Corporate Selloffs

Lehman Brothers’ auction of their art holdings may trigger a broader corporate trend. The defunct trading company may pull in $16 million for their Damien Hirsts, Gerhard Richters, and others, but some companies may follow suit—without going bust first. As the AP reported, “The tradition of corporations buying art in good times—and selling it in bad—stretches back decades. One pioneer was IBM President Thomas Watson, Sr., who amassed works by Frida Kahlo and other artists to decorate the IBM pavilion at the 1939 New York World's Fair. In the 1990s, a cash-strapped IBM sold its collection through Sotheby's for $31 million.”