California: The Place to Be in Recession

Last Updated Jun 23, 2008 9:09 PM EDT

california_gold_rush_handbill.jpgPredictions regarding the death of the importance of physical place to business have been coming out sporadically for the last decade or more. But if the chatter in the BNET blogosphere and beyond is any indication, reports of the death of place have been greatly exaggerated.

Back in March we posted a feature by Richard Florida about the findings in his new book, "Who's Your City," where he profiled the world's "megaregions," and offered a crash course on finding your ideal city.

Then, last week, Big Think's Michael Fitzgerald reported on the Milken Institute's 10 best places in the U.S. for spurring technological innovation (congrats, Massachusetts!). Fitzgerald followed up with a riff on David Lida's new book "First Stop of the New World: Mexico City, Capital of the 21st Century." Apparently Mexico City in the 21st century is the new London in the 19th. Talk about growth.

Speaking of London, according to BNET1's Jessica Stillman that city is looking like it is at last losing its business luster. (Or should we say "lustre?") She cites a study by CBI/KPMG London Business Survey that says that in the Big Smoke, bungled tax reforms combined with the credit mess, failing infrastructure and a shortage of skilled workers are conspiring to scatter investors to the four points of the compass.

So toward which of the cardinal points should I take my business in order to best weather the recession? Maybe the University at California at Los Angeles is biased, but according to UCLA's Andersen Forecast's quarterly report, "go west young business person" is looking like pretty good advice. California, says the report, will take a few economic dings in the downturn, but will avoid the full-monty of recession.

"It does not appear that California will exhibit the kind of loss that typically goes with a national recession," intone the report's witty authors. "For California, this is primarily a housing related adjustment to an overheated speculative market. The carnage is palpable, but contained as California benefits from some very traditional industries and its position in the sun on the edge of the Pacific Rim."

And you can reach up anywhere and pick an orange the streets are paved with gold.