Or 10% Off Last Season’s Estimates?
Bloomberg quotes Christie’s CEO Edward Dolman seeing a decline in the company’s overall sales and drop in estimates:
“We would be taking our prices down, I would have thought, at least 10 percent,” Dolman said during a visit to Hong Kong. “It could be more for certain works.” Dolman said records are set for exceptional items even in this market, so “you can’t just go and say ‘Right, we are going to take 20 percent off everything.’ It doesn’t work like that.” [ . . . ]
“We have been through worse, so there’s no cause for despair,” Dolman said. “We will survive this.” “We take a deep breath over the next year or two,” Dolman said. “And hope to see the markets start growing again.” Dolman said Christie’s will report “negative growth” in sales this year, its first such report in about seven years, after tallying $6.3 billion in 2007, a 36 percent increase in dollar terms.
What the somewhat garbled Bloomberg story doesn’t make clear is whether Dolman is expecting prices to decline further from this Fall’s retreat to 2006 price levels or whether he merely thinks aggregate estimates of Autumn 2008 only need to be cut by 10%. The latter seems too absurd to contemplate but . . .