Date: 05 Apr 2009
Published: Sunday Independent Business
Author: Professor John Cotter
President Obama’s simple slogan- “Yes we can” – is one that we could well adopt in this country.
We need to change our attitude. There is far too much doom and gloom. Pessimistic comment is the order of the day. The national psyche is suffering from and extreme (sick?) form of negative sentiment.
If we change our attitude we can improve our situation. It will improve our decision-making for the difficult choices ahead.
California is a good place to look for a comparison to show that our economic situation is not all bad. And their attitude is far more optimistic than ours. We are similar in many ways:
• They had a property boom that burst (house prices fell by 25 per cent in 2008 compared to our 10 per cent decline)
• Foreclosures have been a reality there for some time (their foreclosure rate in 2008 was seven per cent, whereas ours was negligible.)
• They have already had credit rating downdgrades-down to A whereas ours are just beginning.
• They have increasing budgetary problems (2008 saw a shortfall of almost 30 per cent compared to our 10 per cent deficit on GDP).
And remember, they are relying on Arnie to save the day. Their psyche tells them that things are going to improve. There is no depression there like the one we are experiencing. They are innovative and we should remember that we have been innovative too (and will be again). We can change the way we do things with positive results for our economy.
To illustrate we have seen a number of initiatives such as the recently proposed innovation alliance of UCD and Trinity. Assuming we identify good projects and (of utmost importance) value our innovation properly, we will turn our economy around quickly.
Yes we can.
Professor John Cotter, UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School and Research Fellow, UCLAZiman Centre for Real Estate.