Friday, 29 July 2011

Reasoning with a drunk is useless...

Messrs Blankfein, Dimon & friends have yet to learn that reasoning with a drunk is a waste of time. Congress' insobriety is a heady mix of power-mongered insanity induced by dull-witted intellectual inferiority. They can't help themselves. Enough said.

The BURNING issue is no longer the US-debt ceiling and the probable downgrade of US paper by the ratings agencies. The damage that Congress is doing to the credibility of the US dollar as the international standard is much more dangerous. For some time the United Nations has opined the view that the US dollar should be replaced with a more stable system. The consequence for the US economy after a significant decline in the dollar versus the global currency cross, is difficult to quantify. Nevertheless, their energy needs alone, paid in 'international currency', will induce a US economic collapse. The US has, until now, exported its debt. China holds approximately $1.2 trillion worth of US debt and Japan close on $1 trillion. Paying that back in 'international currency' on a declining US dollar is virtually impossible. 

Perhaps it's time for rational compromise....

Thursday, 28 July 2011

International Court of Financial Justice

The global market capitalisation is a credible $50 trillion, give or take. Nevertheless, it's $15 trillion or the ENTIRE debt burden of the United States of America lower than the $65 trillion highs of 2007.

Now, if we distill the events that led to the financial crisis of late 2007 and the subsequent collapse of global markets you wouldn't have to go too far to find the culprit / s. The same could be said for the Greek-crisis we've endured for the last month or two. Again the culprits are easily identified. Today markets are burdened by the US 'debt-crisis'. If it's true that the (R) party VOTED for extensive spending during (R) Bush's term then a case can be made that today's members of the (R) party are negotiating in mala fides (BAD FAITH), grounds for legal action. The Federal Reserve agrees that this political impasse, however temporary, will have serious consequences for global economic growth. Global markets will follow.

US political-impasse drove global markets 2% lower in yesterday's session alone. That equates to an equity loss of $500 billion or an approximate margin-call of $5 trillion for long-only positions on the derivative markets. The cost of capital alone to carry the position to recovery post 2 Aug. is still billions of dollars.

Is it time to introduce an International Court of Financial Justice and hold the fools accountable?

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Boehner sings the blues and it's all a lie..

The US is not, as is claimed by Boehner, 'drowning in a sea of debt'.. Building political support by preying on ordinary people's fear is politically fashionable but it's cruel, out-of-touch and blatantly unethical. Most Americans want their representatives, both Republican and Democrat to address the issue of JOB-creation!

Sifting through the political rhetoric it's clear that the 'deficit problem' is NOT the burning short-term issue. Whilst the future increase in welfare spending will have to be addressed, the growth in deficit is primarily a function of declining revenue. In addition to tax cuts instituted during Pres. Bush's reign, the decline in revenue is largely a function of the recession.. Boehner's focus, therefore, on 'debt' and the deficit, which he claims requires massive cuts in spending, is nothing but a political sham or smokescreen. In case you missed it Obama's offer of trillions in spending cuts has largely been ignored.

One more thing; Boehner's offer of $1 trillion would see the US through to just shy of the next scheduled election....

Et tu, George?

Managed hedge funds adopt sophisticated but independently variable investment strategies and whilst the unique management style of each fund offers the investor choice, most if not all have one thing in common; the hedge-fund manager has his / her own money invested in the fund. Therein lies the devil.

It's too easy to concede that the manager's vested interest keeps him or her honest and in most cases that's true. Nevertheless, besides the management fee the ONLY reason the manager invites external investors to participate in his / her fund [usually unregulated] is to secure leverage for his / her own wealth. It's this performance-based leverage offered unwittingly by investors that creates immense personal wealth for the manager assuming the funds are managed effectively. Once the fund is 'established' it's become common practice for the manager to 'return' the external investors' money. Besides the tax-event generated on withdrawal, the timing of the withdrawal is never favourable....

Monday, 25 July 2011

If the Americans could tell a story...

The BIS* suggests the only way forward for the global economy is a complete moratorium on ALL debt. ie: a clean-slate for all... ; which is as probable as an unsolicited visitation by the Decepticons from the dark-side-of-the-moon..

The contrived 'debt-crisis' the US ponders today is just like Harry Potter; outrageously dull-witted. Now, if the Americans were more Chinese in their financial planning ie: for the longer term; then a default could be the prelude to the most amazing fable of them all!

Imagine, if you will, an intentional US debt-default. The ratings agencies, sidelined in Europe and eager to impress, would downgrade the US to 'Enron-negative'. ie: a sell... You, everybody else and I would sell our inflated US assets to Goldman's pension fund. The US 'price', expressed in dollars, would collapse. The US dollar, like the drachma, wouldn't be worth the price of printed paper and yet the world's debt is priced in US dollars.... Good-bye China, HELLO WORLD; what a story..!

