Of banking and bottomless carpet bags

The way we lease, sell and buy machinery may have to change forever



Flicking through the television the other day, I came across that old film, Mary Poppins. Of course, I’ve seen it before – it always seems to be on – but this time, I fancy that I saw a new level.

Let me explain for those that haven’t seen it. A magical nanny suggests to some children that tuppence can be used for something in the here and now – in this case, a bag of pigeon feed – while the children’s father, who is a banker, suggests that it would be far better ‘invested’ at his bank. The children dare to question why they should believe in such a system, causing a run on the bank as customers also stop believing it. Thus a lady with a bottomless carpet bag and the ability to fly through chalk paintings is more realistic than the banking system.

Sound familiar? Well it should, as more details emerge about the absurdities of a system that ceases to exist when people stop believing in it, while machinery manufacturers fall by the wayside as orders dry up because there is no magic money available.

Slowly, there is some order being restored, as debts for ‘investments’ that were always a flight of fancy on behalf of the bank are called in, but it seems likely that the way we lease, sell and buy machinery may have to change forever, as new rules for eligibility for lending are developed by the world’s financial institutions.

As for the future of the machinery industry, there were some encouraging signs at the Intermat show in Paris, particularly in regard to the amount of delegates from our region. From a buyers’ point of view, it is a good time to invest as some sense returns to the market.

However, it is not over yet. I suspect there will be more twists and turns in this plot than what even the best fairytale writer could come up with.

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PMV Middle East - September 2020

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