About Taiwan, FotoZon and lots of other stuff

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Losing Money and Other Thoughts

Checking My InvestmentsThat's me in the picture checking my investments... Not really, it's just for effect because there weren't really many people at the market center. I was told that there aren't nearly as many investors visiting these days because who wants to invest in this scary volatile market? Obviously they are much smarter than me, because while I own no Taiwanese stocks directly (I think some mutual funds do own shares of Taiwan Semi-Conductor) I am invested in some US Stocks and funds, and they have taken a considerable beating this week. Of a greater concern than the lackluster performance this year is the incredible slide of the dollar against all other currencies. Even the NT, although somewhat tied to the US Dollar, has become relatively stronger in the past month. WeNight Cooks are all feeling the pain inflicted by this mess. Just last night I was ordering some fried up stuff and the lady told me that the price of her cooking oil has gone up from 450NT to 750NT per can since the beginning of the year. Of course all the other food costs are going through the roof. Corn is not only expensive, you can't even find it - I was lucky to get the last one and she said there would be no more.

There are all sorts of theories on the inflation and dollar slide. I believe these two situations are strongly related. It can be blamed on the the weak US Economy, the rise of other strong currencies like the Euro, or the fact that holders of US Dollars are giving them up and putting them back in circulation. My favorite for most plausible is that the US of A is s debtor nation and owes every other country in the world a boat-load of money. Just look at all the money spent in Iraq for the benefit of fat profits for the oil companies. The nation cannot possibly pay back the trillions in debt and is slowly (or quickly?) creating more and more money to pay it back. After all its just a bunch of numbers and they're not even on paper any more, most of them are stored electronically. Of course it may be too late to buy gold or move all our cash to Canada. Like they say in the investment prospectus "past results are no guarantee of the future results."

Flogging the FireA few more Random Tid Bits

Related to photo gallery sites like mine, here is an interesting piece about the incredible Web Shots yo yo story. First, right before the .com bust in 2000, the founders sold the site to Excite for $83 million, then when Excite went bankrupt a year later, they bought it back for only $2.4 million. In a few years they sold it AGAIN to C-Net for $70 million. Now C-net decided they don't want it any more and sold it to American Home Greeting for $45 million for a net loss. That web site apparently is jinxed and should definitely cary the "Buyer Beware" label.

In other photo news from my hometown of Seattle, comes a story about a photographer who received an apology and $8,000 from the police after he photographed an arrest and was hauled down to the station and thrown in jail. The police had no official account of the incident and did nothing until the ACLU stepped in on the poor photographer's behalf.

That's it for this weekend's installment of the Foto-Zon Blog and I urge all those affected by the inflation and the souring economy to keep their head up and focus on the positive things in life. Family, Health and inner well-being. Later..

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