Well I doubt there's any objections from anyone that I post this e-mail on the web. It's a really good read, and it's quite truthful.
Alan Knot Craig Jr. has now become famous for his words of encouragement to his staff at iBurst. Here is the latest one.
Why am I writing this email? Because I'm getting the impression there are some depressed people walking around. So let's recap: At the beginning of the year people were panicking about
1. the oil price,
4. and economic recession.
Of those big 4 concerns, 3 have taken care of themselves.
1. Oil is now below $40 a barrel, almost one Quarter of the price of 4 months ago
2. inflation is not such big deal because oil is cheap nowadays so food & all other costs are falling
3. and .. we haven't had any crazy power outages since February (the Eskom saga is a
complete mystery to me - The NEWSPAPERS said it would last 4 years??)
4. What about the Recession? Well, as it turns out, that was something that deserved panic. Especially if your name is Dick and you run a New York investment bank... Fortunately we don't have any Dick's at iBurst.
After the merry-go-round of bad news at the beginning of the year, capped by the xenophobic attacks it's been quite surreal to watch the "u-turn" executed by those heading for the exit door! It's a bit like watching naïve tourists run into the sea off Camp's Bay, scream in pain, and then race back onto the beach. The water looks so nice.. but don't go in there unless you're an Eskimo! Suddenly foreign shores aren't as attractive when there are no jobs, no credit, and no sunshine, so people who left are returning to tell those who haven't left not to go. Just to put a couple of Financial things in perspective, here is some info on the year-to-date performance of world stock markets (as of 10 Nov):
Hong Kong -46%
New Zealand -29%
South Africa -26% ...SA is not so bad is it? I'd rather be here than
in Iceland ?? !!
Sunny SA is certainly not immune to the global economic crisis. Our companies are suffering too, which means fewer bonuses and more retrenchments (always a winning recipe for unhappiness). How long will it last? Who knows, but brace yourselves for a tough 2009. The good news is that after every tough time comes good times, so at least we all
have something to look forward to!
What is the silver lining for SA? Our interest rates are still high, but will decrease soon to ease the burden on your back pocket. The UK and USA do not have that luxury, their
interests rates are already too low to cut further and it hasn't helped them at all yet!
What else? "Mad Bob" can't last forever. When he heads off into the sunset there will be an absolute bonanza of investment and aid flooding into Zimbabwe, and a large chunk of that windfall will be via sunny SA... oh happy days. Who said there were no plusses to having a
failed state as a neighbour?
What else? Anyone noticed the cranes everywhere you look? Seen the Gautrain progress? I went down to CT 2 weeks ago, and virtually the entire highway is under construction. Durban has a new Stadium; a bigger harbour AND a new Airport all finishing in the next 18months The unintended consequence of the government procrastination
on infrastructure investment over the past 10 years is that now that it's finally underway - just in time to prop up our economy! Gotta love those bureaucrats.
What else? The Soccer World Cup is coming. If we get it right we'll be the hottest spot on the planet - and we'll have a real shout for hosting the Olympics in about 2020. But don't crack open the champagne just yet, we still have our fair share of challenges. Your
average Yank may be swapping his house for a trailer, but at least he's not worried about being shot in the head on the way to his next job interview. If any of you have a relative or friend in the government, please pass on this message, "Crime is out of control and most of our schools and hospitals are in disarray."
Don't for a second fool yourself that we can ignore these structural problems and live the rest of our lives in blissful ignorance. We must constantly remind the politicians to do their jobs, but we cannot absolve ourselves of our responsibility to make individual contributions. It is our business to make this land a success. Report crime, pick up litter, give to the needy, create jobs, look after the children, practice safe sex, drink filter coffee. We've all got a responsibility to make the magic happen, otherwise you'll just end up lying in bed in 50 years time, looking back and saying "What if?"
The time of opportunity is upon us, now it's up to us to seize the day. I've said it before, I'll say it again: Life is not about waiting for storms to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.
Looking forward to dancing in 2009!