January 06, 2015

New Year Scenario Irony Alert

Patrick Marren
Partner

2015 is starting out as a year of unexpected paradoxes and amusing contradictions.

1. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is plunging because Americans are no longer being forced to take out mortgages to fill their gas tanks, and those nice guys Vladimir Putin, the Chavistas in Venezuela, and the Iranian cleric-dictators are being put in a tough spot. It's almost as though maybe Wall Street doesn't have the same interests as the average American.

2. A new Republican Congress is coming in promising to take action on a host of pressing issues, but they are already complaining that the Democratic president is being intransigent and blocking necessary action. 

3. The Harvard faculty, the source of some of the ideas behind Obamacare, is currently embroiled in a controversy over changes to its health plan allegedly caused in part by changes in law resulting from, you guessed it, Obamacare.

4. Germany seems to be unconsciously subjecting other nations to the exact same unsustainable reparations policy that it was subjected to almost a century ago. And what could possibly go wrong with that?

5. The U.S. dollar, declared in danger of "debasement" by deficit hawks due to the Fed's Quantitative Easing programs, is relentlessly gaining ground against the world's other currencies, particularly the euro, as well as against gold. 

6. France, declared "The Time Bomb at the Heart of Europe" by the Economist in their November 17, 2012 issue as a result of their allegedly unsustainable welfare state, can now borrow at a rate below 1%.

As a friend sometimes says, "Don't believe everything you think." An important rule to observe when scenario planning.

Thoughts?