Roll ’em

11 Dec

Dear 25 readers,

Again, it’s time for a prize. You can again win a year’s subscription to an award-winning business publication: Harvard Business Review.

Here’s how:

Comment on this post with your thoughts on the best of 2009…and your outlook for 2010. Make it personal or professional, your choice. The comment can be short or long. I will randomly select the winner on January 15.

This is being sponsored by MagsDirect,

Here’s more about Harvard Business Review, if you are not familiar (although I am guessing that most of you are!):

Harvard Business Review is a journal written by renowned business educators and practicing managers. Each issue provides readers with a focus on the issues confronting top managers in today’s complex national and international markets. Harvard Business Review offers subscribers original research and firsthand perspectives from leading business people around the globe. Invest in yourself and your company’s future with a subscription to Harvard Business Review.

Jump in!


2 Responses to “Roll ’em”

  1. Brad Hunt December 13, 2009 at 8:32 pm #

    Reflections on 2009?

    The year seemed to start off well enough with the inauguration of our first African-American president, but perhaps in retrospect the odd-to-the-point-of-ridiculous millenary sculpture perched on Aretha Franklin’s head or Chief Justice john Robert’s flubbing of the oath of office should have served as foreshadowing for the clusterf*ck the year was to become.

    Wall Street banksters, sensing winds of change in the air and having contributed millions of dollars to the candidates ‘insurgent’ campaign enjoyed enjoyed fine view of the festivities from the dais, while deep in the basement of the NY Federal Reserve their hunchbacked and pale (but well-dressed) minions shoveled piles of freshly printed TARP cash onto a conveyor belt that led directly to a sunterranean counting room located deep under Goldman Sachs Wall Street hideout.

    The ‘tea baggers’ as they became known to the delight of lefties everywhere, ignored the trillions of dollars being funneled to the monied elite, who are after all, at least white and rich, and focussed their attention on defeating meaningful health care reform, but soon made fools of themselves by degenerating into birther conspiracies and name calling. I will be the first to admit however, that they did seem to have saved us both from Obama’s death panels and his Marxist One World Government (MOWG). Thier buffonery was doubly gratifying to congressional Democrats as it tended to obscure the fact that the real obstacle to HCR was congressional Dems themselves, as bought and paid for as any Rethuglican could ever hope to be.

    Relatively low gas prices during the summer, brought about by what is euphemistically known to economists as ‘demand destruction’, but is referred to the rest of us uneducated slobs as the ‘Complete Collapse Of The Western Economic System’ (CCOTWES), kept the consumer from thinking too deeply about Peak Oil and the end of our Happy Motoring Suburban Utopia (HMSU). Quite a few lucky folks even got a new car out of the cash-for-clunkers (C4C) program, which was pretty popular in that it targeted solid middle class folks who were in the market for a new car, and NOT shifty lower class people with NO car – in this country we’ll give you a bailout, but only if you ‘deserve’ it and don’t really need it (see TARP). …and while we at it, General Motors was bailed out, which is about as effective as giving an enema to a heart attack victim, in this case the heart attack being brought on by DiTec’s unhealthy diet of toxic mortgage dept.

    Global warming deniers, standing firmly against the forces of common sense and scientific consensus have new evidence in the form of the ‘Climategate’ emails. Complicit in their quest is a scientifically illiterate media who have presented the dilemma as a false equivalency where the facts on the ground carry less weight than a melting icicle hanging from a polar bear’s ass. Stay tuned for our next feature:”Shape of Earth? …Opinions Differ”. In any case the public is confused enough to plausibly act like there is a real controversy, conveniently avoiding having to change a single aspect of their overconsumptive lifestyle. Being green is such hard work!

    And as we finish the year people seem shocked, SHOCKED I tell you, that another handsome, young and extremely wealthy black man has been having ‘affairs’ with at least ten beautiful (and mostly blond) white women. At what quantity they cease to be ‘affairs’ and become ‘flings’ or even mindless copulation is anyone’s guess, but I suspect before we get to that point some other celebrity related fiasco will capture the public’s attention – maybe John Gosselin will marry Adam Lambert. And if you thought we were done with Michael Jackson death fetishization, no soup for you! -it is being recycled as ‘memorable events of 2009’ by the innumerable network news ‘magazines’ so you are bound to see it a few more times, just in case you forgot he was dead.

