Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sorting Through "Extreme News" From Left, Right and Center - A Crucial Skill-Builder At Trend-Spotting and for Strategic Planning.

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Sorting Through "Extreme News" From Left, Right and Center - A Crucial Skill-Builder At Trend-Spotting and for Strategic Planning.

Author's Note: Every entrepreneur, and every single emerging enterprise requires management, market reasearch, marketing, publicity, branding and a constant re-evaluation of potential future trends. If you are so biased that you deliberately exclude (adversely select against) "radical" or "extremist" publications which don't conform to your pre-existing views, you will merely be recycling your own brand of stupidity -- some call this "the kindling of circular intelligence."

The key is to be open to information which comes from any and all sources...to detach yourself emotionally from the political or other agendas of their writers, publishers and promoters. Every leader, manager, marketing director, financial officer, planning officer, product or service developer must be as an objective Information Hound, to the greatest extent possible. If your limit your total news intake, you limit your knowledge base, thinking, insight, intellectual growth, analytic ability and efficacy, and ability to survive and thrive. I can read the SPECTATOR, MOTHER JONES, THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, BUZZFLASH BULLETIN and THE ROLLING STONE in one sitting. I can listen to NPR as well as a series of Sunday morning sermons, deluxe with sulphur and brimstone.

When it comes to the necessary job of futurism, more information is always better. Learn to expose your yourself to more input, while trusting that your character and judgment will not be hurt in the process. In fact, this testing will get you more in tune with who you truly are -- and that is a wonderful thing. -DC

Dear Readers:

Some interesting headlines and brief articles from some of the more "extreme" news sources (actually, in many cases these are more appropriately called conjecture sources) may prove to be a fountain of some useful information. Understand that in every article, there is a grain of truth (an initiating spark, fear, or observation which inspired the writer) and a large element of propaganda. The trick is to separate the elements of truth from the surrounding rhetoric. One of the means of doing this is by rudimentary correlative analysis....for example, if two politically opposed groups speak of the same subject and make similar observations about its implications, you might have unearthed a piece of truth.

If two adversaries agree on a common problem or a common trend -- it is invariably one worth watching. Finding these areas of informational intersection is one of a true intelligence analyst or Global Futurist's most important skills. I'll admit that sometimes it is a bit of a stomach-turner to read through the accusations, recriminations, bigotry and hate-speak. But the gold which you will pan from this stream of compost is still gold.

This is a great skill, and a great exercise. Use this analysis tool often, and your abilities to see through the smoke to the spark will increase appreciably.

More Info + More sources + Rudimentary Correlative Analysis = Better planning for your life and your business.

Faithfully,

Douglas Castle,
Vice Chairman,
THE NATIONAL NETWORKER COMPANIES
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Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Irony Of The Latest Decline In U.S. Interest Rates

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THE IRONY OF THE LATEST DECLINE IN U.S. INTEREST RATES


Article written By Douglas Castle (http://aboutDouglasCastle.blogspot.com)
Originally published in THE GLOBAL FUTURIST (http://TheGlobalFuturist.blogspot.com)
Release Date:  05.29.2010
---------------

Dear Friends:

An article follows from the ASSOCIATED PRESS which speaks of the lowest US mortgage borrowing rates in many years. The inference is that this should be great news for homeowners looking to refinance and for home purchasers.

While this appears to be good news on the surface, it may be largely inapplicable for the large majority of applicants seeking loans from banks for these reasons:

1) The “advertised rates” are only for prospective borrowers with excellent, unblemished credit histories and the highest credit scores pursuant to the FICO (Fair-Issac) consumer credit-rating standard – the standard for credit evaluation used by most US lenders. Banks typically charge higher rates to lower-scoring applicants in order to adjust for their increased “credit risk.”

2) The same banks and affiliated credit card companies [which largely, because of their negligence, recklessness and unbridled greed created and fueled the global economic meltdown have severely damaged the credit scores of countless consumers through loan foreclosures, repossessions, increased personal bankruptcies, credit card line reductions, credit card closures, late fees, over limit fees and other lawless and opportunistic moneymaking opportunities associated with institutionalized consumer fraud perpetrated on a credit-addicted society] are the ones who are now applying increasingly stringent standards to loan applicants.

In fact, these banks are tightening up their underwriting guidelines weekly due to policy guidelines being handed down to them by their principal insurer, Fannie Mae. Be reminded that Fannie Mae was one of the biggest defaulters in the economic meltdown. But, unlike consumers, the government deemed them “too big to fail,” and started the printing presses rolling to bail them out.

