Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Rehypothecation of Gold, and Why It Matters

Claiming to own X quantity of gold is one thing, and reporting how many times the gold has been pledged as collateral is another.


When correspondent Scott A. Batten offered to write an explanation of the rehypothecation of gold and why it matters, I quickly accepted. Like many others, I have breezed over the word rehypothecation with the basic understanding that it means assets pledged by counterparties (such as the infamous copper stored in Chinese warehouses) are reused as collateral/repledged--in effect, the same assets are pledged as collateral multiple times.

But beyond this, I have not had a clear understanding of how the rehypothecation of gold reserves threatens the whole shaky edifice of Infinite Greed, oops, I mean neoliberal capital markets.

Here is Scott's commentary:

When introducing a new concept, it is best to start with the definition of the words to be used. In this case, the discussion of rehypothecation and how it places the world at risk with the fun and games played in the stock market.

Rehypothecation:

Rehypothecation occurs when your broker, to whom you have hypothecated -- or pledged -- securities as collateral for a margin loan, pledges those same securities to a bank or other lender to secure a loan to cover the firm's exposure to potential margin account losses.

When you open a margin account, you typically sign a general account agreement with your broker, in which you authorize your broker to rehypothecate.

Now, let’s put this into easy to understand language. Let’s say that you have ten dollars. You take it to the bank to let them “borrow” it, while paying you interest. What you have done, in reality, is given them your money to use as they see fit, while giving you a small percentage of the gains that they will earn. A bank would loan the money to a home buyer or perhaps a small business. At the very least, they can lend all the money in excess of their requirement to hold some cash as reserves--say 10% for ease of math.

They now have nine dollars to invest. Their last resort is to offer it to another bank for that bank to “hold”, because that bank doesn’t have enough money to meet its required reserves. Seems simple enough, right?

Welcome to the games bankers play to make money. Now that this simple format is in place, let’s move to where the serious dangers lie.

Precious Metals:

During World War II, many foreign countries feared that their gold reserves, which at the time backed their paper money, might be taken by an enemy and in 1939, the good old USA was a very neutral country, like Switzerland, only there was a much better deterrent than the Alps-- the Atlantic Ocean. So, many countries--England, France, and others--sent us their gold bars to be stored alongside ours in Fort Knox. Later, after the war was over, we convinced them that it was fine to leave it there and in fact, with the Cold War starting other countries joined in, including Germany.

Now, what good is a pile of gold sitting in a fort going to do? It costs a lot to protect it, and the US was paying a small sum in interest, while getting a smaller sum back in “protection fees”. So, the Federal Reserve had a wonderful idea, at least in their minds.

Since we have this gold, let’s issue paper on that gold as though it was ours, after all it is sitting in Fort Knox, and earn a bit of money on the side. So long as the Cold War lasted, the gold certainly wasn’t going anywhere. Here is where the trouble began. It was pretty small potatoes for a good while, until we went off the gold standard in 1971 during the Nixon Administration. What good is having a precious metal to back fiat currency, when a promise is just as good? Enter the danger zone.

Now, the gold in Fort Knox isn’t doing anything. So, what to do? Well, each bar of gold has a unique mark on it to say who owns it. The Cold War is still raging, so no one is going to ask for it back anytime soon. Let’s melt down some of that gold, just a small percentage of it, and sell it off as bullion. Gold is high and the foreign countries won’t ask for it all, so let’s skim a bit here and there. No one will know, and we can make money.

Then debts started to accrue, so they got brazen and started melting bars and reselling bars as their own gold, because they don’t want to use their own gold, when German gold is just the same, except for that little mark. Erase the mark and put your own on it and sell it as yours, using your gold as the “backer” in case Germany asks for some of it back.

Well, it wasn’t long until greed set in. Those gold bars that were sold to say, China or Japan, were resold to Austria or Iraq. Much like the bundling and reselling of home loans in the 1990’s, soon the German melted gold was in seven different countries with seven different marks, but no German mark upon them remained. This still wasn’t the breaking point though, after all there is still plenty of Gold in Fort Knox to cover what is owed to them.

