Why It’s Different This Time

The above headline used to be the rallying call for everything once taken for granted emanating from Silicon Valley and in-particular: everything social. Stock valuations were based more on user metrics than anything truly business related like net profits and more.

An example of such revolved around the sycophantic cheerleading chorus of next-in-rotation fund managers or Silicon Valley aficionado class to explain to all the plebes that a 25% increase in any use metric (daily, monthly,et cetera, usually expressed in millions) trumped a 50% net loss in cash burn, again, usually expressed in $10’s if not $100’s of millions.

The reasoning for the above abomination of business theory always rested on one last defense when the indefeasible could no longer be defended. e.g., “It’s different this time!” This was usually followed with the only other statement more vacuous than the first. e.g., “You just don’t get tech.” Right, of course we don’t.

As I’ve stated ad nauseam this has been Silicon Valley’s version of the oldest teenager excuse known to man. e.g., “Because…just because!” All I’ll add is many times it was hard to separate which was which, but I digress.

Now the reason why I bring the above in for context is that something has changed in the fabric of both business, as well as how business may or, may not, go forward in this new frontier of the web. And yes I mean just that: new. Why? Because as I’m going to lay out below – it is: different this time.

For those not fully aware of the current kerfuffle between many of the social media platforms (e.g. Facebook™ (FB), YouTube™(YT), et al.) and with Alex Jones of InfoWars™(IW) is really inconsequential. Same goes with how one feels politically or, whether one loves or despises any involved, for whatever the reasoning. This is about business, and what it may mean to yours going forward. So if you want to contemplate future considerations (or want to understand) this all from a business perspective. All I’ll say to that is: this is a very big deal, indeed. Here’s why:

When this tension between the platforms and IW first came to light back in February I made it a point to express some details that very few in business today are fully understanding. Here’s an excerpt from that article on Feb. 25th “Why InfoWars Vs Youtube Matters.” ” To wit:

The reason why I’m going to call your attention to this growing kerfuffle between InfoWars™ (the web-based opinion/news channel) and YouTube™ is for this reason:

It may be that seminal moment that proves everything one thought they needed to do via the internet and that platforms that provided the scale needed – is no longer valid – needed – as well as important.

The beauty here, from my perspective, is that it will all come down to what should matter: Pure capitalistic principles, constitutional protections,  and an adherence to what should be a company’s first rule for being: Serve a customer that will pay for your product or services.

Knowing who, or whom that customer is, is the #1 job of every company. It is my argument that “The Valley” has never learned that properly. And it is that, dear reader, which may be the fulcrum or catalyst that propels the change which changes everything in Silicon Valley, exposing its worst nightmare scenario.

That scenario? They’re no longer needed or wanted. Hint: AOL™, Yahoo™, i.e. any and all prior “Legacy media platforms.”

Since that article the tension and resolve of all parties (i.e., social platforms) has somehow taken the form of colluded and approved censorship.Whether it is or not is irrelevant, for these are private companies and they have a legal right to host, or not, whomever they decide. The legal ramifications come about when the consistency measures are challenged.

A far too complicated subject for this article, but for simplicity sake just ponder: These platforms will have to prove (and I’ll add, probably soon) why they allowed others that may/can be legally proven in a court of law to remain and were allowed full access to their monetization tools while Mr. Jones was denied, causing monetary damages to himself, his business, or both.

Important criteria and high bars to jump for sure. But (and it’s a very big but) you can bet dollars-to-doughnuts these arguments in a court will be forth coming. Of that I am more than certain.

Yet, in the meantime, this latest dustup has suddenly peeled back the curtain of a once unassailable business consideration. i.e., To be in business you have to be on these platforms or you won’t have any business.

This is where “It’s different this time” comes back swinging like a rocket powered pendulum laying to waste anything caught in its return swing. And nothing falls faster and harder, than a once considered sacrosanct business “must do” when it’s shown one no longer needs to. Hint: Remember when, not all that long ago, when suddenly no one believed being in the “Yellow Pages®” was a necessity?

Here’s another excerpt from my earlier article that shows just what I mean. Again, to wit:

But, (and it’s a very big but) that has all changed very recently. And it is the purveyors of these once all-mighty platforms that seem to have not gotten “the memo.”
You can (which I myself am already in the process of doing) host current, as well as archived: audio, video, text, and more. Hire platforms with servers that can handle nominal traffic that may suddenly spike to millions of viewers and remain elevated for long periods of time simultaneously, along with subscription services, user analytics, payment portals, and much, much more. And here’s the important point…

Completely under ones own control and purview, not only affordably, but the pricing is falling so fast it’s becoming almost crazy to do it any other way.
And that works to IW’s advantage – not YT’s. And that’s a very, very, very (did I say very?) big point to focus on, as well as remember going forward.

