Expert view: Just think positive

By David Coffer, August 6, 2009

Many businesspeople haven’t bothered to return from holiday since Pesach. Moses would have been proud of the exodus from the land of shrinking trade to, if not the “Promised” land, then certainly the “Land Where No Creditor Can Reach”. The sentiment being: “I might as well be on holiday and lose money as lose it at work.”

Actually, it has been quite a good week. I visited my old mum and she recognised me and smiled, more than I can say for my bank manager — the only time I hear from the bank nowadays is at 9.30pm when some guy from Barclays in High Street Mumbai phones to see if I need life insurance.

I have adopted a new index to assess the impact of the recession. It is the number of CVs I receive in a week compared to the average length of time it takes to pay an invoice. Last week I received 48 CVs (including the one from my bank manager) and the average time it takes people to pay invoices is now 46 months — from that I would deduce that the market has not changed much these past few months. It’s still very tough and likely to get tougher, with the coming impact of debt and unemployment.

Meanwhile, there is some activity in the property, investment and financial markets. We need see the bagel and not the hole, and remember that where there is smoke there is smoked salmon. Now I’m off on holiday. It will be good to unswine.

David Coffer is chairman of the Coffer Group and its subsidiaries

Last updated: 12:34pm, August 6 2009