Where Did All Our Money Go?
Many people are offering financial advice these days and the fact that most of the advice offered in the past has been of dubious value, any self proclaimed expert seems to get a hearing. Many of you have been reading “Surviving Financial Meltdown” by Ron Blue and Jeremy White where they have capsulated many sound ideas for Christians who wish to focus on the future and not be consumed by the present crisis. Ron has indicated from many interviews as well as his written materials four (4) themes that you will hear over and over from him:
- Think long-term with goals and investing
- Spend less than what you earn
- Maintain liquidity meaning adequate emergency savings
- Minimize the use of debt
Those good ideas don’t answer what happened to the trillions of dollars of market value that disappeared in the last 15 months but I can tell you something about where a lot of the money is. You might think your neighbor has it all since he probably told you he got out of the market; sold all his stock and went short the market indexes; and then turned all of his 401(k) into gold at $600/oz. Actually, the advice from Ron & Jeremy in #3 above has been taken to extremes by many or our largest corporations. It appears that the lack of liquidity by individuals is just the opposite for many of the largest companies. That’s right, many of our largest companies are flush with cash while others have a lot of debt and a whisper of hope.
In a recent Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article by Jason Zweig, he cited some of the companies that are holding billions in cash. Many as you might guess are oil companies but others in technology and health care are also cash rich and not sure what to do with it. It is such a shame that we have so many out of work investment bankers or they could hang out at those companies and show them how to spend that money. Now you know why investment bankers earn so much in fees. When they convince somebody to go on a pointless shopping spree, the bills they rack up are in the billions. Ironically enough, it only takes a few years to find out that those investments were a bad idea and they can charge even more fees to come back again and sell that same group of investments to someone else with too much cash.
Proverbs 21:2-3 (RSV) “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart. To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.”
Monday Morning Message Sent 3/16/09
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