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Bearing with the Bears

Author: Bill Barnett. Category: News Column - The Nation. Posted: 14th Jun 2012

Its monsoon season in Phuket and this year the weather has ravaged the coastline like some sort of turbocharged sand-eating killer shark.

My nerves tend to stand on end these days whenever I tune into one of those fluorescent bright business news channel's and wait for the inevitable.

These days the bad news bears are out in full force and stories can be classified into three B - Bad, very bad and yes, it's 9.38 in the morning, and there is a bar open down the road.

Europe is like a Greek tragedy played out by the Three Stooges. Spanish bankers are now looking at second careers in the rink as matadors. Everyone's in the action but is there a consensus? Austerity, belt tightening, inflation-driven spending stimulus...no one has the answers.

I've taken to watching inane comedic movies on iTunes and avoiding any interaction with the news at all. The fear is creeping in, with the hairs standing up on the top of my back; what if there is a fourth B?

Facebook has taught us the path of crazed pricing can often take enterprise from hero to zero in no time at all.

Island property on my beat continues to weave a strange course through the first five months of 2012. Clearly the hands-down winner over the past 18 months is Sansiri.

I've often pondered what if Sansiri ran things, I mean not just a property development firm but the entire country? Send all the politicians home with notes from their teachers for bad behaviour. Sure, the entire country would be living in shoebox condos but at least business would return to normal and things would actually get done.

Or even team up Sansiri and Thai AirAsia. The entire red stigmatism that has been cast far and wide could be reinvented. Everyone could dress in red AirAsia T-shirts so no one would know who's on what side of the political divide.

In case you think I have chosen red in a brash political statement nothing could be more wrong. What I'm advocating here is a return to forward planning instead of gazing into the rear view mirror.

If you want to unite a country's private and public policy, leave it to the people who can get things done.

Sure, I do have my apprehensions, being a rather large fellow, red is not my most flattering color but yes, sacrifices have to be made.

While this year started to see resort grade real estate sales generate some traction the uncertainty in both the world and our own Thailand is creating a market funk.

Yes, there continue to be great expectations about possible capital flight from the over-taxed French regime who will see Phuket as a safe haven. But more worrying is the slowdown in the expected growth markets of China and India.

These remain two of real estate and tourism's great hopes and if they fall out, where is the 'go to market.'

At least while we continue to be hit by thunderstorms both real and imagined there is comfort be had with Euro 2012. And after that the Olympics.

So, yes, the property scene might be relegated to the practice pitch for the moment, a promise of game time keeps us all in the stadium.

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