Some of the biggest bailout beneficiaries are now reporting record profits – they are, in essence, using taxpayer money gifted to them by the Fed (in plainspeak, the banks and financial institutions pissed away all of the taxpayers’, savers’ and investors’ money, and now the government is making the taxpayers PAY TWICE to maintain the banking system’s entrenched entitlement to profits), and buying government securities (which increases the national debt, for which the taxpayers will have to pay YET AGAIN.


This is an incredible economic debt loop which cannot be broken without some kind of actual productivity, earnings, employment and fresh thinking. In the meantime, all of the money (either scrip or electronic book entries) is being hoarded by the financial institutions. They are being rewarded for not taking any entrepreneurial risk. They are making money by using debt (or bailout welfare money) to purchase more government debt.

Here are a few things to anticipate:

1)  Following the stabilization of the Euro, and of the European capital markets, the US dollar will again dive in value, and our sovereign credit rating will drop, institutions outside of the US will stop buying our Treasury Paper (which is, by the way, what is temporarily driving US interest rates down for the time-being), and rates will begin to creep up again. What we are experiencing now is just a brief bit of luck that the European Markets look a bit worse than those here in the US. Our Treasury Securities are the “default investment” when things get dicey in Europe;

2)  The US Treasury is going to be taking the muzzle off of the Internal Revenue Service – its hired gun, so to speak - within the next month or so, in order to start replenishing its empty war chest. Expect vigorous, aggressive and brutal IRS audits and assessments, and heightened, expedited enforcement action (seizures and sales of assets) to raise money from the easiest targets: individuals and small businesses, most of whom are easily intimidated, cannot afford to mount a defense, and will do virtually anything in order to pay whatever the IRS says that they owe. The percentage of taxpayers audited will increase, collections will increase, and the economy will be profoundly damaged.

Friends – this is nothing short of a reign of terror.

3) Because of items 1 and 2, above, expect many Boomers and recent graduates to leave US citizenship behind in favor of working in Asia, parts of Europe, and Middle East. This will produce an unprecedented brain drain in the US. Of course, businesses, opportunities, entrepreneurs and innovation will flee from the US as well. This is already happening at an alarming rate.

4) The stragglers, those left behind in the US, will be government employees, the ultra-wealthy, those who are incarcerated, or those who are part of the ever-present underground economy.

The AP article follows:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mortgage rates sink to lowest this year

By ALAN ZIBEL, AP Real Estate Writer Alan Zibel, Ap Real Estate Writer 2 hrs 42 mins ago
WASHINGTON – Mortgage rates have fallen to the lowest level of the year as investors poured money into the safe haven of U.S. government securities.
The average rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage dipped to 4.78 percent this week from 4.84 percent a week earlier, mortgage company Freddie Mac said Thursday. It was the lowest level since early December, when rates fell to a record low of 4.71 percent.
The average rate on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage fell this week to 4.21 percent_ the lowest level in nearly two decades.
Concerns over the European debt crisis have sent yields for 10-year and 30-year Treasury bonds to their lowest levels of 2010. Rates on 30-year home loans often rise and fall in line with the 10-year note.
Analysts say the opportunity may not last. If Europe's woes subside and the U.S. economic recovery stays on track, rates are likely to move higher. That's because traders will move their money back into riskier investments.
"Strike now," said Greg McBride, senior financial analyst at Bankrate.com. "If they move quickly against you, it just takes money right out of your pocket."
Homeowners appear to be taking notice. Applications to refinance surged this week to the highest level since October 2009, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday.
But mortgage applications to purchase homes fell to the lowest level since April 1997. A major reason for that drop: tax credits expired on April 30.
A campaign by the Federal Reserve to reduce borrowing costs for consumers pushed rates down to extraordinarily low levels last year. Rates were expected to rise after the program ended this spring. Instead, they have dipped. Fears that Greece's government would default on its debt shook world markets and boosted demand for U.S. Treasurys.
Freddie Mac collects mortgage rates on Monday through Wednesday of each week from lenders around the country. Rates often fluctuate significantly, even within a given day.
Rates on five-year, adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 3.97 percent, up from 3.91 percent a week earlier. Rates on one-year, adjustable-rate mortgages fell to 3.95 percent from 4 percent. That was the lowest average since May 2004.
The rates do not include add-on fees known as points. One point is equal to 1 percent of the total loan amount.
The nationwide fee for loans in Freddie Mac's survey averaged 0.7 a point for 30-year, 15-year and 5-year loans. The average fee for 1-year loans was 0.6 of a point.
####
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Faithfully,

