Posted by: puebloman | November 3, 2009

Spend, spend, spend!

We recently hosted a Canadian couple – I will call them M&M –  two of our favourite guests. They are wonderful people – true pioneers. They stayed in our one bedroom cottage last year and came back to stay in the two bedroom cottage this year they liked it so much. The most successful holidaymakers who stay with us are those who really invest in their holiday.

M&M were that sort of people. Up at six a.m. to be at the Alhambra by 8, on the road for Rhonda the next morning, to Cordoba the next . . walking the mountain, walking El Torqual, flamingo spotting, eagle spotting . . .we would also get notes asking us if we could print up some copies of Canadian folk songs, so that they could make an input into the folk session at Comares on Sunday morning. They went up in a twin prop aircraft (only 50€!) they nose-dived to photograph the cottages, copies of which they gave us.

Their son on the other hand has just come over to complete a retreat at the Buddhist Kalachakra stupa which is between Triana and Trapiche, just down the road from us. Stupas are made to protect people against outside negative energies. The model is from Tibet. This stupa has been built in our neighbourhood with the same purpose – to protect people. Woitek Kossowski was the architect, and under the guidance of the Venerable Lopön Tsechu Rinpoche the Kalachakra stupa was constructed in the summer of 1994, from July 18 to September 12. This kind of stupa is rare, and this one is only the third of its kind to be built in the world. It is 13 meters high, and has a ground area of 49 square meters. Inside are many relics from the present and former Buddhas, including the complete Kanjur and Tanjur (Buddhas teachings) as well as other numinous objects from modern life. In October 1994 the Stupa was inaugurated in the presence of significant religious teachers from all over the world, who apparently witnessed the  many auspicious signs which appeared on that occasion.

M&M’s son is a pioneer of the inner life, different from his Dad, who is a pioneer of the outer life – he is a hedge fund manager.

“M” senior and I were watching the extensive road works taking place in Cutar.  Zapatero, by way of a response to “EL crisis” has given lump sums to all of the white villages to improve their infrastructure. It’s not exactly employment, more like patronage, to see the many unemployed builders through a very thin time. Nevertheless it is a very significant contribution to the daily lives of ordinary people here. It’s to be hoped that these injections of capital will help to establish something more permanent in the community. Cutar has decided to use its money to reverse a decision taken in the 70’s, to smother the cobbled roads with concrete, and the stone and brickwork of the village is now being painstakingly restored by skilled craftsmen.

“M”senior gave me a brief but brilliant analysis of the situation from his point of view. “All this” he said, indicating the roadworks “Is Keynesian economics. You invest in infrastructure, bricks and mortar, you employ people so that they can pay taxes and spend in shops. And what is your total possible gross return on a Keynesian investment? 1.5 to one. And what is your total possible gross return on a Brownian investment in the UK? By Brownian I mean a monetarist investment?  Where you invest in banks who know how to handle money without making it make anything? The return is ten to one! Invest in the banks, that’s where the returns are!

Of course, if a single investor starts to lose confidence, it all goes wrong . . .

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