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What are Your Prospects for 2009?

January 5, 2009

affordable-bankingAt first blush, prospects in 2009 look pretty grim. Unemployment is predicted to top 9%, massive retrenchment in the stock market industry, bailouts on the way combined with a generally accepted view that life isn’t likely to get better any time soon. Cynicism is easy to get into with all the attempts at rosy predictions on the local news. Just keep on following the same old rules of society  and exactly what you know. All will be okay if you keep doing the same thing, you are told. You may be on the edge of despair.

Uncertainty and pessimism color attitudes toward predictions that suggest that growth is ahead.  These forecasts are seen as wishful thinking or  completely out of touch. Commerce and ecommerce was hammered last year and is likely to be half this year of what 2008 was. There isn’t a decline in the number of online buyers, but a pronounced decrease in consumer spending as consumers cling even tighter to their purse strings. With the blues in commerce and the digital economy come some unprecedented opportunities for the small businessperson with new ideas to present. It is mostly a matter of skill and patience. Operating under the same rules of supply and demand is the past for businesses that seek to prosper.

One recent bright spot has been in the cost of fuel. Just when Americans were facing a deep freeze in the north, the government got tough on futures commodities, bursting the bubble by taking the energy out of energy futures gambling. Investor abuse in futures was circumvented for the short term. It would seem that the direction of oil-based commodities will be determined by whether or not there is a prolonged worldwide recession and how quickly emerging markets can bounce back. You can bet all your hard-earned cash that opportunists are still looking for a way to get back into a profitable and inflated oil futures market. As a result, a wiser nation is still faced with a retrenchment as far as the wise use of energy and the promotion of the so-called green energy industry, creating great opportunities, perhaps even creatively speaking.  A boom in technology is likely to ensue.

thomas-edisonThis writer is usually bearish on the established community of profiteers and abusers that seek to profit only themselves through the use of other people’s money and rightly so. This does not preclude opportunities for the creative mind, even on a shoestring budget. Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. (Thomas Edison) With the nation facing an economic depression at worst, some Americans will continue to prosper. Whether you are one of those Americans actually has something to do with your mindset and what you choose to do. The credit squeeze will only intensify despite unprecedented measures to recapitalize the banking system and get lending flowing again. You can’t depend on the same old popular wisdom including educational hype and kissing up to the boss. Who profits from all that lame advise? Think about it. Don’t give up and get creative without being dependent on the latest trends, opinions and polling stupidity of the information age.  Discontent is the first necessity of progress. ~ E. Manning

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