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Damien Hirst to be nationalized as financial crisis deepens

By our art-crunch correspondents
Hanky-Panky Paulson and Banksy Bernanky

Damien Hirst, the wealthiest artist the world has ever known and a colossus of corporate finance, faces nationalization say City analysts.

As the financial meltdown edged ever closer to the core of the nuclear reactor that is the international banking system, there were mounting fears yesterday that Hirst – the diminutive giant of the global art economy – faces outright nationalization.

“It’s too early to say what might happen,” said a visibly shaken Treasury Secretary Ed Ballsup as he stood outside his office clutching a wrinkled donkey embryo fitted with swan’s wings. “When the investments of millions of collectors around the world look so treacherously close to vaporization, the Government may need to step in, as we did with Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley.”

The prospect of hundreds of billions of pounds worth of pickled livestock cluttering up the corridors of power sent MPs into a gloomy funk as the reality of the situation began to dawn.

City analysts were drawing comparisons this morning between the teetering self-certified ‘buy-to-let’ mortgage market upon which so much of Bradford and Bingley’s business was built, and the shaky foundations of the ‘buy-to-flip’ art investments made by millions of gullible collectors who saw crap contemporary art as an “asset class”.

Speaking from his wheelchair at Lumbago Heights, a Los Angeles residential care home for the elderly, presidential nominee John McCain, 108, told reporters, “Art is no more an asset class than Sarah’s arse,” referring to his vice-presidential nominee. “And believe me, her ass is class and an asset to my campaign.”

Hanky-Panky Banksy Bernanky

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Artnose was founded in 2001 by journalist Percy Flarge to provide a more impartial and insightful news website for the art world.

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