I only heard a snippet of the piece, but a couple of people were talking on NPR about whether the financial capital of the world was moving. It has been New York City for a long time, but that may be changing.
It seems not only possible but quite likely that we will see, if we have not seen already, a shift whereby the financial capital of the world moves south from New York to Washington, D.C. I think we are already seeing that taking place and we should expect that trend to accelerate.
Future success in business will not be driven by which company is most innovative, most daring, much fiscally sound, led by the best management team. It will be driven by who is the most successful at lobbying, who manages to weasel the best competitive advantages out of the Federal government. Winners and losers in business are no longer decided in the marketplace but in the committee chambers where tax laws are written and where some companies get positive treatment and others negative at the hands of Congressman and bureaucrats.
No longer will MBA’s from the best schools be valued, now companies will recruit the best lawyers to be lobbyists. The captains of industry will no longer sit in Manhattan high rises but in lobbyist offices on the alphabet streets of D.C.
Make no mistake, business people are resourceful and adaptive. If you change the rules of business, they will simply change how they do business. Entrepreneurs and business executives will continue to make money. Where we will see the harm done is in the working classes of America as America’s business climate becomes more inhospitable. Do we really want the people who run the DMV in charge of the greatest free market in the world? I think not.