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.

The current fiscal problems and challenges affecting municipalities around the country have been well documented in the popular press.  The effect on specific cities will be dependent on local growth rates, traditional fiscal restraint, and flexibility shown by affected parties.  The problem is uncertain and complex but will certainly affect us all in years to come. 

Read Article "Broke Town, U.S.A." from The New York Times.

A few months ago I ran across a shocking statistic about defense spending in our country.  The United States spends more money on defense than the rest of the world combined.  I started to look around for reading surrounding this topic and learned that Dwight Eisenhower (one of my personal heroes) made an important (but forgotten) speech about how this might happen in the second half of the twentieth century.  I know this article has little to do with banking but I thought you might find it interesting background as we make important budgetary decisions in our country.   

Read "The Tyranny of Defense Inc. " from The Atlantic.

With their States deeply in debt and experiencing revenue challenges, most governors will have to either raise taxes, cut expenses, or both.  Some believe a recession is a poor time for these solutions but changes will need to be made in order to deal with these structural fiscal issues.  This article discusses the politics behind this challenging situation.

Read "Dire States" from The Atlantic.

I have commented on the economic and political problems with Europe and the EURO in past blogs.  While the news reporting has recently quieted down, the problems within Europe are deep and difficult to solve.  Since the combined European economy is the largest in the world, any disruption will have far reaching effects on the remainder of the world.   These articles present a troubling view of the future of this important trading partner.  

Read More "Euro Trashed" from The Weekly Standard.

Read More "Europe's Odd Couple" from The New York Times.

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