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Speaking, The World and The Economy with Andrew Busch

Speaking, The World and The Economy with Jane Atkinson and Andrew Busch
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Quote: “Keep a positive outlook on things happening because there are good things happening; it just doesn’t get reported in the media a whole lot.” Andrew Busch

So many of us are looking at the world news every day with uncertainty and have questions about all that’s going on and how it affects the speaking business. I thought this was the perfect time to bring back our friend and Economic Futurist Andrew Busch to share his thoughts on what’s happening globally and what we can expect to see in the next while.

Andrew B. Busch is the former 1st Chief Market Intelligence Officer for the US government.  At the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, he was charged with improving and enhancing the government’s understanding of markets and the economy.  Andy provided briefings to the White House, US House, US Senate, the SEC, the Federal Reserve Board and US Treasury staff on a wide range of issues, including extreme market volatility; China’s influence on the global commodity markets and trade; and the impact of technology on market dynamics. 

 

Read Full Transcript

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Jane Atkinson: hey welcome everyone to the wealthy speaker podcast i'm your host jayne atkinson and every once in a while.

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Jane Atkinson: We want to bring you an update on what's going on in the world and the economy and how that affects us here in the speaking business.

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Jane Atkinson: Andrew Bush is an economist he's a client he's a friend of the podcast and he brings us a clear understanding of what's coming down the Pike welcome back to the show Andy.

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GL Andy Busch: it's always a pleasure to be on with you Jay thanks for having me.

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Jane Atkinson: Well now, for people who might have missed previous episodes please tell everybody kind of what you do day to day in your business and you little bit about your background.

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GL Andy Busch: yeah so i'm an unusual guy I call myself an economic future is because i'm an economist, but I don't just do the economy, I really try to help people understand.

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GL Andy Busch: Where we've been where we are and where we're going for their business, and so, for every client that we get the keynote for and others that we get to consult for.

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GL Andy Busch: We run through the economy, we talked about a lot of what's going on there obviously supply chain Labor supply inflation war in the Ukraine, these are all really important topics.

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GL Andy Busch: On we also talk about the government policies that are impacting their business.

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GL Andy Busch: But the thing that I deliver that's really unique and we have a lot of fun with this for every sector of the economy is what we'll do is we'll do a case study on that industry and we'll look at the challenges but we'll also look at the growth opportunities that are coming.

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GL Andy Busch: For not just today or tomorrow, or even 18 months from now, but really five and 10 years down the road so it's been a blast and it's been fascinating to see what's been going on in the world, because it's it's very busy right now, obviously with a lot of.

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GL Andy Busch: terrible things happening.

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GL Andy Busch: But without a tragedy, there comes a lot of opportunities and so opportunities of change opportunities of positive change.

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GL Andy Busch: Who would have thought, Sweden and Switzerland would have come to the defense of the Ukraine, I mean, these are mutual countries and we're through World War Two, so the world has changed and some things have been changed for better.

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GL Andy Busch: So that's that's what I do my background is a little unusual I work for an investment bank for a long time, I was the global currency and public policy strategist for large investment bank.

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GL Andy Busch: Then I went out on my own doing research for a for my boutique research firm that you know we help clients understand the world in the future.

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GL Andy Busch: I spent some time in government, I had a really great job there 2017 and 2018 and then came back to my business and i'm just having a blast right now and and really enjoying getting to know whether it's doing board of directors meetings or doing conferences.

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GL Andy Busch: it's really fun to get to know people and what's driving their businesses.

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Jane Atkinson: Well you've mentioned a few things that I want to dive into today things that could affect us and are affecting us right now in the speaking business talk a little bit you mentioned inflation, you mentioned supply chain.

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Jane Atkinson: are either of those a huge impact on us in speaking I know it, it hits us and the gas pumps, I mean it hits us in the pocketbook right now individually, will it affect meetings do you think and corporate meetings.

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GL Andy Busch: yeah that's interesting, I think.

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GL Andy Busch: First of all, the economy has been doing very well in the United States and really globally so that's great news for everybody in the speaking business and the conference business i'm coven, with the exception of China.

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GL Andy Busch: appears to have been reduced as far as a risk or fear factor for people having conferences it's still important it's still something that we all have to be aware of.

