Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Stackify Blog, Elizabeth White, Ed Featherston, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan

Blog Feed Post

S & P Downgrade of the U.S

Let’s make clear what is happening today, what relationship this bears to the Standard & Poor’s downgrade of the U.S. financial system, and how it affects your plan for retirement.

There is some legitimacy to the concern over the debt rating reduction. For as long as anyone can remember the United States of American has been the gilt-edged standard of financial wherewithal and responsibility (70 years to be exact). To be downgraded, though somewhat symbolic, is a shock to the system.

S&P’s concern is the amount of debt we now have; in excess of $14.5 trillion today, which is $ 4 trillion more than just 30 months ago, and increasing at a DAILY rate of $4.5 billion. That’s right; the U.S. is borrowing $4.5 billion every single day. What is interesting here is that S&P (along with Tea Party members and supporters) seem to be the only ones concerned about this current, and ever increasing, debt level.

Warren Buffett seems to think this is no big deal. Senate and House Democrats characterize this as the Tea Party downgrade, replacing their normal scapegoat George Bush with the only group of Congressmen who see the ballooning debt as a serious problem.

The DEBT is the problem; the downgrade is only the symptom. The rating agencies really messed up when they rated subprime mortgage loans and derivatives as AAA before the financial crisis. Now, when they down grade U.S. debt, which should be rated lower than AA+, the same people howl from the other side of the issue.

If Social Security and Medicare were required to report their financials in the same fashion companies and pension plans are, FASB and PBGC would be taking over the operation of the government. FASB is the agency that requires companies to place the present value of their future liabilities as an entry (negative item) on their balance sheets. PBGC does the same for defined benefit retirement plans. When a pension plan is mismanaged PBGC sets in and takes over.

The present value of U.S. future Social Security and Medicare liabilities is estimated to be $61 trillion. These benefits must be scaled back in some form or fashion.

The downgrade does contribute to the market reaction today and over the past couple weeks, but it is only a small part. A major cause today is the soon to be apparent unraveling of the European Union, with Greece already consuming two bailouts without achieving a solution, Italy on the ropes (the third largest European economy), and other nations soon to follow.  For this reason, U.S. interest rates are more likely to go down in the near term, than increase - currently the U.S. is the least offensive smell in the room.  Moreover, U.S. interest rates actually dropped today...

Another major part here is the fact American politicians do not see, which the financial markets now do see, the unraveling of the EU as portending what will happen in the U.S. without significant financial changes. For crying out loud, Italy last Friday promised to pass a constitutional balanced budget amendment. Where is the U.S. leadership in this issue? Our President and Democratic majority refused to include this much-needed provision in the debt ceiling talks, which is why a stop gap measure of dubious value was passed instead.

Another major part of the issue is the failure of the U.S. government to craft and implement a legitimate growth plan which includes lower taxes and a common sense, effective regulatory plan. The U.S. corporate income tax is the highest of any developed/developing nation. It’s no wonder that billions and billions of dollars are being redeployed to other more tax hospitable locations such as China and India (all subjects of which I’ve written about before in this column).

As for your retirement, we have prepared for what is taking place. The market reaction will force a serious discussion about these issues and require changes. The good news is we are positioned to respond appropriately as things calm and legitimate opportunities present themselves.  Do you need a new source for your retirement advice?  Email or call me.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Dana Barfield

Dana is the president of The Barfield Group, which has provided industry leading Financial Advice, Investment Services, and helped people Plan for Retirement for more than 20 years. He is a frequent speaker and writer for a variety of industry, regional, and national publications on business ownership and wealth building related topics.

@ThingsExpo Stories
I think DevOps is now a rambunctious teenager - it's starting to get a mind of its own, wanting to get its own things but it still needs some adult supervision," explained Thomas Hooker, VP of marketing at CollabNet, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Major trends and emerging technologies – from virtual reality and IoT, to Big Data and algorithms – are helping organizations innovate in the digital era. However, to create real business value, IT must think beyond the ‘what’ of digital transformation to the ‘how’ to harness emerging trends, innovation and disruption. Architecture is the key that underpins and ties all these efforts together. In the digital age, it’s important to invest in architecture, extend the enterprise footprint to the cl...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessio...
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
No hype cycles or predictions of zillions of things here. IoT is big. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, Associate Partner at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data analytics considerations, edge-to-cloud tec...
Announcing Poland #DigitalTransformation Pavilion
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that All in Mobile, a mobile app development company from Poland, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. All In Mobile is a mobile app development company from Poland. Since 2014, they maintain passion for developing mobile applications for enterprises and startups worldwide.
The best way to leverage your CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at CloudEXPO. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audienc...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world.
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader Sergey Grebnov provided an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...
JETRO showcased Japan Digital Transformation Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo® at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) is a non-profit organization that provides business support services to companies expanding to Japan. With the support of JETRO's dedicated staff, clients can incorporate their business; receive visa, immigration, and HR support; find dedicated office space; identify local government subsidies; get...
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...