Will, or can IW be hurt financially by this current policy? Sure, but let’s think here for a moment, from a pure business perspective, shall we?

IW gets hurt up front, but they still create the product that millions want to see. If it’s not on YT and the customers still want the product? They’ll just go directly to IW’s own proprietary outlet, if that’s what gets done.

It will, of course, have some impact on IW’s bottom line, initially. But that’s not a bad thing if makes that “bottom line” all theirs, for all their efforts. i.e., Short-term losses for long-term gains via cutting out the middle-man. (e.g. YT.)

YT, on the other hand, gets what for its new policy stance?

Millions, upon millions, upon millions of fewer eyeballs to harvest and sell their data to the highest bidders. Which, basically, is its main, if not only true product.

And who is the buyer of that product narrative? Hint: Wall Street.

So let’s add a few things up using 1+1=2 math for business purposes, under the guise of an analogy, shall we?

IW loses traffic initially via YT – yet once its millions of viewers/customers are no longer available to view on YT, they just change their “bookmark” from YT to IW and are able to consume their product however IW sees fit, along with the ability for IW to sell further add-ons of what ever may be their choice going forward. No YT needed.

YT gets? Zip – Zero – Nada. Along with having to explain to Wall Street (conjecture of course) why traffic or user numbers are stagnant, or worse, falling.

And here is the “800-LB Gorilla” in all of this…

How many follow IW’s lead?

And what is the resulting lead to follow one may ask? Good question, and here it is:

Via the Daily Mail™. To wit:

“…5.6million people have subscribed to the Infowars newsletter and free podcast in the past 48 hours.”

All that traffic, all those eyeballs, all those salable (and coveted) business metrics are now his and his alone. That’s why: it’s different this time.

© 2018 Mark St.Cyr

A Few Questions Too Few Will Ask Let Alone Answer

Former White House economic advisor and Goldman Sachs alumni Gary Cohn made some very interesting statements this week. I would like to highlight the term “interesting” for a few reasons, the first being: the context of his claims. And the second: the implications of that context.

I am going to propose that this should not be taken in isolation, but rather, should be viewed in a more overarching context when included amidst other signaling that has the potential to, once and for all, change business (again!) as it is currently now known.

And by that, I mean just that: everything.

Currently Mr. Cohn is railing against Facebook™ (FB) and others stating that it is they whom are acting in an irresponsible manner when it comes to being responsible citizens, as opposed, to what it claimed banks have been. Here’s an excerpt from a recent article in BI™. To Wit:

“In ’08 Facebook was one of those companies that was a big platform to criticize banks, they were very out front of criticizing banks for not being responsible citizens,” the banker said.

“I think banks were more responsible citizens in ’08 than some of the social media companies are today. And it affects everyone in the world. The banks have never had that much pull.”

Now whether or not one wants to question or agree with that premise, I believe, is irrelevant. What I do believe is a far more important set of consequential questions are:

Why the comparison at all? Why now? And maybe even more germane: Why Mr. Cohn?

Hint: I would imagine there’s significant money and/or power to be made here. But that’s just me.

As of late FB stock has done nothing more than just vacillate in the lower range of its initial double-digit percentage loss from its all time highs. As of this writing its clawed back to around the $185 level.

Some would say, in the bigger picture, that’s not such a bad level. But in reality, all it’s been able to do (so far) is scratch-and-claw its way to unchanged for the year. i.e., seems all that “great value” that was told/sold at around $220 still isn’t worth a double-digit % On Sale! sale price.

Again, at least not yet, which in itself shows potential for further downside as opposed to up.

Which brings me back to my first questions of : why? e.g., Why compare or conflate FB, or any other social media outlet for that matter, with the likes of banks and the financial crisis?

What if we were to ask another set of questions, such as:

How does the government get its hands on social media, not by force, but rather, by everyone clamoring for it to be done as to both “Save democracy!” as well as “Save their 401K!?”

If I pose it that way suddenly, that other “why” question as in “why Mr. Cohn?” begins to become more relevant, yes?

