As this turbulent and eventful year draws to a close, I feel moved (perhaps by my sumptuous Christmas repast) to don my guru headgear and give you an educated guess as to what the coming year will bring to the technology space, especially as it impacts insurance and financial services.
Of course, the primary determinant of what the year holds will be the U.S. economy. The Obama Administration is trying hard to spin optimism out of current trends, but the reality is that unemployment remains at double digit levels and that many holiday seasonal hires will have been laid off by the end of January. The stimulus packages passed by Congress have stimulated plenty of debate, but very little that I can see in terms of new jobs. Bailouts have at least temporarily saved banks and auto companies, but the piper has yet to be paid for all that money we created out of thin air—not to mention the staggering cost of government-run healthcare. Overall, there are more depressants than stimulants entering our economic body, thus the effects are not likely to be salutary.
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