- 1987: Black Monday refers to October 19 when the Dow Jones industrial average fell 508 points — the largest point decline to that point in history. The MacIntosh II desktop computer is released just prior to the event and changes at-home computing with a mouse and a graphical user interface.
- 1998: Long-Term Capital Management blew up on September 23, 1998 requiring a $3.6 billion bailout from the Federal Reserve and 10 Wall Street banks. Despite the need for the bailout and the subsequent tanking of smaller banks and thrifts, stocks ran up over 200% in the next 18 months on the Internet boom, which many had no idea existed in 1998.
- 2001: The end of the Internet bubble and the attack on World Trade Center. Nasdaq had fallen 60% since the Internet boom high. Japan’s NTT DoCoMo launches the first commercial 3G cellphone and cell network on 1 October 2001. These would usher in the smartphones everyone would flip open to talk, message or browse the web.
- 2007: The first Apple iPhone was introduced in the US on June 29, 2007. On June 22, 2007, Bear Stearns pledged a collateralized loan of up to $3.2 billion to “bail out” one of its funds. The collapse of this and one other Bear Stearns fund lead to the financial crash of Lehman Bros.
Author and researcher Richard Dolan — a fantastic writer dealing with US government black budget projects — suggests that there may be in the world, but centered in the US, a breakaway civilization on the globe.
This group — funded by off-balance sheet black budgets from the alphabet agencies such as the CIA, NSA, DoD, Darpa and the like — may be decades ahead of the world in technology, Dolan writes.
He cites numerous examples in his books of black-operations on top-secret projects having machines with computing power in the 60’s and early 70’s that were 35 years ahead of the mainstream super computing machines at IBM at the time.
So where are these technologies now? Is there viable artificial intelligence or merging or man and machine in the new projects they are working on? Only a few may know.
However, the boom and bust cycle of the last 40 years have led to technological leaps little conceived a few years prior by mass audience. And yet these new technologies created the basis for the recovery from these crashes.
The productivity gains provided by the enhanced desk-top computing, the Internet, cellphones and smartphones is a given. These “inventions” created wealth not just for the creators but for millions of users who pushed the technology forward but also allowed a newer shared economy to blossom.
I’ll venture that the idea of black budget development of technologies reaches back to the atomic bomb program in the 1940’s. The program was so successful that the premise was continued after the war and probably lead to the development of the silicon chips to replace vacuum tubes which led to digital computing.
Where do you find these programs? Well you don’t find them but a good guess is to look at the premiere engineering schools in the nation for recruitment and early-stage development. MIT, Stanford, Carnegie Mellon are but a few. The story goes that Darpa — Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency — developed the world wide web and only released a small portion of it the world.
SUN technologies — an early developer of the switches and plumbing the Internet stood for Stanford University Network.
So looking forward, we are in the doldrums of an economic malaise so deep that the iPhone has only been able to keep the wheels from coming off the wagon.
Is there something coming down the pike to give the global economy the next step up in productivity and gains?
I’ll venture to guess that with the death of Steve Jobs, whatever entities are providing the seeds of innovation, have moved on from Apple and are dealing with a new generation of entrepreneurs.
Why else would Apple not bring something besides a watch to market since Jobs’ death.
It seems the Google founders — Larry Page and Sergey Brin — along with Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Tesla’s Elon Musk are the new hand-picked progenitors of this mantle.
Is public space travel the new frontier being offered to take the global economy to the next level? All of these executives are working on that project and having early-stage success.
That seems to be the newest venture with the largest upside, but I believe the benefits will be not be so apparent for more than a decade due to the length of time needed to develop the “competing” programs.
I feel there is — at the very least — a causality between economic hardship and the advance of technology. And should this premise have merit we may be looking at some amazing technologies being unveiled between now and 2020. Sure knows we could use it to get the world’s economies off the floor.
And where it will come from? Not many know.