Financial Times on Why Dallas is Awesome

Something like that. Yesterday’s Financial Times had a piece about how Dallas might serve as a model for how the American economy can move forward. Our fair city is having a “normal recovery” while the rest of the nation is stuck with a “speed limit” recovery, the paper says. (Check out the oddly simplistic photo illustration they used to sum up this idea.)

The reasons they give you’ve probably heard before: the 1980s banking depression in Texas made our bankers less likely to pursue risky practices, the rise in oil prices is a boost to our energy industry even as it’s a pain for those of us at the pump, and we Texans are just so gosh-darn optimistic.

Within these many words of analysis by a respected financial newspaper, there are some strange (yet standard) tactics for underlining points. For instance, how’s the local housing market doing? Let’s ask a real estate agent – after all, they’re never prone to exaggeration. (It’s going “gangbusters,” by the way.)  And how’s the Dallas economy as a whole?  Let’s count cranes downtown:

Crane counting is an economic indicator that works anywhere. At the height of the 2005-06 boom you could see 11 of them from the windows of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. In the recession that followed, they all vanished.

Look out at downtown Dallas today and you will count six cranes. There is a recovery under way in this city at the heart of Texas, at the heart of America.

So what does it say about us that three of those cranes, as of yesterday, were working on First Baptist Church?

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