Jack Worthington's Social & Investment Commentaries

2016: Trump v. Clinton? NO. Trump v. Globalism

Posted in Investment & Social Commentaries by Jack Worthington on October 11, 2016

A few quick thoughts on fundamentals driving the US 2016 POTUS election…Trump v. Globalism.

  1. Most people would think I’m a caricature of an American globalist…and I have been for almost my entire adult life. Not many American or European investment bankers / private equity pros that I know have a more globalist professional background and academic training.  Since 1987, shortly after undergrad, almost my entire professional career has been dependent on the growth of globalism.  Since 1987 I’ve lived in 7 countries outside the US…4 continents…the majority of my adult life…as an investment banker/private equity/strategic planning pro…feeding directly off the teat of globalism…hardline globalism.  I returned to the US recently, but still focus IB/PE on international work.  If globalism dies, so do my career and niche expertise…vaporized.  Aside from a clear conscience and concern for ordinary people behind the 8 ball in the US and Europe, I can see little personal gain whatsoever from publishing this…quite the opposite.
  2. People voting for Trump need to understand that they are voting to destroy people like me…all the global business, institutional, and academic interests vested in globalism…it is an enormous and powerful group of people globally. You are almost literally backing David in a fight against Goliath.  But yes, I’m supporting Trump…the globalism we’ve implemented is not sustainable.
  3. The academic acropolis, if not Mecca, of globalism is probably Columbia University in NY. In my experience there, Columbia is a nurtured ecosystem where Nobel prize-winning economists, Fortune 500 companies, leaders of global investment banking, and leaders of global investment management interact to form their opinions about how the world should be, and how to move society.  From day 1 through graduation, MBA students were inculcated daily in the theology and practical application of globalism…every single course believe-it-or-not had a “mandatory” globalist angle to it…shoved in somehow/some way.
  4. I can assure you that many of these “luminaries” are more fallibly human than you can imagine. e. they are not the founts of unassailable wisdom and knowledge on this planet.  I.e. the Eurozone, 2007-8 Financial Crisis, et al…et al…  IMO, generally speaking, they are silver-tongued and academically brilliant…but often lack wisdom/judgment/etc…etc…they are human and often wrong…except their errors can be cataclysmic for our world due to the power we’ve vested in them.
  5. Globalist theory in a highly condensed nutshell for the purposes of this rambling:  All boats rise in a system of expanding global trade…where the Competitive Advantage of Nations (Porter: Harvard Business Review https://hbr.org/1990/03/the-competitive-advantage-of-nations ) are developed and nurtured.  e. if manufacturing can be done more cheaply, at same quality in country X, all other things equal, move there…the developed nations have an advantage in high value added services and should focus on developing/nurturing those national core competencies…the bulk of the value chain remains in the developed country, and grows as we focus on things we do better than others.  “Lesser developed” countries benefit in the same way…by focusing on what they do best.  We all benefit…all boats rise.
  6. Yes, and no. Yes…poverty in emerging markets has been drastically reduced…I’ve seen it first hand.  No…albeit very foreseeable to people of common/non-academic sense, the mass transition into service industries expected for American and European workers has been far more difficult than imagined…variables that academics can’t fit into their multifactor models supporting globalist theory.  The US labor force participation rate remained stagnated in the 66-67% range from the late 80’s through 2008…during the unfettered reign of globalist theory…no apparently equal benefit to Western employment opportunities. That rate took a nose dive in 2009 and now stands at 63%, a 38 year low (the data: http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/labor-force-participation-rate ).  Globalist theory has been dismally ineffective in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis…the US/European work forces have not been fully transitioned and are in a period of “dangerous” limbo (very predictable), and politicians (most are trained attorneys) seem to have no idea how to move the needle on LFPR…while the entire Western world needs to be focused like a laser on this stat.
