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You know there's a bubble when...

Here's a fun piece from Bloomberg columnist Mark Gilbert which takes its cue from Jeremy Grantham's recent remarks about the world's "first truly global bubble".

In, "Champagne Cheaper Than Vinegar = Bubble", Gilbert lists his seven signs that the world has gone bubblicious and completely off its rocker. The world of contemporary art provides us with one prime example:

Skullduggery?

Take a life-sized platinum skull that looks eerily like Hedge-Fund Guy. Stud it with 8,601 diamonds weighing 1,106.18 carats. Give it a snappy title such as ``For the Love of God'' and, as long as your name is Damien Hirst, you have a recipe for turning $20 million of materials into a $100 million windfall.

``You have to get the price right, or it will come back into the market,'' Hirst told Bloomberg News reporter Linda Sandler. ``A lot of people buy things and flip them.''

You know there's a bubble when artists are trying to set their prices so high that there won't be a secondary market for their work.

Enjoy the article! And for more on the chutzpah of Hirst and other signs of our frothy times, search the blog.

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