Round Table Discussion:

Supply Chain Woes

Not enough computer chips. Not enough cars. Not enough TP. Not enough artificial Christmas Trees. What do all of these things have in common? Well, for one, they are driving inflation higher. But with the uncertainty of the future increasing (CV19, political instability, market volatility), the best laid logistical plans have been disrupted.

We take a look at what’s happening around the world and why?

What is God up to in this CV19 disrupted world?

And how should the Church, we the people of God respond?

There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD” 

Proverbs 21:30

The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;
He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect.”

Psalm 33:10

Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails”

Proverbs 19:21

62 giant cargo ships waiting to unload outside Long Beach, CA

Good Background Reading and Listening

Trade Wars – We look at the future of global trade. Chuck Pierce on China, CV19, and the ports.

Inflation – Post-CV19 recovery inflation expectations of the Fed and Janet Yellen. True or false?

Inflation Prophecies – Inflation prophecies prior to CV19, including John Paul Jackson, John Mulinde, and Bob Jones

Round Table Discussion:
Student Loans

The debt trap of Student Loans the next generation find themselves in (fully recourse; high interest).

Educational inflation has outpaced the Consumer Price Index inflation by 4x!

The potential of various “Storehouse” solutions, including current implementation examples.

For example, Christopher Lucey will be with us to share about thegofund.com which he co-founded with Luke Womack.

The world of student loan debt has been with us and GROWING since the 1990’s. 

Today, we are going to highlight an organization that has done something truly inspiring that not only tackles the issue – but is solving the challenge “the storehouse way” – TheGoFund.com. I’m honored to have been a mentor and encourager to Luke Womack – founder. The year before the launch we meet in my office on Saturday’s for 4-6 hours talking, brainstorming, praying, researching how we could tackle this issue and how we could design a way to release the next generation from debt to go to the UUPG’s – when the name Jesus had never been heard.

It is also an inspiration for what I believe other groups could be challenged to do for their own families and communities throughout the nation in the years ahead to free young people from debt and to unleash them to go to the nations and complete the task of the remaining mission.

 

The GO FUND

GO FUND Story…..from World Magazine 

JOEL SUTTON BEGAN WORKING with the International Mission Board’s assessment and deployment team in 1999. Students had debt then too, but the average topped out at $17,000. Now, Sutton regularly talks to prospective missionaries who have between $60,000 and $100,000 in debt. “Those kinds of folks have really disqualified themselves for service,” Sutton said. “They’re living in the moment. They think they need the loan to get their education, but they don’t think about the ramifications down the road.”

Sutton and his Southern Baptist Convention colleagues urge college students to think about what they want to do with their lives before taking out loans. If students can’t avoid loans altogether, missionary recruiters urge them to take on as little debt as possible, get jobs to help pay some of their expenses, and even take a little longer to get their degree, if necessary.

That’s a hard sell, especially for students at Christian colleges, which rely on tuition payments to survive and have little incentive to encourage students to take on less debt. “We’ve found schools are not really talking to students about this,” Sutton said. “It’s a real conflict because schools are a business. Loans mean more payment out of students, so they don’t discourage them from doing the loans.”

(source: https://wng.org/articles/repayment-ministry-1617302578)

Higher Education News – 

Expenses such as healthcare and housing continue to rise, so “simply owing on student loan debt — and, in particular, doing so for an extended period — makes it all the more difficult for borrowers to grapple with these growing costs,” the report says.

While after 20 to 25 years, the balances of these income-driven loans can be forgiven, they typically are not. The report points to a recent analysis by National Consumer Law Center that found only 32 borrowers’ loans have been erased in the time that these plans have existed. Two million federal student loan borrowers have been in repayment for 20 years, though this count includes those outside of income-driven plans. 

(source: https://www.highereddive.com/news/report-federal-income-driven-repayment-built-to-be-a-debt-trap/606858/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Issue:%202021-09-21%20Higher%20Ed%20Dive%20%5Bissue:36832%5D&utm_term=Higher%20Ed%20Dive

THE HOPE CENTER – Research Institute on Colleges in America

(source: https://hope4college.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/RCReport2021.pdf)

Round Table Discussion:

Has the “leaven of the Pharisees and Herod” inhibited deeper repentance and reform from taking place within the Church, especially financial/economic ?

Jesus warned the disciples: “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” – Mark 8:15. What does Jesus’ warning mean for us today?

“Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they derided Him”. – Luke 16:14

“And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” – Matt 7:3-5

  • Herod = Government
  • Pharisees = Religion
  • Leaven = sin

Questions

  1. What deceptions (falsehoods, conspiracy theories) have crept into the US Church today, which prevent or limit the church from transforming a nation and seeing the revival we all hope and pray for?
  2. Who/What have we aligned with as the leaven of ‘Herod’?
  3. What divides the US Church today?

Here is an interesting insight from the CEO of the Sentinel Group’s (George Otis Jr. Transformation Videos), Larry Page. He wrote in Jan 2019:

If Jesus gave a State of the Church in America address, what might He have to say?

Don’t worry, I have no intention of speaking for God in assessing the Church. But if you will indulge me, I will share some questions I would hope He would address in such a speech.

By the way, if you think this line of thought is foolish — i.e., Jesus’ giving a State of the Church address — re-read Revelation 2-3. Like that portion of God’s Word, I assume He would have some things to commend and some things to condemn.

I would ask Jesus these questions:

• Some have stated the condition of society is the report card of the Church. Is that true?

• So much prayer is arising from the Church in this hour, calling for revival. It has been going on for a number of years now. Why have we not witnessed the answer to those prayers?

• As I scan Your “State of the Churches” address recorded in Revelation 2-3, the church that most resembles the American Church is Laodicea. Are we as blind to our own faults as they were to theirs? And are You outside the Church, knocking to get in?

• What do You recommend to remedy our condition?

I missed last night’s State of the Union address. I am at a prayer summit with other pastors and Christian leaders. It is good, but I must say, I am curious about the circus that may have been displayed around that address. I doubt anything shared there will heal the great rift in our nation.

Our needs are far beyond the reach of politicians. The hope for our nation lies in the hands of the Church, the people of God.

https://sentinel-blog.ghost.io/

Round Table Discussion:
Render to Caesar what is Caesar’s

(Come Out of Babylon Part 2)

Emperor Tiberius Silver Denarius (or Tribute Penny)

Last week we started to discuss the difference between being in the world and being partnered with the world… (for context, its good to watch/read the notes from Part 1: Come Out of Babylon)

And Jesus answered and said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” – Mark 12:17

… the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.” – John 17:14-15

In the context of God’s command for believers to come out of Babylon (Rev 18:4), how does paying taxes, using the world’s secular currencies, or even having a regular bank account (checking; savings; demand deposit) reconcile to this command?

“Come out of her, my people, so that you will not be a partner in her sins and receive her plagues“? Revelation 18:4

Jesus would never have told his disciples and the Pharisees it is permissible to use Caesar’s coinage if it represented a sin (or prohibited partnerships). In fact, it is indeed related to the scriptures about how God has instituted secular authorities to keep law and order, and we are to obey them (Peter 2:13-14; Romans 13:1).

So, critically, how are these matters then any different from economic and business partnerships with unbelievers? (co-ownership of companies, signing debt covenants, etc.). Scripturally, we must understand that the partnership prohibition with unbelievers (and Belial, aka Satan) is directly tied to the command to come out of Babylon, for the one quotes the other (Isaiah 52):

“Do not be partnered together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God…Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.” – 2 Corinthians 6:14-17

In other words, “be in the world not of the world”, which is a paraphrase of John 17.

Also, as part of Coming out of Babylon we also take a fresh look at the practical utility of:

1. Divorcing Baal/Mammon

Here is a link to a divorce and remarry legal agreement your consideration: https://newbreedco.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/divorce-baal-and-mammon.pdf

2. Private (and even Public) Repentance from Mammon / Babylon

Related Posts and Pages:

Round Table Discussion:
Come Out of Babylon

What does God mean by the statement: “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not be a partner in her sins and receive her plagues“? (Revelation 18:4 Amplified)

for more background reading (and video) about coming out of Babylon click here for article Come out of Babylon

Key Questions and Scriptures that address

What is “Babylon” in the context of Revelation 18?

The woman [Mystery Babylon] whom you saw is the GREAT CITY, which reigns over and dominates and controls the kings and the political leaders of the earth.” Revelation 17:18

What other city in Revelation is described as a great city?

I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.” – Revelation 21:2

Ancient Babylon (the geographic center of which is in modern day Iraq) went away in 539 B.C. when it was defeated by Cyrus and the Medio-Persion empire. So is the “Babylon” John the revelator is speaking of represented by another nation today?

Is the United States still a Christian nation?

Is the United States the Babylon of Revelation?

