Wednesday, December 28, 2011

5 Giant Industry And Techno-Trends: The Global Futurist

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Drawing from a variety of sources during the course of these past four weeks, I've distilled the information I've gathered regarding major trends (industries and technologies) down to my favorite five, each of which which I believe is going to be booming during the next five years, and each of which warrants careful observation, as well as some business and investment planning. But, of course, I do not offer any investment, financial, legal, health or tax advice.

One thing that all of these giant industry and technological trends have in common is that they are each already significantly underway. They are all gaining momentum. Quickly.

1. Nanotechnology, Nanotubes And Cardiovascular Pipecleaning.

Big Think Daily Ideafeed 15 October 2011
Microscopic Robots in Your Bloodstream
Engineers have used carbon nanotubes to create artificial muscle that moves like an elephant's trunk, which could be used to propel microscopic nanobots through the bloodstream.

2. Stem Cells, Computers and LIFE.

Researchers grow partial pituitary gland using stem cells

Japanese researchers used embryonic stem cells to grow partial pituitary glands, then transplanted the tissue in the kidneys of mice without pituitary glands. The transplanted tissue returned hormone levels to normal, according to the study published in Nature. The initiative is part of a worldwide effort to grow complete organs in a lab setting using stem cells. The Guardian (London) (12/4)...

And there's much more:


What's the Latest Development? [From BigThink's Idea Newsletter] - Computer Printer-Assisted Bone Regrowth.

3D printers have been used to create bone-like material which researchers say could aid in repairing injuries. The new material would act like scaffolding, promoting the growth of new cells and then dissolve away with no ill-effects. Professor Susmita Bose, who helped carry out the work at Washington State University, has been at work on the material for four years. A breakthrough came recently when she found a way to double the strength of the main ceramic powder—calcium phosphate—by adding silica and zinc oxide.

What's the Big Idea?

Within just a few years, doctors could use the printing technique to custom-order replacement of bone tissue. "Tests carried on immature foetal bone cells in the laboratory found that new bone cells started growing over the scaffold within the first week of it being attached." Dr. Bose predicts that within a decade or two, doctors will be able use artificial bone from 3D printers as scaffolds, along with bone growth factors, to repair anything from a broken jaw to a broken spine.

Photo credit:

3. Video Surveillance, Mobile Tracking and RFID
  • Malls use cellphone location data to track shoppers
    Malls in California and Virginia have begun using cellphone signals to track the locations of shoppers. The malls use the tools to triangulate shoppers' locations based on their cellphone signals as part of a trial that runs through the end of the year. Forest City, which owns the malls, says it is not collecting any data that could identify a shopper, though experts say the data could be paired with other sources of information to target offers. Some experts, however, have raised questions about the legality of such tracking. Ars Technica (11/26)

4. An Increase In The Number Of Prisons, Prisoners, Privatization Of Facilities, And Incarceration-Related Employment - Prisons Are One Of The Largest Domestic Growth Industries In The USA.

Prison Nation

December 21, 2011 by

Prison Nation
There are more than 2.3 million people in American prisons.
America has come to be more like North Korea than the America our fathers grew up in. The United States is not a country descending into totalitarianism. Totalitarianism, the police state, is here.

According to a recent study in the journal Pediatrics and reported in USAToday, one in three Americans will be arrested by the time they are 23. That’s up from 22 percent of youths that age 44 years ago.

Crimes leading to arrest in this age group range from truancy and vandalism to shoplifting and underage drinking to assault and murder. Criminologist Megan Kurlychek told the newspaper that localities handled many minor offenses more informally 40 years ago than they do now.

“Society is a lot less tolerant of these teenage behaviors,” she said.

In fact, it’s not just teenage behaviors society is not tolerating. Now elementary school children are charged with sexual assault over innocent hugs and kisses and assault when they get into fights on school grounds.

And with drug laws criminalizing possession of as little marijuana as a seed or stem, it’s easy to understand why there are more than 2.3 million people in American prisons.

According to a 2008 study by the Pew Center on the States, one in 100 Americans is behind bars. For blacks, the statistics are staggering. One in 15 black men aged 18 or older is behind bars. For blacks ages 20 to 34, the number is one in nine. Black women are three times more likely to be incarcerated than white women.

America’s rate of incarceration far outpaces countries like South Africa and Iran. For every 100,000 Americans, 750 are in jail. In Germany the rate is only 93 per 100,000.

