Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Common-sense economic theory

With the Greece crisis getting everyone upset, economists are telling us how bad some fiscally responsible governments that tried to help Greece are victimizing a country down on its luck.

I'm not that sophisticated, but have always run our budget household quite conservatively, using austerity at times, investing at others and making a few mistakes along the way, but still we've made it okay over a 40 year period...

Our thinking was generally sound, our behavior stayed consistent and our (stingy) economic culture proved to be right on target. I just wish the Greek would dump theirs in exchange for ours...

Monday, July 6, 2015

Should Greece be sold and privatized?

Perhaps not, because it would be too expensive and the return would likely be negative.

Well, wait a minute, there might be a better way. Sell the ancient country to China. After all it has all the cash it needs to buy the Greek debt outright and could use a European beachhead.

China is also used to dealing with long-established civilizations, jagged history spiced up with some form of tyranny, a unique view on democracy, and no one would be more qualified to finally put the Greek folks to work!

The Chinese would also get an extension into Europe, a launch platform into the middle east and Africa which would make it a lot easier to trade arms and spy on everyone.

They'd also save the Greek from the expense of reprinting Drachmas and could do every bit as well by paying everyone's pension in Yuan Renminbi.

What's everyone waiting for?

Sunday, July 5, 2015

A fun block party

The day after independence Day was great choice for carrying forward the festivities and organizing our neighborhood block party.

With so many households moving away and as many settling in, it was the ideal venue for meeting all the new faces, getting to know all the dogs, trying to remember the name of every one and chatting the evening away.

Glad we moved to this new, friendly neighborhood!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Another day, another birthday!

Ever since we've lived on this side of the big pond, this is the 39th time we celebrate America's independence.

In Park City, our counts are a tiny bit different as my wife is celebrating her 31st Fourth of July, while I'm only at number 30.
I'm always one beat behind; go figure, but in the meantime, happy birthday America!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Is the heat wave over?

We've never seen an end of June as scorching hot as this one, and now, it seems to come to an end, just like it appeared out of the blue, more than two weeks ago. Is it a sign global warming on steroids, or a weird extreme? I'd tend to say the former, but I'm not quite sure.

This could be a harbinger of burning heat to settle for good into our normally crisp mountain environment, but for the moment, I take it as a welcome reprieve and am sure relieved about it. Cool days are back!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Severing ties with Crédit Agricole...

Over two weeks ago, I got red around the collar when my old French bank wouldn't release the few Euros that still were sitting at their Morzine branch.

My repeated complaints escalated to the point that I had to contact the institution's CEO and it took another 10 days for his immediate subordinate to manifest himself, offer a solution and somehow apologize for his bank's lousy service. By then, I had had enough, I had written a check in Euros from that deadbeat bank and deposited it on my local account, in Park City.

Today, when I went on line to check, the amount, it had just been debited, emptying the account. In the meantime, Pierre Fort, Jean-Yves Barnavon's right hand man, made another excuse for its bank's lackluster customer service, writing in an email: “Without construing this as an excuse, our employees must follow drastic procedures when our clients request overseas wire transfers, particularly when the USA are involved. This, in part, explains the delay...

Well, good try Mr. Fort, but this sounds like unadulterated hogwash, your staff is a bunch of lazy and dogmatic bureaucrats on their way - I hope - to rapid extinction...

“Adieu, Crédit Agricole!”

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Is experience the sum of our pains?

I surmise that our most profound experiences are always the product of failures, errors and painful situations.

Granted, there are pleasing moments in life like love, wins, success and great achievements of all kinds that are wonderful, but these have always failed to make a lasting or transformational imprint on my overall experience.

Is this to say that folks who experience no setback cannot claim a solid experience compared to those who somehow have “paid some price” to get where they got. I'd tend to answer yes.

What do you think?