Recovery Part II

In my last posting, I wrote about what the B2B industry will look like as it emerges in '10 and '11 from the deep recession (B2B Media Business on the Recovery: A Sneak Preview). While I am certain that we are now in a recovery cycle, economists, pundits and others are still debating where we are with regard to the recession ending and the recovery beginning.When the history of this recession is written after all the data points are recorded, I believe that the 2nd quarter of '09 is where we will officially mark the start of the recovery. As we close July it is difficult to see the recovery beginning because the summer months are traditionally slow months for the economy. This is particularly true for the media business. However, I am confident that September-December will confirm that we have started to see a fading recession in our rearview mirror and accelerating growth before us. It will be '10 and '11 before we know how strong and sustained the growth cycle will be, but it will certainly provide for a more robust deal market, as private equity firms and strategic investors begin again to redefine their portfolios.Understanding the impact of this recession may be difficult at this point, but one benchmark that I will use to gauge the depth of the recession is Microsoft's (MSFT) earnings announcement last week, where for the first time since they went public in the mid '80s a year-over-year decline in revenues was recorded.As we enter August, the Yankees and the Red Sox, the greatest rivalry in sports, are fully engaged, with the Yankees holding a slim 2 1/2 game lead over the Red Sox, in spite of having lost all eight head-to-head games this season. On Saturday I went to the new Yankee Stadium for the first time. I was delighted to see that the design of the field and the fabled facade give a sense of still being in the old stadium, while the comfortable seats and new amenities and restaurants remind you that this is a new experience. Sitting six rows behind home plate offered a wonderful vantage point, in spite of the Yankees losing to the last-place Oakland A's after having won eight straight after the All Star break.Finally, every golfer over 50 I met this week was feeling Tom Watson's disappointment at having come so close, at age 59, to winning one more British Open, only to see his hopes evaporate on the 18th hole and then lose in a playoff to Stewart Cink, who is in his mid-30's and realized his first major victory. If you are looking for an interesting golf book to read, I would recommend "Are You Kidding Me?: The Story of Rocco Mediate's Extraordinary Battle with Tiger Woods at the US Open" by Rocco Mediate & John Feinstein Publisher: Little, Brown & Company.

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