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Euro 120,000.00

That's the estimated cost of Nomura's "Platinum" Research!  Your firm pays US$ 200k per annum to hear all the best bits out of Nomura -- granted I like Bob Janjuah, he's not only a friend but a brilliant tactician.   Still $200k seems a lot.

Obviously, the real change in the analyst business in Europe (as the Jan 3, 2018 rules are to take effect) is going to have one massive impact -- the business of analyst is going to shed about 95% of its workforce.

I've said this before, most research is useless -- it used to be that you would get good data analytics -- but these days you get the same stuff of Bloomberg's basic plan so there is really no reason for that. Analyst get nothing more than you can, should you choose to listen to CEO's pronouncements, and read the company's filings.  Finally, and this is the kicker, most investors are closet indexers anyway (thinking of you Fidelity...).  So the impact of the new rule will be a massive reduction on t…
Recent posts

Oil Prices around $43...what's going on?

Oil prices are falling -- just as the "driving season" kicks off nobody knows what's going on.  Barclays has a novel idea -- America's illegal crack down is causing demand for gasoline to fall.  ICE (the US agency in charge of finding illegal immigrants) is hard at work, with routine stops that find illegal immigrants, they in turn have reduce their travel by car dramatically (its more complicated to stop people boarding a bus -- ICE still needs probable cause...)

In Western states illegals account for a surprisingly large percentage of the total population (between 3-5%).  Some dispute these figures, but then they cannot think of anything else either.  Equally intersting are farms in Iowa facing massive labor shortage -- around 75% of all "pickers" were illegal immigrants -- farms became a massive rally point for ICE to find illegal immigrants, the impact is that Iowa farms are facing a massive labor shortage and no idea how to fill the vacuum.  The labor …

The Middle East an observation!

Trump's first Tour was a catalyst for many of those he met during his little jaunt in the Middle East and Europe.  The Europeans came out convinced that the American President understood absolutely nothing of the NATO alliance and was basically a Mercantile who viewed the world through 19th century trading rules (we export everything and you import nothing), so that we create jobs at home -- "beggar thy neighbour" policies.  The fact that Trump would not re-iterate NATO's article 5 is further evidence of his stubbornness and his lack of education (he did reiterate in speech at the White House -- but the damage was done).

In the Middle East he signed a $ 100 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia -- that was no such deal!  It was a bunch of MOU some dating back to 2015 -- signed by Trumps' greatest enemy:  Obama!  When Saudi Arabia felt they could browbeat Qatar in towing the line, they embargoed the tiny state (for the second time in a decade) and Trump took credit.…

Redux: The death of the middle man

In the endless list of things that go bang in the night, in 2011 I wrote about my experience buying a new shower head, the comment is here.  The end of shopping was already foretold in the stars.  However, and I mentioned this before, it is as bad to be early than it is to be late!!!

In a nut shell what happened is that through the internet I was able to save 60% of the cost of purchasing a new shower head by going on the internet!  First contacting my plumber who kindly told me that I should call the distributor directly only to find a true 20th century operation; 30 days delivery and cash only upfront.

Instead I bought the thing on the internet it was delivered two days later in my office.

Now if you live in a big city you face the consequences of shopping on a daily basis, driving, finding an expensive parking spot, and maybe not finding what you are really seeking...on the internet, its all done in the home, no need for excursion you buy everything from your living room.  I'm…

United Kingdom elections: How to blow a 24 point lead in 8 weeks

Theresa May's decision 8 weeks ago will haunt her and her party for years to come, for while she had a thin majority, she still had a majority.  As one newspaper said it, the first problem was to make the election about personality; when Theresa may has none! 
The hubris of a 24 point lead led to a poorly drafted, full of error manifesto, that was plainly mean!  End of life care, if you own a house the NHS would get that to pay off your health "debts".  Needless to say that for a majority of Tory voters this was not a winner!  
The number of time May seemed unprepared for relatively softball question still amazes everyone. She did, with the opposition, a town hall meeting and she was poorly prepared.
Also the answer to the problems with Brexit is not to say: "Brexit is brexit"
The Tories deserve to loose, granted Labor doesn't deserve to win, their leader is worse than May with numerous stupid statements that can only make governing harder.
Europe -- well t…

Qatar: is this the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand

Most will remember that the first world war "the Great War" if there was ever such a thing, started when the Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated by a Serbian nationalist.  Honestly, the pump was primed long before the Archduke was killed, but it is generally recognized that it was the final straw that lead to a war -- "to end all wars".

What is going on in the Middle East is equally strange and creating some strange behaviors.  There is no doubt that Qatar (a tiny gas rich country) has been saying and doing things outside the norm, the PLO and Israel both had offices there, and because it shares gas fields with Iran it is far less of an enemy of Iran (Shia) than is Saudi Arabia (Sunni), the conflict for leadership of the region has been on-going for decades (BTW this is not the first time that things got ugly between Qatar and SA).

Trump hand seems to be involved by strongly supporting the Sunni (aka Saudi Arabia) and making comments about Iran and the Shia t…

Brexit -- the cost

The EU has been rather adamant that the UK will pay a very steep price for exiting the European Union.  In fact, requiring that the UK pay for everything.  The figure could be anywhere between Euro 60 billion and Euro 200 billion.  In effect, the EU has asked all its institutions to create a list of demands -- like a divorce, the demands can (will) be outrageous, because if you don't ask, you certainly will not get.

How the whole thing plays out is a different story.  There is no doubt that the EU wants its cake and to eat it too!  The UK has the same problem, of course its not about "cash" rather is about access to markets and ability of British National to travel freely within Europe.  The Ft this morning indicated that the UK will need to negotiate more than 700 treaties with various countries over various issues (so lots of work there).
How all this plays out is dependent on many factors:
(1) British Elections:
This morning the worse possible news for Theresa May, sh…