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Mass Layoffs To Return With A Vengeance

How safe is your job?
Wednesday, February 3, 2016, 4:58 PM

Remember the mass layoffs of 2008-2009? The US economy shed millions of jobs quickly and relentlessly, as companies died and the rest fought for survival.

Then the Fed and the US government flooded the banks and the corporate sector with bailouts and handouts. With that crap-ton of liquidity sloshing around, as well as taking on massive amounts of new cheap debt, companies were able to finance their working capital needs, hire workers back, and even buy-back their shares en mass to make themselves look deceptively profitable. The nightmare of 2008 soon became a golden era of recovery.

Well, 2016 is showing us that that era is over. And as stock prices cease to rise, and in fact fall within many industries, layoffs are beginning to make a return as companies jettison costs in attempt to reduce losses. » Read more

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The Fatal Blindness of Unrealistic Expectations

We are damned to fail when we avoid hard truths
Wednesday, October 28, 2015, 10:10 PM

We, as a society, have very much indeed lived beyond our means. By building up such a tremendous amount of debt through our profligacy that a small rise in interest rates would be catastrophic. That our children and children's children will be "paying backwards" for our largess, unless some debt-clearing event transpires (which I think will). » Read more

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mentalfloss.com

The Death Of Hopium

Tech Bubble 3.0 is in the process of bursting
Tuesday, October 13, 2015, 4:48 PM

I got my MBA at Stanford in 1999 when the dot-com bubble was at its zenith, worked for a VC-funded start-up as well as one of the biggest Internet juggernauts (Yahoo!). I lived in Palo Alto, the central core of the tech scene.

As a result, I have a pretty good read on how Silicon Valley works. Many of the folks I worked and went to school with are now in leadership positions at the big operating companies, VC firms and hedge funds in that ecosystem now -- so I have personal knowledge of who's making the decisions.

And it's no secret that I think it's degenerated into a steaming pile of hucksterism. » Read more

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We Ignore Unintended Consequences At Our Peril

They'll likely define our future more than the intended ones
Friday, January 30, 2015, 7:27 PM

Early in my business career I was faced with a challenge that gave me an appreciation for a very important lesson about life and business. That oftentimes, even with the best of intentions, our actions create consequences completely different from what we intend.

It's that insight that makes me so concerned about the grand central banking experiment being conducted around the globe right now.

The complexity of the system, the questionable abilities of the decision-makers, and the universe's proclivity towards unintended consequences all combine to give great confidence that things will NOT play out in the way the Fed and its brethren are counting on. » Read more

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Chris on Yahoo!'s Daily Ticker

Chris on Yahoo!'s Daily Ticker

Part 1 of Chris' interview with Yahoo!'s Lauren Lyster, providing his updated thoughts on the impact of structurally high oil prices