I don’t know who’s idea it was, but it was a bad idea. They decided that they could sell paper promises of gold being held in the vaults. The last number I saw was 140%. Which means that if they have 100 pounds of gold, they can sell paper as though they have 140 pounds of gold. Now, they can also sell that gold outright as well. So, it's possible that they could sell 140 pounds of paper gold and sell a portion of the physical gold. too.

Confused yet? Here is where we stand today. No one knows how much gold is really in Fort Knox. We only know what they say is in Fort Knox. The same is likely true for the Federal Reserve and possibly the major banks; after all, if the Fed starts demanding to know what’s in those banks, they might have to show theirs too. So, let’s say that the economy starts to really go south around the world. As you know from the news, Germany asked to see their gold at Fort Knox and were denied, so they asked for their gold back. Smart move on Germany’s part in my mind. Answer from the Fed, we will get it to you sometime in the near future. This wasn’t challenged by Germany.

Why? Rehypothecation. Germany knows that they have been doing the same thing with gold that we have. It’s been sold to multiple people at the same time, under the theory that not everyone will want it at the same time, so we can just move it around as needed.

This game of musical golden chairs works fine, until the musical economy stops. When countries start to rack up debt and desire to sell their own gold to pay the bill, and they can’t get it, they get nervous. Now, if the economy is going south and the price of gold is heading up because of fear, those people holding paper gold in the form of futures or just deposit promises begin to sell off for profit or out of financial need. So long as it’s a trickle, no problem, but if it becomes a torrent....

Remember the 140% rule? Well, what if the Federal Reserve only kept 60% of the 100% that the paper gold was written on? Now there is an 80% shortage. Someone is about to have their musical golden chair pulled out from under them. They will get paid, BUT that payment will come as fiat currency. As the golden parachute deflates, how good is fiat currency? This is why there are so many on the fringe demanding to see the gold reserves and others are saying gold will hit $5,000 an ounce or higher. It is theoretically possible that for each gold promise, that it is backed by 1/5 or less of physical gold. No one knows, because no one can audit the physical gold.

China is getting ready to release their gold reserves. That is, they will do like the Fed and say how much they have. We cannot call them on their real reserves, because then they can do the same to us. Now, if all the gold is still in Fort Knox and the Federal Reserve, then the US can call for a real accounting and show ours as well.

However, if we don’t and China does, and calls for the US to do the same, then a lot of fear enters the market. There is a reason that people say "never own paper metals." This is that reason. You might get the value of that gold, but it will be in fiat currency and if things are crumbling then fiat promises become flat losses.

Thank you, Scott, for the explanation. It's a funny thing about financial games; whatever the Mainstream Financial Media mocks as conspiracy theories often later turn out to be accurate.

I do not claim any expertise in the gold/paper gold markets, but it's clear that claiming to own X quantity of gold is one thing, and reporting how many times the gold has been pledged as collateral is another. In a transparent financial system, the citizens of the U.S. would be invited to tour Fort Knox (in small, secure groups, of course) and count the nation's gold directly. What's the harm in showing off the gold to anyone willing to go through security?

Why keep the nation's gold reserves so mysteriously secret? What's the point in being so cagey about it? Maybe rehypothecation isn't the reason for the secrecy; then what is? Fear of precisely what? Isn't gold supposed to be a foolish relic? What's the danger in letting people look at the foolish relic and count the bars and note the serial numbers on the bars? What's the risk in that?

I propose turning Fort Knox into a profitable tourist attraction. If gold is just a foolish relic, then charge $50 a person to wander around "our" gold. It's not like anyone can slip a heavy bar into their purse or pocket without being detected. Put it behind bulletproof glass if you want. What's the risk? 



Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy(Kindle, $9.95)(print, $20)
go to Kindle edition
Are you like me? Ever since my first summer job decades ago, I've been chasing financial security. Not win-the-lottery, Bill Gates riches (although it would be nice!), but simply a feeling of financial control. I want my financial worries to if not disappear at least be manageable and comprehensible.

And like most of you, the way I've moved toward my goal has always hinged not just on having a job but a career.

You don't have to be a financial blogger to know that "having a job" and "having a career" do not mean the same thing today as they did when I first started swinging a hammer for a paycheck.

Even the basic concept "getting a job" has changed so radically that jobs--getting and keeping them, and the perceived lack of them--is the number one financial topic among friends, family and for that matter, complete strangers.

So I sat down and wrote this book: Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy.

It details everything I've verified about employment and the economy, and lays out an action plan to get you employed.

I am proud of this book. It is the culmination of both my practical work experiences and my financial analysis, and it is a useful, practical, and clarifying read.

Test drive the first section and see for yourself.     Kindle, $9.95     print, $20

"I want to thank you for creating your book Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy. It is rare to find a person with a mind like yours, who can take a holistic systems view of things without being captured by specific perspectives or agendas. Your contribution to humanity is much appreciated."
Laura Y.

Gordon Long and I discuss The New Nature of Work: Jobs, Occupations & Careers(25 minutes, YouTube) 



NOTE: Contributions/subscriptions are acknowledged in the order received. Your name and email remain confidential and will not be given to any other individual, company or agency.

Thank you, William Y. ($50), for your superlatively generous contribution to this site-- I am greatly honored by your support and readership.

Read more...

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Old Models of Work Are Broken

The only sustainable way to avoid being commoditized is to learn to create value in ways that cannot be commoditized.


Though we are still in the early stages of web-enabled automation, it's already evident that the old models of work are broken--though few are willing to admit it.The primary model of work is being an employee in a hierarchy--Corporate America or the state (government) or a government-funded industry (defense, higher education, R&D, Medicare, etc.)

The foundation of employee financial security is the paycheck, which is earned for 1) showing up and 2) following orders.

In the employee model, ownership is generally limited to those with stock options. Those working for start-ups that successfully go public can cash in their options for extraordinary profits; those working for start-ups that fizzle can use their expired options as bathroom wallpaper.

The conventional employee gets no ownership of their work, and this disconnect between the employee and the value created by the employee's labor is the source of Marx's definition of alienation: the worker is alienated from the output of his/her labor, which is owned by others.

In the new model of work, the worker has ownership of his/her work and human capital. Security in the new model flows not from dependence on an employer but on ownership of the entire process of value creation which includes the social and human capital of skills, collaboration, accountability and creativity.

As Gordon Long and I discuss in this program on the changing nature of work, in the new model:

  • Each participant creates the work and owns the value proposition
  • Innovation and collaboration are paramount
  • Innovation, blah, blah, blah, right? Yes, the word is terribly over-used, but the point is to avoid commodification. Whatever tasks can be reduced to input, processes and output can be automated or done anywhere, i.e. the task is a commodity that can be performed by interchangeable workers.

    If the work can be performed by interchangeable workers, why pay a premium for labor in the U.S. Japan and Europe?

    The only sustainable way to avoid being commoditized is to learn to create value in ways that cannot be commoditized. That's the point of collaboration, accountability and innovation: software and robots are superb at repeating specified processes. Figuring out human emotions and markets and combining insights from different fields--not so much. Those still require human learning, communication, collaboration and ingenuity.

    Try programming a robot to navigate a flower bed on uneven ground, remove the rotten boards in a staircase and replace them with the appropriate type of lumber.Perhaps a robot will be able to do this cheaper than a human some day, but that day is not yet here. Being able to apply a variety of skills to ambiguous real-world problems is another set of skills that cannot be commoditized.

    It's tempting to pine for the days when just showing up and doing routine work was enough to earn a middle-class paycheck, but that's no different than sighing wistfully for the days when making buggy whips and shoveling horse manure off the streets were common jobs: those days are gone.

