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jeffolie predicts....new tech from the ashes.

From the ashes of the coming end of the financial world as we know it, old industries and technologies will stagnant and suffer as profit margins wither. New industries and technologies will have a better chance to compete and florish after a long period of fresh research and development. This is the classic Kondratiev theory and creative destruction theory that I believe in.



Well, that is always an ongoing process anyway, in good times and bad.

What season of the Kondratieff Wave are we in now? When does the next season begin?


I have read some of Kondratieff's translated works. The Russian economist Nikolai Kondratiev brought his observations international attention in his book The Major Economic Cycles (1925) alongside other works written in the same decade.

In my humble opinion, there are some easily observable points in the cycle. One them is a peak in commodities followed by an ever deepening economic malaise an then depression.

Prices began to accelerate upward after World War II, and reached the commodity price blowoff stage in 1980. And the depression happened in Japan. The most recent peak in commodities was reached in 2008 and a sharp decline has set in with an ever deepening economic malaise.

Later, Joseph Schumpeter suggested in Business Cycles to name the cycle "Kondratieff wave" in honor of the economist who first noticed them. In the 1950s, French economist Francois Simiand proposed to name the ascendant period of the cycle "Phase A" and the downward period "Phase B". Some market commentators divide the Kondratiev wave into four 'seasons', namely, the Kondratiev Spring (improvement – plateau) and Summer (acceleration – prosperity) of the ascendant period and the Kondratiev Fall (recession – plateau) and Winter (acceleration – depression) of the downward period.

I will not declare the season because this was not Kondratieff's terms, it was the terms used by followers. His writings were clearly about identifying the parts of the cycles. He was not tied to a concrete timetable of 56 years as some of his followers wrote.

The Kondratieff Cycle is a theory based on a study of nineteenth century price behavior which included wages, interest rates, raw material prices, foreign trade, bank deposits, and other data. He, like R.N. Elliott, Kondratieff was convinced that his studies of economic, social, and cultural life proved that a long term order of economic behavior existed and could be used for the purpose of anticipating future economic developments.

The depression has not yet happened. I have predicted for years that 2012 will be a depression year in which will be the end of the financial world as we know it. Kondratieff was an incurable optimist and capitalist who believe in the long term incline for humanity with highs and lows along the way. His approach fell out of favor with the communists as his views became better known. I want to believe he was correct.


While technology may be in a lull of sorts, it doesn't really seem that way from a consumers perspective.

Laptops and internet capable cell phones are rapidly being adopted by Americans, and perhaps more importantly, by millions in the developing world.

Cell phones are probably going to be one of the things that people will spend money on during this recession (since cell phones are so frequently replaced). For the first time ever it will be common to have an internet capable device available at all times. In the developing world, where cell phones quite common but PCs and other links to the rest of the world are not, this is going to have a huge impact.

Laptops will also be rapidly adopted. Only $300 for a 9" Netbook, $500 for a decent 15" and $800 for a very capable gaming laptop. Desktops are unimaginably cheap for what they can do.

So I'm sure your right about a lull in breakthroughs, but we are definitely IMO entering the state of mass adoption of cheap, portable computers(with access to an enormous and continuously expanding source of knowledge, news and art).

Nothing you didn't know I'm sure. But still very important.



But those are no innovations. Those are just natural cost-curve progressions.

While there are many shades of gray between the two, the lack of pure innovations is palpable.


I will address the technological breakthrough in retailing. The internet has brought me great consumer success. All of the following purchases were sought out and procured due to internet shopping and dealings:

I just got Bargains, 85% off

Sellers are desparate and I am buying premium items at huge savings. The economy is in the shitter, but I am smelling the roses. Let the bad times roll, I am doing wonderfully.

I bought Harry & David items for 83.33% off with free shipping.

I bought Hickory Farms items that I really like for 85% off.

I bought $120 headsets for $15 that's 87.5% off.

I bought a $15,000 new car with auto trans, fancy accessories and air conditioning and got $4000 off.


I got ten percent extra off at Hickory Farms over and above their current 75% off with a special discount that they emailed me. I am not big on their cheeseballs, but my family is especially fond of their various fruit cakes which was the only items I purchased.

bought a well equiped Chevy Cobalt. Part of my planning has been to buy American. I have a GM credit card and it gave me a $2000 special discount good only until Feb 2nd. I have another late model Chevy car and because of that I got a $1750 "Loyalty Cash" discount. Like many men, part of the reason I got a 'well equiped' car was to please my wife who wanted some 'bells and whistles' that I would not have chosen if I was buying the car for just myself. But, I am much happier when my wife is happy rather than when she is unhappy and complaining.


Nanotech seems to have been rolled into materials, where it should always have been.



Previously, it was distinct from materials, and comprised of many applications in energy and medicine.

So that would be a stunning decline in the importance of Nanotech.

Ken Steinberg

The only potential kink in the acceleration of the Kondratieff Wave is the snag in capital, private and institutional. It will break open but the lack of startup capital will retard the intro of new tech businesses.

^ side note: the netbook thing is a short term fad. These devices are not functional enough to be viable long term but their timing is great in terms of short term revenue for these players. Heck I even saw netbooks from Sylvania at Staples. :^)


New technology cooks like a slow cooker during the Kondratief depression. There is a fresh, wide open playing field for new technology to breakthrough at the end of the depression. The old technology loses financial support as technology industries fail during the depression, thus clearing the way for start up tech.

This was called creative destructionism.


Regarding nanotech, it depends upon one's definition of it.

Classic Drexlerian molecular nanotechnology is now mostly referred to as 'molecular manufacturing' by those involved. The previous term 'nanotechnoloy' was hijacked by various folks who only were involved in traditional materials/chemistry projects with particles measured in the nano-scale. Mostly they did this to hype up research and/or investment funds. This was the reality of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (almost a billion shmolians in funding), for example.

So, you got a better tennis racket and they call it 'the wonders of nanotechnology'.

Sorry, but I'm still holding out for the first assembler building a copy of itself before I get excited, thank you very much. They are getting real close to building an assembler (more like a proto-assembler) within the next two years. At least there's that.


I would tend to agree with Zyndryl. The 'pure' nanotechnolocy of Eric Drexler is what I am talking about.

In the broadest sense, all semiconductor manufacturing of 90nm or less is 'nanotechnology', except that is not what the pure definition means.


Off-topic: Did you ever release the results of your 2008 stock portfolio?


I'm going to. It lagged the S&P500 slightly, while the S&P itself fell by 40% over that period.

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