Coincident Bubbles: Art Versus The Stock Market

Handicapping 2014, maybe I see up to a 10% gain for the S&P 500 Index, refusing to anticipate the death toll of rapidly escalating interest rates or inflation. The market can sell at a high teens price-earnings ratio, even with earnings rising mid-single digits. Speculation is in the air so good stock pickers can do 25% or better.

My feel for the contemporary art scene is rosier.  Dozens of million dollar canvases make $5 million in under five years. Paintings going for $5 million get knocked down at $10 million. A handful of pieces reach $200 million, but net worth limitations of even the super rich entail a self imposed art budget ceiling.

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