I hate politics, but I love strategy… and when Daniel J. Graeber’s Wednesday 15th article “U.S. Energy Independence Weakens its Power” came out touching on U.S. energy independence and strategy, I couldn’t help but let my mind’s little wheels start spinning. The article touches on political theorist Walter Russell Mead’s reflection nearly a decade ago that superpowers cannot maintain dominance via force into perpetuity and that gaining geopolitical influence over global markets, such as OPEC members did in the 1970’s, is a greater guarantee of superpower continuity. The U.S. has been using wealth and food as its means of “geopolitical influence” for decades now, but gaining a “sticky power” via energy, would trump them all.
Archive for the ‘Strategic Thoughts’ Category
The US may feel that it has and prefers a “progressive” tax structure, but the effective enforcement as written is “regressive” in nature.
The Market is not an indicator of economic health. I suggest that it is better, or at least safer… to think of “the market” as an indicator of the health of an index of companies. Why draw a comparative difference? It is common to refer to the health of the economy in reference to “the market”. However, as high as “the market” may be rising, the economy is not healthy, as is easily reflected in our continued unemployment and consumer confidence levels.
I’ve been avoiding commenting on Cyprus out of concern that the discussions would turn more political than strategic in nature… and I wish to keep my commentary focused on strategy. I do, however, feel it is important to weigh in on all the discussions and comments I hear and read that discount the possibility that such a seizure of savings (wealth) isn’t possible here in the United States. It very simply is… and I feel that if I don’t state as much, it is tantamount to approval. More importantly than that, however, is how the United States will have concerning strategic options that Cyprus does not… and not pointing out such paths as I see them would also feel tantamount to approval.
For success in business, or any endeavor, execution is critical. As mentioned in my STOP Changing Strategy! post… allegedly 90% of all failed business strategies are due to a failure in execution. In this post, I simply wish to qualify that 90% and perhaps address the entirety of the other 10%, by warning all to never forget the importance of planned functional sustainability. Simply put, those that forget to consider the viability of a strategic plan’s operations and whether it is functionally sound enough to sustain it all the way to objective completion, has truly gambled their strategy’s execution feasibility. In short, the strategy is incomplete.
In March of last year I posted, Crowdfunding; Certain Future, an Uncertain Path… In it I discussed the need for a vetting period to really determine the strategic pros and cons of funding non-charity focused start-ups via masses of non-accredited investors. The additional managerial costs aside, we simply have no data on whether second round [...]
As some of you may have already read this morning, JP Morgan has been cleared of its Silver Market Manipulation Conspiracy charges. (Read more at Reuters.com) Investment strategy has always been an area of fascination for me and those that would attempt a market manipulation strategy even more so. That said, I could not help but monitor this whole to-do with great interest because of the great apparent ignorance of the plaintiff investors having an issue with JP Morgan (allegedly) driving silver prices down when our own government’s public policy since 1965 has been to do that very thing.
In my last post, “Real Estate Recovery? Assess before you Execute”, some of you expressed a desire for me to elaborate more on the “bubble” in “our Treasuries Market”. Quite simply, rising interest rates would be very, very bad for long term bonds. Our low interest rate and money printing policy has been held too long… and the only way they can go is up. The only questions remaining are when and by how much.
It sounds like new housing is up, that at least five major real estate markets are showing signs of improving and that the worst is past… This I find in the media. However, I also hear that foreclosures are still excessive, that the top 4 banks’ portfolios are disasters, that first-time homebuyers are MIA, and that the few mortgage loans that are being granted are only being done so with government guarantees (i.e. Fannie Mae). This I hear from my banking colleagues. With such mixed signals, how to read the market?
We all go through cycles of increased and decreased productivity. If you find yourself in a slump, what can you do to help speed up your recovery? Bearing in mind Pareto’s Rule that 80% of our productivity comes from a mere 20% of our activities, try listing the three (3) activities that gain you the most measurable productivity on a daily basis. Then limit your first couple hours of each morning to only these tasks.