Economic Musings

Descriptions of the state of the economy have already descended into cringe-worthy cliches.  Sure, we have troubles here, but it’s the US that really dropped the financial ball and is feeling the worst of the crisis. 

What’s happening to Canwest is very troubling, however, and the broadcasting industry is reeling over the concept of selling off Hamilton’s CHCH or closing it down entirely.  Heartbreaking is not too strong a word. The whole region, from Hamilton to Niagara, depends on CH (or E as it’s currently known) as its local television broadcaster.  That station has been rebranded more often than a cow sold at auction. There’s a lot of buzz about Canwest’s situation as possibly being more about second-generation management than a sign of the economic times.  One potential saviour even wants assurances that the son of the founder will step aside if he pumps in some much-needed cash.  As I write this, the situation remains in limbo however some affiliates out west are definitely being tossed onto the woodpile.

But you wouldn’t know there’s any turmoil going on if you attended the World of Motorcycles Expo or this weekend’s Fishing, Boat and Leisure Show, both at London’s Western Fairgrounds.  The bike show had its most successful year ever with attendance up by thousands and loads of positive buzz.  The fishing/boating show was doing great (despite really crappy weather yesterday) and one of our pals who sells bikes, parts and carts had sold 4 by 11 am.  That’s a great response!  Deals were being made and reservations booked for fishing trips up north.  Some people do have tales to tell about losing their jobs but others seem to be holding their own just fine and they’re not the ones making the news. 

One home furnishings retailer downtown seems to be chronically empty of customers.  I recently popped in and had a good look at all of their beautiful wares and found that one lamp in particular was “sale” priced at almost twice as much as the same lamp was marked just a few kilometres away.  If it’s a little harder to stay in the game these days, you simply have to put in more effort.  We drove past this retailer again yesterday and I noted their empty parking lot.  Perhaps they’re crying the economic blues but from here, it looks more likely that they’re just not being creative and savvy enough to get over this bump in the road.  If you look around, there’s proof that if you give the people what they want, they will respond.