Courtesy of a colleague who shares a similar twisted sense of economic humor, I thought I'd share an email in its entirety from last week. He writes:
I thought I'd share with you a recent observation on the state of the Oil & Gas market in Houston, the industry's heartland. The sudden drop in the price of oil has had a dramatic and very visible affect in Houston. Only a few weeks ago, Houston had seemed impervious to the economic pain being felt elsewhere but just this week the reality of the situation became very evident.
While visiting the office of a colleague in Houston's Galleria area, I remarked on the interesting view out of his 15th floor office window. The window was positioned directly over the parking lot of one of the 'finer' Gentleman's Clubs in the area. A club, that has over the years, been the backdrop for many international and national deals in the industry. To my mind, this was indeed an interesting window on human behavior.
On this particular sunny Monday afternoon the parking lot was half full at 2.30PM in the afternoon which in itself I thought impressive. Apparently not, as recently as the start of September the parking lot would have been packed at this time on a Monday. It appears that patronage of the club moves in lock step with the price of a barrel of oil -- a worrisome time for the oil patch and strippers."
A worrisome trend indeed, my friend! I would, however, like to run a regression with Amex corporate card data to see if there is a correlation between "club expenses" and junkets to Morton's and other carnivorous dining dens. If the findings are positive, then we should all be worried about the economy -- and new supply ingredients.
- Jason Busch