Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Causes of a Recession

As I work on my new E-book 101 Reasons to Love a Recession and my new website Love a Recession: How to Prosper During an Economic Downturn, I have been contemplating and adding my ideas for the Causes of a Recession .
Of course, explaining the recession in simple terms to the idiots of this world - namely most of the economists and financial analysts of this world who didn't think a recession was even possible - in basic understandable terms is not easy.
How could so many Yale- and Harvard-eduacted economists and financial analysts be so stupid when it comes to the predicting the recession? Most didn't think it was likely to happen - or even possible.
This excerpt from Report on Business magazine explains one of the causes of the economic recession gripping us today:

"In the classic 1972 book Groupthink, Yale psychology professor Irving Janis showed just how a panel of experts can come to a consensus that is wildly incorrect. Experts worry about their status in the community. They fear veering too far away from the others, because if they do, they risk becoming irrelevant. Even the most well-informed or cynical experts can find themselves censoring their viewpoints and even actively changing their deeply held beliefs in order to remain in line with what they perceive to be the beliefs of the group as a whole."

Little wonder that these same experts called people who were predicting this serious economic downturn - such as Peter Grandich - kooks. Well results don't lie! The recession has proven that the mainstream economists and financial analysts were the kooks. Now these same kooks will come up with some more interesting voodoo theories about what caused the recession - of course, ignoring the fact that many of their models were, in fact, the cause of the present recession.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Benefits of Being a Writer

One of the interesting things about being a writer is receiving e-mails and letters about my books.

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: yhens zandfel
    To: vip-boosks (at) telus.net
    Sent: Wednesday, December 24, 2008 5:44 PM
    Subject: thank you
    one thing i only considred as what LIFE really meant for is to go with the flow - as happy as i could-
    call me shyne. first thing is sorry to say i dont know you exactly even if you already sold out so many books but since i read ur 101 really important things ..... book, there is a part of me that change and that is the fear of decision making especially when my future is involve.yeah ur ryt, the only person hu cn gve such a good advice to me is myself and how cn i achve success if i will not try to do the frsr step.
    last week i acquired a hong kong library card since one of my hobby is reading books. perhaps i was lucky then because the first book i borrowed was urs. i say it i was lucky since u definetely knock my head about the reality.
    i am hre in hong kong for five moths nw working as a domestic helper in short maid even if i finished an agricultural business course since i want to be a successful entreprenuer, i still need to earn in financial terms. i cme from the country philippines and i am a filipina. being a single person, my reason of staying to a foreign country-honestly because im worried for my fututre- and because i want to go canada.
    anyways, i really really want to thank you. i learrned so many from you..i dont expect a response from you as long as i tell you that ur the best.

    merry christmas....

Regardless of how well-writtenn (or lack thereof), I always appreciate hearing from my readers.
This is one of the benefits of being a writer - knowing that you are making a difference in people's lifes.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Turkish Proverbs about The Joy of Not Working

Here is an e-mail that I recently received about The World's Second Best Retirement Book from someone in California who apparently is not having any fun at work :

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Tom Scott
    To: vip-books (at) telus (dot) net
    Sent: Sunday, December 14, 2008 2:59 PM
    Subject: Re: The Joy of Not Working .

    Hello Ernie,

    I just picked up your book The Joy of Not Working this weekend. The title sort of grabbed me. I have been out of work since April and (so far) have found very little joy in it. Then I came to page 50 and fig 4.2 with the two boxes of before and after for a workaholic. It was me. My marriage had been bad for years and finally ended earlier this year. In effect I had already crossed off one item in my box a long time ago. Then my employer decided to help me cross off the other one. No wonder I felt lost, desperate, alone, and with no idea where to turn. The only two things that mattered to me were gone. From that I went through one compulsion after another. First women (the serial dater), exercise, you name it. None made me happy. Now I realize it’s not about finding a passion, it’s about finding all of them. I am going to get to work right now filling up my box.

    Thanks for steering me in the right direction. I’ll take it from here.


    Sonoma, CA

And here are three Turkish Proverbs that I used in my speech about The Joy of Not Working to the Turkish National Society for Quality in Istanbul on November 26th.
  1. All work and no play will make such a dull boy.
    — Turkish proverb
  2. If God closes one door, He opens a thousand others.
    — Turkish proverb
  3. There is no right way to do a wrong thing.
    — Turkish Proverb

Check out The Money Cafe:

Saturday, December 13, 2008

More about The Joy of Not Working in Istanbul

Photo: Ernie Zelinski and Nadide Sevinç Taştan at the Istanbul Convention Center after his speech about The Joy of Not Working to the National Turkish Congress on Quality

Last Five of The Top-Ten Highlights of My Trip to Istanbul to Speak about The Joy of Not Working to the National Turkish Congress on Quality

  1. Having a driver with a new car assigned to me for 3 whole days by the National Turkish Congress on Quality was a treat. The driver was available from early morning until midnight to drive me anywhere I wanted to go. (Not having spent one cent in Istanbul for 3 whole days due to the National Turkish Congress on Quality paying for all my meals and accommodations, I did give the driver a 100 Euro tip when he dropped me off at the Istanbul airport for my flight back to London.)

