• POWER-POINT SLIDE PRESENTATIONS ARE BECOMING HISTORY.  From CEOs at Amazon & Linked-In, to physicists at the Large Hadron Collider, to NASA, CIA & Pentagon Directors, direction is now that “use of Power-point acts as a straightjacket to discussion… easier for audiences to let their minds go on autopilot and lose focus… and look at laptop computers versus participating in discussion.” The downside is that presentations are tougher: they generally take longer and “it’s harder to find speakers because less scripting means being more selective about what to present… assuring that audience is following train of thought, and requires more improv than simply reading from slides.”  [NPR.ORG/BLOG – Mar 16, 14]
  • INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL ENTERPRISES LOVE CALIFORNIA – now “top target in the U.S. for fraudulent and lawless organizations… and a global leader in transnational criminal activity,” leading all states in Cybercrime: the numbers of Internet victims, systems hacked or attacked by malware, identify fraud and related financial losses. According to a recent 180+ page report from the State Attorney General, “the amount of illicit money moving through California’s economy – up to $40 billion a year – threatens the security of the State’s financial institutions, local businesses & communities.” DCG can help protect your business and your personal life.  [CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR – Mar 20, 14]
  • THE NEXT LIKELY FINANCIAL BUSTS ARE IN AUTOMOBILE AND STUDENT LENDING. (1) A quarter of auto/truck borrowers are now ‘subprime,’ paying up to 19% interest on around $275 billion of debt; another $80 billion is held by ‘deep subprime’ borrowers with FICO credit scores below 550 (a level FHA ranks as “having high likelihood of default”).  According to Standard & Poors, “subprime auto loans are beginning to go bad at an alarming rate” with banks and consumer finance companies at major risk. Almost 90% of General Motors lending is subprime – over $22 billion “fueled by relaxing credit standards” in order to produce the current (likely temporary) boom in car sales. (2) Student Loans have doubled in the last five years to $1.1 trillion, as “millions of young people have figured out that, as long as officially in college, they can continue to borrow most living expenses,” without apparent concern about payback and scant attention to the fact that loans not dischargeable in bankruptcy. As long as their family doesn’t have financial capacity (based on mandated submission of financial info on parents, irrespective of relationships or intentions), Student Loans are now nearly automatic.  [STANSBERRY INVESTMT ADVISORY – Mar 14]
  • “ON ANY GIVEN DAY, ADVERTISERS BID ON MILLIONS OF ‘KEYWORDS’ to reach customers through paid online search… but paid search results in no additional benefit to the advertiser.” A recent UC-Berkeley study in conjunction with eBay found conclusively that “when you turn off paid ads, almost all that traffic is just substituted by the other free channels… and consumer sales show no measurable difference.” Organic searches or direct visits accomplish the same result since “it’s not that clicking on a result caused engagement, but that the intent to engage caused people to click on it.”  [BERKELEYHASS – Spring 14]
  • THOUGHTS ON LIFE IN RHYME & SCULPTURE   is the newest book from Dennis Gray (Duitch) and now available as an e-book download directly from the publisher at www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=9781631224461,  in paperback at most national  bookstores, online from Amazon www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Dennis%20Gray%20-%20Thoughts%20on%20Life, and in hardcover  inscribed by the author as requested at www.DennisGraySculpture.com “Life’s no more than a balancing act, with each of us on stage / No rights or wrongs, ifs, ands or buts; we react and turn the page… Thoughts on the complexities, joys, and tribulations of relationships, business, politics, economy, environment and finding one’s purpose amidst the craziness and uncertainty of life in our times.” 
  • THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK:  California, starving for tax revenue, is investing $670 million over five years in technology to improve collections by an expected $ billion yearly, and has also partnered with New York to allocate refunds back & forth when a taxpayer owes the other state.                                                                   

       For an amazing 2-minute video history of the world:   Click here: Notre Histoire