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GL Andy Busch: But a we're never going to see a shutdown like we saw in 2020 that's never going to happen again be.

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GL Andy Busch: I don't think we'll ever see a State shutdown like Hawaii or California again so we shouldn't see.

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GL Andy Busch: That negatively impact conferences, you will have some companies hesitant to get people together at different times, probably, mainly in the winter time.

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GL Andy Busch: But you know so so that's that's kind of the overarching view of what's going on right now now of course with what's happening with the we're in the Ukraine, we still haven't seen the full force of the effect on the economy globally.

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Jane Atkinson: Like it is.

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GL Andy Busch: It will make it, it will make it much more expensive to do things.

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GL Andy Busch: So, inflation is going to continue to be a an issue.

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GL Andy Busch: We know, interest rates in the United States are going up.

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GL Andy Busch: And down can and Canada to right they just raised rates, and so we.

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GL Andy Busch: And we know that, because of the shortages, or whether it's semiconductor chips or wheat coming out of the Ukraine, things are going to be unstable.

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GL Andy Busch: In so that's a challenge because How does that translate or come back to the speaking business, well, it takes money away from events that some corporate people believe are.

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GL Andy Busch: Not as important as other you know things and so where they reduce their money down where they go Oh, you know if they paid $50,000 for a speaker before maybe they only want to pay 30.

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GL Andy Busch: So I think that's how it would cascade down.

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GL Andy Busch: we're not at that point yet, but I would say we'll see some of this begin to impact, probably, starting in the second quarter, with people being hesitant.

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GL Andy Busch: To have and plan out their meetings, but I think Jane you know that, as well as I do that, like the speaking business has changed so much I I get requests from people.

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GL Andy Busch: Four weeks out.

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GL Andy Busch: I mean if that like sometimes it's three weeks it's.

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Jane Atkinson: Really me ask you that that's probably corporate versus association, am I right.

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GL Andy Busch: yeah I would say so.

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Jane Atkinson: For sure so timelines even in association world have definitely we used to back in the day, probably have you know 18 months 12 months timelines for associations.

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Jane Atkinson: yeah but if they're smart I think they don't know what people need 18 months from now, and they're tightening those up a little bit, but at the same time, so we can't count on booking stuff a year in advance, like we used to.

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Jane Atkinson: right that just means that we're more nimble they're more nimble I, I know I know people like to be able to look out at their calendar and feel that cash flow coming, but maybe the times have just changed on that forever.

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GL Andy Busch: I just will give you two examples if you're looking at like booking a celebrity right.

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GL Andy Busch: A month ago.

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GL Andy Busch: You would have loved to have booked will Smith.

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GL Andy Busch: yeah.

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GL Andy Busch: But things change yeah.

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GL Andy Busch: And so um you know I know a lot of entities, a lot of associations and corporates like to book.

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GL Andy Busch: You know celebrities and I think that's great for what they bring to the table, depending on who they are.

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GL Andy Busch: But you do have that you've got a risk of that person at some point, and then of course you've got an event like the word in the Ukraine, where.

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GL Andy Busch: Like you said you know associations, maybe they like to plan out a year now it's probably shorten at least six months, but as I, you know I tell people who do that I go look that's great I totally respect that, but do you realize that the world's changing so rapidly, now that.

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GL Andy Busch: Like you really want to be able to be adaptive and bring for your audience, the best person who brings the best information available.

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Jane Atkinson: nimble I think nimble is the call for the future, so you are right now.

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Jane Atkinson: We haven't had a coaching call for a while, so i'm thinking you're.

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Jane Atkinson: out you're busy you're doing it you're you're you're you're too busy to work on the business because you're out doing the business so.

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Jane Atkinson: That means that there's a lot of events so, what are you seeing, are you still seeing some virtual are you seeing second and third quarter in person things.

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GL Andy Busch: Yes, so um last year was a record year for the speaking business this year we're on track to beat that by about 25%.

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GL Andy Busch: Now yeah.

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GL Andy Busch: It is and in I think in speaking in James course i'm telling you this, but i'm saying this for everybody else it's like it takes a while, for you to.

