Bear Market Hits Fine Art, Prices Plunge -35%
FT.com -- Art prices plunged during the first quarter of the year as cash-strapped collectors looked to unload works by postwar masters that had earlier boomed in price along with the stock market. The Mei Moses index, set for release today, shows art prices fell 35% in the first quarter, having held up during earlier months of the financial crisis. The overall index fell 4.8% last year (see chart above of the Mei Moses Index vs. the S&P500 Index).
The decline accelerated as people who lost money in the financial crisis, including victims of the Madoff fraud, put up works for sale, often at a loss, several art world insiders said.