2010 was predicted to be the end of the recession but was 5% better than 2011, 2012 is predicted to be steady. 2013 is predicted to be the year of insolvencies. Large corporate seem to be sitting on cash, leaving the rest having to survive on what they have got. In this sector a small shift in working capital or dip in sales can lead to a real issue with solvency turning a short term cash requirement when there is no source of funding into a crisis. These companies need much better controls as they often don’t see it coming or have the sophistication to respond. Generalisations are meaningless as many sectors Aerospace and Auto are growing very nicely. Whilst the economy is only c10% manufacturing they are leading 25% of the economic recovery. Complacency and the effects of the Asian tigers leaves the UK looking very complacent and inward looking. I noticed a Chinese owned retailer with a shop of entirely sourced branded electronics products. Excellence will be driven by the toughest markets and the EU has much to wake up. On the Euro the good news is the Italian Mafia with 65bn are now the most solvent Italian bank – so maybe there is hope for the Euro zone after all! In terms of interim positioning I agree there is a case for specialism, but with the caveat it is supported by a broad inventory of interests and skills
Happy New Year Tom