Douglas Castle

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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Douglas Castle Presents: Fraud of the Week - 05.22.2010

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 Douglas Castle Presents: Fraud Of The Week - 05.22.2010

Dear Friends:

It's not another Nigerian Plane Crash scandal, Burkina Faso unclaimed bank account opportunity, phony Yahoo! account suspension notice, Camelot Lottery winning, or even a plea from a religious woman on her deathbed...it is a poorly-done, grammatically abominable, cut and paste warning sent to me about my Chase Account Online privileges!

Putting aside the fact that I do not even have a Chase Account, someone obviously wants me to log into a phony website and to provide them with my account details so that they can steal my identity.

This type of fraud is so widespread that I receive at least three of these identity theft "lures" daily in my spam box. Do you?
Please don't ever log in to links on these emails. Not even to test them out! Just delete them. If you are still concerned that the alert may be real, refresh your browser, independently log in to your bank's (or other service provider's) website directly from your computer, or call them by telephone and find out.

See the wonderful example below? It is part of the reason that so many people have become suspicious of all email, and of the Internet, in general. Don't help a thief get rich by falling into this type of trap. If the thief is big and successful enough ("Too big to fail"), some government will come in and bail them out at taxpayer expense anyway.

Be adventurous, but be vigilant!

Faithfully,

Douglas Castle
p.s. "Caveat Surfer!"
___________________
FRAUDULENT EMAIL FOLLOWS:



Dear Chase Online Customer:
    Due to several Failed attemps to Access to your Chase® Online Account , we Temporary deactivated your Account for your protection. You have to Reactivate Your Chase® Online Account within the next 24 Hours in Order to Continue using it . 
. Sincerely,
Chase Online® Customer Service
Code #CH905242

Please  Click here to Reactive your account 




       JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. Member FDIC
            © 2010 JPMorgan Chase & Co.             
##############################################


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Labels, Tags, Key Words and Terms: identity theft, internet fraud, consumer vigilance, phishing, TNNWC, Articles by Douglas Castle,

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Other Shoe Drops...Heavily.

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From The Global Futurist (http://theglobalfuturist.blogspot.com/)


THE OTHER SHOE DROPS...HEAVILY.

Dear Fellow Futurists and Friends:


I am not known for my tact or easygoing nature. It is partially a function of my having lived more than half a century and having observed many different types of economic cycles, and partially a sign of the current times. Part of my work as a Futurist is to gather as much data as I am able to, from as many reliable sources as I can find (both within and far outside of mainstream media), and find 1) areas of commonality [agreement between parties who generally tend to disagree] and 2) evidence, over a period of time, of trends in various areas that I am studying. At the moment, I am studying the Global Economy from the US (the nucleus) on outward.


The outlook is extraordinarily bleak. The key economic variables upon which I gauge the success of any recovery do not include political proclamations, market rallies, Wall Street or Washingtonian economic perspectives or the usual pablum. I look at the very foundation of any economy -- I view the root causes instead of the day-to-day effects and spurious "victories" generated by sporatic jumps in conventional economic indicators. These "jumps" mean very little to me unless they are logically supported and sustainable.


Here's my short list of key economic variables:


1)   Real unemployment and real private sector jobs creation;
2)   Real availability of consumer and commercial/industrial credit;
3)   Real rates (percentages) of savings;
4)   Real rates of net home sales and foreclosures;
5)   Real financial position of the largest private sector companies (profitability, equity, leverage, debt-service ratio);
6)   Real small business and emerging enterprise sales and profitability;
7)   Real strength of the central banking system and the institutions which support it;
8)   Real activity (in the form of rapid-fire, stimulus-response enactments, executive orders or emergency legislation) in government "quick fix" policies and pronouncements (very telling, indeed);
9)   Real "value" of total government bailouts, benefits extensions, subsidies and other non-productive expenditure;
10) Real incidence (i.e., the number and frequency in a given quarter) of investigations of financial institutions and ratings agencies.


Bottom line: We are not in a recovery -- we are in the eye of the hurricane. I anticipate financial disaster of unprecedented post-Depression Era proportions internationally, presenting in early June. Next Month. By my indices, we are in for a wallop that cannot be wisked away.


Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen -- I expect the other shoe to drop next month....heavily, and for a period of no less than a year. I had originally forecast (in late 2008) that the global economy would not stabilize until the first or second calendar quarter of 2012, with the United States to lag two to three quarters behind, without a recovery to its prominence as the world's strongest economic, political and military leader. I stand by what I had said.


Faithfully,


Douglas Castle

p.s. Following is an excerpt from an article in today's New York Times. Its uncharacteristically sincere and ominous tone expresses my feelings about what is to come. An important hint -- ignore all the commentary about the stock slide, the Dow and the "flight to the quality and safety of U.S. Treasury issues," and look to the reasons that economic and capital market analysts are concerned.

####

Breaking News Alert

The New York Times
Thu, May 20, 2010 -- 10:36 AM ET

-----
Stocks Extend a Steep Slide

The stock market extended its sharp slide Thursday after
disappointing employment news added to investors' already
bleak view of the world economy.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 200 points in morning
trading. Interest rates fell sharply in the Treasury market
as investors once again sought the safety of United States
government debt.

The euro, which has become a key indicator for confidence in
Europe's economy, is falling again and continues to hover
near a four-year low.

The Labor Department said new claims for unemployment
benefits rose by 25,000 to 471,000, their largest amount in
three months. That came as an unpleasant surprise to
investors who were expecting a slight drop to 440,000.

####

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Facts, Fiction and Exploitation - Things To Be Concerned About - Douglas Castle

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Facts, Fiction and Exploitation - Things To Be Concerned About - Douglas Castle
 
1). If Someone Wins All Of The Time At Any Game Of Chance, The Game May Be Rigged.
 
2). If Someone Claims To Win All Of The Time At Any Game Of Chance, They May Be Lying.
 
3). In The Securities Marketplace, A "Greater Fool" (Or Fools) Must Incur Losses for The Purported Winners to Keep Winning -- It is Rather Like A Game Of Musical Chairs...When The Music Stops, Someone No Longer Has A Seat, And Is Stuck With Overpriced And Unsaleable Investments.
 
4). Big Securities Trading Firms Have Credit -- If They Incur A Positional Loss For One Day, They Don't Have To "Settle Up" With The Bank Until They Have Had An Opportunity To Trade Some More, And Win Back Their Losses (Usually At Somone Else's Expense)... And What If These Large Firms Are Intimately Affiliated With Those Banks? [Conflict Of Interest? Hmmm...]
 
5). Smaller Investors In The Markets Do Not Have The Credit Facilities To Buy Time To "Set Things Right." They Must Pay For Their Losses Immediately, In the Worst Of Possible Circumstances And Lose Their Holdings In A "Fire Sale" Scenario. Then, They Can Never, Ever Recoup Their Losses. These Losses Become Permanent. Large Trading Firms And Their Bankers Get To Lock In A Profit Because Of Their Obvious Credit Advantage.
 
Observation A: The Large Banks ("too big to fail!"), The Trading Firms ("slap them on their greedy wrists!"), An Impotent And Often Compromised Government Are Aggressively, And Perhaps Maliciously [Conspiracy? No -- That's Silly Stuff] Bringing The Public To Its Knees.
 
Observation B: This Is Not Because Of Capitalism. This Is Because Of Encultured, Unpunished, Short-Sighted Greed.
 
Observation CIndividuals, Entrepreneurs, And Emerging Enterprises Must Act Expediently If They Are Not To Become Enslaved. Cooperation and Collaboration Can Be Used To Rapidly Unite And Grow These "Grassroots" Victims Into A Force With Lobbying Power, Resources And Political Clout.
 
The above ends my rant. The following article, which was published in The Daily Reckoning, caught my attention:
 
Goldman's Perfect Quarter
Defying the odds in the "robot combat arena"

Eric Fry
Eric Fry
Reporting from Laguna Beach, California...

While the European Central Bank (ECB) was busy manipulating markets and making headlines Monday, Goldman Sachs was quietly revealing a different story of market manipulation...or something that walks and quacks very much like a market manipulation duck.

In an SEC filing, Goldman disclosed its first-ever "perfect" quarter. The firm's proprietary trading desk navigated the first quarter without producing a single day of losses, the first time it had accomplished such a feat.

How is this possible? Please permit us to offer a simple explanation: It's not.

