Friday Feature – April 7, 2017

I will freely admit, the mechanics of Washington are mysterious to me. A friend who is a devoted public servant once told me that the way I feel about Washington is the way she feels about Wall Street: from the outside, it is opaque and easy to caricature, but it’s really just like another country where you need to learn the language and customs and then it all makes sense.

I don’t speak the language of Washington. But this puzzles me: our current budget proposal includes eliminating OPIC, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. True, if you just read the name, you might want to eliminate it too. But here is the reality:

  • OPIC has returned a profit to the US government every year for 39 years – $239 million in total.
  • Small and medium US businesses are the main constituency – 77% of OPIC transactions are with these non-mega-corps.
  • Since 1974, an estimated 275k US jobs and $75b in US exports have been generated through OPIC projects.
  • And it adds to prosperity and peace in the regions where those US businesses connect, all over the world.

Hmmm. No matter what the local dialect, this would be on my list of things to grow, not to cut.

Dear Honeybees, what are you cutting out in your own endeavors? And why?

This terrific piece by Willy Foote of Root Capital and an accompanying Forbes article have more detail & context on OPIC, including the data points noted above.


For those who missed our big news from last week, please see the details here!

On a related note, this week marks a small shift, from Finance Friday to Friday Features. While some of our commentary might still relate to  business or economic issues, we’ll be broadening out our Friday posts to include more wisdom from books, media, and natural creatures as we go forward. 

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