Casino IPOs: A new sin index

For many years, analysts have run sin indexes. Some had to do with the consumption of liquor, and others with cigarettes. It was always hard to tell if sin was a leading indicator of bad times or good. Some people drink their troubles away during a recession. Others drink champagne when a recession ends. Of course, a drop-off in drinking may be due to the fact that people cannot afford booze at all during hard times. Put another way, sin indexes are complicated.

But sin is almost always a means of tax revenue. Sin taxes on liquor and cigarettes bring governments a lot of money. An increase in sin is a positive for tax receipts, no matter why the sinning is rising. A jump in sinning may be critical to closing budget deficits in states and the federal government.