Open Letter on Banking Policy and Indigenous Mayan Women

Banking is difficult for indigenous women and the more uneducated, the more prone they are to victimization in financial matters. On a larger, international scale their formal associations are prohibited from directly entering online markets without a some form of a “sponsor” — The “proxy” is usually an NGO. In hard times the middleman can be a “friend” with a US bank account or a group that specializes in charging transaction fees. But, there are no free markets open to indigenous small businesses.

Espanol sigue…

“But it is the men who are attacking the women. If there is to be a curfew, let the men stay at home.”  Golda Meir speaking about the proposed “legal” cure for a epidemic of rapes.

Banking is difficult for indigenous women and the more uneducated, the more prone they are to victimization in financial matters. 

Universally women’s associations and women individually have higher hurdles than men.  In Guatemala they are prohibited from directly entering online markets without a some form of a “sponsor” — The “proxy” is usually an NGO. But, in hard times the middleman can be a “friend” with a US bank account or a more organized group  — they are profiting transaction fees.  So, there are no “free markets” open to indigenous small businesses.

Some women fear banking because they don’t know how to evaluate institutional offerings. They  often believe that they need to “pay for help” in filling out the forms.  Recently, a woman was talking to a group of twenty Katchiquel speaking women, who had assembled around her in the park. The leader was warning them off of contracting with a group offering the services through COLUA/Micoope because the fees were very high. I did not stay ro see what she was offering.. 

Craftswomen crave access to world markets, but tiny enterprizes are bound by too stringent requirements.  Said differently, the regulations in place to constrain a likely (male) perpetrator unduly limit women’s participation.

There is no way around this fact..

Policy makers need to turn back the clock to the 1970’s and reexamine restrictive “language”… at least, in Guatemala. Non domestic legal documents, such as Articles of Incorporation for a cooperative, routinely, include woman’s marital status. Such documents are silent about men’s relations. If we are tied to our marital status, then, loan and financing  vetting processes should be re-calibrated to reflect men’s overwhelming position as the titled possessors of real property.  Applications need  to value such things as a woman’s possessions/tools such as loom, inventory of yarn or finished goods, occasional income produced from garden and livestock.

For forty years, organizations have come into being to assist women in offering individuals micro-credit but no one is addressing the gender bias that unfairly puts the “curfew” on women because of the men.

“Pero son los hombres que están atacando a las mujeres. Si ha de haber un toque de queda, dejar que los hombres se quedan en casa. “Golda Meir hablando acerca de la cura propuesta para una epidemia de violaciones.

La banca es difícil para las mujeres indígenas y el más ignorante, más propensos que son a la victimización en los asuntos financieros. Incluso en una escala internacional más amplia de sus asociaciones formales no pueden entrar directamente a los mercados en línea sin una cierta forma de un “patrocinador” – Esto puede ser una ONG, un “amigo” con una cuenta bancaria o un grupo que se especializa en el cobro de tarifas de transacción. Pero no hay libre mercado para las pequeñas empresas.

Muchas mujeres temen con razón la banca porque no saben cómo evaluar ofertas institucionales. A menudo creen que tienen que pagar por la ayuda en el llenado de los formularios. Recientemente, una mujer estaba hablando con un grupo de veinte mujeres que hablan katchiquel, que se habían reunido a su alrededor en el parque. El líder les estaba advirtiendo fuera de la contratación con un grupo que ofrece los servicios a través de COLUA / MICOOPE porque las tasas eran muy altas.

Artesanas anhelan el acceso a los mercados mundiales, pero en el post-9/11 mundo, Enterprizes de la mujer sometida a las exigencias demasiado estrictas. Dicho de otra manera, las regulaciones para restringir una probable agresor (masculino) limitan indebidamente la participación de las mujeres.

No hay manera de evitar este hecho ..

Los responsables políticos deben reexaminar “lenguaje” … por lo menos, en Guatemala. Documentos jurídicos internos no, como el Pacto Social por escrito en esta década, incluyen el estado civil de la mujer y no dicen nada acerca de los hombres de. El proceso de investigación de todo para las mujeres debe ser re-calibrado para reflejar la posición abrumadora de los hombres como necesitan ser cambiados a valorar las cosas tales como las posesiones / herramientas de una mujer como telar, inventario de hilo o productos terminados, los ingresos ocasionales poseedores de bienes inmuebles y aplicaciones producido a partir de jardín y la ganadería.

