Sense and Nonsense

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Sense and Nonsense

Greek Report 2 - Unemployment

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If one thing can break a man, it is unemployment. Unemployment not only deprives him of funds to support himself, but alienates him, at least partly, from social life. Now unemployment is not a new thing for the Greek –or for the matter of fact for any country- but during a financial crisis it is one of the first things to affect the average citizen and should be taken care of.

The Specifics of The Situation in Greece.

A few days ago new data on unemployment was published. Unemployment rates climbed at a rate of 4% per year, reaching the 16% mark. We are still in the peak of the tourist season, ergo more jobs lost in September. Furthermore, the word is that these are not the actual percentages, since people that work odd and part-time jobs are included in the working numbers.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 14:33

Money Comments - August 18, 2011

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Financial, Human and Social Capital

Global financial markets and institutions appear increasingly unstable. The temptation is to expound on that, endlessly rehashing the problem. To do so is to avoid thinking about possible solutions. It is a logical extension of denying there is a problem to solve.

Rehashing the problem could be an attempt on my part to recruit a multitude of followers to my point of view before I act. Wasting time convincing others is a way to postpone and evade dealing with the problem itself. My best interest is served by getting out of a burning building, not convincing others it is on fire.

Truthfully, I do not know for certain that the financial markets and institutions are indeed increasingly unstable. I may be misinformed or I may be misinterpreting the information I have. Or maybe I am just  another grumpy old man living comfortably while lamenting the state of world affairs. Then again maybe I am crazy, obsessing on problems that exist only in my fevered mind. While recognizing these and other possibilities, I choose to explore investment opportunities outside the financial capital markets. You are free to take it or leave it as you choose.

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 August 2011 08:19

Greek Report 1 - Background

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The Greek Report is different from the accounts of economic collapse in Chile and Russia published here in that it will be a real-time report instead of one filtered by time and hindsight. In some ways, it will be similar to Fernando Aguirre's writing from Argentina except that Argentina is a decade past economic collapse while Greece is just now experiencing it.

I present it here because the USA is not far behind Greece in racing toward political, social and economic collapse. Maybe US citizens can see how agonizing it would be for the USA to follow Chile, Russia, Argentina and Greece down the path of debt and failure. It probably won't change the path of history because events are spiraling out of control and have life of their own. But maybe it will help a few Americans prepare for a future that is very different from the recent past.

The Greek Reporter prefers to remain anonymous for now but he is an average middle class, well-informed and educated Greek citizen. Since the Greek Reporter is writing in real-time without the benefits of hindsight, these reports may lack organization and flowing storyline a reader expects in a book. It will be more like reading a weekly magazine where the focus shifts and fades as time moves on.

Last Updated on Thursday, 29 September 2011 09:56

USSR Collapse - Russia in the 1990s

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Every economic collapse is different from the historic, big-picture perspective but the effects on the average citizen are remarkably similar. Citizens find their savings are gone or inflated into worthlessness while the basic necessities of life become difficult or impossible to obtain. More people than anyone wants to admit simply died or were killed in the violence that came with desperation.

The experiences of the survivors may be useful to US citizens who want to prepare for political, social and economic instability at home. The US is not immune to such man-made tragedies - they are the natural result of irresponsible national behavior.

It is not easy to find personal, first hand accounts of how the average citizen fared during economic collapse because most average citizens were scrambling to survive. They did not keep records and take pictures. As a result, most accounts are filtered through government and academic channels that have a vested interest in distorting the picture to shift blame. Most personal accounts are written after the fact and from a secure position.  Memory probably sugar coats it a little, particularly in regard to how many people did not survive. None the less, they contain truths that are useful and similarities that are striking.

The USSR collapsed in 1991and defaulted economically in 1992. Their problems at that time were similar to those faced by the USA today in some ways and completely different in others. The following account of personal experience during the Russian collapse 20 years ago came from  Signs of the Times website. It is presented here with their explicit permission. I do not know the actual name of the original author but will be happy to give credit if it comes to my attention.

Last Updated on Friday, 01 March 2013 19:35

Prepare for ... What?

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Truth is revealed in action. Beliefs, attempts, intentions, thoughts, words and feelings mean nothing until they are translated into deeds. What I do is the truth about what I am. All the rest is just cheap talk. So what have I actually done to prepare for hard times?

You might say my entire life has been spent preparing for difficulty. As a result, I have actually encountered very little of it. Strange how that works and worth thinking about.


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