Capitalism: The Empowerment of the People

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What is success without empowering others? Meaningless. The whole point of capitalism is to achieve freedom AND to empower others to do the same which is what makes capitalism so great. A lot of people have been brainwashed into thinking that capitalists are selfish individuals only looking to feed their own wallets. This is simply not true. This is no longer the turn of last century, this is a time of conscious capitalism, using capitalism to uplift others both economically and socially. Capitalism is the key to creating a better life for all and I have personally used capitalism at its best. I know just how powerful it can be. The economic and social empowerment of people is just around the corner. Check out how the empowerment of the people can be achieved through capitalism.

Economic Empowerment

Conscious capitalism is more than just creating wealth for yourself; it’s about helping others to do the same. When you go out and create your business, you have the power to build up others through providing well-paying jobs that allow families to do more than just survive, but also save up enough money to one day open their own business too. The goal is never to keep someone as an employee forever, you want to empower others to get out and build companies too. And not only do you have the ability to empower them financially, but also you can mentor them as well. Show them the way. Success shouldn’t be some big secret. We are all here trying to build the best lives for ourselves and our families. So as an employer, why wouldn’t you want to help uplift your employees so they can go out and do the same.

Another way to empower others economically is to become an investor. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, helping to uplift small businesses through investment only helps our economy. Now of course, investing is no charity game, so you want to make good investments, especially ones that you can add value to, whether it’s through connections or industry knowledge. I have personally helped to grow over 125 companies and funded them with over 20 billion dollars. Needless to say, I have helped change the lives of many, thus I know the difference that capitalism can make. At the end of the day, the more wealth creators we have in this world, the world will become infinitely better.

Social Empowerment

Contrary to what the leftist try to make you believe, capitalism does not create social problems. It actually helps to resolve them. When you adopt the capitalist mindset, you start to see the world for what it really is and not some made up social construct hammered into our heads driven by the democrats and their media puppets. You open your mind to the fact that life is solely what YOU make it and you realize that you have the power to make the best of it. You don’t waste time crying about equality and wanting the whole world to settle for mediocracy. You get out there and you create the best life for you and your family and you empower others to do the same. Not to mention, you feel good knowing that YOU created this lifestyle. You become fulfilled.

You know why so many people have issues in society? It’s because they are unfulfilled in life. They feel that their mediocre life was handed to them and they don’t have the power to change it. And when the giving gets short, they become even more bitter and hostile. Too many people in the world live in a constant state of hostility. More people need to wake up and realize that they have the power to take back control of their life and build happier, more fulfilling lifestyles through capitalism. When you are fulfilled in life, you tend not to bother others. You aren’t concerned with who has more than you. There’s always going to be someone that has more than you, that’s life. You can accept that and be happy with what you have worked for.

Through capitalism, you have the power to empower others to build wealth and create a good life for themselves. And as the cycle continues, they will help others to do the same. Capitalism is ultimately the empowerment of people. Therefore, your success is measured not by the money you make, but by the people you uplift along the way.

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Capitalism: Misunderstood

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Capitalism is often a misunderstood economic concept. People are so stuck on that old timey capitalism that they aren’t willing to see just how capitalism has evolved over time and can bring solutions to a lot of America’s problems. I hear all of these crazy misconceptions thrown around about capitalism all of the time. So I’ve taken the opportunity to debunk some of these popular capitalism misconceptions.

There is only one form of capitalism: There are multiple types of capitalism, the two main types being crony capitalism and conscious capitalism. Crony capitalism is what has left many people scarred. These are power hungry nuts, that don’t care about anyone but themselves. The goal for them is not to build wealth, it’s to gain power and control. On the other hand, conscious capitalism is not about a power trip. It’s about building wealth, creating freedom and empowering others to do the same. Many people fail to realize that conscious capitalism exists, this is why it has become my mission to change that. I want people to know that capitalism doesn’t have to be negative for society and it is actually the way to solve a lot of problems that we have in the US.

Capitalism will only serve to make the rich richer: Despite popular belief, capitalism is not only a rich man’s game. In fact, capitalism is the only economic setup that will allow people of ANY status to create their own wealth. As long as you’re willing to get out and compete, you can create your own opportunities. Not to mention, capitalism naturally creates job opportunities and keeps our economy revitalized. It becomes a pattern: entrepreneurs go out and create new opportunities, they hire others to help their business thrive who then in turn are inspired to create their own opportunities and hire people to help their business and so on and so forth. You have wealth being rapidly generated and more employment opportunities than ever before. Everyone that’s willing to get out there and put in the effort will ultimately make money.