FB stock is probably ubiquitous across all retirement funds of one form or another. One would probably be hard pressed to not find any of the others (e.g., Twitter™ et al.) in some form of ETF or other instrument. Their valuations alone have been responsible for the lions share of gains in the “markets” over the last few years. And especially the last 18 months in-particular.

It could be argued that if the social media juggernaut of endless riches has is indeed ended (which I have argued ad nauseam just that) there are far more retirement accounts and ETF holdings at risk of falling in unison than there are actual people still using these platforms. And that’s not including all the algorithmic trading bots trying to front run all the bot farms relentlessly still clicking away pretending to be human as to keep advertising fees aloft. But again, that’s just me.

It was only days ago that a 23 page white paper was released via Sen. Warner detailing potential policy proposals to regulate social media and technology firms. (take notice the blanket qualifier “technology firms” for further cues)

Now taken as a single event something like this seems pretty normal, especially in light of the current political turmoil. However, throw in the sudden appearance and finger-waving via Mr. Cohn, along with the context? Suddenly, as stated by Freedom Williams “Things that make you go Hmmmmm” pops front of mind.

So here’s what I’m driving at…

Should the social media (and quite possibly the entire tech space in toto) suddenly begin spiraling a la dot-com 1999 style, it would be just the opportune time for government intervention to suddenly appear and imply “For the sake of democracy!” they need to take over (as in heavy-handed) and regulate the entire social media and tech space.

However, in conjunction for having to take this drastic action which they (of course) would deem as a necessity (i.e., here comes the selling points) they would in fact through taking this regulation (with a heavy heart smiled the grim reaper) be putting a governmental implied “put” under all the stock values.

Why? Because you would not be able to start or administer another without said government approval, therefore, solidifying (as in closing) the market. aka: kill any and all competition.

After all: if social media can now be compared in the same light (as you are now beginning to see?) as strategically important as banks? Do you see my point here?

In a market rout: would or does the Federal Reserve suddenly openly buy FAANG stocks or ETFs? Or better yet, does the Fed, ride in on some glistening stallion of monetary intervention to save not only the banks, but all those constituents and 401K holders with all that “great tech value” stuffed into their balance sheets? All to a unison chorus openly shouting for government action to come in and “save the day!?” (and their portfolios)

Again, if they are suddenly assumed to now be as “systemically important” as banks, why wouldn’t the Fed. intervene? Especially if its “banks,” along with many a politicians (powerful politicians at that) constituents 401Ks are loaded to the gills with them? Are they suddenly less important than buying mortgage-backed securities to “save the system” of 2008?

If “democracy” is at stake as the now battlecries are being shouted, can the Fed. just turn a deaf ear?

And if you don’t think things like this are thought out or, at least floated about, well before hand as to see what type of early reaction may be. May I call your attention back to then House Speaker Pelosi and others when they were trying to make a case that the government may have to take over 401K accounts and turn them into government holdings aka U.S. Treasuries, you know, for your own protection?

If you believe that the above is just a bunch of hyperbole and ill-informed reasoning, I’ll just say this:

That’s what they said when I first proposed the Federal Reserve was actively involved in the markets back in 2009.

Today, that “tin-foiled-hat conspiratorial gibberish” is now accepted – and taught – across academia as: prudent monetary policy.

Makes one go “hmmmm” indeed.

© 2018 Mark St.Cyr

Is The Yuan Weakening From Intent Or Loss Of Control?

It would seem that the mainstream business/financial media is suddenly catching on to the implications of a sudden Chinese Yuan devaluation, and its ability to roil global markets. Tariff retaliation is now the dominant cause-and-effect extrapolation given.

However, is this a form of some silent intent and practice that many are trying to explain? Or, is this something far more meaningful that everyone seems to be missing? And by “meaningful” I mean:

  • Are the current gyrations intentional? i.e., The current movements are a result of intended strategy and tactically delivered.
  • Or: Are they the result of a situation becoming untenable where situational tactics and/or responses are being made and/or deployed in desperation?

Both have the same initial effect, but both have very different endings.i.e., One may be controllable. (and that is debatable) The other makes “A bull in a china shop” scenario appear as wishful thinking.

I am of the opinion, and have been for some time, that the current gyrations in the USD/CNY cross rate has not come via some masterful game of Go. On the contrary.

What I believe has been happening is that if there is any sort of “game” going on, it is based more in the politburo’s realization that they have lost control of their currency and are now trying frantically front-run editorially what is happening via its house organs and more.