*Bank of International Settlements

India catches GTE*

The plight of ordinary Greeks has gained our sympathy. We've been fooled. Uncontrolled frustration led 'the people' from their cafes and into the streets and we were amused when olives were pelted at passing politicians... Nevertheless that's only half the story or one side of the equation. Greece has one foot in Hades for two reasons:

  1. Papandreou spent money he never had on Zeus-knows-what and;
  2. the Greek citizenry never paid their taxes.
When revenue forecasts are inaccurate, projections fail. So when the Greeks evaded their tax obligations government was forced to borrow more and the rest, as they say, is written...

India has seemingly followed suit. That country loses approximately 14 trillion rupees from tax evasion annually which translates to an annual loss in growth of approximately 5%. India would have rivaled China as the world's fastest growing economy...

*Greek-like Tax Evasion

Artful & cunning practice

There's no denying that wisdom comes with age and without trivialising the allegations leveled against Newscorp and its subsidiaries, parliament's 'Murdoch Inquisition' was farcical. On the flipside, Rupert's masterclass in crisis management was nothing short of brilliant.

Off the bat the ineptitude of the inquisitive-committee bordered on the absurd. Who will ever forget the question '.........and do you concede, Mr Murdoch (R), that you are ultimately responsible....?' - Answer: 'Nope' (Murdoch Snr) [Aussie-style 'in-your-face' you pompous arse] EVERYBODY knows that the Chief Executive always carries the can. Rupert's contrived confusion had them guessing... 

You'll concede that frailty, awkward silence and bumbling confusion garners sympathy. In the boardroom, however, frailty and silence are tools of the trade. It's subterfuge! The old pie-in-your-face thing, even if the Murdochs hadn't orchestrated the attack, completed the performance. Genius! 

So the 'out-of-it old codger' will be pushed upstairs and an interim CEO appointed in his stead pending Jnr's. elevation. A new broom sweeps clean, so it's said... Competing rags will milk the story for all its worth. Nevertheless, even the M&G will move on to something new and it's business as usual for all concerned. The same applies on Wall Street. Nothing's changed, right?

Friday, 22 July 2011

Bundeskanzlerin Merkel - der teufel wird los sein

Roughly translated 'the sh*t is about to hit the fan' and for Merkel & friends time has run out. Unlike the contrived US 'debt-crisis', the eurozone problems are real. A protracted or delayed response to the structural shortfalls within the eurozone will DEFINITELY have us revisit the horrors of 2008.

Gott im himmel - NEIN. No more cash for Greece; please!

If global GDP growth takes a hammering as a result of Greek extravagance I might just give up olives. 

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Who's next - His Holiness the Dalai Lama?

I'm sorry but what the hell is going on?

Obama, a black supremacist?
Goldman's Blankfein wraps manure in tissue paper; sells it on as truffles.
UK's police chief 'walks-the-plank' - accusations of unsavoury dealings with the press too much to bear.
Cameron tucks his tail and whimpers home 'all the same'.
Murdoch's monsters mislead mourning parents to sell more space.
Berlusconi's political clout scores him underage girls.
Medvedev wins 440 out of 450 votes. Only 88 members voted...
The British Ministry of Defence sold arms and training to Saddam.
Palestinians KIA (killed in action) accidentally fall out of coffins only to climb back in..
Weiner's wiener holds the world enthralled.
First rape then consensual sex. Straus-Kahn casts off and sails away quietly.
Was Pope Benedict a nazi youth?
'Financial personalities' ape around the studio for our amusement whilst speculators artificially drive commodity food prices higher; millions starve.


Monday, 18 July 2011

Happy Birthday Tata (Father) Madiba

Happy birthday Tata Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. You've made us proud.

Appropriately, even for a short while, we remember our humanity and realign our perspective and priority. It's a legacy or gift, if you like, that Madiba gives us still.

On a different tack, irresponsible political leadership negates the benefits of personal 'long-term' financial engineering. No amount of fancy footwork will help you one iota. Giving up 67 minutes of your time painting a hospital ward or donating 67 minute's worth of income from your business to a charity, although commendable obviously, has a questionable long-term affect. Perhaps we should rather spend the time in quiet contemplation and make a structural difference. Anything less is merely cosmetic or worse still, self-congratulatory.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Why the US lost its mojo..

Humanity finds motivation in leadership and courage. Our inspiration is fleetingly a function of success.

The US gave us its American Dream and inspired the world. Amazingly, somewhere, somehow and largely unnoticed the Stars & Stripes lost its way and with its moral demise went our respect. Consequently, lesser nations lacked the encouragement of experience and stumbled. Most of us can't balance the books....

These are the 2011 budgeted numbers for the US:
  1. Total receipts (turnover) - $2.56 trillion or 16.8% of GDP ($15.3 trillion)
  2. Total outlay (expenditure)- $3.8 trillion or 25.1% of GDP
  3. Annual deficit (overdraft) - $1.26 trillion or 8.3% of GDP
  4. Of the $3.8 trillion in outlay $1.4 trillion is discretionary. $846 billion is spent on security...(??)
Yes we KNOW the US will avoid armageddon by increasing its debt-ceiling before August 2. (Congress has done so 78 times previously.) Rules are easily changed and greed demands a quick fix. Even so, without our mentor the world will lurch from one catastrophe to another. 

Get the hell out of Afganistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Iran...and pull finger; the world needs you.