May 26, 2017 nº 1,869 - Vol. 14

"Do not fear mistakes. There are none."

 Miles Davis

In today's Law Firm Marketing, Swimming upstream increases credibility, makes your marketing message stand out

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  • Top News

Why should the big banks get free money?

If you stop and think for a minute about how banking actually works, you can’t help but conclude what an extraordinary business it really is and how lucky big banks like Bank of America, Wells Fargo and JPMorganChase are to be at the top of it. In 2016, these three financial institutions together raked in $65 billion in net income, which is after paying out a total of $75 billion or so in compensation and benefits to their employees. This does not appear to be an industry suffering in the least. As regulatory relief appears to draw near, what should we ask of big banks in return for the extraordinary franchise we, the American people, have granted to them? The raw material of banking, by and large, is the money you and I deposit in banks. The banks, in turn, take our deposits and lend that money to people and businesses all over the world that want it, or need it, and are willing to pay a fair price to get it. The alchemy of capitalism is that they use these loans, which of course must be paid back, to start and expand companies, to build plants and equipment, and to hire employees and, it is hoped, pay them higher wages. The difference between what banks pay depositors for use of their money and what banks charge borrowers to get this money is known as "the spread", and forms much of what becomes the extraordinary profits described above. (There is more to it than this, of course, but you get the basic idea.) For some reason, which does not make a whole lot of sense, we collectively are willing to give the banks this raw material essentially for free. If you look at what the banks are paying us for the use of our money, it is about as close to nothing as you can get, and has been for years. Wouldn't the more rational thing be to give our money to the highest bidder for it? The answer is not terribly complex and goes to the heart of human nature. First, inertia is a very powerful force: It's a pain in the neck to switch banks, for what seems like a minimal amount of compensation to do so. Second, banks do not always make it easy to get your money back if you need it. The potential problem, of course, is that your money is not actually at the bank; only a portion of it is. The bank is busy using your money to make its profits, not leaving it around in case you want it back. That's fine until depositors or consumers get to thinking that their money will not be at the bank when they want it. Then they start panicking and start demanding their money back all at the same time. That leads to the kind of financial crises we saw in 1929 and 2008, revealing to everyone what a fragile system we have constructed. Banking is at an important crossroads. Proposals are flying fast and furious about how to roll back the regulations imposed on Wall Street and community banks after the 2008 crisis. It's unclear what changes, if any, will be made.

  • Crumbs

1 - Manchester attack: Police 'not sharing information with US' - click here.

2 - Brazilian Uber Rival Raises $100 Million From SoftBank click here.

3 - Fever-Tree co-founder makes £73m from selling shares click here.

4 - Microsoft to buy cyber security firm Hexadite for $100 million click here.

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  • MiMIC Journal

Why China's growing debt load worries the world

After Moody's lowered its grade by a notch, the financial health of the world's second-largest economy is again causing concern.

China activists fear increased surveillance with new security law

Chinese activists say they fear intensified state surveillance after a draft law seeking to legitimize monitoring of suspects and raid premises was announced last week, the latest step to strengthen Beijing's security apparatus. Some activists say they already face extensive surveillance by security agents and cameras outside their homes. Messages they post on social media, including instant messaging applications like WeChat are monitored and censored, they said.

Outspoken Chinese law professor, government critic, silenced

One of the Chinese government's most vocal critics is finally falling silent. He Weifang told The Associated Press Friday that he would no longer publish on social media after authorities repeatedly shut down his personal blog, his Weibo microblog and two WeChat accounts. He, a famed law professor at elite Peking University and key defender of imprisoned Chinese Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, is the latest public intellectual to throw in the towel in President Xi Jinping's China. Over the past half-decade, freedom of speech and other civil liberties have been rolled back while a radical movement devoted to the People's Republic's authoritarian founder Mao Zedong has flourished.

  • Law Firm Marketing

Swimming upstream increases credibility, makes your marketing message stand out
by Trey Ryder

The fundamental principle behind education-based marketing is to educate prospects so they understand their problems and the solutions you can provide.

But how do you focus prospects' attention on your marketing message when competing lawyers deliver a similar message?

