Tough year ahead

A friend asked over lunch today how things were, what with the economy tanking and all.

"It's going to be a calm year next year," I opined.  Research funding looks reasonable in the out years -- both presidential candidates have promised science and technology investments and weather research is non-controversial. But the corporate training business is another story altogether.  Our courses target two major customers: government and financial firms.  Government will probably keep its spending up during the recession to avoid a Herbert Hoover-style depression.  But financial companies are cutting expenses and people:

Vikram Pandit, Citigroup's chief executive, said: "While our third quarter results reflect both a difficult environment as well as continued writedowns on our legacy assets, we are making excellent progress on the parts of our business we control, including expense reduction, headcount, and balance sheet and capital management."

They're definitely not going to be doing any new training for a while.

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