Thursday, November 08, 2007

Oxymoronic Stock of the Day

The winner is Sotheby's, with the moniker BID, which I amusingly point out couldn't find one for much of the morning following its horrifically Munch-ian miss. This is yet another telltale for those looking for...well...telltales. For one thing, the dirty little secret of the art world is that in this market, too, there is a lot of leverage. The genteel folk at Sotheby's will be only to happy to margin your Monet, or lend against your Lutyens. Of course if you fail to keep up payment, then your Rodin might be repossesed. Interestly, it was less about future expectations which after this week, will no doubt be shot-to-shit, but about the recent past. Art-buyers, most of whom are hedgies, may be pulling in their horns, or, at least keeping their powder dry for the next Icarus-like manager to do a spectacular Niederhoffer.

(Bonus Factoid: Sotheby's should not be confused with Sazaby, the Japanese accessory manufacturer and half-owner of Starbucks Japan who admired their NY homophonic cousin so much, they named themselves after them. Just close your eyes and imagine Iron-Chef Morimoto pronouncing "Sotheby". BID filed suit to force their Japanese pretender to bail, but the suit was unsuccessful.)

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