Easy. Offer tips that explain why prospects should not necessarily take the most-recommended course of action, appearing to argue against your own self interest

Here's a true case history using an estate planning example:

In 1986, the living trust revolution was in full swing. Nearly every estate planning lawyer was jumping on the living trust bandwagon. The problem my client faced was that all lawyers seemed to offer the same message: Get a living trust to avoid probate and lower estate taxes. With dozens of lawyers broadcasting the same message in the same city, many consumers soon viewed living trusts as commodities. As a result, lawyers often lowered their fees in hopes of remaining competitive.

During that time, my client told me that lawyers often did not explain the negative side of living trusts. And while the positives usually outweighed the negatives, he believed prospects should understand both the pros and cons. This gave rise to our educational handout, "8 Potential Problems With Living Trusts."

Since no other lawyers focused this much attention on the negatives, my client immediately stood out. Here was a lawyer who seemed to speak against the solution most lawyers recommended.

How did consumers respond?

When prospects heard that my client offered an article entitled "8 Potential Problems With Living Trusts," his phone rang off the hook. Many prospects who were preparing to hire a lawyer stopped dead in their tracks -- until they received and read my client's article.

Did this mean my client was turning people away from living trusts? Of course not. But when people asked for this article, they learned eight areas that could prove to be problems -- and the importance of choosing a skilled, experienced attorney who knew how to avoid those pitfalls.

What did this new handout accomplish?

First, it created another powerful title that would attract prospects' interest. Second, by providing information that other lawyers did not offer, prospects concluded that my client was more honest and straightforward than lawyers who appeared to be one-sidedly positive. Third, this article generated a new stream of prospects who had been thinking about hiring other lawyers until they saw this new, objective discussion.

I call this method swimming upstream -- because we created a message that went in the opposite direction of our competitors. When you highlight information that appears to argue against what other lawyers recommend, you quickly increase your credibility and attract prospects who want the whole story.

If you often suggest the same solution other lawyers recommend, I encourage you to swim upstream by identifying potential problems with the commonly accepted solution. This will greatly increase your credibility -- cause you to stand out among competitors -- and give your prospect one more powerful reason to choose you.

Here are a few examples of messages you might use.

-- In your area of law, if lawyers regularly recommend a particular tax-planning tool, write a list of times when this tool may not be your client's best choice.

-- In your area of law, if lawyers regularly recommend that prospects hire an attorney, identify and explain when prospects can handle the matter themselves.

-- In your area of law, if lawyers often recommend a particular type of contract, write a list of times when that contract may not be sufficient to protect your prospect's interests.

-- In your area of law, if prospects believe they must hire a large law firm, identify when it's in their best interests to hire a small firm instead.

Whatever the conventional wisdom, you supercharge your marketing message when you identify, list and explain when it's in your clients' best interests to do the opposite. This immediately attracts prospects to your message, greatly increases your credibility (justifying higher fees), and often results in those prospects hiring you.

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© Trey Ryder
FREE LAWYER MARKETING ALERT: If you'd like to receive Trey Ryder's weekly Lawyer Marketing Alert, send an e-mail to Trey@TreyRyder.com. Write "Subscribe LMA" in the subject line and write your name and e-mail address in the body of the message.

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  • Historias Verdaderas

Uber

El pleno de la Suprema Corte de Justicia de México avaló una norma que regula las actividades de Uber en el Estado Yucatán, la norma determina la forma de operar de las empresas de redes de transporte como es el caso de Uber. (Presione aquí)

Negocios

La italiana Astaldi explora potenciales negocios para entrar en Argentina, así como nuevos proyectos en Chile, en medio de un impulso en el desarrollo de infraestructura de los países sudamericanos. El presidente de la compañía Paolo Astaldi, en visita a Chile para la instalación de la primera piedra del moderno Telescopio Europeo Extremadamente Grande que construirá la firma en el norte del país confirmó que examinan varios contratos de carreteras en Argentina.

Fusiones

La firma alemana Hapag-Lloyd -donde el grupo chileno Luksic a través de Vapores es principal accionista- y United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) anunciaron el cierre de la fusión de sus negocios, consolidándose como la quinta naviera portacontenedores más grande del mundo. La operación generará sinergias anuales de US$ 435 mlls., que se alcanzarán en 2019. Vapores tiene, tras la fusión, el 22,6% de la propiedad de la empresa, porcentaje que subiría a 25% cuando Hapag-Lloyd realice un aumento de capital por US$ 400 mlls.