  7. IMO, a key corollary economic development/management theory that also gained ground during the rise of globalism that few in middle America are tuned into has played a major role in the labor force participation stagnation/decline: Economic Value Added (EVA) / Value Based Management (VBM) / Shareholder Value Added (SVA) are all quantitative approaches to management that rest on the foundation of trickle down economic theory in its most raw form.  In a condensed nutshell: cash flow is king…cash flow accumulates to capital owners, who distribute to various constituencies including employees, creditors, et al.  The organization should be managed to maximize EVA / cash flow above all else, including any subjective issues that aren’t easily quantifiable…applied EVA is a quantitative economic model that requires outstanding senior management judgment to apply effectively, and everyone thinks they have superior mgmt. judgment…a bad combo.  Minimally useful employees are fired / not hired.  Most key business decisions are modeled on their EVA impact, including lawsuits, environmental compliance, hiring, etc…etc…  I’d guess most global companies use some variant of EVA as a key management process…linked directly to the value of public share price or private equity.  e. humans are highly and unemotionally dispensable…all activities are geared towards increasing value for owners…cold, unemotional trickle down.  This is a massive cultural change in American history…where many people used to work for one company for life, and the company could be trusted to take care of its people through thick and thin, first and foremost.  Hard quantitative approaches to management have generally won the day.  RIP “Company Man”.
  8. It is extraordinary/brilliant/evil? that the globalists, whose theory is underpinned by an extremely Darwinian trickle down economic system…where the owners of capital monopolize power over human prosperity to such an extent, at their whim…and subject to their moral failures…have been able to convince poor voters to support them politically, while at the same time railing against trickle down economics publicly! It is lunacy how any black, Hispanic, or low income voter in the US could ever align themselves with the globalists.  When vulnerable people are taken advantage of in this way it crosses the line between brilliance and evil in my book.  Pure deception.
  9. Unfettered, unemotional globalism + poor political leadership + misused EVA + high volume low skill immigration = significantly declining LFPR = social disaster. In this scenario, a “Trump” was inevitable.  If Trump loses the election, no fundamentals change…his movement is only going to grow until something gives.  The globalists may rue the day they didn’t accept Trump and his relatively mild prescriptions.  The inevitable next “Trump” may be a Marxism-infused Bernie Sanders/Trump nationalist combo…the worst nightmare of a globalist.   The LFPR needle must be moved positively, somehow, some way, and quickly by experienced people who know what they’re doing and have the skill of real world implementation in a distressed organization environment…will probably require sacrifices / significant adjustments in at least each of the 4 factors above…plus a few major initiatives at Fed gov’t level…I can think of one that could move that needle explosively and help with the theoretical transition…there are things we can do…most of it requiring extraordinary leadership though…and here we are…just humans.  And accept-it-or-not, there aren’t many people with the temperament and skill set needed to get us out of this mess…in a distressed company or distressed gov’t…traditional politicians / corporate hacks are the opposite of the type needed for the challenges we face.  There aren’t many turnaround leaders I’ve had experience with that people actually like…and at this point we don’t have that luxury frankly.  I remember a guy who was shot at…had snakes put in his home mailbox, etc…etc…generally loathed…but highly effective in a distressed situation when an immediate, experienced, steady hand was needed at the helm to keep the ship afloat and move it to safety…and quickly ushered out the door when his time was up.  And we’re worrying about locker room language??…from pols who probably surf porn, sleep with their secretaries, etc…etc…??  Check this out:  Wikipedia: List of American Federal Politicians Convicted of Crimes:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_American_federal_politicians_convicted_of_crimes .
  10. There’s a lot more I could write about the topic, but frankly just don’t have the time.
  11. Actually, there is significant personal gain from me writing this…by the slimmest of hopes we somehow avert disaster, and my children live in peace and prosperity in a close-knit, united country…like the one I grew up in.

