A quick scan of the newspapers from the past six months would show that, when it comes to predicting economic gloom, some commentators have never had it so good. A few must be on speed dial for journalists looking for a suitably apocalyptic quote for the latest story on the economy/house prices/unemployment/oil prices. And with the weight of some large banks behind them, many people take their comments at face value.
Not that any of these predictions are necessarily wrong, it's more that they are hardly expert views anymore. They are everyone's – we all know that credit is hard to come by, petrol is expensive and jobs are being lost and that this is not a good thing.
But just as not many experts were predicting this 12 months ago, so now we have a similar poverty of opinion as to what to do about it. Mostly because nobody knows. Still, you can rest assured that in six months' time, when we are mired in the frost of wintry hard times there will much speculating about what we should have done now – by the same experts.
There are two points about this. One, much of what has happened is beyond most central banks and governments' control and two, the global economy is cyclical – it is an organic system that regulates itself and that is what is happening right now. And that is my expert opinion.
You can plan for almost anything except for what you don't know. Not a single government around the world had a plan in place for the credit crunch because they didn't expect it to happen or know how severe it would be.
There is a lesson here to be learned within your own departments as you try to look ahead and model the threats to your organisations. But at least one thing is certain: the now almost guaranteed recession will mean a rise in cyber crime. You can bank on that.
Paul Fisher, editor