Last year I emailed Len Penzo about doing a “paper vs. plastic?” post for one of his “Letters, I Get Letters” articles. Len, as you know, is a plastics guy at heart, but he loved the idea so he sent me something awesome – his band’s CD, “In Retrospect”. You see, Len is more than an awesome blogger, his talents run much deeper. He was in a band, The Relics, which released an album on Blind Dog Records back in 1995. He also had an awesome haircut, which I have evidence of in the article!
I recently purchased my first house here in the Bay Area, and I did it in a decidedly non-traditional way. For a few years I had been reading about a smaller real estate company known as Redfin which operated in a more hands-off way than a normal real estate firm. Redfin leverages technology and a slick user interface to help its users (most of which will not use Redfin to buy a home, but the search feature is that good) find homes on their own. Once a house is purchased, Redfin actually refunds some of the brokerage commission. In most places, 3% of the purchase prices goes to the seller’s agent, 3% to the buyers, and 1.5%, 50% of Redfin’s commission, goes back to the end user. So… what’s the catch?
There is a German word which perfectly describes a feeling we often get… in English-Speaking America. “Schadenfreude” means to derive pleasure from the misfortune of others. Generally, when schadenfreude appears in print, it refers to the failings of a high powered sports team, such as the New York Yankees or (not this year!) the Los Angeles Lakers. These teams are historically so good (note I left out my favorites, the Boston teams, although they could certainly apply) that other sports fans will cheer for two things – their team to win, and team X to lose! On that note, today I bring you a link which will most likely make you happy – and the ‘team’ is Bank of America.
Ahh, the free market. Like ‘freedom’, ‘family’, ‘patriotism’ and other such words, the phrase ‘free market’ means different things to different people. Yes, a free market, one unencumbered by the price fixing of governments, has different meanings around the world. GlobeScan took the liberty of actually running the poll – asking numerous people in a small selection of countries whether or not they trust the free market. The results are,as you might expect, somewhat surprising. China has more trust in the free market than the United States (they have more respondents who say they ‘strongly’ or ‘somewhat’ think the Free Market is the best Economic system).
Writing checks to charities, as covered in previous articles is one way to give to your top causes. However, it’s not the only way for you to make a difference to your non-profit of choice.
Since I highlighted some fun facts and an overview of giving in the United States yesterday, today it seems appropriate to take a look at giving on an individual level. There are many worthy causes out there, from educational charities (and universities, which also happen to be non-profit), to health care charities. There is a charity out there that calls to you, too. How do you separate the wheat from the chaff, and donate to the charities where your dollar will go furthest?
Before I read this article, I could not imagine a scenario which would lead a company to sue itself. Yes; you read that correctly. Wells Fargo is suing itself in Florida in order to facilitate the foreclosure of a property in which it has multiple liens.