Posted on June 23, 2009
In early 2008, the economy in the West had already begun to falter. By the end of that year, Lehman Brothers collapsed and the dominos began to fall. materialsDIRECT(mD) had already felt the tide rolling out; our real property holdings had lost much of their value and many of our key customers and prospects were closing their doors or, at best, treading water. We needed a new plan…
In the US, most personal wealth is based on mortgage values, but not the case in most of what westerners call the third world, where most homes are built over time from savings and earnings. This disconnect from the financial markets has had an insulating effect on their economy. Some of the most insulated economies in the world are in Africa, and Nigeria has one of the most robust economies in Africa, with a GDP of over $353 billion (22% of Africa’s combined GDP.)
…so, in the third quarter of 2008 I traveled, on behalf of mD, to West Africa. There, I hoped to find new clients, ready to start new projects while the Western World was recoiling from the prospect of a second Great Depression. I met with Silverbird Chairman, Ben Bruce, one of the biggest and most successful land developers and entertainment moguls on the continent. We’re excited about the prospect of working with Silverbird on their $300 million dollar amusement park, mall and hotel project.