Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Is there balm in Gilead?

Once again a midnight dreary, in the thick of bleak December,
Here comes the tapping Raven, rapping at my chamber door.
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted -
On this home by horror haunted - tell me truly, I implore -
Is there - is there balm in Gilead? - tell me - tell me, I implore!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

2014 is knocking at the door and the business world is asking yet again, 'Is there balm in Gilead?'. And as usual, the nasty crow says, 'Nevermore!'.

Profitability is the key to survival of businesses. Blame it on the Information and Technology. The very recipe needed for the genesis and prosperity of business and industry has turned into its poison today.  Free flowing I&T makes it so easy for the supply side to match up to and often exceed the demand, thereby routing prices and returns. There is no turning back. The paradigm shift is clearly visible as the economic cycles are getting smaller and sharper like diamonds. Not very conducive to conclusive growth of businesses. The businesses will have to constantly adapt and evolve in order to survive the shark jaw progression. Especially, the ship owning, where the operative costs are so high, low returns can smother the owners over the period of time. Business or no business, IT industry is making a big buck and Silicon Valley is rife with activity once again.

Thanks to  Benjamin Franklin for rescuing the world economy thus far after the 2008 rout. The picture perfect has created demand among emerging populace, which has worked like parachute and prevented economy from hard landing. But sooner or later this money will have to make a retreat and we have already witnessed a trailer of the aftermath recently, which has exposed the underlying weakness of these markets. Nevertheless, the good news is coming out of Persia. Iran’s melting on heavy waters is a positive indicator for the world economy. However, there are many political factors and vested interests at work trying to maintain the gravity of sanctions. On the other hand, mounting tension in East China Sea over China's newly acquired obsession of pee-marking the undefined territory in the region, is another cause of concern for world trade.

As far as shipping and logistics are concerned, there remains a big Q-mark even in 2014 because of availability of easy money which is still converting into marine assets ignoring the firm indication that the human societies are developing an affinity towards virtuality. 

On macro levels, the trends are grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous. I personally feel, the move towards ONE EARTH-ONE WORLD may prove fatal for the human society. This homogeneous army march in sync may be too much for the delicately balanced nature and resonate her off the hook before moving into epilogue.