• ‘RED TAPE’ REGULATIONS CONTINUE TO STRANGLE small businesses and entrepreneurs. Rule-writers at all levels (federal, state, city, local & neighborhood) seldom, if ever, look at cost:benefit impacts – but rather on generating revenue to support their own regime, and/or protecting incumbents from competition. Over a third of American businesses & occupations now require state licensing, with some states as high as 70%. Rankings from thousands of small business owners give California ‘worst place’ (followed by Illinois and a few New Englanders) when it comes to difficulty, cost & time-waste to comply with rules for zoning, permits, hiring, training, insurances, and so forth. One think-tank estimates that federal compliance alone cost businesses nearly $2 trillion last year, passed on to widely dispersed customers through higher prices. [THE ECONOMIST – July 5, 14]

• MANAGING STRATEGIC BUSINESS RISK IS STILL WOEFULLY INSUFFICIENT FOR MOST COMPANIES. A new survey of 100 senior financial execs from large private & public companies with global operations found 80% admitting they are “ineffective… failing to put strategic risks (e.g. overaggressive expansion, failure to innovate, regulatory, cyber-security, supply chain interruption) into quantifiable measures… with over 40% saying they have no solid process for reporting of risk to the Board.” DCG Partner Boardroom Performance Group specializes in this area and can help. [CFO JOURNAL (WSJ) – Jul 7, 14]

• EVERY ROUGHLY ELEVEN YEARS, THE SUN BURPS LOUDLY, firing off ‘solar flare’ explosions of electrons & atoms – gazillions of neutrinos emitting energy release equivalent to 25,000 times that of a comet’s impact – which enter the earth’s atmosphere as storms that disrupt electric power & communication. Two cycles ago, Canada’s Hydro-Quebec power system collapsed; last cycle, storms blacked out part of Sweden and disabled our Federal Aviation GPS-based system. Six months ago, the “most powerful eruption in recent years” occurred, and looks like the start of a cycle where “corporations and governments may not be prepared for a severe geomagnetic storm – akin to a 100-year flood – that could fry electrical equipment and wipe out power to major cities for weeks or longer.” Widespread impacts would likely include disruption & deterioration in every facet of modern civilization: emergency response; supplies of clean water & wastewater facilities; air and all forms of travel from absence of fuel supplies and communication systems; banking and supply chains for food, medicine and every other business & personal need. DCG expertise includes strategic disaster planning. [BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK – Jul 7, 14]

• ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE ON ‘RECOVERY’: The big shots who set monetary policy as Central Bankers do so with reference to models that supposedly explain market dynamics. However, with very few exceptions, they “are arrogant and have never set foot outside of Academia or Central Banks… Their biggest single problem is reliance on an ‘equilibrium’ model, but complex systems do not operate according to equilibrium dynamics.” At the start of the downturn, falling dominoes were halted by “dropping a steel curtain… but it didn’t change the dynamics of the problem”: bad debts and derivatives. “The five biggest banks in America today are bigger than those biggest in 2008, with a larger share percentage of total banking assets and much larger derivative allocations. Also the Fed has printed some $4 trillion since then, and done tens of trillions worth of ‘swaps’ with the European Central Bank… So the next crisis (which happens with regularity) is going to be bigger than the Fed can handle… so big that the outcome is likely to be money riots and social discord.” [FINANCIAL INTELLIGENCE REPORT – July 14]

• THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking used when we created them.”–Albert Einstein

Only in America! No worker is prevented from suing his/her employer for purported discrimination or ‘unlawful’ termination – even if that work has used fraudulent (unlawful) papers to obtain the job.

Over $90 billion of home sales in the past year – accounting for much if not most of the property ‘Recovery,’ were residences in sunshine-states (nearly ¼ in Florida and another ¼ in Texas or California) sold to foreigners, 20% of whom were Canadians.