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.

In our role as your trusted financial provider, we want to be a source of information about a wide range of issues that affect you. We read widely and have provided reading material to our staff and Board of Directors to help them learn and grow. We are now extending service to you. We hope you find this interesting and useful as you manage your business and personal affairs in a complex and rapidly changing business world. Please let us know what you think.

Rich Lievense is the founder and CEO of Lake Michigan Financial Corporation, the holding company for The Bank of Holland and The Bank of Northern Michigan.

We would all agree we are in a period of individual and corporate deleveraging. Most of us agree as a society, we have too much debt, too much consumption, and not enough savings. We have also relied on low cost debt and are learning the process of paying back debt is much more difficult (and much less fun) than simply borrowing. This process is not new for our country or our economy. This article puts this process in a global and historical perspective and helps to explain what may be in our future. 



Current media and press reporting  seem to relish in betting on America’s demise and compare us to England in the early twentieth century and Rome before it. Our society and economy continue to have real strength and competitive advantages – good rule of law, stable politics, competitive global businesses, good demographics, and a many lasting physical advantages. This article discusses this topic in a greater global and historical context. It also outlines reasons for optimism in a noisy world.

Common thinking will tell you that entrepreneurs succeed by taking big risks and winning big. In our business, we are exposed to entrepreneurs who both succeed and fail - sometimes privately and sometimes very publically. We have come to the conclusion that really successful entrepreneurs - the ones that have longevity and build great businesses- are quite risk adverse. They have put their own money and future at risk and work hard to insure they don't lose it and make it grow. They tend to have a long term perspective and make reasoned bets that often pay off over time. This story line does not read as well as the person who bets it all and hits the home run. But these people have been the traditional core of our American economy and will lead us positively into the future. 

Read more, article: The Sure Thing via The New Yorker.



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