So Now Banks are Demanding People Explain *Why* They Want to Withdraw "Large" Sums of Money

In case you missed this news on a Sunday.... From the BBC News: HSBC imposes restrictions on large cash withdrawals - "restrictions" as in, they want a reason as well as documentation regarding your intended withdrawal.

Customers of HSBC have been stopped from taking out as little as £5,000, because the bank has been requiring that depositors give them a "satisfactory explanation" of what they intend to use the money for. In order to comply, customers were told in some cases they needed a letter or other form of documentation. For example, a "Peter from Wiltshire" was told he needed to provide "booking receipts" for his travel plans. 

Ukraine redux - Photo essays about revolution in Kyiv/Kiev (updated with 1/27 series)

This is a follow-on post to my initial article from yesterday. Photographer and blogger Ilya Varlamov put together a remarkable series of photo essays of events on the ground in Kiev, Ukraine from the last week or so (since January 22). They say a picture says a thousand words -- it certainly rings true in this particular case. There are reports from both sides of the barricades.

This post is VERY LONG (in column-inch terms, due to lots of photos) so please be prepared for that if reading on a smartphone or tablet.

Weekend Musings about Investments and Stuff

The puzzle of financial markets is like reading a mystery novel.

Україна - Ukraine, the Borderland

This is a snapshot of a nation that has reached the end of its rope. It’s not so much just the most recent events (atrocities? trampling of the rule of law? naked excess of power). It’s the decades and centuries of pent-up frustration. It’s little people, who are sick of being trampled upon, taken advantage of, robbed of the fruits of their labor. It’s people that have seen through the veneer of what is supposed to pass for democratic institutions, representative legislature and government and realized (yet again) that the system is there to exploit them – not to serve. It's people that are mad as hell, and are not going to take it any more.

TFMR Podcast - Friday, January 24

Jeez, Louise. There's a lot going on! If ever there was a time to pour an adult beverage, kick back, relax and listen to a Turdcast, that time is now. Then, enjoy your weekend because next week is setting up to be a doozy.

A Weekend Snippet

With all that's going on in the world, if ever there was a time for some shameless self-promotion...well that time is now.

Defamation and Blogging - The 9th Circuit Has Spoken

What First Amendment protections are afforded a blogger sued for defamation?  This was the question presented recently in a case just decided in the most liberal appellate court jurisdiction in the USA, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Reelin and Rockin

Looked at my watch, it was a quarter of six. Jumped back firm like a cement mix.


TFMR Podcast - Thursday, January 23

A very nice day.

Unemployment, Education and the Cultivated Victim Mindset

One Wall Street adviser recently stated that actual unemployment is at 37.2%. I don't doubt this. Certainly, a lot of blame is warranted towards the top, but am I the only one who is thinking that America is just giving up on herself? Where is the spirit of entrepreneurship? Where is the can-do attitude?

It's dead in the water. People would be rather just take whatever money they can from the government than try to fix their lives or their communities.

I have noticed more and more that Americans are living in learned helplessness. They can't seem to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, and many don't want to. It's not just the younger generation - I know people from my generation (X) whose main goal in life seems to be just to throw their hands up and quit trying.

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