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GL Andy Busch: find your voice, you and I worked on this, a lot like who are you Andy what are you going to deliver on stage, can you be comfortable doing that.

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GL Andy Busch: And then also.

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GL Andy Busch: It takes a while to build that momentum right that that you need to be successful and so what's happened for for my business is that.

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GL Andy Busch: professionalising it getting a really great CRM really working that aggressively understanding the relationship that I have with so many of the speaker bureaus but really also crafting the content that I have that.

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GL Andy Busch: i've created something truly unique and it's it's really I wouldn't say it's niche but nobody else humbly stated, nobody else does what I do and so that's what's really been fun for me so as as I look at my speaking business and looking into you know the coming quarters.

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GL Andy Busch: couple of things jump out to me, first of all i've never been booked out to like the fourth quarter and i'm already getting booked out that far so that's really great The second thing is it's rare to do a virtual I think this year i've only done one of those.

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Jane Atkinson: wow okay that's a.

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Jane Atkinson: No.

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GL Andy Busch: that's an enlightening yeah and I think it depends on what country you're in if you're in Canada you're probably doing virtual as if the United States you're probably not unless you rent north.

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Jane Atkinson: derivative i'm just getting ready to go on the train to Toronto that's a two hour trip and that's my only my second time in two years, that I will have traveled.

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Jane Atkinson: yeah we are meeting, for the first time, the same group that I meet with every quarter, we are meeting, for the first time in person very cautiously.

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Jane Atkinson: A lot of rules and things in place, you know we'll all have a little armband on saying our comfort level for hugs so I want to go back to something you said, though, because I think it's informative for other people when you first got into this business.

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Jane Atkinson: You had a lot of different offerings.

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Jane Atkinson: And you went more and more narrow more and more narrow, one of the things that you do amazingly well and I hope you're charging good bucks, for this is like you'll really research, the heck out of the industry that you're going into speak on that is got massive value to it like.

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Jane Atkinson: you're not coming in and delivering a canned speech when you're talking to you know the corn farmers of nebraska your you know lots about Horn farming in nebraska when you go in there.

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GL Andy Busch: that's right and and, of course, the more you do it the better you get at it.

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GL Andy Busch: But but that's one of the process that we discovered.

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GL Andy Busch: That is extraordinarily effective that makes you different.

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GL Andy Busch: i've seen a lot of other people who are like either futurists or economist and they talk broadly about what the future looks like or they talk broadly about what the economy looks like.

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GL Andy Busch: What what I do is so different is i'll talk about the economy i'll talk about the administration's regulatory policies things like that, but it's all tailored to the client.

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GL Andy Busch: Right so some of it is an overview of the economy, yes, that component, maybe a third of it will cover every industry just about, but once you get just a little bit into the presentation, you really have to tailored specifically so that.

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GL Andy Busch: What I think we're doing is connecting the dots from that information back to their business to make it meaningful for them.

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GL Andy Busch: yeah and that and then at the end, I mean it.

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GL Andy Busch: Truly doing a case study is really powerful because you're not just saying wow this could affect your this could affect you're saying no.

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GL Andy Busch: From an outsider's perspective for your industry and i'm looking at this across the broad spectrum of the entire world here's where I see five things that are super interesting about it.

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GL Andy Busch: And I think that is meaningful for every speaker that's out there, you know if you're a motivational speaker i've seen a lot of motivational speakers just have a very cursory understanding of the audience that they're talking to.

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GL Andy Busch: But this is like, speaking, one on one that we did way back when it's like who's sitting the audience what are their problems when their needs that's how you really can connect to an audience and make it successful for them.

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Jane Atkinson: And because you have had a job at the White House, you can actually speak firsthand.

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Jane Atkinson: On what a platform that this administration has how that's going to affect the corn farmers of nebraska like you really are connecting the dots and I think that that's.

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Jane Atkinson: really interesting for you all to ask yourselves Okay, how can I really help solve the biggest problems of this audience today in in in your wheelhouse in your expertise right okay so.

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Jane Atkinson: What I think I hear you saying is that Ukraine.

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Jane Atkinson: The.

