El Presidente

7 years on from the GFC....how are those green shoots going in your neck of the woods?

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How time flies when you are having fun rolleyes.gif

We had a great discussion on the deck earlier in the week on how things have changed locally since the GFC in 2007-8. Yep, 7 years ago.

locally, we breezed threw it on the back of a mining/commodities boom until that started busting 36 months ago. I know many members having a tough time here staying afloat in their own businesses or worrying for their jobs in companies. Others have done well but as a consensus we are agreed that most of us are working twice as hard to make the same money or less. Looking forward (again locally) it appears we are in for a tough few years with few sectors of the economy flourishing.

How are things in your neck of the woods. Are you seeing green shoots? Have you seen a good bounce back? Is it broad based or patchy? How are you feeling about the next few years (politics aside).

Let us know about your community and your industry.

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It's been an interesting few years, that's for sure. Hard to beleive seven years have passed.

From my end things have been up and down. I have hosted mates in the spare rooms and couch as they had nowhere else to sleep. I think the financial sector of career choice turned out to be brutal... I'm talking people from Maq Bank, Goldman, even Deloitte once on 500k+ a year, sleeping in my home with no prospects and once healthy bank accounts dry.

For me I lost my job in late 2010 due to the flow on effect of the GFC. Got another with a REIT and left a year later.

I have since privately consulted as a business analyst. Mostly via referral... some who can pay, some who can't and some I just do for free regardless.

People are slogging the day away for very little return for effort in the family businesses or companies I see. Money is now so available once again but confidence and turnovers are largely stagnant.

I'm inspired all the time by 'ma and pa' businesses that have put in the hard yards and thrive with a little guidance. Medium sized co's who do their all to keep people in the job are the same.

Am I working harder? Absolutely. Am I reaping more dollars a month now than pre GFC? Nope.

The outlook? Changes monthly dependant on the industry IMO.

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Sucks to be an importer. Our biz has been suffering the fall in the AUD, but wholesale prices are not going up by similar percentages. Most of our customers are buying less, or turning towards cheaper, lower quality items. Some have even started to try to import themselves to cut out the middle man.

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Our industry (high tech advanced computing systems and enterprise software) weathered the storm pretty well.

Actually was buoyed by this as all the new regulations around compliance and stress testing required significant investment in the technology infrastructure by the major financial services firms.

Bit of a rough start as they were all trying to get their houses in order but by 2010 business had picked up substantially and was exceeding the pre-GFC times. Next couple of years were some of the best I've had.

Quite a bit different from the dot com bust when our industry was flattened and many out of work, including me, in the 2000-2001 time frame.

In general the local economy has improved greatly. Employment, new businesses and the housing market are all on the upswing over the past year or so.

The future? I'm very concerned where the global economy is going in the coming months as I expect there are going to be significant changes happening around the world monetary system. Global economics are shifting rapidly and debts are coming due which will have massive impact worldwide sooner than later.

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I work for a port and business has grown steadily from 2009 till 2014 on the back of a construction boom here in Singapore. That has now slowed down and we are seeing slight (2%-4%) declines in volume but we are far from having to lay-off people. I only joined in late 2013 and must say that this one of the cushiest jobs I've had; which is bad for my bank balance, as I now have more time to check on the 24:24 sales!

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I still remember how bad things were '09/10 in the airline industry. I recall sitting in a room full of furloughed major airline guys interviewing for a regional (commuter) airline paying $25k/yr for what would be a crappy job. Lots of guys I know got out, some went corporate, some are doing quite different things with their lives.

Luckily I moved back 'home' to Oz, got one of the few airline jobs in this country and am still young enough to make a career out of the career so to speak. Purchasing power on our combined income living in Oz is still not up to what we were making in 2009 and property ownership locally is out of reach but at least we're still together and didn't lose our house in the U.S. like many of our friends.

I was talking about this just the other day with a colleague:

Stagnating economy, mining boom clearly over, record household debt, increasing unemployment (casualisation of the workforce), Everything being sold off overseas.

Certainly makes a challenging environment.

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...

Stagnating economy, mining boom clearly over, record household debt, increasing unemployment (casualisation of the workforce), Everything being sold off overseas.

Certainly makes a challenging environment.

Same sentiment here. Add to that, it will be the case for many years i believe as the OZ economy restructures away from mining and to make matters worse, the politics in OZ have never been this bad on all sides which is making things worse as businesses can't find the stable environment they need in order to invest with little risk(take solar and green energies for example...)

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I've been fortunate enough to not have been impacted much by the GFC. I provide medical devices used in surgery (orthopedic implants and related equipment). I remember feeling somewhat guilty as friends and family members suffered terribly in the first several years post GFC. My industry remained mostly unscathed. I deal in orthopedic implants, as the baby boomers grow older, they inevitably start falling apart. Beat up shoulders, knees, and pretty much every other joint in the body need fixing throughout ones life. As the population ages, which it has been in the states, that demographic is even more prone to have surgery. There has been a steady need for medical supplies and implants. The one caveat, is insurances and Obamacare (nationalized Health insurance). The insurance companies are making it more and more difficult to be approved for surgery. Surgery for the health insurers is bad business, much more costly than treating an ailment non-surgically. That's the only trend my industry really fears. All in all, I consider myself lucky. I know many others are not so fortunate.

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As i have worked for a large american multinational for the past decade, the GFC has brought unimaginable red tape and compliance requirements, audit upon audits as the company was a designated systematically important financial institution (SIFI) by the FED. i even joined the band wagon for a while and did a stint as an IT auditor for 2 years.

