"New Mortgage Deals Leap by 19%" – headline from today’s Evening Standard. Things are rough. They will not be easy for a while. But the cash injections made into the economy have been unwise. The G20 summit is looking at ways to bring the world out of recession. Too late guys. You have missed the turning point. The recession finished at the end of last year. Whether we have a “double-dip” remains to be seen but for now things are on the mend.
The problem is that the data policymakers use is based on how the economy worked in the late 20th Century.
The official stats do not recognise adequately enough that the UK economy is no longer running on goods and services that were popular in 1975 and that Financial Services is not the be-all and end-all of the UK economy.
And in the digital economy things happen more quickly now.
Sorry but it’s true.
It’s new. It’s different. It’s fundamentally different in fact.
There are a few things you need to think about.
Firstly, banks are strapped for cash – just look at the poor old Dunfermline Building Society. Poor being the operative word. This situation is not going to change for at least a decade and things are shaping-up whereby the regulators are going to make sure that banks can never lend unwisely again (well, not until they work out how to beat the system anyway). So future growth over the next five years at least will be slow and steady – and probably rather bumpy.
Second, the digital revolution. It means everyone is free to do all sorts of things never before possible.
Freedom to experiment. Freedom to be creative. Freedom to co-operate as never before. Freedom to use innovation to grow, not just cheap, unsustainable credit.
Finally, the environment. The climate really does need heeding. But people are willing to listen (well, at least this side of the pond anyway) and willing to act. So anyone involved in recycling should have a reasonably bright future provided they manage the risk that the over-supply of rubbish can bring! And if you can work out what products people want then you can make a killing. But I’m not talking "organic produce" and "sandals instead of shoes". What will be needed in the future are products that are every bit as efficient and effective (and the same price) as their less eco-friendly counterparts but which are better for you and for the environment.
Some companies (like Unilever) have been working on developing such products for many years now.
Others need to catch-up. Just make sure you are not caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Time to invest in windmills I think.