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Jane Atkinson: The war that's going on and i'm I can start to cry have cried on other podcast before talking about it, so I gotta be careful here today i'm not that i'm laughing about it i'm loving it myself crying on podcasts.

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Jane Atkinson: Is is so devastating and so difficult to see what's happening, and do you ever see anything changing in terms of policy.

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Jane Atkinson: yo you do.

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GL Andy Busch: So, yes we've already seen it and yes.

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GL Andy Busch: There is terrible tragedy going on in the Ukraine, I had this conversation with my son, this morning I said.

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GL Andy Busch: I really like what I do for a living, but sometimes.

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GL Andy Busch: it's it's really tough when I have to see shallow graves and and handcuffed or people with their hands tied behind their back and shot in the head and the street right I those are tough images to get out of your mind.

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GL Andy Busch: So I it's it's really difficult to see what's going on in Ukraine and see something positive come out of it, yet I will tell you.

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GL Andy Busch: There are really good things that are happening, first of all, we have ended hopefully the.

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GL Andy Busch: appeasement of Vladimir Putin from Germany and Europe due to the energy situation so that's a great thing, it will take time to disentangle Germany, especially because of not a natural gas more than oil away from Vladimir Putin, but that's fantastic.

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Jane Atkinson: And that will not come back right, I mean, though.

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Jane Atkinson: pipeline and that's it right.

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GL Andy Busch: yeah and the thing about gas.

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GL Andy Busch: Well, I don't want to get too granular but its regional like oil is a global market gas is a regional because of the pipelines, but anyway.

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GL Andy Busch: The thing is, is so that's a positive Switzerland and Sweden moving away from being neutral to actually saying well Sweden sending you know weapons and support to the Ukrainians.

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GL Andy Busch: Germany deciding to finally spend 100 billion dollars on Defense spending to shore up what's going on.

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GL Andy Busch: In their country, but also to help the Ukrainians just the world coming together to isolate Russia it's been a great thing, so there are some really positive things.

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GL Andy Busch: Getting back to the supply chain know there's some really tough things that are going to come from this and we're going to go through disruptions for the next six months to a year and a half, because of that.

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GL Andy Busch: And there will be other places in the world that will become unstable Turkey being one of them Egypt being another place, because they get the majority of their wheat.

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GL Andy Busch: From the Ukraine, and so the last time, of course, we had something similar happened, where the price of wheat went up significantly it created conditions for the Arab Spring.

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GL Andy Busch: So there are things like that that are that are horrible but there's also things like hey maybe we can rethink where we're at with fossil fuels.

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GL Andy Busch: Maybe we should start to think about you know, can we accelerate alternative energy.

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GL Andy Busch: we're never going to quite get there we're going to need fossil fuels for a very long time, but can we move away from.

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GL Andy Busch: autocratic rulers who are producing petroleum, you know that's good so they said there's always some good things that are coming out of of horrible situations it's just really hard to see him when there's bodies lying industry.

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Jane Atkinson: Right and I want people to have perspective when you go to pay at the pump or when your hot tub is going to take an additional 10 months to get in like let's remember okay.

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Jane Atkinson: How privileged we are in this world and and how lucky we are on so many levels, and I know that most people do remember those things, but I think it's difficult not to complain.

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GL Andy Busch: About.

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Jane Atkinson: The minor inconveniences but really come on let's take a look at what's going on around the world and be grateful that we have a roof over our head, that is not going to be shelled at some point in the future.

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GL Andy Busch: yeah it's what we call first world problems right.

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GL Andy Busch: Problems yeah.

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Jane Atkinson: And, and I really want to also know that you are very non political as you lay these things out you have studied all administration's.

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Jane Atkinson: And you come to the table with both the positives and the negatives on both sides, you really don't have a huge agenda to push when you're out there, doing your work.

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GL Andy Busch: No, I think I would do a disservice to my clients if I was imbalanced if I only thought democrats did the right thing, where Republicans.

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GL Andy Busch: Now my focus is always on economic growth and.

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GL Andy Busch: growth opportunities in the future and that's really where I try to help my clients say you know I went to a lot of Conservative republican clients who run big companies back during the election of 2020 and.

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GL Andy Busch: As we did a lot of research prior to that election.

