October 20, 2014
Follow the Money.
The quote comes from the script of the movie, All the President’s Men; it came from a conversation between Bob Woodward – the investigative reporter from the Washington Post who, with his writing partner Carl Bernstein, broke the story on Watergate – and Deep Throat, the alias used by the secret informant who fed the facts to the Post. “I’ll keep you in the right direction, if I can,” Deep Throat (later identified as Mark Felt, Associate Director of the FBI) said to Woodward. “Just… follow the money.”
The counsel was clear: if you want to get to the truth, just see where the dough goes: the Money Trail won’t lie.
There’s lots of money running around America right now. The Dow Jones has been a pogo stick of late, following the old-wives’ warning of October corrections. But there are places where the money is stacking up and running through at record paces. If you want to know where Americans have their attention, just follow the money.
Prediction: Halloween is putting Apple Pay – the new pay-with-your-phone capacity of the iPhone 6 – to the test. The National Retail Federation is forecasting $7.4 billion in spending for the ghoul fest. Nearly $3 billion of that will be for costumes that get used once… and then retired to the recycle bin.
At the same time that the Trick or Treat pretenders are interrupting dinner at the front door begging for candy, the political candidates are calling during dinner chasing contributions as the raise-for-campaign-cash comes down to the final two weeks. All of the pundits are forecasting this election to be the most cash-infused mid-term in American history; “finance reform” seems to be the endless game of re-routing financial influence without ever shutting it off, or changing its headwaters.
Outlandish costumes and outstanding promises will keep Halloween and Election Day on-track; in the process, discretionary dollars will vaporize, with little to show for the investment. The chocolate rush – and, the post-election victory parties – won’t offer much after the sugar high recedes…
In the midst of the hoopla, this is the season when another funding flow begins to gain its annual momentum. For many Christians, the last ten weeks of every calendar year are the Season of Stewardship: the greatest part of their faith philanthropy will find its way into the hands of the ministries who serve the Kingdom 24/7/365, but count on the contributions that are disproportionately harvested in November and December.
Our front porch will see its share of goblins and ghosts a few nights from now, and our phone will continue to ring as the national parties ring the bell as Dialing for Dollars goes into the two minute warning; none of that is a surprise…
But, we’re getting real serious about where the last of our 2014 eternal investments will be deposited. Earth’s markets rise and fall; terrorists and viruses can suck the wind out of Wall Street without warning. Significant corrections can wipe-out paper profits as if they had never existed.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth,where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)
Take some time this week to plot your plans for your year-end cash flow. The moths and vermin are afoot; go for the safe bets when you’re placing the bets that will secure your heart…