Analyst: VC Confidence At New Low
Though Phil Gramm’s pretty sure the recession is all in our heads, it seems that just about every road to a healthy economy is either closed or under construction. The road to Silicon Valley, according to one analyst, is at best at a standstill.
In fairness to Gramm, technically a recession requires a measurable period of negative growth to be a recession, and that hasn’t really happened. . .yet. Perhaps, as the winds of economic change blow, it’s just the wind chill factor that’s got everybody on edge. Unfortunately, all those bright and sunny forecasts of sustained bubbliness were the real delusions, and this apparent winter appears suddenly filled with truth.
A year ago or so, Ben Bernanke saw no serious threat to the housing market, for example. The Spitzer fiasco provided a nice distraction from why he might have thought so, too. Steve Forbes liked to get on the radio and predict a return to $47 per barrel oil, so no need to be alarmed, 2005’s Version of You, keep driving, keep not thinking about alternatives.
We can still be Pollyanna about it if we like: At least with all that renewed interest in walking, bike-riding, and belt-tightening food budgets, we’re destined to lose some weight, right? But what will the healthcare industry do with all that lost revenue? We can’t even afford to smoke anymore.
While the Dow drops, tens of thousands are laid off, and we refocus on adding some mental margaritas* to our mental recession, we’ll assume Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of San Francisco School of Business and Management’s Mark Cannice is being a spoilsport parade-rainer when he says that Silicon Valley venture capitalist confidence is at a new low and we’re headed for a worldwide economic problem.
We’ll also forget no startups that actually secured funding went public in the first quarter, while we conveniently ignore that China controls the dollar, which isn’t worth much anyway, especially since 150 banks are expected to go belly-up this year. Don’t’cha just love that market correction? The invisible hand readjusting the balance in your checking account?**
Well, whatever. Most of the world’s been poor before. Why mess with tradition? A nice recession, mental or not, will make for some great pulling-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps-and-overcoming-adversity stories for a whole new generation. Where’d I put my shot glass?
*Recipe for mental margarita: One jigger ignoring retirement plans; one cup of ice-cold work-till-you-die reality; ten ounces pretend tropical vacation; stir, imagine your kids will take care of you, take a shot of real tequila, assuming you’ve wisely saved room in your budget for actual booze.
**That invisible hand, I’m fairly certain, is pasty, liver-spotted, wrinkly and connected to an invisible, obscenely wealthy a-hole.