The reasoning is simple: If retaliation for tariffs was to use the currency as a weapon – then why intervene at all?

For China has (as I’ve explained previously) the valid argument that as the U.S. $Dollar was weakening since the end of 2016, China has allowed its currency to appreciate over that entire span and even into this year. (i.e., 18 months give or take.)

But they haven’t.

Here’s what I said earlier in July. To wit:

My opinion of course, but it’s based far more on business acumen than any academic interpretation can muster.

China is now visibly struggling to keep all the “spinning plates” of financial engineering aloft, but they are beginning to wobble miserably.

The Shanghai Composite Index has now moved into technical Bear Market status (e.g., down 20%.) The Yuan, whether by stealth devalue or outright politburo control loss is within spitting distance of panic levels. (e.g., 6.70 USD/CNY cross-rate) Above 6.70 and the race for all out currency panic begins in earnest (e.g., 7.00)

In China their leader Xi Jinping was recently voted in as “leader for life.”  I have written about this prior where I made the argument that this will allow him to control the populace with an iron fist should the economy begin to falter, then runaway downhill. I also argued it was the reasoning why he pushed for it. I believe a difinitive answer to that assessment will be forthcoming in the very near future.

Yes, many will state that the current Trump administration will be tarnished should the economy begin to falter. That may be true, but it may also be false, and here’s why…

Should China suddenly falter with either a massive currency devaluation, whether directed via the politburo, or just from market forces, sending contagion knock-on effects reverberating globally will be just the catalyst (as well as straw-man) the administration can (and more likely, will) use to state something akin to, “See, it was China all along benefiting on our lousy trade policies. The more we asserted fairness, the quicker they fell apart. See, they can’t compete with us unless it’s based on tying our hands, so now we need to begin rebuilding right here, first!”

The reason for the Yuan appreciation (conjecture of course) had nothing to do with anything the politburo was doing, and had everything to do with $Dollar weakness.

China, for that time being, was given a gift in the form of a respite. (i.e., $Dollar weakening into ill-perceived Trump turmoil)

And the moment Tax policies became law, and with the Federal Reserve, along with other central banks, beginning any real quantifiable Quantitative Tightening (QT) process and raising of interest rates? China’s currency woes, along with its enormous credit malfeasance began coming back into the spotlight. And it’s not been a pretty picture.

Here’s just one of the latests snapshots in the family album. Again, to wit:


As you can see the 6.70 did not hold. (the bars/candles represent daily intervals) despite openly stated (or plainly interpreted “invisible hand”) interventions.

We are now quickly approaching what was deemed by the politburo via openly stated intervention back in 2017 to defend the 7.00 demarcation level.

And as we get closer the politburo seems to only now be becoming more openly vocal, as well as employing even more resources to quell (e.g., kill) as many (e.g., in toto) Yuan shorts as possible.

And there lies the 64-Trillion Yuan question: Why?

Here’s what I believe:

The further interjection of politburo monetary manipulation, in all its forms (e.g., reserve rate cuts, credit extensions, buying its currency, etc., etc., etc.) in such open and easily witnessed fashions, all the while, by being nearly silent (meaning vocally) to its currency weakening, along with doing so at levels well below its openly declared demarcation level of 6.70, requires one to think a bit deeper.

For if a currency devaluation (and a sever one at that) would be seen as a logical counter move in retaliation against any tariffs. Then why intercede so soon? Would not above 7.00 be a fair level to start? Especially if it would probably cripple your adversary in the short run? (i.e., cause some form of market rout.)

Unless the “game” is really nothing about tariffs, and such. But has everything to do with the long game that’s truly China’s goal: Making the Yuan the reserve currency displacing the $Dollar.

To restate differently: if that is truly the “only game in town worth playing.” Then China’s current hodge-podge of interventions begins to make more sense, than trying to view it solely through the prism of tariffs and trade. i.e., China does not care (“care” being a relative term) if a trade war or anything else disrupts markets.

What they are scared-to-death-of is any upheaval that causes people, countries, and businesses to rush back into the U.S. $Dollar in the form of safety related trades and once again putting the “gold standard” for implied safety back into U.S. hands, as well as coffers.

China’s main goal for world trade domination and influence hinges on making the Yuan the reserve currency of global affairs. It has worked diligently, at every turn possible, to do just that. Getting its currency to be included into the basket of currencies known as the SDR was of a paramount pursuit. And on October 1, 2016 it finally attained it.

