Heron Tower becomes tallest building in The City

1 min read Published: 22 Feb 2010

This story struck me as interesting for two reasons. Firstly, I walk past this particular construction every day and secondly because it reminds me of the concept of the Skyscraper Index. The research director at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein came up with the Skyscraper Index in 1999 which basically states that the construction of the world’s tallest buildings are a pre-cursor to an economic downturn. Think of it as the finance world’s version of ‘Red sky in the morning; shepherds warning’.

Famous examples include the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building which were unveiled shortly before the Wall Street Crash of 1929. Also the World Trade Center towers and the Sears Tower, opened up in 1973, during the 1973–1974 stock market crash.

Now clearly I'm not suggesting that financial Armageddon is about to happen as a result of this new building project, mainly because a) the building is not a world record contender and b) we are already in the biggest financial mess in a generation. So don’t panic.

But I’d thought I’d share it with you because, if nothing else, the Skyscraper Index is an interesting observation based on anecdotal evidence which you can bore people with over a pint.

If you want to find out a bit more information, here is a link to an article on Wikipedia.