Lending to Nations

Deu_15:6 For the LORD thy God blesseth thee, as he promised thee: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, but thou shalt not borrow; and thou shalt reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over thee.

We are in strange times when banks, be they commercial, central or reserve banks are assuming increasing importance and influence. After the global financial crisis years ago, the nations were introduced to the term “quantitative easing” (QE) which meant easing economies, with already low interest rates and no cushion to further reduce rates, by pushing “easy” money into the system so people can borrow even more and hopefully expand their business.

Even in a reduced risk environment as in developed economies, growth was unimpressive and inequality ballooned as stock markets bubbled. It is not so clear if this financial experiment worked in the US as Europe initiates its own stimulus. African nations with much higher risk and rate environments are now also buying these solutions which is a shorter and easier cut when compared to embracing urgently needed aggressive reform solutions aimed at improving their own business environments.

Yet Biblical wisdom warns seriously against borrowing … and by implications any solution that eventually enslaves debtors …enriching banks through interest rates and fees charged…

The Rothschilds, JP Morgan, Baring Brothers and other banking titans ruled the 19th up to the 20th century by profitably financing imperialist exploitation, mining in colonies, growth, frauds – everything … often backing all sides in many wars and conflicts, and cleverly manipulating markets, commodities … always staying ahead of regulation who struggled to keep up with their game. The reign of these families gradually evolved today into more subtle, far more complex and disguised Private and Institutional Banking modes even as regulation is still light years behind in monitoring their intricate cross border networks and market manipulations. Central and Reserve banks have now become the lenders of last resort, in markets that have become more connected and complex, requiring more caution. This also means governments (which will need to be financed somehow) eventually pay for the bad debts.

Everyone in need of finance will face the question of borrowing at some stage … individuals, companies, nations. Those with savings, reserves will reign over others by their investments. The impoverished uncontrolled waster of resources will be lured to borrow more from the more thrifty.

I have encountered a few who live peaceably with no credit cards and absolutely no debt in any form, and know it is very possible – even living in advanced markets where mortgage is easy. It only requires patience, sacrifice, self-control and the discipline to save. It was the saving culture of the Chinese that helped their evolution as engines of growth. On the contrary, nobody spends and likes to live “big” like Nigerians. Do you know weddings can be done at Sunday school etc…(did I hear you say God forbid…) ?

The best time to borrow is when you can afford not to … then, you get the best terms. The very worst time to borrow (ask any banker) is when you are in a financial crisis (like Nigeria). Banks make much more money from riskier lending as rates are always higher causing even more anguish to the troubled borrowers.

But there are alternatives to borrowing … mainly equity i.e. inviting partners to share the risk and accountability in the business and thus share the wealth and gains if things go well. Similarly for nations, governments can privatise i.e. convert government interests to public equity. This has the advantage of devolving more economic power to the citizens and is the most cost-effective way to integrate new technology and improve governance if more experienced technical partners can be attracted (like in our refineries). Only the boldest governments ( like Thatcher’s revolutionary govt.) embrace privatisation … simply because it releases power (politicians cannot do this as this is political suicide) and gives access to private more skilled hands and improves accountability … something governments also dislike. Less progressive governments will deceive the people that they do not want to sell the “family silver” and will rather mortgage the future by borrowing domestically or globally creating bonds or instruments that will eventually be securitised and traded on global markets – where “fund lords” will rate and discount such instruments down to junk. Nigeria risk is already presently rated below junk in the global financial markets, meaning no decent international institution is permitted to invest and if they do so, it would be at the highest cost possible to reward the risk.

Privatisation on the other hand can work, as it was recently done in Japan when its Post Office was privatised … ensuring the shares went as much as possible to small savers, individuals and limited stake of big players.  Terms can be introduced to protect labour.  This is the best way for desired inclusive growth.

