Bryan Pflug's blog

Faith, hope, and change

Electile disfunctionFaith and hope are as much a part of political reality as they are in change programs within businesses. As I reflect on the daily political landscape that pretends to offer us information to make sense of the 'most important issue' in the upcoming election (the economy), I offer the following two articles for your consideration. I think these two articles are important to digest together. Both have the feel of the kind of unbiased analysis, reflective discourse, and unvarnished truth that must accompany any true reform in our national debate on such topics (a reform that is desparately needed).

What in the world is going on?

World with fractures across the globeA number of years ago, I had the opportunity to attend an excellent lecture by Margaret Thatcher, just after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the subsequent collapse of the Soviet Union. In it, she indicated that the world was going to be changing radically as a result of those events, and that it was not clear what new direction it would take.

Below is a link to an excellent paper that was presented several weeks ago by Herbert Meyer at a Davos, Switzerland meeting which was attended by most of the CEOs from all the major international corporations. It provides a very good summary of what he considers to be today's key trends, and a number of interesting perspectives that one seldom sees in such analyses.

The new Geopolitics

Chess piecesIn the first five months of this year, American businesses and households have spent $49 billion more on gasoline than in the first five months of 2007, according to Cameron Hanover, in a recent New York Post article. Compared to early 2002, (the last time gas was around $2 a gallon) our bill is more like $122 billion more this year. These prices affect more than just gasoline; wholesale heating oil/diesel is up 93.3 percent, and natural gas is 45.3 percent higher than a year ago, and is at the the highest in three years. George Soros, who controls a $17b hedge fund, is predicting these levels are not sustainable, and thinks prices will crash soon. Of course, he's a guy that isn't afraid to manipulate things for his own personal benefit and beliefs.

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