The Wall Street Journal’s Melik Kaylan asks the pertinent question–if there’s a flight to quality, what is quality?
A French hedge-fund manager said that his friends normally didn’t buy on the second day because only the losers were left on the walls. But this year they waited, he said, to see how far prices would soften as the days passed. As always in bad times, there was talk of a “flight to quality.”
(More on the quality question after the jump.)
Quality? There’s the rub. The cognoscenti intoned knowingly that art with “real value” would still be in demand, but nobody could identify what that meant. At Gagosian, a “joke painting” by overcelebrated pop-artist Richard Prince was priced at $1.5 million. Against a blue background, it featured a paragraph-long text in small yellow letters about a traveling salesman who, when his car broke down, asked a farmer for help; instead the farmer “shot the salesman in the head.” The staff member told me that the blue of the background was particularly beautiful. One wondered if that gave it real value.
Quality: There’s the Rub? (Wall Street Journal)