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Important Panama banking update

Something is afoot in Panama that I want to tell you about.

Several banks, including Banvivienda and HSBC, have recently announced that they will discontinue renting safety deposit boxes.  Customers who currently rent boxes will have until the end of the year to vacate their belongings.

Furthermore, some banks that formerly used to work with US customers, including Banco General, Credicorp, and Global Bank, will no longer open accounts for Americans unless they[...] Click here to continue reading

About that Croatian commando…

Remember that Croatian commando-turned-entrepreneur from dinner last night?

Well it turns out he's an aerobatic stunt pilot too... he's got an old Soviet-made aircraft that is only designed to do one thing-- be as unstable as possible. It does the trick.

This morning around 11am Central European Time, we met at a private airfield outside of Zagreb. He strapped me in to the cockpit, took me up to about 2,500 feet, and proceeded[...] Click here to continue reading

A late dinner in Zagreb

Croatia, in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, and the drive down here has been spectacular.  From Budapest, the drive to Croatia took me south along highway M7, which arcs gently across Hungary's rolling hills and hot springs.

But what brings me here is not the beauty of the drive, nor the sun-seeking Europeans on vacation... I came to town to visit a friend of mine who has[...] Click here to continue reading

This currency is overvalued

Burgers make better economic indicators than official statistics ever could.

As I travel, I typically perform an informal price study of my own basket of consumer goods-- a loaf of bread, a pack of cigarettes, a liter of petrol, and a handful of... non-family friendly wares.

This is the type of information that is most valuable for me because, everything else equal, goods of similar quality should cost the same around the world.
[...] Click here to continue reading

The Truth About Nationalized Healthcare

Nationalized healthcare doesn't work, and I'll tell you why:

I hold as my personal mantra in life that governments screw up everything they touch... and this goes for all governments, not just the United States Congress.

As I travel the world looking for great opportunities, I always try to understand the quality and efficiency of the local healthcare system. Sometimes I even go through it myself.  My conclusion? Most, if not all public[...] Click here to continue reading

What I am doing in Poland

Poland-- it's a beautiful, inexpensive country with a stable economy, gorgeous women, and fantastic food... so what am I doing here exactly?

Looking for citizenship.

The country has been dominated, broken apart, and put back together so many times, Poland actually has multiple nationality laws on the books for former migrants, refugees, and their descendants to reclaim citizenship.  The government recognizes that many Poles were coerced to give up their citizenship, or they[...] Click here to continue reading

Friday Mailbag

All- there were a lot of great comments and questions this week, I will review several here:

LATVIA

Excellent insights on Latvia and the way to trade the devaluation. Johan from Sweden asks if we are too late shorting Sweden's banks. I think not, and here's why:

Swedbank, one of the largest Swedish banks in Latvia, posted a 2 billion kronor ($250 million) second quarter loss just hours ago, compared to the[...] Click here to continue reading

What’s your breaking point?

You probably know the story of the boiling frog.

The premise is simple.  If a frog is placed in a pot of water that is already boiling, it will immediately sense danger and jump out, relatively unscathed. If it is placed in a pot of cool water, the frog will happily stay in the pot while it is slowly heated to a boil.  By the time the frog realizes the danger, it is too[...] Click here to continue reading

Four reasons to short Sweden

A final note on Latvia today before I put the Baltics to bed for now--

Yesterday I argued that Latvia is definitely headed for devaluation, and that European governments are practically bending over backwards to make sure we know about it.

In comments yesterday, the astute Mr. Marriott pointed out that the grey economy is now flourishing in Latvia; this is undeniably true, and we see evidence of dark economies around the world[...] Click here to continue reading

You Can Profit from this Country’s Devaluation

Yesterday I talked about the demise of the Latvian economy and how it will foretell the future of California. Today I want to talk about the opportunity I see to profit from it.

I have seen the face of crisis before, both in the military and as a civilian. But rarely have I seen such a well-telegraphed money making opportunity to profit from crisis.

Sure, there are a lot of cheap assets in[...] Click here to continue reading
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