• AMERICA’S ECONOMY IS “NOT SUFFERING PNEUMONIA, but is still being worn down by a persistent flu… as credit suppression and growth-crushing levels of taxation and regulation keep us from enjoying vigorous, sustainable growth.” With the cost of money so convoluted by our central bank to near zero – a “fraction of its real price – this monetary version of price controls is a form of credit allocation,” since big companies and government get all the money they want while credit to small business and new companies (the source of most new jobs) remains essentially non-existent.  “Through its ‘Quantitative Easings’ the Fed effectively sucked up much of the financial market’s short-term credit that normally would have gone to these businesses” so the recently announced ‘tapering’ of Q.E. will have negligible impact [FORBES – Jan 20, 14]
  •  MORE URBAN KIDS ARE BECOMING NEARSIGHTED. Blurred vision of ‘objects farther away’ is a condition, medically termed myopia, which affects over four in ten Americans and has been presumed hereditary. But newest research attributes increasing rates of such damaged vision toexcessive “looking at books and computer screens… affecting urban kids more than rural children who spend more time outdoors.”  [THE WEEK – Dec 31, 13]
  • TECHNOLOGY, FUNDING AND INFRASTUCTURE HAVE COALESCED TO MAKE TELEMEDICINE the next chapter in medical care: “decentralized, data-driven and smart-phone enabled… by ensuring continuity of information with major savings in time.” Connectedness between patients, doctors and treatments in separate facilities and locations results from “interactions taking place as much as possible via smart-phone (voice or video-link)… with trend reporting and alarms built into the software as an early warning system, triggering pre-emptive intervention before an end-stage event like heart attack or stroke can occur.” Beyond resistance from the current infrastructure of vested interests (already disquieted by ObamaCare), next obstacle is the culture of Americans who “have gotten used to crisis care-on-demand, and pay little attention to day-to-day health.” [WORTH – Dec 13/Jan 14]
  • BOARDS OF DIRECTORS OR ADVISORS CAN DO MORE HARM THAN GOOD through inconsistent process which stems from absence of effective focus. DCG partner Boardroom Performance Group aligns Board members by ensuring they have both clarity of purpose and a flow of appropriate financial/operational data necessary to apply their skills & wisdom to strategic direction, versus just ‘rubber stamping’ past management actions. Assessment and Alignment is the answer to bad Board dynamics and less than optimal performance
  • THE GLOBAL COST OF MALWARE, short for malicious software used to disrupt or gain access to private computer systems, is now estimated in the tens of billions annually; one 2012 census counted 1.5 billion browser-based attacks – representing a huge portion of the world’s 70% spam email traffic – and no end is in sight.  “Antivirus solutions mostly protect individual nodes or networks, shifting attacks around but doing little to combat the core of the issue… that every time a botnet gets shut down, a new one springs up to fill the gap, slightly smarter than the one before.” Stay cautious opening attachments and optimize your security precautions.  DCG can help.   [THE VERGE.COM – Dec 9, 13]
  •  “A RARE BIPARTISAN FIGURE IN A POLARIZED CAPITAL,” Robert Gates (who served eight presidents) has now written a memoir which “betrays a real loathing for Congress: believing ‘most members are parochial, incompetent, rude, thin-skinned, self-serving and hypocritical’… that VP Biden has integrity but terrible judgment – ‘wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades’… that Team Obama is ‘more prone to micromanagement of national security than any White House since Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger ruled the roost’… and calling the president ‘self-contained, aloof, damagingly arrogant with members of Congress or foreign leaders who might be allies… a detached observer of his own foreign policy… with everything politically calculated.”   [THE ECONOMIST – Jan 11, 14 and TIME Jan 20, 14]
  •  THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK:   “Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain — and most fools do.” – Benjamin Franklin

A classic for Monty Python fans: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/comedy/comedy-news/10459538/Monty-Python-reunion-10-best-sketches.html

And an ode to Senior Moments:  www.youtube.com/embed/Xv1tMioGgXI?rel=0