By Charles H. Green
Today is election day across the country as various state and local elections are held in an off-year from federal campaigns. But the disappointing truth is that the campaign for your loyalty among Democrats and Republicans never ends and pollutes our airwaves with bald-faced nonsense 24 hours a day.
On a recent trip to China, my daily newspaper consumption was 100% immersed in foreign-reported news and opinions. As the U.S. government shutdown was ending, it was interesting to read about our political crisis through the eyes of our largest creditor.
China holds $1.27 trillion of U.S. Treasury debt. The shutdown and flirtation with treasury debt default strengthenedthose Chinese politicians wary of buying more T-bills and advocating to more aggressively promote the Reminbi as a global reserve currency.
Why does this matter to a small business banker?
Global concerns about confidence in the U.S. government’s debt can lead to markedly higher future interest rates that directly affect your customer’s ability to borrow. A more competitive Reminbi would depress the dollar, meaning the cost of imports rises and all that “stuff” we buy offshore becomes more expensive.
What can you do? Check your emotions in the comics section and seek to read every side of policy issues. Educate yourself about what – and who – is really in your best interest as a business lender and as importantly as a citizen. And vote for what’s in your best interest.
Becoming more circumspect about politicians and more protective of your vote may yield a better return on your tax investments.
And who knows, if enough of us do it we’ll get a better government.