Another TBB post featuring the most eclectic links around the web such as we elaborate on them venture capitalists, the greatest asset bubbles, fantastic podcast about the Boston Marathon bombing, the best zoos in the US, banks and villains, living luxuriously or not, crypto bros keep getting busted lately, Putin’s forever war, from Iraq to US Fentanyl king to federal prison, amazing Sun, roaming around with AI, one of the best goals in soccer this year, more devaluations galore, my trip to Thailand is starting to take shape and more!
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This blog publishes every Friday and Tuesday…for now.
Welcome to all new blog readers from George, your diligent curator of the BEST web content I find and share with you. No ads, no clickbait.
I will always be tinkering with the Sections in my blog. Adding, deleting, editing them. Because we all evolve, hopefully for the better lol.
In case you missed it, most of Silicon Valley Bank was bought by First Citizens…
I still say if only Peter Thiel did not light the match…Anyway, beware of them Venture Capitalists okay? The venture capitalist’s dilemma.
When it became apparent to this small group of very powerful, very wealthy individuals that Silicon Valley Bank — the bank used by much of the Silicon Valley startup ecosystem — was on shaky footing, they had a choice to make. They could remain calm, urge the founders of companies they’d invested in to do the same, and hope the bank could weather the storm. Or, they could all pull their money out, urge their founders to do so also, and hope that they or their companies were not the ones left standing in the teller line when the liquidity dried up. Faced with the choice between the more communal, cooperative choice and the self-serving, every-man-for-himself choice destined to end in a bank run, it should be no surprise which option they picked. As the Titanic sank, they were the ones pushing people out of the lifeboats.
Jason Zweig with yet another gem in the Wall Street Journal: “When a Bank Fails, There’s Always a Villain“. The U.S. used to have more than 30,000 banks, most of them serving just a single community. Two centuries of failure and lost deposits suggest smaller isn’t always better. Great history lesson! Me thinks we still have too many?
And I say good riddance finally!
This is great and it is a must read, peace of mind and simplicity are so underrated! Real Luxury Goods Don’t Have Brand Names.
The peace of mind that accompanies having money in the bank and in our investment accounts isn’t a conventional luxury good, but it’s one that I treasure more than I ever could a head-turning car or a logo-ed tote bag.
Also, not having any debt and keeping a sizeable amount in cash around…are great enhancers of your quality of life! Keeping it simple is a never ending target of course….I just need to get a handle on my travel rewards credit cards if only…them banks would stop showering us with fat signup bonuses! Oh wait, maybe not…And yes, being able to help others brings great joy too.
Great history lesson: The 7 Greatest Asset Bubbles of All Time [All You Need to Know]. I swear there is a guy whose emails I keep trying to block but somehow evades my blocking and he went from “Make money with crypto” to just yesterday “Make money with AI”. I am not saying it…yes I am. Just be careful out there, don’t get carried away ok!
Justice…hopefully soon! Do Kwon Now Faces Criminal Fraud Charges From U.S. Prosecutors.
Kwon is being charged with conspiracy to defraud, commodities fraud, securities fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to engage in market manipulation. A spokesperson confirmed to CoinDesk that the Department of Justice would seek his extradition to the U.S.
Don’t you get the feeling that the Feds just had enough? US CFTC sues Binance and CEO Changpeng Zhao.
UKRAINE RUSSIA WAR/GEOPOLITICS
I love how Putin’s Forever War ends…
It was Putin’s own self-interested illusions about history and his legacy as a great Russian leader that started this war, and it will be his own self-interest that will end it. For now, Putin has no incentive to stop fighting. That means that Ukraine must either end the war for him or threaten Putin with a defeat—one so unambiguous that he sees it as a matter of self-preservation to negotiate.
10 Questions, must read thread, think!
How in God’s name does Ukraine’s corruption problem justify an invasion by a dictatorship that is ranked more than 20 places lower in the corruption index?
Why do we still hear the false claim that “Russia just reacted to NATO expansion”?
ODDZ & ENDZ
Stunning article about how this young Iraqi made it to America and became the Fentanyl King, sad! On the Trail of the Fentanyl King. An Iraqi translator for the US military emigrated to Texas to start a new life. He ended up becoming one of the biggest drug dealers on the dark web. 30 years in federal prison and then deportation to Iraq, what a waste!
I did not know much about the Boston Marathon bombers. Well, I do now after listening to these podcasts:
The Boston Marathon Bombing (Pt. 1)
The Boston Marathon Bombing (Pt. 2)
Speaking about AI, spit out an itinerary here with Roam Around.
