Want to feel some outrage and finally get a grasp on all this monkey business with AIG, the bailouts, etc.? Rolling Stone has a fantastic article that does a good job of explaining the current financial crisis in relatively plain terms exactly what happened and how we got here.
Anecdotally, however, I think we’re on the way out of this. My company TechKnowMe, which designs, develops, maintains and markets web sites for small businesses, hit bottom a few months ago – no new calls and no response to my marketing efforts. In the last couple of weeks, however, it seems I’m getting more calls and more interest in people looking to get their websites up and running. This indicates to me that they have the necessary capital to invest and that they’re not giving up on their businesses but actually pushing to improve them. I take this as a good sign.
At the end of the day, it will be the small businesses that save the economy. The big businesses are already looking for ways to get easy money from the government and are suffering dramatically because of their reliance on big banks to float them when times are tough. The big banks don’t have the capital to float the big companies, so they;re not as eager to lend. The government, in theory, is giving money to these big banks so they CAN float the big businesses, but the banks are so up to their eyes in obligations for the bad bets they made on dicey securities that most of that money is flowing right back to pay for those debts.
Small businesses grasp the conept of bootstrapping. They’re still close enough to the early days of scraping for capital from all directions and relying on self discipline and good sales tactics to have not forgotten how to do it. Small businesses are a little less reliant on the banks to help them out because they have other means to stay alive. And, sure, the mortgages will be late, the 15-day shutoff notices may come, but at the last minute they’ll make the sale they need to get them going for another month. It may be like this for a little while, but I anticipate that, for most small business owners, we’re really only a short time away from taking in enough money that we can float ourselves.
So, have courage and keep moving forward. It’s not really as bad as it looks on TV. Though I’m having a hard time not advocating violence against the scheisty investment bankers whose uncontrolled greed and arrogance got us to this point.