This is the official Perth blog site for posts, comments, and other contributions about leadership, behavioral finance and economics, and about management generally, as well as other related topics that take our fancy.

Will Quantum Computers Destroy the Bitcoin Economy?

China Again… You might have noticed that a city in China (Suzhou) is conducting a trial of digital money. They have given this money (but note, not Bitcoins) to regular people for free and are letting them spend them online and even in person. Its aimed at exploring the extent to which digital money can be introduced as a regular means of payment a...

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Does our DNA Have a Back Door Too?

I guess you’ve heard the US contention that Huawei chips have a back door that allows the Chinese government to sniff any and all communications through them. Maybe yes, maybe no. But no doubt its possible. I wonder if we are doing it too with the chips that American companies sell to companies overseas? Hmmm, interesting. Getting Deep into the Sub...

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Will Covid Vaccines Permanently Harm Global Health?

I don’t have to tell you that we now have a vaccine out there for covid-19 There is widespread jubilation and a feeling that we have it beaten. How the **** could that ever be construed as bad news? Too Tough to Croak? Well here’s one for starters. “Measles Deaths Soared Worldwide Last Year, as Vaccine Rates Stalled” People aren’t getting their kid...

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When You Have a Mask, Who Needs a Face?

There’s a lot of hostility to masks. There are many reasons for that, but the health issue is a priority for most people. They wear them for safety. I wonder if we’re all missing something big. Clothing for Deep Thinkers Only, Please WFH (working from home) is now changing the fashion equation. We dress up (on our upper body) so we can look busines...

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Does Pandemic Response Predict Military Performance?

Did you see that recently, Qingdao a large city in northern China found 13 new cases of coronavirus? So they immediately swung into action and tested all of their 9 million people. Say what? That’s something we couldn’t imagine in the US or Europe, nor even Russia or other authoritarian regimes. Out-Curing the US In China right now almost no-one is...

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Is Google the Next GE?

  I guess you’ve been seeing the reports that both the US and Europe are going all-out to nail Google and other tech companies for anti-trust violations. I wonder how Google will cope. That depends a lot on the character of its CEO, Sundar Pichai. A recent article by Rob Copeland in the Wall Street Journal referred to him as a “nice guy. Is that en...

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Are Masks Causing the Recent Increases in Violence?

  #Face masks are being blamed for a lot of things, chiefly about whether or not they work for covid-19. Is it possible they are also causing an increase in violence and social conflict, globally if not already in the US? Conflicts R’Us In the US at least it seems that violent crime such as murders has increased significantly this year. There has b...

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Musk’s Neuralink - Can Perps Be Imprisoned in Their Victims’ Body?

Neuroscience Theater? So, Elon Musk is at it again with another mind-bending venture. This times it’s #Neuralink. This is basically a chip implant in a brain that allows direct brain-computer links. Just like Musk’s other ventures, it probably indeed is the future, even if not right now. But there’s skepticism from the pros, which is to be expected...

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Could we actually see ET?

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” Arthur C. Clarke Thought I’d change pace for a post or two, so much bad news around, pandemic, fake news, elections. So, when I saw the article I’m going to tear apart (NOT), it looked like a welcome diversion. The article is about a spinning neutron star 4500 light-years from E...

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Too many (Covid-19) vaccines?

A Sputnik Moment Yep, 165 vaccines under development 27 in trials. I wonder if that includes Sputnik V (the esteemed Russian entry). So how could there possibly be too many vaccines? Shouldn’t we add even more? And no, I’m not talking about the temptation to accelerate the approval process so that the entries haven’t been adequately tested, althoug...

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An R-shaped “de-covery”?

So the latest GDP data shows the US economy fell 9.5% in the 2nd quarter of 2020. That’s the worst showing ever since the Great Depression. It doesn’t get worse than that right? Or maybe it does.

Hmmm, what is worse than a Depression? The economists now need to put their thinking caps on.

There was a time in those halcyon days of March this year when the argument amongst the econo-literati was about whether the economy was going to recover with a V-shape or a W-shape. Those discussions sound so quaint these days. We’re well into a second wave of covid-19 that looks very likely to extend into a third wave, and maybe to be transformed into a permanent wave – “WHO says COVID-19 pandemic is 'one big wave', not seasonal”. That doesn’t sound like a recovery to me, V-shaped or any shape. What’s the opposite of a recovery? It’s a de-covery of course, dummy!

