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03-28-2009, 04:51 PM
Program Your Own Money

Douglas Rushkoff

The credit crunch may actually be good for business.

No, not in the short term. When money becomes more expensive, it is harder for most businesses to get the capital they need to conduct their most basic operations. Even successful companies borrow money to buy materials, pay employees, and cash in on invoices that have yet to be paid. Without the cash flow provided by banks, it is a lot harder for many companies to function -- much less expand.

With any luck, however, the future of business will be entirely less dependent on banks and the currency they lend into existence. The Fortune 500 will become something other than brand names on piles of debt, and business operations will be characterized more by what companies produce than how much credit their "stories" can earn them on one of the stock exchanges.

Yes, we are watching something melt down. But I'd argue the thing that's dying is not business itself, but a financial parasite -- a speculative marketplace that no longer funds business but instead seeks to extract value from healthy commerce. More a funds vampire than an infuser of needed capital, the investment industry has been exposed as a drag on business. The future of commerce looks bright to me because it may be unencumbered by the weight of this non-productive capital.

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Reality Sandwich | Program Your Own Money (http://www.realitysandwich.com/program_your_own_money)