Jack TenneyExtra Point

by Jack Tenney, Publisher

October 2010

What’s with all this “new normal” stuff?

Recently, I’ve heard or been told that low interest is the new normal. Not so.

Interest is really just a way of monetizing the difference of value over time. It’s made up of four things. Three of them are easily calculated: risk, inflation, and GNP growth. The fourth, and difficult, one to figure is “e,” but it represents the bridge from the sum of the first three elements to the interest rate you’re getting, given, or offered.

In time, all those things will be changing; and interest is so low that I doubt it will go lower. Then the new normal will be rising interest rates, I guess.

The best explanation of the “new normal” I found was from a speech by Roger McNamee in 2005. He said that the two biggest drivers of change from an old normal to a new normal are technology and globalization. Those things changed in the 1990s and are not going to be reversed, according to him.

Plus, he adds, because of the two drivers, everyone is on his own and there are huge time pressures. 

Let’s see if I get this: Because the technology is in place and even the communists have cell phones, there’s a huge market for ring tones. Plus, because of this, we all get more e-mails and phone calls than we answer and no one answers our calls or e-mails, so we are running out of time to get all the stuff done we need to get done.


Fine. Now I understand the new normal thing. However, I’m having a devil of a time fitting the locavore phenom into the picture. Picking your own tomato is kind of low-tech, and the whole idea of the “loca” is local which seems unglobal.

Ahhh! Locavore is an idea being spread around the globe through e-mails, websites, blogs, tweets, and like that. Coming to your iPad soon is a recipe for instant, organic,
diced-zucchini relish.