It's a story involving bubbly prices, lax regulation and shady market practices. If this sounds like a recipe for the next financial crisis, then you are right. It does sound like that. But it's probably not.
This record-breaking month of May closes the strongest annual Spring auction season since the 2008 recession started. The art market has bounced back strongly as the world's super rich seek blue-chip artists, particularly seduced by modern and contemporary works.
The numbers are in. The prices of blue-chip art are bigger than they have ever been at a time when whole countries have contemplated fiscal bankruptcy and currency devaluation. Fine art is a art is a global currency less volatile than the euro, dollar or drachma... or Facebook stock.
One of four versions of Edvard Munch's iconic "The Scream" is in New York for a brief visit, but only a tiny fraction of the interested public here will get the chance to see it. The art-history touchstone and popular-culture legend is to be sold Wednesday.