January 22, 2009

What does well in slow economy?

I have two ideas for slow economic times: prisons and schools.

If you think about it you have two choices when you are out of a job:
  1. go to school to upgrade your skills and get a better job, or
  2. commit crime
I hope the majority will pick the first choice. But the reality is both are growth industries in this economic climate.

Enrollments in both are growing. Schools like ITT and Devry are doing very well and recording record growth in revenues. The market seems to reward their shareholders as most of school companies are hitting 52 week highs. The performance of schools industry is on fire and the market does not seem to care that some are over leveraged.

As for prisons, it is also a growth industry. The government is running out of space in the federal prison system so they are contracting out this to companies like Prisons of America. That segment should see growth in its revenue as well.

I have better business proposition. Convert many of the hotel projects that have flooded the markets lately into prisons. The hotel industry have seen a flood of new hotels and over capacity in new rooms. What to do with them? Convert them into prisons. If you think about it prisons are just like hotels but you do not have the luxury of checking out when you want.


Anonymous said...

Hi Sami,

Love your blog. I have just one issue with your crime scenario - have you read freaknomics where they claim that crime/rise and fall are more due to abortion laws than anything else?
Also with states like CA going bankrupt who will man these prisons :) ?

Sami said...

Hi Anon,


No I have not read Freakeconomic but that is an interesting relationship.

Prisoners may be able to police themselves better than Wall streeters :)