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GL Andy Busch: and looking at the policies of the democrats back then every one of them was so different from President trump's at that time, especially when it came to the environment, and so I went to all my clients and what.

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GL Andy Busch: Do you realize that if President trump loses this is going to be the biggest shift in environmental policy in our lifetime.

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GL Andy Busch: yeah and so so that's my job is to.

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GL Andy Busch: Like present a different point of view to people and to really guide them towards the future really realizing the risks, the challenges, but also the opportunities.

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Jane Atkinson: Right, then there are those for everything well is there anything that we really I, I feel that there's this pent up demand for live events that people.

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Jane Atkinson: want to get out and be face to face, I think, what do you think.

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Jane Atkinson: And in I kind of have a two fold question first do you think we're moving into endemic are we there yet you've studied pandemics and secondly.

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Jane Atkinson: Is it my imagination that there's this massive pent up demand that people will always want to meet face to face We know now that we can't live without that.

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GL Andy Busch: yeah you hit the nail on the head Jamie people want to get together and so when I go to conferences there's a palpable joy in the room, of people getting together shaking.

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GL Andy Busch: hands saying love.

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GL Andy Busch: Look there's risks, we know this from all the mutations of the virus.

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Jane Atkinson: mm hmm.

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GL Andy Busch: The best news that I bring to all the clients and the people that I appear before is, we have moved from pandemic to endemic and maybe into a flu like situation very nasty thing.

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GL Andy Busch: But this is what we see with many of the pandemics that have occurred, this is the transition they make because they're viruses and they're unstable they're missing a gene basically and.

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GL Andy Busch: So they don't want to die, so if they morph into something that kills everything that they gets infected well that's not good for their long term survival, so they knew tape and then become less violent, but more contagious and that's what we've seen when.

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Jane Atkinson: i'm in chrome that's exactly what we.

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GL Andy Busch: yeah yeah so I, like my personally i've had three shots.

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GL Andy Busch: Like I had a cron over new year's Eve survive that I think I just had the latest one I don't know but I didn't die a B I didn't have to go to the hospital.

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GL Andy Busch: And the best thing too is like Pfizer and other drug companies are developing.

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GL Andy Busch: therapy, similar to what we call Tamiflu which helped everybody get over the flu, similar to that the biggest worry when it comes to cogan is not so much the United States it's China.

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GL Andy Busch: Because they're still approaching it like they did in 2020 where they're trying to shut down everything.

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Jane Atkinson: it's hard.

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GL Andy Busch: yeah and that and then like and then test everybody and it's it's it's a Sisyphean task in the sense that, when you have a virus that's very contagious if you get anybody together you're going to spread it so if you make people line up to get tested they're likely to spread the disease.

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Jane Atkinson: The only time they're allowed out they're not even allowed to walk their dogs.

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GL Andy Busch: yeah it's really bad, but the problem for the rest of the world is that they shut down big blocks of their economy, this is what they did in February of 2028.

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Jane Atkinson: cause a lot of problems, this is what they do right now, when it comes to manufacturing people take it parts.

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GL Andy Busch: Because if they have people in in Shanghai that's one of the regions that they just recently shut down so Those are the things that you know that cause problems for the rest of the world.

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Jane Atkinson: I hadn't even thought about that latest shut down being apart, and you know how many things in your House wasn't weren't made in China.

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Jane Atkinson: really like how many things in your House, I look around everything I have is probably.

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GL Andy Busch: You know how about Canada right Canada has to import to fix now think about that for a second.

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GL Andy Busch: that's insane right you there's more we.

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Can.

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We have.

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GL Andy Busch: Your.

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GL Andy Busch: toilet paper same thing, I mean it's just like we said that's one of the other big themes that we that I talked about to clients is with supply chain do you start to reassure the manufacturing process back to your home country.

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GL Andy Busch: or.

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GL Andy Busch: You know back to Canada or back to Mexico or the United States, you know as though supply chains got really stretched you know that's what people have to start thinking about which is not easy to do a there's a lot of expertise and skills over in China that we've lost in our countries.

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GL Andy Busch: right because it's so much cheaper to do it there, maybe that wasn't a good decision, maybe you should bring that back that's what we discovered during.

