First up, though, before the bashing begins, for your enjoyment, a very cool video Mash-up by Hexstatic of Nancy Sinatra's sixties smash hit "These Boots Were Made For Walking"
And speaking of getting walked on... It seems that is what's happening in Europe right now. It seems the Euro is collapsing right in front of our very eyes. Also, if you read between the lines, I'm getting the impression that we could see the bankruptcy of Greece very soon (as soon as this week or next?) Read this from Mish Shedlock, EU Finance Ministers Decide to Force Banks to Take Bigger Greek Bond Losses, Recaptialize by $140 Billion; Amount Insufficient, Few Other Details
The picture in Greece, whose troubles kicked off the crisis almost two years ago, is bleaker than ever. A new report from Athens' international debt inspectors -- the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund -- proved that a preliminary deal for a second package of rescue loans reached in July is already obsolete.
The report showed that in the past three months Greece's economic situation has deteriorated so dramatically that for the bank deal to remain in place, the official sector would have to provide some euro252 billion ($347 billion) in loans. Alternatively, to keep official loans at euro109 billion ($150 billion), banks would have to accept cuts of about 60 percent to the value of their Greek bonds.
100 Million Euros is insufficient. The IMF pegged the amount between 100 million and 200 million. There is absolutely no reason to suspect the minimum is needed. Indeed, there is every reason to expect 400 million euros is insufficient.
I believe 400 million Euros will prove way insufficient once Portugal, then Spain, then Italy get into trouble.
Read more at Mish.
Like I said, I think we could see the bankruptcy of Greece any day now. If that happens, all bets are off and it's every man (family) for itself. I think people would be wise to draw out a good sum of money from the banks and have it at home for a few weeks just to be safe until we can see what is going to happen. I fear a "bank holiday" where it might not be possible to withdraw money (or possibly even use credit cards) from banks for a few days or even a week or two (or more?)
I always follow my own advice and I think I've done pretty well. I always mess up dates, though... But I predicted a bad situation in Autumn on 2011 and, well, here it is, autumn. Please refer to: Japan's Financial Armageddon is Coming in 60 Days?
I warned people in October of 2008 to buy gold and silver and to stock up on food (click the links for proof). At that time, gold was $724.08 an ounce (today gold is $1562.30) and silver was $9.11 an ounce (today silver stands at $47.40).
If you had taken my advice, you would have easily more than doubled your investment in gold and taken over a 520% profit on silver. It's still not too late to get into gold and silver but a price correction is coming so wait a bit.* There will be no price correction on food. Stock up now, while you can.
After the big Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, when the stores shelves were bare for a week or so (and no one knew at the time how things were going to turn out on the food and water situation) my family was fine; we had 6 months of food and water, enough for 5 people, stocked up and ready to go. When people panicked and ran away from Tokyo or when they were fighting for parking spaces at the local grocery store, or fighting for bottles of water, I only watched and shook my head in disbelief.
How can people be so gullible and foolish? How can people be so negligent and irresponsible not to be prepared?
Let me give you fair warning again. Especially if you live in Japan:
1) Store up enough water for at least 2 months (6 months preferable)
2) Fill your bathtub with water every night (if water stops you can use for cleaning)
3) Today or this week, buy at least 2 months of canned food (6 months preferable)
4) It is still not too late! Start saving money every month by buying gold and silver. If you have some savings, take 33% of it out of the bank and buy gold. Take the other 33% and keep it at safe place at home.
It looks like we are headed for some really rough times. Better be prepared to stay out of the way.
The point I am ultimately making is that of course no one can predict the future but just because of that fact not being prepared is just plain foolish. I'm sure that there were many people in Tohoku before the earthquake and tsunami who could make the same claim that "No one could have predicted the future" so that's why many did not have food or water or the means to escape (same as many in Tokyo)... But this is not about predicting the future, this is about protecting yourselves and your family.
If you think this is about predicting the future, then use that same logic next time you buy auto, car, fire or life insurance. Don't need them, right? No one can predict the future.
While I mention Greece, another curious thing about the situation there is that it is not being mentioned on the MSM. There's lots about demonstrations in the USA, where things are peaceful for the most part, but in places like Greece, where the sh*t is about to hit the fan? Not a peep.
I had been looking at many videos on Youtube and others showing some very heavy fighting between rioters and police. I wish I would have bookmarked them. This one, though, give a good idea. This is not a friendly party.
The most worrisome point about the situation in Greece is that the government needs the police and military to stand by them to protect them from and increasingly angry and militant civilian gathering, yet, at the same time, even the Greek police and civil servants are furious about getting pay cuts and massive slashes to their pensions. I wonder how long until they switch sides?
What would that mean for Greece and the other countries in immediate danger (Spain, Portugal, Italy, Ireland?)
And, finally, I see the ridiculous announcement from Linkedin that they finally "launched their Japanese site". Well, that's one big strike against them; they're lying. The service was actually launched sometime before May of 2010.
Why is that important for Linkedin? Well, when dealing or considering new companies trying to penetrate the Japanese market, please refer to How New Companies Can Succeed in Japan and How They Fail
How to correctly handle a new product or service release? (in Japan)
A new company/product/service will need to appoint somebody in Japan to handle PR for them in Japan and work with that company to make a plan.
A necessary part of any good plan of attack would be that the representatives in Japan arrange meetings with major media at least 1 - 2 weeks before Japanese release day, as pre-press release. This is critical.
If this sort of ground-work is not fully prepared by the company and their reps in Japan, I strongly suggest that the company postpone the release of the product/service (and fire their representatives and hire a competent company) and then get properly prepared. If this sort of pre-press release is done correctly, the Japanese media will then follow-up and prepare and study the circumstances of the product/service and company so that they may be able to publish and provide better information for the Japanese audience (don't forget that the Japanese media are competing with each other, too, to provide up-to-date concise information, so this has to be done. No short-cuts here). This is critical for the success of any new company in Japan.
Even after years of repeated failures by various companies, to this very day, foreign companies come to Japan and repeat the mistakes Pepsi Cola and Seven-Up made decades ago. Some recent examples are Linkedin; E-Bay Japan, Google.jp, and a few others. (I strongly suspect Sugarsync is about to make the same mistake too!)
Take, for example, Linked-in. Linked-in came out with a Japanese version quite a while back but no one here in Japan uses it because no one knows about it; they had no local representation; no pre-press release information.
Kind of shocking, when you think about it; a supposedly forward thinking company coming to Japan and making such an amateurish mistake.
Well, Linkedin made that mistake. I also am quite familiar with this as I wrote a letter to Linkedin twice in early 2010 offering them a partnership with some companies that suggested tying up with Sony and placing the Linkedin software with all new Vaio computers sold. I sent them the letter twice. Twice, no response. Chuckle. Now, they've realized almost 1.5 years later that no one uses their Japanese language product (and probably won't). They blew a golden opportunity to tie up with one of the biggest companies in Japan... Now, what are they going to do?
You don't penetrate the Japanese market on the cheap and you usually have only one chance to get it right.
Let me make a prediction that I will stand by completely: Linkedin Japan will be a flop and failure along the lines of E-Bay in Japan.
Well, it's the start of another week. Keep positive. Write down your goals and smile.
The whole world loves happy people.