    Any employer who pays humans to do work that can be automated or performed elsewhere for a fraction of the cost will soon go broke as competitors eat his/her lunch. Employers that want to survive recessions and competition can only pay for the value their employees create in the marketplace. Consumers don't pay for blue sky, and so neither can employers.

    The government is currently immune to such pressures, but since the state is itself dependent on taxes skimmed from profits and wages, the erosion of the old model means the state's revenues are doomed to shrink right along with profits and wages.

    No sector will be immune to the changing nature of work and value creation.

    There is much more on the topic in the video program (31:55):

    view it on YouTube 





    Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy(Kindle, $9.95)(print, $20)
    go to Kindle edition
    Are you like me? Ever since my first summer job decades ago, I've been chasing financial security. Not win-the-lottery, Bill Gates riches (although it would be nice!), but simply a feeling of financial control. I want my financial worries to if not disappear at least be manageable and comprehensible. 

    And like most of you, the way I've moved toward my goal has always hinged not just on having a job but a career.

    You don't have to be a financial blogger to know that "having a job" and "having a career" do not mean the same thing today as they did when I first started swinging a hammer for a paycheck.

    Even the basic concept "getting a job" has changed so radically that jobs--getting and keeping them, and the perceived lack of them--is the number one financial topic among friends, family and for that matter, complete strangers.

    So I sat down and wrote this book: Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy.

    It details everything I've verified about employment and the economy, and lays out an action plan to get you employed.

    I am proud of this book. It is the culmination of both my practical work experiences and my financial analysis, and it is a useful, practical, and clarifying read.

    Test drive the first section and see for yourself.     Kindle, $9.95     print, $20

    "I want to thank you for creating your book Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy. It is rare to find a person with a mind like yours, who can take a holistic systems view of things without being captured by specific perspectives or agendas. Your contribution to humanity is much appreciated."
    Laura Y.

    Gordon Long and I discuss The New Nature of Work: Jobs, Occupations & Careers(25 minutes, YouTube) 



    NOTE: Contributions/subscriptions are acknowledged in the order received. Your name and email remain confidential and will not be given to any other individual, company or agency.


    Thank you, J.M. S. ($200), for your beyond-outrageously generous contribution to this site-- I am greatly honored by your steadfast support and readership.

    Read more...

    Tuesday, April 21, 2015

    Wedges and Triangles: Big Move Ahead?

    The central bank high is euphoric, the crash and burn equally epic.


    Just out of curiosity, I called up a few charts of key markets: stocks (the S&P 500), volatility (VIX), gold and the U.S. dollar (UUP, an exchange-traded fund for the dollar). Interestingly, all of these charts displayed some version of a wedge/triangle.

    In a wedge/triangle (a formation with many variations such as pennants), price traces out a pattern of higher lows and lower highs, compressing price action into the apex of a triangle as buyers and sellers reach an increasingly unstable equilibrium.

    As price gets squeezed into a narrowing band, the likelihood increases that price will break out of the triangle, either up or down, in a major move.

    So which way will these markets break--up or down? One thing is fairly certain: the S&P 500 (SPX) and the VIX (volatility) are on a see-saw--both don't soar at the same time. If the VIX soars, stocks are plummeting as fear takes hold. If the VIX stumbles along the bottom of its range, market players are complacent and stocks loft higher.

    Many observers see the same inverse relationship in gold and the U.S. dollar--when one is going up, the other is weakening.

    I tested this widely accepted truism by aligning the charts of both the U.S. dollar and gold, and found that there were lengthy periods during which gold and the U.S. dollar rose in tandem: About That Supposed Correlation of the U.S. Dollar and Gold.... (July 8, 2013)

    My conclusion: each is influenced by a number of factors, some shared, some unique to each asset. As a result of this complex confluence, at times both go up together and at times there is a negative correlation (see-saw effect), and during other periods, there is little correlation, i.e. they act entirely independent of the other.