For ALL THE NATIONS have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries.” – Revelation 18:3

Or, has the United States’ helped develop and export the financial markets and capitalistic systems of commerce by which the whole world is getting drunk on the spirit of Babylon described in Revelation 18?

…for [Babylon’s] merchants were the great and prominent men of the earth, because all the nations were deceived and misled by [Babylon’s] sorcery” – Rev 18:23

The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.” – Rev 18:3

And the kings and political leaders of the earth, who committed immorality and lived luxuriously with her, will weep and beat their chests [in mourning] over her when they see the smoke of her burning” – Rev 18:9

And merchants of the earth will weep and grieve over her, because no one buys their cargo (goods, merchandise) anymore” – Rev 18:11

Discussion Notes

Do not be unequally bound together with unbelievers [do not make mismatched alliances with them, inconsistent with your faith]. For what partnership can righteousness have with lawlessness? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and Belial (Satan)? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?

2 Corinthians 6:14-16

There are two kinds of capital we need to consider in light of the above scriptures:

  • Debt (bank loan or bond issuance)

All institutional debts have “debt covenants” associated with them.

They are the legal agreement between the borrower and lender. These terms require the debtor to: make certain payments, pay interest (and fees), and repay the principal within certain timeframes set forth in the legal agreement. In the event payments cannot be made, the lender has certain rights that are triggered. This can include a demand to repay the enter balance, or the right to foreclose on any asset referred to a surety in the covenants. This is why Proverbs 27 teaches us that the borrower is a slave to the lender.

Does God want us in such covenants? Where we bind ourselves with an unbeliever? Or in today’s realm, unbeleiving and depersonalized banks and systems? These entities may even start off personally during the sales cycle (when one agrees to a take a loan). But on the back end, it is almost always a nameless, faceless, person-less interaction (for example the “bank” is often legally a trust (created to buy/sell or securitize a loan)

  • Equity capital (ownership)

Equity is a partnership.

If you and I own a company together 50/50, we are “partners.”

As such it is a type of “marriage”, as either partner has rights to make decisions, and are responsible for all of the company’s actions. Including a share of the profits, and responsibility for losses.

Owning shares of stock is likewise a partnership (all be it a minority ownership). Shareholders have voting rights. They share in the profits. They are also collectively responsible for the action of the company through its board of directors and governance. Because it is a partnership, are we not responsible to God for whatever that company is doing?

What’s the difference between using money (USD) in the banking system and having a bank loan, and/or ownership of stocks and bonds?

Big difference

When you hold money, you are actually lending to the Federal Reserve. They are called Fed Reserve “notes”. Its like you are holding the bond if you will, and the proceeds have gone to the central bank, and they ultimately “owe” you. Now, its a crummy deal, because instead of collecting interest, you pay a type of interest called inflation. In fact, you can’t even redeem the note for anything anymore. When the Fed pays you back (through someone giving you a good or service), that dollar may buy a lot less that when you took the “note”.

Example: You burn 10 One Hundred Dollar bills. What happens? You are left with nothing, as you destroyed the “notes” that would have given you any redemption rights. So, you are not in debt to the Fed, the Fed is in debit to you. It’s your “bank note” (think of it as you are the lender – or the bond holder) to do with what you like.

Contrasting example: You burn your mortgage lending agreement (loan covenants) documents and say “I own this house”. You stop making payments. But because you signed agreement the loan covenant, the bank has rights to repossess your house. Depending on the state, they may not even have to go to court to “foreclose.” Understand, that a mortgage is a legal document recorded on the town/city land records that literally says the bank owns “your” property until you pay the loan in full. Until then you actually don’t own anything. Most people don’t understand this. But if you can’t pay, the lender takes over your homestead and land and kicks you out.

So realize the difference between the two. Ask the questions: Will this lead me into any form of slavery? Are there any strings attached to this financial transaction I am legally entering into?

Is it permissible to pay the poll-tax to Caesar, or not?” But Jesus, aware of their malice, asked, “Why are you testing Me, you hypocrites? Show me the coin used for the poll-tax.” And they brought Him a denarius [a day’s wage]. And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said, “[The Emperor Tiberius] Caesar’s.” Then He said to them, “Then pay to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.”

