January 26, 2015
Kudos to Greek voters, who put the populist Syriza party within spitting distance of an absolute majority. Syriza's leader, Alexis Tsipras, wants up to half of Greek debt to be written off, but he's eschewed (for now) talking about taking Greece out of the Eurozone. A fatal mistake. Probably he doesn't understand the political nature of the Eurozone system or, specifically, that it exists in order to allow the Germans to stamp their bloody boots all over Europe without having to accept any responsibility for the consequences. Debt write offs don't begin to address the on-going European austerity crisis. But, then, who can understand the Eurozone system? It's a non-trivial, vastly complex pathology. To try to be a neutral observer, all I can say is that there ought to be a course somewhere titled "The ontology of European money".
January 2, 2015
My parents each created a trust for their estate. Their purpose was to shelter assets from taxes. I'm pretty sure they had no idea that trusts perform another very helpful function for the trust beneficiary, in this case, me. Unlike a will that goes through probate, where creditors can claim payments from the court, a trust does not go through probate and creditors, if they want to be paid, have a six month window in which to file a claim with the court. At least, that's how it works in DC. I would not have known this except that I have a good lawyer who has instructed me on how to correctly and legally handle my parents' creditors — well, that would be my dad's creditors as my mom didn't have any debt.