So, on Nov 8 vote your conscience, but just remember who Hillary Clinton is and represents (a puppet of unhinged, unrestrained, unadjusted globalism)…and the potential, unquantifiable outcome(s) of the unsustainable path it’s on…and where the anti-Trump attacks are actually coming from…  How globalist are you?

JW

11 Oct 2016

NY, NY

Why Trump? Why now?

Posted in Investment & Social Commentaries by Jack Worthington on February 24, 2016

I thought I’d share a recent email I sent to someone who asked who I support in the 2016 election:

 

Re: Who do I support?

 

Thanks. I needed to go through this exercise again.  I.e. who I support and exactly why.

 

The biggest issues driving my decision:

  1. The US is profoundly divided, and balkanising at warp speed. Must be reversed.  The US is a failing experiment in human unity, held together by a fragile creed, which is crumbling before our eyes…and angry survivalist tribalism fills the void just as quickly as the creed breaks apart.  Break-out failure of the US experiment could potentially unleash intra-group violence within a country on a scale never seen.  Ferguson, Baltimore, etc… times X and commonplace.  Think French and Bolshevik revolutions.  Unlike most other countries, we aren’t held together by ancestral blood…which prevents much extreme conflict.  Somehow we must be brought back into our creed…quickly.  Like him or not, Trump is the embodiment of that strongly unifying creed that has served us well for a few centuries.
  2. A corrupted financial market structure caused much of point #1 above. IMO, it can be quickly fixed…simple solution (which I have not heard mentioned at any time by any candidate), but will be massively opposed…globally.  I’ve written about it…reform the basic structure of vertically-integrated investment banking; i.e. eliminate vertically-integrated ibanking…like it used to be pre-“Big Bang” in London…forget about reforming too-big-to-fail commercial banks for a minute.  Someone has to have the cajones to stand up to Goliath with a slingshot and a rock…back to the future is the answer…but modern ibanking is so extraordinarily profitable for its employees it will never be changed without a strong, outsider disruptive leader / reformer supported by the 99%.
  3. Media is a for-profit industry that seeks to maximise profit at almost any cost to journalistic integrity or public benefit. They aren’t in business to inform us…but to sell advertising to us.  In that vein, they’ve turned their coverage of political elections into Roman spectacles of bloodshed…a modern digital Circus Maximus, where they incite the people into massively opposed groups for perpetual “Super Bowl” viewing events / ratings explosions…anything to capture our eyeballs…which they sell to advertisers.  In this environment, few people of intelligence and accomplishment would dare enter the political arena they’ve created…so we’re left with the dregs…extreme narcissists, psychopaths, the deluded, people who want to abuse the system for financial gain and will sell their soul to do so, etc… who raise their hands to be our politicians…while the qualified and capable run like hell from public service.  We all know we aren’t attracting our best and brightest into the arena…and that must change.  The media are bought by the established interests who, not only don’t support guys like Bernie or Trump, they will do everything they can to destroy them.  Like him or not, Trump is attacking a corrupted media on behalf of the American public, and we all benefit.  His efforts ultimately clear a path for our best and brightest to enter the political arena at some point.
  4. Our foreign policy, led by both Dems and GOP, is actually driven by an unchanging, unelected, career departmental bureaucracy with agenda’s which perpetuate / expand the power of their jobs. It’s one reason we’re back in a Cold War with Russia…an abject failure of structure that has led us to the brink of WWIII.  The solution seems similar in challenge to point #3 above…reverting to the old order which effectively contained Islam.  We need a David to fight Goliath.  But, referring to point #3 above, the media destroys David’s before they ever get close to the field, much less onto it.  Trump is an experienced, battle scarred, entrepreneurial / disruptive exec…our best available choice for a leader who can control the “Deep State” and their self-serving agendas.  Our real fight is against the “Deep State”, which is controlled by the military industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned us about in his Jan 17, 1961 “Farewell Address” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8y06NSBBRtY .  IMO, every single American voter should listen to this 2:30 speech and consider its implications today.  