Placeholder Image

字幕列表 影片播放

  • Countless visitors

  • flock to New York City's Madison Square Park

  • to gaze upon and take selfies with

  • some of the world's most famous buildings.

  • But even native New Yorkers probably missed

  • one of the most interesting stories in the city's skyline,

  • located here, and that's because most of it doesn't exist.

  • During the major economic expansion of New York City,

  • in the late 19th and early 20th centuries,

  • demand and prices for prime real estate in Manhattan soared.

  • Thanks to advancements in construction

  • and elevator technology,

  • developers could suddenly build vertically

  • to increase usable space,

  • essentially creating land in the sky.

  • Skyscrapers, as these mega-projects were called,

  • started popping up in the priciest parts of the city,

  • often named after the companies

  • that funded their construction

  • in a clever form of brand marketing.

  • In the latter half of the roaring 1920s,

  • the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company

  • wanted to construct a new skyscraper

  • to house its growing staff,

  • alongside its existing landmark headquarters on 24th Street.

  • The ambitious plan called for

  • the tallest building in the world at the time,

  • around 100 stories,

  • incorporating the distinctive setback look

  • that was required by New York City's

  • recently adopted zoning code.

  • There was one problem, however,

  • during the same week of the plans being announced

  • the U.S. stock market had collapsed,

  • signaling the end of the roaring '20s,

  • and the beginning of the Great Depression.

  • With funding scaled back the grand design,

  • much like the decade of excess in which it was conceived,

  • was cut off.

  • Eventually topping out at barely a 1/3 of the height

  • of the previous design, leaving behind a stump

  • that some might say is a monument to economic hubris.

  • Fast forward to today and New York City skyline

  • is again dotted with impressive

  • and record-breaking skyscrapers.

  • Many nearing completion, as the global economy sputters.

  • Some economists insist the timing of these skyscraper booms

  • and economic downturns is more than just a coincidence.

  • In fact, some have called it.

  • The skyscraper curse.

  • This is Mark Thornton, who, in 2007,

  • I applied an economic model called the skyscraper index

  • to suggest that the construction

  • of the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai,

  • meant that a global financial crisis was coming.

  • Which it did a year or so later.

  • The model he used is based on an idea proposed in 1999

  • by a real estate analyst named Andrew Lawrence.

  • He looked at all the records setting skyscrapers

  • beginning with the Singer Building in New York City

  • which correlated with the Panic of 1907,

  • and then you go to the late 1920s

  • and you see the Chrysler Building

  • and the Empire State Building setting records consecutively.

  • And then, of course, the crash of '29.

  • And then you fast forward until you get to 1970,

  • when World Trade Tower one, World Trade Tower two,

  • and the Sears building all set new records.

  • And then, of course,

  • we had the long stagflation of the 1970s.

  • Fast forward from that you get

  • new record-setting skyscrapers in the late 1990s,

  • and early 2000s, and of course, right in the middle of that

  • was the tech stock bubble bust.

  • The correlations holding up very well.

  • And some see those warning signs

  • on the rise again.

  • Entrepreneurs did great.

  • Everybody was making money for so long.

  • But we're gonna see is that there's going to be

  • this cluster of areas where companies have to cut back,

  • retrench, go bankrupt, foreclose.

  • We're certainly not looking forward to it

  • in the sense of being a joyful event.

  • But the skyscraper index

  • is, to put it lightly, controversial.

  • No offense to you but skyscraper curse,

  • I really wish we would put this to bed.

  • This is Jason Barr,

  • an economist and author specializes

  • in what he calls skynomics,

  • and he co authored an empirical analysis

  • of the skyscraper index and found that.

  • It's an example of what I call broken clockism. Okay?

  • If you're looking to pair a skyscraper boom

  • with a downturn it's easy

  • because the downturns are happening all the time.

  • You can just say, "Oh, here's the peak

  • "of the skyscraper cycle. Oh, here's the business cycle.

  • "Oh, yeah, they must be connected in some way."

  • Although Barr's research called into question

  • the forecasting potential of record-breaking skyscrapers,

  • it did confirm that skyscraper construction waves

  • typically rise when economic conditions are favorable,

  • sometimes to the point of a bubble,

  • and then slow is the project's make less financial sense

  • and funding dries up,

  • much like the case of the Metropolitan Life North Building.

  • It's kind of a herding mentality.

  • When the getting's good, everybody,

  • all these developers they rush to get their buildings online

  • as soon as possible, and then you have a glut.

  • You can conceive of a project based on the economics today

  • and then when it comes online, four or five years from now,

  • anything could happen.

  • In other words, skyscrapers simply take

  • a long time to build and some end up being completed

  • after the next downturn has already begun.

  • This timing, if anything, is more like a lagging indicator,

  • then a leading one.

  • I guess, I just wish the skyscraper curse thing,

  • that people would stop using it

  • because there's zero evidence that it actually exists.

  • But what makes something

  • like the skyscraper index so alluring in the first place?

  • For one, unlike many other economic indicators

  • like consumer price indices, unemployment rates, or GDP.

  • Skyscrapers are so visible.

  • They are super visible. They're ultra visible.

  • I mean, the skyline is very notion and identity

  • of the city in a lot of ways.

  • Skyscrapers are a marvel of technology.

  • When you think about symbols of civilization,

  • a skyscraper is one of them.

  • But ultimately skyscrapers are simply products

  • of our economic system,

  • or as skyscraper historian Carol Willis has called them,

  • "the ultimate architecture of capitalism."

  • Fundamentally, skyscrapers are a part

  • of the larger story of human urbanization.

  • That all the forces that draws to cities,

  • create this need to build offices and high rise buildings

  • that accommodate all of these people who wanna

  • be at the same place at the same time.

  • This demand for access to urban space

  • has fueled a global skyscraper boom during the past decade.

  • And according to the Skyscraper Center database,

  • over 130 super-tall construction projects

  • are currently underway worldwide.

  • But as social distancing and remote work

  • call into question the demand for dense urban life,

  • skyscrapers may be taking on an entirely new meaning.

  • After all, if a full busy skyscraper

  • can represent power and prosperity,

  • an unfinished or empty one can stand in

  • for economic transition.

  • Take Detroit, economic crisis of the 1960s and 1970s.

  • We saw for a long time skyscrapers with very little value.

  • I don't think there's any indication, yet,

  • that we can expect this on some mass scale

  • across the United States but at the same time,

  • the ravages of COVID-19 are totally unchecked.

  • So it's very hard to predict

  • the full economic consequences of what's happening.

  • As always, the future remains to be seen.

  • But one thing does seem likely,

  • if the skyscraper boom does come to an end

  • as the economy shifts, don't be surprised if some say

  • the curse may be striking again.

Countless visitors

字幕與單字

影片操作 你可以在這邊進行「影片」的調整,以及「字幕」的顯示

B2 中高級 美國腔

纽约天际线中的隐形符号(The Invisible Symbol in New York's Skyline)

  • 11 2
    joey joey 發佈於 2021 年 04 月 26 日
影片單字