Two Sides – Same Story

Louis CK on why we’re amazing…courtesy of YouTube.

I’ve heard a lot of talk lately about what’s wrong with this country. 

  • Our banks are in a mess.
  • We’ve created faulty and misleading financial instruments on Wall Street.
  • We’ve put too much faith in technology and it won’t ‘bail us out’ this time.
  • The Government let this happen – let the government fix it.   
  • America’s lost the will to compete, the ability to lead in manufacturing, the fire to innovate. 

Are you totally depressed yet?  Click here to watch a video for a different perspective on American innovation before  you read on. 

Hopefully you feel a little better now.  It may be a bit irreverent, but then perhaps we have been taking ourselves too seriously.

Last night I had the opportunity to listen to a talk by Lynn Tilton at the AeA meeting in Arizona. 

LYNN TILTON is the CEO of Patriarch Partners, LLC, a firm she founded in 2000 to manage and monetize the distressed portfolios of financial institutions.  Patriarch has since evolved to focus on direct investments in distressed American businesses, managing funds with over $6 billion of equity and secured loan assets.

I did not agree with everything Lynn had to say, but she made some points that I definitively do agree with.  Here are a few views we have in common:

  • Government alone will not be able to spend us out of the current economic situation.  Changes are needed in how we manage markets, how we do business AND how we value it.
  • Small and mid-sized businesses are and will continue to be a key factor in turning things around, putting people to work, and restoring our economic base and through it or tax base. See YourEconomy.org for a better picture of the sizes of businesses that create jobs in your community.
  • It is up to all of us to use our own strengths and talents to affect change and move things forward.  We’ll have to be creative AND flexible.  

Lynn has a few more resources than I do.  OK, a few billion more.  She used her position to get the word out in a Clarion Call that was published in the NY Times and the Washington Post. Sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Geitner proposing solutions.  She’s speaking out on national media, to small groups and large.  And, agree with  her or not, she is not sitting back and just letting things unfold as they may.

So ask yourself.  What can I do.  Share ideas on this blog?  Start a business?  Support a business that is struggling and help them make it through this – while saving a few jobs in the process? Help someone who needs it to find a job? There are answers all around us.  The trick is finding that one thing we overlooked before and putting it back to work for us in a new way.  We need to use our networks and our contacts.  And most of all, stop listening to the nay say-ers and just get on with it.  

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