Durante cuarenta años, las organizaciones han llegado a ser para ayudar a las mujeres en la oferta de los individuos microcrédito pero nadie abordar el sesgo de género que pone injustamente el “toque de queda” en las mujeres debido a los hombres.

Day 3 – Celebrating three songs

My ol’ Daddy would whistle through his teeth and air drum the beat of “Big Noise from Winnetka”  when Bob Crosby and the Bobcats ticked it out of the HiFi.  We lived in the village of the same name then and would howl “my” song on the way to Granny’s in Chicago.  Wacker Drive would spin butterscotch headlights passed us while we belted this anthem — positively presaging the Rolling Stones on Main Street.  Years later Bette Midler would make the definitive version keeping the core lyrics…


“I am the one they call the bi-I-I-I-g noise!
I am a living work of art!
I just flew in from Winnetka, daddy-o!
I’m gonna blow this joint apart!..

I got my high heels  I don’t need no wheels”

One January night, maybe whistling, skidding head on altered this reality.  By way of exchange, California freeways would wave below my VW.   Open top singing along with the tinny radio that crackled about the very Duece Coups  that roared into the Valley dodging between Santa Ana winds and flaming sunsets.

Harmonious Beach Boys … They were so much more like the flannel covered dudes that I dated than the suited Stones and The Mod Beatles.  Our local stars probably never bored out their engines or put “competition clutches” in there cars. But, they sang about the beach where my sister slung hamburgers.

Decades later, my little town blues,” the mountains of freeways would melt away. Liza Minnelli and Luciano Pavarotti would preform the best “New York, New York.” This was, after all, a love song that everybody knew and sang about their unabashed crush – the city of Disco nites and Wall Street and champagne.

Eventually, Mp3s were invented and all the songs including these of glided onto the Ipad that I took to Guatemala.   Music, life and language have all changed for me … Now, I dance with the Mayans and sing about the Rey del Quiche.

World History from 1300 to the Present: Part 1 – Foundations of Globalism

By 1300, two potentially hostile ideologies (Islam and the Catholic/Byzantine Church) were spoiling for for zakat/tithe paying converts.  By then, the Holy Roman Empire (or “Second Reich”) had been contrived as a joint Church and State venture  to counter Islam’s alarming stomp over the foot prints of the (former) Persian and Roman Empires.  And, everywhere, hostilities were tending to be more expansive and more prolonged. For example, Ghengis Khan took his wild horde ride from the Steppes deep into Eastern Europe. And, as for duration, in retrospect, the crusades seem to be endless.

At this time patterns of thinking and settlement were changing  forever:  several universities 1. were founded as cities repopulated and new trade centers began to sprout along high traffic inland routes.
Clearly, medieval populations were in communication across the vast lands of Afro-Eurasia before the plagues.  Invasions and trade would start to purvey more culture; especially “Book” based religions. And, as a consequence, fleeing survivors (of both disease and war) opened new frontiers, putting more virgin land under cultivation. There came a time when both surpluses and hostilities were accumulating and that condition made war “necessary” and possible.
The big change was that an abundance of agricultural and mineral wealth was being generated. Soon strategies needed to be devised to retain treasures since there were no banks, yet. In the east, wealth rested within the bosoms of extended kin 2., in the west, in it was held by guilds and both sides funded their military/religious societies.  This was, also, the first time that rich subjects could gain control of power structures and that individual wealth was sufficient to be pooled and leveraged. King John’s unlikely 13th century proclamation that property rights existed was probably exacted by a (more) powerful group of interested citizens. For their part, Eastern rulers did not grant such rights; instead they bestowed beneficial entitlements in order to tie the knots that bound.

