Are we headed into a recession in 2016-2017?

The decline in the key drivers of economic growth say yes:

Business investment and employment are critical factors in economic growth.

As a result of these negatives:

China’s struggles are a concern. Its growth has consistently slowed. 2015 was its slowest year in 25 years. This is a factor in the global decline in the demand for commodities and the 55% reduction in commodity prices since 2014 negatively affecting capital investment and employment. Unfortunately 2016 growth is difficult to accept as real as it has been stimulated by debt in an economy that is seriously overleveraged.

The USA’s growth prospects are muddled by an apparent decision by one of its major industries – automobiles. General Motors, Ford and Chrysler are reportedly not investing in flexible production systems as are its German and Japanese competitors. This is described as: “…technological change that stands to radically reshape the car business.”

Will this result in the Big Three’s costs being higher than its competitors? Probably. It will most likely lead to lower unit sales and lower overhead absorption resulting in lower operating profits, lower cash flows, less capital investment and lower employment.

Adding to the puzzle about General Motors’ viability is its $500 million investment in Lyft – a Uber competitor. Lyft is a business outside of GM’s vehicle manufacturing core. Is GM losing disciplined strategic focus?

Follow-up articles:

Business Insider, May 26, 2016, “Japan’s prime minister is warning world leaders about a ‘Lehman-scale crisis’” He interprets economic data as pointing to the reemergence of the global financial crisis of 2007-2008.

Fox Business, May 26, 2016: Interview with former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan: “Greenspan: Western World Headed for a State of Disaster”. “…have a very profound long-term problem of economic growth…(not) on the verge of a market…collapse…”

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Chief Executive Officer

Executive Chairman

Turnarounds & Operational Restructurings

Adviser to creditors, board of directors or owners

Pre-acquisition & troubled company due diligence evaluations

Develop strategic and operating plans - including Court required plans of reorganization

Acquisition advice and negotiations

Serve as Member Board of Directors

Testify in Federal and State Court

Reason I wrote my book “Learn to Whisper”

Click on this link for a more complete description of “Learn to Whisper”

The reason I wrote “Learn to Whisper”:

My conclusion after operating as a Turnaround Chief Executive Officer for more than twenty-five years is that the majority of this country’s top management is far from first-rate. In fact top management, particularly at the chief executive officer level, is at best average with a large number that can be rated mediocre. This lack of management competence has seen this country’s market leaders lose sizeable market share to foreign manufacturers able to export better quality and lower cost products to the USA. It has seen manufacturing and service operations unnecessarily moved to foreign countries. All of which has negatively affected the economy, severely damaged former blue-chip corporations and seen quality jobs lost.

It is quite common to discover that companies struggling with this inability to compete with foreign companies have been simply mismanaged. The once successful business deteriorated because of an incompetent chief executive officer and weak senior management

Why doesn’t this nation have first-rate management? Inadequate training. Chief executive officers and vice presidents learn “on the job”. A number get promoted based on personality, political connections and drive – not merit. They are not carefully screened for the potential to become successful at managing. For some all that is needed is a well-written resume, the right interviewing style and the inability of a new employer to accurately assess skills, performance and potential.

Compare this to the process doctors go through. From medical school to internship to residency to a senior role after years of education, experience and continuous training their progress and capabilities are constantly monitored even after they become senior in the profession. Generals and Admirals go through a similar protocol. They must prove themselves in low-level assignments before they are judged qualified for senior positions. Unqualified applicants in both professions are culled out. What can be done to improve management competence? Education, on-the-job training and job performance monitoring. My book will educate people on the subject of managing. Its 101 management lessons are separated into the 17 subjects managers need to know.