ShopSquawk's Minnow Tank... Eat or be Eaten!

MINNOW TANk - learn THE SMART WAY OF NAVIGATING YOUR WORLD, STARTING OR NOT STARTING A BUSINESS, AND MANAGING THE MONEY THAT YOU EARN, BURN, OR YEARN. Learn the lowdown quick. execute your dream or simply choose to have an ice cold lemonade (which can be just as wise; )


Participate in:

  • A contest for business ideas to be refined, executed, or discarded
  • Real financial literacy courses and challenges
  • Entrepreneurial learning and unlearning
  • Discover if you should actually be an entrepreneur
  • Network at our events
Don’t fall for the hype of becoming an entrepreneur or going directly to college before you know what it’s really all about. There’s a time to act, and a time not to! Take a class today. Click on the link below.

details about our 'system literacy' course

Public finance literacy is a must… more important than Macrame 101, Parapsychology, how to do the Macarena, and not to mention… the difference between indirect and direct objects. There’s never been a better time to learn about money, banks, credit and debt, central banks, the government, the markets, financial engineering, inflation and deflation, and national economies.

In this course, you are going to gain a solid understanding of the system you live in. Strap on your seatbelt, because without it, you might get ejected. That’s right, you need to understand the fundamentals of what you’re dealing with!

Public finance’ is one of those subjects which we would all choose to avoid when given a choice. In today’s world we have no option but at least to gain some working knowledge of finance, an element of financial literacy, if only to become competent at managing our own affairs. This Public Finance literacy course will assist you in becoming more aware, while teaching you to navigate this complicated, unsettled system. Upon completion, you will have an advantage when planning your future. For more specific hands-on action go to the Personal Finance Course.

 This is the sign you usually see when approaching subjects like the ones ShopSquawk wants you to know about.

This is the sign you usually see when approaching subjects like the ones ShopSquawk wants you to know about.

In our ‘Money’ Lesson we begin your learning debacle & torture session by covering banks, bank notes, the barter system, bubbles, capital, capitalists, cash accounting, commercial banks, commercial paper, credit, currency, deposits, factors of production, fiat, fiat currency, the financial system, futures, gold, labor, land, law of the land, letters of credit, loans, merchants, the Mississippi Company, money, money changers, reserve currency, Return on Investment (ROI), trade, and the USD (US Dollar).

During the course of ShopSquawk’s ‘Banks’ Lesson, you will swim through the fantastic adventures of public balance sheets and the process of balancing a countries books. You will do a brief flyover of bankruptcy, banks, credit, creditors, and the interesting pivotal events that took place in Cyprus. You will also encounter such farm animals as debtors and depositors. Double entry bookkeeping, expanding money supply, fractional reserve banking, interest rate, lender of last resort, liability, money, money supply, mortgages, profit and loss, profit and loss accounts, securitization, securitized mortgages, and the one you’ve been waiting so patiently for us to cover… the ‘troika’ are all presented for your dining pleasure.

A favorite for Kindergartners worldwide, our ‘Credit and Debt’ Lesson is now being taught in pre-schools as well! This is the place where you can do the hokey-pokey with bonds, boomers, credit, debt, GDP, high finance, national debt, the nature of debt, private debt, public debt, QE, quantitative easing, and sovereign debt. Bring your Huggies.

In the glorious ‘Central Banking’ Lesson, you’ll learn all about the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the Bank of England (BoE), central banking, central banks, commercial banks, debt, the Fed (Federal Reserve), the Federal Open Market Committee, the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, FOMC, inflation, John Maynard Keynes (aka Luchador Destroyer of Capital), liquidity, market, monetarist’s model, Monetary economists, monetary policy, national currency, our friend Flicka – we mean Paul Volcker, Treaty of Versaille, zero interest rate, and that funky little acronym so innocently named ‘ZIRP’!

Our well prepared lesson on ‘Government’ will lead you straight to the Animal Farm. Here, we cover Big Government, the BIS (remember this from 2 paragraphs ago?), the joy of Corporatocracy and Crony capitalism, democracy, GDP, George Orwell, government n’ Godzilla, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the illusion of democracy, the responsibility of oligarchy, and general public finance for the student who needs to know all!

Within the ‘Markets’ Lesson we shovel the detritus away so that you might discover the Chicago Board of Trade, CME Group, COMEX, all about Commodity Exchanges and Commodity markets, the IMF (International Monetary Fund), the concept of JIT (Just-in-Time), leverage, NYMEX, sovereign debt. Oh, and we have a fireside chat (with onion smores) about the World Bank.

In the ‘Financial Engineering’ Lesson you will learn more than you ever wanted regarding AIG (a real doozy), Asset Backed Securities (ABS), Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDO’s), COMEX, counterparties, Credit Default Swaps (CDS), derivatives, FASB (the Financial Accounting Standards Board), Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS), Over The Counter goodies (OTC), Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT’s), and securitization. Oh so fun ; )  Actually, it’s not that painful. uh… really… not at all.

 As the sign clearly denotes... there will be no more standing around! Click on the lesson of interest now.

As the sign clearly denotes... there will be no more standing around! Click on the lesson of interest now.

In the ‘Inflation and Deflation’ Lesson you will shake and twitch as you become one with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Consumer Price Index (CPI), deficit, deflation, disinflation, ‘disinformation’, the Federal Reserve (Fed), Hyperinflation, inflation, and the Office of National Statistics (ONS). You will remember everything and enjoy your experience immensely!

In the ‘National Economies’ Lesson you will learn about commercial debts, Credit Default Swaps (CDS), the debt market, default, the global financial system, IMF, NAFTA, NWO, Over-the Counter Derivatives, QE, SDR, stock market, tapering, the United Nations, the World Bank, World Trade Organization (WTO). Just what you always wanted! Get a triple expresso for this one.

