Perspectives on economics and finances with GFD

Mickey Mantle Strikes Out, Then Hits a Homer

A previous blog discussed Wilt Chamberlain’s unsuccessful attempt at following up on his successful basketball career with a successful IPO. Wilt Chamberlain wasn’t the only sports star to go into the restaurant business. Few people realize it, but Mickey Mantle set up restaurants twice, once in Texas in the 1950s when he struck out, and a second time in the 1980s in New York City when he hit a home run. Mickey Mantle played for the New York Yankees between 1951 and 1968 and is one of the few baseball players to hit over 500 home runs during his career, and believe it or not, without the aid of any steroids. Many consider Mantle to be the greatest switch hitter of all time, a skill which enabled him to hit for both average and for power. His lifetime batting average was 0.298 and he hit some of the longest home runs in history, one measuring 643 feet at Tiger Stadium in 1960.
Mickey Mantle replaced Joe DiMaggio in centerfield in 1952, appeared in 12 World Series, helped the Yankees win seven of them, and played in sixteen All-Star Games. Mantle was Most Valuable Player three times and by 1961 he was the highest paid player in baseball.  

Country Cooking Without the Sizzle

Mickey Mantle incorporated Mickey Mantle’s Country Cookin’, Inc. in Texas on April 22, 1968 during his last year of his baseball career. The company authorized 2,000,000 shares, and 1,000,000 shares were outstanding on July 11, 1969. Mickey Mantle’s Country Cookin’, Inc. offered 200,000 shares at $15 per share on July 11, 1969 through Pierce, Wulbern, Murphy, Inc. of Jacksonville, Florida and through D.A. Campbell Co., Inc. in New York. The restaurant’s menu focused on country vittles, including Chicken & Dumplins’, Ham and Lima Beans, Country Beef Stew, Country Fried Chicken, Texas Chili, Catfish Filets, Chili & Beans, Chicken Fried Steak, a Country Smoked Ham Sandwich and a Country Pork Sausage Sandwich. Meals were $1.25 and the sandwiches were $1.00. If you wanted to go all out, you could get an eight-piece Chicken Bucket for $3.25. The first Country Cookin’ restaurant opened up at 3651 Martin D. Love Freeway. Company-owned restaurants were also located in San Antonio and in Irving, Texas. Mickey Mantle franchised the restaurant and ones soon popped up in Florida, Louisiana and Texas. In 1970 the company tried to acquire 35 Best Steak Home restaurants, but the deal fell through. Largely because of law suits, overextension and poor management, the restaurants did not do well. Shares in Mickey Mantle’s Country Cookin’, Inc. traded over-the-counter, and as you can see by the graph below, the shares steadily declined in value. Offered at $15, shares fell below $10 by the end of the month and were down to $1 a year later. The company received more income from franchise fees than from sales, and this could only spell long-run trouble for the restaurant. As a sign of its problems, the company changed its name to Invesco International, Inc. on June 30, 1969, and reincorporated in Nevada where it became a coal mining company.
The 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle #311 rookie baseball card sells for over $10,000, but if that is beyond your budget, hundreds of souvenirs remain from the Mickey Mantle’s Country Cookin’ restaurant and can be purchased on Ebay. Souvenirs include postcards, china, coffee mugs, carrying trays, menus, chairs, pot holders, ordering pads, stock certificates and prospectuses. Souvenirs are also available from Mickey Mantle’s Holiday Inn located in Joplin, Missouri, including bars of soap, post cards, matches and even room keys, though they probably don’t work anymore.  

Mantle’s Business Career Booms

The Country Cookin’ restaurants weren’t Mickey Mantle’s only business venture. As mentioned above, he ran a Holiday Inn in Joplin, Missouri. Mantle also created real estate and land developments (WIllowwood and Arbolado), the Mickey Mantle Billiard Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and the Mickey Mantle Bowling Center at 200 Exchange Park North in Dallas from which some cigarette lighters survive. In 1988, Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant and Sports Bar was opened in New York at 42 Central Park South at 59th Street. Although Mantle made frequent appearances at the restaurant, he let others run the business. The sports bar continued to operate successfully for over 20 years, perhaps because it focused on a single theme, avoided expansion, and Mantle acted as promoter rather than manager. For the record, Mantle’s favorite food was the chicken-fried steak, usually topped off with some drinks from the bar. Mantle died in 1995 and the sports bar closed on June 2, 2012 after failing to pay rent for several months. Though the sports bar remains closed, it has a Facebook page for the curious. Mickey Mantle was an entrepreneur throughout his life, and the success of the sports bar shows that he learned from his first time at bat in the restaurant business.