    Let's look at the charts. Nothing fancy here--just clear wedges/triangles and declining MACD indicators.


    Interestingly, gold rose when the VIX was elevated--that is, when market participants were nervous or fearful. If volatility breaks to the upside, stocks will fall and perhaps gold will move up as the flight to safety/fear trade replaces central-bank administered complacency that stocks can loft higher regardless of fundamentals.

    Since the dollar also tends to strengthen when the herd is stampeding in a flight to safety, perhaps we can look to the VIX as the bellwether for what will likely happen to stocks, gold and the dollar.

    If the risk-on central bank monetary cocaine trade continues, stocks may loft higher and the VIX, gold and the dollar may all drift lower as volatility and lower-risk assets are avoided in the quickening chase for yield in a negative-interest world.

    If the risk-on trade evaporates and risk-off trades gain favor, stocks will be sold off hard, volatility will rocket higher (something we've almost forgotten can happen) and gold and the U.S. dollar will benefit from the flight to safety/central bank cocaine crash trade.

    The central bank high is euphoric, the crash and burn equally epic. Be careful what monkey you invite to latch onto your back.... 




    Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy(Kindle, $9.95)(print, $20)
    go to Kindle edition
    Are you like me? Ever since my first summer job decades ago, I've been chasing financial security. Not win-the-lottery, Bill Gates riches (although it would be nice!), but simply a feeling of financial control. I want my financial worries to if not disappear at least be manageable and comprehensible.  

    And like most of you, the way I've moved toward my goal has always hinged not just on having a job but a career.

    You don't have to be a financial blogger to know that "having a job" and "having a career" do not mean the same thing today as they did when I first started swinging a hammer for a paycheck.

    Even the basic concept "getting a job" has changed so radically that jobs--getting and keeping them, and the perceived lack of them--is the number one financial topic among friends, family and for that matter, complete strangers.

    So I sat down and wrote this book: Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy.

    It details everything I've verified about employment and the economy, and lays out an action plan to get you employed.

    I am proud of this book. It is the culmination of both my practical work experiences and my financial analysis, and it is a useful, practical, and clarifying read.

    Test drive the first section and see for yourself.     Kindle, $9.95     print, $20

    "I want to thank you for creating your book Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy. It is rare to find a person with a mind like yours, who can take a holistic systems view of things without being captured by specific perspectives or agendas. Your contribution to humanity is much appreciated."
    Laura Y.

    Gordon Long and I discuss The New Nature of Work: Jobs, Occupations & Careers(25 minutes, YouTube) 


    NOTE: Contributions/subscriptions are acknowledged in the order received. Your name and email remain confidential and will not be given to any other individual, company or agency.


     Thank you, Steve H. ($10/month), for your supremely generous subscription to this site-- I am greatly honored by your renewed support and readership.

    Read more...

    Monday, April 20, 2015

    Ten Wonderful Things I'm Grateful For (Irony Alert)

    Being grateful boosts your happiness. Ten wonderful things I'm grateful for.


    Since every volume on the nearly endless shelf of pop psychology self-help books recommends working up some gratitude as the key to happiness, I've conjured up a list of what I'm grateful for. (Please turn your irony setting on.)

    1. I'm grateful that our choice of president has been reduced to two equally detestable dynasties or their proxies. This greatly simplifies the process of selecting a warmongering figurehead for the Empire and its bankers.

    2. I'm grateful that I can watch a full spectrum of entertainment, ranging from depraved to dreadfully unfunny on any device at anytime. This white noise helps block out any troubling clarity of thought or urge to ask what I might feel if I wasn't constantly distracted.

    3. I'm grateful that there are so many opportunities to borrow money, because if I couldn't borrow more, I might miss an astounding opportunity to consume more of something I don't really need.

