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About Steve Marr

Steve has learned from 40 years of business experience that God's way works. As an author, speaker, radio host, and business consultant...

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Steve Marr Blog

Steve Marr's contributions
Dec 15
2008

Keep Your Customers!

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

The current unsettled economic environment is creating more and more skittish customers. Patrons who have been previously content with their normal purchasing activities are now giving everything a second look. Many of your regular customers may now fall into one of these three categories:

 

·         those that will look for less costly options when doing business with you

·         those who will start looking for less costly suppliers

·         those that will just stop buying all together

 

At this particular time your main focus should be on keeping the customers you already have. King Solomon advised, “Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your heads; for riches do not endure forever…” (Proverbs 27:23-4 NIV). You need to pay close attention to your customers and make every effect to understand what they need and what they are willing to pay for.

Oct 16
2008

Applying Faith When Economic Fear Strikes

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

Tune in to any financial news broadcast, browse any newspaper, note the houses for sale on your own block, and scan your investments and retirement fund and you’ll find that bad news abounds. Fear can begin to grip us causing us to either freeze up and do nothing or make erratic, emotional and ultimately poor choices.

Oct 14
2008

Keep Your Job!

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

 

Oct 07
2008

Economic Earthquake!

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

Emergencies of This Kind Reveal a Broken World...Where Is The Hope?

Sep 17
2008

Massive Investment Banking Failures

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

The current insolvency of some of the largest and oldest financial institutions has been caused by massive leveraging of assets. In simple terms, for every dollar these institutions possessed in hard assets, they borrowed 30, 40, 50 or even 60 times that amount. Once any business, large or small becomes that leveraged, trouble is brewing. 


Consider Tom who bought numerous homes to initially generate rental income with plans to sell at a profit once values increased. He purchased one home for $300,000 with a 5% down payment, financing a balance of $ 285,000. As a result, Tom was leveraged 19 to 1, meaning he owed $19.00 for every dollar invested. A 10% decline in the real-estate market caused his investment to drop to $270,000 in value, wiping out all his equity and creating a $15,000 loss. Since Tom owned many houses, the drop in value plus the loss of a few tenants resulted in him not being able to cover all of his payments. Within a few months, as his losses mounted and Tom lacked the cash to cover his obligations, bankruptcy soon followed.

Even 2,500 years ago the Prophet Habakkuk predicted what would happen when credit was allowed to mount unchecked. He wrote, “Will not your creditors rise up suddenly and those who collect from you awaken? Indeed, you will become plunder for them” (Habakkuk 2:7 NSB). The more leveraged an individual or business becomes, the greater the risk. Creditors have a way of rising up at the worst possible time for a borrower!

Tom, like some of the largest financial institutions today, made the same error; leveraging investments to the maximum. When a borrower risks and all turns out well, great profits are generated and the borrower appears to be a genius for a time. However, no market ever travels solely straight up. Even if Tom turned out to be right on the long term housing market, a short-term squeeze could push him over the edge. The same thing happened to Fannie Mae, Freddy Mac, Lehman Brothers and Bear Sterns, only on a larger scale.

Unfortunately, more big names are likely to follow. Biblically, debt was never positively portrayed. King Solomon explained, “The borrower becomes the lender’s slave” (Proverbs 22:7). King David added, “The wicked borrows and does not pay back” (Psalm 37:21). When we become highly leveraged we create potential situations where we may be unable to pay back what we owe. Deuteronomy 28 even depicts debt as a curse. While avoiding all debt is difficult today, the key is to understand that debt is never a blessing. The more we borrow, the more we become leveraged and the more future pressure we will endure. As Christians we can take several important steps during these turbulent times.

First, avoid highly leveraged borrowing, either personally or in business.