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.

Instinctively we know that computers and technology have changed the way we live and work.  We also understand the globalization of manufacturing affects the availability of traditional middle class/blue collar jobs in this country.  The attached piece deals with this issue in a thoughtful and common sense manner.  

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Regular readers of this blog know we believe demographic factors have a larger impact on our economy and economic growth than many acknowledge.  Baby Boomers are on the downward slope of the consumer life cycle. Their spending habits have provided economic tailwinds since the 1960's.  Their impending decline in consumer spending will inevitably create some headwinds however; the real danger lies in an expectations gap - not the slower GDP growth.
The attached technical piece describes demographic trends around the world and should be considered as we think about our growth options in the months and years ahead. 

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The industrial revolutions of the 1700s and 1800s transformed the world.  They provided a way to improve significantly the Western standard of living in a way that was unprecedented.  There is a school of thought that this will dampen economic growth for a long period of time. Although I am personally more optimistic about our prospects, the attached article by Benjamin Wallace Wells raises interesting points.  You might find it interesting and helpful as we enter the fall strategic planning and budget preparation time. 

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Regular readers of this blog know I am concerned about the fiscal condition of our country and my belief we must deal with projected spending growth while we still have options.  I ran across a very interesting article written by Peter Orszag (former Obama Administration official) and John Bridgeman (Bush Administration official).  They contend we need to focus on how to spend money effectively versus the endless arguments we hear from Washington about the level of spending. They also propose how the lessons of moneyball could make our government better. 

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