Given that my business is all about helping European organisations launch their business in the North America, its only fitting in my first blog I touch on the the latest economic situation in Europe.
S&P’s announcement to down grade the credit rating of France & 8 other countries was received with a mix of comments from EU leaders, most focused on S&P’s timing, in balance their already agreed austerity measures. Few comments, if any, addressed S&P’s concern over the Eurozone’s philosophy. S&P stated:
“We believe that a reform process based on a pillar of fiscal austerity alone would risk becoming self-defeating as domestic demand falls in line with consumer’s rising concerns about job security and disposal incomes, eroding national tax revenues.” The philosophy of the EU bailing has been to cut spending/deficit that should resolve the problem”. It also said that it “has not produced a breakthrough of sufficient size & scope to fully address the Eurozone’s financial problems”.
Nicolas Sarkozy was quoted as saying “This is the same agency that downgraded the US & its AAA rating in Aug 2011”. A quick review of the media coverage at the time shows that down grading of the US was based more on the time congress took to discuss key measures in balance to the countries debt rather than their overall philosophy. A successful example to come from the US measures was in Dec 2011 with a further reduction of the US unemployment rate to 8.5%, boosting investor confidence.
Don’t get me wrong, the US also has challenges but much can be taken from the American trait of ‘Do What Ever it Takes’ & their determination, which has consistently got them through hard times. In my experience & managing businesses in the US I’ve seen this cultural attitude in every facet of every American’s approach to doing business.
Despite the current economic challenges of doing business in Europe, the US market remains one of the biggest consumer markets in the world & a positive opportunity for EU businesses.
Perhaps NOW is the best time to tap into some of that ‘Do What Ever it Takes’ attitude- which, for the right product, awaits a positive welcome from the American consumer.