Then, just one month later – the world of changed.

At first it appeared, again, for that moment, that China would be able to just sit back and allow the political infighting within the U.S., along with what appeared to be the globe’s reluctance for further faith (as well as use) in the $Dollar to play out its own demise. And then: tax reform passed, and interest rate hikes began in earnest, and QT became manifest, and more. And suddenly trade was not only on the table, but all prior trade deals were straight-armed right into the dust bin.

And what China had previously taken for granted over the past 18 months has been nearly completely eviscerated (currency wise) in all of about 90 days. Along with any and all counter measures in dealing with trade issues previously assumed.

Now those prior assumed effective countermeasures are being countered to a point of two, if not 10 to 1! i.e., immediate countermeasures to their counters. It’s now a very serious (as well as costly) game of tit-for-tat. Especially for China. The reasoning is simple:

They are now faced with using what may be the only (and last) effective retaliatory weapon for trade disputes in their arsenal, which is – a devaluing of their currency.

But the problem is this: If they do, it may be much like the “nuclear option” it’s always described to be. i.e., Holds great power, but may ensure it hurts the user just as much as on whom its used.

Should the Chinese authorities suddenly allow for a massive devaluation under the current global circumstances it’s very possible (if not probable) that it will wipe out, in its entirety, all the work and forbearance they have worked so diligently for these past two decades respectively. Meaning – say goodbye to the Yuan having any implied reserve status, for who knows how long.

In a communist controlled country, civil unrest will be met with far more brutality, if needed, via an administration that is now cemented into leader for life status. Should trade wars cause unrest within the populace, it will be unwanted, yet, China has shown not only does it have the tools to control unrest (just look to prior examples) but it’s also willing to use those tools as it sees fit.

Remember: Any resulting unrest from trade can also be blamed on outside forces through propaganda. i.e., It’s the U.S. causing all this pain!” et cetera, et cetera.

Yet, when it comes to its currency initiatives, along with its true long-range plans/goals of superseding any all prior? The propaganda story is not within China’s control.

A rout based in currency flight out of the Yuan and into the $Dollar, along with a global market rout that many may see as the causation being China’s lack of being able to control its currency is something, and I’ll wager just about the only thing, that is keeping the current politburo awake at night.

That’s a story China can not afford to take shape an any price, for if they lose any perceived stability in the Yuan at this juncture…

It may put all their fought for gains back, by decades, and many at that.

We’re now closing in on those levels that may decide it all, again, where all control is not only perceived as lost. But proven to be so.

As always, we shall see.

© 2018 Mark St.Cyr


(For those who say I just don’t get it…get this)

Over the years I’ve taken quite a bit of heat when I dared question what was being told/sold across much, if not most, of the mainstream business/financial media. To put it mildly: not only was I not winning any friends, but was viewed as publicly stepping-on-toes that some deemed “off-limits,” especially for someone like myself who is, in many ways, in the same business. i.e., speaks from a stage or platform in the “motivation/business advice business.”

Many thought (at first) is was some lame attempt on my part as to try to elevate myself in some pitiful form at trying to punch-above-my-weight. i.e., publicly blow “raspberries” at the current “high priest or priestesses” in a specific category for publicity’s sake. As I’ve stated over the years – “that just ain’t my style.”

Regardless who I may differ with: I make my case, and let you dear reader decide for yourself, as it should be. Because it really doesn’t matter what I think, it only matters if it makes you think, then, use it – or completely disregard it. (On a side note, for those who may be new, I have just as much, if not more, published and/or quoted or referenced financial commentary on markets, business, and global affairs than most I have ever criticized. And yes, even those who may be deemed as “Big Wigs.”)

Advice or insight, any advice or insight for that matter, is only valuable if it can be applied in some pragmatic fashion as to better your own business or personal circumstances. But (and it’s a very big but) the absolute worst advice you’ll ever come across – is the one where you just blindly accept what someone is telling you without truly understanding all the ramifications of said advice, which is not so gleefully expressed from a stage or book, because they have some form of name recognition. i.e., If it sounds too good to be true? Even if Mr. X. or Ms. Y is shouting it from some platform. (I think you know the rest.)

And nothing attracts “Dreams of Riches” faster than moths-to-a-flame than “making it big in real-estate” road shows. The problem is many of these types of events leave many an attendee with results more similar to a moth than most “millionaire real-estate moguls.” i.e., most end up just burned, and very severely at that.

