Between Debt and the Devil

Between Debt and the Devil: Money, Credit, and Fixing Global FinanceBetween Debt and the Devil: Money, Credit, and Fixing Global Finance by Adair Turner

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A great story about the financial crisis of 2008 that should never have taken place according to leading economists and policy makers at that time. In essence a story about human hubris believing that complexity and uncertainty can be managed through human created decision models. The author also describes the root causes of the crisis and in summary one could argue that the Central Banks turned off the alarm system without addressing the real fire i.e. debt overhang. Even worse, it is clear that the debt crisis which was created is cured by another debt crisis (ref. Draghi’s et al programmed for ultra-loose monetary policies). So the debt overhang remains and if not tackled with alternative policy measures will give rise to secular stagnation (no growth) for decades. Therefore it is good to read in the book which alternative paths could be explored. So positive to learn that there are ways out of this economic misery. Hopefully policy makers start considering them.

I recommend this book to everyone who wants to have a balanced view on the financial crisis of 2008 as well as the way out. At the end it will help you to better judge current policy from a societal standpoint as well as from a personal investor’s standpoint.

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Connecting the dots

A recent blog from Frank Diana highlights very well the powerful impact of connecting the dots or combinatorial thinking and exploring the power of intersections.

We concur with the views expressed and would like to add that the Itonics platform can be very instrumental in this approach.   For more info on how to connect the dots with technology , look at our blog “Blinded by Trends” .

 

Blinded by Trends ?

Are you also having the feeling to be bombarded by trends insights reports, studies and gurus.       Can’t you see the wood for the trees anymore.   Are you having trouble to distill the most relevant trends of today, tomorrow and longer term.    Do you fear to have a too short term focus or a “me too” experience.   Are you getting a kind of trends fatigueness and failing to stay alert.

As to us there is no alternative for looking ahead into the future and to spot trends in a timely fashion in view of creating future opportunities.    However the abundance of information can effectively “blind you”, ie information overload and lack of structured tools to analyse and deal with them    Accordingly we recommend the use of digital tools like Trend Radar from Itonics.

More info on Itonics.

Planned Opportunism, from weak signals to opportunity spaces

“Planned opportunism” is Vijay Govindaraja’s term for responding to an unpredictable future by paying attention to weak signals—early evidence of emerging trends from which it is possible to deduce important changes in demography, technology, customer tastes and needs, and economic, environmental, regulatory, and political forces. That attention gives rise to fresh perspectives and nonlinear thinking, which help an organization imagine and plan for various plausible futures. Planned opportunism is a discipline that creates a “circulatory system” for new ideas; develops the capacity to prioritize, investigate, and act on those ideas; and builds an adaptive culture that embraces continual change.

We couldn’t agree more and highly recommend reading the article at https://hbr.org/2016/05/planned-opportunism .    The messages expressed align very well with our approach re Trends mgt and the identification of opportunity spaces.