Musical tribute to 2008 Wallstreet meltdown

In case you missed 2008 in terms of financial news (the BIG crisis), here is a musical overview to get you updated:

I recommend loading the song on your iPod for work-out memorization of the biggest meltdown in our lifetime.

This is actually a new version of a early 2008 video/song about the 2007 meltdown. Things got more interesting since then however and the quality of the video improved as well.

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28 February 2009 • Economy, Finance, InvestingComments (0)Permalink

The whole world is going down the drain

Another week of incredible news. Bad news that is. Yet it still feels that a lot of people are underestimating the severity of the crisis. I have to admit that initially I thought this crisis would mostly affect the USA. I knew that the rest of the world was going to be hit hard as well, but not 'as hard'. Now, it seems that the rest of the world is actually going to be hit harder. I can not help but feel that it all seems a little unfair. Not necessarily for Western Europe but mostly for the developing world.

At least we are living in very interesting times. Aside from all the doom and gloom, I am happy to be part of such a 'historically significant' time.

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28 February 2009 • Economy, FinanceComments (0)Permalink

What color is ‘morally grey’?

In the latest Heroes episode (season 3, episode 17), Noah Bennett uses the phrase morally grey again. Apart from me joking that morally grey would not make a nice wedding color, it also made me wonder what shade of grey it would really be. I actually believe 'morally grey' should not really exist - a contradictio in terminis maybe. Isn't something either 'good' or 'bad' and making any excuses just pulls it in the grey area and therefore admits it was 'bad'? I guess it also depends on what definition you go with.

As for the current state of the world: it seemed that for a lot of people in business and politics 'morally grey' was (and is) their favorite color. Makes you wonder when the day of reckoning is going to come.

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25 February 2009 • PersonalComments (0)Permalink

Saturday morning reading

I spent a good deal of my Saturday morning reading an elaborate rant by James Quinn titled "The Burning Platform".

Here are some of my thoughts (while reading the article):

  • The disparity of wealth in the US always seemed enormous to me. Somehow the system seemed to sustain itself well in the past decades. Recently I have seriously started to question if the 'poor' in the US will put up with it much longer.
  • Illegal immigrants are really convenient when you want someone to landscape your garden, tile your roof or make you brunch in one of your favorite restaurants. Seeing tens of -- probably illegal immigrant -- day laborers waiting in vain along the streets of Berkeley last december, was a little disturbing. Fully aware -- as they were -- that they were not going to be picked up that day anymore. Now that things are seriously slowing down and even the California 'rich' (a lot of them with jobs that anywhere else in the world would only grant them a 'middle class' life have little interest in hiring day laborers (tax free) for a day, it makes you wonder what all these 'laborers' are now going to for a living.
  • Social unrest (and a upsurge in crime) cannot not be ruled out in the US. The same definitely applies to developing countries. China as the new world power will only happen if they can actually keep things together politically and socially.
  • Good to read that our health care system is not even that inefficient. Yet I still believe it is extremely inefficient.
  • I have always held the opinion that the US has become so wealthy (and pleasant country) partly because they were more inviting to immigrants. Immigrant were also happier to go there because they had a dream (the American Dream). Hard-working immigrants has always been a large part of the backbone of the US economy. These immigrants were the cheap laborers of the US economy. It is now interesting to see that one of the solutions for America's problems might be to let in highly educated immigrants. I have always supported similar ideas in Holland -> do not have strict immigration laws against highly skilled/educated petitioners. On a socialist level that might however touch some sensitive nerves because it stresses the fact that not every man is equal. How about this proposition: give anyone a US green card who has a Master's degree or higher and invests $500,000 or more in the US (buys a house for example).
  • The part about the military industrial complex it a little scary. I do not see the US downsizing it army personnel in the near future however. That would only add to the fast growing jobless mob.
  • This is an interesting quote: "The founding fathers envisioned representatives who did their civic duty for a short time and then went back to their real profession." A country that has a law that prevents anyone from become a full time politician might fare better. I agree that it would be wise to set a 6 to 8 year term limit for US Congressmen.
  • What is it with developed countries making their tax systems so extremely complicated. Why do I pay taxes for one thing and get refunds or deductibles for others things.
  • What a mess we find ourselves in. And yes, this crisis will effect every person on this planet -- if not directly, then indirectly.
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Credit crisis explained

Anyone who wants a thorough explanation of how the Credit of Crisis actually came about should watch this awesome video:
The Crisis of Credit Visualized from Jonathan Jarvis on Vimeo. I was sad to reach the end of the video. Maybe they can eventually do a follow up that explains the government interference in the markets (bail outs etc.) and the politics and corruption that are fueling part of this crisis. The video was extremely non-partisan or judgmental. Everyone seemed to just do there job and wanted to make money. That this also led to outright greed and morally questionable behavior cannot be gotten from this video.
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21 February 2009 • Economy, FinanceComments (0)Permalink

Fresh and clean

This blog is enormously "under-blogged". I decided to start over with a fresh and clean design -- all based on my "less is more" and "keep it simple stupid" (kiss) philosophies. Now let's see if I can keep up posting something here at least a couple times a month.
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21 February 2009 • BloggingComments (0)Permalink
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