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What Happened to the Future?

Improbably, the global economy has returned to growth over the past four years despite the ravages of a deflationary debt collapse, a punishing oil shock, ongoing constraint from debt and deleveraging, and stagnant global wages.

The siren song of the robot

Indeed, the world now faces a double constraint to any further revolutionary gains to physical production: resource scarcity and the diminishing supply of the cheapest global labor, as wages in the Non-OECD have most likely seen their low. That we have reached this juncture probably explains why a new idea has arisen: The advent of robots.

A Tale of Two Forecasts

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times for the American public over the past month, as it was treated to two high-profile, but deeply conflicting, economic forecasts.

The new future of energy policy

Flood myths are common to human culture. Swollen rivers, tidal storms, and tsunamis make their appearance frequently in literature. But Hurricane Sandy, which has drawn newly etched high-water marks on the buildings of lower Manhattan (and Brooklyn), has shifted the discussion from storytelling to reality.

Getting on the train

Given emerging data in 2012, it's becoming increasingly clear that the post-war automobile era in the United States is now in well-articulated decline. Accordingly, it makes sense to note the beginning of a long-term supertrend that is just getting started: the resurrection of America's rail system.

The repricing of oil

Now that oil's price revolution -- a process that took ten years to complete -- is self-evident, it is possible once again to start anew and ask: When will the next re-pricing phase begin?

The dawn of the great California energy crash

California, which imports over 25% of its electricity from out of state, is in no position to lose half (!) of its entire nuclear power capacity. But that's exactly what happened earlier this year, when the San Onofre plant in north San Diego County unexpectedly went offline. The loss only worsens the broad energy deficit that has made California the most dependent state in the country on …

Coal: The Ignored Juggernaut

Oil, natural gas, and alternatives dominate the headlines when it comes to energy. But there's a big and largely-overlooked revolution occurring with the energy source likely to become the most preferred fuel for a world in economic decline: coal.

OPEC Has Lost the Power to Lower the Price of Oil

There’s been a lot of excitement in the past year over the rise of North American oil production and the promise of increased oil production across the whole of the Americas in the years to come. National security experts and other geo-political observers have waxed poetic at the thought of this emerging, hemispheric strength in energy supply. What’s less discussed, however, is the negligible …

The Race for BTU

The world's major central banks -- including the Bank of Japan (BOJ), the European Central Bank (ECB), and the Federal Reserve -- appear to have finally won a major battle in the deflationary war that broke out five years ago in 2007. While the ultimate victor is yet to be determined, it now seems likely that a period of nominal growth could ensue for another two years, perhaps even longer.
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