What We’ve Been Reading

Planning & Strategy Special Topics

We hope you are enjoying the last dog days of summer as the calendar turns to college football, the kids get back to school, and the mid-term political season kicks into high gear. In this post we share several pieces we have been reading that you may have missed over the last few weeks.

Advisor Corner

  • The Family Business Consulting Group discusses how a non-family CEO and a family ownership team got on the same page regarding the financial goals of the company. Where did the CEO need to steer the company to meet the family’s financial objectives? The first step is to quantify and verbalize those goals beyond “be profitable.” The authors provide a simple roadmap for undertaking that process.
  • How do you deal with a family member who needs to let go of the reigns but refuses to get out of the saddle? An article in Harvard Business Review identifies strategies to help family manage an impaired leader to avoid damaging the company — and the family.
  • Are family businesses more resilient? Deutsche Bank recently published a study that showed many German family-owned businesses fare better in complex crises, such as the recent COVID-19 pandemic response. Reasoning included financial stability from more conservative capital structures, shorter (quicker) decision-making channels, and emotional anchoring focused on long-term success.

A Fun Family Business Story

  • Family Business Magazine recounts the history of Radio Flyer, a family-owned business who makes the iconic Radio Flyer wagon. Robert Pasin is the third-generation CEO (or as he prefers, “Chief Wagon Officer”) and the piece highlights the dramatic, decade long overhaul that was needed to rescue the company. My children and their Radio Flyer tricycle thank Mr. Pasin.

Legislative Update: Inflation Reduction Act

  • The National Law Review did a good job listing the primary provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act, including important corporate tax provisions (stock buyback excise tax and corporate alternative minimum tax) as well as healthcare and alternative energy changes. While the changes in direct tax legislation were aimed at large public corporations, we can’t help but anticipate that the $80 billion in new funding won’t boost the current generationally low tax audit rate for individuals and businesses.
  • Both the Tax Foundation and the non-partisan Penn Wharton Budget Model see little to no impact on near-to-mid term inflation. The Tax Foundation sees long-run GDP declining marginally (negative 0.2%) from baseline projections driven by the bill, while the PWBM sees a 0.2% increase by 2050.