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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager FriendlyPlanetTravel's Avatar
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    Is the Recession ending?
    Here are the longest recessions of the last century:

    1929-33: 43 months
    1910-12: 24 months
    1913-14: 23 months
    1920-21: 18 months
    1973-75: 16 months
    1980-81: 16 months

    http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/20...cession-since/

    We are now 15 months into the current recession. Of course the gov't didn't admit we were in a recession till a year AFTER it started, so I doubt they will be able to tell us when it's over till long after the fact.

    Forget about the headlines (they're meant to sell newspapers), and put aside the doom and gloom (it is always darkest before the dawn).

    As affiliates and merchants we have the ability to measure the consumer pulse long before the data is in.

    I'll put in my personal observations, but I would like to hear as much feedback as I can get from everyone.

    Personal: (background) The company I work with sells travel. Demographics are highly scewed to upper income (75k and above), and the tours sold by FPT have always been high value/service products. The company has also enjoyed continual year to year growth since 1981 due to its high repeat/referred clientale. Except for the Oct/Nov 2008 crash months - it has continued to maintain figures.
    (current) Recently though figures have begun to EXPLODE. Record days, record weeks. Albeit it has been stimulated by extreme values, such as , $999 for an 8 day tour to India (Taj Mahal express) and the press these tours have received, but such extreme values have always been available in one form or another from FPT. (that's what we do - Last September it was $999 for a 10 day tour of China)

    Now, travel is a luxury - and maybe our strong uptick is due to consumers searching for the best values (which of course we have ) but I would like to hear if anyone else is experiencing strong upticks as of late and for what products.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador purplebear's Avatar
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    Teeeny bit of observations. I live in an area filled with quite a few row homes (are actually quite appealing to a lotta people and generally sell pretty quickly) There hadn't been too many houses for sale and those that were took a while to sell. Was noticing the other day when went to food shop a few sold signs and even some houses that were tougher to sell (couple up real close to a railroad track, busy street, etc.) have sold.

    Not sure if any of that is really a consistent trend or not tho??

    Also, husband is an electrical contractor. Builders and the wealthier customers have been reaaaaaallly not doin much at all (worst since he's been in business) couple of em just recently tho purchased properties to do somethin. Trend or just a couple brave souls....ummm not sure yet but least a teeeeeny bit of hopeful thoughts maybe

    For the most part tho all the individual people I know are still pretty scared bout the economic future and where all it's goin but still maybe hopeful?

  3. #3
    Full Member Code Monkey's Avatar
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    I hope it's not ending.. I want more time to plow even more money into the market..
    Stop blaming the parasites, low return days, cookie stuffers, networks, lousy AMs, and TOOLBARS!

  4. #4
    Full Member OICUAM2's Avatar
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    I don't think any conclusions could be made from individual examples. Discounted luxury travel could be a sign of the recession continuing if luxury travelers are becoming more price concious. It could also just be a result of the recent improvements and discounts on your site.

    My brother said he see no signs of a recession in his circle of friends. Of course, he has a stable government job and hangs out with people on the comfortable end of society. Most recession problems are experienced by lower income workers. This isn't to say high income workers don't feel the effects of recession or are at risk of losing their jobs.

    Most of the high income workers reacted to the recession by saving more money. When the fear of the recession ends - or when their cash reserves get so large that they feel comfortable spending some money - then we will see an uptick in consumer spending which will relieve some of the stress on the economy.

    Higher spending on travel, car purchases, and home purchases will be a sign of this increase in consumer spending, but I don't think isolated examples are full proof.

    As for the markets, they usually start to rebound before the economy starts to rebound. It is hard to read if the current 10% bounce in the markets is a sign that the bottom is now behind us or if this is simply another bear market bounce. Last Oct/Nov we had a similar bounce to above 9,000 and then the markets fell again to recent lows near 6,500. I have heard/read good arguments for both scenarios.
    [URL=http://www.investeverymonth.com]InvestEveryMonth.com[/URL] - Build Wealth

  5. #5
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
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    The recession may have started a year ago but we are in no way on our way out of it. I think we are still in it heading deeper.

    People are not buying houses or cars so they are taking trips instead which are a lot less money and a great escape from the doom and gloom reports that the TV gives us every day.
    Vinny O'Hare - OPM - Contact Info email: vinny at teamloxly.com ~ 702-582-6742 Twitter

  6. #6
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    I don't foresee it ending in 09. 2010 probably not either... (but hard to say afterwards) ... it's quite a convoluted mess out there since it's very globalized and thus DIFFERENT and unpredictable

    ... just keep growing your real estate (if you know the game), precious metals, and cashflow assets in mind for now.

  7. #7
    Affiliate Manager David S.'s Avatar
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    My company has been expanding and growing pretty well this year but it's probably because we more than doubled the sales staff. We sell small business websites and believe it or not there are still many decent size small biz companies that don't have websites (i.e. landscapers, roofers, painters, etc.).

