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Where Is the Good News?

Parts of the US economy are in recession, and more will follow. US GDP is slowing. As angst builds in corporate offices and boardrooms, we are frequently asked for the "good news."

It is common for people to ask for "good news," or to want to categorize economic realities as "good" or "bad." However, life and the economy are not that simple – there is no definitive good or bad when it comes to realities such as tariffs or the economy. A tariff or a turn of a market could be good news for one person and bad for someone else; it depends on the specific impact to the individual.

Many businesses face significant issues in periods of economic expansion; they run out of cash even as they expand operations to meet the higher demand. The "good news" of economic growth can be the cause of their failure!

At ITR, we present each situation as actionable information, rather than declare it good or bad. For us, the "good" is helping our clients capitalize on the information. Our goal is to help our clients make better strategic and tactical business decisions, so they can be profitable in any phase of the business cycle. When that happens, it’s great news and we have fulfilled our mission!

The projected 2022-23 recession and the upcoming Great Depression of the 2030s will be painful for some, but a chance to make a lot of money for others. If you think of recessions as potholes, the Great Depression is a significantly larger-than-normal pothole. Those who go around the pothole will do well; those who work in the "pothole filling industry" will also do well. Either way, this is a necessary process.

The Great Depression will be an "economic forest fire." It will clear out stale, old, stagnant items from the economy and enable new growth to flourish in its aftermath. Industries or companies that were unable to flourish in the shadows of larger, more established enterprises will have a chance to grow. There will be pain, but there will be opportunity, which is why it is so important to stay informed and position yourself to prosper.

What have you done to plan for the next Great Depression, both personally and professionally? We are already on the cusp of the "Roaring 20s," and the Great Depression will be upon us all too soon. If you missed Brian and Alan Beaulieu’s presentation on the Great Depression, you can still view the recordings or read more about it in their essential book, Prosperity in the Age of Decline.

 

Jackie Greene
Director of Economics