Capitalism is an old way of thinking: Couldn’t be further from the truth. The beauty in capitalism is that it is a constantly evolving practice. It allows people the freedom to get creative and find new solutions to both old and new issues that our country faces. It is a way for the people to make an impact on the world rather than sitting back and letting the government control everything. It allows for collaborative efforts to find real solutions. Naturally, there is a trial and error process, but this is what allows for effective problem solving. At the end of the day, if you’re one track minded and stuck in your ways, capitalism will be difficult for you. Because it is forever evolving, it requires a certain level of adaptation and ingenuity.

Capitalists are greedy pigs: There is no doubt that some capitalists are very greedy and selfish, but that’s a personal issue and has nothing to do with capitalism itself. In fact, real conscious capitalists strive to spread wealth and empower others to be able to build financial freedom. I think a major issue is that people have become too entitled and expect things to be handed to them. Since capitalism doesn’t offer any handouts, people assume it’s because capitalists want the wealth all to themselves. However, this is not the case at all. At the end of the day, you have to work if you want to get the reward. Why? Because the more people give to you, the more they expect back and ultimately you lose your freedom.

So, yes, it’s true. Capitalism isn’t just about grumpy, old men looking to rule the world. Capitalism is about wealth creation, empowering others and most importantly freedom! Capitalism provides opportunity for any and everybody to build wealth and live the lifestyles that they want. So it’s time to stop looking to the government for a handout and go create your own opportunities because this is your way to achieving real freedom for you, for your family and for all.

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The Power of Capitalism – My Testimony

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There are a lot of people that question why I feel so strongly about capitalism. No, it’s not because I’m some wealth crazed, controlling freak looking to “steal” more wealth all for myself. It’s because I am a walking testament as to how capitalism can truly transform your life and I want to encourage you to become wealth creators of your own. I am a capitalist that wants to encourage others to do what I did…find freedom.

I originally came over to America from Lebanon back in the early eighties as a legal immigrant. I overcame countless obstacles and with all odds against me, I crushed each and every one of them along the way. I spent 30 years climbing my way up and taking over Wall-Street, giving me the skin in the game that I needed to launch my own financing company, Blackhawk Partners Inc,. I have financed over 125 companies & serial entrepreneurs worth, in aggregate, over 20 billion dollars in the private equity, high yield bond, and distressed debt markets.

Needless to say, I have assisted many entrepreneurs to achieve wealth over the years by helping them to become true capitalists. Success is no accident or serendipity. It has nothing to do with luck and has everything to do with your knowledge, your drive, your warriorship. You have to get in-tune with your killer instinct and decide for yourself that nothing or no one will stand in your way. It is all about your mindset and mentality. It’s time to give up that limited way of thinking and understand that YOU have the power to achieve a life of financial freedom. Creating wealth is action driven and too many people merely sit along the sidelines and pontificate. Get off the sideline and get down in the trenches. Work for it.

As a true capitalist, I am a firm believer and can testify that no one is going to hand you anything. You have to go out and get it. Don’t let the socialist brainwash you into thinking that the government is there to rescue you. In fact, you’ll never achieve real wealth waiting on that to happen. At best, under the socialist regime they’ll give you just enough to survive and ensure that you are forever dependent upon them. Life isn’t meant for you just to survive, you’re here to thrive. Capitalism is the only way for you to achieve this. The beauty in capitalism is that it allows the chance for any and everyone to find their way to the top. The possibilities are limitless and the only boundaries that are defined are the ones you place on yourself.

I am a part of that “elite” 1% that everyone is always referring to and I didn’t get there waiting around for someone to save me. I became a warrior and used capitalism to catapult me to the top. I want you to know that you are capable of doing the same too. A part of why I resent the 1% so much is that they make people feel like extreme wealth is so unattainable and exclusive. My mission is to help you realize that it’s not. But what it’s going to take to get there is losing the socialist “save me” attitude and for you to get down in the trenches and find your inner capitalist warrior.

