The Collateral Value of Fine Art
In this paper, we examine the effect of implicit seller reserves on the estimation of value-at-risk based on historical asset sales data. We direct our examination toward how and whether fine art might prove an appropriate form of loan collateral for banks and other financial institutions. Using a data set of French Impressionist paintings brought to auction from 1985 to 2001, we control for the effect of works that are bought in-house to construct a distribution of potential sale values that corrects for sample selection bias. It turns out that the downside risk surrounding deviations of auction prices from expert presale estimates depends criticall on how buy-ins are incorporated. If downside risk is assessed solely on historical experience with successful auction sales, the data appear to support loan-to-value ratios between fifty and a hundred percent larger than loan-to-value ratios that countenance the existence of seller reserves. The auction process, however, appears quantifiable and can reveal the necessary risk information required for loan consideration.
Downside risk, credit, collateral, art, buy-ins, VAR
SMU Cox School of Business Research Paper Series