Over the weekend I asked several people -- some local, some national -- for their views on the length of the business slowdown. Here, plus a few print opinions, is what I found:
"This recession is just about over." (John Mueller, economist, conversing before appearing on "Wall Street Week with Louis Rukeyser."). . . "No economic recovery before 1992." (Ed Hyman, economist, in Barron's, dated today). . . "Business is still slow; many people are out of work and prices remain high. It doesn't look so good." (John Reynolds, Roland Avenue produce dealer). . . "For five weeks in early spring we had more uniform 'add-ons' than layoffs, but the last two weeks were downers. It's still too soon to see a trend." (Joel "Bud" Finkelstein, CEO, Ace Uniform Services, southwest Baltimore). . . "Our indicators show that the recession is bottoming out and seeds of recovery are being sown." (Smith Barney via Rick Faby). . . "Neither party does anything to cure the recession; there are no signs of key industry turnarounds." (Alan Murray, Wall Street Journal, on "Washington Week in Review."). . . Will the Fed's latest rate cut be enough? That depends on whether banks cooperate and really reduce loan rates instead of just slashing savings rates as they have been doing." (100 Highest Yields.). . . "Things are looking better down here." (Owner, Fells Point Cafe.)
HELPFUL HINTS: "To get more in your paycheck next month, simply tell your employer to take less out for the Internal Revenue Service. In other words, don't pay all through 1991 just to get a refund next spring." (Changing Times, May). . . "College seniors should identify and pursue their career dreams now. Trap: if they switch to their dream careers in 10 years, they will have to go back to the building phase and lower pay all over again." (Kennedy's Career Strategist). . . "Job-hunting hints for 35-year olds: Overcome selfishness stereotype by proving to employers that you're a team player. . . Show that you complete assignments smoothly and successfully. . . Devise a system for keeping track of every personal and professional acquaintance." (National Business & Employment Weekly, April 14.) Hints for 55-year olds next Monday.
WORKPLACE WISDOM: "Most executives want outstanding assistants, but then find them hard to work with," says Successful Woman magazine. More excerpts: "Don't give in to the urge to stifle energetic assistants; treat them more like colleagues. . . Communicate as near-equals when reviewing plans. . . Let assistants decide where some of their effort and time should be invested. . . Give them freedom to try some of their own ideas, even if they fail. . . Give assistants as much responsibility as they can handle. Don't just give direction; ask questions, suggest alternatives. . . Offer prestige and recognition. Assistants want public attention for their good deeds."
SPRING SNIPPETS: "Want to know more more about a prospective boss or new supplier? Play golf with them. If they fling clubs or kick balls out of the rough, don't protest. Just remember that they'll lose their tempers, cheat or fail to acknowledge errors." (Peter Braun, golf seminar lecturer). . . Thursday, Maryland National Bank and Rouse Co. hold annual stockholder meetings; check firms for time, place, etc. . . "Middle age, between 40 and 60, is the best time to save. That's when people make most of their money and their expenses are most controllable." (Claremont Economics Institute.).