The most highly volatile factor in semiconductor sales is tied directly
to how good people feel that they are personally doing financially.
A person who does not fear that his next paycheck is in jeopardy, so
the theory goes, is more likely to spend money on luxury or non-essential
goods like cell phones, radios, televisions, cars loaded with electronic
gadgets, second and third computers for a home wireless network, microprocessor-controlled
washing machines and dryers, you name it. Good times finally appear
to be back, and the roller coaster ride the entire world has been on
since the 2000-2001 recession has finally come to an end. True to the
old saying that, "Time heals all wounds," consumers have pretty much
forgotten those scarier times and have become much more complacent about
Inflation (or the supposed lack thereof) has been
in the news a lot lately, along with whisperings of how a possible worldwide
housing price bubble bursting could spell disaster for, among other
things, the electronics industry. A worst-case scenario predicts that
the impending crash could be as harsh as the one that began in the spring
of 2000. So, in the same news cycle, we have one group of learned prognosticators
warning us that the sky is about to fall, while the other, equally learned
group predicts a 6% year-over-year increase in semiconductor sales.
Which experts do we believe?
Governments have gotten better at
cooking the books to make figures appear rosier than they most likely
really are, and the people have gotten better at blindly accepting the
figures and at just ignoring them altogether. Everyone knows politicians
lie, and besides, there's nothing the little guy can do about it anyway.
Terrorists have been clustering for the most part in Iraq and Afghanistan
where the troops are there to fight them, so there's nothing to worry
about. Pot-bellied Kim Jong-il wouldn't dare launch any of his nukes,
and China is only making empty threats about attacking Taiwan. W. and
Vladimir are the best of buds, so the Iron Curtain threat is non-existent.
Don't worry. Be happy.
Where am I going with all this?
Darned if I know, it's just that in searching out industry news headlines
every day I am in constant amazement (and dismay) of the utterly conflicting
stories coming often times out the same agencies. One day we're up,
the next day we're down. Analyst A predicts scenario X one day and predicts
-X the next, then revises his forecast to something in-between a few
days later, and Analyst B predicts just the opposite. There is about
as much real accountability as there is for a weatherman. Maybe a good
idea would be implement a policy for market analysts similar to what
the mayor of Moscow (Russia) reportedly has done for their weathermen: