In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, I realized access to our money was pretty important.  Our local bank branch was down, and without power, for over 10 days.  Sure, there were other branches to visit and online banking to exploit — but when it came down to it — as Mark Twain sort of said, “If you’re going to put all your eggs in one basket, you better have a pretty good basket!” — I knew I had to build a better basket.

Artists for the last few years have a new venue to not only communicate with their fans but to actually involve the fans in the production of their work. In the past, for example, a band would have to play concerts or work side jobs if they wanted to raise the money they needed to pay for studio time or for mastering and pressing of their music onto vinyl or compact disc. This has all been fundamentally changed with Kickstarter, and other sites like it, which allow people to directly fund artists so that they can make their artistic projects a reality.

Friends are crumbling with ruined savings and lost pensions.  Strangers are in distress.  The world is bleeding money.  A good friend of mine, a hardworking, responsible widow in her late Sixties, told me yesterday that she’s ruined.  All her money retirement money was lost in the slow decline of the financial markets.  She spread out her risk, but she still got crushed.  She has some savings left, but she cannot afford to live the quiet, easy, life she wanted before she dies.