    4. I'm grateful that every food item in the store now contains sugar in one form or another, or a sugar substitute. This simplifies the process of maintaining my addiction to sugar, as all I need to do is eat anything produced by Corporate America's food sector.

    5. I'm grateful I live in a country where the government can trample on the rights of its citizens behind a thin veil of legitimacy. After all, what terrible thing might happen if the government couldn't arrest those horrible people tearing up their front yard lawn to plant a vegetable garden?

    6. I'm grateful for our national obsession with fostering phony self-esteem that has no basis in accomplishment, dedication or sacrifice for others, as the self-absorbed, entitled populace will still feel good about themselves as the bloated, dysfunctional status quo implodes.

    7. I'm grateful that we have institutionalized moral hazard as the unspoken law of the land, so financiers can gamble billions of dollars without worrying about the potential losses, as they know the taxpayers will foot the bill while they get to keep any gains.

    8. I'm grateful our financial markets are now dominated by Federal Reserve manipulation, high frequency trading and dark pool shadow banking. This guarantees that all we commoners need to do to make a lot of money playing the stock market is to buy the dips.

    9. I'm grateful that money can buy political influence so transparently, as this informal auction is open to anyone with tens of millions of dollars who wants to protect and expand their wealth and power.

    10. I'm grateful that our mainstream media is owned by a handful of corporations, as the homogenized message they broadcast is reassuringly uniform. If every outlet is repeating that unemployment and inflation are low and the rising stock market is making us all wealthier, it must be true. 



    Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy(Kindle, $9.95)(print, $20)
    go to Kindle editionAre you like me? Ever since my first summer job decades ago, I've been chasing financial security. Not win-the-lottery, Bill Gates riches (although it would be nice!), but simply a feeling of financial control. I want my financial worries to if not disappear at least be manageable and comprehensible. 


    And like most of you, the way I've moved toward my goal has always hinged not just on having a job but a career.

    You don't have to be a financial blogger to know that "having a job" and "having a career" do not mean the same thing today as they did when I first started swinging a hammer for a paycheck.


    Even the basic concept "getting a job" has changed so radically that jobs--getting and keeping them, and the perceived lack of them--is the number one financial topic among friends, family and for that matter, complete strangers.


    So I sat down and wrote this book: Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy.


    It details everything I've verified about employment and the economy, and lays out an action plan to get you employed.


    I am proud of this book. It is the culmination of both my practical work experiences and my financial analysis, and it is a useful, practical, and clarifying read.


    Test drive the first section and see for yourself.     Kindle, $9.95     print, $20


    "I want to thank you for creating your book Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy. It is rare to find a person with a mind like yours, who can take a holistic systems view of things without being captured by specific perspectives or agendas. Your contribution to humanity is much appreciated."
    Laura Y.


    Gordon Long and I discuss The New Nature of Work: Jobs, Occupations & Careers(25 minutes, YouTube) 




    NOTE: Contributions/subscriptions are acknowledged in the order received. Your name and email remain confidential and will not be given to any other individual, company or agency.

    Thank you, Jim T. ($50), for your superbly generous contribution to this site-- I am greatly honored by your support and readership.

    Read more...

    Sunday, April 19, 2015

    Disrupt or Be Disrupted

    Either join the disruptors or prepare to be disrupted.


    Disruptive technology is a tiresome cliche, as every Twitter/ AirBnB/ Uber/ Skype/etc. wannabe start-up declares itself disruptive. That the vast majority of self-congratulatory start-ups are over-hyped and derivative should not distract us from the larger reality that some technologies do in fact disrupt how things are done.

    Fossil-fueled mechanization, for example, turned an overwhelmingly rural farming society into a highly urbanized services-dominated economy.

    In the more recent past, CraigsList single-handedly turned the newspaper industry from an immensely profitable license to print money (via costly classified ads) to a struggling sector with an unclear future.

    Digital file-sharing turned the $14 billion music industry into a $7 billion industry.

