'Futurist' Mark Anderson predicts
"Trump understands China more than most," stated predictive analytical economist Mark Anderson from a podium in Bellingham's Whatcom Community College, Friday, Jan. 13, which was live streamed to a small Wenatchee audience at the Confluence Technology Center (CTC). Those in attendance on that "superstitious" day, comprised of an audience of some businesspeople and some government executives, seemed engaged, with many taking notes. Anderson's "show" didn't disappoint those expecting big thoughts to be floated as potential fact.
Anderson started his talk by telling everyone his predictions were actually made in December and some have already born fruit such as his thoughts on Amazon.
He credited the world's largest online retailer's success was due in large part to it's CEO Jeff Bazos. "Jeff," as Anderson called him, was the driving force behind that company, which Anderson said would continue to grow and continue to dominate the online retail market. In fact Amazon just announced the hiring of 100,000 more employees as well as the opening of some brick and mortar shops in various major markets. Ironic since online sales have been blamed for many large and small retailers going out of business or downsizing operations.
The good news about China, according to Anderson, is that the United States "is in better position than anyone else" to take advantage of a failing Chinese economy that has been artificially buttressed by that government for years. Anderson specifically addressed the yuan - China's official currency, as being the beneficiary of heavy government support, which is another point previously made by Trump. The latest market report showed 6.9 yuan to the dollar.
Anderson also hit China hard on the idea that China claims 6 percent economic growth, but he feels it is actually negative 2 percent. He lauded British and German leaders for not allowing more Chinese economic influence into their economies, while he warned other South American and African nations would be hurt because they allowed heavy Chinese investments. "China is in some sense bankrupt ...and their partners are experiencing the same problem. It is a wake up experience for a lot of people," he said. Anderson noted economic trends would continue to get worse for the Chinese once the real value of the yuan is revealed.
He lambasted the Chinese for dumping vast amounts of steel and other commodities onto world markets saying they were putting workers out of work all over the world while trying to keep their own workers employed. Anderson also slammed the Chinese for stealing intellectual property and stated "currency inflation won't end quickly or well" for the Chinese. More good news for American markets. "All that money that can take a trip is taking a trip to the U.S.," he said.
Overproduction in China, what Anderson called "asymmetric trade" means "job loss." He noted all the Chinese manipulation of currency and massive overproduction is "all connected, all one idea. It's one big business model against our model."
Port of Douglas Commissioner Mark Spurgeon, an event attendee, said, "From what little I've read in the Wall Street Journal, Anderson's comments regarding China seem pretty accurate, especially with respect to what's happened with aluminum -- something that certainly resonates in our community." Spurgeon was referring to the recent closing of the Alcoa plant in Malaga, which cost several hundred local workers their jobs. Alcoa blamed the worldwide glut of aluminum, thus resulting in greatly reduced value per ton, for the closure.
Not relenting on his criticism of the Chinese, Anderson said the Chinese economy was stumbling and crashing because it was based on "fraud and theft."
He then gave an analogy about banks. No one would think it wrong or unethical if you have a bank holding money in a vault and had police in front of the bank to stop people from stealing money from you, according to Anderson. "Tariffs are there for a reason," he said, "we should be unafraid to use economic tools."
Sanctions caused the Chinese to change their trade habits within days after years of ignoring our complaints, he said. Enforcing World Trade Organization (WTO) rules would be a "win-win" for the Chinese and the world markets as it would balance trade, Anderson stated.
He wasn't afraid to launch into world political affairs during his hour-plus speech.
Regarding globalism, "Back off on the idea of globalism and don't allow international corporations to tell us otherwise," he said. Perhaps the sternest warning given to all within earshot by Anderson was, "remember what country you belong to, I guarantee you that businessmen in "Russia know exactly what country they are in."
He said the major players in the Middle East should "figure it out for themselves," noting many of the problems have been going on for thousands of years. Anderson also stated, "Turkey is lost," vis-a-vis its economy. "Erdowan (Turkish president) should take responsibility for all the horrible things he is doing to his own people and stop blaming some guy in Pennsylvania."
"Italy, Portugal, Greece and Spain are bankrupt, kaput," Anderson said. "France," said Anderson, will be influenced in the near future by the right wing party of Marine La Pen. "Japan is doing good," he also noted. Briefly going back to Asia, Anderson said some Asian countries were stealing patented chip technology and producing knock-offs at much lower prices, which causes dynamic change to the entrepreneurial spirit of American innovators.
He also said former U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon may soon become the next president of South Korea and that would be a "good thing." The current president has been impeached for corruption and, although still in office, is awaiting a high court ruling. As far as companies big and small that depend on far-flung supply chains, Anderson warns against too much dependence because key international and even domestic elements of a company's supply chain may be impossible to control. He lauded companies that do more of what they need done in-house as they would have more control of necessary supplies and services.
His number one prediction for 2017 was, "Apple is dead," partly because "it has no more real innovation" since the passing of Steve Jobs. Number six on his list, "Microsoft gets its mojo back." Anderson is also a big fan of Google and so is Spurgeon who said, "his remarks about Google as the innovator strikes a strong chord with me. I've been impressed over and over again with how they have branched out from a search engine to now producing a smartphone that has received great reviews." For the rest of Anderson's predictions go to his Strategic News Service, aka SNS Global Report website: Stratnews.com.
The tech futurist guru said the idea of employing cloud software was great, but that all the current systems are "growing together" and are therefore not differentiating from one another and will thus lose their viability in the future because of that. Anderson said the future was "exciting, scary, terrifying" and, going back to Trump said, All you ever need to know about Donald Trump is in 'The Art of the Deal.'" He said in Trump's world a good day is a day when a good deal was made.
Anderson made many other spontaneous comments such as, "I am a fan of AI (artificial intelligence)" and that it isn't always true that more is better such as in the case of chips where he stated sometimes 16 bytes are better than 32 or 64 depending on the application and the price. "I don't think bitcoin is a currency," he said, but that it might be good for internal monetary systems for financial giants like Wells Fargo. He also said that one day cars would be manufactured by "3D printers."
The most vociferous and motivational comment Anderson made that specifically addressed North Central Washington was, unfortunately not about the Wenatchee Valley, but instead our neighbors in Grant County. Anderson called Moses Lake and Quincy "world class" locations where the vital carbon fiber industry would continue to fuel growth. It was indeed reported in 2013 in a news release issued by a national business locating firm, "Quincy is very well positioned to attract carbon composite manufacturers," it stated. In recent years BMW announced a joint venture carbon composite manufacturing plant with SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers, to create carbon-fiber reinforced plastics for BMW vehicles. Anderson obviously listens to other analysts in formulating his own prognostications.
After his speech Anderson took questions from the live audience in Bellingham. Although the GWATA staff took questions from the Wenatchee audience and texted them to Anderson's host (TAG) at Whatcom CC, none of them were addressed by Anderson for whatever reason and judging from the live stream, he was not aware the questions existed.
GWATA (Greater Wenatchee Area Technology Alliance) partnering with the Technology Alliance Group for Northwest Washington (TAG) hosted the event at the CTC.
Each year Anderson generates his top economic developments and top 10 technology predictions for the year. "These are inspired, instructive, and useful to your business," according to a news release touting the program. Anderson is the publisher of the SNS Global Report, a 20-year-running predictive report on technology and the global economy with a 94.7 percent independently scored accuracy rate. The report is read by technology executives and investors worldwide including Bill Gates and Elon Musk. Anderson joked during his speech that maybe he could reach "95 percent" accuracy with his 2017 predictions.
He is also the founder and chair of the Future in Review (FiRe) Conference, named “the best technology conference in the world” stated The Economist.