from the department of "something scarey this way comes..."

Feb. 26, 2007

Global Recession Coming-- Watch Out!

According to MoneyNews.com, former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan said in a speech in Hong Kong today that there is a likely recession coming by year end. Greenspan focused on a US recession, but it is in fact more likely to start in China, and spread to the US like a dose of Asian flu. Several economists of my acquaintance have been predicting this for over a year, and I haven't seen any indication that they (and latterly Greenspan) are wrong. Wha...

Global Recession Coming-- Watch Out!

According to MoneyNews.com, former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan said in a speech in Hong Kong today that there is a likely recession coming by year end. Greenspan focused on a US recession, but it is in fact more likely to start in China, and spread to the US like a dose of Asian flu. Several economists of my acquaintance have been predicting this for over a year, and I haven't seen any indication that they (and latterly Greenspan) are wrong. What does this mean? Likely, it won't be a big enough recession to hurt this cycle of automation expansion at either end users or automation suppliers. But, depending on the political situation both here at home in the US (the 2008 election cycle has begun) and globally (Iran now has the delivery capability to deliver its soon-to-be nuclear device capability at least to Western Europe, if not the US)it may or may not be severe. What should end users do? Make sure you have your skills updated. If you can take the CCST or the CAP test, do it. If you can take the Control Systems Engineering test, or otherwise achieve a PE, do it. If you haven't got an updated resume, better dust it off. You may not need it, but it pays to be safe, not sorry. If your personal finances are leveraged, take a look at paying down debt now, rather than waiting for 2008. Take a look at the economic health of both your employer and the region you live in. If you think you'll have trouble finding a new job if you get laid off, you better have a "plan B" for what you're going to do. The days of waiting on unemployment while your job never comes back are gone! What should supplier companies do? As much as possible, continue to expand your branding and marketing functions. This recession appears to be both countercyclic with plant construction and new automation purchases and mercifully short. At least we think so. Your bet that end users will be getting into service contracts may very well pan out, since outsourcing in recessions looks better on the books than keeping those expensive engineers and technicians in-house. Look at what Kodak has already done, selling its engineering department to Bill Pollock at Optimation well before the storm hits. If you're ready, you can weather it. If not, watch out for rogue waves. And what if it doesn't happen? You can all blame Alan Greenspan.