In English, there is the concept of serendipity. In literal translation, it means intuitive insight. But in business, such a resounding word is used when it comes to a discovery that was visible to everyone, but which no one noticed. An interesting example of such an insight is the Croatian company that sells sea water!
“As a child, I often suffered from bronchitis, and every winter I had to take antibiotics. Until the pediatrician advised my mother to take me to the sea more often. Every year I spent two weeks on the Adriatic Sea (in summer and winter), and my health problems disappeared, “begins the story of the idea of creating therapeutic and prophylactic preparations based on sea water, director of the Aqua Maris Institute Anna-Maria Donadich.
In general, the healing properties of sea water and the coastal climate as a whole have been known since ancient times. Another legendary doctor, Hippocrates, whose oath was begun by modern doctors, recommended compresses with sea water for pain in the bones, prescribed to take it inside for indigestion and prescribed bathing in the sea for wounds and skin diseases. Nowadays, the knowledge gained over thousands of years about the healing properties of the marine climate has taken shape in a whole branch of clinical medicine – thalassotherapy (from the Greek words thalassa – “sea” and therapia – “treatment”). Continue reading
The proverb “small spool, yes expensive” is beginning to take on more and more meaning. The production of small money is starting to cost the world so dearly that economically weak countries have long abandoned it, and the stronger ones are looking for options that would reduce the cost of small things at least to the level of their nominal value, but these efforts lead to funny results.
As soon as mankind invented money, how did he immediately encounter the need to somehow break it into smaller parts, because you won’t start giving the same money for a cow and chicken? However, it quickly became clear that it was not so easy to divide the main (usually gold or silver) coin into shares. As a result, the ancient Greeks, for example, had to use coins of about two dozen denominations. After a series of reforms and troubles, the Roman Caesars managed to reduce the variety of coins to five denominations from the largest – aureus to the smallest – ace (400 aces were considered in one aureus). Inattention to a small coin, as a rule, cost dear rulers: before the modern monetary system developed, more than one state was shocked by outbreaks of social discontent caused by this reason. Continue reading
Lending to individuals is growing faster than the corporate borrowing market. In April, the volume of money issued to Russians for personal needs increased by 3.8 percent compared to 2.4 in the field of lending to non-financial organizations and exceeded six trillion rubles. It is not surprising that such amounts attract all kinds of crooks who want to grab at least part of such a tidbit. How often do banks face retail lending fraud? What debt schemes attract the most attention of scammers?
A Bigness correspondent addressed these questions to several of the largest Russian financial institutions that are leading in the consumer lending market – Sberbank, VTB24, Home Credit … But everywhere he was either at a loss or refused to provide data on this issue. Or, as in Raiffeisen Bank, they stated that there were no cases of fraud in their practice, as the bank’s experts meticulously check all the documents provided by the borrowers.
Bankers’ secrecy is easy to understand. Fraud for any type of loan is a painful topic for bank employees. However, this secrecy indicates the urgency of the problem. Another confirmation of this is the adorning website of Home Credit Bank for calls to borrowers to be vigilant about possible scams. Continue reading
“Banks of time” crowd out money
While economists around the world are wondering if the second wave of the crisis will cover us, the townsfolk are coming up with their own ways to withstand possible perturbations in the economy. One of them is the spread of such a form of alternative economic relations as the “time bank”. Although they were invented in the USSR, the development of “time banks” was received in the USA and Great Britain.
The idea to use as a currency not some conventional pieces of paper and pieces of metal, but an intangible, but the only unit of time for the whole world – an hour, was first put forward in 1976 by the Soviet psychologist and engineer Vladlen Livshits. A year later, the world’s first “time bank” was created on the basis of the bakery in Kohtla-Järve. Employees of the enterprise were transferred to a flexible work schedule, one of the fundamental principles of their activity was active and mutual assistance to colleagues, and then to employees of other organizations – the local scientific research institutes of shale and thermal power plants. After the American journalist David Shipler got acquainted with the unusual production experience of Soviet bakers and stokers, the idea of Livshits was developed in the United States. Continue reading
Do you want, as the grandfather of the heroine of one joke, “so that there are no poor”? Take away their money. In particular, cash – coins and pieces of paper. It is the despicable metal, which is in the hands of low-income citizens, and is their worst enemy. On the one hand, it is difficult to consider money as a problem if you can afford to heat a fireplace with them, for example.
Sometimes it seems that all we lack for complete happiness is a certain amount of multi-colored pieces of paper with watermarks. Saying yes to money, you say no to poverty – everything seems to be logical. A bundle of notes in a box with socks is seen only as a guarantee of a comfortable life and carefree old age.
The irony is that most people who love cash and get used to it, do not deny themselves the pleasure of using electronic money. Even those who are demented as credit cards are still buying magnetic cards to travel by public transport, use discount cards when shopping, have a bank account and try to pay for utility bills through terminals so as not to lose time in queues. Of course, it’s difficult to do without cash at all – you never know, you will need to leave a waiter for tea or buy a bottle of water in a stall. But, by and large, the better you feel financially, the less you need cash and the easier it is to avoid having to use it. Continue reading