As we pointed out in Planetary Outlook a year ago, there was no reason to expect anything other than disruptions, dislocations, erratic growth, volatile markets and bouts of optimistic and pessimistic over-reaction. Too many countries had too many problems for them to be solved quickly or smoothly. In addition, since the European Federation is a work in progress, decisive action could not be expected. And the United States government is dysfunctional, with a President who is conflict adverse without strategic vision or the courage to take action.
Canada, an oasis of stabilty, is affected through its trading realtionships. Almost all its principal problems lay outside its borders.
So nothing that has happened over the past year could be considered either surprising or unexpected. Investors, of course, are surprised by everything. How could they not with an attention span of three seconds and a planning horizon of four seconds? The liars and the thieves therefore win all too often.
The next year is entirely clear: more of the same. Yet for the alert among us, this is not necessarily bad news. While society is hurt by economic growth much below its potential, those who can see in the land of the blind can prosper. And they can do so without being either liars or thieves.
All the alert need do is to take opportunities from the ignorant, the foolish and the fearful. Opportunities will be ripe for the taking as the mob ignores or denies them.
The educated, young and old, must take their game up many notches to avoid becoming commodities, chewed up as collateral damage.
The next posting will address these opportunities more specifically. Right now, I have an opportunity to harvest.