Contributors
Founder and Chair – LMFC
Vice Chair – LMFC
President and CEO – The Bank of Northern Michigan
SVP of Shared Services - LMFC
Senior Vice President, Traverse City Market Manager

Hear from the founder of Lake Michigan Financial Corporation, Rich Lievense, and his insight on what this blog encompasses.

Every ten years the Communist Party in China chooses a new slate of leaders.  China’s new leader, Xi Jinping recently drafted a sixty point document which is a blueprint for social and economic change over the next decade.  This sweeping document makes tactical concessions to individual rights and freedoms but clearly establishes the priority of state power and himself as the leader in the country.  He believes he is another in a long line of Chinese leaders with a mission to return the state to its golden era of wealth and power (the Chinese call it fuqiang) after a century of humiliation by imperialist poser that began with the First Opium War in the early 19th century. 
 
We have certainly witnessed the rise of China - their rising role in world events, their aggressive moves to consolidate access to raw materials around the world, a more aggressive posture toward their regional neighbors, and a rapidly growing economy.  There are also significant challenges in modern China from intellectual property issues, to rapid urbanization, to massive environmental problems, to a potential world class real estate bubble, to a restless emerging middle class. 
 
We have posted a number of articles on this blog about issues surrounding modern China.  We believe it is important for us all to understand the changes in the home to 20% of the world’s population and the world’s second largest and fastest growing economy.  It is going to have a profound impact on our country, our businesses, and our lives. 

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We rely on computers to fly our planes, find our cancers, design our buildings, keep our checkbooks, and audit our businesses. That’s all well and good but what happens when the computer fails? I was reminded of this recently when we had a short period of system down time at the bank. As I walked around the building, I noticed that work almost ceased. As more and more of our information is delivered in an electronic format, what happens if the internet or the communication lines go black for a period of time? What does it mean that Michigan schools no longer have cursive writing as part of their core curriculum since so much of today’s communication is accomplished on a keyboard?

Regular readers of this blog will remember that we posted an article by the same author a few years ago titled ‘Is Google making us stupid?’ Recent advances in the field of artificial intelligence will only underscore the importance of this issue. While the advances in technology are thrilling and make our lives richer in many ways, is there a point where they become too intrusive and affect our ability to reason and function in their absence?

This thought provoking piece is worth the time. How are you and your business affected by the increasing role of technology in our modern lives?

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America’s economic map has been in a constant state of change since the country was founded over two hundred years ago. There have been many migrations of its citizens and cities have risen and fallen. These changes were dependent on economic activity, weather, new industrial development, technology, and other changing factors.

As we think about out our regional economy, we need to think about the emerging economic map and figure a way to get on the front end of these important trends. These trends are critical as we find our place in a changing world.

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There are some important new factors affecting our companies, region, and economy. This concise summary is an interesting new view of the world.

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