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The Future Of Finance And Economics with Jim Mosquera
My guest is Jim Mosquera. He has degrees in industrial engineering. He has a business background in telecommunications and networking. He has a self-developed knowledge of both economics and the financial markets. He’s coming at it from many different places. Jim is a Principal at Sentinel Consulting, which is a small business financing and debt restructuring firm. With all of this background, Jim is also a nonfiction author. He’s published three nonfiction books in the Escaping Oz series, which are finance, economics, and social psychology. He’s also the author of the Chandler Scott thriller series, which features politics, financial crisis, cyber terror and the media, giving a chilling realistic look at the nation’s futures. Jim, welcome to the show.
Terri, it’s great to be on with you.
How did you get into what you’re doing with all of the backgrounds that you bring?
Growing up, I’m originally not from the United States. I’m from Panama. My dad grew up in pretty humble beginnings. We always talked about money, the importance of not just having money but saving money, planning for the future and so forth. That was certainly a latent interest of mine even when I got started into my engineering studies. After I graduated from college, I started trading commodity futures. That’s all about money. There was always that interest there in money. Even though I had this professional career in telecommunications and networking, I always stayed very close to it. Even before the financial crisis had run in the 2000 dot-com time, I was talking to people where I worked about how important it was to pay attention to what was going on in the market. We were in the middle of the dot-com revolution with my employer with what I was doing. I had a good sense of what was going on. A few years ago, there was an opportunity to leave my company through a special offer. I started the company Sentinel Consulting.
What does Sentinel Consulting do exactly?
Sentinel Consulting is a boutique firm that specifically targets small to midsize enterprises, basically up to about $50 million in annual revenue where a vacuum was created particularly after 2008 in the financial crisis and how banking in this country changed by virtue of regulation, by virtue of the psychology of bankers and so forth. There was a need, a niche for people to supply financing to small and midsize business enterprises where the banking system would not be able to do that. That’s essentially a part of what I do. The other part that I branched out on and I’m having more success with is called consumer financing, providing financing options for the customers of the clients that I have. The last part of it is debt restructuring. Think of it as a slimmed down version of Chapter Eleven restructuring.
I have businesses come to me all the time, not only with financing questions. We know a lot of business owners that are in situations where they need to restructure because of debt. It amazes me how many people I either meet at events or conferences or every single day that have had an issue with debt that maybe even have gone into bankruptcy. What’s the status? What’s going on with all of that?People want stories. They want to be entertained. Click To Tweet
When I first got started in this business, that was an area I put more focus on. The best way to categorize it would be zombie companies that I encountered. On the outside, everything looked fine. When you started looking at their financial picture, it didn’t look fine. There were many of these companies that were in civil litigation due to debt problems only. I’m not talking about any civil litigation beyond that. Once they found themselves in civil litigation, some of them chose not to take any action. They would lose by default called the default judgment. Others show a more aggressive path, which is to fight these cases in court. These are cases that 99% of the time are not going to win because, for all intents and purposes it’s simple, they owe money. When that happens, the legal system doesn’t have a remedy for this. That’s why Chapter Eleven bankruptcy is a path for very large companies. We saw Toys “R” Us in 2017. Mattress Firm declared Chapter Eleven. You’ve got to look at it from the standpoint of trying to resolve a problem for the debtor, the small business owner, and the creditor. That’s something where a lot of small businesses don’t take the right approach to live to fight another day.
What do you see as what’s happening in the world? Not in terms of like, “This is happening now,” but where are we headed in your point of view?
There are several ways to think about that. One is looking at the fiscal situation in the United States. I want to make sure that your audience understands. This is an apolitical comment. I don’t belong to any political party, but it’s important to understand that since January 2017 up until now, we’ve added about $2 trillion to the national debt. That doesn’t necessarily reflect what you talk about the budget deficit, things that we know that we’re going to be in the whole for as a country because there are a lot of things that are off budget. Since January 2017, we’ve added $2 trillion to the debt in an ostensibly strong economy. My biggest concern and this is what I talk about a lot when I talk to financial outlets or write articles about this, is we’ve added so much debt in an otherwise healthy economy with a buoyant stock market, with interest rates that are still relatively near historical lows and yet we’ve added all this.
