The Hayek auction results are very impressive

You will find them here, for instance Hayek’s copy of Wealth of Nations went for almost 200k, it was estimated in the 4k to 6k range.

“Desktop ephemera and personal effects” were estimated at 200-300 British pounds, went for 87,500 British pounds.  Crazy!  Many of the items went for 10x or 20x their original estimates.

Perhaps Hayek is back in fashion again, if only with the wealthy.

For the pointer I thank Lotta Moberg.

Addendum: Here is BC from the comments section:

So, the central planners couldn’t accurately estimate the values of Hayek’s personal effects because the necessary information was distributed among all the auction participants?


So, the central planners couldn't accurately estimate the values of Hayek's personal effects because the necessary information was distributed among all the auction participants?

With today's technological mass surveillance, central planning looks more and more viable. See China's panopticon experiment in Xinjiang. Every phone, tablet, and laptop is bugged with spyware. Cameras and microphones everywhere to record every little movement. Everything mapped, analyzed, and stored in a database, for safekeeping.

You need to re-read Hayek. The information is not discoverable with any amount of surveillance, because the information doesn't exist until the bidding occurs. The process of finding market prices is a process of information creation, not just information discovery.

Or for many the future ROI on Feedrich's Assets looked promising.

Does anyone have Churchill's copy of the Road to Serfdom?

The market for vintage items is a difficult market to predict. Even though the prices for the Hayek items went for higher than the projected prices, one has to compare them with sales of other vintage items. For example, Hayek's writing desk went for 17,500 British pounds. That's impressive, but compared to the price obtained for J.K. Rowling's chair in which she wrote part of the Harry Potter books ($394,000) it's cheap. Okay, maybe that's not a fair comparison since we know who bought the chair but we don't know (yet) who bought the desk. Who bought the chair? Jeff Bezos. Where is the chair? In his children's play room. Maybe the Hayek auction didn't have many American participants to bid up prices. If so, there's a reason: the Trump tax Act revised section 1031 of the IRC so that it no longer applies to personal property (hence, an American taxpayer can no longer avoid taxes on vintage items sold at a profit by reinvesting in another higher priced vintage item). There's both an injustice in the Hayek family suffering because of income taxes and an irony because it was the great tax evader himself who did it to them.

Not many real geniuses in the 20th century.
Hayek one of the few.
Extreme bifurcation between those few and hoi polloi.
Same phenomenon remarked on earlier this month in a Cowen post on the philately markets; rarest stamps celestial prices, semi-rare stamps more like circus peanuts.
You'd think that an auction house with experience with old master paintings (you have no idea how much bad 18th century art there still is out there, and how many hundred thousand dollar paintings have not one single flourish of inspired brushwork, and how much those auction houses know about this - but i digress) would not be surprised at the outcome.

Well probably they weren't, just more fake news in the era of addiction to politics and media.

Yay for price discovery, another stumble for so-called experts.

Had not the quantitative easing and lowering of interest rates have to do anything with this?

How often are the experts correct? Are the estimates deliberately low to attract more buyers?

I don't understand how this would work. One buyer per lot would seem to be the maximum, regardless of reserve price...? But I don't follow auctions, maybe I'm missing something, do lots often go unsold?

IPOs work this way, generally.

Suspect newfound interest is related to crypto.

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