Real World Economist
Don’s prominence as a forecaster began with his "astonishingly accurate" predictions on oil prices for the Texas State Legislature. He then served 11 years as Chairman of the of the Investment Advisory Board of a $22 Billion trust fund and was appointed as Pension Board Chairman with oversight of $100 Billion in Investments. He has personally advised some of the wealthiest families in America. Don has also worked for three of the nation’s largest brokerage firms. He founded 21st Century Forecasting in 1986, a research company focusing on long term global, economic, demographic, and technology trends.
He developed the nation’s first graduate business course on the 21st Century. Don believes that Tectonic Plates of Change are controlled by long term trends of Globalization, Demographics, and Technology, but that linear projections are frequently disrupted by external events varying from human creativity to irrational behavior to natural disasters. He believes the interplay of those forces have the potential to create enormous problems and opportunities.
Expert On International Events
He has lived 14 years overseas, visited over 50 countries, has lectured on Free Market Systems at the University of Moscow, spoken about the Global Economy for the Saudi Arabian Central Bank, keynoted the Australian IT Summit, spoken for the US Department of Commerce, advised the Heavy Equipment Industry in Santiago, Chile, counseled Inupiat Indians about energy development on the Arctic Slope, dined with the Malaysian Prime Minister in Dubai, and survived a volcanic eruption in Indonesia.
He has given over 800 speeches professionally in 46 states and 14 countries. Before becoming an economist, he attended college on debate scholarship and has won numerous public speaking awards. He has been described as "charismatic, motivational, and the consummate infotainer," and is known for his spontaneous humor, audience interaction, and rapid fire Q&A. An information junkie, he reads six newspapers a day, over 50 periodicals a month... not to mention countless newsletters and research reports.
He has a Masters Degree in Public Administration/Planning, a Doctoral background in Economics, and is a graduate of the Securities Industry Institute of the Wharton School. He has an Honorary degree from the University of Moscow and was the first American Member of the Moscow Center for Consulting Scientists. Don has taught at the University level for ten years, and is past Vice Chairman of the Board of Regents of Texas Woman’s University.
The economy’s biggest headwind is uncertainty. Poisonous political partisanship in Washington keeps any true economic recovery from being a reality.
In the last 20 years, the global economy has produced three billion new capitalists with a voracious appetite for consumer products. Asia one of the strongest engines for global economic growth. Europe struggles to define itself. Latin America witnesses the birth of a middle class, and agriculturally rich Canada is perfectly positioned.
The velocity of change is accelerating due to globalization, demographics and technology. When these forces interact, massive changes or tectonic shifts occur that create a visceral new reality. We will confront new ethical dilemmas, new technology inventions that should be commercialized, and unprecedented bio research that will most assuredly alter our lives.
What's Really Going On
From Time Magazine: “The U.S. economy remains almost comatose. The slump already ranks as the longest period of sustained weakness since the Depression. The economy is staggering under many “structural” burdens; they represent once-in-a-lifetime dislocations that will take years to work out. These include the jobs drought, the debt hangover, the banking collapse, the real estate depression, the health care cost explosion and the runaway federal deficit.”
This sums it up, but we have been there before! The quote above is from Time Magazine, September 1992. In 1972, the Dow Jones Industrial was below 3400—the beginning of an eight-year run to 10,940.
Partner and Managing Director of A.T. Kearney’s Global Business Policy Council & Senior Advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)
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