Matthew 22:17-21

4 Drachma Silver Shekel (Peter’s coin)

Jesus forbid partnering with unbelievers, but he did not prohibit using Caesar’s money (an unbelieving Government). Jesus commands us to preach the good news to unbelievers and help them, bringing the Kingdom of Heaven near. This is very different to entering into a business partnership with an unbeliever who is doing business the “world’s way” (i.e., deceived by the Harlot according to Rev 18:3, or serving Mammon according to Matthew 6:24)

Peter’s miracle fish coin required to pay the Jewish temple tax was a four-drachma coin Greek coin with secular rulers and/or Greek gods.

The disciples money box held similar and other secular coins.

Meditate on the difference through these and other scriptures to understand the difference.

One last point – What does God think of me owning bonds?

Good question!

Basically it comes back to: what are in the bond covenants? Since through the ownership of bonds, we are partnered with the other bond holders and we are “lending” to an entity, we are responsible to God according to 2 Corinthians 6 (see above) and all the moral ethical scriptures of the old testament. In most circumstances (99%), bond issuers and institutional holders are by definition secular unbelievers / companies / person-less entities. If that partnership with the “world’s” bond covenants violates God’s principals (say, profits from the poor, or charges interest to those God prohibits, doesn’t return the pledge, doesn’t allow ‘gleaning’ the fields, violates the sabbath), we are responsible for all that too.

This all goes back to Rev 18:4 – come out of her my people, lest you be responsible for her sins and suffer from her plagues. We can no longer afford to rationalize away these issues before God. We will be judged along with Bablyon and receive of her “plagues”.

Challenge question: Is CV19 a plague of Babylon according to the prophecies of Revelation and the rest of the bible?

Interview: Part 2 Doug Tjaden
and his book “I Came To Give”

Doug Tjaden serves as co-leader of the Public Policy Focus Group for the Global Council of Nations/Statesmen Project and is founder of Project Thrive 21, a non-profit dedicated to establishing love for neighbors as the economic foundation of local communities. In early 2021 he released his book, “ I Came To Give   – Understanding the Great Reset and the Coming Age of Abundance.” Doug is working with others to design and develop a new means of value exchange that is based on God’s principles of cooperation, stewardship and abundance.

Last week’s write-up and podcast can be viewed / listen to here: https://newbreed.co/2021/07/28/doug-tjaden/

Currencies

This week we will continue the discussion with Doug on the subject of currencies. Before we do, here are some prior New Breed discussions regarding alternative currencies, including crypto currencies and specifically Bitcoin.

New Breed of Business Background Discussion

Alternative Currency (Inflation part 2) : https://newbreed.co/2021/05/12/alt-currency/
Crypto Currency : https://newbreed.co/2020/09/01/crypto-currency/
Bitcoin (Crypto Part 2) : https://newbreed.co/2021/04/28/bitcoin/

Doug Tjaden Interview Questions Part 2:

3. Doug, one of your areas of focus is on currency. The world’s history of it. What the bible has to say about it. And what is God saying about it for believers today? Why does currency matter?

4. Give us an implementation example at work today of a local agricultural backed currency: Community “X” predominantly grows “Y”.

5. Practical example of how a network of local currencies can work (be exchanged for one another). (the Bancor Network system being implemented in Israel as example)

Valuable Resources on Doug’s Website:

Overview – https://thrive21.org/

Free book offer – https://icametogive.life/

Audio book – https://thrive21.org/courses/ictg-audio-book/

21 Day Reset – https://icametogive.life/reset/

Interview: Doug Tjaden
I Came To Give”

Part 1

(join us next Wednesday Aug 4th 8am for Part 2 – local currencies)

Doug Tjaden serves as co-leader of the Public Policy Focus Group for the Global Council of Nations/Statesmen Project and is founder of Project Thrive 21, a non-profit dedicated to establishing love for neighbors as the economic foundation of local communities. In early 2021 he released his book, “ I Came To Give   – Understanding the Great Reset and the Coming Age of Abundance.” Doug is working with others to design and develop a new means of value exchange that is based on God’s principles of cooperation, stewardship and abundance.

Doug has done extensive work in the Kingdom economy and the alternative currency arena. Here are a couple of short intro videos to his book: https://vimeo.com/503963512 and here https://vimeo.com/503817778.

His website is Thrive21.org

This discussion will likely go over two Wednesday mornings to get through everything Doug has focused on regarding Kingdom economics and the Ecclesia aka The Church taking back what the enemy has stolen in the economic, currency and financial realm.

Interview Agenda:

1. Intro Doug Tjaden. So Doug, what do you work on, who are you connected with, and what’s your story of how you got here (testimony)?