While its not the main reason, it has contributed to the company divesting itself of its entire Capital business's world wide. There will continue to be redundancies and restructures for the near future. its not always doom and gloom as opportunities due present more often in the midst of uncertainty.

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We're a small meat processor here in the states. Industry wide from processors to distributors to retailers I haven't observed much change over the years.

At the end of the day, our customers need to eat. In the early days of the gfc we noticed shifts in consumption patterns as consumers ate out less, but began to cook at home more.

We've been fortunate to serve both restaurants as well as retail outlets, so there hasn't much change in production and sales.

Food industry has worked out well for us, just doesn't have that fancy growth curve like other industries.

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Working in the financial world I hear a lot about business from the owners or executives in many sectors. The consensus?

In the US the technology industry has lead the charge and grown exponentially faster than most other sectors. They are awash with cash and trowing retention bonuses, rsu's and incentive pay bonuses around like candy. But this is a tony population of workers in a very small geographic area in California. Truth be told nothing is that great unless you are connected with the Government or Banks, which seems to be many now-a-days. The real estate business is booming with many brokers I know making in excess of $500k easily and some of the harder workers are over a million. The legal marketplace is buzzing along with associate salaries in my market at about $120k-$150 depending on the size of the firm. Small to medium sized businesses seem to be having a harder time though. Their cost to do business is just higher than it used to be. They are gun shy to extend themselves and hire more people because of the cost. I know one company that incurred a $20,000,000 charge because of Obamacare due to their employer sponsored healthcare plan. That money is simply the total amount of fees they must pay on all of the sponsored plans combined. That was a new expense and lead to layoffs and restructuring of the business. Because of cases like this I see a big trend for lower level positions to be out sourced or made part-time positions.

My view is the vast majority of the people in the USA are no better off. Yes, it's not 2010 where everything had gone bust, but it's in no way a true recovery because I don't think there will ever be a true recovery - just a new normal. The sharing economy, part-time work at several jobs and replacing labor with technology are the new normal. Unless you hold a specialized degree or superior education it's just going to be difficult to attain what some of us have achieved over the years.

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. The sharing economy, part-time work at several jobs and replacing labor with technology are the new normal. Unless you hold a specialized degree or superior education it's just going to be difficult to attain what some of us have achieved over the years.

The casualisation of the work force has been a major change here in the past decade, and it is an accelerating trend. Cost of labour is high and medium/long term confidence low in the small/medium business sector. Hence the preference for casuals and contract work (even in Government).

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How are things in your neck of the woods. Are you seeing green shoots? Have you seen a good bounce back? Is it broad based or patchy? How are you feeling about the next few years (politics aside).

I live in Southern California and am a criminal defense attorney. We always joke that we are a recession proof bunch and it is partially true but not entirely. There is always an endless supply of clients in need but whether they can afford our services is the question. Now, here in the U.S. there is a 'free' version of me that can be appointed by the court so that doesn't exactly help but there are always those that seek out retained counsel as opposed to the public defender.

At the peak of the economy prior to the GFC, so many people owned their home and usually had significant equity in same so when someone hit a patch of trouble, money was readily accessible so it was a real boom time. More people hired private counsel and prices were high. Many young attorneys left larger firms to hang out their own shingle and did well for a time. That was not to last long.

As the housing bubble burst, and the economy tanked along side, the funds to hire an attorney dissipated and fees began to drop due to increased competition due to fewer 'clients'. Many young attorneys went out on their own and set up shop with high overhead and long term leases, contracts, advertising, etc. For many, revenue declined but costs were fixed and many closed up shop and went back to the larger firms. Many struggled and many still do.

Those who managed to get a solid foothold in the local legal community and kept overhead to a bare minimum managed to keep things afloat during the tough times. The lean years culled the heard and as things began to pick, which they have, business has begun to flourish again.

That last couple of years have seen an increase in clients who can afford private counsel. Home prices have come back a bit. Foreclosures have leveled off and are on the downswing. The unemployment rate has dropped a bit. More people are working and are managing to bounce back. While things are nowhere near back to their pre GFC levels, it appears, at least locally, that thing have evened out and are starting to head in a positive direction.

In my industry, those that were fiscally sound have managed the storm and are doing well again. Our numbers are much lower that before but revenue is up.

Most definitely seeing green shoots and things appear to be bouncing back. It is slow but progress is progress. It seems fairly widespread and the outlook looks positive on a whole. I don't anticipate a fast recovery but it appears to be on the mend.

Many people assume that my clients are hardened criminals but in actuality, most are like many of us. Traffic tickets, driving under the influence, first time offenses due to 'youthful indiscretions' make up the bulk of my practice. I have clients that are doctors, lawyers, judges, cops, nurses, construction workers, engineers, IT, etc. Most are just good folks who may have made a poor decision.

There are the career criminals but they are the minority of people getting in trouble. Its really things most of us probably did at some point but instead of getting arrested, the local sheriff took us home and our parents took care of business. Now, the cops roll out, someone is getting arrested.

I spend most of my time fixing one time issues and teaching lessons. No sense in letting one bad decision ruin a students life forever.

It was bleak for a few years but it seems to be getting better.

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For $500/hour...

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I wish. I need that guys job.

Come to Silly Valley ;)

I had recent need for a lawyer and that was the standard rate I was quoted. Last time I needed one (7 years ago for my divorce), it was $325/hour.

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