Not because he’s concerned about changing bottom-garment fashions — instead, he sees underwear sales as a key economic predictor.
The Men’s Underwear Index (yes, there is) confirms Greenspan’s theory: U.S. men’s underwear sales fell significantly from 2007 to 2009, during the Great Recession, but recovered strength in 2010 with the recovery of the economy.
Andrew Lawrence, director and former property analyst at Barclays Capital, created the ‘Skyscraper Index’ in 1999. His theory was that an increase in very tall buildings occurs when we are approaching a collapse – and when a building that smashes the record because the world’s highest is over, a recession or economic crisis is imminent.
“We took the index as far back as the late 1800s and found that even going back that distance we could still find correlations between economic crises and the completion of the tallest building in the world,” he said. he said in an interview.
The Empire State Building was completed in 1930, just in time for the Great Depression, while the Sears Tower (now Willis Tower) and World Trade Center Twin Towers opened in the early 1970s as states States were sinking into stagflation. In October 2009, construction company Emaar completed the exterior of Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, and two months later the Dubai government nearly defaulted.
Lawrence combines these lofty ambitions with cheap credit, overinvestment, and rampant speculation, typical signs of an economic peak.
Today, most of the tallest tower construction projects are on hold. But in another way, billionaires always spend their money to fly to the sky: Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Richard Branson are all competing in the space race.
But the theory does not always hold. Research group Kline & Company found that while lipstick sales increase in times of economic crisis, they also increase in times of prosperity.
Related hypotheses abound, however. In 2020, at the height of the Covid economic downturn, Estee Lauder CEO Fabrizio Freda said the lipstick hint had been replaced by a skincare item as customers donned masks and worked from home.
What’s worse than losing money? Losing money and being alone.
It makes sense. The unemployed have plenty of time to move around. Online dating is (relatively) inexpensive and misery, as we all know, loves company.
If the indicator is correct for the current time, analysts should be concerned. Match competitor Bumble reported stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter results this month and received an upgrade from analysts, sending shares up 22%.