Imagine a poker player who competes against skilled competitors for 63 sessions of 6 1/2 hours each, then walks away with a profit after all 63 sessions. Would that be possible? Not unless the poker player is holding a stack of aces up his sleeve. But Goldman accomplished this improbable feat. Its trading desk turned a profit on each and every day of the first quarter - that's 63 trading sessions of 6 1/2 hours each, not counting whatever additional shenanigans Goldman was conducting in foreign markets.

There is something wrong with this picture...very, very wrong. And yet, Goldman trumpets this success as an example of something that is very, very right. "This is the first time we have reported zero trading loss days in a quarter," crowed Samuel Robinson, a Goldman Sachs spokesman. "We believe it shows the strength of our customer franchise and risk management."

An alternative interpretation would attribute Goldman's uncanny trading success to the strength of its "political franchise," subsidized risk- taking and various forms of de facto front-running. If, as James Howard Kunstler asserts, the US stock market has become "a robot combat arena where algorithms battle for supremacy of the feedback loops," Goldman Sachs must control the "Supreme Combat Robot." But we wonder whether this robot is abiding by all applicable securities laws, or vaporizing them with his special "Mega-fraud laser beam."

"If you ever wanted to see what a monopoly looks like in chart form," jokes Tyler Durden from Zero Hedge, "here it is:



Daily Trading Net Revenues


"The firm did not record a loss of even $0.01 on even one day in the last quarter," Durden says. "The statistic probability of this event is itself statistically undefined. Goldman is now the market - or, in keeping with modern market reality, Goldman is the 'house,' it controls the casino, and always wins. Congratulations America: you now have far, far better odds in Las Vegas that you have making money with your E- Trade account."

In fairness to Goldman, JP Morgan also produced a perfect quarter of proprietary trading. Morgan Stanley, the relative loser in the crowd, managed to produce a trading profit on only 93% of its trading days.

"The rape and pillage of the middle class was not isolated to Goldman," Durden continues. "JP Morgan also had a flawless quarter. And if the odds of Goldman making 63 out of 63 are virtually impossible in any universe in which risk goes hand in hand with return (but in those in which monopolies are encouraged and bailed out), the coincidence of the two main firms that control the world having a perfect track record is impossible. And since things in reality tend to be zero sum, when everyone makes money, someone may be tempted to ask the question, just who is losing money? And the answer, dear taxpayers, and [Goldman/JPMorgan] clients, is you."

Perfection is either a religious virtue or a devilish fraud, dear reader; it is never a financial market reality. So there's something a little troubling about the perfection achieved by Goldman's (and Morgan's) trader-bots. In fact, there might be something a lot troubling about their trader-bots, as well as their investment-bank- atrons.

Perhaps the truth will come to light in the fullness of time...or in the details of a future SEC complaint.

Goldman acknowledged in Monday's SEC filing that it still faces a large and diverse number of criminal and quasi-criminal investigations. In addition to a bevy of investigations by the SEC, Goldman is facing detailed probes by the Justice Department, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and the UK's Financial Services Authority related to CDO offerings and related matters.

"We anticipate that additional putative shareholder derivative actions and other litigation may be filed, and regulatory and other investigations and actions [will be] commenced against us with respect to offering of CDOs," Goldman's filing somberly disclosed, "[These probes] could result in collateral consequences to us that may materially adversely affect the manner in which we conduct our businesses."

Hmmm...we'd guess that the list of "collateral consequences" would include reducing Goldman's trading success from 100% to something much lower. And since trading revenues accounted for 80% of Goldman's revenue in the first quarter, we'd guess that much lower net profit will be another "collateral consequence."
####

In my opinion, this article, while more than a bit sardonic in its tone, is dire in its implications.

Faithfully,

Douglas Castle

 
About Douglas Castle
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The National Networker Companies
Braintenance - Stay razor sharp.
The Internationalist Page - A world without barriers.
The Global Futurist - Revealing trends.
Taking Command! - Mastering your fate.
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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

When The Numbers Just Don't Add Up...

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When The Numbers Just Don't Add Up.....The Davinci Institute's Outlook On Future Trends - Douglas Castle's Insight and Commentary

Dear Fellow Friends and Futurists:

The following information has been excerpted from the Davinci Institute's Future Trend Report.

