The office did some seating rearrangements this week, and as a result, I now sit in front of one of the wall TVs that has CNBC on all day. So for eight hours a day, I have a perfect view of the constant live coverage on Wall Street. As if the last few weeks haven’t been bad enough, this last week seems to be one new record after another. Today, both the DOW and the S&P 500 have hit a two-year low? Crude oil hit another record high ($147.27/barrel), though it did drop back down to $145 before I left. I don’t really know what the hell Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are (okay, okay, so they’re country’s two biggest mortgage buyers). but opening at an almost 50% drop in share prices can’t be good for anything, right? Lehmen Brothers is also down 20% today or something like 80% from several months ago. The stock ticker seems to be a perpetual stream of red arrows. Don’t forget the dollar is still steadily dropping against other major currencies. There are so many headline-worthy stories of woe that the news anchors seem ever flustered at picking topics. Interviewees called in don’t really know what the hell they’re supposed to talk about first because there’s so much to address.
Chaos! Panic! Panic! Panic is probably the main thing. Rumors are flying all over the place. Investors are scared shitless which will probably contribute to this downward spiral. Oh, noes! Oh, woes.
In other more fandom-relevant, but distressingly similar news, ADV just keeps sending signals that they’re about to fold. (And TOKYOPOP isn’t being particularly reassuring either.) Their contracts have been severed; they’re losing an alarming number of their titles. The only thing they can possibly do for the next year or so is sit around on what they have left and hope that profits enough to allow for recovery. It’s been done before (Central Park Media), but considering the huge economic woes (see above?) we’re now facing, I’m very skeptical they’ll be able to make it out of this alive.
I’m curious about FUNimation though… As one of the few companies that actually had revenue growth last quarter, I’m glad they seem to be doing well enough currently to be able to afford picking up much of the titles being tossed by ADV and Bandai, but I wonder if it’s really in the company’s best interest. After all, taking up so many new titles all at once, even if it’s just distribution, may be stretching FUNi’s resources a bit thin. It’s also possible that taking on competitors’ titles will cannibalize its own titles. I kind of feel like they should just ignore the dropped goods for now — just focus on their own stuff instead of messing with other peoples’ problems. Even if they’ve been doing well, I don’t think they should take any unnecessary risks right now, and this might be considered one of those risks. I know lots of fans are relieved and ecstatic that some of their anticipated titles will be able to reach them after all, and maybe I’m biased because I’m not heavily invested in any of these involved titles, but I think a longer delay in the availability of those titles would be worth FUNi staying well out of harm’s way.
Then again, this may turn out to be a huge advantage to FUNimation in the long run. Risk is uncertain in the end, eh?