Metropolitan Museum of New York Nano Calvo/ZumaPress

De aard van kapitaalvlucht

CAMBRIDGE – Welke invloed zal de groeivertraging in China hebben op de roodgloeiende markt voor moderne kunst? Dat lijkt misschien geen voor de hand liggende vraag, tot je beseft dat kunst – voor beleggers uit de opkomende landen – een cruciaal instrument is geworden voor het faciliteren van kapitaalvlucht en het verbergen van rijkdom. Die beleggers zijn een belangrijke factor geworden in de spectaculaire koerszeepbel op de kunstmarkt van de laatste jaren. Zal deze zeepbel gaan barsten, nu de economieën van opkomende landen als Rusland en Brazilië in een recessie zijn beland?

Nog maar vijf maanden geleden zei Larry Fink, bestuursvoorzitter en CEO van BlackRock, 's werelds grootste vermogensbeheerder, tegen een publiek in Singapore dat moderne kunst internationaal een van de twee belangrijkste beleggingsobjecten was geworden, naast appartementen in grote steden als New York, Londen en Vancouver. Vergeet goud als inflatiebescherming: koop schilderijen.

Wat de verheffing van kunst tot 'investment grade'-status door Fink zo verrassend maakte, is dat niemand van zijn statuur moedig genoeg was geweest om dit eerder te zeggen. Ik juich deze trend beslist niet toe. Ik neig ertoe in te stemmen met de filosoof Peter Singer dat de obscene bedragen die worden uitgegeven aan beroemde moderne kunstwerken verontrustend zijn.

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