While I do not agree with all of the contents or views expressed in the Report, I believe that The Davinci Institute is one of a number of very interesting and thought-provoking sources of information which is worthy of your consideration. This particular report is quite interesting -- what it does not say, but prognosticates implicitly, is that a tremendous shortfall of US tax receipts combined with a growing level of government expenditures to stimulate (and subsidize) the US economy spells an abysmal fiscal deficit which can only lead to: 1) a bubble of hyperinflation just waiting to burst; 2) a devaluation in the US Dollar and a downgrading of US sovereign debt. There are indeed times when I wish that I hadn't majored in Economics while I was an undergraduate -- now is one of them. I am always troubled when the numbers just "don't add up."

In my humble opinion, the recently-proclaimed economic "recovery" in the United States is merely the calm in the eye of the storm. Further, I believe that the cost of this recovery will create a far greater economic calamity for the United States (and to a lesser extent, the rest of the world) than the one which we have recovered from.

Sometimes a potentially fatal health condition goes into remission -- but just as often, it comes back with a wrath and a vengeance that more than adequately make up for the brief respite from the pain and suffering.
Faithfully,
Douglas Castle 
_____________________________
The Coming Meltdown in Higher Education (from a marketing perspective)
Seth Godin: For 400 years, higher education in the United States has been on a roll. From Harvard asking Galileo to be a guest professor in the 1600s to millions tuning in to watch a team of unpaid athletes play another team of unpaid athletes in some college sporting event, the amounts of time and money and prestige in the college world have been climbing.
Continue reading

Fixing Wall Street in Six Simple Steps
The first thing you learn when you start looking at Wall Street, is to never trust the salesmen. What they promise you isn't necessarily what you get. You need to use common sense, watch out for your own interests and at least make an attempt to understand the fine print.
Continue reading

Top Baby Names in 2009 Influenced by Pop Culture
Scoot over, Emma. Isabella is the new top baby name for girls. Jacob is the most popular baby name for boys, continuing an 11-year run at the top, the Social Security Administration said Friday. Emma's reign was much shorter, lasting just a year before slipping to No. 2.
Continue reading

It's All Downhill After Age 45 According to an AARP Sex Survey
Americans 45 and older are far more open to sex outside of marriage than they were 10 years ago, but they're engaging in sex less often and with less satisfaction, according to a major new survey by AARP.
Continue reading

Insurance Coverage Has Become an Economic Catalyst for Rural India
It would be sad for farmer S. Debarasu if Big Rose, his prized milking cow, was hit by a car or crushed in a cyclone. But thanks to a $14-a-month insurance policy, it would no longer be a financial disaster. Debarasu's new cow-insurance coverage represents a significant step forward in India's hopes to lift hundreds of millions of people into prosperity. Insurance for cattle, chickens, tractors, trucks and lives is suddenly appearing in India's vast rural areas, an important new indicator of the spread of middle- class stability in this nation of 1.2 billion people.
Continue reading

Abortion Rates Skyrocket Among Poor Women
The abortion rate skyrocketed among poor women just as the economy tanked, according to a new study by the Guttmacher Institute. "Characteristics of U.S. Abortion Patients, 2008″ reports that poor women's "relative abortion rate was more than twice that of all women in 2008." What's more, "the proportion of abortion patients who were poor increased by almost 60% - from 27% in 2000 to 42% in 2008." We already knew that the recession has put many women's pregnancy plans on hold at the same time that it has made it harder for women to cover the cost of birth control; and, given that the proportion of women living in poverty has increased by 25 percent since 2000, the Guttmacher findings should come as no real surprise.
Continue reading

Increase in Household Size Could Reduce Demand for Housing and Slow Recovery
The number of people living under one roof is growing for the first time in more than a century, a fallout of the recession that could reduce demand for housing and slow the recovery.The Census Bureau had projected the average household size would continue to fall to 2.53 this year. Instead, the average is likely to hit 2.63, a small but significant increase because it is a turnabout.
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More Babies Born to Women Over 35 Than to Teens
More children are born to women older than 35 than to teenagers, a change born of medical science, later marriages and evolving attitudes about motherhood, according to a new study released Thursday. The Pew Research Center, citing census and government health statistics, said the trend toward mothers who are older and better educated cuts across all ethnicities in the United States.
Continue reading

More American's Moved Last Year But Not Long Distance
More Americans moved last year than in the previous year, but most didn't go far, a sign that foreclosures and housing costs are still keeping people close to home. About 37.1 million Americans - 12.5% of the population - changed addresses from 2008 to 2009, the Census Bureau reported Monday.
Continue reading

