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During the recent Houston and Cleveland boat shows and, undoubtedly, in other cities, too, the media was filled with headlines about possible recession and market drops and mortgage foreclosures. “Don’t buy any big ticket items,” one so-called expert financial reporter wrote, “this is not the time.”

Well, people who write that stuff are loons! I’m convinced they wouldn’t know a good time from a bad time. The only concept they understand about reporting the news is that “bad news is good news, and good news is bad news, and the only thing worse would be no news!” They’re obviously unable to comprehend, for example, that even if all the sub-prime mortgages defaulted, the world would keep turning. In fact, the actual troubled mortgages represent only 1% of all mortgage portfolios. But, that’s not bad enough news to print.

So, I’ve decided to only take in good news from now on.

That means I’ve called the Cleveland Plain Dealer to cancel my subscription and verbally protested the fact that the publication is a negative piece of paper no longer fit for even wrapping fish! You should rename it “The PAIN Dealer” I said, trying not to totally anger the lady taking my cancellation. After all, she knows where I live! And, I’m sure it made no difference to her or the management, but I, for one, felt some sort of great release in doing it!

It’s time to shake off that negative crap and concentrate only on the reasons to be optimistic about the future of our industry. 

The market will recover; I have no doubt. It did quite nicely last week, thank you. Or, if history repeats itself, the President’s economic stimulus package coupled with lower interest rate moves from the Federal Reserve will be a boost in the spring. That’s assuming, of course, the Senate has the common sense (I know, that’s a stretch) and decency to pass the package quickly. If they want to add a few billion dollars for small business, fine. But get the thing moving now – it will be a boost. Or I want to think about the ever increasing success of our Discover Boating Campaign and its positive impact.

I also want to dwell on the fact that the lenders who deal with the boating industry are ready and willing to increase their stake because boating consumers represent a positive performing portfolio. The rate of marine loan delinquencies was actually level in 2004, ‘05 and ‘06. The National Marine Bankers Association expects some increase when the ’07 figures are compiled, but no one is sounding any alarms and as Jim Coburn, the NMBA President reports, the availability of consumer credit for boat loans remains excellent. There are lots of deals and incentives out there, too.

More good news. Boats, lots of them, were sold at shows in Cleveland, Houston, San Diego, New York, Chicago, Kansas City and, I’m sure, elsewhere. And that’s without the proposed economic boost! So, even if we didn’t sell as many as we wanted to, I’m only thinking about the fact that boats were sold and we’re going to sell a lot more in the months ahead!

This is the time to buy!

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