Archive for October, 2008

Former Fed chief Greenspan says he and others in ‘state of shock’ over fragile global economy

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The US economy appears to be plunging into what many experts believe will be its worst recession since 1982.

Senior officials at the Treasury and Federal Reserve are confident that the rescue plan for US banks will succeed in preventing a financial system meltdown and ensure there will not be a repeat of the Great Depression. But they know that a sharp economic downturn is already baked in the cake. They do not,however, know how deep or protracted it will be.

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Venture capital investment was down slightly in the third quarter, according to the MoneyTree Report released Saturday from PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association. Venture capitalists put $7.7 billion into 1,033 deals, a decrease of 7 percent from the second quarter.

The third quarter of the year is generally slower for venture investing, and the analysts who produced the report said that the economic crisis is not yet affecting venture numbers. In future quarters, though, the industry will probably see a dip in investing, said Tracy T. Lefteroff, global managing partner of the venture capital practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

For now, “the venture industry is very much open for business,” said John S. Taylor, vice president of research at the National Venture Capital Association.

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Over the past 40 years, I have learned and hopefully executed the characteristics for success, outlined below, in good and turbulent times.

1.  Have Ethics and Integrity – Be Dependable and Responsible

2.  Attitude – Always, Always be Positive

3.  Desire – Have the desire to do the Best You Can 

4.  Consistency – Be consistent in good times and challenging times

5.  Ability – Keep on learning- develop new skills – continue your education – listen and most important, it is OK to say “I don’t know” and “I need help”.

6. Take Action and Risks – Don’t be afraid to make mistakes- that is how you learn, that is how you grow

7. Communicate – Communicate – Communicate – People will tell you when to stop communicating and more important, keep interested parties in the loop and you will be respected by all.

8. Listen – one of the hardest things to do, however we all learn something and grow when we listen

9. Always focus on #1 above, nothing else matters.  Have ETHICS and INTEGRITY. Be DEPENDABLE and take RESPONSIBILITY for your actions.

In today’s Turbulent Times, hopefully the guidance above will provide a road to success, performance and happiness.


Steve Gerbsman

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For the last two years, with the economy collapsing all around it, the technology sector and Silicon Valley in particular have proven to be particularly resilient.

But that might not be the case forever. Sooner or later, as the economy contracts and everybody cuts spending, the companies that power Silicon Valley—the startups, venture capitalists, banks and big producers of technology—are bound to be affected.

“Black Sunday (a week ago) was really a watershed—we’ve crossed a Rubicon,” said Paul Saffo, a Silicon Valley forecaster. “I think it will change everybody’s attitudes about deregulation, toward the landscape of risk and toward all these new-age investments—these derivatives and hedges.

“In the short term, people will be risk-averse. In the long term, it will make people get back to the basics,” said Saffo. “We have risk that people can understand—a startup that gets risk capital. They do well if they deliver something of value to the purchaser, not because of a complex mathematical formula living inside a computer.”

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