September 19, 2008

3 Lessons From A Chaotic Week

There are lessons from the economic turmoil of the past week.

1. All social systems are flawed

When things go bad, it's comforting to have someone to blame. In this current cycle of hysteria there's certainly enough blame to go around.

However, even if there were people with perfect foresight; even if they could foresee what would happen; even if they had a perfect record of predicting economic events, our system of governance still couldn't keep pace with events. Events always outpace policies.

In a democracy, policies take time to develop. Events happen whenever the hell they feel like it.

Whether economic, political, or civil, social systems are all flawed. This is why there has never been a "cure" for poverty or crime and why there never will be. This is why there has always been political unrest and always will be. This is why there have always been economic meltdowns and always will be.

2. Nothing moves in a straight line

Einstein taught us that space is curved. Well, life is curved, too.

Just when you think you've got the graph pointed in a straight line, something's going to happen.

A few years ago we were having serious discussions with a client because forecasts showed that their advertising budget (which was tied to sales) would soon be way too large.

Today, the budget is 20 million dollars lower.

3. Security is always an illusion


And Now For Something Not Completely Different
AIG's most recent ad campaign? "The Strength To Be There"

Next week: The Crisis Of Advertising, Part 3 - Talent

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