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GL Andy Busch: trying to get the vaccines right and and and the ingredients for those vaccines on some of them were only manufactured in China or India, so yeah I mean it's a rethink glow about globalization, overall, which I think is a healthy thing.

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Jane Atkinson: hmm and if we bring more manufacturing jobs, back then, of course, that's more jobs, and those are good things and keeping the cost low I know it's the hook is the hard part.

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Jane Atkinson: Sure Andy, as usual, you are the great calmer downer.

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Jane Atkinson: We still are going to end this on a positive note, because we know that people want to meet, we know that.

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Jane Atkinson: There may be some you know other things that come down the Pike Obviously nobody can know exactly what's going to happen.

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Jane Atkinson: With war with all of the things that are going on in the world, right now, but I really appreciate hearing your input from someone who just studies it all day every day.

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GL Andy Busch: yeah, the best thing I can tell everyone is this Look, we all survived 2020 me if you can adjust and morph yourself to go to virtual and then deal with that world and then.

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GL Andy Busch: Do combine and hybrids we found a way to survive and that's we've overcome adapted and survive and that's the best news so when we see things like the war in the crane.

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GL Andy Busch: it's depressing, but just try to keep in mind, you can overcome this as well, and maybe even help the people in the Ukraine overcome by donating, which is always a good thing.

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GL Andy Busch: right but.

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GL Andy Busch: But I would just keep a positive outlook on things happening because there are good things happening, it just doesn't get reported in the media whole lot.

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Jane Atkinson: um well, I want to put in a plug for the Red Cross, I did my research and that's where i'm putting my Ukrainian dollars towards one of my friends.

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Jane Atkinson: A couple of friends made borsch and they sold zoom to the tune of $7,000 to.

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GL Andy Busch: doughnuts great.

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Jane Atkinson: Ukrainian Red Cross, so I just love, seeing it, I think that where there is strife, there is opportunity.

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Jane Atkinson: And so coven we figured that out, we actually realize, now that the opportunity is that virtual is here to stay and now we can potentially work that into all of our packages and.

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Jane Atkinson: that it will be something that we continue to do because, why not are set up for it we're ready to go, we can do it very, very easily from our backyard in our in our comfy rabbit slippers.

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GL Andy Busch: People need help people need to see the future people need to understand what's coming they need help with motivation leadership.

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GL Andy Busch: I mean wide range of things, now more than ever.

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Jane Atkinson: So corporate initiative did not go away Oh, they did not, if anything, they amplified in a whole new crop came up so yay for speakers all right Andrew Bush if people want to get in touch with you how's the best way for them to connect with you.

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GL Andy Busch: Sure, and my website is Andrew Bush calm so it's Bush, like the beer be us ch you can go there, you can get free research, you can follow me on Twitter at a beat us ch or hit me up on linkedin either way i'd love to hear from you.

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Jane Atkinson: Beautiful Thank you so much for being here, thank you all for listening and we hope that we've given you positivity about the world, and what is coming down the Pike maybe a little bit of brace for impact.

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Jane Atkinson: or a few things that are coming, thank you for that and we'll see you soon wealthy speakers bye for now.

 

Highlights you won’t want to miss:

  • A bit about Andy. [1:00]
  • Supply chain effects. [3:30]
  • Booking times, they are a-changin’. [6:30]
  • Another record year in speaking. [9:00]
  • Do your homework to create connection. [11:30]
  • World conflict and policy changes. [14:30]
  • We want to meet LIVE again! [20:00]
  • Some positive thoughts. [25:00]

Prior to joining the CFTC, Andrew was the CEO and founder of a boutique financial markets and policy research firm, Bering Productions, Inc (BPI).  Before BPI, he was the Global Currency and Public Policy Strategist for Bank of Montreal (BMO) in Chicago.  He was an outside advisor to the US Treasury and White House under the Bush administration.

If you would like some answers to the burning questions that are top of mind, you simply can’t afford to miss this episode.

I hope you’ll download and learn.

Links:

Andy’s website
Free Resources
Andy’s Twitter handle
Andy’s LinkedIn profile
Jane’s LinkedIn profile
The Wealthy Speaker School

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