Friday, January 2, 2009

What's your big plan this new year?

Salute glass folks, and welcome to the new year! Looks like we've started the year on a good note. The Dow was back up above 9000 on Jan. 2, its best close in two months. GM, Alcoa, Boeing and Citi were ahead among the 30 blue-chip stocks of the Dow average, raising it 2.94 percent, or 258.30 points, to 9034.69, according to an article in The Washington Post. Only one component, JPMorgan Chase, finished lower, down 18 cents to $31.35.

The S&P's 500 index rose 3.16 percent, or 28.55 points, to 931.80, while Nasdaq composite climbed 3.5 percent, or 55.18 points, to 1632.21, according to The Post article.

Last year, the Dow declined 33 percent, its biggest drop since 1931, and the S&P was down almost 39 percent, its worst since 1937. The Nasdaq was down more than 40 percent for the year.

In Big Three news, on Jan. 1, Chrysler was still waiting for its federal handout, while GM had gotten its first $4 billion in loans, according to an article in The Wall Street Journal. The loans come from the $700 billion bank rescue plan, approved by Congress in September. GM is spending approximately $33 million a day, based on spending $1 billion per month during the third quarter. That daily amount is likely lower for the fourth quarter as GM has reduced spending on operations, sponsorships, utilities and even office supplies, according to an article in the Chicago Tribune.

To this positive news, add the new president-elect's rescue plan that intends to create up to 3 million new jobs, provide tax relief to middle-class families and help governors cover the soaring costs of education and Medicaid ... not a bad way to start the new year.

How will you contribute to make this year better? What is your resolution to improve your business and your professional community? Is there a particular problem that the industry needs to tackle more effectively to make this a better year?

By Sahely Mukerji, news editor/managing editor, Glass Magazine


Anonymous said...

optimistic view coming from a pessimist?

Sahely Mukerji said...

Nah, I'd say, facts coming from a realist. Thanks for your comment!

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year, Sahely. Yes things started out looking good and before I could say "Cheney KBR", Reynolds announces world-wide lay-offs. What's wrong with these companies? Don't they know that banks have BILLIONS of dollars to lend? Don't they listen to Hank or the leaders at The Fed? Where is their confidence in our capitalist system? Or maybe they realize that the banks did the same thing that they, themselves would do with a large capital influx right now - SIT ON IT!! Bush needs to tell Hank that if the banks aren't gonna' start lending to go get the money back and try something else....nah, that would make too much sense and would make the banks be accountable!! How many homeowners have been helped through the HOPE program? What a joke!

Sahely Mukerji said...

Thank you for your point of view, appreciate you taking the time to write.
I'm also curious to know about your plans and strategies for your company this year. What do you think our industry members should collectively do to stay ahead of the game in these trying times?

Anonymous said...

1) Don't panic. We've been through this and worse. Contrary to popular talking points, this is NOT the worst recession since the great depression.

2) Recognize that good employees are your greatest asset. Make cuts if you must but do not cut employees, work hours or benefits. You will need those employees when good times come again. Keep them happy and secure. If you don't, you'll not only lose employees, you'll lose customers as the result of poor customer service from unhappy employees. You'll suffer the most from the consequences when good times return.

3) Always project a positive outlook. There is a chance that things will be better if you believe they will, there is certainty they will be worse if you think so. No matter what the circumstances, there are good and bad components. It is a valuable characteristic to always seek for and find the positive and focus on it. I promise you there are myriad good things going on RIGHT NOW to be positive about. Focus on those. If there is anything George Bush and Barrack Obama need to learn from Ronald Reagan, that would be the first.

4) Enjoy the ride. Learning is a joyous thing. We can learn and improve from every situation if we choose. This is a good time to learn some new things or to reflect on the things you learned in 1982, 1990, or 2001. Believe me, times are no worse now than then, different but not worse and the lessons learned then will serve you well and foster continued learning now.

Thanks for reading - hope it helps, thanks for everyone else's input.

Sahely Mukerji said...

Great tips, and I truly admire your positive outlook. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

Daniel Dinu said...

That's great! To meet similar optimistic oppinions and pertinent advice so may thousants of miles overseas.
I really share the Anonymus's ideas and facts. Too bad heor she keeps being anonymus. I am happy to reveal who I am and what I do, good or bad, any critical or aprroving point of view from our guild is wellcome and, yes, we all learn from eachother.
Have a Wonderfull 2009, folks, and keep on doning what you're doing !
May Force be with us !