Sunday, February 19, 2006


The Ghost of the Son of the Ghost of Required Reading

The New York-based advertising and marketing group, Y&R, has outlined 10 global trends which it says will transform marketing, communications, retailing and sales this century. They get pretty worn out toward the end, making it seem that they wanted 10 items no matter what, but these affirm all else we have been seeing in the communications marketplace, but now they're in a convenient list! Read the wold article to get proper context.
1) increasing search for security and direction
2) destruction of traditional communications and distribution models, driven by more media choices at home.
3) consumers are learning new ways to select the information they want.
4) growing need on the part of consumers for help to navigate their way through the information overload.
5) power brands created by consumers and not communicators.
6) creation of new purchasing patterns such as mobile commerce, which require neither cash nor retail outlets.
7) role of the retailer is being revolutionized as consumers are avoiding both media messages and retailers themselves.
8) creativity will be more critical than ever: The "360-degree" approach to marketing communications is over-- people will not talk about consistency anymore, but surprise.
9) a new brand dimension: brand energy, created by the invention, vision and dynamism of a business.
10) ideas are everything if the brand is to keep in front.

What will a Bernanke Fed be like? Perhaps the last Economic Report to the President, which he influenced (he recused himself from its preparation once he was nominated for the Federal Reserve) can be downloaded at
Barrons' columnist Gene Epstein writes about it
I watched Benanke's testimony and I can't anything except that the Fed is still likely to overtighten and that we should be cautious about that in our planning. About the yield curve being inverted, Bernanke's not worried, citing how different things are now, which is the same kind of logic that others who have pooh-poohed the yield curve have stated in the past. His sense is that a "global savings glut" is the cause of lower long term rates where offshore dollars seek safety. That does make some sense. In his testimony questioning, Sen. Schumer tried to rattle him by talking about the China monster, which Bernanke pushed aside. China is keeping its currency stable in relation to the dollar. Since they have no well-developed banking system, that's not a bad idea. What it does for Chinese consumers, however, is create inflation. Since their economy is growing so rapidly, I can't say that anyone really cares. By investing in any U.S. denomiated security, they are in effect protecting themselves against inflation at home. So the bottom line is that Bernanke thinks that demand for long-term securities is the reason for the inverted yield curve. In my mind, I don't care how it got that way, it's inverted and that's all that matters. People are penalized for investing in a long-term way, so they are encouraged to avoid risk keep cash in short-term duration instruments. When people become risk-averse, that slows down an economy. Could it be that he knows that the Fed can only influence short term rates and is powerless against the movements of long term rates? Sounds like he should jawbone the Treasury to issue lots of 30-year paper, if you ask me, increasing the supply and eventually getting us "uninverted."

The age of retirement should rise to 85 by 2050, to cope with longer life expectancy, a US scientist says. Tne most important issue about retirement is health, not some arbitrary age at which one extracts themselves from the workforce. The average age of death in 1900 was 47; by the end of the 20th century, 25 years had been added to that. And for statistical freaks who say that's because of infant mortality changing so dramatically, actuarial tables showing post-teenage length of life also increased dramatically... and there's more active and healthy longevity to come.

Annoying acronyms: Just when I was getting used to SME meaning "small and medium enterprises" now the same computer analysts are using SME to discuss e-learning. Beware: SME means "subject matter experts" to them. Can you be an SME in an SME? I suspect that I already am. Is there a support group I should belong to?

E-books are not catching on according to this AP story in USA Today (this may be one of the last stories about this... the next two years will be quite interesting as new readers and e-paper emerge into the marketplace). Being a resident of Rhode Island, it's funny that they would interview someone at Brown University, known of its supposedly "upper crust" student body. I wonder how e-books would fly at Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) or Rhode Island College (RIC) with a significant lesser income audience, who would be far more price sensitive to the cost differential. It's early in the e-book game right now, and the e-book readers currently stink. The things that the article complains about are things that Acrobat already does or can do, or even Microsoft OneNote can help do.
Sony's soon-to-be released e-book reader

Why networks fear Yahoo! News (it's Jerry Garcia's fault, we find out)

As the industry is falling apart, Banta makes money; good for them! The distance between our best companies and our average ones is increasing.

This Buffalo, NY printer is finding fame and fortune is specialty work. Interesting story.

HP press release about Lavigne Printing in Worcester, MA. This printer has made a massive transformation.
HP release
Compay web site
WSJ story that mentions them

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