Saturday, January 22, 2011

Crisis Solution: Tenderloin Medallions

August 7, 2009
Driver competition hot as NYC taxi medallions hit $766,000

"It is an industry that has always gone up," says Andrew Murstein, president of Medallion Financial. "It has outperformed every index you can think of — the Dow, Nasdaq, gold, you name it."

If it works for the taxi industry, then why can't we just apply it to the beef industry?

For Murstein, recent price surges are not surprising; medallions have seen an average 15%-a-year appreciation for 70 years, he says.

"Not only do you get that 15% for your price appreciation, you also get rental income," Murstein says.

I'm still working through the rental income part. Maybe we could apply that to dairy cattle. Got milk? No. Got milk medallions? Hell yes! And I got in early too! Woohoo!

Daus says the financing provided by Medallion Financial is key for many cabbies to make that transition to ownership, and that the company's mission seems to be "helping people achieve the American dream."

Former New York governor Mario Cuomo, who sits on Medallion Financial's board of directors, agrees.

Yes indeed! Taxi cab medallion financing sure "seems to be" helping people achieve the American dream. Who could afford to pay half a million dollars for just the right to drive a cab without the financing?

Here's the really good news though. I think it is safe to say that politicians would be all over my all beef prosperity creation idea. In fact, if you are a politician please contact me and I'll reserve a place for you on my board of directors. Vast riches for all of us. Win win!

This post was inspired by Credit Bubble Stocks: NYT: "You Think Houses Are a Slow Sell? Try a Yacht". See the comments within that post. I was not aware just how profitable medallions had become.


Mr Slippery said...

I was searching for the double long NY taxi medallion ETF, but came up empty. ;)

Stagflationary Mark said...

Mr Slippery,

You might not even be joking! ;)

Medallion Financial Corp's ticker is TAXI. It paid 7.6% dividends.

The insiders seem to like it.

Analysts don't.

Its chart doesn't scream bubble.

Although it has stumbled in recent years, I would not necessarily think someone insane for buying it (based on my very limited knowledge here).

That said...

Medallion Financial Corp. Reports 2010 Third Quater Results

Quater? Really? Good grief. Red flag. It taunts me that one does. This is straight from their own website. Talk about attention to detail.

New York City taxi medallion prices continue to increase to record highs of over $825,000.

Will there be an upper limit someday (at least in inflation adjusted dollars)? I think so. Just a hunch.

Troy said...

We Georgists have an immense problem with this medallion jazz.

The Palins were running a similar grifting scheme, profitin' from holding drift net site leases and fishing licenses for Bristol Bay, a government-created privilege that began in the 1970s.

"In economic principle, fishing quotas and taxi medallions are just like conventional land titles: privileged control over limited natural resources. If it makes sense to socialize the rent from quotas and medallions, why not land titles too?"

Stagflationary Mark said...


Fascinating. From your link...

"Very likely it is wise to limit fish catches and avoid the "tragedy of the commons." It is also necessary to police the waters and keep out alien interlopers, a dicey business calling for the full power of a strong national government. It is not necessary, however, to give away the quotas so dearly policed. It is obvious to any objective observer that the quotas should be sold or (better) leased to the highest bidder. If the Feds insist on giving them away, states and localities should class them as taxable property subject to a high rate. The best time to levy appropriate charges is when quotas are new, and the injustice of the present dispensation is apparent to all."

I was describing taxi medallions to my girlfriend and said something similar. I don't understand the need for a middleman.