Sunday, April 19, 2009

Recovery yet? Not even close...

I feel like I need to comment on today's Bulletin Business Section article "Recovery Yet?"

I won't go into how lame the "good" news is compared to the "bad news" (plenty more of that not mentioned); or into the fact that Bend is going to be very different than the rest of the country.

BUBBLE RECOVERY TAKES A LONG TIME.

But as someone who has seen bubbles pop before, and who was in business in the 80's in downtown Bend, I have to say, quit watching for a recovery.

When there is an economic recovery, it will pull YOU up.

You will NOT pull up the economy into recovery.

See what I'm saying?

IT WILL BE INCREMENTAL.

It will happen so slowly, you will hardly notice it. It will have probably been recovery for some time before you're willing to admit it.

You will, in fact, have given up on the whole concept of recovery by the time recovery is noticeable.

It isn't going to be like Bear Stearns crashing.

It will be a little bit here, and a little bit there. Incremental.

PLAN FOR THE WORST, HOPE FOR THE BEST.

I always think, if I plan for the best and it doesn't happen, it will probably put me in a hole that is even harder get out of. However, if I plan for the worst, and it's gets better --BONUS, BABY!!

Like I said, all you can do is deal with what's in front of you, and wishing for a 'recovery' will only mislead you and dissuade you from living fully in the moment and making the hard decisions.

IT'LL NEVER BE THE SAME.

Recovery, when it happens, won't look like it did before. It'll be different, which is one of the reasons it's hard to recognize. Who would have thought, for instance, in early 80's that downtown would thrive and the malls would falter?

A COUPLE OF YEARS.

If I had to guess -- what with the increasing unemployment, the likelihood of more ARM's and NOD's and falling housing prices, and consumer resistance to spending, I think Bend is looking at a couple of years before you can start looking for signs of 'recovery.'

Another way to put it, A Watched Pot Never Boils. Recovery will happen when you're not looking. Taking a daily, or weekly, or monthly temperature isn't going to help it happen.

Not that that will stop me and everyone else from doing it....

2 comments:

Duncan McGeary said...

I loved the pithy comment by a banker.

I can't find the exact quote or who it was, but it was something like this:

"Last fall we were facing the End of the World, now it's a little better..."

So...at least we're not facing the end of the world.

But then again, it could still happen....

Jeff said...

Nothing to profound to say. Except: Nice posts Duncan.