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Recessions ... Three Truths

I subscribe to Soundview Executive Summaries, as I have mentioned many times before ... a fantastic way to read a lot of business books and zone in on the few that you really want to buy, and spend time to read in depth. The service provides 8 page summaries of the books, with the main points in a condensed 20 minute read.

This month Soundview produced a bonus 13 page report about recessions, which referenced many management books that give advice for these times. The report ended with the three timeless truths about recessions.

1. Recessions happen ... economists suggest that there have been seven in the last fifty years, 1960, 1969, 1973, 1980, 1981, 1990 and 2001. They can last as short as a few months (the 1980 recession lasted only 8 months) or much longer (the 1981 recession lasted 17 months). The dynamic and complicated economic environment in which we operate today really suggests that recessions are inevitable!

2. Recessions are PAINFUL! Nobody needs to tell us that, we are all living it! The economic uncertainty is crippling even to formerly strong companies. In this recession for instance January 26, 2009 is known as blood Monday because of the unprecedented number of layoffs that happened that day ... amounting to about 71,400 jobs in the US alone.

3. The good news is that recessions end ... and every recession has ended with good times for those companies that weather the storm. Economists are expecting an upturn in the economy in the second half of 2009 and that is almost here ... so perhaps we don't have that much longer to hold on!

Fittingly, the article ends with a quote from a great leader, Martin Luther King: "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenges and controversy"

Hang in there ... and keep smiling!