In America, people can be fined and/or imprisoned for simply taking raw milk across State lines, selling “unapproved” rabbits, or uprooting a plant or draining a pond on their own property.

Now, Congress has passed and the President has signed legislation that designates America a battlefield in the War on Terror and subjects Americans to indefinite incarceration without a hearing.

Face it: America is now a prison Nation. And with America’s penchant for militarism and her people’s fondness of orators, Herr Hitler would feel right at home. ####
The profits and possibilities for companies in the building and management of prisons are promising. They'll be job opportunities for returning soldiers, retired law enforcement, and some local, but otherwise unskilled labor. And demand will continue to expand as the "Nation Of Regulation, Litigation And Incarceration" -- that's the United States...Land of the free/ Home of the brave -- continues to try to fuel a failing economy and an ever-increasing draconian system of punishment by A) locking up non-violent offenders and destroying families [leading to more crime] and B) giving non-productive jail-based jobs to anybody who is still outside of the prison (and is not an escapee) after the evening's lockdown.

5. Electroshock, Direct Computer-Brain Interaction And Virtual Reality To Enhance Learning Ability, Accompanied By A Renewed Interest In Subliminal Entrainment.

The following article excerpt appears courtesy of a slightly-dated but highly-relevant edition of BigThinks's Daily IdeaFeed. The article was every bit as stimulating (pun intended) as the slightly-Frakensteinian notion of using a highly-refined variant of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), a controversial treatment for schizophrenia, catatonia, and some forms of severe clinical depression in order to stimulate and accelerate learning (the assimilation of knowledge) as well as recall (the ability to rapidly access the assimilated knowledge), and intelligence (the ability to use assimilated knowledge to identify and solve problems -- putting it simply):
Mild Electric Shocks Speed Learning
Running a mild electric current through the brain improves learning speed, according to Air Force researchers. The technique was used to teach personnel how to identify drone targets.
Don't throw away those binaural and subliminal CDs. Keep Your Headphones. Entrainment [the creation of thoughts and emotions by inducing brain wave patterns through external means] will indeed be making a comeback, with improved targeting and precise technology. It is interesting to note that the brain tends to "pick up the rhythm' to certain patterned beats and sounds through an amazing process of mimicry. Whether this is done with headphones or electrodes, the possibilities are exciting, if not just a bit frightening. The ultimate result would be similar to Neo's crash course in, and rapid mastery of various styles of martial arts by immersion in a computer-simulated and controlled environment. Virtual reality is going to be an increasing preoccupation. Whether for education or recreation, the temptation of alternative realms is far too exciting to stay put.

Douglas E. Castle for THE GLOBAL FUTURIST

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Bioenergetics - The Ultimate Power Source

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Living organisms consume food (as fuel) and carry on with the various tasks of living. Each living creature is a consumer and creator of bioenergy. Plant and animal bioenergetics is being looked at very seriously as a potentially limitless source of power for virtually every conceivable use. The difference between input (food) and output (work) is the magical key.

The issues surrounding its inevitable development and deployment include:

1) Obtaining it efficiently;

2) Transporting (or 'conducting') it efficiently;

3) Storing it for future use with a minimal loss or decay factor;

4) Converting it from one form to another as may be required in the circumstances;

5) Multiplying its efficiency in terms of input versus output, and perpetuating the production cycle.

Regarding this latter issue, picture the example of trying to get a hamster to cycle a wheel to the greatest number of revolutions per minute while feeding it the least expensive source of nutrition.

If you combine living creatures which are highly energetic little machines (such as microbes or even viruses) which consume waste products or pollutants for the purpose harnessing a source of energy, several perplexing problems facing us in the present and in the future could theoretically be solved (or at least mitigated) simultaneously.

The utopian picture of bioenergetics would be harnessing energetic output to produce electricity from a species of microbes which consumes oil spills and excretes (as a byproduct of the energy production process) harmless waste products that are readily biodegradable, or perhaps even useful.

I strongly believe that enterprises which invest in bioenergetics in any aspect will begin to make an appearance late in 2012 (principally as academically-sponsored start-ups and ventures), and will be very valuable in terms of profit potential and stock pricing potential by the third quarter of 2015.

The following article excerpt comes to us courtesy of SmartPlanet:

Using everyday microbes to power electrical devices

A grad student is improving technology that creates electrical fuel cells from everyday microbes like yeast. Read the full story

This field is fashionably green, ecologically unassailable, and addresses an almost unimaginably enormous demand while simultaneously solving some very serious problems. It has the ancillary sociological benefit of bringing together a merger of interests between naturalists and preservationists with the lust for innovation and profits of entrepreneurs and capital providers. Perhaps some venture capitalists, accredited angel investors and crowdfunding organizers are listening.