  • Brief News

Kushner under FBI scrutiny

Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, is under FBI scrutiny as part of the Russia investigation. Reports say investigators believe he has relevant information, but he is not necessarily suspected of a crime. The FBI is looking into potential Russian meddling in the 2016 election and links with Trump's campaign. The president denies any collusion. Kushner's lawyer said his client would co-operate with any inquiry. Trump has described the Russia investigations as "the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history". (Click here)

US court upholds travel halt on executive order

A US federal appeals court has refused to lift a temporary block on Trump's revised travel ban. The Virginia-based court said the president's broad immigration power was "not absolute" and the ban "intended to bar Muslims from this country". The decision upheld a lower Maryland court ruling that found the ban violated constitutional rights. The justice department said it would now seek a Supreme Court review of the appeals verdict. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the verdict thwarted Trump's effort to protect US national security. Trump's revised executive order would have placed a temporary ban on people from six mainly Muslim countries and the refugee program. (Click here)

G.M. accused in lawsuit of deceit on diesel truck emissions

A class-action case alleges that the automaker programmed heavy-duty pickups to cheat on pollution tests. The company denied the charge.

Mark Zuckerberg gets honorary Harvard degree after dropping out

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has returned to Harvard University under rainy skies to give a graduation speech and receive an honorary degree. The world's fifth-richest person, worth $62.3b, famously dropped out of Harvard after launching the global social-networking website. Zuckerberg remarked that "we live in an unstable time," and called for students to "not only create new jobs, but create a new sense of purpose". Political experts think he may be positioning himself to run for office.

Brazilian troops recalled from streets of capital

Brazilian President Michel Temer has revoked a decree that deployed troops in the capital, Brasilia, to defend government buildings against protests. The decree was made on Wednesday when the government said police could not contain anti-government demonstrations. However, the move was strongly criticized by city authorities and the opposition. Protesters want the resignation of Temer, fresh elections, and the withdrawal of economic reforms.

Corbyn links terror threat to wars abroad

UK foreign policy would change under a Labour government to one that "reduces rather than increases the threat" to the country, Jeremy Corbyn is to say. The Labour leader will point to links between wars abroad and "terrorism here at home". Corbyn will say the "war on terror is simply not working". Security Minister Ben Wallace said his comments were "inappropriate and crassly timed". Meanwhile, Theresa May will chair a session on counter-terrorism with G7 leaders in Sicily, Italy, on Friday.

Trump tells Nato allies to pay up

Trump has told his Nato allies in Brussels that all members of the alliance must pay their fair share of defense spending. "Massive amounts of money" were owed, he said, voicing a long-held US concern that others are not paying enough. But Nato states' contributions are voluntary and a target of spending 2% of GDP on defense is only a guideline. The alliance later agreed that member-states would report back annually on defense spending to Nato.

UN: Saudi's demolition of historic neighborhood violates human rights

Three UN experts on cultural rights, extreme poverty and adequate housing urged the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to stop the demolition of a 400-year-old neighborhood in Awamia on Wednesday. According to Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain the historic quarter of Awamia, al-Masora, has a significant cultural history. The walled city holds mosques, markets and businesses and is home to about 2,000 to 3,000 people. The Saudi government is planning to demolish the historic architecture and replace it with commercial and service areas.

Philippines: Martial law threatens escalation of abuses

The Philippine government's declaration of martial law in the southern island of Mindanao threatens to widen the scope of abuses under President Rodrigo Duterte, Human Rights Watch said. On May 23, 2017, the Duterte administration declared martial law and suspended habeas corpus after the Islamist armed group Maute attacked Marawi City and killed three security force officers and burned several buildings, including a hospital and school. The imposition of martial law in the midst of Duterte's "war on drugs," in which more than 7,000 people have been killed since June, raises grave concerns of ever-widening human rights violations in the country, HRW said. The day following the declaration, Duterte told the media, "Martial law is martial law. It will not be any different from what the president Marcos did. I'd be harsh." He later said that he "might declare martial law throughout the country to protect the people." (Click here)

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