Thursday, May 28, 2015

There’s nothing like family support and trust

I have for more than a decade now been questioning, for a couple of hours most days, the bank regulators… telling them they are 180 degree wrong and should go home… in shame… 
And none of the regulators has even given me one answer and yet… not for one second, have I doubted that my wife and my daughters do not think I am absolutely right in what I am saying and doing… and that my friends, is the bliss of family support and trust.

I really doubt current bank regulators in the Basel Committee have even a fraction of what I have of it... and that is why I know I am going to prevail.

Thanks my dear girls! I do love you all so much.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

My father was freed 70 years ago by courageous American boots on the ground… not by drones.

Yesterday… on Memorial Day 2015, as I try to do every year as often I can, I went down to the World War II Memorial to express my gratitude to those courageous American soldiers who, 70 years ago, April 1945, helped to free my Polish father from Buchenwald.

This year I was only able to speak to one single veteran of those days in Europe. Sadly most of them are gone by now… and I never got a chance to thank them all.

And while walking around the World War II Memorial, a question that has been haunting me lately came back over and over again... My father was freed by boots on the ground… not by drones… will America still have it in it to free other future fathers, if need be?

But next year, I will go there again, and God willing, I will find another one to thank!

Note: "My father Tadeusz Brodka a Pole, later Tadeusz Kurowski ( his mothers surname), arrived to Auschwitz in June 1940, as one of 728, on the first train. He was registered with number 245 (tattooed on his arm). He survived taking photos. In October 1944, he was transferred to Birkenau, Heinkel Werken, Sachsennhaussen, Wausleben am see – Buchenwald. And from there he was liberated by the Americans, on April 14, 1945. They recently commemorated the 75th anniversary of that first train

I went there again, on Memorial Day 2016.
There might be millions of reason why oneself, as oneself, would not have come into being, but those reasons are usually always unknown and ignored. That is why it so special to walk the II World War Memorial when one knows why oneself, as oneself, in this case me as the Per I am, would absolutely not have come into being, were it not for the American soldiers there honored.

PS. If someone has special information of what soldiers were present in Buchenwald that April 1945, and could be living, I appreciate the information at

Friday, May 22, 2015

Google, Facebook, Twitter take notice: I already bought the tuxedo shirt I was looking for! Take me off that ad list!

How long is my already fulfilled intention to buy a tuxedo shirt, now going to pursue me on the web… on social media? I mean sort of every hour and ad on tuxedo shirts pops up.

There should be a way to notify the googles, the twitters and the facebooks of this world, that I already bought a shirt and have no intentions to buying another one soon… but then they might not be interested in doing such a thing… since they might prefer to keep alive the advertising tuxedo-shirt vendors’ illusion that I will buy a shirt from him.

PS. Can I get a copyright on my preferences and my life?

Fostering small mutual admiration club groupthink, World Economic Forum's Davos meetings could be doing more bad than good.

While being one of the 24 Executive Directors of the World Bank, 2002-2004, I told the other 23 ED’s “If by lottery we substitute with a plumber or a certified nurse anyone of you, I guarantee we will have a much wiser board”. And of course, they did not like that too much. And of course I did not include myself among the substitutable... my ego does not allow such nonsense J

And now, when there is to be a change of the CEO, of the World Economic Forum’s Davos meetings… a gathering of experts… I wonder if it is not high time to guarantee in Davos the presence of a more diversified gathering.

Indeed what a wonderful PhD thesis it could be, to have somebody study what really game-changing or game-savings have come out of all those yearly meetings in Davos… As I see it, by fostering groupthink and small mutual admiration club mentality, Davos could have done more bad than good.

For instance having invited a couple of aspiring entrepreneurs to Davos would have allowed these to cry out:

“What the hell are bank regulators thinking of by making it even more difficult for us considered risky to access bank credit than what we already have to face? For God’s sake, the risky have never ever caused a major bank crisis, that dishonor belongs entirely to those erroneously considered very safe”.

“Why do regulators for the risk weighted bank capital requirements, assign risk weights of 0% to the sovereign and 100% to us unrated citizens? Don’t they understand that implies government bureaucrats know better what to do with credit for which repayment they’re not personally responsible for, than us private entrepreneurs?

Sunday, May 17, 2015

A Tale of Two Worlds…roaming the web or roaming the streets… drones or boots on the ground?

I have horrible visions of my descendants sitting in front of computers with ever more capacity and connectivity… sending drones and roaming the web… while some other people’s descendants roam the streets, and develop a higher capacity in being boots on the ground.

And then one day, these other descendants come... and knock the power out of my descendants’ computers.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” ― Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Blocking citizens from venting their concerns, because of political correctness, is as dangerous as can be.

I just came back from a week in Sweden

If political correctness blocks the discussion of citizen’s ordinary and very human concerns, whether these are right or wrong, like those many have on what they feel is an excessive immigration, and the risk of diluting the meaning of being a Swede... that is a great growth-hormone for extremism.

In other words, if you use a “That’s like Hitler” in response to all of their concerns, then too many might end up thinking “That Hitler guy sounds having been quite right to me”.

Never forget that the emotions involved in the not liking something for the wrong reason, can be just as strong as that of the not liking something for "the right reasons".

Political correctness could, in the best of cases, be a type of Neo-Victorianism... but, unfortunately, it seems more to have become the Neo-Inquisition of our days.

Friday, May 08, 2015

Stock markets and the real economy, c’est pas la meme chose.

Do not confuse the strength of the stock market with the strength of the economy.

The strength of the stock market can have to do only with the strength of owning what little there is to own. 

If central banks fueled share buybacks continue, we might end up with the strongest of stock markets, and the weakest of the real economies.