I would certainly hope so.

Douglas E. Castle for The Global Futurist

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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Trading Commercialization For Public Access: Crowdsourcing, Brainstorming, Collaboration

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English: Front of white iPad 2.Image via Wikipedia - Apps and Icons

Crowdsourcing, Brainstorming And Collaboration: everyone seems to see the benefits to the populace as a whole when 'free' computer and mobile apps, 'open source' programs and software products are made available to the eager, ever-hungry public. The group-centered creative process is indisputably powerful -- its magic formula... limitless access to limitless numbers of limitless minds. The distribution process is hyper-efficient: all of the co-creators and their social circles will use, review and promote what's produced. Ultimately, word and utilization travel virally.

The social media and communications platforms benefiting (i.e., improving or increasing their respective use of their platforms; platforms and communications media like Twitter, Facebook, iPad, Blogger, Wordpress and others)  by this seemingly endless cloudburst of apps even help to encourage ["Developers? Work with our API to develop your ingenious new applications and integrated uses for our product! Work with our development team.), advertise and promote them.

Confession: The title of this article is slightly misleading. Apologies. My trend-watchers, predictors, market prognosticators and sophisticated business audience already know that the notion of "trading" commercialization for public access is actually ephemeral. Sooner or later, the endgame is invariable the harnessing of every application, innovation and invention for a profit. It's just a matter of "How?" and "When?" And after these are answered, the question is "Who will gain and who will turn (the customerization process) from a free-user to a monthly payer or subscriber?"

Skeptics ask two questions: "Who makes a profit?" and "How do they make it?" Take a glance at the following article excerpt, which is over a month old but incredibly applicable, and then please hit the "BACK" button on the upper left-hand corner of your browser and return. We'll wait for you.

From the BigThink Daily IdeaFeed:

Crowdsourced And Free Navigation Apps Taking Off
New, free navigation apps with an emphasis on social features and crowdsourced data are providing competition for premium providers such as TomTom, Garmin, CoPilot and Navigon.


And now to the ever-irksome questions that are begging to be asked by business strategists, obsessive monetizers, dependent users and Global Futurists... and other persons who are considered by some to be skeptics and cynics, but whom I consider to be intelligent business pragmatists.

The process of monetization of these "open" and "free" source innovations is ongoing, but I believe that the timeframe from first release of new technology to monetization is going to be shrinking as a result of the weak global economy, the rise in the acceptability and utilization of cybercommerce, the increasing dependence on mobile devices for information and communication, and the growing population of people actively involved (either socially or commercially) in social media.

Ego gratification and the desire to share may initiate the creative processes, but real-world, real-time necessity accelerates the compulsion to convert from ego gratification and "psychic income" to creative conversion over to monetization.


1) Developers - Developers will be paid in the form of awards, contest prizes, promotion, and occasionally sales-based royalties from the benefitted platforms and media. If the developers have used open-sourcing, collaboration or crowd-sourcing they could, in theory pro-rate their benefits (both direct financial and endorsement-based) with their many collaborators as stakeholders. It is far more likely that the visionary organizers of these projects shall benefit directly and give 'thanks' to their contributors in the form of honorable mention. Exploiters often dominate and prevail. Others, less assertive merely settle for 'thanks,' laminated MVP certificates, bragging rights and other honorable discharges and trivial dismissal documents.

Some developers will be acquired, individually or corporately by the platform and media hosts in a "brain roundup" of talent and in marriages of political convenience -- i.e., to avoid IP legal battles and to avoid encouraging too much entrepreneurial independence. Picture a kinder, gentler Bill Gates, giving you a choice between a wonderful, glamorous career or an exsanguination. 

Other developers will remain independent and continue to offer a free version of their innovations, but will begin developing and offer a "premium" or "professional" upgraded version of their products and services for a small recurring fee to the users. Picture charging a growing population of adherents a very small nuisance tax that is just too inexpensive to be objectionable. Heck, my subscription to Pingler only costs me $5.00 per month. I couldn't live without it. To get the Widgetbox "Pro" membership costs me, on average, $1.99 per month -- while I don't use it much, I just can't be bothered to cancel it.

