Tag Archives: wall street

Spiral Dynamics & Memenomics; Human Emergence Training in Austin, Texas

Dr. Don Beck and I led a two-day intensive training in Spiral Dynamics and Memenomics in Austin Texas. As many as 60 attendees were present from all over the country. The event coincided with the South by South West (SXSW) conferences and Festival.  Thanks to our sponsors Peace through Commerce, Voice & Exit, and What if it Really Works? who made it all possible. Below are some slides from my presentation that show the re-framing of economic issues through the prism of this emerging science we call values-systems. For those interested in becoming certified in Spiral Dynamics level 1  by Dr. Beck himself, we’ll be offering a 3-day long training to coincide with the launch of The Center for Human Emergence  Third Coat in Houston and the launch of my book. These events are all slated to take place September 20-24 with speaking engagements and book signings at different venues. The SDi training Level One will be on the weekend. Please check back in late July or early August for posted updates on the September schedule

The slides below are often the ones that are the most informative about the Memenomics framework and tend to solicit the most questions and comments. Many of the plotted graphs will be shared on the Memenomics website after the release of my Book: Memenomics; The Next Generation Economic System.  Please visit earlier posts if you’d like to deepen your knowledge about the history of Memenomics, Spiral Dynamics, values-systems, Dr. Don E. Beck and Professor Clare W. Graves.

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Is Another Housing Bubble on the Way?

It seems that anyone who hasn’t bought into Wall Street’s direction over the last 1½ decade is emerging as a long-term systemic thinker. What we call in value-systems a Seventh Level thinker. In a confirmation of what I’ve been talking about in my presentations over the last three years, David Stockman, Reagan‘s budget director is warning of another housing bubble. See the interview here:

http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/housing-bubble-2-0-david-stockman-133026817.html

His description of what’s fueling the new bubble confirms my claims that enormous amounts of capital have remained in the hands of exploitative  and unhealthy levels of the Strategic and Feudal Memes who continue to manipulate the only asset that doesn’t conform to the exploits of Wall Street. Sub-prime is back, along with predatory Wall Street banks that are still high on bailout money. Fed policies that have swallowed the toxicity of the entire sub-prime debacle and their continued policy of low interest rates give the impression that Main Street is well on its way to a recovery. In reality this couldn’t be any further from the truth. When first time and move-up buyers represent less then 50% of sales, rising home prices represent a fallacy manufactured on Wall Street designed to entice the consumer to spend. I call this phase the decay and entropy phase of the current expression of capitalism where tools from within the system only add to its toxicity that hastens its demise. In today’s economic reality we’ve learned to love the devil we know to avoid total economic collapse while we build a gradual transition to what’s next.

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A Brief Summary of Where Economics Meet Memetics

A Brief Summary of “Where Economics Meet Memetics.”

Below are some excerpts from an interview I gave to  the Adizes Graduate School Newsletter. Some of the slides included here were distributed by Don Beck at a recent conference on Conscious Capitalism with leading CEO’s like John Mackey of  Whole Foods and Kip Tindell of The Container Store. I’m told Mackey, who uses Spiral Dynamics in his management philosophy, was taken with my analysis of how the UNHEALTHY STRATEGIC ENTERPRISE 5th level system can make an entire economy toxic. One of the primary goals of this blog is to help businesses evolve from answering to the Stockholder who’s misguided by the Wall Street philosophy of short term profits to the stakeholder who has a long term eye on People, Profit, and Planet. That’s  the integral equation for the new frontier in sustainable  practices.

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Said E. Dawlabani on Economics

The Memetics behind the Financial Crisis

At the Spiral Dynamics seminars in Santa Barbara, Dr. Don E. Beck invites a number of guest presenters. Some of these special guests help participants view complex issues through the simplifying lens of spiral dynamics. In effect, spiral dynamics helps in understanding Why and How major global events occur. Below, Said E. Dawlabani, who presents during Level 2, provides us with the benefit of his insights and opinions regarding the financial crisis that impacts our lives and decision-making processes today:

Q: From a Spiral Dynamics perspective, what were the major causes of the financial crisis of 2008?

