1982 BUSINESS BEVIEW

our an-nual Busi-ness Review and Forecast finds Dallas/Fort Worth in a holding pattern, struggling for equilibrium, as our economy fights to maintain some momentum in turbulent times. While housing hovers at ground zero and thrifts worry about life beyond the traditional home mortgage, the commercial real estate industry advances one day and retreats the next. Interest rates remain alarmingly high, but there’s perverse gratitude that at least the prime rate has held steady at 16.5 percent the past few months and has not shot back up to 20 percent. Like the Yiddish joke says, the difference between sick and dead is enormous.

Everybody’s looking for a fallback position, and that’s where they’re likely to stay for the balance of this year. For some, the only possible victory will be survival itself. For others, the game will be to guess correctly the direction of people, products and events after the recession is over. Choosing the right wave to ride may require sharp intuition, along with those old business-school projections based on our experience in the past.

As we scan this month’s rundown of the Dallas/Fort Worth 100, the most comprehensive listing of top local businesses that we know of, we can’t help feeling a basic confidence in our own economy. Nobody ever promised us a rose garden. And this unforgiving landscape of low-to-the-ground live oak and cedar has produced some pretty scrappy people. We’ll see our way through whatever 1982 brings and be there ready to load up our bushel basket when supply-side economics begins to deliver, as we hope eventually it will.

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