Which brings me to the reason for this article.

In May of last year I penned the following article titled, “They’re Baaack! And Why You Should Be Worried – Very Worried!”

Here’s the argument I made at the open. To wit:

Bubbles are easy to spot – pinpointing when they’ll pop – is quite another.

I coined that phrase a while back which is nothing more than adding my own spin combining two very old catch phrases used by seasoned traders and investors. I use the word “seasoned” for a reason. Why?

Because they’re the ones that have been around (and been burned themselves) yet lived to trade, or invest, another day. Those who remained wedded (usually the novice or one who’s never experienced true volatility) to the more prominent and specious claims of “you can’t tell when you’re in a bubble” followed with “you can always get out in time” for the most part are long gone. i.e.,The bubble popped into the ether – along with their money.

Nowhere was this phenom more apparent than the real-estate boom of the early 2000’s, which followed the prior phenom only 10 years prior (e.g., the dot-com crash) that should have seared into people’s memory for millennia just how “bubbles” take shape – and the resulting financial devastation that happens rapidly once they’ve popped.

Guess what? (actually you already know) nobody seems too care. Yet, here’s something you may not know, but should: It’s all happening again, and in the same time frame.

We are once again (you’re going to see that phrase a lot) hovering in and around the all-time highs in the “markets.” And, once again, all the warning signs are coming into place that should be the tell-tale signs for prudence and caution. Here are three, but they’re a very big 3 when combined. Ready?

  1. Tony Robbins has authored another financial book.

  2. Suze Orman has once again reemerged to deliver her brand of financial advice.

  3. They’re both delivering their insights at a venue titled (wait for it) Real Estate Wealth Expo™, where you too can learn how to become a millionaire via real estate.

The backlash was near instantaneous which was understandable. But how has all this “advice” worked out now one year later? Great question, let’s look shall we? Again, to wit:

Via an article this week by Steve Saretsky on Wolf Street™:

Canadian housing data continued to disappoint in the month of June. Albeit the year-over-year decline in home sales was not nearly as disappointing as the month of May. National home sales fell 11% year-over-year in June, a slight upgrade from the 16% decline suffered in May.

As sales dipped, so too did the total amount spent on real estate. The total dollar volume dipped 12% year-over-year in June, totaling C$23.5 billion. A tough blow to government tax coffers which have reaped record sums of property tax dollars in recent years.

The national slowdown was particularly unkind to the province of BC where home sales slid 33% year over year, the largest draw-down since June of 2008. Weak buying activity hit Greater Vancouver & Victoria the hardest, sales fell 38% and 30% respectively.

However, the pullback was not exclusive to the province of BC. Other than small year over year gains in Quebec City, Toronto, and Montreal, most major cities were hit with a drop in home sales.

Which brings me back to the point I originally made when I first wrote my article, which was this:

As you jump, cheer, and shout as Tony or any other speaker there screams from the stage for you to shout in unison, or to the person directly adjacent to you, “I own you!” as some mantra for you to remember as to help solidify your reasoning, and wherewithal as to commit to your decision making process. Let me add this one note of caution…

That is precisely what the banks, mortgage holders, credit card companies, city, and county real estate tax authorities, IRS, bankruptcy courts, lawyers, and more will be shouting at you if there’s even a hiccup in this current BTFD “market” stampede.

I’m pretty confident that there are still quite a few attendees jumping up-and-down and shouting,

Just not for the original idea of what they were sold, of that, I’m pretty confident.

© 2018 Mark St.Cyr

Footnote: These “FTWSIJDGIGT” articles came into being when many of the topics I had opined on over the years were being openly criticized for “having no clue”. Yet, over the years these insights came back around showing maybe I knew a little bit more than some were giving me credit for. It was my way of tongue-in-cheek as to not use the old “I told you so” analogy. I’m saying this purely for the benefit of those who may be new or reading here for the first time (and there are a great many of you and thank you too all). I never wanted or want to seem like I’m doing the “Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah” type of response to my detractors. I’d rather let the chips fall – good or bad – and let readers decide the credibility of either side. Occasionally however, there are, and have been times they do need to be pointed out which is why these now have taken on a life of their own. (i.e., something of significance per se that may have a direct impact on one’s business etc., etc.) And readers, colleagues, and others have requested their continuance.