Finance/Money

A penetrating look into the unrecognized and unregulated links between autocratic regimes in Central Asia and centers of power and wealth throughout the West. Weak, corrupt, and politically unstable, the former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan are dismissed as isolated and irrelevant to the outside world. But are they? This hard-hitting book argues that Central Asia is in reality a globalization leader with extensive involvement in economics, politics and security dynamics beyond its borders. Yet Central Asia's international activities are mostly hidden from view, with disturbing implications for world security.

The raging question in the world today is who is the real Vladimir Putin and what are his intentions. Karen Dawisha's brilliant work provides an answer, describing how Putin got to power, the cabal he brought with him, the billions they have looted, and his plan to restore the Greater Russia.

bitcoin currency

 

 

Bitcoin is a revolutionary new currency that was created anonymously in 2009. Transactions are made with no middle men – meaning, no banks! There are no transaction fees and no need to give your real name. More merchants are beginning to accept bitcoins. You can buy services, pizza or even manicures. Bitcoins are earned when people compete by using computers to solve complex mathematical problems. Currently, a winner is awarded 25 bitcoins every 10 minutes. OR, one can buy bitcoins at a bitcoin exchange using various currencies.

Here are Bitcoin books that explain more about it:

Blockchain revolution : how the technology behind bitcoin is changing money, business, and the world / Don Tapscott and Alex Tapscott

The age of cryptocurrency : how Bitcoin and digital money are challenging the global economic order / Paul Vigna and Michael J. Casey

Digital gold : Bitcoin and the inside story of the misfits and millionaires trying to reinvent money / Nathaniel Popper

Here are websites that explain it in full:

 CNN Money

What is Bitcoin? (with introductory video)

Bitcoin Introduction with resources, links to participate, and frequently asked questions

Friedman (coauthor of That Used to Be Us), a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner for his work as a reporter with the New York Times, engages in an intelligent discussion of the faster paces of change in technology, globalization, and climate around the world. His core argument is that "simultaneous accelerations in the Market, Mother Nature and Moore's law" (the principle that the power of microchips doubles every two years) constitute an "Age of Accelerations," in which people who feel "fearful or unmoored" must "pause and reflect" rather than panic.

"A former police academy classmate and protégé asks Tracy to help solve a cold case that involves the suspicious suicide of a Native American high school girl forty years earlier. But as Tracy probes one small town's memory and finds dark, well-concealed secrets hidden within the community's fabric, her own life may be endangered"--.

Today, people worry that they're going to run out of money in their older age. That won't happen if you use a few tricks for squeezing higher payments from your assets-- from your Social Security account (find the hidden values there), pension (monthly income or lump sum?), home equity (sell and invest the proceeds or take a reverse mortgage?), savings (should you buy a lifetime annuity?), and retirement accounts (how to invest and-- critically-- how much to withdraw from your savings each year?). The right moves will not only raise the amount you have to spend, they'll stretch out your money over many more years. You will also learn to look at your savings and investments in a new way. If you stick with super-safe choices the money might not last. You need safe money to help pay the bills in your early retirement years. But to ensure that you'll still have spending money 10 and 20 years from now, you have to invest for growth, today. Quinn shows you how. At a time when people are living longer, yet retiring with a smaller pot of savings than they'd hoped for, this book will become the essential guide.

"The laugh-out-loud story of a girl determined to keep up with her aging, crazy-as-a-fox mother and learn the truth of her mother's long-secret past...Willow Havens is ten years old and obsessed with the fear that her mother will die. Her mother, Polly, is a cantankerous, take-no-prisoners Southern woman who lives to shoot varmints, drink margaritas, and antagonize the neighbors--and she sticks out like a sore thumb among the young, modern mothers of their small conventional Texas town. She was in her late fifties when Willow was born, so Willow knows she's here by accident, a late-life afterthought. Willow's father died before she was born, her much older brother and sister are long grown and gone and failing elsewhere: it's just her and bigger-than-life Polly. Willow is desperately hungry for clues to the family life that preceded her, and especially Polly's life pre-Willow. Why did she leave her hometown of Bethel, Louisiana, fifty years ago and vow never to return? Who is Garland Jones, her long-ago suitor who possibly killed a man? And will Polly be able to outrun The Bear, the illness that finally puts her on a collision course with her past?".

"Guide for parents and high school and college students on how to win scholarships. Contains advice on finding the right scholarships, crafting applications, writing essays and asking the college for a financial aid reassessment. Also has a scholarship directory of 150 awards; examples of winning scholarship applications, essays, and interview questions and answers are included"--.

