Friday, October 10, 2008

No need to panic?

Rapid changes in the world require even greater adaptability and foresight than before. But that’s all. OK, the economy is currently in a mess, but to me it’s surprising that it’s only with hindsight everyone is castigating those who tried to bring in quick and large profits by exploiting those whose economic situation was the most unstable. I agree, it should never have been allowed. In my view it’s unethical and, frankly, nonsensical as the premise was never based on reality. The question is, why is it only now that establishment figures are condemning these practices? That is the “surprising” element. I suggest it is because they were neither concerned with lack of ethics nor with unrealistic theory that promised wealth until the effects of these practices hit their companies and their own wealth. Now they are stuck in a bad situation, and their own planning and adapability are being brought into question.

The speed of this collapse is staggering, but today the world changes at a very rapid rate. Most analysts agree nowadays, that to meet these changes, business plans must be adapted every 90 days or so. This is where it definitely helps to “be ahead of the curve”. Wealth is ultimately a relatively fixed commodity - it’s the distribution of wealth that changes. This means Wall Street rumor, fiction and forecast based investment are speculative and not “real”, so this is where future plans need especially to be foresightful and adaptable to stand a realistic chance of success.

There is hope for the future. People still have the same abilities, the same raw materials, the same learning and the same capacity to develop. The current crisis should just warn us how to develop, and I suggest it warns us that ethics and realism are terms we should pay more attention to in building a long-term sound economic future.

Next week we’ll look at how this might affect development of “poorer” communities both at home and abroad.

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