I want to suggest there is far more institutional corruption in government corporations than the more open form of corruption (which is equally unacceptable). By institutional corruption I mean to creatively bend rules to favour (party, tribal, selfish) interests at the expense of the economic entity owned by the citizens. The fastest way to curb (not eliminate completely) institutional corruption is to privatise. The market woman’s daily takings are not as easy to steal from as the federal or local government purse. Money in private hands tends to be more judiciously watched and managed.

Smaller governments with power devolved as much as possible and with less direct financial activity are less likely to be corrupt … and far more innovation, research and productivity enhancements and fair competition will thrive. Equity solutions therefore will increase wealth, making it more inclusive as equity is spread to citizens as much as possible. Who is afraid of this, but perpetual government parasites who also lend great instability and confusion into these corporations as captains inevitably change after elections.

But the greater danger of more government borrowing, even when the International Monetary Fund is begging Nigeria not to take that route, is to bring the next generation of Nigerians under servitude of debt … to be mocked by the big banks who will one day rule over them.

Pro_22:7 The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.

 

 

 

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The End of the Year

Nehemiah 13:31 And for the wood offering, at times appointed, and for the firstfruits. Remember me, O my God, for good

The year has ended. The work and role of Nehemiah has ended. His final words seem loaded with thoughts … not quite clear if he is excited about the future…”Remember me, o my God, for good…”  is as a soft plea of a man who is yet to see many personal pains soothed. God cannot forget any, so Nehemiah is not prodding God’s memory …rather, he is appealing for God’s mercy and His goodness to come to his aid. Nehemiah does not say much about his own personal battles, but like all men – surely, he needs God’s help and goodness. Nehemiah puts himself last in the restoration story that he narrates. A selfless Nehemiah puts himself last in the intercessions made concerning the rebuilding of lives and the correction of destines. There are days like this when in your prayer closet, you go to God saying “this time its me crying for help…”

Nehemiah does not assess or trumpet his achievements. He disregards the accolades. He has not yet seen much change in the hearts of the people and wonders if he worked in vain. Like Jeremiah, he often fears that his labours are wasted.  Did the people listen? Will they go back to their old ways once he is gone… does anybody really care? But Nehemiah knows he can have confidence in his God. There is a quiet surrender mixed with confidence in God.  The contributions of Nehemiah are done. Now, rest.

Nehemiah has done well, but knows better than to plead his own goodness. He pleads the goodness of his God. As you enter the New Year … my prayer is that God will reveal His overshadowing and awesome goodness afresh to you.  I pray that God’s goodness will erase the memory of days of tears, difficulty and pains. I pray God’s goodness will heal all your hurts and give you victory in trials known to God so you can have His rest in 2016. I pray that that which God has rebuilt will never again be brought down again by His enemies.

But how will God remember you in the previous year. God does not count as men do. Will God remember you for any good? When your works in the year are all burnt …will anything still stand? I fear there is so much that is vain – not done for God or by God, that God only forbears. Let the New Year be a different year. May your life in 2016 count for something with God.

Luke 23:42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.

Finally, do remember to be watchful as the love of many waxes cold, it is those who endure to the very end who enter God’s eternal kingdom. God bless you. Have a wonderful New Year. Keep burning hot and glowing in the coming year.

Verses for further meditation
Judges 16:28; Col 4:18

Thoughts for Business and the work place
God’s measures and standards are much higher than those of men.

Suggestions for Prayer
Lord, I pray for all the leaders reading this devotional. Remember them all for good. Amen

 

As Nehemiah’s wall was built, so will we see a reconstruction in all that may appear in distress and in waste. Nehemiah trusted and feared God, putting his faith in the Almighty whose strength is limitless to exceed all our expectations. Look out daily for Nehemiah’s Wall in 2015 and do invite friends to subscribe to the free email or social media posts. I am praying someone with a burden to be used by God in building will receive a fresh vision and get the job done.

To subscribe to the devotional, please enter your email address (the left column) above the “subscribe” button (and enter on the green button). God bless you.

Recessionproofchristianlife.com is a privately owned blog/media site started in 2009 as the internet ministry of the author. It promotes the absolute authority and divine inspiration of the Holy Bible as the Word of God – Infallible and Sufficient.

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