Just yesterday, America's 3 largest automakers -- Ford, GM, and Chrysler -- all submitted business plans to congress.
Here are the original copies of the plans:
The potential repercussions...
What others have to say
Entrepreneurs: what do you think?
Here at Growthink, we're curious to hear what entrepreneurs -- who are used to shopping their business plans around to lenders and investors -- have to say about the automakers' business plans and potential bailout.
As a supplement to our consulting practice, we're pleased to announce the launch of Growthink University, our new membership club dedicated to teaching entrepreneurs and business owners how to raise capital for their businesses.
The club assembles 10 years of capital raising expertise and methodologies developed and refined by Growthink, and gives entrepreneurs an additional "Do-It-Yourself" option to perfect their business plans.
Growthink University covers topics including, but not limited to:
How many times have you heard someone say, "Don't put all your eggs in one basket"?
When it comes to any kind of investing, this is very good advice.
But, if this is the case, why don’t private equity investors diversify?
Unfortunately, most individual investors in private equity significantly under-diversify their portfolios -- investing in one or only a handful of companies. By so doing, they both greatly increase their risk profile and greatly decrease their probabilities of seeing investment return.
As the investing month of October mercifully draws to a close, there is now a palpable sense of calm in the financial markets. While the horrific damage – in both value and psychological terms – is very, very real, and may take years from which to recover, there has been a healthy mindset transition to a “what is to be done” thinking, feeling and acting.
In times of economic crisis, far too many business owners revert to “safe mode” as panic spreads. A "responsible" course of action typically includes one (or more) of the following:
Here's a download of a fantastic conversation Growthink co-founder Dave Lavinsky recently had with Ron Feldman, Co-Founder and CEO of Kwiry.com. Funded by Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, kwiry is a service that turns text messages into reminders you retrieve online.
The extreme malaise in the financial markets is unlike any of us have seen in our lifetime. It is discouraging and disconcerting on many levels.
As Americans it is gut-wrenching to see so many proud institutions and the country as a whole take such a hit in prestige, wealth, and reputation.
For the private equity and venture capital world's as a whole, the erosion of stock market value reduces the likelihood and size of prospective acquisitions and the buoyancy of the IPO market - which in turn drives down earlier-stage deal valuations and the general "doing deals" excitement levels. We have already seen the shrinking of the hedge fund world these last few months - look for this contract to start hitting the private equity and venture capital markets.
But certainly by no means is all bleak nor are we at the end of days. As we know, at the end of dry desert, green grass grows. Without question, from the seeds of the current market correction will grow the great opportunities of the next 5-10 years.
So, for those with creativity, resilience and persistence, now is a great time to start and/or grow successful, lasting businesses.
We are living through one of the most tumultuous periods in the history of the financial markets. It is rattling even the most steadfast and optimistic of investors. For better or for worse, we can only look with misty memory to the halcyon, golden, go-go market and investment days of the 1980's and 1990's. We are truly in a brave new world - one where the old assumptions and dogmas are truly on the dustbin of history.
A few takeaways:
Big is Not Safer Than Small. Whatever the results of the government mortgage bailout, both in terms of the House vote and its market impact, for equity holders of the big banks and mortgage and insurance players caught up in the mess (Bear Stearns, Fannie, Freddie, Lehman, AIG, WaMu, Wachovia, and to a lesser but still painful extent, Merrrill, Goldman, and Morgan), it is misery. For the big financials, if there wasn't horrendous news these last few weeks, there would have been no news at all. It is absolutely astounding – though not necessarily surprising when viewed through the prism of the dysfunctional and way over-blown incentive systems of key executives and traders at these firms – that so much value could be wiped out so quickly. Investors for a long time will have serious hangovers and reservations regarding investing in these entities in any form – stock, debt, and/or derivatives. Quite simply, the whole sector is tainted.
Cash Is Not Safe. Never in U.S. economic history have there been as many question marks as there are now around the security of cash – passbook savings, checking accounts, money markets, certificates of deposits and other cash-like instruments.
The question marks are threefold:
So cash, our old friend – whether in the bank or under our mattress – is both under parking risk of default (a low risk for sure but much more so than just a few weeks ago) and under systemic, significant inflation risk. .
Executives Good, Traders Bad. In 2007, venture capital firms invested approximately $26 billion in startup and emerging companies. These companies were the best of the brightest stars in dynamic new industries like green/alternative energy, medical technology, digital media, and Internet software. In Washington, the nation's political leaders are committing more than 25 times this amount, effectively, in bailing out the residential mortgage market.
Now don't get me wrong, the housing and foreclosure crisis is real and painful in this country. But let's take a step back and think about priorities for a second:
Thinking about it for only a minute, the answer is obvious. It is even more obvious to the biggest investors in this toxic debt: the Chinese, the Koreans, the Japanese, the Russians, and the Arabs. Certainly, owning U.S. mortgage-backed securities now looks like a losing hand for these folks and far more disturbingly, owning U.S. treasury securities is far from being, as they say in the finance textbooks, a "riskless" investment.
So where is this foreign capital now going to go? Well, most of it will now in all likelihood stay home, or be invested in emerging/developing economies. But here is the key point: while the U.S. investment climate looks very, very unattractive compared to what it once was it is still by far the best place in the world to invest in startups, to invest in entrepreneurs, and to invest in operating companies. And it is not even close.
While most Americans – terrified by the hysterical financial media that the end of days are near – are increasingly blind to this fact, the more detached foreign investment players know the real deal. There are both uniquely and insanely great American operating companies all in our midst. Some are publicly traded, most are not. In the coming years, watch for a return to this kind of back-to-basics business-building/value creation investing. It can’t come soon enough.