2. “I Came To Give” book. What prompted you to write it? What’s in it?

3. One of your areas of focus is on currency. The world’s history of it. What the bible has to say about it. And what is God saying about it for believers today? Why does currency matter?

4. Give us an implementation example at work today of a local agricultural backed currency: Community “X” predominantly grows “Y”.

5. Practical example of how a network of local currencies can work (be exchanged for one another). (the Bancor Network system being implemented in Israel as example)

Discussion:
Can we start a Judeo-Christian Bank?

federal reserve.jpg

Recently our friend Chris Adams (Navy Chaplain, Newport, RI) posed this very question out of a desire that he would rather pay someone he knows and trusts interest on his mortgage instead of his mortgage bank. Further, he quoted this article:

Christian Motivational Speaker Starts Bank in Response to the Rise of Cancel Culture in the Private Sector: https://link.theepochtimes.com/mkt_app/christian-motivational-speaker-starts-bank-in-response-to-the-rise-of-cancel-culture-in-the-private-sector_3895330.html

So, a potentially added benefit of having a Christian bank, is that one couldn’t be “cancelled” out of use of credit for standing for a Christian cause, such as being pro-life.

So, what about it? Can we start a Judeo Christian Bank? Do we want to? Why or why not?

The answer is yes, anyone can start a bank if you get a bank charter, meet the capital requirements, and all the “banking” regulations. You can do this in a variety of ways. You can start de-novo. You can buy an existing bank. You can create a credit union which is a close cousin of a bank, but it is cooperatively owned by the affiliate group that creates a membership (getting warmer). However, anything called a “bank”, “thrift”, “savings and loan”, or “credit union” are ultimately regulated by the Federal Reserve, OTS and/or state regulators serving a similar function. That is because they use a system called “fractional reserve banking” where depositors deposit their money and the bank determines who to “lend” to using their own credit decision making criteria. Borrow money from a depositor at 1% interest, the bank has to keep only 10% of the deposit and gets to lend 90% of the money to say a business at 10% interest. Hence, the bank makes a 9% spread. You get the idea.

However, because of the risk of these loans failing, regulators have very strict requirements of any bank conducting such fractional banking practices. The regulators and the government have set up insurance entities such as the FDIC (Federal Depository Insurance Company) to insure depositors against the risk of any bank making “bad loans”. In other words, the regulators in an effort to try to protect depositors and taxpayers from “bailing-out” or “bailing-in” the banks (due to “bad loans”) are very strict with how money is lent out. But most importantly, the regulators require the following banking practices be performed, which make for good business and profit, but which go directly against what the scriptures teach us to do:

Why starting a Christian regulated “bank” may NOT be God’s best and highest:

Gregg, I care more about how you make your money, than what you do with it” – 2009

Banking Regulations

Ful-recourse loans, ideally secured by assets

  • At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts. Deut 15:1
  • the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you? Matthew 18:32-33
  • if … a wicked person… turn[s] away from their sin and do[es] what is just and right—if they give back what they took in pledge for a loan… Ezekiel 33:14-15

Loans must be made at interest

  • You shall not charge interest on loans to your brother Deut 23:19

Loans are to be made to the best credits – i.e. the wealthiest, most credit worthy customers

  • And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. Luke 6:34

Strict regulation of sub-prime credits, where more interest and fees must be charged to “risk-adjust” a less stellar credit

  • Whoever increases wealth by taking interest or profit from the poor amasses it for another, who will be kind to the poor.” Deut 28:8

No lending to bad credits

  • But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back Luke 6:35

Lending must be “arms-length”, the definition of which includes no special terms in lending for those you know or want to help personally

  • If anyone is poor among you… do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward them. Rather, be open handed and freely lend them whatever they need. Deut 15:7-8

Credits need to be scored by commercially accepted methods – i.e., FICO scoring (debt history and strength of income / balance sheet) is more important than personal knowledge / reputation and character.

