Perspectives on economics and finances with GFD

Gold Takes a Hit

After trading to new yearly lows and then falling below $1,320, gold on Thursday reached its lowest level since September 2010. The strong rally in the US Dollar after the Fed meeting earlier this week have wreaked havoc on the all the commodity markets.


The Famous Whiskey Dividend

Successful companies pay dividends to their shareholders. Sometimes they share their profits by issuing a cash dividend. Sometimes they give extra shares of stock through a stock dividend or stock split. Sometime they provide dividends in kind, such as coupons for free bowling or sticks of gum. My favorite in-kind dividend was given to shareholders in National Distillers Products Corp. (later Quantum Chemical Corp.) on October 15, 1933. And what did each shareholder receive? Nothing less than a Warehouse Receipt for one case of twenty-four pints of sixteen-year old whiskey for each five shares of stock they owned. So if you owned 100 shares of stock, you got twenty cases of sixteen-year old whiskey. The Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution passed on January 16, 1919, introduced Prohibition, and the Volstead Act, passed on October 28, 1919 attempted to enforce Prohibition, though not very successfully. Prohibition was repealed by the Twenty-First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution on December 5, 1933. In between that period of time, a company such as National Distillers Products Corp. could not make any alcohol for consumption, but had to concentrate on the production of industrial alcohol and other chemicals. This meant that any whiskey they had already produced could not be sold, so they put it all in a warehouse and waited. For the record, National Distillers Products Corp. stock went from 19 at the beginning of 1933 to 111.25 by September. The stock split three-for-one, and after that, the shareholders only had cash dividends to look forward to, but I’m sure there were some shareholders who remembered the famous whisky dividend until their dying day.

GFD Real Estate Database Additions

Global Financial Data has added several new series to its Real Estate Database. We have added Real Estate indices for two new countries: Brazil and Croatia. The Brazil data are quarterly covering 11 metropolitan areas back to 2000, and the Croatia data are quarterly back to 1997. In addition to this, a monthly series for housing prices from the Netherlands was added which extends back to 1976. The GFD Real Estate Database includes over 900 series from over 50 countries. About half of the series cover the United States, and about half of the series cover over 50 countries outside of the United States. The data extend back to 1835 for the United States and as far back as 1850 internationally. If you are interested in the Real Estate Database, please contact a GFD Salesperson.

GFD Complete Histories – Kentucky Fried Chicken

Some stocks have made incredible moves, rewarding investors immensely. In many cases, the most important part of the stock’s performance came before the company listed on the NYSE, not after. A good example of this is Kentucky Fried Chicken Corp (KFC). Kentucky Fried Chicken Corp. incorporated on March 4, 1964, and merged into Heublein, Inc. on July 8, 1971. Before the original KFC (now owned by Yum! Brands, Inc.) was acquired, it had one of the most spectacular runs of the 1960s, but most of it occurred before KFC joined the NYSE. The chart below shows KFC’s performance on the NYSE. Between the time KFC listed on the NYSE on January 16, 1969 and it was acquired on July 8, 1971, the stock is a sad site, losing half of its value by declining from 46.875 to 22.5.

KFC’s performance OTC was quite a different story. In March 1966, the stock was trading at 21.50, and had 5:4 splits in December 1965 and December 1966, a 3:1 split in December 1967, and a 2:1 split in October 1968, or a cumulative 9.375:1 split. In a period of less than three years, between March 1966 and January 1969, a period of less than three years, KFC enjoyed a twenty-fold move in its stock! The chart below shows the complete history of Kentucky Fried Chicken Corp. from 1966 to 1971.

Complete histories are important. Otherwise, you’ll never discover some of the greatest moves in stock market history.

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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.