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how is the global financial crisis affecting YOU?
Thread poster: Konstantin Kisin

Konstantin Kisin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:58
Member (2004)
Russian to English
+ ...
Mar 18, 2008

I have been pondering this very question myself recently.

On the one hand, unlike employees we've got our eggs in different baskets, so even if one client goes out of business or simply stops sending us work we've still got others to keep us afloat.

On the other hand, as we know from polls, lots of us have 1 or 2 major clients, losing whom might result in a loss of revenue ranging from 20% to 90%.

In my case, I have 1 major client who works exclusively with a very large international bank, so I had great cause for concern. Luckily, it seems this particular bank is actually doing very well out of this crisis. Had it been, say, Northern Rock or Bear Stearns, it would be a different story.

What about you?


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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:58
Dutch to English
+ ...
Doing fine Mar 18, 2008

I have 6 major customers and the flow of work is much the same as last year (the first 3 weeks of this year were slow, i.e., 15,000 words per week on average), but ever since then I am back to turning work down.

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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:58
English to German
+ ...
More work... Mar 18, 2008

Hi Konstantin,
A very relevant question, which affects anyone specialising in financial markets work in particular.

So far, all I can say is that we've had more work as a result of the crisis, as financial instutions need to make sure they maintain a high level of communication.

From a default risk perspective, it's a wake-up call (or at least should be...) for anyone who still believes banks and financial institutions are immune from insolvency. Very clearly, they're not. We insist on short payment terms, requesting payment in advance in some cases.

Best regards,
Ralf


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Steffen Walter  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:58
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
Steady work at a high level - diversified customer base Mar 18, 2008

Hi Konstantin,

I'm doing just fine (and have to decline new offers on a regular basis) as my customer base is sufficiently diversified, albeit with three or four major accounts contributing about 50-60% of my total income. In addition, I have "more than one leg to stand on", so to speak, in terms of my fields of specialisation.

Best,
Steffen


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:58
French to English
Bed late Mar 18, 2008

I'm spending a fair bit of time reading about it and watching the news.
So, I'm going to bed later so as to get the actual work done, and so I'm much grumpier than usual (and I'm usually pretty grumpy anyway!).

I daresay my wife will leave me and my kids will get taken into care, and this time next year I will be drinking cider from a bottle in the park and shouting abuse at the lamp posts.


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Konstantin Kisin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:58
Member (2004)
Russian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
haha Mar 18, 2008

Charlie Bavington wrote:
I daresay my wife will leave me and my kids will get taken into care, and this time next year I will be drinking cider from a bottle in the park and shouting abuse at the lamp posts.


This plan is contingent on you being able to afford the cider, and given the recent budget you'll probably struggle


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Clare Barnes  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 22:58
Swedish to English
+ ...
It's not... Mar 18, 2008

...so far. There was an interesting discussion on The Bottom Line (Radio 4) at the weekend, where the general consensus was that the money is still there, it's just become more discriminating. Small and medium businesses should be much less affected by turbulence on the financial markets than larger businesses who may need to borrow millions - and not be able to.

On the other hand, I don't have a lot of financial work and have a broad client base in Sweden and the UK. I haven't noticed any slowdown in work at all...

Clare


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Thorson
Local time: 22:58
Danish to English
15,000 words per week is slow? Mar 18, 2008

Marijke wrote:

I have 6 major customers and the flow of work is much the same as last year (the first 3 weeks of this year were slow, i.e., 15,000 words per week on average), but ever since then I am back to turning work down.


15,000 words per week is slow?

lol, you have nothing to worry about.


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Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:58
Member (2004)
English to Italian
nah... Mar 18, 2008

Konstantin Kisin wrote:

Charlie Bavington wrote:
I daresay my wife will leave me and my kids will get taken into care, and this time next year I will be drinking cider from a bottle in the park and shouting abuse at the lamp posts.


This plan is contingent on you being able to afford the cider, and given the recent budget you'll probably struggle


As an informed reader, Charlie has carefully chosen cider as his preferred drink for a reason: it's gone up only 3 pence a litre!

G


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:58
Spanish to English
+ ...
An American perspective Mar 18, 2008

The euro and pound are strong and my own currency, the dollar, is worth very little.

As a result, business is booming, but I'd still like to see the dollar crawl back up into the sunlight.


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:58
English to Spanish
+ ...
Another American perspective Mar 18, 2008

When I travel abroad to a developing country that used to have raging inflation and has had three zeros knocked off the currency on more than one occasion...

...and find out that the US dollar is now third-world currency and theirs is first-world.


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:58
Member
English to French
It's affecting my stock portfolio Mar 18, 2008

And I have to work quite a bit more to fill the gap and plan for my pension...
Also I adjust my rates in USD on an (almost) weekly basis.
Philippe


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Andrea Riffo  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 18:58
English to Spanish
Well... Mar 18, 2008

The US dollar to chilean peso ratio has lowered considerably (little more than 10%) in the past 3 months, which means I am currently earning around 10% less from my overseas clients.

Add that to the high inflation we've been having the past year...

Not good. Not good at all.


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Joan Berglund  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:58
Member (2008)
French to English
I accept stupid deadlines Mar 18, 2008

I want to buy a house myself in the next few months and I am worried about getting a mortage in the current tightwad climate since both my husband and I are self-employed. As a result, I am agreeing to some really stupid deadlines because the money is too good to turn down and I want to save the biggest down payment possible.

As far as my customers are concerned, I think an economic downturn makes them more litigious. Instead of doing R&D and developing new projects they hang on tooth and nail to whatever patents they have while trying to get competitors patents annulled, so as to hang on to the biggest market share they can. It's still work for me, though it's not my favorite.


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:58
English to Spanish
+ ...
Right, Andrea Mar 19, 2008

Because I was just in Chile. I'm happy for Chile, of course, things sure have changed for the better!

Except for some wine-growers who have contracted for long-term sales in dollars.... oh well, so I'll enjoy some here!


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