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GFD Blog

Benjamin Harrison and the Terrible Tariff

Donald Trump was elected president promising to use protectionist measures, if necessary, to bring jobs back to America. Economists warn that raising tariffs reduces trade and hurts the economy. The Smoot-Hawley Act of 1930 is blamed for intensifying the Great Depression, and the lesser-known McKinley Tariff of 1890 provides an instructive lesson on how protectionist policies can impact the stock market and politics.

In 1888, the protectionist Republican Benjamin Harrison defeated the pro-trade Democrat Grover Cleveland. Cleveland won the popular vote, but Harrison won the electoral ...

The Future of Energy Prices: Lessons from 750 Years of History

Today, the future of energy prices is as uncertain as ever. Whereas in the 1970s, there was a fear that the supply of oil could decline dramatically, causing future oil prices to rise, fracking and other technological innovations have increased oil reserves to levels never before seen in history. At the same time, natural gas is becoming a clean substitute for petroleum, and because of concerns over global warming, solar power and battery technology are improving dramatically as attempts to end the economy’s dependence on carbon-based energy increase. Although coal is one of the dirtiest of ...

2017: Let the Bull Markets Continue

In our annual review of global stock markets, we noticed that a relatively large number of countries put in what could be a bear market bottom in 2016. If this is true, investors should expect that global markets will continue a bull market run in 2017 rather than forming a top that leads to a bear market.

Global Financial Data has data on bull and bear markets on 100 countries beginning in 1693. With this data, we have been able to track bull and bear markets during the past three centuries. We define a bear market as a decline of 20% or more in a country’s primary s ...

Global Financial Data Introduces Proprietary Commodity Indices Covering 1000 Years

Global Financial Data has introduced commodity indices which have the longest histories available anywhere as part of its family of GFD Indices. These commodity indices begin in the year 1000 and are current through 2016. The data are monthly and are updated on an ongoing basis.

The GFD Commodity Indices include a composite index, three commodity indices and eight commodity sub-indices. The Composite Index is broken down into three categories, energy, agriculturals and industrials. There are no sub-indices for energy, but there are five sub-indices for agriculturals (beverages, soft f ...

GFD Changes Its Tickers for S&P Sector Indices

Standard and Poor’s and MSCI recently revised their GICS sector indices, introducing Real Estate as a separate sector, removing it as an industry within Finance. S&P/MSCI also revised several of its sub-indices, both adding and subtracting several of them. The GICS Codes now include 11 Sectors, 24 Industry Groups, 68 Industries and 157 Sub-Industries. Because of these changes, GFD has decided to reorganize and simplify the tickers for its S&P Sector Indices.

Until now, the S&P Sector index tickers used abbreviations to name a particular sector. For example, RAIL was used for railroa ...

Can Saudi Arabia Save Itself?

Fear is powerful. Especially when it comes to the economic forces in the world and tied to our quality of life. This basic concept is pertinent to not only those in first world countries, but maybe even more so to people in developing nations. When the crash of 2008 happened on Wall Street, people reacted with fear. Fear of the crash happening again, and that sentiment drove politicians to implement changes so that they could try to contain the next market downturn.

Developing nations are no different. Their economies fluctuate through peaks and lows, and their citizenry and political ...

Cubanomics: An Interesting Economy to Visit, but Even Bernie Sanders Wouldn’t Want to Live There

I visited Cuba a few weeks before Castro passed away, and my visit to Cuba not only provided me with the opportunity to see a country frozen in time with American cars from the 1950s acting as taxis and a vision of what a country without any multinationals would look like, but it also enabled me to understand exactly how a socialist economy worked, or as is often the case, didn’t work.

Cubanomics at the Airport

Before you even leave the Havana International Airport, and perhaps without even realizing it, you are immediately immersed in Cubanomics, the upside-down Alice-in-Wonde ...

Global Financial Data Adds 20 GDP-Weighted Global Bond Indices

Global Financial data has added 20 new indices aggregating the data from its proprietary bond indices to create global fixed income series using data from over 50 countries. A price index and return index is provided for each aggregate. These additions provide a significant increase in the historical coverage of GFD’s bond indices. The starting date for the previous World Government Bond Index was 1923, but the updated World Bond Index begins in 1700.

The new bond indices include

  • World Government Bond Index (begins in 1700)
  • World x/USA Government Bond Index (begins ...

Donald Trump on Wall Street

Global Financial Data includes information on thousands of businesses that entrepreneurs have created during the past two centuries, and two of these were run by Donald Trump. There are so many different aspects of Donald Trump’s life that we could talk about, but the focus here is on Trump’s two publicly traded companies, Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts Inc. and Trump Entertainment Resorts, Inc.

Making Atlantic City Great Again

After Atlantic City made gambling legal, Donald Trump got his casino license from the New Jersey Casino Control commission on March 15, 1982 and purchased hotel ...

GFD Adds over 50 years of Equity Data from Imperial Russia

GFD has added data on over 220 companies and over 600 securities listed on the St. Petersburg Stock Exchange between 1865 and 1917 when the Russian Revolution forced the stock exchange to close until the fall of the Soviet Union.

Contrary to popular belief, both Imperial Russia and the St. Petersburg stock exchange were booming before the Russian Revolution occurred. The St. Petersburg Stock Exchange Index outperformed shares on the New York Stock Exchange between the end of the American Civil War in 1865 and the onset of World War I in 1914. Although Russia had one o ...