- Government as regulator. In some industries, complying with regulations that customers care little about is a matter of life and death. The big payoff comes from getting new regulations written that help you and hurt the competition.
- Government subsidies. There are products and services that would be sold only at much higher prices and in much lower quantities if government weren't directly or indirectly absorbing part of the cost.
- Government detritus. Sometimes an industry grows almost accidentally, as an unforeseen or unintended result of government activity.
- Government as customer. No other customer's shopping cart comes close to the size of the wagon the government pushes through the aisles of the economy. For many companies, government is the number-one customer. For some of them, government is the only customer that matters. Government uses certain types of products. Military equipment is the biggest and the most characteristic example. The large, established companies devoted to this market are essentially public utilities. They produce things that government is sure it can't do without. To give one example, for the government to be assured of sources for developing and acquiring military aircraft, it needs Lockheed, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon to stay in business. So when any of them stumbles, you can expect government to help.
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Doug Casey is a world-renowned investor and author, whose book Crisis Investing was #1 on the New York Times bestseller list for 29 consecutive weeks, a record at the time.
He has been a featured guest on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including David Letterman, Merv Griffin, Charlie Rose, Phil Donahue, Regis Philbin, NBC News, and CNN; and has been the topic of numerous features in periodicals such as Time, Forbes, People and the Washington Post.
His firm, Casey Research, LLC., publishes a variety of newsletters and web sites with a combined weekly audience in excess of 200,000, largely high net worth investors with an interest in resource development and international real estate.
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