    And now driverless vehicles are poised to disrupt the taxi and trucking sectors in ways few predicted.

    The core idea of Disrupt or be Disrupted is that every sector and industry that avoids being disrupted just becomes a fatter target for disruption.

    Higher education is a prime example. The industry has successfully staved off disruption by maintaining a lock on credentialing/accreditation--the famous signaling value of a college diploma, which verifies nothing about what the student learned or knows.

    Now that student loan debt is $1.3 trillion and the administrative bloat of higher education can no longer be obscured, the industry is becoming a fatter, juicier target for massive technological disruption by the day.

    As I outlined in my book The Nearly Free University and the Emerging Economy, it is not that difficult to lower costs by 90% and improve the actual education process.

    Employers should receive more than an increasingly worthless signal--they should be offered an accreditation of each individual's actual skills and knowledge. This is self-evident, but impossible in the current cartel-state arrangement.

    Healthcare is another sector with bloated costs and protected fiefdoms that is ripe for fundamental disruption. Reductions of 50% or more that lead to better overall health do not require whizbang science fiction advances; simply eliminating the paperwork and cartels and making patients responsible for their care and the costs of their treatments would be enough to unleash a disruptive revolution.

    What few in these protected industries dare admit is the state/cartel cost structures are now so burdensome, the nation can no longer afford these services.Healthcare has risen from 5% of GDP to 19%. The more burdensome and intractable the systemic costs, the greater the gains to be reaped from disrupting the status quo.

    The Military-Industrial/National Defense Complex is another sector ripe for massive disruption and reduction of costs. Compare the troubled $1 trillion F-35 aircraft program (which is increasingly looking like the most expensive weapons system failure in human history) with increasingly effective and cheaper drones: A Drone Has Never Linked Up With a Refueling Tanker Until Now.

    In other words, protecting unaffordable, ineffective fiefdoms and cartels will be a losing strategy in the next 20 years. These costs will come down, one way or another, either by the erosion and collapse of the funding sources or by tech-enabled socio-economic disruptions.

    That leaves everyone depending on any existing sector/industry that hasn't yet been turned upside down with a choice: either join the disruptors or prepare to be disrupted.

    This essay was drawn from Musings Report 11. The weekly Reports are emailed exclusively to subscribers ($5/month) and major contributors $50+/year). 




    Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy(Kindle, $9.95)(print, $20)
    go to Kindle edition
    Are you like me? Ever since my first summer job decades ago, I've been chasing financial security. Not win-the-lottery, Bill Gates riches (although it would be nice!), but simply a feeling of financial control. I want my financial worries to if not disappear at least be manageable and comprehensible.

    And like most of you, the way I've moved toward my goal has always hinged not just on having a job but a career.

    You don't have to be a financial blogger to know that "having a job" and "having a career" do not mean the same thing today as they did when I first started swinging a hammer for a paycheck.

    Even the basic concept "getting a job" has changed so radically that jobs--getting and keeping them, and the perceived lack of them--is the number one financial topic among friends, family and for that matter, complete strangers.

    So I sat down and wrote this book: Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy.

    It details everything I've verified about employment and the economy, and lays out an action plan to get you employed.

    I am proud of this book. It is the culmination of both my practical work experiences and my financial analysis, and it is a useful, practical, and clarifying read.

    Test drive the first section and see for yourself.     Kindle, $9.95     print, $20

    "I want to thank you for creating your book Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy. It is rare to find a person with a mind like yours, who can take a holistic systems view of things without being captured by specific perspectives or agendas. Your contribution to humanity is much appreciated."
    Laura Y.

    Gordon Long and I discuss The New Nature of Work: Jobs, Occupations & Careers(25 minutes, YouTube) 


    NOTE: Contributions/subscriptions are acknowledged in the order received. Your name and email remain confidential and will not be given to any other individual, company or agency.


     Thank you, Al I. ($50), for your splendidly generous contribution to this site-- I am greatly honored by your steadfast support and readership.

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