Former Reagan speechwriter and WSJ columnist Peggy Noonan describes it well in her blog “The Deep State” http://blogs.wsj.com/peggynoonan/2013/10/28/the-deep-state/ …with comments from ABC News’ Bob Schieffer, Washington Posts’ Bob Woodward, et al.  This is what we’re up against people…straight from the mouths of long term insiders…both sides of aisle.   You cannot hire a “Mitt Romney” or “Jeb Bush” to successfully handle a change management challenge of this magnitude…polar opposite of the personality / exec style needed at this time…and Americans instinctively know this.  Think “Gordon Bethune”…the man who turned around Continental Airlines against all odds…these are the great, iconoclastic American leaders that we need to somehow attract into the political arena…but these people are too smart and emotionally balanced to raise their hands…blame the media and the existing pols who perpetuate the circus, and their military industrial puppet masters.  This is not the job for an insider hack beholden to the system.
  5. The American creed is primarily related to economic mobility. This is badly stuck.  It’s not just about enlarging the economy (forget GDP stats), but allowing everyone to rise with the tide.  Post 2008 econ crisis, the tide rose, but few had life boats…and many are drowning while a few are partying.  This can be fixed, but again, we run into entrenched interests that must be fought aggressively by a David with a slingshot and a rock…interests who battle David behind a veil through their bought and paid for media org megaphones.  Nobody in the race but Trump and Bernie have the courage to grab that slingshot, and Trump has by far the best ability to use it.  Hillary?  Cruz (Goldman Sachs wife)?  Rubio?  Are you kidding?
  6. In an environment where the US experiment in human unity is failing in a creedal collapse, many of our most sacred Constitutional rights are being institutionally violated. Uncharted waters ahead.  History proves that rights must be both claimed and defended, or we lose them…like sand taken from a beach by unrelenting waves.  We need leaders who will defend, but we must claim first.  I believe this is part of the Trump phenomenon.  Establishment pols have nobody to blame but themselves for the outcome of not defending the citizen’s claims.
  7. We should take care of current American citizens before allowing anyone else to immigrate here. e. American citizens (especially vets!) should have the right to work, public benefits, housing, etc… before illegals.  Aggressively encouraging immigration at this time, even luring them with benefits, housing, jobs, etc… is insanity with a craven political objective.
  8. Mainstream Islam seeks to convert the entire world to worship of the Islamic god…by violence if necessary. Followers of Islam are by definition violent religious extremists (overtly or covertly) and obviously cannot be appeased.  This violent conflict between free people and Islam has been ongoing since 610 AD…nothing new.  We need leaders to hear our concerns and defend our freedom from Islam aggressively.  We need a Churchill, not a Chamberlain.
  9. High quality job growth. The current paradigm is untenable, and the political / economic establishments are in a highly precarious, potentially volatile situation until this is fixed.  A familiar refrain…straightforward solutions which require bold action.  Nobody in the race but Trump has the crisis manager skillset and disruptive personality profile needed to do it…not even remotely close…and I’ve personally interviewed / evaluated hundreds of C-level / senior execs for entrepreneurial private equity leadership challenges.  Just because a guy has been CEO of a major co does not make him the right guy for a crisis management / entrepreneurial leadership challenge.  Nobody in this race but Trump has even run anything!  Obama claimed his campaign was his experience!
  10. Fed Gov’t Debt:  An existential threat to our life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.  Nothing has been done by our elected pols because few have the courage to do anything…we aren’t electing the right leaders…attracting the wrong people.
  11. NSA surveillance. Our strategy is to defend our freedom by significantly reducing it?  I’m against Trump on this one.  His position on the Apple issue is wrong and dangerous to American freedom.  Global NSA spying on both friend and foe has alienated us from the people of traditional ally countries…a deep resentment from ordinary citizens is growing against us, and has severely damaged our global leadership credibility / trust factor.  There is another, more traditional way to secure freedom with minimal sacrifice to that freedom.  Only Rand Paul seems aware of the massive, even existential problems created by minimally restrained NSA spying.

