Thursday, July 9, 2015

History: The Year is 1607

I've uploaded year 1607 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

The Story of John Smith, Pocahontas and the Gullible Public -- Come on! Pocahontas is 11 years old! Get real. Even the actual story (rather than the Disney version) has problems with it.

Spain Stiffs the Banks. Have a Nice Day -- Spain stops paying their creditors at Genoan banks and Genoa responds by trying to save their banks. I talk about Spain today and various bank and government strategies to save banks at the expense of their depositors.

Harvard is Born... The Man, not the University -- Harvard University is named after the man who is born this year.

The Story of John Smith, Pocahontas and the Gullible Public

OK kiddies. Gather around while I tell the story of Captain John Smith and Pocahontas, the Indian Princess. Do you want the short story or the long one? OK... here is the short story: John Smith is a smooth-talking storyteller who thinks the public will believe almost anything he can shovel out the door for his own benefit. The long story is a little better. The Jamestown colony needs to work. If no one works, no one eats. Captain John Smith is holding the whip and none are too happy about it. Luckily, Chief Powhatan is willing to help the colony with an initial gift of food. He sends the food along in a cart with his favorite daughter, Pocahontas. (Unlike the Disney version of the story, this girl is 11 years old and Smith is close to 27. Not much romance potential there.) During the summer, a drought reduces crop yields so the Chief doesn't have enough food to be giving as gifts. Smith threatens the Chief and they come to an agreement but the deal falls apart when Smith can't deliver the goods for the trade. Pocahontas slips away and they never see each other again. Later on, Smith is injured in a gunpowder accident and goes back to England. The End. The Disney story is better. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
So... where did that BS about the Indian Princess saving the brave Englishman's life come from? It's a story that John Smith either made up or mixed up with a different adventure he had in Hungary when he was captured by Turks. (Sarcasm on.) My daughter-in-law is visiting Turkey right now and she mixes up Turks and American Indians all the time! (Sarcasm off.) John Smith could always use some help at court. Pocahontas was living in England at that time and could use some social credibility as an Indian Princess rather than as a heathen girl following her new husband around England like a puppy. The Chief (her father) was trying to make peace with the English and Pocahontas could be that link. They all turned to Smith who came up with this story that tied them all together in a noble fashion and made Smith look pretty darn good too. What really happened? No one really knows, but John Smith wasn't that bad. He was a bit of a smooth-talker but it ain't bragging if you can do it and more often than not, John Smith did it... often to the benefit of all. [6] [7]

Spain Stiffs the Banks. Have a Nice Day

Spain has run out of money... again, so they have "suspended payments" to their Genoese creditors. This has caused what is essentially a bankruptcy of the banks of The Serene Republic of Genoa. (Yes. That is what it is called.) It's difficult to explain but there is not much difference between the "Serene Republic" and "Genoa, Incorporated." Genoa will protect these banks because most of the investors are Genoese old family aristocrats. Contracts normally due within the year are extended for 2 years with a remarkably small interest rate of 1.5 percent. Trading contracts called acientos are turned into juros which are perpetual debts with no final due date. By next year Genoa will put their national debt onto their collective Visa® and MasterCard®, making only the minimum payment. In the coming years, people will blame the aristocracy because of their CONTINUING investments in Spain. Unfortunately, the truth is not as important as the aristocracy's investments so the government will arrest these truth-saying disruptors of the public peace. Have a nice day. Even though this time is called "The Century of Genoa," this is a major hiccup. [8] [9] [10] [11]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
In the modern day, Spain is about to do it again. Most people are focused on the economic disaster in Greece. When the New York Stock Exchange recently shutdown, I thought it was due to a Greece meltdown, but they said it was a technical problem with the network. If Greece stops payment on their national debt who will go down next? Spain is in the crosshairs along with Italy, Cyprus and Portugal. Bundesbank suggested in January of 2014 that before these countries look to European banks for help, they should first impose a levy on its citizens which... "corresponds to the principle of national responsibility, according to which tax payers are responsible for their government's obligations before solidarity of other states is required." Greece has stopped electronic funds transfers as of June 27th of 2015. Alpha Bank of Greece said it was due to a "technical problem." Sure... right... technical problem. Cyprus recently restored full banking services after 2 years of "technical problems" otherwise known as state control of financial transactions and an almost 10% levy on deposits. If you think your stash is safe in "safe" deposit boxes, think again. [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18]

Harvard is Born... The Man, not the University

The preacher, John Harvard, is born this year. He will move to New England and integrate into the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The Colony will start a small college for the education of its up-and-coming clergy which John will attend. When John dies, he will bequeath half of his fortune and his massive library to the college on the condition that it be renamed "Harvard College." [19]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
There is some controversy over whether John Harvard was really the founder of the University. Obviously if he made a deathbed contribution after the college was already going he was not "THE" founder but the college considers him "A" founder. It was a group effort with John Harvard making a significant contribution at a time they needed a big boost.

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1607, Wikipedia.

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