This has to be one of the biggest success stories of the 21st century. It's both a human and a financial success story.
Mr. Yunus is a Nobel Prize winning economist who empowered poor people with his money and his trust. Look at the record:
"Grameen Bank has 7.5 million borrowers, about 97 per cent of them impoverished women. The bank lends out about $1 billion each year in small loans to help stimulate the most basic entrepreneurial activities, such as processing rice, raising chickens or selling eggs. And even with no required collateral or default penalties, Grameen Bank boasts a repayment rate of more than 98 per cent".
It's important to note that Mr. Yunus has established a bank branch in New York City. That doesn't mean the U.S. is now a third world country, but it does mean there are uses for this kind of financial institution in prosperous countries like the United States and Canada.
Below are some of my suggestions for Ontario and the rest of Canada:
I'm sure you can think of other ways that "micro-financing" could be used in your province, state or city. Let the politicos know your ideas on this subject.
This blog entry has nothing to do with "Barron's Financial Magazine". While my name is Barron, I'm not one of those rich guys who spends time and energy driving an SUV, a personal jet, and a big boat.
Probably, I'm moving in the opposite direction to those high rollers.
Recently, I sent four letters to V.I.Ps in politics and automobile manufacturing. Here are some of the highlights from those letters:
"I do not want to be held hostage by oil companies, OPEC, hedge fund managers, greedy speculators or fossil fuel terrorists in the world.
With gasoline going up to $1.34 and higher, it has become very important to buy the most fuel efficient car that I can. It's also good for the environment and promotes green technology and industry which Ontario and Canada needs very much.
I believe we are living on the edge of a golden era of cheap electrical energy for all mankind: limited and cleaned up fossil fuels, nano solar power, fuel cell generators, advanced hybrid electric power, geothermic heating, wind power and garbage heat exchangers. Clean energy production should be encouraged by the taxation system and polluting energy production should be penalized by the taxation system.
We are at the beginnings of a new industrialized revolution similar to what happened in the 19th century. It's important that our focus is on the future and not on the past.
The survival of North American automobile companies is important to our standard of living, but they must change to meet the challenges of this new age".
Messages like the above should be sent to your favourite politicians and automobile companies. Sometimes, "the powers that be" need motivation from the grassroots of humanity.
Look at all the inventions of mankind. One person can make a difference.
When oil prices shoot up more than $11 in a day to a new record above $139 U.S., isn't it about time we did something about it?
Tesla motors seems to be on the cutting edge of the new automobiles.
Wouldn't it be great if automobiles go the way of "Old Steam Engines of the 1950s". The change over to diesel locomotives happened very quickly back then.
Check out a "The Tesla Roadster" for yourself:
The world we live in today is different from what it was in the 20th century and the early 21st century:
I've been working at Canada Post so long that I sometimes I forget what life was like before I became a postal worker.
Hopefully, I'll discover what the real world is like when I retire.
I don't take anything for granted. The viability of our pension plan depends on our ability to compete against UPS/Fedex and to make a good profit.
Here are my suggestions for modernizing the 150 year-old Canadian postal institution:
"As we know, The Post Office went through a period when just making a profit was the bottom line for Canada Postal Corportion and the Canadian Government. In the meantime, the infrastructure suffered because management was unwilling to commit revenues to new machines.
"A labour-intensive mentality" hit CPC and thousands of casuals were recruited to do work that machines could have done. Many of these casuals worked excessive hours and had to be hired on as full timers because of contract agreements with CUPW.
This is a challenging environment for any CEO to inherit.
Waving the finger of blame doesn't do any good now. Canada Post needs financing to service all the citizens of Canada. We need the Government to help us out. This was done in the early 1970s when Canada Post went in debt (800 million dollars) to build mega postal centers like Gateway and South Central. This was necessary to serve all customers and citizens of Canada.
In my opinion, the loan was paid back to the Government by royalty payments through the years. Whatever is remaining should be forgiven.
I'm not sure how much Canada Post needs to borrow for its 2020 modernization plan. I know that The Government, CPC Management, employees, customers and retirees have a stake in this. We are all shareholders.
I suggest an audit of Canada Post to determine its existing value now. I then suggest that shares of this Crown Corporation should be sold to its owner(Canadian Government), employees and customers in a way that would not undermine its value or potential. At least, half the shares would go to Federal Government. The remaining shares could be distributed through the CPC Pension Plan, postal management, postal employees, and preferred customers.
The Federal Government would have a buy back option of the shares at any time.
Dividends from the shares could end up as part of the yearly CTI payment.
If we're going to have the latest and best equipment available like hybrid or fuel cell trucks then substantial investment is necessary. This is the 21st century".
There is more information about my involvement in the Canadian Union Of Postal Workers at www.cupw.info.
I was surprised that Harvey did a great deal of work in cartoons, especially in "The Flintstones".
In his later years, he also went on tour with Tim Conway and did many of his old routines from the Carol Burnett Show.
My favourite Korman character was "Hedley Lemarr" in the movie "Blazing Saddles". One of the top comedy movies of all time.
Harvey's scene below is priceless and well worth watching again and again.
Feb/1927 to May/2008, thanks for making us laugh.
Since the beginning of the year, The Canadian TSX Index is up 6.37% while the S&P 500 is down 4.63%. The Dow is up about 1.00% on the year.
I have a great deal of money in the Toronto Dominion Equity Fund which has delivered a gain of 20% over a three year period.
Not only does Canada have many profitable oil and mining companies, it has banks which were not exposed to the subprime crisis. The Toronto Dominion Bank and The Bank of Nova Scotia are the main ones.
In blue chip investing, one should choose the top companies in any sector.
As well as being a net exporter of oil and minerals, Canada also has a secure mortgage market which was lightly exposed to subprime mortgages.
Another good TD mutual fund that grown by 24% over the last year is the Latin American Equity Fund.
The number one investment, of course, is buying a house at a bargain price and then paying off the mortgage, so one can live comfortably in their 60s, 70s, and 90s. Certainly, the U.S. is better off than Canada in this regard.
May you have profitable investing for the rest of the year and beyond.
With gasoline hovering around $4.00 a gallon or $1.30 a litre, it's perhaps better to have a "Staycation" this year rather than a vacation.
On the internet, you can easily improve your poker game with the ten cent tournament at Poker Stars. Personally, I've finished in the money three out of four times in this tournament over the last few days: 30 cents for 26th place, 40 cents for 16th place and $4.00 for 3rd place. I won't get rich playing this way, but my poker is improving and that's what counts.
It's always fun to upload songs and pictures to your blog or websites. I have close to a half a gigabyte on my websites.
Indoor and outdoor sports are not only exciting, but good exercise as well.
Hopefully, you will have a good staycation this year that suits you and your pocketbook.
The original "Mind Melding" concept comes from the first Strar Trek series. It involved linking one's mind with that of another. Memories, thoughts and emotions could be shared on a very spiritual level. Looking at it from a religious point of view, you might call this act: "A Vulcan Communion Service".
Holy Communion in a church could be called a "Mind Meld With The Divine". The body and blood of Jesus Christ are touched by Christians through the symbols of bread and wine.
The Body Of Christ is everyone in the church past and present, so they connect with each other's mind as well. This is a mind meld of great proportions through space and time.
It is highly likely that "Crystal Skulls" play a profound role in memory transfer as well. It has been reported that if a crystal skull is nearby a sleeper some of its memories will flow into the sleeper's mind.
On the internet, a primitive kind of mind meld is achieved through hyperlinks to webpages, blogs, pictures and music.
Hopefully, this kind of communication reaches a deeper level than good natured banter and/or long winded explanations.