2) The Platform Hosts And Media Providers - These companies will be benefitted by an increased flood of user volume to their respective platforms and media due to the convenience and an increased us of these applications, from Sudoku, to GPS restaurant locators, to mobile apps to access and support all of your social media and messaging activity. Firstly, their revenues will be increased from advertisers and commercial users due to their decreasing CPM and ever-increasing social and business audience and influence. Advertisers and promoters will be paying more to these old pros -- rates will rise.

After advertisers and commercial users are more fully trussed up and dependent, these larger hosts and providers will go after consumers (picture Bank Of America, Netflix and your beloved utilities providers raising prices to end-users directly, but with less fanfare, and engendering less hatred or mass exodus threats). Of course, once consumers begin to get used to the idea of paying a "trivial" fee for what used to be free services, those fees will never, ever be reduced --- I would predict a high likelihood that they will be increased on a regular basis thereafter.

3) Collaborators, As Teams And Individual Members - As the participants in these large, currently nameless, faceless crowds become more sophisticated with time, experience and watching the success of the early-exploiters (my projected horizon for this awakening is over the course of three years, starting toward the end of the first quarter of 2012, and slowing down toward the end of the time horizon due a flooding of the marketplace with app litter, increased competition amongst these collaborative developer teams, i.e., bidding the price of the services down in accordance with the basic Law Of Supply And Demand), and the increased acceptance of software as a service with the expansion of the Cloud.

Incidentally, "The Cloud" still scares me. This is not only in terms of the dependency on yet a new set of utilities-like companies, but also due to the increased vulnerability to data theft, and the cost of downtime and defaults, and a feeling of the backups and modifications and parallel systems which will have to be deployed by companies which wish to mitigate and contain the risks involved in this "one-size-fits-all" type of solution. Also, The Cloud sounds ominously like the title of a B-grade science fiction movie or of a lesser Stephen King short story.

Douglas E. Castle for The Global Futurist

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Mandarin Madness: Self-Fulfilling Prophesy

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As is the case in many trends and their ultimate outcomes, a strong perception of the "inevitable future" becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. Put succinctly, the belief becomes the truth because our actions in response to that belief make it so. The anticipated domination of  China in both the consumer and producer sectors has led to an increase in the number of students in industrialized nations who are learning to speak Mandarin. This is being encouraged by adding this language to the elective studies in high schools and colleges, and further fed by employment statisticians, economists and even professional and industry management recruiters who are preparing the next class of graduates for jobs where speaking Mandarin will give them the "edge."

It is also interesting that this phenomenon once applied to learning to speak Japanese in the late 1970s and in the 1980s in the United States, but to a smaller extent in terms of schools offering the elective and the number of students (as a percentage of total students) choosing to study.

The likely reasons that this newer wave of linguistic leaning is so much greater in proliferation and participation that the earlier one (i.e., learning to speak Japanese) are listed below:

1) The media are constantly speaking of China's inevitable rise to dominance, and the viralized potency of the new social media echoing this point did not exist during the "Japanese Period.";

2) There is less resistance to the idea than previously because their has been an increasing contingent of Asian-Americans and Asian-Europeans during the most recent 20-year span of time. This has had the secondary effect of infusing Chinese culture (and partially-Chinese offspring) into these countries with far more pervasive immigration than ever in history;

3) Unemployment is so intimidatingly high in the Western countries, that learning Mandarin is seen as a survival skill as well as a competitive advantage in accessing employment at the increased number of large firms which are multinationals and internationals. The increase in the number of major firms which are multicultural is simply the result of an increasingly globalized economy brought about through improved efficiencies in communications technology, an ever-increasing number of multi-national co-ventures;

4) University tuition has become so expensive (relative to the rise in cost of many other traditional family staples), that colleges and universities are trying to cater to the increasing market for students who want to be International Business majors. Colleges need tuition revenues from enrolled and matriculating students in order to survive in a very "dry" economy;

5) Referring back to point number 1), above, even articles like this one, with its catchy title (I am rather proud of it), are being amplified and reverberated throughout cyberspace by social media. In merely writing this article, I am contributing an increment of increased momentum and credibility to this Mandarin Madness.

An excerpt from an article which discusses this new international trendency (not a misspelling, but a Lingovation). It further validates the emerging interest in the perceived opportunities in the business of Planetary Geographical Arbitrage as it applies to both education and employment.

Remember this: "We shape the future by our reactions to anticipated visions of the future." 