The lessons await. Learn about the financial big picture before you have to unlearn what you might be taught. Gain an immunity to complicit vested interest.

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This personal finance course is designed to assist you in developing the necessary knowledge and skills needed to understand and operate in today’s complex society. Under no circumstances is it to be construed as Minotaur Grappling Lesson. Take the course and involve yourself in the associated challenges to lock in what you learned. Our tests are just snazzy reminders, and never standardized! Bounce around the lessons if that’s how you learn best.

 Does the minotaur want a dollar or a doll hair?

Does the minotaur want a dollar or a doll hair?

What is money/history of money/how it works.  – In this lesson from the Financial Literacy Personal Finance curriculum we’re going to talk about Money.  Money is a life blood of transaction and value, but what is it exactly and where did it come from? Money is something of value which can be traded for goods and services. To start, we begin the course by a simple explanation of what money is. If you want a more detailed, brain rattling course we have that too ; )  We also, incorporate video’s along with text and images, so look around and make sure you’ve discovered and learned what you need before hopping, lurching, or stampeding into the next lesson.

Learn about bartering, cowrie shells, cryptocurrency, fiat money, financial literacy, gold standard, goods and services, government money, metal as money, metal coins, money, and what is money.

Encounter the terrifying concept of ‘Budgeting’ – In this lesson from the Financial Literacy Personal Finance curriculum we’re bantering about Budgeting. Budgeting is one, if not the most important, lesson you can learn in personal finance. Budgeting is a plan to match inflows with outflows – or more explicitly, how you intend to spend the money that you earn.

Learn about bank statements, budgetary discipline, budgeting, credit card statements, discretionary expenses, expenses, fixed expenses, income, interest, interest payments, and monthly income.

 When it comes to money, we seek to find the way INTO the maze. Here, Minotaurs & Money both symbolize the ‘duality life-force’. Do you prefer the 2 horns or the 2 vertical lines that create the dollar symbol?

When it comes to money, we seek to find the way INTO the maze. Here, Minotaurs & Money both symbolize the ‘duality life-force’. Do you prefer the 2 horns or the 2 vertical lines that create the dollar symbol?


Cower in fear as you come face to face with ‘Interest Rates’ – In this personal finance lesson from the Financial Literacy curriculum we go ballistic about Interest. Interest can be thought of as the cost to borrow money. It is what you pay in addition to the original amount borrowed and t is usually quoted in APR or annual percentage rate.

Learn about APR, basis points, bps, federal funds rate, Federal Reserve, Interest rates, lending, lending institutions, LIBOR, loans, prime rate, the Fed, and what are interest rates.

‘Credit’ … introducing your friend and enemy – In this lesson from the Financial Literacy curriculum we talk your ear off about Credit. Your credit is a measure of your financial reputation, which often translates into how much money and at what interest rate financial institutions are willing to lend you. Credit takes time to build, requiring a history of financial transactions.

Learn about credit, credit card, credit reports, credit score, financial institutions, financial reputation, financial well-being, fraud, and personal finance.

‘Credit Cards’ … an excellent idea to understand them before you use them! – In this lesson from the Financial Literacy curriculum we’re going to smack you around until you understand Credit Cards. Often when the subject of credit is broached, people tend to think of credit cards. Credit cards are easy to understand.

Learn about balance, bankruptcy, credit card balance, credit cards, Interest rates, minimum payments, opening new credit cards, personal finance, and revolving credit.

‘Debt’… meet the Minotaur that chases you around the maze – In this lesson from the Financial Literacy curriculum we’re going to shake you silly until you are the most knowledgable primate in town about Debt. Debt occurs when you borrow money and assume the responsibility of paying it back later, usually with interest. Some of the money you pay back each month goes toward the principal, otherwise known as the money you borrowed, and the rest goes toward the interest payment, otherwise known as the cost of the debt. Debt is essentially a way to borrow from your future self, and it can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on the purpose and the terms of the loan.

Learn about bad debt, borrowing from the future, Closed end loans, college debt, debt, good debt, Payday loans, Revolving loans, Secured loans, and Unsecured loans.

Goal Oriented Saving – Goal-Oriented Saving = Financial goals, usually long-term, requiring saving in a structures, disciplined way. In this instant gratification world we live in, it’s hard to think about achieving distant goals, such as buying a house, car, or retirement. The easiest thing to do is to borrow from the future to pay for current needs and wants, aka taking on debt. Financial institutions make it so easy to borrow. Some may ask why bother saving if you can just borrow and have it now? The reason is that borrowing costs money, money that could be better spent in ways to help you improve your financial situation. It’s imperative to have clearly defined goals when you’re saving. This is a great lesson for personal finance literacy.

Learn about financial objectives, investment horizon, loans for cars, loans for college, loans for emergencies, loans for housing, measuring financial goals, personal finance, realistic financial goals, scheduled deposits, and setting financial goals.

Goal Oriented Investing –  In this lesson from the Financial Literacy curriculum we’re going to talk about Goal-Oriented Investing. We’re going to assume that you have followed some of the advice in the previous lessons and were able to save some money. What should you do with it – should you let it sit in your bank account earning little or no interest or should you make it work for you? Take this lesson now, and learn about your next step.

“Now what are you waiting for? Get to it! Whhhpccht! Click on the financial literacy lessons or you will be doomed to a lifetime of grouchiness, swindled for all your money by the time your 21, in dire need of a bath, in debt, itchy, and wishing you could wash your cloths at least once a year!”