It has become pretty obvious over the last 9 months (if it was not there for all to see before), that those businesses with conservative financial management, irrespective of size, are the ones that have the opportunity to prosper during the downturn, taking advantage of the distress of their competitors to leverage their relatively strong financial position. When the dust settles, they will be lauded for their efforts.
This is a change from 2 years ago, when the same companies were being castigated for failing to take advantage of obvious opportunities to build shareholder wealth.
The lesson is best illustrated by the fable we all heard as kids, the tortoise and the hare, the tortoise has won again, we all know it will eventually, so why do we continue to act like hares?
We cannot hope to control, the environment we are in, but the best companies learn to evolve and accommodate the changes that occur beyond their control without succumbing to their transient attractions.