This is cool, mesmerizing I may suggest for aviation geeks, lofi air traffic control. Pick another airport, try it.
The 10 Best Zoo Winners (in 2023). No. 1 is Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo, what?
Please stop bitching and take your seat, we have come a long way. Haunting picture inside an airplane in 1930, wow!
A section where I go on and on about some stuff that happens in my life and anything else that just does not fit in another section above.
Managed to knock out a total of 22 miles running last weekend, Saturday 6 miles and Sunday 16 miles. Putting the work in, next Marathon will be here in a flash! I think running has displaced travel as my go to hobby/obsession. And after Covid this tendency may have accelerated. Long cherished goal has been to run a full marathon under 4 hours. About ten days ago I managed a new PR in the Half Marathon at 1.52.25…so I am close. Key is to…stay healthy!
The tournament to quality for the Euro 2024 has started. And France still looks unbeatable after taking the Dutch to the cleaners in the opening game easily beating them 4-0. The most shocking result was probably Denmark losing in Kazakhstan after being up 2-0 at halftime cruising along…or so they thought. Never underestimate an opponent! Here are the highlights of the game. Which has one of the goals of the year imho (at 10.38)…WOW! Watch the fans’ reaction, watch their joy!
What a crazy Final Four, love the underdog teams! I am with Florida Atlantic, I watched them beat Kansas State, another epic game!
Almost done with client tax returns…For some reason, I still enjoy doing them, please no comments!
Everything below deals with the hobby of collecting frequent flyer miles and points. If you are not interested, you can stop here, thank you.
MILES & POINTS NEWS/PROMOS/MY ACTION
Our November trip to Thailand is taking shape slowly. I burned 63,000 World of Hyatt points for five nights at the Phuket Hyatt Regency using a confirmed suite upgrade with my Hyatt Globalist status. Aiming to do another four to six nights in Bangkok, aiming for the Hyatt Regency at just 8,000 World of Hyatt points per night…Yeah, I could splurge for the Park Hyatt but I am value oriented lol. Now slowly turning attention to booking award flights back to the US #developing
I need to get better using Google Maps! 5 Sneaky Ways I Use Google Maps to Plan Trips (& 1 Obvious One).
Devaluations continue. This is not just a devaluation, it is a complete demolishing of this program, wow! Hotels.com Devalues Loyalty Program (From 10% To 2%).
So many charlatans in this space selling their credit card affiliate links while supposedly dishing out “expert” advice. I mean, I have no doubt if there was a Hotels.com credit card available for sale these guys would come up with numerous reasons to sell it the with hideous titles such as “14 reasons I love the Hotels.com credit card”. Ok, I need to calm down. And no blogger will tell you that getting a Marriott Bonvoy credit card is a complete waste of time and effort for almost everyone out there with this program recently charging 150,000 points per night…I mean, you are lucky to get a Bonvoy signup bonus and get just one free night…wow, how sad is that! So, bloggers who place readers first will tell you NOT to get any Bonvoy cards and salesmen posers will pump you with shameful “XX reasons I love this Bonvoy card”. Be careful out there!
I have been advised to delete my own mentions of blog credit cards sales. In the month of March this blog had its best month ever. ALL credit card sales were the amazing 90k Chase Ink Business Cash and Unlimited credit cards (now down to a still lucrative 75k Signup Bonus). Ever since March 21, the end of the 90k promo, it is back to Hunger Games around here lol.
Anyway, I have been doing this for three decades and everything changed when banks started paying bloggers to push their plastic…everything! I miss the good old days when this was a true hobby and community, just saw this post I wrote seven years ago looking back to crazy stuff I did for the love of the game: The 10 Craziest Things I Have Done to Earn Miles and Points.
I recently talked to someone who told me that they are not into travel. Ok, we are all different. Banks will still give you a fat signup bonus and, well, you buy groceries and/or gas don’t you? Chase Sapphire Reserve points can be worth 1.25 cents for groceries and gas while Chase Sapphire Preferred points can be worth 1 cent for groceries and gas. With the future Chase Sapphire Preferred card Signup Bonus going up to at least 90,000…yes, this means Chase will give you $900 in free groceries (minus the credit card annual $95 fee). So, do the math! Chase “Pay Yourself Back” Complete Guide (Categories Extended). And please do not waste your points donating to charities this way, just donate cash to them (or, better, use a credit card to donate to earn miles/points!).