    I think our success if partly because we offer an affordable solution and most people know that having a website is more effective than traditional forms of advertising. I also think small biz owners are trying to get every competitive edge they can nowadays and maybe thinking outside the box a little more.

  8. #8
    Affiliate Manager FriendlyPlanetTravel's Avatar
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    So far we have observations of some movement in housing - same in my neighborhood (which is basically a stable one - not speculative like Vegas ) - some spending by higher end consumers and those who first reacted to crisis by increasing savings - ending in 2010 would make it the longest post-depression recession (24+ months) - the stock market (yes I also am putting money in cautiously on the dips) - international effects - China is starting to import raw materials - I just came back from Spain - Business is very slow in manufacturing but the malls , stores and restaurants were very crowded. What I did notice was 2 people sharing a meal at restaurants.

    People looking for value in products more than before - I agree - I am.

    Taking a trip to escape instead of big ticket purchases - again I agree - but at least some spending is starting.

    Few examples - don't make a trend - that is why I am looking for as many inputs as possible.

    Yes, I agree we got ourselves into "quite a convoluted mess ", but some rays of sunshine seem to be poking through the storm clouds. Any more rays out there?

  9. #9
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    I was at a party the other night here in New Jersey with a wide cross-section of people from different ages, fields, and income brackets. I talked to ten people who had either already lost their jobs, had taken pay cuts, and/or were expected to be potentially laid off soon. Professions represented included real estate development, pharmaceuticals, academia (university professor), retail, and general office administration.

    This is why I'm so glad I "laid myself off" a long time ago. I work as a musician and as an affiliate marketer - plus I've gotten into ebook publishing - and my online ventures enable me to enjoy the music part of my life without panicking if my trio doesn't have a lot of gigs that month.

    But I'm making the most sales in niches that appeal to the "herd" - mass audience items that are pretty much going to remain constant despite the recession. The niches that weren't like that bottomed out for me back in the fall.

    Dan

  10. #10
    Affiliate Manager FriendlyPlanetTravel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David S.
    I also think small biz owners are trying to get every competitive edge they can nowadays and maybe thinking outside the box a little more.
    I agree, we started last year - project to completely automate reservation system, developing a totally new web 2.0 website re-design, blog, public relation campaign, will be introducing F.I.T. product (whereby clients who don't want to take a guided tour can book individual air/hotel that takes advantage of our contract rates saving them 18% - 40% over Expedia/Orbitz/travelocity). We also looked at areas to cut costs while increasing service (reduced credit card processing fees by some 30%, renegotiated insurance whereby increased benefits and lowered premiums etc) Will be officially launching affiliate program soon after first stage of new site online - in the past we relied on word of mouth.

    All these things biz can do to gain edge on competition.

  11. #11
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    I think it is not over yet..

    Citibank, and all the zombie banks are saying that they made a profit in Feb. Yup, that is true..

    In the email that the CEO reported to the citi employees, it did not mention the write off that it is going to do. That will be done when they close out the quarter and if it is red ink.. i think the DJIA will suffer..

  12. #12
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
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    We still need to see a credit card company fail before I believe the recession has ended.
    Vinny O'Hare - OPM - Contact Info email: vinny at teamloxly.com ~ 702-582-6742 Twitter

  13. #13
    Visual Artist & ABW Ambassador lostdeviant's Avatar
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    I think we're in the middle of the recession. Many companies are still "downsizing" and many affiliate programs are still closing.

  14. #14
    Affiliate Manager FriendlyPlanetTravel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyfalcon
    We still need to see a credit card company fail before I believe the recession has ended.

    Which credit card? - visa/Master/amex/discover ? They all make their money on monopolistic transaction fees.

    Individual banks that issued risky credit cards (they take the credit risk) have already failed. (others have had big charge-offs) But it wasn't the main culprit. The main culprit was the issuance of 100% plus mortgage loans to speculators on rapidly rising realestate. For example realestate in Vegas soared over 70% -mortgages were being given up to 120% of the purchase price (irregardless of ability to repay). Speculators bought a home - walked away from settlement with money in hand - then NEVER paid a payment hoping to flip the home within a few months. If they couldn't sell, they still made money at settlement.

    A game of musical chairs - but when the music stopped - WE wound up without the chair (and are going to pay with our tax dollars), not the speculators and not the bankers (who got their big bonuses)

  15. #15
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Either I have celebrity and ultra rich visitors or people are just stupid but I sell at least 1 high ticket luxury item a week through my site. Blows my mind. There are people with money who are spending it and then there are people losing their jobs.

    The economy is gonna do what it does. And the media will make it sound a lot worse than it is. I think the best we can do is build our businesses and hire people when we can. Be a part of the solution, not the doom and gloom spreading.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

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  16. #16
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
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    Go look at the financial mess that American Express has, if they weren't allowed to become a bank they would have already folded and Discover isn't well off either and they are a bank. Something has to happen to one or both of these credit card companies either a merge or someone with a lot of money has to buy them out and change the way the business is operated.
    Vinny O'Hare - OPM - Contact Info email: vinny at teamloxly.com ~ 702-582-6742 Twitter

  17. #17
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    It's nice to have an opinion, but it's better to have an informed opinion.