  2. The great weather that I was lucky enough to get sure added to my Istanbul adventure. On Monday the high was 11 degrees Celsius, on Tuesday it was 17 degrees, and on Wednesday it was 21 degrees. Istanbul was much kinder to me than London where it rained and the temperature reached highs of about 5 degrees Celsius for my two days there.

  3. Experiencing the traffic jams in Istanbul where rush hour starts at about 5 PM and lasts until 8:30 PM is an experience that puts the traffic problems in Canada in proper perspective. On the journey from a TV Station where I did a live interview about The Joy of Not Working, my driver told me that we had traveled 2 kilometers in an hour. It took us 2.5 hours to complete a journey from the TV station to the Vogue restaurant. Regardless of the destination, the same distance in my home town of Edmonton would take 20 to 25 minutes maximum in rush hour traffic.

  4. Given that Istanbul has vehicles of all types and varieties — many more types and varieties than you will see in any city in Canada or even in London — one of the pleasurable experiences in my 3 whole days in Istanbul was not seeing one of the disgusting redneck-driven 4-wheel drive Quad cab pickup trucks that are so prevalent in Alberta and that so many sophisticated Albertans despise.

  5. I never saw any fat people in Istanbul which just goes to show that there is no reason for so many Canadians and Americans to be grossly overweight. This also shows that their justifications for being overweight are false excuses and silly fabrications to cover up the fact that they are pigs when it comes to food and lazy when it comes to exercise. Incidentally, I thought that I may gain weight on this trip due to the many fine meals that I ate but I actually lost 2 or 3 pounds due to all the walking that I did in Istanbul and London.
Above all, the number of things to see in Istanbul is amazing. Trust me on this one: Anyone can easily spend two weeks in this city without running out of interesting things to see.

Now back to working on my new e-book 101 Reasons to Love a Recession and marketing my International Bestseller How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free

A cup of coffee commits one to forty years of friendship.
— Turkish proverb

Activity breeds prosperity.
— Turkish proverb

Do what your teacher says but not what he does.
— Turkish proverb

If God closes one door, He opens a thousand others.
— Turkish proverb

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Joy of Not Working in Istanbul

Little did I know that when I got fired from my job as an Engineer over 28 years ago for taking too much time off work that the firing would lead to an all-paid trip (plus a US$3,000 fee for speaking for an hour about my book The Joy of Not Working to Istanbul last week, which is now on my top-3 list of most satisfying journeys that I have made in my life.

Incidentally, with the Air Canada Premium Executive Class return airfare between Edmonton and London being $11,500 and the leg between London and Istanbul on British Airways being about $1,500, the National Turkish Society for Quality spent between $20,000 and $25,000 to have me in Istanbul to speak about
The Joy of Not Working .

As I have said many times before, there is still great opportunity during a recession.

Five of My Top-Ten Highlights of My Trip to Istanbul

  1. The Number 1 highlight of my trip was the number of important historic buildings such as the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque as well as variety of the non historic buildings such as the waterfront houses on the Bosphorus.

  2. Meeting so many beautiful Turkish women was definitely the number 2 highlight. After making my speech about The Joy of Not Working to the National Turkish Society for Quality, a number of the women in the audience wanted to have their photos taken with me, and they were all beautiful. If anything will bring me back to Istanbul, it's the historic sights and the women — not necessarily in that order.

  3. The joie de vivre in many parts of the city including the happening restaurants, bars, and clubs around town. One of my hosts treated me to dinner at Vogue, a new trendy restaurant that was full on a Tuesday night. We arrived at about 8:30 PM. It's a good thing that we had a reservation.

  4. Taksim Square, which is a 5 minute walk from the Ritz Carlton Hotel where I stayed, gave me a true sense of the people living life in a neighborhood in Istanbul. The degree of energy in the square is definitely worth experiencing. Surrounding Taksim Square are numerous travel agencies, banks, restaurants, pubs, and even international fast food chains such as Pizza Hut, McDonald's and Burger King. There are several other grand hotels in the area including the InterContinental and The Marmara Hotel.

  5. It was interesting going from the worst hotel room in London that I have ever stayed in (on Sunday night) to the Executive Suite at the Ritz-Carlton (corporate rate of $1,280 Canadian a night) with a view of the Bosphorus the next night (Monday night) that turned out to be the best hotel accommodation that I have ever had — and I have stayed in some pretty swanky hotels on my speaking travels.