It began to matter how new wealth was gleaned -whether by collecting taxes or from importer’s profits –administrative and merchandising activities were far more lucrative than farming ever was. The flow of orders from the primordial nouveau riche forced traders to fan further down the well-worn branches of “Silk” routes in search of preciosities and quicker deliveries. By the 1400’s traders were about providing Chinese weaponry. This major breakthrough allowed in-place families and extant confederations to add overwhelming might to their granted rights or privileges. The potential for globalism really arrived when non-ballistic defenses were rendered useless by gunpowder.
Some of the permanent institutions of modernity were developed because of the wars and some because of demand.  For example, Crusaders had been provided with food and shelter by the Cistercian Monks and Knights Templar 3. since the early 1100’s. Thrree centruies later, there was a network of hostiles stepping south from Scotland to the Holy Land. In many ways it was the “hospitality industry” that spawned credit and banking. There were  evolving civic affiliations like the Hanseatic League that ran goods from Estonia to Turkey. Their standardized currencies, weights and measurements of land and sea distances were widely used until the rise of the Medici banking.
Standards improved map making and long-distance sea travel got more feasible. Even machinery was getting more sophisticated — cog movement clocks began to appear (in Churches) in the mid 1200’s. (The printing press and, later, the equipment of the industrial revolution all issued from such innovation.)

It was a period when Everyman’s conception of time and distance changed.  Everything from minutes to fathoms could be exactly measured.   And, once churches stuck the hour, the work ethic had to be coming.  The armatures of globalism were fast replacing more provincial structures — even before the New World was discovered.


  2. “Arabic silver dirham coins were being circulated throughout the Afro-Eurasian landmass, as far as sub-Saharan Africa in the south and northern Europe in the north, often in exchange for goods and slaves.” Roman K. Kovalev, Alexis C. Kaelin (2007), “Circulation of Arab Silver in Medieval Afro-Eurasia: Preliminary Observations”, History Compass 5 (2), pp. 560–80.
  3. By 1150, the Order’s original mission of guarding pilgrims had changed into a mission of guarding their valuables through an innovative way of issuing letters of credit, an early precursor of modern banking. Pilgrims would visit a Templar house in their home country, depositing their deeds and valuables. The Templars would then give them a letter which would describe their holdings. …While traveling, the pilgrims could present the letter to other Templars along the way, to “withdraw” funds from their account. This kept the pilgrims safe since they were not carrying valuables, and further increased the power of the Templars.

Day 10 Rice Fast completed

The weather blew from California:  wet and windy; laying down a coat of traction-able snow.  In this smoosh we drove to Best Buy for the last time; dropping off boxes of books as sort of a preview of  the next level of this purge begins.

Excelsior!!!  At last the technology I have been fussing with for this entire period finally works at least with the Blu Ray.  I have no comment on the stinkey snow leopard except, “Damn it’s spots.”.

After a break-fast dinner of  steamed broccoli, we watched a documentary on Enron in celebration …or preparation.

The market was again testy today.  I woke at 5AM today because I was so keyed.  I had plenty of time to watch the FTSE action (down 1.19%) and then the opening.   By the close it looked like a fierce meltdown in progress with plenty of bile to spew into the next week.

By any measure this fast has been the easiest, ever.  Maybe because it came as such a clear directive.  In my aimless state such clarity is rare. So, now this is over, the components work, the market is a mess ..What is next?  Next week, next month, the very future of  future is blank.  In this time between the lightning and the dark is mystery, perhaps a bit of panic.

The inspiration, an inspiration is off somewhere.  I am looking forward to the solitude of the weekend and a cup of coffee tomorrow morning.  And, that’s as far as I can see.  This ten day door closes and, so, whatever is next will be revealed .  I wish I lived backwards like Merlin or at least had a fortune cookie to guide me.


Did not get up at night for a change.

Instead, I dreamed of Warren Buffet.  I was ushered into his office that looked as dull as a 1950’s office could.  He sat at one of those big, old fashioned desks but got up as I came in.  Not in response to me particularly but to go into another space through a transom door.  The view through the door showed Buffet getting his exercise by being at bat taking pitches from a man in long, gartered up, sleeves; wearing an old fashioned striped soft baseball hat . In the dream, I do not know how I go the appointment and so I am unsure of what I am doing there.  After his at-bats, Warren returned to his desk and motioned me forward to sit down on a bench covered with a crumpled blanket.  At this point, he was summoned by a young and pudgy Charlie Munger-ish character and they stepped out on Fifth Avenue to have a discussion; kind of like the old Godfathers in the Village — They spoke into their cupped hands while looking over their shoulders.  I wondered why the Oracle could not have his own building swept for listening devices.  Then, found myself considering if I should straighten up the blanket on the bench and wondering what Buffet did for the homeless.