MILES & POINTS
HOT CREDIT CARD OFFERS: 75k Capital One Venture X, 75k Capital One Venture Rewards, 75k Chase Ink Business Cash, 75k Chase Ink Business Unlimited, 100k CHASE Ink Business Preferred, 70k Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa, 60k CHASE Sapphire Preferred, 60k Citi Premier, 45k Wyndham Rewards Earner Plus, 175k IHG Rewards Premier and many more, including many AmericanExpress cards, including Delta, Marriott and Hilton cards! Please check out my Affiliate links. Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more. If you do not see a credit card with my affiliate links, perhaps I could refer you?
This section is about my
hobby addiction of collecting frequent flyer miles and hotel points since the early 1990’s! SKIP if you are not into it!
As of today, I have burned 373,000 miles/points year to date in 2023 and have 4,293,491 miles/points in the bank. Some do drugs, I do miles lol!
Thanks to US banks, very lucrative travel rewards credit card offers come and go all the time. This section will act as a reference point on the best CURRENT offers. I will designate new material preceded by NEW.
The Beginner’s Guide to Getting Started with Credit Cards, Points & Miles
BASICS: This travel hacking hobby is mostly about getting the fat Signup Bonus of travel rewards credit cards while of course NEVER EVER carrying a balance. Banks have a marketing budget and are willing to give us many THOUSANDS of miles/points to travel mostly for free hoping to hook us to charge 20%+ interest rates on our balances. The poor souls who fall for their marketing paying these ludicrous interest rates end up subsidizing us responsible consumers who enjoy taking advantage of, cough, such bank marketing budgets! Some of us have been doing this for thirty years creating amazing travel memories…Feel free to ask me questions or post them in the comments.
BASICS: Prefer credit cards from the proprietary points programs of banks, such as Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Network, Capital One Rewards Miles because they are a lot more flexible and are not devalued as frequently. Over pure airline and hotel travel rewards credit cards. Pure cash back credit cards may work for you best and they are getting more valuable as airline and hotel loyalty programs keep getting devalued. Sometimes, a pure no annual fee 2% cash back card works best for simplicity!
TOP TRAVEL REWARDS SIGNUP BONUS CARDS
Master Guide to Credit Card Applications: All the Rules You Need to Know, Bank by Bank
How to Sign up for Chase Ink Cards
The Chase 5/24 Rule: Everything You Need to Know
NEW: Chase “Pay Yourself Back” Complete Guide (Categories Extended)
The Capital One Venture X card offers a 75,000 point Signup Bonus after a minimum spend of $4k in the first three months. If you like simplicity and looking for one (premium) card, I highly recommend this card (and yes, I have it myself!). It has an annual fee of $395 but it comes with a VERY easy $300 statement credit for travel booked on its excellent travel portal, essentially turning it into a $95 annual fee card. But wait…there is more! On each card anniversary you earn 10,000 points essentially making it FREE! Every dollar of spend earns 2 points and flights booked on the travel portal earn 5 points per dollar. You get access to Capital One and Plaza Premium airport lounges and a Priority Pass Select lounge membership and, this is important, you can add FOUR authorized users FOR FREE who can also have their own Priority Pass Select airline lounge membership. You can transfer your Capital One points to up to 18 Transfer Partners. No foreign transaction fees. Free Hertz President’s Circle rental car top elite status. Cell phone protection and PRIMARY rental car coverage. Awesome seats at baseball stadiums for just 5k points each. And lots more. Available with my Credit Card Links, thank you for your support!
The Best Ways to Use Capital One Venture Miles
7 Underrated Benefits of the Capital One Venture X Card
Sticking with Capital One Bank…it is offering 75,000 points for its Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. Annual fee is $95, minimum spend required to earn the Signup Bonus is $4,000 over the first three months and the card basically earns 2 points for every dollar. And you can transfer the points out to airline and hotel partners just like the Capital One Venture X card above.
Chase IHG Rewards Premier Card 175,000 Points Signup Bonus. After only $3,000 in spend in the first three months. Not free, you gotta pay the annual fee of $99. Free night up to 40,000 points per night starting with the second year of holding the card. Automatic Platinum status (which is not a big deal) while you hold the card. Card earns 26x per dollar spent on IHG properties, 5x on travel/dining/gas and 3x everywhere else. Fourth reward night free on stays of 4 or more nights. Under Category/Hotels HERE, thank you.
Some of the links are behind a paywall. You can try to read them using Archive.is.
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Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.
Whoa good morning Buzz, thanks for the great Tuesday post. I can hardly believe my eyes. is it possible? Gold? For the desert rat?
The Madness has been really great this year, amazing to see some of the less vaunted schools in the final four.
The former coach of George Mason in back in the final four!
