Rare Book Monthly

Articles - August - 2020 Issue

Money Money Money

Covid-19 and the turgid economy present a lethal mixture of possibilities that will work themselves out over the next five years.  For book dealers and collectors these issues will present additional challenges because in collectibles liquidity varies negatively with uncertainty.  By the end of the year extraordinary levels of government stimulus will have been absorbed leaving diminishing positive effects after which unmistakable negative effects will take hold:  inflation and a 25% decline of the US dollar relative to a market basket of ascendant world currencies over the next 3-5 years.

 

For the rare book business there are multiple issues to consider:

 

  1. Your debt to equity ratio:  liabilities/assets.
    1. The currency you principally trade in.
  2. The cost of your collection or stock.
  3. The relative strength of your inventory.
    1. Low, middle or high end
  4. The kind of material you have as defined by price category.
  5. Are you prepared to keep your inventory to a fixed percentage of your sales?  This means that if your sales slow you will cut your stock proportionately.
  6. Is the value of your collection significant to your cashflow or net worth?
  7. Your cashflow requirements both short and long term.
  8. How and to whom would you sell?
    1. Wealthy collectors
    2. Middle class collectors
    3. Institutions online or by offer letter
    4. At auction
    5. On eBay

 

It’s always a good idea to have your financial plans updated because the next 5 years will present unusual risks.

 

I will try to help any RBH member who requests advice.

 

Bruce McKinney

bmckinney@rarebookhub.com


Posted On: 2020-08-26 17:38
User Name: laurelle

Bruce,

I have to question your statement regarding the weakening of the US Dollar. Whose currency will strengthen? The EU is borrowing/printing at the same rate, China has tremendous debts, are you anticipating a turnaround in South America? Jeff Elfont


Posted On: 2020-08-28 18:30
User Name: adminb

Deficit spending is known to stimulate economic activity but if government debt engulfs economies then the outcome is increasing inflation. Prices will rise but the value of currency exchanged will be reduced.

I expect the euro to outperform the dollar while the Yuan will underperform. Gold is a regressive hedge but the best straightforward option I see.


Rare Book Monthly

  • Gonnelli:
    Auction 50
    Books, Autographs & Manuscripts
    March 6th-7th 2024
    Gonnelli: Cramer, [Picasso, Chagall , Miró], Trente ans d'activité. Starting price 4800€
    Gonnelli: Futurism
    Gonnelli: Avienus, Opera. 1488. Starting price 1200€
    Gonnelli: Vimont, Relation de ce qui s'est passé en la Nouvelle France, en l'année 1642. Starting price 5000€
    Gonnelli: Goedart, Metamorphosis et historia naturalis insectorum. 1662.
    Gonnelli: Il Petrarcha con la spositione di M. Giovanni Andrea Gesualdo.
    Gonnelli: Poblacion, De usu astrolabi compendium.
  • Toronto Book Auctions
    ART-PHOTO-SIGNED-BOOKS-MILITARY(NON)FICTION
    March 6, 2024
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: [ART BOOK MONOGRAPH] DAVID BURLIUK WITH ORIGINAL DRAWING and Signed twice. David Burliuk Rare ACA Gallery exhibition catalogue, undated. CA$400 – 800
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: [ART BOOK MONOGRAPH] KAWS: COMPANIONSHIP IN THE AGE OF LONELINESS. Text by Margaret Atwood. National Gallery of Victoria, Australia, 2019. $CA400 - 800
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: SIGNED. LAWRENCE WEINER: POSTERS. Nova Scotia College of Art, Canada,1987. CA$800 – 1,200
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    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: WILBUR SMITH: THE DARK OF THE SUN. Heinemann, UK, 1965. Signed First edition. CA$800 – 1,200
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: ROBERTSON DAVIES: LEAVEN OF MALICE. SIGNED Clark, Irwin, & Co., Canada. 1954. 1st edition. CA$400 – 600
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: [THE NOTABLE TRAILS LIBRARY]. 8 VOLUMES SOLD TOGETHER. INCLUDING: THE TRIAL OF DR. X; ROE V. WADE; THE GALILEO AFFAIR; THE TRIAL OF BERNHARD GOETZ… CA$300 – 500
    Toronto Book Auctions
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    March 6, 2024
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: [MILITARY FICTION]. 8 VOLUMES SOLD TOGETHER. INCLUDING: Canada's Royal Military College. REVIEW, THE STONE FRIGATE, A HISTORY OF THE RMC… CA$300 – 400
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: [WW1] CANADIAN (C.S.E.F.) SIBERIA 1918-1919 PHOTO ALBUM. With approximately 303 original official war photographs, photo-postcards, and personal photographs. CA$8,000 – 10,000.
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: HANS BELLMER: THE DOLL. 1995, 1st Ed. CA$150 – 300.
    Toronto Book Auctions
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    March 6, 2024
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    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: TARYN SIMON: AN AMERICAN INDEX OF THE HIDDEN AND UNFAMILIAR. Hatje Cantz, Germany, 2012. Third edition. CA$600 – 1,000.
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: BARBARA KRUGER PICTURE/READINGS. [Self-Published], 1978 First edition. CA$800 – 1,200.
  • Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Winston Churchill. The Second World War. Set of First-Edition Volumes. 6,000 USD
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    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Salvador Dalí, Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Finely Bound and Signed Limited Edition. 15,000 USD
    Sotheby’s
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