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Making the Capital Markets Smarter Some Food for Thought

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I have finally come to the realization; after 30 years on Wall Street and Silicon Valley, that our capital markets are simply obsolete and that it’s high time for a new technology that allocates money and other resources far more efficiently than both our actual technology and government. The current VC/entrepreneurship worlds are in a mess, and to their credit, the players are doing some serious introspection. But mostly, it is still business as usual.

I have nothing against VCs and angels. Most are extremely smart people. But the world of problems and opportunities is now so complex and fragmented that any system that relies on “bottleneck star-spotting talent” is doomed to hit its limits in short order. Peer investing, crowd funding, the transparent processes of Angel List, and bootstrapping are the beginnings of alternate models, but they simply don’t move enough money around yet. This is the reason Silicon Valley seems like such a messed up place to outsiders: the world’s highest concentration of extraordinary talent is being funneled towards some of its most unimportant problems (and in fact, towards work that exacerbates rather than improves things).

People in the Valley, I find, believe in the myth that theirs is an efficient free market economy of investment and that attempting to “direct” the entrepreneurial energy will kill it. This is laughable. The system is explicitly set up to direct entrepreneurial attention in extremely non-free ways. The entire region is wired to the capricious opinions of a few key people, who drive not only their own investments, but via imitation, the money of  lazier thinkers. Even if these people were 1000x geniuses with wonderful intentions for the world and preternatural ability to direct money in the right ways, there would still be a huge shortfall in the diversity of intelligence needed to make the money they control truly “smart” money. The money may be smarter than average investor Wall Street money, but it is nowhere near as smart as it could be.

A very simple measure of this is simply the high degree of localization of investment. Ghemawat in World 3.0 tracks liquidity and global flow of venture capital and estimates that the lion’s share of investment happens within 20 miles or so of the investor. This happens because the investors mitigate the risks of their own limited knowledge by only investing in companies that set up shop locally, down the street. To get the money, entrepreneurs flood to the location of the money rather than the location of the markets/problems to be solved. Some justify this by pointing to the advantages of high concentrations of talent. While this is certainly valuable, there is a very high cost paid in not being close to the problems and market opportunities. People who have the market intelligence to solve water management problems are not going to emerge out of water-rich Northern California. They are going to emerge in Southern California, Nevada and Arizona. If you try to put out a call for “water management ideas” in Silicon Valley because all the 10x engineers and serial entrepreneurs are located there, you will get brilliant ideas for social networks where water-technologists can interrupt each others’ attention, rather than ideas that actually help manage water better.  So simply creating a technology that lowers the geographic distance risks of investment would be a huge plus. If a Valley VC firm could invest in an Africa-based entrepreneur with only 10x the risk of investing in a University Ave. firm, instead of 1000x, money flows would change DRASTICALLY.

The misutilization of talent is in fact so extreme I would rather invest in an average hustler and a non 10-x engineer team who are near an actual important market/problem than in a 10x super-star team in Palo Alto. Sure the latter would execute far more brilliantly and with all the latest technical tricks. But they are at a far higher risk of solving the wrong problem and then struggling to find a market. We are reaching diminishing returns from investing in the right team in the wrong place. Investing in even mediocre teams in the right place should provide good returns by comparison, on problems that actually matter and map to interesting markets.

There is a just-so excuse I’ve heard in the Valley lately, that you can’t figure out a market before hand, and that a startup is an organization designed to “search for a business model.” True, but in a way, we’ve had to invent this whole Lean Startup process to efficiently “hunt” for markets primarily because startups are in the wrong place.

In a way the Lean Startup is a Californian solution to a problem created by trying to do everything in California in the first place. I believe that at some point you should get out of the building to be an entrepreneur. I think that’s WAY too weak. You have to get out of California. If you’ve ever tried literally “walking out of a building” in SoMA or University Ave., you know that you’ve basically not left the building at all.

Much less efficient models may end up working well if you simply made the “hunt” part easier by NOT trying to solve every damn problem while sitting in some coffee place at University Ave. It seems idiotic that I actually have to explicitly argue that a startup focusing on making money by delivering mobile banking services in Africa should…. be located in Africa. No amount of screaming that “all the 10x engineers are here!” will convince me that Silicon Valley is the right place to solve that particular problem. By extrapolation, I refuse to believe that most of the important business opportunities are somehow magically accessible to people sitting in California. 90% of the opportunities require you to leave the building…. California I mean.

