Archive for the ‘Business in Society’ Category

US Unemployment: Find the Problem, Not the Solution

By John Caslione in Business in Society, Economic Analysis at October 6th, 2009

While the news of the increased unemployment isn’t the best for the US (and the world), let’s keep it in perspective and find the “silver lining” in it, albeit it in the future, as there is none at the present moment.  As we quoted in Chaotics, “It isn’t that they can’t see the solution.  It’s that they can’t see the problem.”   Seeing the problem will take a bit more time, so don’t be surprised if unemployment in the US tops 10 percent by the end of 2009 and stays there into 1Q10.

More and more companies will eventually begin to realize that what we’re experiencing is not merely a deep, prolonged recession, but rather a wholesale restructuring of the economy—and moreover, that we’ve entered The Age of Turbulence—which will require new business platforms—Chaotics Platforms—to handle turbulence and minimize or prevent chaos.  Once business and government leaders begin to understand what they must do, I’m confident that the unemployment figures will begin to reverse direction.

Also, once transitional unemployment begins to settle down sometime next year—to somewhere around or just above 8 percent, that the US, and the world, economies will be on firmer footing.  While the idea of a floor of 8 percent unemployment may be troubling to many, let’s focus on the 92 percent that will be employed on a more solid footing, and be better able to hold up the US economy during turbulence — and even heightened turbulence.

Peaks and valleys

By John Caslione in Business in Society, Business strategies, Chaotic Strategies, Chaotics, Economic Analysis at July 4th, 2009

On the front page of the Financial Times July 2nd, the lead article was titled Signs of global recovery in data . It stated that any euphoria about the encouraging data is muted by serious concerns that any “recovery” will not be sustained.

Moreover, the positive news was more couched in terms of the global financial crisis ending as opposed to than the global recession ending, particularly in Western markets in the US and North America, the UK and Europe, Japan, Australia, etc.

By the end of the day, markets in America had sufferred a crushing blow based on worse than expected employment data.  Today’s FT headline: US jobs data scupper lingering optimism over speedy recovery  

The Age of Turbulence is in full force.  The best businesses will manage accordingly.

Stress Tests – A Corporate Necessity for the “New Normality”

By John Caslione in Business in Society, Business strategies, Chaotic Strategies, Recommendations at May 21st, 2009

Based upon the recent news in the US about the US Treasury Dept mandating stress tests for US banks (with at least 50 percent of the banks failing the tests), so should Boards of Directors of ALL companies – publicly traded or private, large and small – apply their own stress tests and compel the executive management of their companies to be responsive, robust and resilient – a type of “Chaotics certification”. This is especially compelling as many markets (including the US and the EU) attach personal liability to directors who fail to act responsibly in their duties as directors.

Book Recommendation: House of Cards

By Chaotics in Business in Society, Recommendations, Turbulence at March 19th, 2009

In a recent review of the book House of Cards by William D. Cohen, the International Herald Tribune writes:

“In March 2008, when the 85-year-old firm Bear Stearns — the United States’ fifth-largest investment bank, which had survived every crisis of the 20th century, from the Great Depression to the market dive of 1987 without a single losing quarter — crashed and burned in little over a week, it became a harbinger of the credit crisis that snowballed later in the year and led to the current global financial meltdown. As William D. Cohan makes clear in his engrossing new book, “House of Cards,” Bear Stearns is also a kind of microcosm of what went wrong on Wall Street — from bad business decisions to a lack of oversight to greedy, arrogant CEOs — and a parable about how the second Gilded Age came slamming to a fast and furious end.”

We’re recommending this book due to its insightful look into the new era we’ve entered, The Age of Turbulence.  From the LA Times book review:

“It seems almost achingly quaint to recall those warm and hazy days when “banker” was a synonym for sobriety and propriety — a time when those who worked in finance, as well as those who reported on it, believed that a pinstriped suit connoted one thing and a chalk stripe something else entirely.

Anyone who still retains such antique illusions will lose them in fewer than 10 pages into “House of Cards: A Tale of Hubris and Wretched Excess on Wall Street,” William D. Cohan’s masterfully reported account of the collapse of Bear Stearns, the investment banking house whose implosion a year ago this month signaled the beginning of the worst global financial crisis since the Great Depression.”

Check it out: House of Cards by William D. Cohen.