I’ve been working dilligently to increase the amount of time I spend on my own words rather than editing others’, to right the balance in player-coach for more player, and less coach. Yesterday, the Friday profile I’ve been working on was published. It’s about Julie Lewis, a woman who runs an adventure company in Dubai. (I’m keen to go on one of her trips!) I think her story is a nice change of pace from the usual business section fare of pinstripes and corner offices.

On the face of it, Mountain High sells adventures that run to the exotic: bike trips around Cyprus, dragon boat racing in Sri Lanka or dog-sledding at the South Pole. To her clients, what she actually offers is courage, nudging them to do things and go places they might once have feared.On the face of it, Mountain High sells adventures that run to the exotic: bike trips around Cyprus, dragon boat racing in Sri Lanka or dog-sledding at the South Pole. To her clients, what she actually offers is courage, nudging them to do things and go places they might once have feared.

Last Saturday, the Personal Finance section started a new column and I got first crack. It reminded me how much I miss writing Texas View, my old column at The DMN.

A better mind than mine said that if we don’t remember history we’re doomed to repeat it. It seems that, now, we don’t even allow our foolish mistakes enough time to become history before we repeat them.

Consider a flier I recently came across for an “exclusive offer” from Emirates Bank. Beneath a photo of a woman smiling broadly, holding two fanned-out wads of cash across her chest – with several stacks of notes strewn around her head – is a set of bullet points.

“High loan amounts,” the flier states.

Nationals (up to 50 times salary). Expatriate (up to 20 times salary).

A “convenient” repayment plan gives citizens 144 months – that’s 12 years – to pay the loans back; expatriates get a relatively less generous term of five years for repayment.

Hold on. Twenty times salary? For a personal loan?

It just makes you want to put your head in your hands and wail: have we learned nothing?

And last, but not least, I did a Q&A with Paul Maco, formerly the head of enforcement at the SEC, who’s now with V&E in DC. (Wow, that’s a lot of alphabet soup …) He’s working on some interesting finance projects here in the UAE. But I most enjoyed our trip down memory lane. While none of this was pertinent to the story, it was fun to catch up on some of the scandals – and their perpetrators – that I covered in the mid 90s while at The Bond Buyer. I hadn’t thought about these folks for years!

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