2009 Tax Bills Lowest Since 1950
Amid complaints about high taxes and calls for a smaller government, Americans paid their lowest level of taxes last year since Harry Truman's presidency, a USA Today analysis of federal data found. Some conservative political movements such as the "Tea Party" have criticized federal spending as being out of control. While spending is up, taxes have fallen to exceptionally low levels.
Continue reading 
#### 

About Douglas Castle
Douglas Castle - LinkedIn Profile 
The National Networker Companies
Braintenance - Stay razor sharp.
The Internationalist Page - A world without barriers.
The Global Futurist - Revealing trends.
Taking Command! - Mastering your fate.
LINKS 4 LIFE - Crisis resources.
Follow Castle on Twitter 
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Join Us: Become a Member of the TNNWC Global Interworked Cooperative Business Community (GICBC) at no cost. Click on http://bit.ly/TNNWC

When The Numbers Just Don't Add Up...

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When The Numbers Just Don't Add Up.....The Davinci Institute's Outlook On Future Trends - Douglas Castle's Insight and Commentary
Dear Fellow Friends and Futurists:
The following information has been excerpted from the Davinci Institute's Future Trend Report.
While I do not agree with all of the contents or views expressed in the Report, I believe that The Davinci Institute is one of a number of very interesting and thought-provoking sources of information which is worthy of your consideration. This particular report is quite interesting -- what it does not say, but prognosticates implicitly, is that a tremendous shortfall of US tax receipts combined with a growing level of government expenditures to stimulate (and subsidize) the US economy spells an abysmal fiscal deficit which can only lead to: 1) a bubble of hyperinflation just waiting to burst; 2) a devaluation in the US Dollar and a downgrading of US sovereign debt. There are indeed times when I wish that I hadn't majored in Economics while I was an undergraduate -- now is one of them. I am always troubled when the numbers just "don't add up."
In my humble opinion, the recently-proclaimed economic "recovery" in the United States is merely the calm in the eye of the storm. Further, I believe that the cost of this recovery will create a far greater economic calamity for the United States (and to a lesser extent, the rest of the world) than the one which we have recovered from. Sometimes a potentially fatal health condition goes into remission -- but just as often, if comes back with a wrath and a vengeance that more than adequately make up for the brief respite from the pain and suffering.
Faithfully,
Douglas Castle 
_____________________________
The Coming Meltdown in Higher Education (from a marketing perspective)
Seth Godin: For 400 years, higher education in the United States has been on a roll. From Harvard asking Galileo to be a guest professor in the 1600s to millions tuning in to watch a team of unpaid athletes play another team of unpaid athletes in some college sporting event, the amounts of time and money and prestige in the college world have been climbing.
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Fixing Wall Street in Six Simple Steps
The first thing you learn when you start looking at Wall Street, is to never trust the salesmen. What they promise you isn't necessarily what you get. You need to use common sense, watch out for your own interests and at least make an attempt to understand the fine print.
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Top Baby Names in 2009 Influenced by Pop Culture
Scoot over, Emma. Isabella is the new top baby name for girls. Jacob is the most popular baby name for boys, continuing an 11-year run at the top, the Social Security Administration said Friday. Emma's reign was much shorter, lasting just a year before slipping to No. 2.
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It's All Downhill After Age 45 According to an AARP Sex Survey
Americans 45 and older are far more open to sex outside of marriage than they were 10 years ago, but they're engaging in sex less often and with less satisfaction, according to a major new survey by AARP.
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Insurance Coverage Has Become an Economic Catalyst for Rural India
It would be sad for farmer S. Debarasu if Big Rose, his prized milking cow, was hit by a car or crushed in a cyclone. But thanks to a $14-a-month insurance policy, it would no longer be a financial disaster. Debarasu's new cow-insurance coverage represents a significant step forward in India's hopes to lift hundreds of millions of people into prosperity. Insurance for cattle, chickens, tractors, trucks and lives is suddenly appearing in India's vast rural areas, an important new indicator of the spread of middle- class stability in this nation of 1.2 billion people.
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Abortion Rates Skyrocket Among Poor Women
The abortion rate skyrocketed among poor women just as the economy tanked, according to a new study by the Guttmacher Institute. "Characteristics of U.S. Abortion Patients, 2008″ reports that poor women's "relative abortion rate was more than twice that of all women in 2008." What's more, "the proportion of abortion patients who were poor increased by almost 60% - from 27% in 2000 to 42% in 2008." We already knew that the recession has put many women's pregnancy plans on hold at the same time that it has made it harder for women to cover the cost of birth control; and, given that the proportion of women living in poverty has increased by 25 percent since 2000, the Guttmacher findings should come as no real surprise.
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Increase in Household Size Could Reduce Demand for Housing and Slow Recovery
The number of people living under one roof is growing for the first time in more than a century, a fallout of the recession that could reduce demand for housing and slow the recovery.The Census Bureau had projected the average household size would continue to fall to 2.53 this year. Instead, the average is likely to hit 2.63, a small but significant increase because it is a turnabout.
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More Babies Born to Women Over 35 Than to Teens
More children are born to women older than 35 than to teenagers, a change born of medical science, later marriages and evolving attitudes about motherhood, according to a new study released Thursday. The Pew Research Center, citing census and government health statistics, said the trend toward mothers who are older and better educated cuts across all ethnicities in the United States.
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More American's Moved Last Year But Not Long Distance
More Americans moved last year than in the previous year, but most didn't go far, a sign that foreclosures and housing costs are still keeping people close to home. About 37.1 million Americans - 12.5% of the population - changed addresses from 2008 to 2009, the Census Bureau reported Monday.
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2009 Tax Bills Lowest Since 1950
Amid complaints about high taxes and calls for a smaller government, Americans paid their lowest level of taxes last year since Harry Truman's presidency, a USA Today analysis of federal data found. Some conservative political movements such as the "Tea Party" have criticized federal spending as being out of control. While spending is up, taxes have fallen to exceptionally low levels.
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Monday, May 3, 2010

