• BABY-BOOMER OWNERS ARE NOT EXITING THEIR BUSINESSES, despite predictions of retirement by now. Their hesitation stems from concern over what to do once that happens, too low a Valuation due to absence of recovery from the recession and, in many cases, “younger family members just not interested in taking the reins – which complicates succession planning.” Latest forecasts are that a third of owners with sales between $100,000 and $10 million still “anticipate a change with the next five years. Most expect to pass it on to a family member or sell to a third party; below $500,000 volume, over a third plan to liquidate.” Positioning a company for optimal financial & tax transition requires advance forecasting and planning, often over several years. DCG has cost-effectively guided hundreds of closely-held & family businesses toward optimal profitability, Valuation and exit. Q4 is critical planning time; Call us before your reality-check bounces! [WALL ST. JOURNAL – Oct 14, 15]
  • THE ‘DARKNET’ IS AN INTERNET FRAMEWORK WHICH DISTRIBUTES THE ‘TOR’ BROWSER – free software that masks users’ location and activity. TOR was designed by the U.S. Naval Research Lab and is funded 60% by Departments of Defense and State “to act as a secure network for government agencies as well as dissidents fighting oppressive regimes… But the same tools keep criminals virtually invisible too.” Taxation-evaded traffic includes an estimated $10 million monthly in narcotics and $5 million in guns & other illegal products, via a system which works by routing communications through a random series of computers layered and crisscrossing the globe (called ‘onion routing’), effectively hiding the identity and location of users – FaceBook now even offers a .onion version on TOR “for those wanting to feel less watched.” While Darknet surfing accounts for only 3% of TOR usage (the rest serving anything behind a paywall or password-protected site), “it is so seemingly shadowy & mysterious that it has become ominous in the popular imagination, a creepy catch-all that includes everything scary lurking online: terrorists, pedophiles, dope dealers, hackers-for-hire, etc.”  [ROLLING STONE – Nov 5, 15]
  • CALIFORNIA’S LEGISLATURE RECENTLY PASSED AMERICA’S STRICTEST ‘VACCINATION’ LAW, prompted by national outbreaks of Measles last summer traced to Disney Theme Parks, and evidence that (1) Measles “can be caught in a bus, shop or doctor’s surgery two hours after an infected person last sneezed there; and (2) even with the best care, can cause brain-damage and deafness.” Yet polls show a third of Californians still opposed to the mandatory vaccination policy for children attending public or private school, plus elimination of a parent’s right to “Personal Belief Exemption for religious or philosophical reasons” – essentially based on the “thoroughly discredited claim that vaccines cause autism.” Meanwhile, some nine million U.S. children are not fully vaccinated and vulnerable to infection when they travel abroad, or from foreigners & others who bring the disease back to America. [THE ECONOMIST – Sep 26, 15]
  • THE INTERNET-OF-THINGS is “connecting once disparate industries and significantly altering theories of causation and legal accountability.” With five-year projections of a global market over $7 trillion for ever-newer connections (70% of which will be non-consumer devices), major issues for security & privacy are looming – both from the “Things” themselves and also from the “growing ecosystem of connections they utilize”: like associated providers of phones, tablets, PCs, apps, transmission, clouds, data analytics, data brokers, etc. Cybercrime hit 43 million reported incidents last year, up half again from 2013 and increasing rapidly. It’s no longer an issue of ‘if’ you’ll get hacked, but ‘when’ and ‘how badly’?  DCG can help appraise your business’s degree of security & risk management, and help you with solutions.  [LEGAL TECH NEWS – Oct 15]
  • POLITICAL CORRECTNESS RUN AMUCK UPDATE: “Unsure if your Halloween costume might be offensive?” is the headline for State University of New York flyers which give the phone numbers and emails of five campus officials “that students can contact and discuss the very important issue of whether or not what they will dress up as to get drunk in will be advancing social-justice causes.” Similar Wesleyan University posters have six listed officials. “Maybe next year, the schools can deploy cultural-sensitivity control officers to bust into parties and round up anyone spotted in a sombrero or afro wig. To make the world, you know, better.” [NATIONAL REVIEW.COM – Oct 29, 15]
  • THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: It’s taken nearly 30 years since the Chernobyl Reactor explosion, but the radioactive ‘exclusion zone’ is now “teeming with wildlife, including elk, deer, boar, wolves, and now rivals the world’s most abundant nature preserves.”

                 “It’s not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is What are we busy about?” – Henry David Thoreau