Friday’s Memo – Looking Up is the Only Way Out of a Hole

Friday is usually a wrap up day.  Rarely until the day has past do we reflect on the pounding roller coaster week that’s gone by.  However, this morning I had to replay in my head many conversations of past months with average people, friends, relatives and business associates.  So reflection comes early for me today.

Reflection because to my surprise down a bit in the morning’s paper were some of their stories and pain.  Yes, I still get a newspaper delivered to my door.  The Wall Street Journal of course led with Bernard Madoff destruction.  Madoff’s photo was surrounded with pictures of his victims.  And beneath that graphic, above the fold in the print edition, was the headline “Americans See 18% of Wealth Vanish.” 

Poof!!!  What happened?  That’s all of us in the United States. Who did that?

The vanishing American wealth report headlines WSJ’s online version and it’s a really good read.  I doubt if many of the people in the story know Bernard Madoff.  However, their losses are as severe as Madoff’s investors.  Lives and pensions depended on were worth 20% less in 2008 according to WSJ.  One of out of every five dollars in our pockets gone. The article cites the lack of information for the first quarter of 2009 which portends more decline.

Jon Stewart  of The Daily Show acting as predator and Jim Cramer of CNBC, the prey, gave an entertaining argument about how we got ourselves in this hole, if you will.  We can debate the state of affairs and point fingers forever but we have to start looking up now.  How do we return lost wealth or even stem the descent?

I  have ideas and I doubt if any one person has all the answers.  Time to bunker down, act with knowledge and together.  Every little act counts, if we are to turn around the acts we overlooked in the past decade.  The problem is global and a solution has to be worldwide.  I refer you to Dr. Eli Goldratt mentioned in Broadcast Newsroom Computing’s first Friday’s Memo.

My best quote of the season is – “If your neighbor is laid off it’s a recession.  If you’re laid off it’s a depression.”  I say when in a hole keep looking up because that’s the way out.

Next week BNC writes about practical solutions like managed services.

James Rowe

Rowe and Company, LLC


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