Profiting from the downturn – e.g. airlines

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Nice example of what looks like a strategically sound business [Lufthansa] pouncing on valuable resources shaken loose when a feeble competitor [Alitalia] stumbles. The Economist reports they will be offering new services to eight other European cities from under-served Milan.  

With the downturn accelerating, there will be many more examples of weak firms forced to surrender potentially valuable resources – especially capacity and people – to those whose sound strategic management avoided getting into trouble. In the extreme, this will involve absorbing those weaklings in total. Smart firms in cyclical industries, from petrochemicals to paper to insurance to construction, have long known how to exploit the short-sightedness of others. See for example ‘Managing Capacity in Basic Materials‘ – though the principles are far more widely applicable than just in ‘basic materials’.

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