FOR NEW $200 MILLION PAINTING—NO BIDS AND BUY AFTER THE AUCTION—SUCCEEDS. AUCTION FAILS. WILL THEY OR WON’T THEY? 

So, here we are. Some of these headlines are imminent. The rest are more likely than not to come in one form or another—not to mention myriad others, as yet unimagined but equally distressing. Time to pack up our checkbooks and sit on the sidelines? Yes, at least for the moment. Some of the greatest, most wonderful, most thoughtful art of all time should soon be yours at 20 percent to 40 percent less than the prices today. All it takes is a bit of patience. Use the time to study, look and learn that art is more than just an asset class.

Opportunities come along from time to time. Some call it luck—others know it’s timing. The time to prepare to build or build upon an existing collection is now. Put your money in the bank—however, be careful which one. Take a deep breath. Sit tight, suppress the urge to splurge, and within a year or two you’ll be prepared to start buying again. If your walls are empty, borrow or lease art. Inventories are overwhelming and costly to carry. Art will look better on your walls than in a storage bin. Work from many of the sought-after artists of today who will survive and rebound can be on your walls while you wait (or maybe even bought at a discount now from those who see the coming crisis clearly).

The point? Art is not only an asset class. It is a remarkable enlightener of beauty and expression; therein lies its value. Look at it, not your bottom line, for a while. You’ll be glad you did.