Best (?) of Massachusetts

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On Tuesday, The Boston Globe published its annual Best of Massachusetts Business list. This is of the genre of U.S. News & World Report’s college rankings, which is to say more circulation-promotion than journalism. The Globe did explain its methodology and some readers may find something useful in it.

What I gleaned is based on a recent conversation with Chris Bertelsen of Aviance Capital Management, a highly respected financial analyst. Chris noted that American companies are currently positioned to do very well. The rub is that opportunity knocks not mainly in the United States in its current economic condition, but in rising economies including (but not confined to) Brazil and India. (He interestingly has doubts about China.)

The Globe confined its inquiry to companies whose headquarters are in Massachusetts (despite the disincentives government manufactures for corporate living here.) Nonetheless, Chris Bertelsen’s point can be made about many of these companies. The bio-tecs, for instance, may want to keep a presence in Massachusetts because of our research institutions. But one can see their future manufacturing and sales located primarily overseas — unless Massachusetts concentrates on improving the general business climate and eschews attempts to pick winners with, for example, welfare for brewers (John Kerry); for “start-ups” (Tim Cahill) and non-promise-keeping bio-tecs (Gov. Patrick).