Small businesses are the lifeblood of any economy, creating wealth and employment opportunities – and supporting economic growth at grass-roots level. This type of entrepreneurship has always been valued in the United States, where the founders of startups can aspire to become leaders of Fortune 500 companies if they hit on a successful niche.
But are small business owners being unfairly hampered by the raft of regulations introduced following the financial crisis of 2008? It’s an issue that’s hitting the headlines at the moment as President Trump reaffirms his pre-election promises to de-regulate the financial services industry.
What do Donald Trump and Johnny Depp have in common? Superficially speaking, not much. But recent events around the thorny issue of whether or not financial advisers should be required to put their clients’ interests before their own has placed POTUS and Hollywood star on opposite sides of one of the hottest discussions of the year so far.
For a society that runs largely on credit, when loans start drying up, the wheels of commerce grind to a shuddering halt.
In a survey recently conducted by the Federal Reserve, signs are emerging that lines of credit are being increasingly squeezed, with loans to businesses on commercial and industrial (C&I) and commercial real estate (CRE) being subject to tougher standards over the second quarter of 2016 than in the past three quarters.
Businesses looking for C&I loans to buy new equipment or relocate are finding it harder to access the credit they need as banks continue to tighten their criteria for lending, especially for medium- and large-sized companies.
FinTech and the Presidential Election Will Try to Kill You, But Won’t Succeed Just Yet
Financial manufacturers including banks, factors and all manner of secured and unsecured lenders must prepare for accelerating uncertainty in 2016. Global economic turbulence, a rapidly shifting lending landscape full of FinTech start-ups, and the looming presidential election could stand in the way of more champagne and caviar. There are plenty of reasons to ignore Einstein’s famous adage now: prepare at once for war and peace.
There is also much good to toast come December 31. Lenders that kept their foot on the accelerator over the past five years are enjoying record originations and rising valuations. And the party is likely far from over.
Every consumer has a story about a mishandled complaint or a completely baffling customer service procedure that takes a disproportionate amount of time to resolve. It’s not surprising, really, given that each day billions of transactions take place all over the world. In the not-too-distant past when a lot more business was transacted in person, complaints were often resolved over the counter. These days, customers are as likely to take to social media as they are to confront the seller with a complaint, so how should businesses manage complaints – and are review sites a trustworthy source of information for consumers? Continue reading →
Investors in publicly-traded companies are eager to see them spend some of the cash amassed since the 2008 financial crisis. Not unlike penny-pinchers that survived the Great Depression, US firms turned to saving during the Great Recession. Standard and Poors (S&P) explains that large firms remain unwilling to part with their proverbial security blanket and pacifier in the form of enormous cash hoards. In its annual capex corporate survey, S&P describes that capital expenditures are the “missing link to a better established and self-sustaining economic recovery.” Continue reading →