Entries tagged with “finance”.


I received a bill today for a fine from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). The fines total more than $5,000 and it may as well be $5 million. I can’t pay these fines and my creditors. I should be beside myself in stress, but I’m not.

As a small business owner I have learned some pretty important lessons. I have learned to keep a enough food in the pantry to last a month or two without trips to the grocery. I have learned to keep an alternate form of heat and light for the winter if the power goes out. I have learned to survive when the light at the end of the tunnel looks like a memory.

The TCEQ sent a nice big package. It must be 30 or 40 pages of crap telling me about how they are fining me to protect the drinking water supply that I and my customers already drank over 18 months ago. It is upsetting, but it is not an all-consuming financial crisis.

Experience has taught me that there is always some new major financial problem looming just over the horizon. None times out of ten that crisis was created by some well-meaning asshole who thought he was so right that everyone who disagreed with him should be thrown in jail.

As soon as I clear this financial hurdle another will pop up. It’s not the end of the world and I will survive. I know that in some future time I will look back and tell the tale of my heroic struggle against Leviathan. I know it because it has happened before and I am confident it will happen again.

So, if you find yourself in a similar situation where the wolves are barking at the door and all hope seems lost. Cheer up! Every silver lining has a dark cloud. Living through the darkest clouds gives you great stories and prepares you for the next great crisis.

In a previous life I played the part of an employee. I was safe ensconced in my little employed world with its safety nets and its security. When I came to the New World (the business owner world) I had to learn a whole new set of financial tools. Thinking about it now, I think it’s those skills which comfort me most at these dismal times. I have faced the fire in the past and I am confident that I can face the future fires as well.

I have no idea where I am going to come up with the resources Leviathan wants to justify their ill-gotten unethical jobs, but I know I will prevail and succeed where they fail and crumble. I’ll be here tomorrow. My existence is not contingent on the whims of political power. I can survive any where. It’s just who I am.

Robert J. Shiller is the Arthur M. Okun Professor of Economics, Department of Economics and Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, and Professor of Finance and Fellow at the International Center for Finance, Yale School of Management. He received his B.A. from the University of Michigan in 1967 and his Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1972. He has written on financial markets, financial innovation, behavioral economics, macroeconomics, real estate, statistical methods, and on public attitudes, opinions, and moral judgments regarding markets.

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Professor Shiller was one of the very few economists to predict the housing bubble. He is pessimistic about the next few years. He points out that we have never faced this situation before and that it will take some failure on the part of the Federal Reserve as they try things which may fail. He does not think it will get as bad as the Great Depression but he does draw many parallels to that time.

Professor Shiller’s newest book is The Subprime Solution: How Today’s Global Financial Crisis Happened, and What to Do about It. Take a look at the comments section for a lively discussion of his books.

Watch this video:

This guy is too funny. I ran across him on a libertarian email newsgroup. Let’s look at his finer points. He is telling us what he would do to ruin the the American way of life (which he never actually defines). I wonder how many takes it took. He couldn’t possibly say all these things with a straight face on the first take.

I would foreclose on millions of homes. You know. Kick people out of their houses.
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