3000 New Data Sets Added to the Global Financial Database

GFD has added 3000 new data sets to the GFDatabase which calculate the Annual Percentage Change. These files focus on economic data for which users are more concerned about the rate of change than the actual number, such as the Consumer Price Index and Real GDP. Although GFD provides the annual percentage change as a choice when downloading the raw data, there are several advantages to providing the annual percentage change as a separate file. First, users can download the rate of change directly. Second, users can use the Annual Percentage Change files in our new platform, Finaeon, to generate comparative graphs between different countries.
Finaeon offers comparison graphs where indicators such as the inflation rate or GDP growth can be compared directly to each other. Finaeon also offers the opportunity to generate current and historical bar graphs where intercountry comparisons of rates of growth would be beneficial. You can easily generate a graph of the inflation rate in the G-7 countries in 2014 and in 2000. Annual Percentage Change files end with an APC. If you know the file name for the original file, just add APC to the end and you will get the Annual Percentage Change file. So the Consumer Price Index for the United States is file CPUSAM, and the Annual Inflation Rate for the United States is CPUSAMAPC. The Annual Percentage Change files are included in the Main Indicators for ease of access. Among the economic topics that are included are Consumer and Producer Prices, GDP, Monetary Aggregates, Balance of Payments, Imports and Exports, Debt, Government Budget, Industrial Production, Population and others. The data are currently available to all subscribers through the GFDatabase. To obtain a full list of the new files, call today to speak to one of our experts at 877-DATA-999 or 949-542-4200.

Global Financial Data adds Data for over 600 Insurance Companies

The data are over-the-counter quotes and provide the Bid, Ask and Average of the Bid and the Ask for each company.

The World’s First Bear Market

The United States stock market has been in bull-market mode for six years now, and some fear the stock market may be running out of steam. By our count, there have been 25 bear markets in the United States since 1792 and 28 bear markets in the United Kingdom since 1692. Are we about to add to that list? This raises the question, when did that ugly bear first raise its head? By our analysis, the first fateful year was 1692 when a four-year bear market began in England. If we take the price of East India Company stock from March 1692 until July 1694, and the price of Bank of England stock from August 1694 until October 1696, the market fell almost 72% for the four years between March 1692 and 1696. The first bear market was also one of the worst.  

The Nine Years War and the Four Year Bear Market

What was the cause of the world’s first bear market? Although CNBC wasn’t around in 1692 to tell us the causes, the most likely source was the setbacks the British army and the Dutch suffered at the hands of French troops in the Nine Year’s War (1688-1697), as well as the ongoing controversy over who was the true King of England. The groundwork for the Nine Year’s War had been laid a decade before. Louis XIV, the “Sun King”, emerged from the Franco-Dutch War in 1678 as the most powerful king in Europe, but Louis XIV of “L’etat c’est moi” fame, was not content and wanted to extend his gains. Louis XIV’s revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685 contributed to the deterioration in his military and political dominance outside of France, and when Louis XIV’s troops crossed the Rhine in September 1688, his opponents put together an alliance to stand up to the French King. Queen Mary of England, the Anglo-Dutch Stadtholder King William III, the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I, King Charles II of Spain, Victor Amadeus II of Savoy and major and minor princes of the Holy Roman Empire formed an alliance to stop Louis XIV. Most of the fighting occurred near France’s borders, mainly in the Spanish Netherlands and the Rhineland. Although there was a fear of a French invasion of England at the beginning of the war, this never occurred, in part because of victory at the Battles of Barfleur and La Hogue between May 29 and June 4, 1692. Nevertheless, Anglo-Dutch forces were defeated at the Battle of Steenkerqe on August 3, 1692, and the Dutch and English suffered defeats at the Battle of Lagos off Portugal on June 27, 1693 (N.S.) and the Battle of Landen near Neerwinden on July 19, 1693 (N.S.). These defeats began to be reflected in the stock market. The expense of the war gradually led to financial exhaustion of the participating countries. To help the King William III fight these wars, the Bank of England was established on July 27, 1694 to provide funds to the crown. In exchange for the establishment of the Bank of England, the king received a loan that would never have to be paid back. After Queen Mary died on December 28, 1694, King William III became the sole ruler of England. When Savoy defected from the Alliance, the Allies and France were eager to negotiate a settlement. The war finally came to an end with the Treaty of Ryswick, signed on September 20, 1697 in which Louis XIV retained Alsace, gave up Lorraine and recognized William III as the sole ruler of England, Scotland and Ireland.  

From Bear to Bubble

During the war, the price of East India Company stock fell from 158 on March 30, 1692 to 38 on November 6, 1696 while Bank of England stock fell from a par of 100 in August 1694 to 60 on October 16, 1696. From there, both stocks began to rise in value as the Nine Year’s War began to wind down.  

Peace prevailed in Europe until 1701 when the War of the Spanish Succession was fought over who had the right to succeed Charles II as the King of Spain. The war ended with the Peace of Utretcht in 1713 which recognized Philip V as the King of Spain; however, the war further impoverished France, Great Britain, the Netherlands and other participants.  

In part, because of the burden of the war debts and a poorly performing economy, John Law was able to convince the French government to use his plan to convert war debts into stock in the Compagnie des Indes and inflate the economy by issuing paper money. England followed in France’s footsteps and converted government debt into shares of South Sea Stock. Out of the ashes of the world’s first bear market and the debts that were piled up from the British and French wars, the foundations were laid for the world’s first stock market bubble in the Compagnie des Indes in France and South Sea stock in England. That, alas, is another story.

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Our comprehensive financial databases span global markets offering data never compiled into an electronic format. We create and generate our own proprietary data series while we continue to investigate new sources and extend existing series whenever possible. GFD supports full data transparency to enable our users to verify financial data points, tracing them back to the original source documents. GFD is the original supplier of complete historical data.