WSJ By The Numbers - Sept.19

A compendium of revealing stats and the key leading economic and business indicators based on today's Wall Street Journal article and reports:

China and India combined to produce nearly half the world's economic output in 1820 compared to just 1.8% for the U.S.

Recent U.S. financial innovations -- including new markets for securitized mortgages and credit-card liabilities, collateralized loan and high-yield bond obligations, and financial derivatives -- have the potential to create as much as $50 trillion to $100 trillion in worldwide liquidity.

  • In the U.S., the value of home mortgages equals 95% of the nation's GDP. Mortgages in Germany total about 69% of GDP; in Japan, it's 36%; and in Russia, less than 1%. A worldwide securitized mortgage market alone could free up some $20 trillion for productive investment by unlocking the unused capital in residential real estate.

  • The Federal Reserve reports that the wealthiest 5% of American households own about 60% of the nation's assets. Ninety percent of all stock is owned by 10% of investors. 

American baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, are a 78 million strong group. Americans, who could expect to live an average of 47 years in 1900, now enjoy life spans approaching 80 years. (Seventh Decade: The Boom Generation - WSJ)

Hedge-Fund Trader lost roughly $5 billion, in about a week. Brian Hunter headed the energy desk for a Connecticut hedge fund called Amaranth Advisors. Mr. Hunter is estimated to have taken home $75 million to $100 million last year. At the end of August, trading natural gas, he was up approximately $2 billion for the year. Then Mr. Hunter lost roughly $5 billion, in about a week. His losses dragged the fund assets under management down to $4.5 billion from $9 billion at the start of September. (How Giant Bets on Natural Gas - Sank Brash Hedge-Fund Trader - WSJ)

Hedge Fund Lost in a Week
The Commerce Department reported that the U.S. current-account gap widened by $5.21 billion to $218.41 billion in the second quarter. The deficit remained 6.6% of the U.S. economy. Separately, the Treasury Department reported net foreign purchases of $32.9 billion in July, down from $75.1 billion in June. Japan remained the largest holder of U.S. Treasury securities, with its holdings in July at $636.6 billion. China remained second, at $332.7 billion. (U.S. Current-Account Gap Widens - WSJ) $636B
Japan's Share of US Treasury Securities

YouTube is rolling out technology designed to automatically spot copyrighted material that users upload without the permission of media companies, and then to share ad revenue with those companies. Consumers watch videos on YouTube more than 100 million times a day and submit more than 65,000 videos a day. (YouTube Model Is Compromise Over Copyrights - WSJ)

Times YouTube Videos Watched a Day
In Nevada last year, casinos raked in $1.3 billion from blackjack players alone. In contrast, poker generated only $152.5 million in fees. Nationwide, commercial casino gambling revenues nearly doubled to $30.2 billion in 2005 from $16 billion in 1995. ('Ultimate' Blackjack Debuts on TV; Backers Hope Success Is in the Cards - WSJ) $30B 
Casino Revenues
The Federal Communications Commission completed  an auction of radio-spectrum licenses to provide new wireless services, generating almost $13.9 billion in gross proceeds. T-Mobile was the top bidder, offering almost $4.2 billion for 120 licenses. Verizon Wireless agreed to pay $2.8 billion for 13 licenses, and a consortium that includes cable operators Comcast and Time Warner, along with Sprint Nextel, agreed to pay almost $2.4 billion for 137 spectrum licenses. (FCC License Auction Gets Big Bids - WSJ) $13.9B Wireless Spectrum Licensing Rev.
According to a 2005 survey from the Society for Human Resource Management, about 86% of human-resources professionals polled use Internet job postings to recruit candidates. (Surfing Web for the Right Job-Hunt Wave - WSJ) 86%
Online Job Postings
Corporate travelers saw domestic airfares jump 13% in the second quarter compared with the year-earlier period, hitting their highest level since the end of 2001, according to a study released today by American Express. Average domestic hotel rates rose to $139 per night in the second quarter, up 3% from year-ago period. (Inflation in the Air - WSJ) 13% 
Corporate Airfare Increase

WSJ By The Numbers - Metrics 2.0

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