Yeah, that coach sure looked familiar! So everyone, find a purpose 🙂
Great article on bubbles! Good to see cold water thrown on tulip mania. No scams there. Organic art!
Interesting indeed how the idiotic pets.com has been replaced by chewy! The cats in the household are big chewy fans!
Nick @ PFD says
fyi that puffy white Pope picture is AI-generated for those who are wondering. It made the rounds on Reddit over the weekend.
Fell for it…I guess I was not the only one!
Thanks for the link to Roam Around. Found it quite useful to generate some ideas though it did exhaust me the amount they pack into a day. Anyhoo agree with you on the BKK choice of accommodation. I was doing a similar search and concluded that no way was I prepared to spend extra $s/points for the PH vs HR so have secured nights for the 8k.
Just in the past hour…booked next 5 nights at the HR in Bangkok…to follow the 5 nights at the Phuket HR…cost one Chase Ink card basically, thank Jamie Dimon 🙂
Now looking at flights back…will unload AA miles I think…need to figure out if daughter will join us or stay back with cousins in Singapore…and stuff like that.
Carl Pietrantonio says
Great Tuesday selections! Always happy when the blog posting hits the email. Haven’t been having time to post much what with getting ready for another month in Italy coming up. Yay! Non-stops to and from SEA to IAD, visiting my Daughter & family both ways and inside that trip, 2 more non-stops both ways to FCO. Lotta train and Bus rides coming up once I get there as well as I zip all over checking out Restaurants and collecting Unione del Buon Ricordo plates again.
Gonna be doing a little re-con on a couple smaller cities as well with the though towards a much longer stay, if I can stay healthy enough to do so.
Speaking of health, stay healthy your own good self and get that under four hour Marathon! Rooting for you from here, George!
Danish Dynamite says
Filed a complaint with UEFA claiming the score shouldn’t count. Kazakhstan is obviously in Asia.
Hapless Spaniard says
We got McRunover in Scotland today…everyone scores against the Scots except us!
There IS a Hotels.com credit card – but clearly it doesn’t pay commission.
I get no back links from other bloggers.
On the contrary, View From The Wing, self proclaimed travel thought leader, keeps getting his ass licked by numerous bloggers linking to him…even after every day posting shit like this:
“You Have My Shirt On!” Man Confronts Luggage Thief In Atlanta Airport
JetBlue Passenger Jumps On Ticket Counter, Calls Agent A Rapist Before Being Dragged Away
American Airlines Passengers Meet, Get Drunk Inflight, And Explore Love At Their Seats
71 Year Old Deaf Passenger Has Arm Broken By Police During Austin Airport Layover
Passenger Bites Cops After Being Removed From Flight In Miami
I need to reevaluate my blogging life…Putting trips together again (to Thailand) has kind of reinvigorated what I loved to do…pre Covid. And as Paypal and card conversions (post 90k Chase Ink) have completely vanished and this blog is back to Hunger Games…and I am giving up on being discovered (lol)…maybe it is time to move on? Ok, I am going to ponder about that in today’s running assignment..which is a speedy tempo run.
Behave around here.
Good luck to Carl roaming around Italy eating his way and taking away plates 🙂
Burned 40k World of Hyatt points on the Bangkok Hyatt Regency with confirmed suite upgrade applied.
Gets more complicated as daughter will join us in Phuket…and wants to fly back to US from Bangkok…wish I had an AI bot to book all these for me!
Found this comment in the Spam folder by “JT” on that article I posted some time ago about someone going in for a dental extraction. Apologies to JT, I guess the AI bot TBB employs is just not that good…yet 🙂
As a dentist I’m not sure why the general public still insists on using the term Novocaine. It’s a bit of a pet peeve. I’ve never actually seen procaine (or the brand Novocaine). It was generally replaced in the 1950’s with the creation, in the late 40’s, of lidocaine/Xylocaine that is better in basically every way.
Unfortunately, I’m not really surprised by a dentist saying you need an opioid. Just like many health care providers will prescribe antibiotics when they should not be given.
The dentist doesn’t want to have follow-ups. Opioids and antibiotics decrease follow-ups, but create bigger problems when over-used. Additionally, people expect them. My clinic recently had a very strong complaint when a patient didn’t receive opioids and antibiotics after wisdom tooth removal.
Evidence shows alternating acetaminophen/Tylenol and ibuprofen/Motrin has similar effects on pain as an opioid but people expect Percocet or Vicodin after their extractions. Follow-ups and negative reviews impact the bottom line and in our for-profit medical system, dollars matter a lot.