"A resource for high school students and parents on how to apply to selective colleges. Covers strategies on college selection, college applications, essays, interviews, standardized tests and scholarships and financial aid. Outlines what selective colleges look for in applicants. Includes more than 20 essay examples"--.

Provides information on each step of the college admissions process, including selecting a college, writing application essays, handling college interviews, and obtaining financial aid.

More non-fiction than fiction, but often a well-written biography or history can be as exciting a read as a good suspense novel.

"The life and times of the wealthiest man who ever lived--Jacob Fugger--the Renaissance banker who revolutionized the art of making money and established the radical idea of pursuing wealth for its own sake. Jacob Fugger lived in Germany at the turn of the sixteenth century, the grandson of a peasant. By the time he died, his fortune amounted to nearly two percent of European GDP. Not even John D. Rockefeller had that kind of wealth. Most people become rich by spotting opportunities, pioneering new technologies, or besting opponents in negotiations. Fugger did all that, but he had an extra quality that allowed him to rise even higher: nerve. In an era when kings had unlimited power, Fugger had the nerve to stare down heads of state and ask them to pay back their loans--with interest. It was this coolness and self-assurance, along with his inexhaustible ambition, that made him not only the richest man ever, but a force of history as well. Before Fugger came along it was illegal under church law to charge interest on loans, but he got the Pope to change that. He also helped trigger the Reformation and likely funded Magellan's circumnavigation of the globe. His creation of a news service, which gave him an information edge over his rivals and customers, earned Fugger a footnote in the history of journalism. And he took Austria's Habsburg family from being second-tier sovereigns to rulers of the first empire where the sun never set. The ultimate untold story, The Richest Man Who Ever Lived is more than a tale about the richest and most influential businessman of all time. It is a story about palace intrigue, knights in battle, family tragedy and triumph, and a violent clash between the 1 percent and everybody else. To understand our financial system and how we got it, it pays to understand Jacob Fugger"--.

NYPD Detective Claire Codella has just won a tough battle with cancer. Now she has to regain her rightful place on the force. she hasn't even been back a day when Hector Sanchez, a maverick public school principal, is found murdered. The school is on high alert. The media is howling for answers. And Codella catches the high-profile case at the worst possible time. As she races to track down the killer, she uncovers dirty politics, questionable contracts, and dark secrets. Each discovery she makes brings her closer to the truth, but the truth may cost Codella her life.

Florida's favorite trigger-happy, shoot-from-the-hip vigilante history teacher is back--and he has a few scores to settle Serge A. Storms is hitting the road. Inspired by the classic biker flick Easy Rider, the irrepressible trivia buff and his drug-addled travel buddy, Coleman, head out on a motorcycle tour down the length of the Sunshine State, on a mission to rediscover the lost era of the American Dream. But going from small town to small town, they discover that some have lost much of their former charm--including one particular hamlet of skeezy rural politicos that is hell-bent on keeping prying eyes out of their ineptly corrupt style of local government. Traveling across the state, Serge and Coleman engage in some high-life hijinks, complete with the state's trademark crop of jerks, lethal science experiments, drug kingpins, double-crosses, unearthed bodies, barbecue and groovy tunes. And when a few innocent newcomers stumble into the mix, the stakes are raised to new back-woods heights.

IT'S TAX TIME!!!

Canton Club 55+ is once more offering AARP Sponsored tax preparation assistance at The Summit/Canton Senior Center.  Registration begins Tuesday, January 5, 2016.  Call 734-394-5485 between 9:00AM - 4:00PM to make your appointment (this service available February 2, 2016 - April 12, 2016).  All joint tax return appointments must be an AM appointment.  No exceptions.

Savvy Seniors: July 2015

A recent publication from the Michigan Attorney General's office can help prevent consumer scam, particularly those targeting Michigan's older adults.   PROTECT YOURSELF, PROTECT YOUR FUTURE includes tips on protecting your personal information and reducing your exposure to identity theft,
including directions for getting your name off unwanted telemarketing and junk mail lists and for exercising
your right to receive free annual credit reports. The information and advice in this Guide is supplemented by other free publications of interest to consumers.
You can view Michigan Senior Brigade's consumer alerts online by visiting their website, www.michigan.gov/ag or by calling the Consumer Protection Division, toll-free, at 1-877-765-8388.

Your Credit Score and You

Your FICO score is 90% of a credit decision and can affect your ability to buy a home or be part of a new business venture.   In this program, the representatives from SCORE will teach you how to calculate your credit score and potentially fix it. They will also teach you the elements that make a good credit rating and how it affects your decisions and relates to business.

Join us on Monday, April 27 from 7:00-8:00 PM.  No registration required.

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