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David Barron

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Wednesday, 25 June 2008
My Letter To Muhammad Yunus And The Grameen Bank

Below is a letter that I sent to Mr. Muhammad Yunus and his Grameen Bank. I think it's time to take his bank to the next level and start micro and macrofinancing in the United States. It's time for a breath of fresh air in the world's biggest financial system.

"I'm a great admirer of your bank and your work with poor people in 3rd world countries. Your system on giving loans on trust and producing only a default rate of 2% is truly remarkable.

In North America, we need a change in the U.S. financial system away from the irresponsible heavily leverage and subprime loan fiascos of the past. We need rays of sunshine to dispel the clouds of doom and gloom from Goldman Sachs, Citibank, The Leeman Brothers and others.

I believe that your bank could play a part in rebuilding confidence in a "Reinvented U.S. Financial System" that would mentor and monitor its creditors so they developed genuine good credit.

The above would result in good mortgages and good lines of credit to those who improved their credit ratings. This applies to anyone rich or poor, businesses and financial institutions.

At a time when you and your bank were succeeding so well, the U.S. financial endured heavy losses which are still being felt throughout the world.

I live in Brampton, Ontario Canada and our particular problem here are exploitive "payday loans" from legal loan-sharking businesses. It's the poor who suffer the most from these predatory companies. Your bank would help put the payday loan sharks out of business.

I know there's a Grameen Bank in New York City, but I don't know if you're planning a branch in the Greater Toronto Area. If you do, I'll be your first customer.

Thank you for helping those most in need".

All the best,
David Barron



Posted by qualteam at 9:11 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 25 June 2008 9:32 PM EDT
Saturday, 21 June 2008
The War On Poverty In Ontario And Canada

The Ontario Government is taking submissions on poverty in Ontario and Canada. My ideas are listed below:

  1. Children in poverty are often poorly clothed and hungry. Their education and self image can suffer because of this. Particular attention has to go to eliminating hunger, bad clothing and unhygienic conditions, so disadvantaged children can learn and socialize with other kids without being bullied or humiliated.
  2. Tim Hortons has a summer camp program for underpriviledged children. This has been very successful in Ontario. Other corporate sponsors should be found for specialized summer camps for artistic, gifted and difficult children. Whatever the need is for these special students, they should be helped by individual, corporate and government donations.
  3. There are places in the libraries and community centres where events and sports are held for kids and youth. I believe its important to sponsor extracurricular activites (like acting groups) and sports teams in a community. Youths, and children have to get out and learn new things plus exercise in a fun way with others. Sometimes poor families can't afford the expense of these activities, so they have to be assisted by charities.
  4. There has to be a crusade against poverty from the highest level of government and business organizations. The greatest resource of any country is its children. Poor children must be given an opportunity to succeed like other middle class children.
  5. Improved programs for retraining and certification of immigrants must be stressed. There should be more Employment Insurance money spent in Ontario on projects to help people get away from deadend contract and minimun wage jobs.

If you want to make your own contribution to a "New Strategy on Poverty in Ontario and Canada", please click on this link.

Bridge Over Troubled Waters/Simon and Garfunkle


Posted by qualteam at 10:07 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 22 June 2008 8:55 PM EDT
Thursday, 19 June 2008
Looking For Another Job In A New Industry?

The old economy with its gas guzzling planes and automobiles is starting to go down the tubes. Look at the job cuts to "Air Canada" and "GM Canada".

That doesn't mean that online poker is producing a new economy in Canada or the world. Many people have always enjoyed gambling. At "Poker Stars", I recently improved my poker playing by winning $17,000 in play money over three weeks. That doesn't mean, I'm going to become a profession poker player.

It's good to get better at a challenging game, but a new economy can and will replace an old one. Look at the industrial revolution in the 19th century.

The Government must concentrate on bringing companies to Ontario that will build fuel efficient autos, trucks, buses, and planes. That's part of any "New Economy". 


Posted by qualteam at 10:10 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 19 June 2008 10:26 PM EDT
Monday, 16 June 2008
The Progressive Automobile X Prize

This is a 10 million dollar race across the U.S. with a goal to develop the cleanest-running car ever without sacrificing driving range or affordability. The race starts in New York in 2009 and will conclude in 2010.

Rocker Neil Young has his own super efficiency racer an electrified 1959 Lincoln called the Linc Volt.  Advanced electric motor inventor Thane Heins is also working on this project.

The goals of the race are simple: "We're going to create cars that will allow us to stop giving our wealth to other countries for petroleum. We'll make history by making gasoline history".

With oil again going up quite a bit on world markets, the quicker this comes about the better it is for all of us.

