P U B L I S H E R ’ S D E S K
AN ACORN OR
THE SKY FALLING
In any business within any industry
there are factors that you can
control with eagle-eye scrutiny and
then there’s those that are simply out
of your control: the latest financial
'crisis' is just one of those events.
What’s caused it has financial
analysts chaffing at the bit to convey
The Guardian’s economic expert
Larry Elliott I feel has it right when
he drew this analysis: a story of low
unemployment and cracks appearing
in the US economy through the first
strong signs of inflation. The dollar,
he says, weak too, with shareprices
having a free run.
Meltdown de ja vu circa 2008 et al?
Time has proved to show the answer
is: 'Yeah, nah.'
But from my point of view this is
an absolute reason why in today’s
world of immediate, greater depth
information you also have to balance
things somewhat. Yes, the US
markets took a massive one-day hit
and every news website in the world
was hot on the scene to grab their
piece of unique website browser pie.
But sprinkle some salt on the stories.
That drop that sent shockwaves
throughout the world - the one you
simply could not avoid reading or
hearing about – how bad was it, in
A comparative analysis shows that
the drop took the market back to
where it was mid-December, and I
say that peering skyward with one
raised defensive arm just in case it
is the sky crashing down. Hmmm…
nothing fallen yet.
The truth is we live in a world that is
now so immediate and so thorough in
its delivery of bad news that we get
swamped with the woes of a story
and by the time real evaluation is
done after the first shockwave many
have already firmed their opinion like
a fast-setting concrete based upon
the ‘panic’ phase of news...and we
know panic in business is not a good
Sure, you as business owners in
the manufacturing and engineering
industries will see some impact over
this. But I’m also sure you know
only too well about the subtleties
of long-term viewing rather than
reaction to short-term losses.
It is hard not to Chicken Little-it when
a tsunami of press forecasts the end
of the world (despite the sky not
The dollar, sharemarkets, inflation
– it’s not in your hands. Manoeuvre
your business accordingly, but if
you have a set up that is absolutely
dependent on the previous
then you’d have to question the
foundation of a business itself, right?
So, what can you do?
For a start, crawl out from
under the table or move
away from the protecting
doorway and get stuck in.
Counter any potential losses by
focusing in on what you do and
how you do it, rather than factors
that you have no control over.
Do everything better. Be bold.
If you need further evidence
to alleviate any GFC muscle
memory you may have, start
by looking at how the global
plunge affected our own
market. Having ended 2017 at
8,398.08, the NZX50 had at time of
print dropped 3.7%. However, it hit
a record 8,455.55 on January 5 on
the back of consecutive gains for the
past 13 months. Net result is that a
day after the plunge it's up 14% from
this time a year ago when it closed at
The flood of news that the sky was
falling didn’t contribute to the sky
falling. In fact, most markets bounced
back pretty fast. It’s often the news
after the event that is the most
dangerous of all, but the reality is – in
context – things aren’t that bad.
I treat these sorts of events as
business electric shocks. They’re a
reminder that you must continually
be checking and re-checking your
business model to ensure that it’s not
a house of cards. A necessary jolt
that brings you back to earth so
you can focus on strengthening
every single proposition within
your model; the impact of even
some massive global events can
be dispersed a lot more easily.
EMEX 2018 is a good place to
start for that sort of thing. It’s only
a couple of months away and is
an ideal platform for our industry
to get together, see what others
are doing, chew the fat, see the
latest technology and so much
Positive events don’t tend to grab
headlines. I now shake salt on
nearly everything I read online.
Except for KiwiSaver - ouch!