Sunday, July 31, 2011

Urgent Warning

This 5-min video appropriately summarizes the state we are in and the direction we should be roughly heading for. Have a look at Ron Paul's urgent warning.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Visualization of US Debt

This is the best graphical and visual representation of 1 million dollar, one billion dollars, 1 trillion dollars and the US debt. Have a look at these images to get an idea of the size of the US debt. No doubt, one picture says more than a thousand words.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Stop Spending for a Year

Here is a family that decide not to buy anything (except food) for a year. What a project! A whole family unit working together to execute this plan. It made them happier, more free and social. Imagine it for yourself. More freedom through less buying. Have a look at this video.

Monday, July 4, 2011

ECB and Trust

The European Wall Street Journal published this on July 4, 2011:

Some of the European Central Bank's (ECB) notable policy shifts.

  • Jan 2010: ECB President Jean Claude Trichet said that the ECB wouldn't change its collateral rules for the sake of any particular country. In May 2010 it suspends these rules for Greek government bonds.

  • Mar 2010: Mr. Trichet said it wouldn't be appropriate for the IMF to supply assistance for Greece. The IMF later became a a major part of the Greek rescue operation.

  • May 2010: Mr. Trichet said the ECB in its monthly meeting did not discuss whether to buy Greek bonds. Four days later the ECB anounced it would purchase Greek bonds.

It is always the same story. The politicians and political institutions that should stabilize a country change their opinion on a whim and worse, they deny and hide truths up to the moment when it explodes. The WSJ picked the ECB in this example. But I also vividly remember when on a given Friday all Irish politicians denied any rumors of any bankruptcy or collapse, claiming everything is fine, just to announce the following day or the Sunday that the banking system has failed and that they already brokered a deal with the ECB and IMF for a bail out package! How can one play the game if the rules keep changing all the time?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Food Safety

A friend emailed me this link to an article on entitled "Restoring the Honor of the Spanish Cucumber". It is a fascinating article how things tend to spiral out of control. It is the story of how a single farmer influenced the food supply of several hundred millions of people, how the situation created by the farmer was misused by the politicians to create new policies in a matter of days, how it allowed politicians to break the rules with nobody complaining, how one country created a special food police in a matter of days, how thousands of people lost their job due to the hype, and how in the end -- as always -- the action of the politicians created a burden of several hundred millions of Euros to the (mostly) European taxpayers. This story shows how everything is intertwined, food, politics, and finance. It is a story of how fast things can collapse in a crisis and how out of proportion "news" can be reported in our times. Nationalistic behavior and propaganda was shown clearly in this incident. Sadly there are real losers in this story as well: the people who died eating contaminated food, their relatives and friends who lost a loved one, the farmers and pickers in many European countries who lost their job, and all the tax payers who have to pay the price to clean up the mess. This case shows the dark side of globalization and centralization.

It seems to be a lot safer and better to join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program and buy a weekly food basket from the local farmer that you know and trust.