1) Olympus' scandal has little impact on a high-growth industry. Others can step in. Kodak's demise puts a giant question market on exactly how much demand there is for film of any kind, especially in the long term. In the ugliness of asset divestiture through Ch. 11, this fact will be forefront. So if you think I'm a doomsayer, wait until the real vultures step in. The ones with bags of money.
2) Enron did blow up the power market. Certainly in California. I am a bond analyst. That was downright ugly, and the lawsuits are still ongoing at enormous cost to all ratepayers in many states. Enron's demise and lack of diligence all around exacted a huge toll on consumers, and still does.
3) Kodak going south means that extending credit to all other film suppliers becomes an issue because the central point is the enormous erosion of demand for emulsion products worldwide. Instead of credit and financing being offered mostly on the financials of the supplier, analysts will be looking at the underlying customer base of the product. This could apply to the company making parts for Fuji processing machines to suppliers of emulsion chemicals to distribution wholesalers. If Kodak has to pay cash up front to get its film products on the shelf, then that could very well spread to everyone in the market.
4) Yes, the whole question about the survival of roll and cartridge film will reside with the ability to manage small volumes with adequate QC.
5) Doom and gloom is a function of economics and business. Where there's risk, there's doom.
6) My major concern when looking at film production and the transfer of assets to someone other than Kodak is the entropy in the camera market. Basically any takeover of the Kodak's operations is like taking over a car part manufacturer for 1980's vehicles. This applies to Ilford as well as Fuji. At a certain point--when it is not known--the suppliers of credit and financing are going to ask where the new customers are, and where they are getting their equipment to load your emulsion product in. Like all creditors they may need more certainty that eBay sales volumes and flea markets. No supply of cameras could lead to a contraction ins the supply of credit and operational funds for film manufacturers. Prices rise, more customer leave as a result, and so on. That's the threat.
You asked for an analysis. There ya go. Forever optimists should not have read the above. It makes them cranky.
Personally, I think the future for film will be in going back tot he Eastman system of making film and cameras and doing processing by mail, all in-house. I think that's the only way the market can rationalize enough to survive. Frankly, I think that's a positive vision. Others may not. Your choice.
Last edited by Aristophanes; 01-06-2012 at 01:23 PM. Click to view previous post history.