Friday, 24 October 2008

Time's up then...


Well, this is it. We have finally talked ourselves into a recession. For a long-time this could have been avoided with just positive thinking and everyone going out and carrying on a normal, but n0. Those nasty pessmists have had their dreams come true. I'd just like to thank those superior intellects who have stuck by not talking ourselves into a recession mantra:



Shriti Vadera (the real UK Chancellor)


Martin Broughton, CBI Chairman

Stuart Rose, M&S Chairman & CEO


This was just the first page of googling, there were 200,000 hits. It serves a useful purpose though, at least in the future one can be sure that none of the people who came out with this drivel know much about economics or markets and so can ignore their public statements.. Just as well none of them are in charge of our destinies, eh?

27 comments:

Blue Eyes said...

Off topic: how does the magnitude of this week's sterling slump compare with the ERM exit of '92?

Two of my colleagues are going Stateside soon and they are Not Happy!!

Bill Quango MP said...

You are not forgetting "cheer up" Tom?
Tom Harris the voice of optimism in the middle of Labours first realisation that it was all over.

Hairy Arsed Bloke said...

I have a cunning plan to increase the value of world wide stocks, commodities and non-USD currencies.

At the moment US Treasuries are the only game on the planet. Everybody is selling their dead grannies and converting them to dollars to buy them as they are seen as the only safe place to hold money. Other assets are, possibly unjustly, seen as too risky relative to US Treasuries.

My plan is to even out the playing field so that other assets are not seen to be as much as a comparative risk and thereby have their value restored. I propose that the US Government default on some of its bonds. This would make them to be seen as being just as risky as everything else and so money would flow away from them and back into a broader range of assets increasing their value. Even some one like Uncle Ben talking about the possibility of default may have the same affect.

HAB saves the world.

CityUnslicker said...

BE - the £ is only slumping against the dollar, not the euro. like every other currency too.

BQ - yup, forgot that one!

HAB - um, that may happen if Nouriel Roubini and others are to be belived...

Anonymous said...

"I am not clear what you mean Unslicker--are you saying that this country (and the world)is in fact not up to its eyes in debt, both public and private, that it has not the slightest hope of paying off?.

CityUnslicker said...

you lost me there anon. In this post I am saying people look pretty stupid for saying that we are talking ourselves into recession.

I said it at the time, now is the schadenfreude moment...

Steven_L said...

I've pretty much given up reading the economists now (except you and Nick of course)

A few months ago every day you logged onto Bloomberg there was a video of some muppet calling the 'bottom'.

I can't bring myself to short anything fearing a bounce will wipe me out, nor to try and catch the falling knife.

I might head down the casino on payday next week. Roulette looks like a much safer bet than anything else at the moment.

Sebastian Weetabix said...

The Pound slumping against the dollar, combined with the collapse in commodity prices, is proving jolly good for my business. And we have no debt! Sales are just down a couple of per cent. In the electronics business we've seen much worse than this... 2001 was horrible, sales dropped 30%. So these are sunlit uplands.

Just doing my bit to talk us out of recession.

Bill Quango MP said...

Sebastian Weetabix
just been talking about 2001 myself.
meeting one day - 30% cuts annonced- A few murmours around the boardroom about losing window cleaners, cutting some warehouse guys, selling some older lorries etc.
CEO says "No! 30% cuts from each of your departments today. If we haven't got them by friday the banks closes us. Meet back here tomorrow at 5pm and tell me its done."
And it was. 300 people who had no idea the chop was coming were gone the next day.Still 600 jobs were saved.Including mine.

Retail electronics are down on down on down on year before figures.
Great to hear its going well but how are you bucking the trend?

Anonymous said...

BQMP: "And it was. 300 people who had no idea the chop was coming were gone the next day."

Well, at least we have all had plenty of warning!

Hairy Arsed Bloke said...

BQMP, sounds like what happened in the IT business with the fraudulent work permits that the nuLieBore regime issued around that time. There where plenty of highly skilled people around but the government flooded the market with discount imports. Many left the business for good; I’ve heard stories of some who died by their own hand because of it. Now there is a shortage of staff at management grades and youngsters are unwilling to study computing.

Just more evidence to be used at the trial of B’Liar, the snot goblin, et al for treason.

Blue Eyes said...

I am beginning to wonder if a major shakedown isn't exactly what this country needs...

As long as it isn't me left under Waterloo Bridge...

Bill Quango MP said...

