So what do several of the most popular magazines suggest now?
Forbes is running a cover story entitled: ObamaCare Billionaire: What One Entrepreneur’s Rise Says About The Future of Medicine. I’d be very nervous if I were Neil Patterson, the CEO of Cerner (NASDAQ:CERN), the world’s largest standalone health care IT system maker and the one profiled in this particular issue.
Patterson has had a helluva run over the last 33 years and with ObamaCare now under the microscope, things could change in a real hurry. Cerner handles over 150 million health care transactions a day, representing a super opportunity and potentially the greatest single concentrated privacy risk in the world at the same time.
Time‘s cover story is about the Top 100 Most Influential People in the World. My guess is that half of them won’t be in a few short years.
For example, Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, may go down as one of the greatest failures in monetary history if the EU comes apart on her watch. Rihanna, a wildly popular pop star today doesn’t appear to be writing the kind of music on par with the Beatles, the Stones or Madonna. And Tim Cook, who took over for the late Steve Jobs, may wreck Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) despite his early successes. Time will literally tell.
Fortune‘s cover headline is “The United States of Natural Gas”. It’s really three stories in one, all of which are about energy.
The first, about Exxon (NYSE:XOM), notes that the fracking party may have just begun. The second highlights a coming energy revolution thanks to fracking and deep-sea drilling. The third suggests that fracking could crowd out wind and solar.
This suggests to me that fracking, which is under tremendous social pressure, may not be what everybody thinks it’s cracked up to be – pardon the pun. Social pressure is building against it; water pollution and drying aquifers may be the real story…as a result of fracking.
The Economist notes that The Third Industrial Revolution – i.e., digital manufacturing — will transform the way goods are made and change the politics of jobs, too. This is a little more nuanced but I think it speaks to the fact that, while jobs may change thanks to technology, there will be a resurgence in plain old-fashioned manufacturing. Much of it, ironically, is going to come from offshore as bankrupt state and local governments bend over backwards to attract a tax base (and jobs).
Strangely…nobody has a Facebook cover on the rack at my local Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) right now.
And that makes me wonder if the company’s larger-than-life $100 billion IPO is going to hit the magazine rack just in time to signal its own irrelevance.
That wouldn’t surprise me one bit under the circumstances.