Thursday, January 12, 2012

New Year, New Wisdom-?

It's not often that my morning reading throws up some good tidbits that combine to make things seem clearer, more optimistic, and generally uplifting.

The World Economic Forum has a list of 50 Risks for the coming year. As Inspector Renault said in Casablanca; "Round Up The Usual Suspects" They have and in keeping with anything titled "World" they have done so in 151 pages (64 in .pdf)... Scan when you can or use your imagination. A good counselor and wise person always starts with the obvious and proceeds to the Arcana. That makes the reader feel wise because; They knew it also. Still take a look.

Then contrast that with this article from Forbes; "Seven habits of Spectacularly Unsuccessful Executives" It's succinct and we all know these characters in our lives...and maybe we can identify a trait and stop ourselves from wading too far in that direction.

What do the two reports have in common... They highlight that most failures come from human frailty and success. Success stops hunting, stops running in fear of the chasing hordes who will come and take away market, talent, and provide something better, cheaper, easier, and cooler.

Albert Edwards of SocGen has some 11 forecasts... Again, most of which we knew, but it's nice to see the smart and rich people see much the same. This also comes with links and references to other. Have fun.

Watching the Know-Nothings dance around the pyre of Bain Capital is sad and interesting. All the Republicans who deplore growth of government, crony-capitalism and bail-outs of the Too-Large-To-Fail will have a hard time expressing those charges against President Obama when they have taken his side of the argument and savaged Romney... There are many stories in all the media... It's sad. We should be having a different discussion. This is a golden opportunity to educate and embolden American Entrepreneurs and business.

BUT it's also a reflection on our economic education level in America. TV and the schools have spent the last 50 years trashing business and denying that economic rules have consequences. The politicians have convinced many that only -THEY- can save them from the evil rich... Free Enterprise means "FREEDOM to risk your own money. Freedom to lose every penny. Freedom to provide a value for which consumers will pay a premium over your costs. Freedom to get rich." Free Enterprise does not mean a guaranteed anything... No jobs are guaranteed. No company is guaranteed that it will exist forever. No one is guaranteed that they will get rich. No one will have any assurance that they will not waste their money and time in pursuit of the dream. Seemingly, those who would be our Political Masters want to guarantee the success of every American... They cannot do that. They can only diminish the ability to risk much or be rewarded much...

Most people cannot tell you the difference between an "Operating Statement" or a "Balance Sheet". Yet, they all want to be paid more next year. They all want to have a safe and comfortable retirement. But they cannot be bothered with the math, the economics, the tools necessary to assure their participation in their own success. They simply wish to hire someone and sue when expectations fail to arrive. Is it any wonder that we have cities, counties and possibly states that will be broke by this time next year-? Free Money and lots of it is the only those self-proclaimed leaders hide from the hard details and call for bailouts to make it all go away. Do we have more road to kick-the-can-down-? Some say "NO-!"

Sad... America was once the home of the free...but we have chosen to look at our shoes and accept the words of fools as wisdom. We even lack the ability and initiative to read the books, watch the business channels, look up companies on the internet, and take care of our own future. Our wise-men are flailing about...

Looks like a very interesting year ahead. I recall someone saying that's a ancient Chinese curse. "May you live in interesting times"... Blessing or curse, we seem to have one and there is no way to avoid it.

No comments: