Global Economy Increasingly Vulnerable To Another Financial Shock

October 4th, 2015 Comments off

Seven years after the outbreak of the global economic and financial crisis, there are growing indications that the temporary solutions that were largely imposed through monetary policy by central banks are becoming increasingly ineffective. In all likelihood, a new global downturn in economic growth is in the cards.

The weakening economic data from China, slowdown in the U.S. economy’s job growth, worsening data in emerging economies and the Eurozone, not to mention Russia, collapse of commodity prices and volatility in the equity markets are all indicators of distress. Furthermore, the continuation of near-zero interest rates by major central banks many years after the “Great Recession” supposedly ended means that there are no more arrows in their quiver when the next major global recession strikes.

One other factor to be assessed are the fantasy employment numbers in the United States. While the official unemployment rate has supposedly been cut in half since the darkest days in 2009, in reality labor force participation is at historic lows (, revealing that the American economy is functioning well below its potential. In addition wage stagnation, and the latest revelation from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that earlier job creation figures were highly exaggerated (, demonstrates that even the U.S. economy, supposedly the healthiest on the planet, is manifesting growing signs of structural weakness.

In the wake of the global economic and financial crisis of 2008, policymakers in major economies made a bet on the same financial sector that unleashed the worldwide systemic disaster. Their decision was to engage in massive, unprecedented fiscal indebtedness and monetary loosening to prop up the investment and commercial banks, in the hope that this would stimulate reinvestment in the general economy (“main street”) and revive sustainable economic growth. There is growing evidence that this gamble made by decision makers in the world’s major economies is faltering. With staggering levels of sovereign debt, and central banks across the developed world having expanded their balance sheets almost to the point of infinity, the policymakers are left only with hopes and prayers that another massive crisis does not strike on their watch.

  • Embedded image permalink

Donald Trump, Presidential Politics and The Art of Disruptive Innovation

September 23rd, 2015 Comments off

In analyzing the unanticipated success of the Donald J. Trump For President campaign–at least in its early phases–I have found far more insight from a Harvard Business School professor than from any of the legion of established political commentators, consultants and journalists. Clayton Christensen, to the best of my knowledge, has never written specifically on American politics. However, the Harvard professor and management guru conceived of the concept of disruptive innovation. It strikes this writer that disruptive innovation is the most cogent explanation for the early and surprising success Donald Trump has generated in the early months of the 2016 presidential election.

In his description of disruptive innovation, Professor Clayton states that it is “a process by which a product or service takes root initially in simple applications at the bottom of a market and then relentlessly moves up market , eventually displacing established competitors.” Transferring this theory from the corporate business world to the realm of presidential politics, one can observe how effectively it is being applied by Trump. While the political and media establishment wrote off the Trump campaign in its nascent period as a public relations stunt not to be taken seriously, the Trump campaign organization laid the groundwork and messaging to capture a constituency that was largely ignored by the establishment contenders for the GOP presidential nomination. The development of a simple theme–“Make America Great Again”–was clearly intended to resonate with potential voters who felt alienated from traditional politics, and were receptive to a messenger, especially with a high-profile celebrity brand, who offered the promise of American restoration.

Perhaps the most disruptive element that Donald Trump introduced into the Republican presidential primary was his laser-beam focus on the alleged incompetence and “stupidity” of the political class. While traditionally Republican contenders for their party’s nomination based their campaign on attacking Washington D.C., suggesting they were somehow distinct from the political culture on Capitol Hill, Trump unleashed a “shock and awe” ( to use a Pentagon term) assault that targeted the entire political class, Republican and Democrat. In the face of the real estate mogul’s schadenfreude, the GOP’s perceived establishment frontrunners, in particular Jeb Bush, have been floundering. Their old standby sloganeering, such as railing against Washington, is proving to be both ineffective and irrelevant in the new presidential campaign dynamic that Trump and his campaign organization have facilitated through their successful adaptation of the techniques of disruptive innovation. It is as though Jeb Bush–and also Hillary Clinton–are offering American voters obsolete mainframe computers, while Trump is aggressively marketing smartphones

The history of the 2016 presidential election cycle is yet to written. There remains more than a year of campaigning, and much can still happen that is currently unanticipated. Yet, whatever transpires in November of 2016, Donald Trump has already had a transformative impact on presidential campaigning that will likely endure far beyond the next presidential election.



  • Embedded image permalink

TRUMP 2016

September 22nd, 2015 Comments off

DONALD TRUMP 2016:AMERICA’S NEXT PRESTIDENT? is an eBook by Sheldon Filger on the remarkable and surprising presidential campaign of Donald Trump, billionaire businessman and real estate mogul. DONALD TRUMP 2016 is available on (use  Internet address below for more information).

Information on DONALD TRUMP 2016:America’s Next President, available at the hollowing Internet address: (


Embedded image permalink


Categories: global economic crisis Tags:


September 21st, 2015 Comments off

My new book, DONALD TRUMP 2016, is available on as a Kindle eBook. Trump has emerged as the Republican frontrunner in the 2016 presidential race. A major component of the billionaire entrepreneur’s platform is revitalizing the American economy.

DONALD TRUMP 2016:America’s Next President? offers an objective look at the state of American presidential politics and Donald Trump the candidate. Sheldon Filger provides a fresh perspective on the Trump presidential campaign, avoiding the partisan stereotypes that typically dominate any discussion of Trump and the 2016 presidential election. The author presents the case that America is undergoing a radical revolution in political affairs, and the Trump phenomenon is an inseparable outcome stemming from the growing alienation and disaffection Americans harbor toward the nation’s political elites. information on

Information on DONALD TRUMP 2016:America’s Next President, available at the hollowing Internet address: (


Embedded image permalink


Obama Fiscal Management- How To Spend a Half Billion Dollars On Syrian Rebels Without Even Trying

September 16th, 2015 Comments off

Do you recall how the Obama administration refused to support mainstream opponents to the Assad regime in Syria for years, until Islamist extremists came to dominate the forces fighting against the Syrian president? President Obama then said he would counter ISIS influence in Syria with a half billion dollar training program for “moderate” Syrian opponents of Assad. Ever wonder what happened with Washington’s major investment in moderate Syrian fighters? Wonder no more.

In stunning testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Pentagon officials informed shocked senators that the $500 million investment from the coffers of American taxpayers led to “4 or 5″ Syrian fighters being trained and deployed in the fight against ISIS. And they are uncertain if the number was either four or five? The answer is fiscally important, for in a best case scenario America spent a mere one hundred million dollars per moderate freedom-fighter; worst case, the tab rises to $125 million per fighter.

The statement on the paltry results achieved from such a major investment by the Obama administration drew gasps of horror and stunned laughter from the senators. This is more than a failure of President Obama’s Syria policy; it is a manifestation of total incapacity to manage and steward the funds provided to the government by the nation’s taxpayers. But don’t expect any resignations over this dismal “return on investment.” As shocking as this episode is, many American citizens will not be surprised. In fact, the training program for moderate Syrian fighters can serve as a metaphor for so many fiscal aberrations that far too often are the rule rather than the exception when it comes to the fiscal probity of the federal government.

If you want an explanation for the reason America is in such bad fiscal health–and why a majority of Americans view their government as corrupt and incompetent–here is a prime example for the ages.



DONALD TRUMP 2016: America’s Next President? Kindle Edition


Russia Intervenes In Syria’s Civil War–Will This Be the End For Vladimir Putin?

September 16th, 2015 Comments off

A mythology surrounds the man who has been President or Prime Minister of the Russian Federation for the past sixteen years, particularly among a clique of sycophants in Western Europe and the United States. This Putin myth, embellished by the Kremlin’s international television propaganda arm “Russia Today,” has convinced some that Mr. Putin is much smarter and more thoughtful in his long-term thinking than his peers in the West. My question to those who still believe in the Putin myth of infallibility is this: why did the Russian president recently decide on sending his armed forces to Syria to participate in that sad country’s interminable and ever more bloody civil war?

Not even the Russian president bothers to deny that Russia is establishing a forward operating base adjacent to the Syrian port of Latakia. The evidence is so overwhelming in an age of Internet access to satellite photography, why refute the obvious? Putin does offer a rationalization of sorts; the Kremlin, so says the Russian president, has decided to join the fight against the Islamic State, or ISIS. In reality, with Russia’s Syrian ally (and Iran’s puppet) Basher al-Assad on the ropes , President Putin has made a strategic decision to join with the Iranian Shiite theocracy and its Hezbollah proxy to continue to wage war on Syria’s Sunni Arab majority, primarily to save a long-time client from total collapse.

If Putin is as smart and savvy as his fans in the West maintain, why has he not learned from America’s failed overseas intervention in Iraq, not to mention Vietnam? Then there is the example closer to home, the Russian geopolitical disaster of a quarter of a century ago; the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan. If an army of 150,000 soldiers backed by massive airpower could not defeat the Islamist fighters in the mountains of Afghanistan, what calculus leads the Kremlin to believe that the much weaker Russia of today can have anything but a temporary and localized impact on the horrendous Syrian Civil War?

It appears that prestige, and a desire not to lose Russia’s version of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba–the Russian naval base in Tartus, Syria– are the basis of the deployment of Russian military assets to Latakia. Whatever the short-term benefits are for Assad and his Alawite minority regime, the long-term impact for Russia will be brutally punishing. The appalling Russian experience in Afghanistan should have informed Russia’s decision makers of the dangerous path they have embarked upon.

When Iran deployed its Hezbollah militia, paid mercenaries and Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps to Syria in the earlier stages of the Syrian Civil War, there were predictions outside the Middle East that this marked an irredeemable turn in the tide of battle in favor of Assad. A much more knowledgeable observer, the Beirut-based Palestinian-American journalist Rami Khouri, warned that Iran’s intervention in the Syrian Civil war would only inflame sectarian passions, leading to a regional Sunni-Shiite conflict. That predication had been vindicated in all its horror. Now Putin is doubling-down on the hell that he and his Iranian ally have contributed towards creating. Russia, which today has only a fraction of the military capability of the former Soviet Union, cannot achieve victory for Assad. However, as with Iran’s intervention in Syria, Vladimir Putin will succeed in galvanizing hatred towards his nation, unleashing a jihad against the Kremlin that will not only involve evermore fighters from the Sunni Arab world joining in a holy war against Russia’s invasion of the Arab world. In all probability, the festering discontent within Russia’s own borders among a disaffected and increasingly militant Muslim minority in regions such as Chechnya will be exacerbated. In the early years of Putin’s rule, Russia was subjected to a wave of terrorist attacks that killed hundreds of Russian civilians, all attributed to unrest in Chechnya. That is but a harbinger of what will come, a predictable bloodbath on Russia’s own soil as blowback for Mr. Putin’s ill-fated attempt to show he can militarily intervene in the Muslim world without incurring the consequences his Soviet-era predecessors experienced over Afghanistan.




DONALD TRUMP 2016: America’s Next President? Kindle Edition


Black Monday: Stocks in China, Asia and Europe Plummet

August 24th, 2015 Comments off

Monday, August 24 is already being heralded by Beijing media as China’s black Monday. The leading Chinese equity index, the Shanghai Composite, fell by a massive 8.5 percent. This loss made a mockery of all the previous government measures that supposedly would shore up the Chinese stock market. The equities debacle in China was echoed by the fall in stock prices throughout other major Asian markets.

In reaction to the dismal economic and equity news out of China, European bourses opened the trading session with their own set of staggering losses. Is the global stock market bubble, puffed up by central banks since the onset of the global economic and financial crisis in 2008 independent of poor economic fundamentals, about to pop? The signs are looking ominous.

Categories: global economic crisis Tags:

Dow Jones Plummets By More Than 530 Points–Wall Street NYSE Drops Like A Stone

August 22nd, 2015 Comments off

Wall Street has incurred 2-days of brutal losses. Friday’s drop of more than 530 points follows Thursdays’ decline by more than 300 points on the Dow Jones index. The NYSE collapse parallels that of major bourses across the world.

The sudden crash in stock prices will undoubtedly send the various plunge protection teams of the world’s major central banks into action, seeking to reverse the sharp losses. In spite of what the central bankers do, they cannot much longer hide the fact that the world barely recovered from the global economic crisis that emerged in 2008, and the likelihood of a return to the Great Recession has grown exponentially, with the accumulation of bad economic news, especially from China.




China Currency Devaluation Continues–Advantage Donald Trump?

August 12th, 2015 Comments off


Yesterday’s devaluation of 1.9 percent in the value of the Yuan was followed today by another cut of one percent by China’s central bank in the national currency’s competitive value. With July’s decline of 8 percent in China’s exports, following in the wake of the collapse in equity values on the Chinese stock markets, Beijing is clearly worried.

A devaluation of three-percent in the value of nation’s currency, particularly when the fall in value is not the result of market forces but of deliberative monetary policy, is a very big deal in global finance. A nation does not willingly sabotage and debase its own currency when its economy is enjoying robust growth. Currency devaluations are specific acts of monetary policy enacted by the sovereign when its economy is in jeopardy. Thus, despite the official statistics emanating from Beijing on GDP growth and other rosy prognostications, the Chinese economy is facing gathering headwinds. With a low rate of domestic consumption as a proportion of its total GDP, Beijing has undertaken a radical monetary devaluation in an act of desperation, hoping to kickstart exports by cheapening its currency.

Now the remaining major economies must also worry, as the People’s Republic of China has declared an all-out currency war, with the major victim–and target–being the American economy. And the repercussions are not only economic; Donald Trump is poised to take full advantage of China’s currency manipulation as he maintains his frontrunner status in the race for the Republican Party’s nomination for President of the United States. Trump has already gotten ahead of his GOP competition by pontificating on the damage to America’s economy by allowing China’s currency devaluation to be spared any meaningful policy response by Washington, ultimately costing American workers their jobs.

It may be that the monetary policy measure executed by the People’s Bank of China will have its greatest impact and consequences on domestic American politics, with long-term results that may be the opposite of what Beijing desires.




China Devalues Currency as Chinese Economy Hits Headwind

August 11th, 2015 Comments off


The People’s Bank of China, Beijing’s central bank, imposed a surprise devaluation of 1.9 percent in the value of the nation’s currency, the Yuan or Renminbi. This sudden move by the economic central planners in the People’s Republic of China was in response to a cascade of worrying trends confronting the leadership of the world’s second largest economy.

A country devalues its currency in response to bad economic trends, and never for positive reasons. The negative news emerging from China’s manufacturing sector, in combination with the collapse in the Chinese stock market, has led to the decision to devalue the Yuan, hoping that this policy move will boost Chinese exports. The problem is that this move hurts everyone else, especially the United States. What the financial commentator James Rickards described in his book as “Currency Wars” just got a massive dose of escalation from Beijing, which will likely trigger counter-moves by other major economies that will ultimately damage the global economy as a whole.