Spiral Dynamics is the study of cultural value systems that emerge in response to changing life conditions. I concern myself with large scale socio-economic changes and interpret the interplay between the eight known levels of human existence, or value systems, particularly in the area of economics.

In Spiral Dynamics terms, Finance, or Capitalism in general, is just one sector of the fifth level system which has a focus on ‘Strategic Enterprise’. The financial crisis was precipitated due to the changing balance between the 3rd, 4th, and 5th level value systems in the United States. In a nutshell, what caused the financial crisis was the erosion of the fourth level system, the ‘Authority Structure’ system, in two areas of regulation. This allowed third level system dynamics, the ‘Empire Driven’ dynamic, to take advantage of the lapse in controls.

The first area of regulation that was impacted was the governmental regulatory structure itself, which started to slowly disappear with the first Reagan Administration. The second was monetary policy at the Fed. From the top down, government had begun to favor laissez-faire capitalism. For almost three decades, these policies gave us the illusion of prosperity but in the long term gave rise to an unhealthy version of the Strategic Enterprise (fifth level system) practices that became very difficult to reverse. Productive output that was measured through the strength of our manufacturing sector gave way to a more service oriented output.

As the fifth level value system found itself unrestricted, it transitioned beyond a service based economy into what was considered prohibited or sacred territory – the field of ‘financial engineering’. This is where the foundation for potential systemic damage was created.

Q: You mentioned that ‘life conditions’ are an important catalyst for change in evolving value systems. How did this transition from a healthy value system to an unhealthy system manifest in real life?

Corporations and consumers alike abandoned the ethics of the fourth level structural system which made the US a great model of Capitalism – for an ethic that was engineered on Wall Street. For more than three centuries, this evolving but sustainable model for Capitalism called on consumers to build equity through hard work. The system called on corporations to pursue organic growth through product diversification and healthy competition. Instead of hard, productive work to build equity, the Wall Street model for capitalism substituted impulsive speculative borrowing – a hallmark of the ‘Empire Driven’ third level system.

Consumers shifted their focus on spending from what they earn to spending from what they could borrow. Borrowing – thanks to Wall Street – was limitless, and was no longer tied to strict formulas based on actual earnings. Corporations shifted their focus from providing shareholder value by growing their product line organically, to acquiring corporations their financial advisers lined up for them regardless of whether these acquisitions served the long term health and viability of the corporation, or their mission. Wall Street, being virtually unregulated, had no regard for the long term consequences of its actions as its brokerage houses gave out money to collect commissions and placement fees and not to promote the distribution of wealth to all corners of society.

Q: You mentioned that the area of financial engineering was sacred or prohibited. Could you elaborate more on what that means and how that created the systemic damage to our financial system?

When a value system is healthy, it supports the needs and the emergence of all other systems on the spiral. When it is unhealthy it is very destructive. Historically, money has played a very important fourth level systemic role in helping cultures emerge. Pay had a direct relationship to the number of hours worked or the level of skill attained. Financial output had a clearly defined correlation to input and there was a great sense of personal responsibility. The belief in the role of money is what built nations and what helped humanity emerge in the last eight thousand years. A healthy, innovative fifth level system arose as a result of a healthy fourth level system.

Between 2000 and 2006 all this changed. Unprecedented levels of liquidity came to Wall Street with no legitimate investment vehicles to put it in. So Wall Street created Notional or Virtual securities called ‘derivatives’ that forced the participants in the system to downshift to a betting game on how real assets will perform in the future. These models provided the illusion of legitimacy as they flooded consumers and capital markets with money. Wall Street quickly became identifiable with the unhealthy version (exploitive) of the third level value system and, like the case is always with a system that focuses on immediate rewards, it had no staying power. When it collapsed it almost took the whole world down with it.

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