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October upholds its reputation as an extremely punitive month for the world of finance and has aggravated the global economic crisis with its falling indexes. The enormous deficit in the balance sheets of the leading financial institutions materialized in a sudden global chill that froze the mechanisms of the real economy.
Consumers were the first to bear the brunt and, struck by an unexpected outburst of individual virtue, began pushing the economy itself into a negative downward spiral, generating a vicious circle that will not be easy to reverse in the short term. In the meantime, debate has exploded over moral responsibility for the hyperactivity of the banking system, forgetting that during the long process of creation and distribution of ideas, instruments, companies and even nations, the economy has been inseparable from the progress of society. Capitalism would not exist without financial institutions and the world of finance mirrors humanity, reflecting every beautiful and not so beautiful event that occurs among us.
Nothing new under the sun. For some, speaking of a recession nowadays is a euphemism, but perhaps we all need to agree upon the unit of time by which we measure the crisis of these last few months, one hundred years after the end of the first “belle epoque” or “gilded age”. Maybe consumer capitulation derives not only from the panic stirred up by the financial crisis, but to an even greater degree, by the spike in the cost of raw materials during the first half that caused an exorbitant rise in production costs and a precipitous drop in purchases. If this is the case, a return to normal prices – as we have seen recently – will stimulate a recovery and cool down the inflationary trend, which will translate into an increase in disposable income and inspire a more optimistic view by consumers themselves. There are those who see the actual recovery taking place between 2010 and 2012. Of course, it will take time; especially the time necessary to absorb the giant bubble of the residential real estate market first and then of the commercial market. Perhaps not quite as long for the glass sector, which is tied to general trends in the construction industry, but with a special quality, closely tied to energy savings and the continuous innovation in products with increasingly high performance.
(A recent study showed glass in a global growth phase of 5.1% per year from now to 2012, when global demand will have reached 6.5 billion sq. m for a global value in finished products worth 73 billion dollars).
There have always been crises, and they always end... sooner or later. At Fenzi we are incurably optimistic and that’s why we believe that for our sector, the rainclouds might blow away quickly, maybe even in a few months. Quod est in votis.
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