paint the tape
 v. phr.— «With another contemporary art auction cycle upon us, naive observers are again wondering about the huge prices engendered by hedge-fund speculation in contemporary art. How exactly is it done? The answer lies in a practice initiated by hedge funds, for reporting purposes, at the end of each fiscal quarter. The practice is called, appropriately enough, “painting the tape.” Let’s say you own ten paintings (or stocks, or other financial instruments), worth around $20,000 each. If you buy the 11th one for an inflated price, say $100,000 for Painting X, it allows you to claim that value for each of the ten other paintings by Artist X in your portfolio, irregardless of the actual demand for said paintings in the so-called market. Increased values for a basket of paintings… create a financial instrument for borrowing purposes, slicing off a percentage as a fee for taking on risk, or using the art as an instrument for swapping shares in different funds.» —“Painting The Tape” by Charlie Finch Artnet Magazine Nov. 7, 2006. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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