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October 22nd, 2017

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Leading Economic Indicators

News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

By News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

Published June 28, 2016

Leading Economic Indicators

"Who's a Good Dog?"/"Yes, You Are": Some are just blessed with doggy charisma, say owners who showcase their pet's charm on "personal" social media accounts, and now specialized marketers scour those sources to match the most popular pooches with advertisers seeking just the right four-legged companion for their image. As The Wall Street Journal reported in April, entrepreneurial dog owners have rushed to create popular Instagram accounts and Facebook posts (and now, even to put their photogenic pups on a live-streaming app called Waggle) to catch agents' eyes (and, they hope, lead to four- and five-figure paydays from such advertisers as Nikon, PetSmart, Residence Inn and Heinz). [Wall Street Journal, 4-6-2016]

New Jersey is a big state, but when just one man decided to move away, the state legislature's budget office director warned that the loss of that man's taxes might lead to state revenue problems. Billionaire hedge-fund manager David Tepper evidently pays a bundle, and the budget office director pointed out that the state's reliance on personal income taxes means that even a 1 percent drop in anticipated tax could create a gap of $140 million under forecasts. [Bloomberg News, 4-5-2016]



Among the names chosen for Internet start-up ventures (although -- face it -- the more sensible names are already taken): Houzz (home design and remodeling), Kabam (online interactive game company, formerly "Watercooler Inc."), Klarna (e-commerce company that pays the store for your purchases and then collects from you), MuleSoft (makes software to integrate applications) and Kabbage (makes small-business loans online). Wired magazine reported in February that those ventures, and two dozen other inexplicably named startups, are all "unicorns" -- with investors pledging at least $1 billion to each one. [Wired (February 2016)]

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