 

The Candidates

 

  1. Marx got it right on at least these observations: Envy is dangerous. Envy is untenable.  The envious win.  Bernie Sanders may lose this race, but his supporters are going nowhere, and their momentum will build if some of their valid, key concerns are not addressed asap.
  2. In this race, nobody but Trump has the skillset and personality profile to deal with the profound challenges our country faces…nobody is even remotely close to having the right skillset other than Trump. Illegal immigration is not our only key issue.
  3. Despite what the MSM tells us, Trump’s appeal crosses over a very broad national demographic, and he has the ability to win a landslide general election. Trump isn’t an ideologue.  Obama is an ideologue.  Bush was an ideologue.  Many hard line conservatives oppose Trump because he isn’t conservative enough.  In Jeb Bush speak…”lose the primary to win the general”.  Trump has crossover in a way that few other candidates in the race could ever legitimately claim.  You doubt it…just watch it happen…many Bernie supporters will vote Trump when push comes to shove…and it won’t be quiet.
  4. In his play for Iowa, Cruz branded himself “Pastor-in-Chief” and has little Dem crossover / independent / moderate Republican appeal outside the South. In fact, Dem strategy is to stir fear in issue voters, then get out the vote…which will be explosive if Cruz is the nominee.  Ted has an excellent legal professional background but has never run a popsicle stand.  I cannot believe we’re considering people who have never run anything to run the world’s largest, most powerful organization.  If you want a theocracy, just write-in your local pastor.  America has never been a theocracy, and God gave us free will to reject him, ensuring his people were legitimate lovers.  We can’t have a state that enforces an inauthentic worship of God…which is one clear way Islam is outed as far off the path of an all-powerful, sovereign God.  Does God need human thugs to force people to worship him, or follow his precepts?  America’s clear moral decline is a failure of the church, not the state.  Fix your local church.
  5. Rubio: Are you kidding?  Again…I cannot believe we’re considering people who have never run anything to run the world’s largest, most powerful organization.  If Trump chooses Rubio for VP, he discredits and significantly harms his movement…this is a movement and less about Trump personally.  Movements can be ruthless arbiters of their version of justice.
  6. Bernie: Justice Scalia’s death was a God-send for Hillary Clinton.  Nomination of a Supreme Court justice is more important than a presidential election.  The Dem establishment cannot risk Scalia’s ideological twin on SCOTUS now / i.e. risk a GOP win with long shot Bernie, and will crush his campaign quickly.  Hillary’s “Emailgate” / Clinton Foundation corruption enquiry, etc… are officially over…Dems will not allow legal investigations to proceed at almost any cost or risk.
  7. Trump should include a campaign theme “If I win, she goes to jail”. A large chunk of the Dem/GOP electorate will be highly energized by the possibility of equal justice for all.  The American electorate are demanding red meat…Trump and Sanders are giving it to them.  Trump shouldn’t waste the opp to serve up Hillary on a silver platter…and it appears he’s already going in that direction…brilliant…massive crossover appeal…ignore the MSM.
  8. Trump’s VP: Gordon Bethune?  Newt Gingrich?  Someone like Bethune would be powerful…a strong signal that America’s best talent is now getting into the game…people with the best available skillset to right the ship and get us back on track…people we’d never have considered for public service before…non-ideological pragmatists.  Newt is unique.  He has a disruptive personality…proven ability to get big things done at the fed gov’t level against all odds…a proven fighter who knows how to navigate the fed gov’t labyrinth, and where the skeletons are buried…Trump needs old iconoclast salts like Newt on his team somewhere.

 

Just my two cents…for what it’s worth.

 

JW

NY, NY

24 Feb 2016

Tagged with: ,

Left, right, or center, every American should (must) vote Trump for one reason alone

Posted in Uncategorized by Jack Worthington on August 11, 2015

The MSM is actively trying to bury this story…one of the most consequential in our generation??

Quote from The Levant Report: “knowledge of the declassified document must make it into every American household”.

In summary, a recently declassified document suggests, and the former head of US Defense Dept Intelligence (DIA) just confirmed, that Obama willfully created ISIS and supports radical Islamic terrorists militarily.

http://levantreport.com/2015/08/06/former-dia-chief-michael-flynn-says-rise-of-islamic-state-was-a-willful-decision-and-defends-accuracy-of-2012-memo/

http://www.rt.com/usa/312050-dia-flynn-islamic-state/

The implications are extraordinary, hard to fully analyse, and frightening, but one thing is clear:  It’s not only what we do know, but what we don’t know that should worry us when monitoring Barack Obama’s presidency.

This is hard evidence for what many have instinctively believed, yet at the same time, denied as unthinkable from our own President.  Did we really get it that bad on Obama?  Yes Virginia, this evidence proves that we did.  Was George Washington really on the side of the British?  Unthinkable.

It’s time to encourage independent, non-US journalists to investigate and report on this story asap.

It’s time for all Americans to watch / re-watch Dinesh D’Souza’s “2016: Obama’s America”, which gives one plausible explanation for the root of our Obama problem.

It’s time to control illegal immigration and secure the border asap.  Again, it’s what we don’t know that should worry us.

Who still trusts Obama to negotiate a nuclear deal with Iran, the world’s most active and unrepentant state sponsor of Islamic terrorism?

It’s time for all American’s, left, right, and center to vote Trump.  He’s the only one with the courage to control our borders.  Does this really require courage?!

JW

NY, NY 11 Aug 2015