APRIL 2020 — It is in times of uncertainty that we often look, sometimes frantically, towards those whom we view to be in a position to offer sage advice, and who better than the Sage of Omaha. Perhaps now is one of the best times to revisit the words of Warren Buffett over the years. Below is a part of his 2008 Op-Ed for the New York Times (linked in its entirety under this article).
Of course, the premise of the 2008 financial downturn and the current trends we are seeing are quite different from one another, but nonetheless, Buffett’s sentiments should give us solace in a world of many unknowns: “Over the long term, the stock market news will be good. In the 20th century, the United States endured two world wars and other traumatic and expensive military conflicts; the Depression; a dozen or so recessions and financial panics; oil shocks; a flu epidemic; and the resignation of a disgraced president. Yet the Dow rose from 66 to 11,497.”
While 12 years and a lot of economic change separate us from Buffett’s first utterance of this statement, it still rings true today. We can look to history and find unmistakable resiliency in the American psyche, and pocketbook, overall.
Now is the time to reinvest, recommit, and look local. In times of downturn it is the local communities we know and love, like the ones we’re committed to here at Summit Bank, that have the power to change our world.
Noah Wilcox, the new chair of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), told American Banker, ‘“Community banks make 50-plus percent of small business loans nationally, and those are the businesses that keep employment and local economies strong.”’
And we couldn’t agree more. President and CEO of Summit Bank, Craig Wanichek says, “Banks like Summit are significantly more prepared with capital, liquidity, and experience to handle these types of challenges today. We have already approved loans modifications, increased lines of credit and talked with our clients about next steps and additional contingency plans.”
We take pride in the relationships on which Summit’s foundation was built. Our clients are the reasons our communities are so great—we’re ready to help, to innovate and come up with new solutions for new challenges, even the ones that may seem insurmountable.
“I am reading the book, Ride of a Lifetime, by Robert Iger, former CEO of Disney, he had a very apropos statement,” Wanichek said. ‘“If you approach and engage people with respect and empathy, the seemingly impossible can become real.”’
We have faith in our community. In the power of investing and buying locally, in historical lessons that say: we will rise again.