Whenever we face the next financial crisis or recession, the government is going to run deficits that will make what we saw in 2008 to 2010 seem small by comparison. If you’re adding $1 trillion a year, imagine what it’s going to be after that. That starts a whole series of events that will affect the markets. It will affect the economy. Delving a little bit into my fictional work, that’s one of the things I wrote about in my first book. What happens when things start happening in the economy? These are fictional characters and all that. It then drives some of the decision making for the financial picture of the United States outside the boundaries of the United States towards international organizations and so forth. The more I read about it, some of my fictional work is slowly coming to fruition.
Here you are with this business background and all these skill sets. You’re at Sentinel Consulting. How do all these nonfiction books come out? Talk about the thriller series.
The nonfiction stuff gets into understanding what some of the fundamentals are of the problems that we have. I’m an engineer by training. I’ve got a couple of degrees. What do engineers do? We try to solve problems. When I started looking at this, it was many years ago. I’m self-taught in this discipline. I was trying to figure out what’s the root cause. The engineers look for the root cause of problems. Once I started identifying root causes and the evolution of the root causes of the problem and so forth, I decided, “We’re definitely not on a sustainable path. Here are some of the things that could happen, and we don’t know for sure.” More importantly, we don’t know the exact timing of when these things are going to occur. The one thing that we do know about crises of any type is it’s the same metaphor as the avalanche and the snowflake. The snow piles on the side of the mountain, but we don’t know which snowflake is the one that’s going to trigger. We can see it. We know that it’s going to happen. We don’t know which event is going to catalyze the thing to occur. That’s where we are now.
What I try to do with my nonfiction books is to try to explain that in as close to a lay terminology as possible, so people can understand it. People could have a better sense of what’s required to solve the problems, the crucible they were going to pass through. Be better informed as citizens that have to elect leaders that are going to be involved in this process. We don’t have that as a nation and we’re getting cluttered up with a lot of political intrigues and bad discourse. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look at some of the base problems that I’m addressing. When these things come out of the woodwork and a spotlight is shining on them, what I’m afraid of is that we’re going to have paralysis and you’ll see some things that probably won’t go well. Long term, I’m optimistic. We’ve had problems before. These problems will be worse than what we faced before, but I am optimistic we’ll get through them. It’s important to understand what we need to do as a nation, even more, important as communities to try to solve these problems when they arise.It's important to understand what we need to do as a nation, even more, important as communities, to try to solve problems when they arise. Click To Tweet
I do see a big sense, whether it’s on the internet where it’s partially happening or certainly off the internet where people are coming together. They’re coming into community together and there’s a lot of power in group think and that is very much needed. You publish books that have to do with finance and economic. That makes sense, that’s who you are. You went out, you did something completely different and yet you took the real things that are happening within our world and that you’re aware of. You did a spin to make it a thriller series. That is a different way of looking at things.
What spawned all that was after I’d written some of my nonfiction work, somebody said, “Jim, this is good but people want a story. They want to be entertained.” That’s what we face now. Attention spans are much shorter. I tried to figure out a way of how I can tell the story of my nonfiction books and embellish it because it is fictional. Put some of the same themes that I talk about in my nonfiction books in the fictional thriller series with the prevailing themes we deal with now, which are politics. We’ll see more financial crisis. Cyber terror is very prominent and I feature that a lot in my thriller series. The protagonist is a journalist. The journalism profession has undergone a significant change. There are a lot of people that aren’t satisfied with what we get as consumers of journalistic content. That’s something that the protagonist struggles with as he goes about his day-to-day.
Where can we get the books?
The author site that I have is under my name JimMosquera.com.
I’m going to order the Chandler Scott thriller series. That’s right up my alley. It’s something different. I also would advocate that our audience consider that because the way most of us tend to learn from chatting with our audience is that they’re reading all of these self-help books. It would be great to read something that stretches us a little bit, taking reality, taking the truth and putting it out in a fictional light, which can make a great connection. Jim, who is a great client for you? How can people connect with you and discover more?