Be: You know the 1st round of cuts if managed well is sometimes not only necessary but can be reinvigorating for a business.
A chance to redeploy over manned sectors, introduce more efficient practices and a great opportunity to clear out the malingerers, time servers, long term sick ,emotionally damaged, under performing, one last chancers, inflexible attitudes, change resistant and over promoted people. Those who just want a change also get a chance to leave.

But I've just been through stage two last year which was similar to the 2001 post above. There is no discussion, no time to rationalise decisions. Just blanket cuts by numbers and cost stats that are often based on how much can be saved. This produces the opposite result with senior, motivated, experienced and knowledgeable individuals replaced by junior, inexperienced unprepared and half trained people or often not replaced by anyone at all.
Unpaid over time and no payrises for many.

So if you are stage 1.. could be good.Promotions for the able.
Stage 2.. less good.But the survivors are motivated.
Stage 3 is mergers and administration and that's just lifeboat time.Too late to worry about it.

Steven_L said...

Whilst we're all sharing stories.

All these companies going tits up is putting more work on my desk.

Not everything is what it seems, there are firms claiming to be wiped out by exchange rate volatility or the 'credit crunch' that have been trading as insolvent loss-making entities for years, propped up by loans and idiot investors.

Beats me why anyone lent them the money or invested in these black holes in the 'good years'. but they sure as hell did!

opportunity spotter said...

Bill:

A chance... ...and a great opportunity to clear out the malingerers, time servers, long term sick ,emotionally damaged, under performing, one last chancers, inflexible attitudes, change resistant and over promoted people.

Sounds like the ideal way to delal with our pesky parliamentarians then!

consistently robbed expat said...

CU 1.52: The pound E/R against the euro this year has gone from 67p to 80p where it currently resides. That to me represents a considerable devaluation and reduction in spending power. I agree it has remained relatively stable at this level for the past couple of months.

Sebastian Weetabix said...

BQ MP: thanks to ruthless Darwinism, we survived 2001.... which meant we moved most of our volume production offshore to China, Brazil, Malaysia & India. Here in the UK we kept the "brains" of the business & maintained a small scale production facility for niche products & pilot plant. We make materials for electronics/electrical assembly & we sell into the higher end applications such as medical, solar panels and defence stuff. So we're doing ok. We haven't seen big reductions in volumes yet, but things would have drop off by 40%+ before we needed to lose heads.

We moved out of the low end consumer applications like TVs & MP3 players. There isn't enough margin there. The Taiwanese like to occupy that space with their 1% margins, and they're welcome to it. They tend to work on the basis of making no money for 5-10 years until everyone else has exited the market. That's why they're strong in semiconductor wafer fab & flat screens.

Thanks to the pound collapsing this week we now make money shipping from the UK than we do out of Malaysia & Brazil. As for China.. no-one really makes money there except for the Chinese. You think you do but then they screw you with arbitrary regulations and dodgy customs behaviour with quotas & the like.

The bank is being shitty though. Even though we have an excellent positive cashflow, and we weren't actually using our overdraft facility, they are increasing charges for transactions & telling us we no longer have an overdraft facility.

brit expat in KL said...

This year the pound has dropped from 7-1 to 5.5-1 against the Malaysian ringgit, a decline which has dented my aspirations quite severely! Regrettably I do not see any sign of an early recovery. Brown is a clown, no two ways about it.

Mark Wadsworth said...

BE, the slide in GBP over the last twelve months is pretty much the same as the slide before and after Black/White Wednesday.

Since I posted this chart, GBP has slid another three per cent or so.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Sebastian Weetabix - is that The Remittance Man or is this a generic pseudonym?

Sebastian Weetabix said...

No, I'm not the remittance man. Don't know the chap; wouldn't speak to him if I did.

I chose the name on the basis of a mildly humorous incident when I was a trot student. 3 of us were apprehended by a plod one night & when asked my name I wittily responded "Sebastian Weetabix". I got a night in the cells for being a twat. They did give us a nice breakfast though.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Seb, cool.

It's just that if you click on RM's sitemeter, for a split second, before it asks you for password etc, you see the name 'Sebastian Weetabix' flash up in the address bar thingy.

CityUnslicker said...

All, I don't doubt the £ will fall further - we are very poorly placed to weather the storm and the forex markets know it.

Sebastian Weetabix said...

MW - your comment prompted me to go & read his blog. I agree with a lot of his opinions so I can see why you'd ask!

I post anonymously because if my customers/workers/suppliers saw my positive post above, they'd be sticking price increases on me, asking for higher wages & badgering for lower prices respectively. Can't have that.

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