In the first eight months of 2011, I made some economic forecasts relative to the global economic landscape. As a futurist, that is part of what I do, as people always ask me about the future, particularly economics. It is only fair to be accountable in this regard.
Here are some of the forecasts I made, with current commentary:
In January of 2011 I said that the growth rate of the US GDP would be 2% for the year. Well I got that one right.
In early 2011 I started saying that the “Greek Debt Crisis” should start to be called the “death rattle of the Euro” and that there was a 50 -70% chance of the Euro going away. Well, the Euro is still with us, but it is now abundantly clear, as I have written here and here that even if the Euro does not collapse, or more likely the Euro zone shrinks in number of countries, that Europe will be in for a no growth period for the better part of this decade. It is currently in recession and since growth is the only way out of the massive debt overhang, it will be a long time before Europe is economically vibrant and growing.
In July 2011, during the pathetic debt ceiling debate in Washington, I said that a failure to come to a sensible solution would result in the US having its credit rating lowered and that continued partisan gridlock would create anxiety and therefore business uncertainty. Unfortunately I got that one right.
In August 2011 I said that within a year there would be a major economic hiccup in China. Based upon the less than fully reliable data coming out of China, it seems that this is now occurring. Housing prices have collapsed, exports have fallen, consumerism hasn’t replaced exports, and finally the 30 year run of economic miracles is ending as the central party apparatus is coming up against the capitalistic marketplace they helped to create. I continue to think that China is in for some rough, disruptive and unpredictable economic times for the next several years.
In August 2011 I said that we had entered a long term highly volatile bull global market in commodities and that oil would largely trade between $90-120 a barrel for the next year or two. This one seems to be accurate, though we are in a deep decline with commodities at the moment, so the last year can be looked at as a spike or the beginning of long term volatility. The prediction on the price of oil is largely correct except for a short few weeks when the price dropped below $90
Last week I finished the final read through of my latest book, “Entering the Shift Age”. I am very excited about it and think it the best book about the future of humanity I have written. In it I return to the subject matter I first set forth in 2007 when my first book, “The Shift Age” was published. “Entering the Shift Age” is in four parts. In Parts One and Two I take an updated look at this new age with five years of confirming data and thought since then. Part Three is about the Transformation Decade 2010-2020 and the current manifestations of the Shift Age and a discussion of some of the major trends for the remainder of this decade. Finally in Part Four I take a look at the future in the Shift Age with more than ten chapters on specific areas such as the Five Contexts of the Shift Age, Education, Power, The Ascendency of Women and the Shift Age Generations.
“Entering the Shift Age” will be published 1/1/13 in print, ebook and enhanced ebook format. You can click here or on the icon to the right to take a look.
In addition to the contents and writing of the book I am thrilled to have partnered with visionary publisher Sourcebooks to publish “Entering the Shift Age” in a brand new way called the Agile Publishing Model. First we uploaded each part of the book to solicit constructive feedback from some very intelligent people who had signed up to participate. Second we have just started to publish 12 mini-ebooks that are parts of the book. This means you can buy the part of the book that initially interests you, buy a part to see if you like it. All of these ebooks will be published in rapid succession between now and 1/1/13. In subsequent Newsletters I will provide descriptions and direct links to each of these $.99 - $4.99 ebooks. The first one that includes Part One and Part Two can be ordered here.
About a year ago I had a strong sense that I should go to Burning Man 2012. Not only is 2012 clearly a year about the future, but I had always been interested in the Burning Man event. As a futurist it struck me that Burning Man was, in part, a metaphor for the future of humanity. Well, as the links and videos to the right suggest I did go this year.
I had been a “Bergin” which is a virgin burner. Now I am a burner. Simply put, Burning Man not only manifests concepts critical to the future of us all, it is nothing less than the Renaissance on earth, at least for a week. Some of the most magnificent art, great speakers, and amazing temporary structures I have ever seen, I saw in one week at Black Rock City. If you do have any interest in reading about and looking at the stunning visuals please not only click on the links and the videos on the right, but the links within the columns. Enjoy!