Offshore outsourcing does some radical things to the organizational chart. Instead of a simple bargain between management and labor under the same roof, we have been moving towards a global production system of infinite flexibility.
Speaking of flexible sourcing arrangements, bankers should be downright concerned about the definition of marriage as the ostensibly monogamous union between a man and a woman in holy and/or state-sanctioned matrimony.
The legal recognition of same-sex couples could conceivably open the door to new household combinations: not just polygamy in its polygynous (husband-to-many wives) and polyandrous (wife-to-many husbands) forms, but also oedipogamy (marrying one's mother), caninogamy (don't ask), or even nullogamy (a person who marries him- or herself for the tax benefit).
Now some people think this is all some kind of madness coming out of the liberal hotbed of Massachusetts. That might well be part of it. Just don't forget that Governor Mitt Romney hails from Utah, a hotbed of alternative marriages in its own right. So is same-sex marriage really a stalking-horse for polygamy advocates? I don't know.
What I do know is that Gramm-Leach-Bliley and the USA PATRIOT Act blindsided banks' customer databases, which hadn't been designed to track complex privacy preferences or to detect terrorist financing.
Don't make the same mistake this time. Find out if your IT department and your vendors are prepared for 21st-century households. After all, it's not "business intelligence" if you don't know someone's business, no matter how complex.
Personally, the issue doesn't particularly concern me unless Massachusetts imitates Utah with restrictions on beer having over 4 percent alcohol content, in which case I'll have to move to Belgium.
In fact, household innovation could solve the problem of the aging U.S. population. If America ever wants to win the World Cup, we'll need to produce more American babies at a lower cost structure. If only the American people could show the same ingenuity as American business, we'd be in great shape.