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Comment: Re:What are they looking for.... (Score 2) 103

by jratcliffe (#49323765) Attached to: Finland To Fly "Open Skies" Surveillance Flight Over Russia

as well as fighting USSR off twice during 1939-1944 period.

While Finland did much better than expected during the Winter War in 1939-40 (Finnish forces were hugely outnumbered), it clearly lost, surrendering more to the USSR than the USSR had demanded at the outset.

The second conflict, where Finland was allied with Germany (enemy of my enemy is my friend) was closer to a draw.

Comment: Re:Sounds like it's time... (Score 1) 136

by jratcliffe (#49294849) Attached to: The Pirate Party Now the Biggest Party In Iceland

They already had me when they let their banks go bankrupt for their own idiocy instead of having the population foot the bill.

They really had no choice. The banks losses were just so incredibly massive that they simply couldn't be bailed out, no matter how much they might have wanted to. $100 billion in losses, for a country of 325k people. Total net US bailouts have added up to about half that, for a country 1000x larger.

You might notice that Iceland is already on the rebound and out of the recession slump. We're not even in it yet.

Iceland's GDP is still 30% smaller than it was at the peak, while US GDP is 16% above pre-recession levels. Both are in current US$ for comparability.

Comment: Re:A Bit of Social Rebellion (Score 1) 136

by jratcliffe (#49294649) Attached to: The Pirate Party Now the Biggest Party In Iceland

"After having their nation's wealth raided by a collapse of British banks I suspect that the public feels a bit like a pirate seeking a bit of revenge."

Whaaa? It's the other way around - a bunch of Brits lost their deposits when ICELANDIC banks failed. Now, I don't have much sympathy for them, they put their money offshore to try to earn more interest, and that has risks, but the bad decisions that led the Icelandic banks to fail were 100% home grown.

Excellent piece from Michael Lewis about it here: http://www.vanityfair.com/cult...

Comment: Re:Makes sense (Score 1) 155

Yeah, the big medallion holders (who hold most of the medallions) are definitely hurting.

This guy seems to be in default (apparently, he can't get drivers for his cabs, so they're not generating revenue - next logical step is to start discounting the lease):

http://nypost.com/2015/03/16/t...

Also, check out the chart for Medallion Financial (ticker TAXI). Ugly.

Comment: Re:Makes sense (Score 1) 155

I think the real concern with cab companies is the threat Uber is to the value of a medallion. If you've paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for a medallion, and are counting on it going up in value over time, anything that threatens that value must be crushed. If Uber were able to significantly dent cab demand in NYC and cab drivers decided to buy their own car to drive for Uber and not lease a cab, medallions would decline in value and people who have invested in them would lose serious money.

100% agree, and it looks like this is already happening.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01...

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