    On the bright side – when’s the last time you heard anything from teh-worst-president-evah…George Dubya Bush? …so at least we got that.

    What’s ahead 2010?

    Unstable systems are notoriously hard to predict and we seem to be getting more unstable by the day. My gut feeling is that the complete collapse of Western Civilization could come sweeping down on us like an Alberta Clipper, but systems in place seem to be remarkably ‘sticky’ so maybe we have some time left yet.

    Since there has been NO reform of Wall St since the collapse and subsequent credit freeze, it doesn’t take a genius to see that we are at risk of another leg down. (Of course, it didn’t take a genius to see that loaning money that people couldn’t pay back was a bad Idea, but I digress…). Unlikely congress will be cowed into forking over another 700bn dollars, so this time around the powers taht be may not even be able to pretend that it’s business as usual.

    Hopefully everyone understands that ‘getting bad more slowly’ is not the same as ‘improving’, and that employment has to ADD over 100,000 new jobs each and every month just to keep up with people entering the labor force. This of course, is not going to happen. Perhaps the government can hire a few particualrly bright Economics PhDs to find a new way to massage the numbers, but the continuing onslaught of housing foreclosures will quickly belie that notion. But that won’t stop the National Assn of Realtors and the other usual suspects from claiming that the ‘housing slump’, known to those of us who were not sleep walking though the past several years as ‘the Destruction Of The American Middle Class (DOTAMC), is over. (please see above – “getting worse more slowly…”). It would be nice if it WERE over though, something has to move aside for the Tsunami Of Commercial Real Estate Defaults (TOCRED) that is about to wash up upon our shores.

    There is still a chance we could declare health care reform dead before the end of 2009, but in 2010 it will be as dead as Michael Jackson and dicussed even less. Of course it won’t look that way to the casual observer – legislators will press the remaining excrement into something that resembles a bill and the President will sign it with a flourish. Media will announce it as historic. (at this point a comment about ‘lipstick on a pig’ would be appropriate, but that is SO 2008). More excrement will be pressed into a bill labeled “Consumer Financial Protection Reform” or “Financial Industry Oversight Legislation”, but they might as well call it “We Got Away With The Biggest Swindle In American History” (WGAWTBSIAH) for all the effect it will have. Ditto global climate change initiatives.

    With most of Obama’s base bitter and disillusioned about his complete capture by monied interests, Dem turnout at the elections will be low and GOP will pick up numerous seats…probably enough to lose control of the lower house. Perhaps the only bright spot will be that Connecticut voters will remember the hoodwinking they got by Joe Leiberman and show him the door. He will be hired as an insurance company lobbyist and make more in 2011 than he did in his last term in the Senate. He will still sound like Droopy Dawg whenever he speaks.

    Lefties shouldn’t be too worried though – this will only convince the wingnut fringe that the way to win elections is by going ‘full teabag’ and Sarah Palin will announce her candidacy on the Glenn Beck show. Glen will weep like a school girl. Palin will select Michelle Bachman as her running mate for a historic all female ticket, but will have to stop referring to Trig as her ‘retard baby’

    Don’t be surprised when the surge in Afghanistan doesn’t work – don’t be surprised when we don’t catch Osama Bin Laden- and don’t be surprised if there are more terrorist attacks by religious fundamentalists. Obama may have won the Nobel Peace Prize, but he’s every bit the war monger than George Bush was – he just has the good sense not to publicly refer to himself as ‘the war president’. By the end of 2010 it will be openly acknowledged that we will NOT be out of Afghanistan by 2011, providing convenient fodder for a Dem challenger to a sitting Dem president – Kucinich 2012!

    • toknowbetter December 13, 2009 at 9:28 pm #

      The Gosselin-Lambert prediction is my favorite part of your post. Congrats on being the first in line for the HBR subscription, Brad. You are a formidable challenger for those sure to follow. Thanks for starting it off.

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