The Storehouse Strategy:
How it differs from traditional banking

Full reserve banking – it’s your money, you decide how to give, invest or spend it

More of a payment platform and human exchange to facilitate biblical economy and discipleship (than a way of passively making a profit and/or impersonally getting the use of money at a price)

Biblical lending, which is non-recourse, non-interest bearing

Trusting God instead of man

Giving and receiving rather than contractual obligation

The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously

Psalm 37:21

Voluntarily providing returns to those who lend or “invest” in you, either out of your desire to bless back and/or out of your profit

When lending to others, you are making the decision to trust God and the community instead of making money off of other people’s backs (the borrower is slave to the lender)

Common funds such as the “Storehouse” or “Joseph Funds” pool assets together for good in the community and to advance the Kingdom together (Acts 2 & 4)

More Reason to go Storehouse
(instead of traditional Bank)

Part of our responsibility here I believe will also be to pray for the breaking of the mindset your parents generation and many others have.  The real risk here is staying in the current system which at some point will be demolished versus shifting out now while there is time. (the crux of Gregg’s passion and teaching). Very similar to the warning Jesus gave in Luke 23:27-29.

While it is not really relevant to this I was part of a group that formed a National bank back in the late 80’s which was ultimately sold and just because we could call one Judeo-Christian, to Gregg’s point it would still be erected inside the corrupt system.  A very complex process.  I have found in my own walk that once my heart was repentant and yielded to the desire to get out of the system, the Lord made a way, but you will not be able to keep a foot in both camps. 

So I pray that their hearts would be moved to further consider your suggestion and the same would befall others in the New England area. To ask “what then must we do” and then I believe the Lord will move and be glorified through the Storehouse movement.  Good discussion gents and blessings on this day!  In the meantime my counsel is to wait on the Lord.

PS: If you want to pay the loan off sooner you don’t need a new financial vehicle to do that, just increase your payments to join your hand to your heart.

Gary Crawford to Chris Adams and co July 11, 2021

Discussion: Cooperatives

Equity Ownership Structures Part I

We discuss Co-ops (short for Cooperatives). What are they and how are they significantly different from publicly traded companies, non-profit corporations, and privately held for profit companies? We discuss their strengths and weaknesses. We look at biblical models such as Acts 2 and 4 and compare and contrast them.

Some History of Co-ops in USA:

Founded 1752 in Philadelphia, PA

Earliest known US co-op in the form of a mutual insurance company – owned by policyholders

https://1752.com/blog/about-us/history/

Founded 1930 in Hanson, Massachusetts among 3 cranberry farming families

Example of a vertically integrated farming co-op whereby the farmers own the company.

https://www.oceanspray.com/en/Our-Story/Ownership

Founded in 1938, Seattle, WA

Formed as a consumer co-op where by the customers own the company

https://www.rei.com/about-rei

Founded 1908, Manchester, New Hampshire

First credit union in the US, as a cooperative bank owned by depositors and loan holders

https://www.stmarysbank.com/nav/about-us/history

Key Attributes of a “Co-op”

  • Alignment of interest around an affinity group
  • Pool resources together to better achieve business objective / common goal
  • Mutual and broad ownership with “one man, one vote” governance structure
  • “Profits” are distributed back to owners based on various fairness metrics, such as policy value, agricultural output, deposit/loan amount, or sales volume
  • they are “Non-profit” in the sense that the income statement balances to zero after dividends and/or member benefits are paid out
  • Opt-in and opt-out provisions for agricultural / supplier co-ops
  • Lifetime membership for some consumer co-ops including credit unions and insurance cos
  • Avoids hostile takeovers, capital stripping, over use of leverage, etc. found in publicly traded cos.

Other types of “Co-ops”

  • Housing / Coop Apartment buildings / Condos
  • Student unions
  • Preschools / Child care
  • Utilities
  • Workers
  • Food / Farmers Market
  • Retail / Buyers Clubs
  • Business
  • Arts / Crafts / Performance / Theater

We compare the strengths and weaknesses of the cooperative structure to other equity ownership structures.

Discussion: Lending Club

What is a lending club? We discuss the OMC and NECAP examples. What is it? How does it work? It’s the “Storehouse” in action…

Rules

1. The first rule of Lending Club is: You do talk about Lending Club

2. The second rule of Lending Club is: You do talk about Lending Club

… wait a second – no but seriously ….

Scriptural Rules for Lending Club

1. Do not charge your brother interest (Deut 23:19); 2. Do not charge interest to the poor (Deut 22:25)

2. Forgive debts every seven years (Deut 15:1)

3. Return the pledge (do not hold collateral) (Ezek 33:15)

4. Don’t expect to be repaid (Luke 6:34)

5. Lend to your enemy (Luke 6:35)

6. Freely you have received; freely give (Matt 10:8)

7. Open your hand wide to the poor for their need (Deut 15:8)

8. Borrower repays principal under God (Psalm 37:21)

But wait, that’s impossible, right?

Everything is possible for one who believes.”

Mark 9:23