The Wall Street Journal’s Eben Shapiro is promoting his newspaper’s story on Chinese collectors behaving like Western collectors. They buy; they sell; they form syndicates to buy and sell (by which he must mean art funds.)
Then Shapiro adds one other element (at 2:16) that hasn’t been seen in the West.
“Banks are much more aggressive about loaning money . . . ,” Shapiro says.
At which point, the interviewer, Gwendolyn Bounds corrects him saying, “Over there. Here in the US–and in Europe–they’ve squashed some of that loaning money to buy art. But they’re doing that in China.”
“Yes,” says Shapiro. “Exactly. It was more active here a few years ago but now its really taking off in China.”
The Journal’s story makes no mention of any sort of art loans, either loans against art collections or loans to buy art. And those familiar with the art loan industry will tell you that art loans are generally made against the borrower’s overall net worth, earning stream and the collections as additional assurance or collateral.
Art, for all its risks, has never been a place where leverage played a part. But if Chinese banks are trying to get in on the art party by bankrolling acquisitions, that would indeed be something new
Wealthy Chinese Collectors Snap Up Art (Wall Street Journal)