December 2008


Hi all,

I took some time during the holidays to catch up on several interesting articles about the financial crisis. I have to say, one man always hits the nail on the head: Mr. Thomas L. Friedman.

His book.

I’m still reading in his book ‘The World is Flat’, describing how the world of business works today, it explains it all including why and how India is into the boom.

His column for The New York Times.

Now I’ve found his column on the NYT website. Again, he amazes me with a very clear, detailed and simple explanation why things are happening, and in the end. . . . how serious it is.

One example is the following; a view on the Ponzi Scheme Mr. Madoff has on his name:

“I have no sympathy for Madoff. But the fact is, his alleged Ponzi scheme was only slightly more outrageous than the “legal” scheme that Wall Street was running, fueled by cheap credit, low standards and high greed. What do you call giving a worker who makes only $14,000 a year a nothing-down and nothing-to-pay-for-two-years mortgage to buy a $750,000 home, and then bundling that mortgage with 100 others into bonds — which Moody’s or Standard & Poors rate AAA — and then selling them to banks and pension funds the world over? That is what our financial industry was doing. If that isn’t a pyramid scheme, what is?”

Check the full article here.

Europe.

Friedman describes the situation in China and the USA, but we europeans are in the same situation and the bad news is many of us don’t realize it.

Icesave, Fortis . . . want more examples?

People wake up, the financial system is bankrupt and we will feel the consequences in 2009 (and after). Hopefully your company is strong or smart enough to survive but it all starts with the people on the street!

If you believe you should drive a car you cannot afford, of live in that big house which is simply a little bit to expensive. . . . . . . don’t you see it? I’m getting SICK of all these advertisements for more ways to lend money . . . are people really this stupid? Stop this please!

I still remember the day that I discussed our mortgage; the advise:  why not put it into an investment scheme? “We made an average of more then 8% over the last 5 years”, I still hear the guy talking. . . “sir, off course it’s save, look at the history”.

I did put money into that investment, not the whole sum but only 1000 (so I could see if I was right) and guess . . It’s down the drain today, 8 years after my discussion with the advisor. Not only the US has an issue, the European balloon also emptied within a flash second.

We need a reset, and the only way is to feel the pain.

Unfortunately some people will suffer more than others and I guess your expensive car, large house doesn’t help in this situation.

We are overspending, simply buying too much, too expensive . . .  too stupid?

Who to listen to.

Now tell me WHY did Alan Greenspan not see this coming (wasn’t he the man who knew it all)? It looks like a cheap childrens game: now it’s here, and now it’s gone . . .

In my eyes, two people who get it:

Adam Curry (listen to his podcasts, he invested in GOLD).

Thomas L. Friedman (read his book, and collumn and try to find your way to survive).

Happy 2009

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Hi folks,

Finally the holidays are there! Besides re-doing one room, I try to find time to upload some travel pictures of 2007 – 2008.

Check them out on:

https://basvanbreugel.wordpress.com/pictures/

Happy Christmas!

I normally don’t forward the so called ‘fun’ stuff you get via mail, but for this one I make an exception 😉

http://www.kroma.no/2008/bushgame/bushgame