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In a January Vistage Trends webinar, Vistage Chief Research Officer Joe Galvin asked Optimize President Marc Emmer what he considered the number-one geopolitical threat in the world today. Marc answered, “our enemies ganging up on us.”

In recent comments made by former CIA Director David Petraeus, he offered the following analogy—the U.S. military is spinning many plates, fending off threats by China, Russia, North Korea, Iran and others at the same time. Regional conflicts weigh down military resources and distract from more formidable threats.

Experts such as Fareed Zakaria have recently implied that terrorist attacks in Israel and elsewhere are a coordinated effort to put pressure on civilized societies. Recent events suggest that Western nations do not have the backbone to stand up to such attacks, much less Russian aggression in Ukraine. All this chaos puts the U.S. economy at risk.

So what are the strategic implications? It doesn’t seem as though things will change, and the status quo of higher commodity prices, unstable gas resources, supply chain disruptions, and the potential to close shipping lanes is just the new normal.

The countries supporting Ukraine, including the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, and Singapore, represent 60% of global GDP, but much of the world economy still sides with Russia and China. An attack on Taiwan seems unlikely, but China is monitoring the breakdown of NATO, the UN, and the inability of Western nations to stand up to bad actors. There are other countries that may act as counterbalances such as India, Saudia Arabia, Indonesia, South Africa, and Kenya, but the weight of their influence in the new world order is untested.

Global Interest Rates

The June job report felt like the fatal blow for any interest rate cut before the election (not at all surprising). This puts the Fed in a real bind, given that prominent central banks including  Canada, Sweden and Switzerland have already cut rates and created imbalances in the global debt market. This is unwelcome by U.S. companies competing globally, including those doing business in Canada. Some economists expect Canada to cut its rate further in July. A solemn reminder that other economies are struggling, the much smaller Canada’s GDP rose only 1.7% in Q2, amid high unemployment.
Global central bank outlook: Reducing policy rates to bolster economic activity

Source: Bloomberg; RSM US LLP

A wave of nationalism continues to muddy the water in prominent European economies. The euro has slipped as a result of poor election results for ruling parties in France and Germany. A sell of French bonds sparked rumors that President Emmanuel Macron could resign.

What does Nvidia do, anyway?


Image: Washington Post

Nvidia continued its run, achieving a staggering $3 trillion valuation as CEO Jensen Huang achieved Taylor Swift status in business circles. It’s broadly understood that Nvidia makes AI-enabled chips, but what exactly does it do?

Nvidia enables “accelerated computing platforms”, a core capability needed to manage the demands of AI. According to Nvidia, its products “can scale to tens of thousands of GPU-accelerated servers interconnected to function as a single giant computer.” In other words, AI and machine learning require specialized hardware to support exponential growth. Nvidia designs and manufactures specialized GPUs for gaming, cryptocurrency mining, and professional applications.

Yet Nvidia is rife with risk, buying all its chips from one Taiwanese partner.

White Paper – The Stay or Go Survey: The Growing Gap Between Employers’ and Employees’ Expectations

The Stay or Go Survey:<br />
The Growing Gap Between Employers’ and Employees’ Expectations

In a collaboration between TalenTrust, a talent acquisition firm based in Denver, and Optimize, a strategic management consulting firm based in Los Angeles, the latest iteration of our study reveals differences in the way employers and their employees view the current employment landscape.

 By Marc Emmer for Forbes:

The Secret Sauce Of Strategy – 8 Steps of Segmentation

The Secret Sauce Of Strategy: Eight Steps Of Segmentation<br />

In my travels as a strategy consultant, there is one constant among new clients: a lack of definition around target markets. Clients tell us they have clarity, but when we pull back the kimono, we often find confusion about who their ideal clients are.

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The Strategy Experts

Marc Emmer is President and Chief Strategist & Facilitator at Optimize Inc.

He is an author, speaker and consultant recognized as a thought leader throughout North America as an expert in strategic planning.