    I don't have an opinon because I don't understand economics, never mind macroeconomics. But I can contribute a few laughs.

    http://netec.mcc.ac.uk/JokEc.html

  18. #18
    Affiliate Manager Jasonn's Avatar
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    I have noticed that people have been trying to take advantage of travel deals lately.
    I think there may also be a desire to get away from all the bad news- maybe that explains the jump in sales?
    Jason
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  19. #19
    Affiliate Manager FriendlyPlanetTravel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhea
    It's nice to have an opinion, but it's better to have an informed opinion.

    I don't have an opinon because I don't understand economics, never mind macroeconomics. But I can contribute a few laughs.

    http://netec.mcc.ac.uk/JokEc.html

    Laughs are good - better than tears

  20. #20
    Outsourced Program Manager TrishaLyn's Avatar
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    I think there are always niches that will continue to do well even in trying economic times. Business to business is still relatively strong, at least for our client being a printing company. Other businesses still need basic printing done even in tough times... sometimes especially in tough times when they're trying to reach out to their customers via print marketing.

    Again though, that's just our stance... I'm almost certain that more b2c businesses are feeling the effects of the recession more than us.

  21. #21
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    There are always people who are glad to take advantage of bargain opportunities (such as discounted travel), but that's not a sign that a recession is ending -- instead, it's a signal that most people still aren't willing to pay regular rates for travel.

    The fact that some houses are now selling (for 40% to 60% of the prices they commanded 18 months ago) is NOT a sign that the recession is ending; there is a huge backlog of bank-owned properties that aren't being put on the market, along with many more homes owned by people who would like to sell them but aren't even trying in this market -- and hundreds of thousands of "financially-underwater" homeowners are simply under "reprieve" before foreclosures resume.

    Like others here, I'm no economist, but my gut feeling is that the economy is still sinking, and there's more bad news coming. It's hard to argue that anything has "turned" when more rounds of big layoffs are announced every week, and thus far none of the laid-off workers in any industry are being called back to work.

    Of course, many economists do agree that just as it's impossible to say that a recession has begun until many months later when longer-term data is available, it's also impossible to know when "the bottom" is reached, or when the economy is actually growing again, until many months after that happens. (Of course, most politicians-in-office will deny a recession until long after everyone else recognizes it, and will claim credit for a recovery long before any economists recognize a recovery.)

  22. #22
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyfalcon
    Go look at the financial mess that American Express has, if they weren't allowed to become a bank they would have already folded and Discover isn't well off either and they are a bank. Something has to happen to one or both of these credit card companies either a merge or someone with a lot of money has to buy them out and change the way the business is operated.
    If either of them die, it should be Discover. I say this because Discover is the least-used card on my merchant sites. I think last year they amounted to under 1% of transactions.

    American Express doesn't do much better in terms of number of txns, but there are still noticeably more AmEx customers than Discover users. And since AmEx seems to bring less fraud, I'd rather have them stay alive than Discover! But even with that aside, the difference in txn volume leads me to bet more against Disc. I'm surprised they've lasted this long.

    Part of the problem is probably where Discover aims its advertising. They push a lot, or even most, of their ads at the merchants, but I haven't seen much consumer-aimed advertising from them except for a few generic applications stuck in with my Amazon purchases. That kind of advertising won't help. They need to convince consumers to use their card, not try to get merchants to do the convincing for them. Merchants couldn't care less what card is used, as long as it's valid!
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador purplebear's Avatar
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    Leader -
    Don't know if it means anything or not (am guessin they're related but not absolutely positive) GAN sent an email the other day sayin that the Discover Gift Card program had been put on pause.

    and nope.....wasn't referring to a couple houses selling meaning the recession was over. Definitely, definitely in my area people are still hurtin and things are bad....just that where things have been sittin and sittin some teeeeeeeny signs of positives have been happenin recently. Since husband is in construction business, any signs of people buying properties to develop is positive. That has not been goin on for quite a while.

    and agree with Rhea - " I don't understand economics, never mind macroeconomics." definitely don't mean to imply I understand any economics either lol was just offering a couple observations.

  24. #24
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    It won't end until the economy comes "close" to "full employment."

    The below video put in print, "3.7 million unemployed" (and that is just within a certain age range)
    This was on CNN today:

    "The plight of the younger worker"
    This morning, CNN’s American Morning aired a segment about how younger workers are coping with soaring unemployment rates and dwindling job prospects.
    http://www.theworkbuzz.com/the-pligh...t-affairs/1824
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  25. #25
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Here's a recent article from BusinessDay.co.nz:

    US jobless hits 5.47m

    "There is no sign of even a temporary easing in the downward pressure on employment," said Ian Shepherdson, chief US economist at HFE in Valhalla, New York, who said the economy would likely lose more than 700,000 jobs this month.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/worl...ess-hits-5-47m
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