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In a World Looking for a Bottom

      
Ed Horn's picture
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It is perverse that Funeral Homes and cemeteries who have altered their direction to pre need sales will confront hard times during this economic downturn. By expanding the reach of our businesses to the future need of our Clients we have become vulnerable to the vicissitudes of the marketplace.
 
The image of a family huddled together attempting to confront mortgage payments and tuition bills considering pre need memorial property defies credibility. The new worry word of deflation has made an impact in the minds of all of us. Why pay more now when shortly prices will be lowered?
 
The Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department have yet to affect a plan that will positively reverse the recession trend. One would think that $700 billion dollars and an interest rate of 1% would have halted the tsunami devouring home values, stocks and 401’s.
 
No different than any other business we remain obligated to fixed expenses that keep our doors open. Labor can be reduced but if competency and effective management or operation declines the true value of our businesses will suffer. We are stuck in a world not of our making and out of our control.
 
In hard times we have turned to lending institutions for credit. Those same institutions are failing at a rate not seen since the Great Depression. Credit which is the lifeblood of capitalism is in spasm. Unfortunately some may view trust funds as the means to save ourselves believing that we will return the funds when things straighten out. The reality is crossing that divide insures violation of trust, criminal charges, possible imprisonment and worse of all destruction of the reputation that we have earned and depended upon by our Clients.
 
There are no easy, clear or right answers today. The world is in a whirlwind of negativity that seems to have no end in sight. What we must do is hold to the highest standards even if that means mergers, going without compensation or closing our business. We cannot afford taking roads that assuredly lead to self annihilation. If we manage to survive when the world returns to normalcy we will be stronger and better suited than we were when this debacle began.
 
                                                                             Ed Horn
                                                                             St. Michael’s