The Latest WFS 25-Year Forecast: Douglas Castle's Commentary on Short-Term versus Long-Term Forecasts

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25-Year Trend Forecast Summary - Provided by THE WORLD FUTURE SOCIETY
 
Dear Friends, Futurists and Internationalists:
 
I am not necessarily in agreement with all of the trends cited (or hypothesized) by The World Future Society, but they are one of the many sources from which I derive my trend analyses and predictions. At most, some of what they touch upon in their newsletter promotion (re-published below) will come to pass -- at very least, WFS provides some very good, highly imaginative fuel for thought. I have taken the liberty of re-posting Thomas Mack's letter in its entirety, with a live hyperlink embedded within it to get you to see some of what WFS believes the future holds for us. Generally speaking it is wise to bear the following parameters in mind when evaluating any forecast offered by any Futurist:
 
1. Shorter-term forecasts (one to five years) tend to be more immediately useful and more probable, while the longer-range forecasts tend to be more a study in imagination than in statistical extrapolation.
 
2. Despite the inherent uncertainties and difficulties associated with longer-term forecasts (ten to fifty years), they have the possibility of actually shaping the future by occasionally introducing an idea which incites innovation and the ultimate manifestation of a self-fulfilling prophesy. It is the natural propensity of some early initiators and entrepreneurial spirits to seize upon a good idea and to make it into a reality, thereby actually having made the future conform to certain predictions.
 
Having said all of this, please enjoy what follows.
 
Faithfully,
 
Douglas Castle
________________________________

 


Dear FUTURIST UPDATE Subscriber:

The World Future Society and THE FUTURIST magazine are pleased to present our special bulletin, Forecasts for the Next 25 Years.

Just click the link below and you’ll discover...

Social and Technological Forecasts for the Next 25 Years...

The Outlook for Hydrogen Energy...

Nanotechnology Breakthroughs for the Next 15 years...

How to Spot Trends Ahead of the Crowd... and more.

For all the details — and to learn how you can keep on top of these trends by joining the World Future Society today — please click here:


Forecasts for the Next 25 Years.

Sincerely,

Timothy Mack
President
World Future Society

“My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there.”

-Charles F. Kettering

 

[Since you're a subscriber to Futurist Update, we thought you’d be interested in this bulletin. If you'd rather not receive such notices or have other comments, please reply to this email with “unsubscribe” in the subject line or contact Jeff Cornish (jcornish@wfs.org; 301-656-8274). To change your email address, please reply with “change” in the subject line and you new email in the body.]

####

 

Braintenance - Stay razor sharp.
The Internationalist Page - A world without barriers.
The Global Futurist - Revealing trends.
Taking Command! - Mastering your fate.
LINKS 4 LIFE - Crisis resources.
Follow TNNWC on Twitter
Join Us: Become a Member of the TNNWC GICBC [free] at http://bit.ly/JoinTNNWC.

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