Skip to main content

Belgium, France and Quebec

I would be remissed if I didn't address the terrorist bombing in Belgium earlier today.  The coordinated act (in three separate events it turns out) is simply a continuation of what a bunch of barbarian would do, the reason seems to be that the guy who planned the terrorist attacks in Paris was caught in Belgium -- that's all these guys need as an excuse.  What is amazing is that it has been known for some time that many terrorist cells have been using Belgium as their home away from home, now the Belgian government has declared martial law...  France has left in place a substantial percentage of martial law system in place since last summer's attack.  Its starting to look like a political ploy by President Holland.  Now two European countries have suspended basic rights...I guess to protect their citizen's right?

As for the France/Quebec thing, it is truly amazing that Mme LePen came to Montreal/Quebec for meetings with the political class -- but had not organised a single meeting before flying out.  Unsurprisingly, not a single politician here would consider meeting with France's leader of the National Front -- Quebec has no lessons to learn from integration of minorities from France that created the "Cite" as a mean of keeping that "Foreign riffraff" away from "good and decent white French people".  That these areas have become largely unmanageable is hardly surprising.  

Since she's been rebuff by Quebec's entire political class Mme LePen's vitriol vis-a-vis us has been rather out of control.  At first, I though this was al orchestrated to obtain "something" now Mme LePen looks like a disorganised and mean politician -- in a place that doesn't give a rat's ass about her opinion.  Now we care for her and her movement even less.

Goes to show, even Holland looks better than her now -- that takes some effort! 

On another "economic" note, things are going slow in the world.  There seems to be increased desperation as to how to prime the pump.  I'm confident that China will let the Yuan drop against the dollar -- exporting deflation, as a tool to revive the economy (don't think it will work...) Oil price are playing the $40/bbl game -- we shall see.


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…