Douglas E Castle

Learning Mandarin gains momentum in European, US classrooms
Gains in China's economic standing also have brought about a greater desire for children in the United States and Europe to speak Mandarin, which is supplanting Spanish and German as the second tongue of choice in some schools. More than 3% of American elementary schools offer the language, a large increase considering less than 1% did during the 1990s. "One way or another, China is the future," said Olaf Mertens, a school headmaster in Belgium. The Globe and Mail (Toronto)/Financial Times (17 Oct.)


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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

College Education? Inevitable "Trend-ency".

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An excellent presentation regarding the current status of college and post-collegiate education and an emerging trend which portends a very sensible paradigm shift. This information appears courtesy of BigThink. But first, I'll give you the Douglas E. Castle perspective regarding The Future Of College Education.

Higher education (particularly in the United States) has gotten increasingly expensive -- to the extent that the average college graduate will emerge with from the endeavor saddled with hundreds of thousands of dollars of inescapable debt, no assurance of employment (or of any type of employment which could possibly generate an annual income as great as a single year's college tuition and expenses), and a very limited practical skill set. The question being asked by many is "What is my ROI on my bachelors or masters degree?" The answer, generally speaking, is far too little.

Several variables combine to produce an alternative trend in education which shows some promise for the future - at least for the students as prospective graduates and members of the workforce.

The variables are: increased cost, decreased utility and improved computer/educational technology. Welcome to the growing possibility of telecommuting your way to an advanced degree.

As a trend-spotter and a Global Futurist, I anticipate the precipitous decline of many universities with extensive physical infrastructure and burdensome fixed costs, a decline in physical college attendance, and an increase in online degrees. I don't believe that this will necessarily lead to a decline in the quality or availability of education (in fact, it will be a positive game-changer for both), but I do believe it will completely change the nature of the educational experience. Dormitory life, frat parties and the social and emotional growth and development which accompanied the traditional full-time, away from home collegiate 'rites of passage' will be gone.

Sadly, I believe that this will impair the development of self-disciplinary, decision making and social adaptation and integration skills which are created as ancillary benefits of the "going away to school" adventure. This may well leave future generations of telecommuted graduates less able to be self-directed and to socialize effectively in their working environments. In a society that is becoming de-socialized and de-personalized, this sea change in the delivery of education will accelerate these negative processes, leaving graduates with "sterile degrees" and a lack of crucial personal and interpersonal survival skills. This would seem to be a tragic loss.

But then, education, and the degrees conferred, will be more accessible to a greater percentage of the qualified prospective student situation. In the simplest terms, there will be more "geeks" and theorists (without any life experience) being produced, and fewer prospective marketers, strategists, leaders and other technical professionals produced.

We will feel this shift in the change of the character of the entrants to the workforce within the next year, with the trend to increase significantly during the course of the next ten years at very least. Many non-telecommuting US students will leave the US to study abroad (another cost-saving alternative), and they will be in great demand. Employers in the United States and, to a lesser extent, the other industrialized nations, will find it very difficult to find viable, socially-adept employees to help them build and sustain their companies.

Enjoy the presentation from BigThink which follows.

Rethinking Higher Education
Rethinking Higher Education
Adam Glick
A new online course that is currently being offered at Harvard, Yale and Bard is threatening to disrupt higher education as we know it. As tuition costs continue to skyrocket, parents and students are demanding answers to this question: what am I getting as the return on my $50 thousand annual investment that is college tuition today? Floating Univeristy offers an alternative. The best professors in the country present online lectures that students can access from anywhere. Watch » 
Douglas E Castle

p.s. "Trend-ency" or its variant, "Trendency" is indeed a Lingovation

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Unnecessary Decline Of Civilization

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Civilization is essentially a business arrangement of convenience entered into by all parties so that each may be better benefited by the expertise, the experience and the contributions (in terms of cooperative and collaborative efforts harmoniously in synergy). A civilization is also very much like a multi-cellular organism, where each cell (i.e., participant) must be reasonably independent and self-managing, but also cooperative in terms of society's "business plan."

If the plan is unclear, if the roles of the participants are uncertain, if there are no policies (i.e., laws and parameters of conduct), or if those policies are capriciously applied without regard to balance, fairness, justice and predictability, and if incentives are not offered for doing things of benefit for society as a whole, the body of civilization disintegrates, as does any overripe, under-managed 'business' that has forgotten or chooses to ignore the reasons for which it was formed.

