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The Brode Report
The Brode Report | May 2017 | Thank Steve Ballmer

David BrodeHi,

Just a short piece this month because I wanted to share this as quickly as possible. Hope all’s well in your world.



I created a short video where I describe some unique features of a financial model that I developed for a client that raised over $350 million. You can see it at brodetelecom.com/model-overview.

Steve BallmerThank Steve Ballmer: Incredible Data at USAfacts.org

I’m always looking for good data to support analytical work. And nowwe have one more killer resource.

A few weeks ago I saw an article about a new project Steve Ballmer (Bill Gates’ successor as Microsoft’s CEO) was rolling out at www.usafacts.org. Ballmer’s team decided to shine the spotlight on government finances. Their ambitious effort wipes away so much of the complexity inherent in this subject first due to the sprawl of components: the massive federal government with its quasi-governmental entities, the 50 states, the thousands of cities and counties makes any consolidation project difficult. Then consider fiscal years not matching up with calendar years. But fear not, because Ballmer has money to spend and his team has made exploring their data very user friendly.

There’s something for everyone here and great surprises in the data. For example, they had this table about deficits (from 2014):

You only ever hear about the Federal deficit, but it makes sense that the combined deficit is what really moves the economy.

One fun part of the dataset is its business orientation. For example, you can view a balance sheet for all the governments in the US combined. Continuing on the government-as-a-business analogy, usafacts.org also issued a 10-K style annual report for United States Governments.

The website itself is highly engaging. Colorful graphics--not usually seen in governmental analysis--lead you from one section to the next and it’s easy to focus on just the packaging. But the real gold here is the data. For anyone seeking detailed information, including a cogently envisioned summary of over $5 trillion of economic activity per year, I haven’t seen the equal of usafacts.org.

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The Brode Group
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