Present, now, 1:29 est  I am switching back and forth between the Market and the BLOG.  My stock that does Foreclosures is up and that is good, so now I have leverage to buy Chevron while the market gets hammered as Arch Crawford told us yesterday..

The evening activity prior to our dose of Sister Wendy was a magnificent community exhibit at the Convention Center..  Valerie Martinez, Poet Laureate of Santa Fe had invited residents to create “Lines and Circles”  to celebrate their multiple generations in the city.  This was a moving installation where eleven families created displays charting their family’s lives — The amazing thing about this city as the Docent pointed our, is the amalgam of Spanish, Mexicans and homesteaders.   (Yes. this was a territory and homesteading ended in the 1930’s.)

Each family had a representative on hand to answer questions.  Early in 1930, the Jones Brown family was enroute to California from Chicago when baby, Florenceruth (Flossie) had to be hospitalized.  Her father, a newspaper man was reading the local papers when he saw post regarding homesteading deadlines.  As told us, “the light went on just like in the cartoons and Dad was off to the land office to put together the required number of land parcels for us to qualify.  He had pieced together almost the required acreage (about 6 times the size of parcels for homesteading in the middle west)and by luck he saw a lot on a hill.  Well, that hill property was the passageway for local sheepherders and there was some ruckus when the drovers came through and saw him putting up fencing.”  As an aside, Flossie, now 80 years old, let it be know that she had been the longest serving Attorney General in the state’s history. The mainstay of their exhibit besides was the Brown family tree made by her grandson a metal smith – it was a grand structure of twisted rusted wires on which she draped her mother’s black shawl (sent by a beau from France.)  In the album, Ms. Brown pointed to a photo of her mother wearing the floral and fringed treasure while sitting on a fence.

The Salazar family display was enriched by the genealogical research of Julia Celebration Salazar.  She proudly displayed photos of her two sons one of whom was appointed to Annapolis in their uniforms (they served in Desert Storm.)  I asked the younger one how it was that a kid from the desert became a sailor and he said that he loved the contrast to the desert..

At the entrance there was a series of mailboxes with letters back and forth from the current generation of Martinez Ridgely’s to their ancestors and a map of the route they took to their European origins in Spain and northern Europe to Santa Fe.

My favorite of the many poems was from the Ortiz Dinkel family.  The paeon, in praise of the oak dining table from the 1860’s, summed up their display of several dinner plates with photos individuals from the interwoven generations and one grand platter with the family tree.  Around the walls were tintypes of matriarchs who had been widowed many times and raised the children of their dead siblings, as good people did in those days.  The poem spoke lovingly and articulately of the long and dear conversations that had taken place around this table.

Forward fates 29OCT09

It’s considered unprofessional to be swayed when the world swings wildly or to react to every tick.. But, me, I’m still bursting with ups and crying on downs because the whole farm is bet everyday.

It’s considered unprofessional to be swayed when the world swings wildly or to react to every tick.. But, me, I’m still bursting with ups and crying on downs because the whole  farm is bet everyday.

Hunks of dollar-sod go on the scales at dawn only to get sifted off at the close.  This is one enervating  job-hobby posing a built-in interruption in any other stream.  Even as the Beatles sing my youth,  the big board’s muttering about forward fates.

Out this window, desert winds are inviting me to dash along  the sands — But until 4PM est I am sort of paralyzed by this on-going fickle flickering.   My lips bleed, my throat aches, claw hands just won’t unclench until the Close.

It has been this way since May, when I wrested my pittance from a money manager hell bent on bonds… Those dull securities that verge on mirror writing.   Can all prudence.  There is something  uber-boring about the pensioner’s favorite.  Safe securities never move like the crushing, cruising speeder’s wheel of  stocks.

Even as this is being written as a skylark, my white knuckles pale and blush at the positions screen.  It has taken me 5 months to recoup what a certified money manager lost in a year.. And yesterday I almost went back to zero.

And, today is the day that all market watchers recall as a dark anniversary on the “Street of Dreams.”   Not that this day is ever far from anyone’s mind.  In the mid 1970’s, when I worked on Wall Street i saw this date chillingly memorialized on a specialist firm’s wall.  They framed a murky Edward Steichen photo showing the  depth of night on Wall Street.  Matted below this print in a perfect window, was a yellow shred of ticker tape wishing everyone: “Goodnight..October 29, 1929.”