Will Art Basel Tank?

The story of this year's Basel is the recession, as we noted in this week's cover story and in a follow up piece by Carlos Suarez De Jesus that hits stands tomorrow. Long story short, Basel organizers seem to think (or hope) that people who had a lot of money pre-market meltdown still have a lot of money, or at least enough to plunk down a couple hundred thousand for some art.

But according to this piece out today on Bloomberg.com, returns at this year's Basel could be grim.

"The world's is a truly frightening pace," Dallas-based art collector Howard Rachofsky tells Bloomberg. "There's collective anxiety, and except for those who are truly obsessed, the idea of going on an art-shopping trip doesn't appeal."

The story rattles off a bunch of other bummers--sales were down in October at London's Frieze Art Fair, prices plunged 50 percent at November's New York art auctions, and hotel rooms are still available on South Beach--all of which point to a down year for Basel.

--Jesse Hyde

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