The future’s not so bright

Today Marvin Zonis, professor emeritus of Business from the University of Chicago, released his annual business forecast.

It makes for gloomy reading.

He states: "This will be the great year for psychotropic drugs. What else will be going up? Political instability driven by a worldwide pervasive sense of humiliation, anxiety and mistrust."

And if that hasn’t made you slit your wrists yet, it gets worse. On the drugs angle, Zonis describes a not-too-distant future inhabited by dead-eyed junkies. "Total world revenues for anti-depressants were above $13 billion in 2005 and are estimated to have climbed substantially since then.

"Tens of thousands of US troops in Iraq have been prescribed antidepressants to help them cope with the horrors of their duties. All this will seem quaint as hundreds of millions turn to new drugs to cope with the 2009 economic and political crises."

Zonis adds to the bad news with revelations that terrorism will also be rife in the coming months: "After Mumbai, we know for certain that terrorism is alive and will be well in 2009. Terrorism has globalised and become a distributed phenomenon. [It] will become more severe in 2009 as the global economic crisis intersects with traditional Muslim grievances to produce more angry young men and boys, susceptible to the blandishments of their politically calculating elder leaders."

And what has the academic to say about affairs closer to home? What about good old Blighty? I’m afraid we’re also f**ked good and proper.

Not only does Zonis categorise our economic status as untenable, he also predicts the fall of Brown and the whole Labour government.

Here is his doom-laden statement in full:-

"Great Britain, along with Ireland and Spain, are the countries in Western Europe in even worse shape than the U.S. Household debt in the UK reached 165 per cent of personal income. House prices, aided by mortgages of 120 per cent of house values, boomed far more than in the U.S. In the last ten years, the size of the state ballooned from 37 per cent of GDP to 46 per cent.

"And now, the central industry in the country – finance – is in a state of near collapse. The boom days of London with its restaurants and clubs at sky-high prices are over. The next General Election must be held by 3 June 2010. Watch for Gordon Brown to call a snap election to benefit from his global standing before his domestic standing collapses. Watch for Labor to lose."

And if you thought there must be a silver lining in here somewhere – perhaps a chance to buy stocks in all those drug companies predicting a boom what with all that tablet-guzzling, RB must disappoint you again.

"The patents on nine out of 10 of the most prescribed anti-depressants expired in the years 2006-2010. So the price of the drugs is plummeting as the market is flooded with generics. In other words, don’t take this boost in pill popping as a useful stock tip for 2009."

Darn. Foiled again.

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