Friday Five

Friday Five for February 21, 2014.

So, your money stinks. That’s just one of the reasons that banks are shying away from servicing those in the medical marijuana business. Not only is there a conflict between Federal and State laws which places banks in a position of assuming, perhaps, more risk than they would care to assume, but the money itself smells like marijuana. Passing that cash along to other customers doesn’t always work well since some customers don’t want money that smells like Marijuana. Perhaps there is a real, legitimate need now to launder money. Just thinking out loud….

A New York State Lawmaker wants a delay in his bribery trial so he can focus on campaigning for re-election. It may be that the voters in his district just won’t care if he’s committed criminal acts, so from his perspective, the request might be reasonable.

A government that is uncertain about what it wants sets into law vague and changing targets. When they force those targets on businesses and then change them, businesses recoil and conserve their cash, since cash is their *only* defense against a changing regulatory and statutory environment. The Affordable Care Act – which has been parsed and delayed for special interest groups – is the most well-known example. But less well-known is the uncertain and somewhat unstable regulatory environment when it comes to environmental issues. But the reaction of companies is the same: investment is withheld until there is a certain and predictable environment in which to run one’s business.

At the time of this writing, I’m 53. I figure that the government retirement programs won’t hold much real value for myself or my wife by the time we hit our mid-late 60’s. So, I’m planning to work well into my 70’s, God willing. So that makes this article more encouraging to me. I figure that I have another 20-25 years to work – which I’m looking forward to. Those of us in our 50’s should not shy away from starting new businesses or ministries. This is the time for us to have our most important impact on society. Let’s step up and fill the gaps!

The Sovereignty and ultimate power of God do create some difficult questions for us to answer and understand. Yet, we can’t shy away from these questions if we’re going to have any sense of credibility in our culture. These difficult questions impact business ownership as well – in this case, if God is so powerful, questions about profitability or regulations or something else will make their way into our minds. For example, “why doesn’t he bring in enough business to keep my business going” or “why doesn’t he do more to get the regulators off my back?” If you take time to read through the body of work from Ravi, you’ll find answers to these types of questions. But the level of difficulty posed in these questions eliminates easy, quick answers. You’ll need to invest your time and some energy into understanding a much larger picture in which the answers will present themselves – usually over time.

Bill English, CEO