Every Human Being is a participant in civilization in multiple aspects and capacities.

A bloated system which ignores the notion of contribution and meritocracy, and instead embraces plutocracy, privilege and waste, will lose the faith, initiative and cooperation of its stakeholders (the participants), its employees (the participants) and its clients (the participants).

As the focus of our participants moves away from such once-thought-noble objectives as teaching and helping others; innovating and creating "new" things; gaining and maintaining a reputation for trustworthiness; self-growth; supported entrepreneurship; free and open dialogue and exchanges of ideas; a true opportunity to serve, and direct political elections based upon individual merits of candidates (and not based upon the sizes of their budgets); a streamlined government which does not itself act as an ever-growing parasite subsisting off of the contributions of the participants (hosts) and offering less and less service in exchange for more and more intrusive control at a higher and higher 'commission rate,' extorted in the form of taxes and money creation...we become increasingly (and perhaps preemptively) selfish.

The situation is exacerbated by feeble leadership, increasing inefficiencies, diminished expectations and a lack of positive reinforcement for genuine achievement. When people work for the government but the government doesn't work for the people, when greed eclipses good, when all assessment becomes subjective, the stage is set for a social decline.

Our decline has already begun, and is accelerating worldwide. As a business in the macroscopic sense, civilization neither turns a profit nor justifies, by the decreasing benefits which it bestows upon its participants, its very existence.

As Futurists, we must anticipate a decline in civilization if the implicit trends referenced above are not reversed -- and momentum, combined with typical Human reactivism, are driving us to the brink of some form of neo-feudalism with large enterprises as the warlords who will command us under the guise of protection.

Be prepared. There will be mush more to discuss on the implications, timing, risk mitigation, and intelligent intervention in order to either exploit this coming era of entropy (a seemingly immoral choice), or to plan to surf the coming tsunami.

It is painful to think that this is a generalized trend...poorer service, increased institutionalized lawlessness, de-personalization, diminished expectations and standards, unproductive expenditure and profligate 'bonus entitlement', is, in a sense the triumph of Humankind's animal Nature over the spark of divinity which I believe resides in most if not all of us.

In subsequent posts, we talk about what we need to do as individuals, as families, and as businesses owners and managers.

Douglas E Castle [] 

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Cash As A Commodity: MiniTrend

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When banks hold onto cash and the amount of liquidity in the economy-at-large rapidly dries up, companies historically have responded reactively (impulsively) in the short run (starting six months after a media-magnified cash crunch and continuing into a period where indications in the economy point very strongly toward general inflation. Companies hoard troves of cash out of an amalgam of fear and greed -- fear that no further credit will be available to fuel expansion or to address unexpected needs, and greed -- where cash is scarce, and asset values (exclusive of exchange-traded securities) are declining either because of a shortage of viable buyers or customers, or because of anticipated worsening in the economy.

The rating of the United States as a sovereign credit may have been downgraded, and many are speaking about the decline of the value of the dollar vis-a-vis other currencies, but this is of little real consequence within the community of dollar holders with an eye for bargains and arbitrage. You need ready cash in order to be able to secure distress-sale bargains.

Viewing cash as a commodity, which so many fail to do, makes it increase in value when it is in shorter supply, and when it can be used to purchase even more than before in terms of larger-ticket income-producing assets, equipment, et cetera.

It might be well worth your while to have a look at an article just posted on The InfoSphere Business Alerts! Blog. The article can be accessed at

The conventional wisdom would have us believe that corporations (as investing entities) would be fleeing dollars as a store of value, and running to invest in gold, or oil stocks, or FOREX. The fact of the matter is that Corporate America knows that large reserves of cash are wonderful to have in an economy where prices of many assets, supplies and resources are temporarily depressed. Expect corporations and large organizations, both US and international, to be piling up cash reserves until the prices of assets seem to have truly "bottomed out," or after the first few months (three to six months, generally speaking) of reports of rising general inflation.

Were I to hazard a guess, I believe that corporate self-banking, especially in US Dollars, will continue for at least another year to a year-and-a-half, and that reasonably-profitable small- to mid-sized companies are already starting to follow the example of the cash collectors...companies like Apple, for example.

Ironically, this self-banking in response to the contractionary credit environment is actually helping to support and bolster the value of the US Dollar. And that, friends, readers and colleagues, is not necessarily a bad thing.

Douglas E Castle []
InfoSphere Business Alerts And Intelligence [http://InfoSphereBusinessAlerts]

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