Better geographical distribution of entrepreneurial talent and money near markets and problems is merely one way to make the capital markets”smarter.” There’s tons of others.

Please share your thoughts.

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About the Power Brokers Shaping Our Global Capital Markets

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I believe four major actors—petrodollar investors, Asian central banks, hedge funds, and private equity—are today’s the key power brokers playing an increasingly important role in the world’s financial markets.

Excluding cross-investments between them, oil investors, Asian central banks, hedge funds, and private-equity firms together held $20 trillion in assets at the end of 2012. Their assets have tripled since 2000, making them two-thirds the size of global pension funds.

Together these four players are reshaping global capital markets in a major way. They each represent large new pools of liquidity with longer-term investment horizons than traditional investors that allow them to pursue higher returns—and risks. They have markedly diversified the investor base and expanded private markets for capital. They are spurring financial innovation, enabling the more efficient spreading of risk, and spreading liquidity.

Although the boom years ended in late 2008 as the financial crisis escalated and the global economy slumped, we believe the power brokers fared relatively well though their paths have greatly diverged: petrodollar and Asian sovereign investors are more influential than ever, while the rapid growth of hedge funds and private-equity firms has halted abruptly.

Petrodollar investors—including central banks, sovereign-wealth funds, high-net-worth individuals, and other investors from the major oil-exporting countries—remain today the largest of the four classes of power brokers over the next five years under all of our scenarios. In the base case, we project that the foreign financial assets of these investors will rise to nearly $9 trillion by year end 2013. In the quick fix, with the price of oil staying at nearly $100 a barrel, their assets grow to more than $13 trillion, nearly half as large as the assets of the world’s pension funds for that same year.

The sovereign investors of Asia—its central banks and sovereign-wealth funds—see their foreign wealth grow to $7.5 trillion by year end 2013 in our base case. China, with its foreign financial assets growing to $4 trillion, accounts for more than half of this total, though its current-account surplus declines relative to GDP. In the quick fix, with world GDP and trade recovering more quickly, the foreign assets of Asian sovereign investors grow to $8.5 trillion.

Regarding the hedge fund industry, although it is starting to slowly recover from the bloodbath of 5 years ago, we expect assets to recover slowly to $1.5 trillion by year end 2013. That’s slightly better than the total at the end of 2008 but still well below the peak in 2007. A major constraint on the growth of hedge funds is the size of their investors’ portfolios: the collective wealth of pension funds, insurance companies, endowments, sovereign-wealth funds, high-net-worth individuals, and other such investors fell from $91 trillion in 2007 to an estimated $75 trillion by the end of 2008. In our conservative base-case scenario, battered but resilient, in which the economic recovery doesn’t begin until mid-2015 – bar any extraordinary event that could delay the process – , it takes four to five years for these investors’ assets to regain their 2007 levels. Unless the appetite for investments in hedge funds increases a good deal, this delay will substantially curtail their fund-raising.

As for private-equity buyout funds, their assets under management fall in our base case, to $1 trillion by year end 2013. For starters, the collective wealth of their investors (like those of hedge funds) has declined sharply. Second, this scenario assumes that megadeals—leveraged buyouts worth more than $3 billion a piece, which dominated private equity during the boom—won’t revive anytime soon, because investors have less appetite for them, and banks working through credit losses face funding constraints. Meanwhile, private-equity managers are looking beyond buyouts, to other types of investments, such as distressed debt, infrastructure, real estate, and venture capital. We therefore project that total private-equity assets under management will grow modestly in our base case, to $3.4 trillion by year end 2013.

No one knows how the still prevailing financial and economic turmoil will play out, but our analysis shows that in virtually any scenario, the power brokers will remain a significant force in global capital markets. Oil exporters and Asian and Middle East sovereign investors will continue to be major players, controlling vast pools of wealth. Hedge funds and private-equity buyout funds are down but not out.

The evidence to date gives some reason for optimism that the risks these players pose are manageable. Nevertheless, the concerns being raised by the rise of the new power brokers are real and justify careful monitoring.

We at the Financial Policy Council suggest that the four players would be wise to note public concerns and voluntarily take steps to minimize them.

Share your thoughts

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