Getting a different view on economic matters

It’s a scary time for the economy at the moment and procurement people should be thinking hard about what the implications might be for our organisations, and indeed in our own personal lives. So the need for us to keep up with what is going on is greater than ever.

Jason commented a couple of weeks ago on the best way to do this – in a really useful post, he recommended reading publications such as the Economist and the Financial Times, as well as following various indices and indicators. And of course he’s right – particularly for procurement people involved in buying anything related to global economic circumstances. But in practice that means pretty much anyone – as the Southern Cross nursing homes crisis shows, even procurement folk in very specific public sector focused areas need to have their wider economic and financial antennae well tuned!

What I would add to Jason’s thoughts though is the benefit of following some of the less mainstream commentators. For instance, the mercurial Max Keiser – watch some of his TV / video pieces and you might think he’s mad as a hatter.

But he was pretty much the only guy who actually predicted accurately the Icelandic banking crisis, and he’s been right about the recent huge increase in gold and silver prices.

Umair Haque in his Tweets and HBR blog is well worth reading for a different take on matters. He believes that many of our institutions are fundamentally broken. And here’s another view – Terry Smith, CEO of brokers Tellett Prebon, speaking the other day on the BBC’s Today programme. He believes, for instance, that the ‘cuts’ so far in the public sector are nowhere near enough, and our pension liabilities are unsustainable.

I don’t recommend you necessarily take everything these people say on trust – just as you shouldn’t believe everything the FT, the WSJ, the BBC or Spend Matters for that matter tell you. Make your own mind up – but get a wide range of information before you do so.

And of course, the world’s leading analyst on business matters, Scott Adams, has the last word on these matters.

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