This week on the Big Picture, Jim and John discuss “The New Abnormal – the Age of Uncertainty”. After the economic recovery in 2009, Bill Gross of Pimco termed it “the new normal” to describe the new environment in the markets and the economy. But it seems now that everything is abnormal. From sluggish growth rates coming out of a severe recession to the lowest interest rates in history, to how frequently policy experts have been wrong on the markets and the economy. How do you gauge the direction of interest rates in the “new abnormal”? They discuss the economy and how neither business nor government is investing much in the economy. This “new abnormal” paradigm is reshaping the markets, the economy, and society. They look at the investment implications. The next topic is “Leverage, Agility, and Crisis”. The origins of the new abnormal go back to 1999 when the Glass-Steagall Act was abolished by Congress. The SEC and Commodities Futures exchange also got rid of many restraints on leverage. Banks were allowed to get into market speculation instead of lending. When the crisis arrived in 2008, the government responded with a wave of new regulations, making lending very difficult. Jim discusses the major risks we are facing now.