Skip to main content

You go away for a few days!!!

So North Korea has decided that there's isn't enough tention in the world, that we need to push that button a little harder.  You know that things are bad when the US president will not talk about it!  The fact that B2 bombers are in Korea tells you something.  What is missing from all this is a sense of what is going on in the hermit kingdom?  Is the new president playing is grandfather's game and if so why moving so fast to the full confrontation mode.

In other news the French government is modifying its new income tax laws so that the courts can approve, but bottom line is that income in excess of Euro 1 million will be effectively confiscated by the state -- taxed at 75%.  Of course the law of unintended consequence applies here -- French footballers who earn considerably more than Euro 1 million are threatening to leave the country.

In other news (really all that stuff was an excuse to talk Canadian stuff) it looks like TansCanada pipeline is confident of getting approval to change the use (and direction) of its east west pipelines.  The impact is that Quebec and the Eastern provinces would get Alberta crude instead of buying expensive European crude (about $20 per barrel cheaper!).  Separatist must really really hate this outcome, one minister what even quoted as saying the Quebecers prefer more expensive Europe oil (to be told to shut the &$%-up a few hours later)

Here in Quebec the bullshit continues; the latest is to nominated Gilles Duceppe (ex-leader of the Block Quebecois -- a Federal separatist party that died at the previous election of irrelevance).  Anyway GD got the job of heading a commission to see if the labor training business should be Federal or Provincial -- the kicker here is that everyone involved is a "strong separatist"; the commission has been set up to see how the labour training process should be run, by people that have already indicated that the province alone should be responsable of such training (although they are not wrong), but that the Federal government should pay for it -- no questions asked!

Oh the hypocrisy of governments -- but really what's pissing everybody off is that these 5 individuals are going to get paid for 24 months to produce conclusions they have already drawn.  Moreover, the objective of the exercise (avowed in fact) is to get the Quebec population in a pro-independence mood.  Governments are slow at adapting to change, but information is quick and the old games of hiding your true intention from the public -- especially one that can be reminded of your position via videoclips is becoming virtually impossible.  Within hours of being nominated these individuals that had claimed (in press conference no less) of their open-mindedness as to the whole problem were shown to preach the exact opposite just a few weeks earlier.

The king of the videoclip remains Jon Stuart of the Daily Show, Quebecers that don't understand (or care about the rest of North America) have generally been unaware of this phenomena -- it has for the past few months been hitting Montreal's shores with hilarious consequences, such as a journalist being challenged on his facts to have same journalist play the very damaging clip on his iPhone to the politician... hilarious I tell you


Popular posts from this blog

Trucker shortage? No a plan to allow driverless rigs

There are still articles on how America is running out of truckers -- and that its a huge problem, except its not a problem, if it was a problem salaries would rise to so that demand would clear. Trucking is one of those industry where the vast majority of participants are owner/operators and therefore free agents.

Salaries and cost are extremely well know, "industry" complains that there are not enough truckers, yet wages continue to fall... Therefore there are still too many truckers around, for if there was a shortage of supply prices would rise, and they don't.

What there is though is something different; there is a push to allow automatic rigs to "operate across the US", so to encourage the various authorities to allow self driving rigs you talk shortage and hope that politicians decided that "Well if people don't want to work, lets get robots to do the work" or words to that effect.

This has nothing to do with shortage of drivers, but every…

Every punter says oil prices are on the rise: Oil hits $48/bbl -- lowest since September 2016

What the hell?

How could this be, punters, advisors, investment bankers all agreed commodity prices  in general and oil prices in particular are on the rise...its a brave new era for producers and exporters -- finally the world is back and demand is going through the roof, except not so much!

What happened?  Well energy is complicated, the world operates in a balance -- 30 days of physical reserves is about all we've got (seriously) this is a just in time business.  So the long term trend always gets hit by short term variations.

Global production over the past 12 months has risen by somewhat less than 1.5% per annum.  As the world market changes production becomes less energy intensive (maybe), but the reality is that the world is growing more slowly -- America Q4 GDP growth was around 1.9% (annualized) Europe is going nowhere fast (the GDP growth in Germany is overshadowed by the lack of growth in France, Italy, Spain (lets say 27 Euro members generated a total GDP growth of 1.2…

Paying for research

This morning I was reading that CLSA -- since 2013 proudly owned by CITIC -- was shutting down its American equity research department -- 90 people will be affected!

Now the value of a lot of research is limited, that is not to say that all research is bad. In fact, I remember that GS's Asia Aerospace research was considered the bible for the sector.  Granted, there was little you could do with the research since the "buy" was for Chinese airlines...that were state owned.  Still it was a vey valuable tool in understanding the local dynamics.  It seems that the US has introduced new legislation that forces brokers to "sell" their research services!  Figures of $10,000 an hour have been mentioned...

Now, research can be sold many times; if GS has 5000/6000 clients they may sell the same research 300x or 400x (I exaggerate) but this is the key -- Those who buy the research are, I presume, prohibited from giving it away or selling it, at the same time the same rese…