My consulting practice, Sentinel Consulting, is at SentinelConsulting.biz. A good client for me is firm that maybe have had challenges acquiring bank financing. That could be for a variety of reasons, maybe credit score challenges on the part of the owner or owners, length of time in business, poor cash flow. I represent a number of different lending sources. Sometimes it’s similar to what you would see in a bank product. Sometimes it’s industry-specific, maybe to insurance agencies, trucking, construction, contracting. That’s the nature of the alternative finance universe now, it’s diverse and diffuse.
Thank you so much. For all the audience who show up, and you do, asking me and other people on my team and Facebook messaging us and inquiring in the Heartrepreneurs with Terri Levine Facebook community, you’ve asked about how do I get financing. What other lending sources are out there? Who can I go to? Here you go, Jim Mosquera at SentinelConsulting.biz. Jim, thank you so much for being a guest on the show.
Terri, it’s been great being on with you.
For the audience, don’t forget if you’ve enjoyed the show, you may also enjoy being part of our Facebook community. We have about 2,600 active members who engage, chat with each other, share tools, tips, and resources and might be looking to do business with you. Go over to our Facebook group, which is under Facebook.com/groups/HeartrepreneursWithTerriLevine. Thank you so much for reading the blog.
- Sentinel Consulting
- Escaping Oz
- Chandler Scott
About Jim Mosquera
Jim Mosquera is a published author of fiction and non-fiction and a business professional. His non-fiction work will make you understand why the proposed solutions for our problems will not work. His fictional work is so realistic, it will make you wonder if such stories are possible. He wants people to understand the world around them and think for themselves.
Born in Panama City, Panama, he spent his formative years in Panama City and St. Louis, Missouri. He graduated near the top of his class from the University of Missouri-Columbia with Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Industrial Engineering. His Master’s thesis focused on operations research and computer simulation.
After graduation, he studied economics and the markets. He worked in telecommunications serving in a variety of roles including engineering, sales, sales support, product development, and training. In 2004, he received a patent for a software application he developed with a colleague.
In addition to his regular job, he traded successfully traded commodity futures. He continued his education by completing a Series 3 license (Commodity Trading Advisor). Mr. Mosquera also developed proprietary software programs used in options and futures trading.
In the late 1990s, he realized that something was amiss in the stock market. His work in telecommunications and networking led him to identify a bubble in companies related to the Internet. He warned those that he knew to remove their money from the stock market since it appeared the bubble was about to pop. It did in the year 2000.
Currently, he’s a Principal at Sentinel Consulting, an alternative finance (business & consumer) and debt restructuring firm. He also operates the economic and financial website called The Sentinel. He contributes financial and economic articles to various publications.
With the knowledge gained over years of study, he penned a column for a national publication, Examiner.com, in 2009 focusing on the financial markets and the economy. A year later he created a newsletter called, The Sentinel Financial Report. This publication inspired the creation of a book on the financial crisis of 2008 called Escaping Oz: Protecting your wealth during the financial crisis, published in 2011. He published the successor to that book, Escaping Oz: Navigating the crisis, in 2015. For Jim, the financial crisis never really ended. His latest release in the Escaping Oz series is An Observer’s Reflections, a sometimes humorous look at some of our most pressing issues (economic, social, political)
As a result of his non-fiction writing, Jim wrote a realistic fiction novel titled, 2020 that he published in 2016. The story is a political thriller with a financial crisis, cyber terror, and alternative parties challenging the two-party status quo, culminating in the presidential election of 2020. The second book in that series, Rebellium, continues where 2020 left off. In this novel, the country reacts to the President’s historical decision while Chandler makes a chilling discovery that will shake the nation. In the latest book, Division, Chandler navigates an existential crisis for the United States.
Jim Mosquera has made it his life’s mission to learn about the world around him. His travels have taken him to 40 of the 50 states, throughout Canada, Mexico, Central America, South America, the Caribbean, and the European continent.
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