In our 22nd year, we are coming out of the worst financial experience since the Great Depression. The second devastating financial meltdown in a decade. I was in a start up that was focused on solving fraud in the internet. We were uncovering the schemes of the bad guys on a global level. Sadly, we were on the mark, but three years too early. Timing is everything in start up land.
I was also fortunate to attend a world class speaking event in NYC at Radio City Music Hall that featured the likes of Jack Welsh, Jim Collins (Good to Great), Muhammad Yunus, plus several other luminary guests over the course of two days. It just so happened to be during the week of the financial meltdown. It was really freaky to be in NYC - the financial capital of the world - and it was on the verge of collapse.
If you remember back to my 2000 post, I was at a conference when the dot com bust started. I was seeing a pattern here. Toby goes to conference. Financial meltdowns occur.
On the second day of that conference, Henry Paulson proposed a $700B bailout emergency package to help the US from defaulting into a potential depression. Muhammad Yunus spoke that day. [For those who don’t know who Muhammad Yunus is - he invent the Grameen Bank and the concept of micro-financing in Bangladesh].
I will never forget his speech. He was amazed that he loans money to the most impoverished people on the planet and he has had a 99.7% payback on $700M in loans generated over the last several years. And we - the most powerful nation state on the planet are on life-support and having to create bailout loans to keep the nation afloat.
He suggested capitalism was going in the wrong direction (and this was late 2008 at the time). He proposed we create a new financial index that rewarded companies not for profit, but for lives saved, lives improved, lives educated. A social good index that rewarded hope and doing, verses chasing dollars.
On the family front, we had to put down our girl Greta. A wonderful member of the family for nine years. She left us too early. The need to fill the void happened several months later with a new member of the family - Frieda. Frieda became the 7th Weimaraner between Deb and I and the third for our family.
Spencer was becoming a mainstay in Special Olympics swimming meets. He was invited to his first Summer Games meet in Davis this year. And, Davis in the summer is - no kidding - 106 degrees on mellow days. He was also becoming a major Halloween man - as this year he took on the persona of “Elvis Presley”. The beginning of many Halloween personas to come.
We also took the kids to Ixtapa this year. We wanted to share our experiences from pre-kid era, by staying at the same hotel. Let’s just say - some things are better left as memories.