Blog: Olly WehringIt's the end of the world as we know it...

Olly Wehring | 30 September 2008

Panic! The end is nigh! The last few days have thrust grim-faced economic journalists and experts onto the tv screens as we attempt to make sense of the financial market mess.

An extraordinary week in the financial sector, possibly the worst since the 1929 Wall Street Crash, has gripped everyone from CEOs to people who more habitually use business pages in newspapers as extra floor lining. I'm giving you CEOs the benefit of the doubt there.

Suddenly, most people I know are talking solemnly about share prices as though they've followed the FTSE 100 knowledgeably for years, instead of rising to make a cup of tea every time it appears on the news.

In the exhilerated rush of it all, it would be easy to lose our heads.

Congress' rejection of the $700bn bailout package to get more capital to banks was certainly a blow, but FTSE's rise this morning reflected hope that a deal can yet be reached.

With or without a deal, it does look increasingly likely from the latest GDP figures that many western economies will fall into full-blown recession before the end of the year.

This will inevitably hit consumer confidence. But it is important to maintain perspective and purpose. Drinks firms and the sector as a whole need to focus on practical issues, such as product positioning and new initiatives to retain customers, while keeping a firm eye on consumer buying trends.

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