In the first half, business consultant and financial writer George Ure shared his analysis of the economy, and social trends for the year 2015. One trend he sees continuing this year he called "Digital Anarchy," with recent examples such as the Sony Hack, a digital wallet hack on Bitstamp which lost $5 million, and the precipitous drop in the price of Bitcoin. "Workberg" is the term he coined for an alarming situation with jobs and employment, which he related to the iceberg in the Titantic. He foresees the increasing use of automation, software, and robotics as reducing the number of workers required in the US by 30 to 50% in the next 10 years.
Ure referred to 2015 as the "year of illusion," with people questioning what they're getting for the money they put in, in programs such as Social Security. He does not envision a huge stock market crash this year, but a noticeable dip or decline by the end of February. He also spoke of the "Long Wave," a long-range economic cycle, with ups and downs that last around 50 years, with wars clustering at the bottom and tops of the waves.
In the latter half, trends analyst Gerald Celente talked about what he sees on the horizon for the economy and the United States. One trend for 2015 he called "Price Wars," with an overabundance of products, but not enough people to afford them (he noted the staggering statistic that 85 of the richest people have more money than the poorest 3.5 billion on the planet combined). Politically, he believes that conditions are ripe now for a third-party challenger in the 2016 presidential election, as voters are weary of politics as usual, and another Clinton or Bush in the White House. He described this potential candidate as a "progressive libertarian."
He cited the problems facing millennials, who grew up in a fear-based climate post 9-11, and now sense that their future is going to be worse than what it was for their parents. Celente foresees a continuing "Takeover" trend in 2015, with multinational corporations being given the right of sovereign laws under so-called "trade" agreements. We are witnessing the long decline of Big Oil, with a lot of alternatives moving into the market, such as Toyota becoming involved in hydrogen, and other breakthroughs, he enthused. For more, check out this video trailer for Celente's Trends Journal.
The Kepler space telescope has reached a milestone, with the number of discovered alien planets surpassing 1,000! Pushing the total over a thousand, was today's announcement of eight new exoplanets, all of which appear to be in the "habitable zone." One of them, Kepler-438b, 470 light-years away, is just 12% wider than Earth, and is likely to be a rocky world. More on the milestone here.
Pictured: Artist's illustration of Kepler-22b