Corporate titan 3M says doing business in Venezuela is too risky; they’ve suspended operations at a cost of nearly $160 million. Get the full story from the Star Tribune in the link below, but it’s a story that matters in Minot for two reasons.
First, it’s a reminder that the trust that binds our economies together and keeps everything moving isn’t inexhaustible. Government policies and performance have positive and negative impacts on commerce and trade. This is an extreme example, but it’s a clear reminder of what hangs in the balance.
Second, it’s an example of how business and investors evaluate risk. There is a limit to risk business interests are willing to bear in hopes of a return on their investment. Again, this is an extreme example, but there’s a small lesson for Minot as we bear the costs of protecting ourselves from one of our larger risks — flood. Does Minot’s flood reputation chill investment? Probably not in ways that are easy to measure, and probably not as a primary factor — but smart investors do their best to measure and price risk. In that sense, our investment in flood protection makes us a less risky place to do business and invest.
Get the Star Tribune story on Venezuela below.