Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Following an erratic week culminating in major financial crisis, the Bush Administration and Congress presented a $700 billion rescue plan. However, during press time, the House of Representatives voted against the 110-page bill (228 to 205) causing the stock markets to plunge sharply at midday. According to The New York Times, proponents of the bill even extended the allotted voting time by 40 minutes in a drastic measure to convert undecided and “no” votes to “yes” votes. The Senate is expected to vote again later this week.
What exactly happened to the old Wall Street? Perhaps there is no definitive answer. But one thing is certain, there is an ample amount of negative fallout left behind. When heavy-hitters such as Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch declare bankruptcy or find rescue through Bank of America, respectively, trouble abounds. When predictions of smaller investment banks, leaner profits and fewer finance jobs available surface, that trouble needs to be addressed. And, when many rush to withdraw money from their bank accounts as phrases including “The Depression” are tossed around, something has to give—now.
While Congress scrambles to remedy the country’s economic plight, many are left to wonder what happens in the meantime. The printing industry, in particular, has seen hard times before. To obtain a supplier perspective on how these latest developments are affecting financial product sales, Print Professional spoke to three manufacturers:
• Tony Scarselletta, general manager, General Financial Supply (GFS), a division of Ennis, Bridgewater, Va., and eastern sales manager, GFS.
• Gary St. Onge, vice president of sales and marketing, AmeriPrint, Harvard, Ill.
• John Wombles, CEO, Rotary Print USA, Manchester, Ga.
PP: How has the struggling economy affected sales of financial products?
Scarselletta: GFS sales show that banks have become more conservative in their ordering patterns. Orders may be for smaller quantities and they have begun to be more aggressive in checking pricing by getting additional quotes. Repeat orders are not as automatic. Banks are continuing to look at electronic order fulfillment as a means to cut procurement costs.