Wednesday 31 December 2008

Why 2009 can be better!

Here we are in the dying hours of 2008, many people will be look back thinking that this was not a great year, how times were so much better earlier in the decade and how 2009 will simply be worse on all fronts.

But 2008 could also be looked at as being the great cleanser - the year that people behind the easy money got found out and the rest of us got educated about the fact that if there is a fast buck to be made then almost inevitably, in the long term, there is some cost. Unfortunately the cost has been borne by many people, not necessarily those who made the fast buck in the first place.

2009 will be a year in which those who believe in ethical ways of conducting life - and business - can come forward with confidence and make a stand against those who present the more enticing, exciting options. Of course many businesses need to innovative and take risks - and there the risk takers will get their way but the new ethic of risk taking should be that the risk taker sees the losses when it goes wrong and there is little or no 'collateral damage'. The age of banks taking risks in such a way that every one of us sees the after effect when the quest for the fast buck goes wrong must be behind us.

While Gordon Brown might not turn out to be the person who saves the world, in 2009 there will be the great new hope for the planet - in the shape of Barack Obama. His ethics and idealism seem to be just what we need - the issue is whether he will be strong enough to overcome the entrenched interests of those who got us into this mess. For those who might otherwise look forward to 2009 with nothing but pessimism, Obama presents the potential for a new ethical outlook from the top and exciting changes that could touch us all.

Things might be tough along the way but 2009 will be the year of the new clean slate, a year of opportunity for us all to bring the excesses under control and put in place firm foundations for future growth.

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