Current Blog Entries by Larry Fry, CCP, MBA

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Posts Tagged ‘Entrepreneur

Cuba Updating the State’s Role in the Economy?

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If the Cuban government (i.e., Castro) is really serious about taking a stab at state capitalism, then let’s offer to close out the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base and convert it into a mega-resort and cruise ship terminal complex for Caribbean destined tourists.  The idle Cuban work force could be employed as laborers for the project and then trained as hospitality workers to be employed at the complex once it has been completed.  Cuba has a lot of potential as a Caribbean tourist destination and the Cuban government needs to recognize this fact and start trying to “capitalize” on it in order to pull the nation out of its current state of economic malaise.  The conversion of the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base (which is no longer needed these days) into a pristine resort complex by a top-flight entrepreneurial group would be a “win-win” proposition for all parties involved. And communist countries such as China (and now Viet Nam) are proving that state capitalism is far better than no capitalism at all, so the Cuban government needs to take heed and take action before it is too late.

Written by Larry Fry, CCP, MBA

August 2, 2010 at 10:52 am

The Proposed Financial-Transaction Tax Bill Issue!

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There is a financial-transaction tax bill being proposed by the U.S. Congress that intends to levy a 0.25% tax on all equity trading transactions.  The passing of this bill would severely marginalize the financial trading industry, making our financial markets even less efficient than they have already become.  The end result would be the loss of untold numbers of jobs, and financial markets would become even more susceptible to crashes due to the resulting lack of  liquidity. Obviously the passing of this absurd bill would negatively impact the financial trading (and related) industries; but it would also severely curtail a critical market capitalization vehicle used by small to medium sized companies, thus rendering them less able to compete and grow.  And with banks and other financial service entities either unable or unwilling to capitalize small to medium sized businesses these days (but able and willing to pay out absurd bonuses to undeserving executives), taxing financial trade transactions would only serve to make the current economic downturn more pronounced, possibly leading to even more disastrous consequences down the road. The resulting dissipation of market liquidity, trading volumes, and market price discovery, along with widened bid/ask price spreads, would destroy the positive aspects afforded by arbitrage and speculative trading.  Along with the addition of other possible government regulatory actions, this problem would then be further exacerbated by the resulting mass migration of American based trading volumes over to foreign (i.e., non-taxable) exchanges.

The one thing that really irks me about the proposed financial-transaction tax bill is that it is being framed as a so-called “sin” tax by its partisan proponents in order to appeal to the current populist mindset that the financial industry as a whole is guilty for the current state of the economy (i.e., high unemployment levels, etc.). Basically, the transgressions of a few that were enabled by the lack of understanding by government officials and regulators per the complex financial-engineering instruments being utilized are the primary culprits here. The imposing of a financial-transaction “sin” tax by the government is not a good substitute for developing an understanding of the new financial order and obtaining the level of competency necessary to effectively regulate the industry, thus establishing a stable (level) playing field for the economy as a whole.  So in my mind, this proposed financial-transaction “sin” tax is nothing more than an attempt to sweep a certain portion of the blame (or responsibility) for the current state of the economy under someone else’s rug.  In addition, the potentially negative impact of this “sin” tax would be exacerbated by the resulting changes in premium requirements by investors across the board due to the tax costs being passed on to them.  The potential drain on market liquidity and the resulting decrease in the capital available for struggling small-to-medium sized businesses would be hard to justify, especially for reasons of partisan politics.  So this proposed tax is not a viable solution or option in my mind, as it conceivably could lead to even more problems down the road as the state of our economy continues to evolve (or unwind). 

Finally, perhaps the biggest question in my mind is why do some of our elected government officials seem “hell bent” at times to make things worse for us rather than better (i.e., at both the micro and macro levels) in order to pursue partison based agendas?  This potentially dangerous bill needs to be dismissed (or vetoed) ASAP before it has a chance to cause serious long-term damage to our still frail (and unwinding) economy.  Click on the URL below to sign the revised “Financial-Transaction Tax is Detrimental to Many Industries” petition and have it forwarded to your representatives:

http://www.rallycongress.com/greentradertax-traders-association1/2720/a-financial-transaction-tax-is-detrimental-to-many-industries’

Financing Models: Original Viablility Needs to be Recaptured

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One of the biggest problems with today’s financing models for capitalizing small and large businesses (as well as consumers) alike is that the  expectation to pay back debt seems to escape a large percentage of the eager borrowers (and some lenders).  Furthermore, even the Federal government and banks seem to be treating the dollar like it’s “Monopoly Money” these days, with all of the excessive bailouts using “Fiat” money as the source.  And with the securitization of subprime loans and other instruments that have been used  by lenders lately to handle shaky loans, there seems to be less concern about debt repayment by the lenders and more concern about passing it on in securitized forms to unsuspecting others to glean additional profits.  But at a macro level, the financing models can become viable again as long as entrepreneurs, consumers, and other borrowers keep in mind that they (as borrowers) are still expected to pay loans back and that the final lenders still expect the original borrowers to repay the loans back at some point in time; and, most pointedly, declaring bankruptcy should NOT  be viewed as a viable (or desirable) instrument for handling risk by anyone.

Note:  This writeup was originally written as my comments per fellow LinkedIn member Ren Carlton’s recent blog article “Financing- Is it Really Worth It?”  (see  http://www.businessrealityblog.blogspot.com/ ).

Written by Larry Fry, CCP, MBA

June 13, 2009 at 3:45 pm