Friday, October 24, 2008

Random Thoughts

I was reading about Iceland in the European papers. This country has 300,000 people and some time ago it decided to de-regulate its banking industry. Banks in Iceland started offering great interest rates to European investors who deposited huge sums of cash. Now, the banks are in trouble and many European governments fearful of investor backlash have resorted to freezing the assets of the Iceland banks in their countries and guaranteeing the deposits - in a foreign country no less! Interesting times we live in.

I have a fascination with small successful countries. Iceland was not in my radar until now but I was always a fan of Israel and its people. But Iceland is inching up my popularity index. Not because it defrauded a bunch of Europeans - I have sympathy for the people who invested - but because as I learn about this country I seem to like it more. They seem to be a tough resourceful and resilient people who cheerfully survive months of near darkness.

So I searched the web for Icelandic newspapers and came across this article. I appreciate them even more.

Another country that evokes admiration is Sweden. My fascination stems partly because many of these countries have populations that are smaller than some of the world's major megapolises. But their innate decency, concern for their people's welfare, industriousness and entrepreneurship has contributed greatly to a prosperous society in their countries.

If only many of the other countries with a wealth or resources and talent could try and replicate their models.

Stock Market

Since this is a random post, on a different topic, the stock market is not doing too well these days. So the newspapers and news sites have taken to showing the faces of traders in the floor of the stock exchange. More often than not the faces paint a picture of hyper misery, dejection worthy of the most melodramatic of Mexican soap operas.

Though I am hurting as much from the crash of the market as the next person, I can't but smile every time I see one of these images. We get it. The news is bad. Thanks for the open jawed, eyes raised toward the ticker, hand on head image to really drive home the point. I really wanted to post some of my favorite images, but did not want to run into copyright issues.
At least I have something to laugh about in the current mess.

But I am still Bullish on America!

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