Friday, December 31, 2021

Misery Index (and Pain Index)

The Misery Index hasn’t been talked about much since the 1970s when unemployment was really high and inflation was double digit. The argument is that high unemployment is painful, and high inflation is painful, so when you add the two together you get a good measure of the misery throughout the economy. Both presidents Ford and Carter had average Misery indexes of 16, but Carter when out of office in 1980 leaving a Misery Index of almost 20 to Ronald Reagan.

Pain Index

Wikipedia does a great job of organizing information and trends related to Misery Index by country over time. The article presents 2013 as an example year, just a couple years out of the worldwide Great Recession of 2007-2008. Several countries had Misery Indexes of 60 or more (Venezuela, 79.4 and Iran, 61.6).  The US had a Misery Index of 11 in 2013, predominantly because of persistently higher unemployment, inflation was below 2%.) High inflation, or even hyperinflation, is usually associated with an unstable economy.  In 2019, Venezuela had a Miser Index that was basically unmeasurable because of inflation that was 1000% or far higher.

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

OZ, by any other Name, could be a Profitable Opportunity!

Qualified Opportunity Zone Map for USA
Opportunity Zones present a hidden opportunity for Real Estate (RE) investment that should be widely utilized across the US. Why not? (View Interactive HUD Map here.)

There’s a spectacular investment tool that was associated with tax cuts of 2017 by the Trump administration. Along with the massive tax cuts, there was a non-partisan tax break to funnel private investments into underdeveloped communities around the nation.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Is Trade Secret a Good Strategy? A Trade Secret Assessment

The most widely identified Trade Secret is, of course, Coke Cola. (The original formula included caffeine and cocaine – thus the name – but that is a different discussion!) In 1903, cocaine was removed, leaving caffeine as the sole stimulant ingredient, and all medicinal claims were dropped. But the Coke-a-Cola trade secret lives on. Sections below: 

Monday, March 15, 2021

The Patent KING: IBM for 28 years

IBM is again the leader in patents issued. That's 28 years and running.  IBM had 9,130 patents issued in 2020, compared to the next highest, Samsung with 6,416.  There's about 15 electronic and manufacturing companies with 2,000 to 3,000 patents issued. Note that all the top 10 are electronics and/or chip makers.  Forbes has a nice article by Roberts about the top 20 patent recipients of 2020

Apple, the largest company by market cap ($2.1T), is 8th with 2,792 patents. Apple is starting to get serious about batteries and autos.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Stop Gaming GameStop, Robinhood. Hold em, or Fold em?

What’s up with the Stock Market(s)? Feb 8, 2021 the various stock market indexes all hit all time highs. Wow. First off, Trump was very business friendly – some would argue too business friendly (at the expense of the environment and labor. But the market has chugged happily upward based on the likelihood of a Biden win and the certainty of it after the election. Markets don’t like uncertainty, and Trump has been a wildcard on many things like trade and certain industries. But historically the markets have gone up after a presidential election no matter which party wins. Of course, there are sector winners (renewables) and losers (oil, coal and gas).