Is the Art market even less ethical than the stock market?

In the current economic downturn, much attention has been paid to the volatile stock market and efforts to overhaul financial regulations. But there’s another market out there that some say is even riskier for potential investors — the art market. Critics say a lack of oversight in the art market permits manipulation — by dealers who can artificially inflate auction prices, for example. But others argue that the value of art isn’t determined by money — that the art world isn’t an industry and shouldn’t be treated as such. A panel of six experts recently argued both sides in an Intelligence Squared U.S. debate. The motion for the debate was: “The Art Market Is Less Ethical Than the Stock Market.”

Three experts argued in favor of the motion; three against. Before the debate, the audience at The Rockefeller University in New York City voted 32 percent in favor of the motion and 30 percent against, with 38 percent undecided. By the end of the debate, those arguing for the motion had changed the most minds: 55 percent voted in favor of the proposition, while 33 percent voted against it and 12 percent were still undecided.