Seems to me there’s a lot of things about to hit that will cause the “recovery” to be more like a continuing decline over several years. What else do we call that I wonder? A secular decline? A slow collapse? Wait! How about an R-shaped implosion?

What in the Earth is that? Put the R on its back (or side) and there you have it. First a steep lurch downwards, then a very gentle incline off the depths over a longer time. That’s the future, folks. What happens then?

For those people who caught covid-19 and lived there’s the unwelcome prospect of chronic ill-health. There’s the prospect of millions more business failures and a long-term process of rolling disinvestment globally. Protectionist sentiment rises quickly, a reminder of the protectionism and competitive devaluations in the 30s that exacerbated the global rot. We’re already seeing government instability on the rise in Europe and Asia, not to mention in the US just like we saw in the 1930s.

The last time the world had a depression it ended in a world war. GDP figures are actually going to show an even worse collapse of economic performance globally now versus then. That means a corresponding dramatic increase in poverty and political radicalism in both developed and developing countries. An R-shaped global decline doesn’t even start to capture the reality of it all.

It seems to me that the best case is for a long flat low plateau in global economic performance around 15% below before where the pandemic started. If all goes swimmingly, we come out of it in a decade. That’s unless other, ugly things don’t intervene. In which case we’re in a 20 to 30-year Dark Age.

Maybe a 10-year R-shaped recovery is the best case. Let’s pray for it.

BTW it’s looking like China is already well into it’s V-shaped recovery….









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We Need a New Discipline of Nucleic Economics!

Depressioned Out We’re just moving into the Second Great Depression courtesy of our bosom buddy covid-19. But how bad is it going to be? Globally we’ve had prior experiences such as the 1918 pandemic, but we don’t have any formal models to inform us of the likely outcome and how bad it will be. We’re all flying by the seat of our collective pants. ...

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The Second American Civil War?

I recently wrote about the potential number of Black Swans waiting to swoop in on us. Would a Second US Civil War count as one? Very likely I guess. Divided We Stand I don’t think the US has been so divided since the US Civil War, arguably anyway. Sadly, one of the causes of that war is still the same, namely racial. But of course, there are others...

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Does eating meat cause covid-19?

Wait up! Is this guy smoking something? Don’t we all know that the cause of covid-19 is the coronavirus? That’s totally a known truth, right? Ok so hear me out for a nanosec. Not a respiratory disease?? We all started off thinking that CV19 was a disease of the lungs. We now know that it’s really a disease of the lining of our blood vessels, the en...

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Do Black Swans Come in Swarms?

Yeah, I know. A group of swans is actually called a bevy, or, if in flight, a wedge. Not a flock, or some other name. You knew that, right? (I didn’t) Two down, plenty where they came from We have now chalked up two Black Swans (the pandemic, the Floyd Revolt) in nary a few months. Probably more on the way, soon. My question: when you get swarms of...

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US Bungling Accelerates Herd Immunity?

  Screw-Ups R’Us I think its time we admit that the US totally bungled the whole coronavirus pandemic. Just about every other country did better than us, at least in the early stages. Less cases, less deaths, better leadership overall. But there’s a flip side. More contagion, more disease means more people exposed, more people with antibodies, more...

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Will Covid-19 Cause Dementia?

  Not “just” a lung disease There’s a lot of terrible things about the coronavirus. We now know that it’s not just a pulmonary disease. It is also linked with cardiac problems and strokes. But there’s another potential problem that hasn’t yet attracted much attention. It’s the neurological impacts of the virus. We used to think that the virus led t...

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What's an MBA Really Worth Post Covid-19?

Is there a problem with MBA degree? And the people who earn them? Our research into behavioral finance (what’s that!!!) shows an inverse correlation between MBAs  (and any higher degree in finance) and business acumen. Just thought I would throw it out there to dispel rumors that the educated hoi polloi are going to be the movers and shakers to get...

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Coaching Leaders in a Recession – It’s a Whole New Ballgame

  Before - Business Acumen for the Birds I don’t have to tell you now the world is a totally different place. Before it was BCV -Before Coronavirus. Now we’re just shifting into the ACV – After Coronavirus world. That world is totally different. My day business is leadership development. We have developed assessments that assess whether people will...

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It’s the Other Epidemic That’s Coming for You

Too Big for our Boots I don’t have to tell you about obesity and its traveling companions such as diabetes. In a blog post I wrote on in February I noted that this is rapidly getting worse (“Can we avoid the Obesularity?” 27 February 2020). Well guess what? The next big progression in our collective BMI is now here! The BMI epidemic is going to get...

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