Let’s Turn the Page

Several recent conversations lead me to believe that we are beginning to adapt to economic realities—and even seeing some measure of recovery. On a macro level, the entire pipeline, from mining to retailing, is undergoing harsh adjustments, and none of it is pleasant. On the micro level of individual companies, the adjustments are practical and market driven. One manufacturer told me he had put factory people on three-day weeks instead of letting people go. He was chagrined to find that productivity did not decline. The factory produced as much in three days as it had in five. The old saw about workers stretching out work to fill the allotted time comes to mind, working in reverse in this case, but maybe everyone grasped the need to work as efficiently as possible and preserved jobs in the process. Some of the new market-driven realities are tough. One supplier told me his bank has

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