A Tale of Two Middle Markets
We live in a time of extremes. Uncertainty seems to greet us as at every step. The economy appears to gather momentum, only to be thwarted by a recurring series of European crises. Just when Europe seems to move off the brink, disappointing news emerges on Chinese growth. Who thought we in the United States would have to lose sleep over whether Greeks are paying their taxes or the Chinese economy is growing fast enough?
The simple truth is that this is the new normal. We live in a world which, by the design of American foreign policy since the end of World War II and many other less-deliberate factors, has become inexorably inter-dependent. What happens in Greece and Spain and Germany and China and Brazil all matter in America's heartland.
Meanwhile, our domestic circumstance amplifies the international uncertainty. Our political system is broken. A host of events conspire to create real challenges. Enduring unemployment is a reality for millions of us. We have an aging population accustomed to unbridled medical spending paid for by others. We waged a decade of expensive wars in distant places. Regulations are expanding in scope and complexity. And, after years of cost-cutting, there is nothing left to cut.
In the midst of these challenges, there are sources of optimism. Our trade deficit has shrunk from 6 percent to 4 percent. Exports are up. Unemployment is inching down. Savings are growing, and the housing market is showing signs of life. And money, yes money, the lifeblood of a growing economy, is cheap and plentiful; if you can get it. In the midst of these mixed messages, what is a middle-market company to do to ensure that this is, as Dickens would say, “the spring of hope” and not “the season of Darkness?”
Posted: 05/19/2013 12:24:00
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