The Linc Volt is the new "Grease Lightning" of the future. 
A Grease Medley including Grease Lightning below:


Posted by qualteam at 10:09 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 16 June 2008 11:33 AM EDT
Sunday, 15 June 2008
The Barron Blog Links Have Been Updated

I've added more entries to the links section on the right side of the Barron Blog. Basically, this material is better organized by topic than the semi daily entries on this page. I've tried to put the best entries in each category as well.

I've also added some new categories for my links as well. These include "Green Activism And Investing", Great Music From The Past" and "Off-Beat Stuff".

There's at least ten new entries in "Cosmic Views On The Universe". The "Top Ten List Category" has at least four more top lists. Also, there's five more entries in "Investing In The Future".

To me,  blogging and internet sites link not only to human minds and experience, but to other life forms as well. It's a common memory bank that we all can access.

I blog, therefore, I am.

Posted by qualteam at 7:35 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 15 June 2008 8:22 PM EDT
Saturday, 14 June 2008
Religion, Star Trek And Science Fiction
Before the middle of the 20th century religion was shrouded in mystery, dogma, and authoritarianism. Much of the vision of Christianity was fixed on religious art work between the 4th and 15th century. With this kind of baggage, it was difficult for Catholics and other fundamentalist sects to accept scientific thought like an Earth that went around a sun or  basic evolution.
Science fiction writers of the 20th century like Issac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut, Ron Hubbard, Richard Matheson and Gene Roddenbury became the modern prophets of the new age religions of the 20th century. This was especially true in the many chronicles of Star Trek crews.
It should be noted that "Star Trek and Religion" is taught as a course in an Indiana university. While there is some evidence that Gene Roddenberry was a humanist and a religious cynic, he was open to different concepts of advanced civilizations in the universe. Religious individuals could be controlling and cultish like "Landru" in "Return of the Archons" or distant and mentally manipulative like "The Melcosians" in "Spectre of the Gun". Some beings like in "The Q Continuum" could be practically omnipotent. A whole religious mythology could be set up from an accidental contact of an advanced civilization with a primitive one(e.g. "Who Watches The Watchers" episode.)
There are scholarly essays on religious viewpoints in Star Trek. You can find some of them here and on other websites on the internet.
However, you don't need deep religious meanings to enjoy good spaced-out adventures and that's what Star Trek and it's various incarnations have in abundance.

Posted by qualteam at 10:15 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 15 June 2008 1:01 AM EDT
Tuesday, 10 June 2008
Muhammad Yunus And The Grameen Bank

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:

  1. His bank could offer credit/work counseling and small loans for those who wanted to work at a small business.
  2. His bank would allow those who are not credit worthy to have a bank account and to develop a credit rating.
  3. His bank would offer competition to exploitive “Pay Day Loan Companies” with ludicrously high interest rates.
  4. His bank could help "contract-employees" get started.
  5. His bank could work with the Ontario Government in advancing green technology and green businesses in Ontario.

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.

Posted by qualteam at 12:18 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 10 June 2008 2:42 PM EDT
Monday, 9 June 2008
Barron's Green Crusade

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 fuelsnano 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.

Tyler Hamilton's Test Run Of A Plug-In Auto


Posted by qualteam at 12:17 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, 9 June 2008 3:46 PM EDT
Friday, 6 June 2008
Tired Of Being Held Up By The Gas Pump Boys

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?

The electric cars are out there. It just takes more incentives and will power to bring them to market. Everyday there seems to be a new development in this technology.

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:

Posted by qualteam at 10:19 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 11 June 2008 8:31 AM EDT
Thursday, 5 June 2008
The Next U.S. President Faces Formidable Challenges

The world we live in today is different from what it was in the 20th century and the early 21st century:

  1. The high price of oil is having a adverse effect on commodities, transportation,  and the inflation rate.  Apparently, we're near the end of the line ("Peak Oil") for  fossil fuels.
  2. The U.S. Housing Market has been in a recession for over a year.
  3. Hedge fund managers have been pushing oil, food and gold higher through market speculation that is often hidden behind the non disclosure wall of hedge fund secrecy.
  4. Terrorism is often supported from profits from the Middle East Oil Industry and poppy growth in Afghanistan.
  5. The U.S. deficit has ballooned trillions of dollars from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  6. Confidence in U.S. financial institutions have eroded because of the subprime mortgage crisis.
  7. The U.S. stock markets are down 6.00% on the year while the Canadian stock market is up 6.00%.
  8. The slowness of North American automakers to make fuel efficent cars, vans and trucks has resulted in massive job losses for GM, Ford and Chrysler. Alternate energy vehicles have yet to come on the scene in a significant way.
  9. There are still hundreds of coal producing plants in the U.S. and the world that should be discontinued.
  10. Barack Obama has to be more specific on the changes needed to escape the monopoly of oil producing cartels. 

Posted by qualteam at 12:55 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 5 June 2008 10:26 PM EDT

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