Fourth Quarter 2015 Economic Commentary

Value Architects 4th Q 2015 Economic Commentary

“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”
-John Wayne

“To think in terms of either pessimism or optimism oversimplifies the truth. The problem is to see reality as it is.”

-Thich Nhat Hanh

I get very impatient with blanket pessimism, a condition that seems to plague many of us who currently observe economic trends. In Woody Allen‟s great movie, “Annie Hall”, the character Alvy Singer says to his girlfriend Annie, “I feel that life is divided into the horrible and the miserable. The horrible are like, terminal cases….and the miserable is everyone else.” Often times, economics lives up to its billing as “the dismal science”. Market turmoil gives a big boost to daily “end of the world” predictions. Vague promises of greatness from blustering and caustic presidential hopefuls represent a triumph of ideology over good sense and hike disbelief and distrust. There is an outbreak in bearishness, no doubt driven by further falls in oil prices and fears of currency wars both of which could lead to greater financial dislocations. How real is this and will it continue? It seems that histrionic media coverage tends to poison rational thinking at times and worse yet, hope. While a country has only one past, there are many possible futures. Despite our ongoing appetite for scare stories, humanity is subject to two inexorably rising tides: a scientific and technological one in which the magical eventually becomes mundane, and a psychological and social one in which the unthinkable becomes unremarkable. Almost inconspicuous in their vastness, the twin tides of technological and social change will continue their slow but relentless rise in a world that aspires to creativity and innovation. More about this later.