I spent a few hours last week visiting with the owner of a third-generation lumberyard in Atlanta. His claim to fame was having outlasted a number of yards that had already succumbed to a residential construction market that evaporated over the last couple of years.
I spent a few hours last week visiting with the owner of a third-generation lumberyard in Atlanta. His claim to fame was having outlasted a number of yards that had already succumbed to a residential construction market that evaporated over the last couple of years. My deal was to catalog and photograph his fleet equipment and millwork machinery in an attempt to help him sell it off. His business would be closed forever at the end of April.
There may have been a good reason the bank called in his note prompting the closing of this business, but it sure seems like banks are being more aggressive bolstered by the federal dollars backing their operations. This lumberyard employed as many as 40 people and in a few weeks that number will go to zero. I cannot help but think that banks might be working harder to keep businesses like this afloat if the survival of the bank depended on it. They are no longer in the business of serving businesses (used to be the customer) and are now in the business of serving strictly themselves and government. It ain’t right.
When will our leaders learn that every action causes reactions - and not all of them are good? The stimulus plans in effect now will provide some revenue for our industry via incentives for energy-efficient building upgrades among other things. Those dollars will cause a direct impact on the supply-demand equation for these products. Why would it not? It is the same with banks, whose motivations have shifted with the direction in the flow of dollars. So look for prices to rise on the energy-efficient building products that will win stimulus dollars.
Did anyone find it ironic that our president was in Iraq recently telling the government and people there they need to “stand on their own two feet”? What would be wrong with introducing that concept to banks, insurance companies, and (certain) automobile manufacturers?