One "surprise" issue we're running into is that, with the slowdown, many of our suppliers have cut their capabilities, impacting our ability yo obtain raw materials in a timely manner.
Any business leader, right now, should be dropping as many responsibilities as they can to free up their time to just focus on pulling out of this situation -- looking for any way possible to increase sales and maintain profitability levels.
I did hear a rather well known private sector economist speak last week. He provided a great historical perspective for the current situation as well as an explanation of how we got to where we are. While I would have guessed that an economist would have provided lots of numbers to explain the situation, he really does see a strong emotional or human side to this recession. He does indeed see it as being driven, perpetuated, and fueled by the media. While I have heard many armchair economists say such things, it was interesting to hear him say it.
He feels we're not quite mid-way through this thing. And, what scares him more than anything is the prospect of deflating -- rapidly dropping prices. While he is not seeing deflation yet, he explained that deflation is one thing that no one really knows how to fix.
I guess that, from my perspective, I am seeing some dropping prices but not a situation where consumer goods are dropping week after week after week. However, it would concern me greatly that, because of the amount of importing we do as a nation, we could very well see such a situation develop.
Switching gears a bit ... the big thing in the news now seems to be the possible nationalization of our banks. As someone who has experienced working with banks that, for many months now, have been under close scrutiny and control by the feds, I can tell you that, while I do not necessarily have a better answer, nationalization of the banks scares me to death. It will, I am afraid, create a situation where banking decisions are made largely on ratios and perhaps a few policies inspired by legislative numb skulls. Taking the human side out of banking will slow down business growth and expansion in ways we cannot even fathom. That is my concern at least. Again, though, no better answers.
Have a good week!