In many American households, the first introduction to the Money Game comes by playing Monopoly. The object of this game is to increase wealth by building capital. Each successful roundtrip of the board qualifies a player for $200 of free money from the Banker. The more houses and land you own the more rent you collect from those who stop by your property.
The game of Monopoly is a useful metaphor for how business is done in America. It’s also a good example for how to turn passion into profit. Over the past few months we’ve seen the passage of a Wall Street Bailout Bill in Congress. More recently, some are asking for a bailout of the automakers. Those who were against the Wall Street bailout felt it was just another “free money” Government program. Those who were for it suggest it was necessary to prevent the financial services sector from going bust. That’s because many institutions were on the verge of going bankrupt.
How did we get here? A quick review of the facts show the following root causes:
1. Credit Squeeze
2. Credit Swap
3. Credit Freeze
In a nutshell, the problems in the economy stem from businesses trying to make more money by squeezing more out of consumer and commercial credit. Then there were those on Wall Street who invented financial paper by creating credit investments. These are similar to an insurance policy that is paid out on loan defaults. They involve “hedging a bet” that a business or homeowner will fail to make loan payments.
As failure rates started to climb and the payout on these policies boomed, the financial institutions ended up running low on cash in the bank. This along with homeowners not making their mortgage payments then resulted in a credit freeze. These factors contribute to a loss in consumer confidence which translates to less spending. The drop in spending thus forces businesses to cut back expenses which often results in massive layoffs.
If that makes sense then you can see why Becoming Layoff Proof increasingly means for some people, owning your own business. Whether you see yourself as Me Inc. CEO, Campus CEO, Urban CEO or Heartbeat CEO might be up for debate. However, Monopoly reminds us that playing the money game is about establishing ownership. This involves understanding how business is done in America if you want to break out “the Benjamins.”
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Music Sountrack – “Break out the Benjamins”