Category Archives: COOL

Iceland Back From The Brink: Lessons For America

The people of Iceland non-violently reclaimed their country. They demanded new elections and a new banking board. They also voted against paying back massive debts to the UK that they themselves had nothing to do with.  Most importantly,
Iceland let their banks default.

Iceland took the pain and faced it head on and now, four years later, they are seeing signs of growth and recovery. Some Americans were on the same page back in the 2008. We defeated the initial Henry Paulson bailout plan when it first came to a vote. Then the following week Paulson resubmitted an updated version of his original three-page, 600 billion-plus request and forced it through.  With this pushy, CEO-like move he ignored the will of the people.

The FDIC protects accounts up to 250K, if they honored this could we have also let poorly run banks fail?  Was it time for the American people to force common sense on the banking  industry? Though Iceland has a small homogeneous population they may have the answers America is looking for.  Here’s a nice little page with an overview of how they returned from the brink.

http://www.businessinsider.com/what-the-world-can-learn-from-icelands-default-model-2011-8?op=1

I’m not a big regulation guy but here’s a few rules that I’ve learned from others that make a lot of sense.
1. Banks must hold loans for the life of the loan. No more wrapping up loser loans and selling them to others. The purchasers of these loser loans(and their Quants) soon realize they need insurance in the form of a credit default swaps. When these contracts fail what happens? It’s an unregulated cascade.

2. Banking should be a boring business. Reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act. If you can’t make a profit making loans you shouldn’t be a banker. With fractional reserve banking allowing a bank to lend 10 times its deposit base it should be a fairly easy thing to do. Many current large bank CEOs really want to be and essentially are hedge fund managers. Let them run private hedge funds and get all the glory and all the risk. This way if they fail the American public doesn’t have to bail them out and then be lectured to that it was necessary.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2013 Nominees

It’s an interesting line-up of nominees. Will they actually give Rush the nod and provide prog rock fans around the world with a synchronized rockgasm? I can see the salesman at Guitar Center now –the one with the piano tie, kneeling and openly weeping with joy. Will Randy Newman and Heart dare to jam with Kraftwerk –I don’t think Florian or Ralf will tolerate such nonsense!

With Joan Jett and The Blackhearts also possibly playing I’d have to watch it this year.

Then you have The Monkees getting dissed (as Flavor Flav would say) again. Which is fine as Mickey would rather have an Emmy I’m sure. Their music, whoever was writing it or playing it or profiting from it, was tremendous fun esp. for kids (me as a kid). They re-ran those shows when I was about three or four or five or six and I still want to live in a beach house and play tunes.

The Rock HOF certainly has the cryptic coldness of some independent, all-powerful group like the Federal Reserve or the Justin Bieber fan club. We just have to accept their decisions and move forward.

Part II: TO UNLOCK OR NOT TO UNLOCK AND THE DEATH OF MY TOUCH SCREEN PHONE

Ended up buying the same model phone, the LG Rumor Touch, on Ebay for $39 and change. Here’s the thing, by buying the same model phone VirginMobile hasn’t bumped up my plan –I’m still grandfathered into my current plan. So all is well on that front at the moment. I’m still not a fan of its touch screen but it does have the best sliding keypad I’ve seen with almost chicklet-sized buttons.  For travel overseas I did buy an unlocked Razr V3 for $20. 🙂

TO UNLOCK OR NOT TO UNLOCK AND THE DEATH OF MY TOUCH SCREEN PHONE

I hate monthly bills and I’m always looking to pay as little as I can for cell service. This lead me to VirginMobile. Unfortunately my Rumor Touch II(I HATE touch screens) is dying a miserable death (did I mention that I hate touch screens?) but I’m still on their $25 unlimited texting & data plan with 300 minutes of talk time. Unfortunately, VM has bumped the plan to $35 and if I switch up phones I’ll be paying the new rate. So I decided to take my old Razr V3 to the mall to get it unlocked. Mall cell kiosks will do it for $25 but a quick search revealed that you can get a thoroughly used Razr V3, unlocked on Ebay for $20. So I pulled the trigger as I need a quad band phone that takes international SIM cards when traveling.  So maybe I’ll be going back to the Razr and complimenting it with a slider tablet for web on the go. Yes, the Rumor Touch was just a feature phone but what exactly am I missing? I still dig the Razr –it’s a classic and have you ever tried to use a touch screen phone (even one with a slider keypad) when the touch no longer works? It’s a talk-to-the-screen-cause-the-OS-ain’t-listenin’ moment. To be continued…

HISTORY: Great Nation Cycle –Anonymous Quote

This quote is legend.  You’ve probably seen it before. What stage is the USA in??? What stage are other countries in?

Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage.