[thelist] Financial Situation

David Kaufman david at gigawatt.com
Thu Dec 11 08:12:11 CST 2008

Hi Fred,

"Fred Jones" <fredthejonester at gmail.com>:
> Is anyone else considering lowering their hourly rate to get new
> clients due to the financial situation in the US?
> [...] I don't read the
> news much (OK, not at all) so I'm wondering if this situation is
> affecting people like us also.

We are seeing most of our medium-sized and larger corporate clients, which 
had been doing a lot of steady work in the past few years, cutting back, 
delaying the start of new projects that were scheduled, and talking a lot 
about examining costs and saving money.  When we ask, they tell us that 
they are getting the message from their upper management to rein in 
spending, build rather than buy, do more with less, etc.

Since our bread and butter is big new development efforts, this is becoming 
a scary trend indeed.  Like others have said, we keep our eye on the news, 
hoping it can be believed that the next rate-cut or bail-out (ahem, I mean 
"rescue") or the new administration will stave off what others are 
predicting will be at best a long recession or at worst another Great 

Not to be too overdramatic, but this time has sooo much in common 
historically with the 1930's depression: a long and massive real-estate 
bubble that bursts, failing banks followed by giant corporate bankruptcies 
followed by long-term massive unemployment...

I've been spending some time thinking and reading about what businesses 
survive, or even do well, in a depression.  In that last one, it seems, 
vendors of strong alcohol and those offering venues for temporary emotional 
"escape", like movie theaters and comedy venues, did quite well :-)

-dave, still waiting for the "main street" bail-out 

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