Friday, March 11, 2011

As clear as mud

No knickers

Transparency © fintag

News comments:
A word over used at present is Transparency.

Investors, regulators, analysts, governments, nosey parkers, they all want to be able to see into dark pools and side pockets and funds and exchanges and banks and hedge funds. The reason is we all lie. We never used to but we do now. So when an investment say 4% fixed return and all your capital back we immediately say "Lehman" or "Madoff".

The world of trust is gone for good. This is partially down to the global melting pot where different cultures with different morals try to work together. But transparency is a luxury and if you spend all your time never believing anything, you would never buy or sell either. Risk is in the eye of the beholder. Caveat emptor and all that.

China is opaque (cheap shoes, human rights abuse). Google is opaque (what do they do with all the data they have harvested?). Managed accounts are transparent (so what). Bank Financial Statements are transparent (and mostly meaningless).

The worse thing about transparency is that knowing what is going on underneath the hood means if it goes wrong you will be liable for having not checked the spark plugs.

So most of the time ignorance is bliss. And this is what Obama et al seem to be doing regarding Libya. Which they will all live to regret.

Today's shorts:
Oil: Nasty stuff (huff post)

No fly zone debacle (bloomberg)

Today's longs:
Oil is good for the skin (bloomberg)

Jap Bank buys Access database (hedgeweek)

Genocide to be banned from the dictionary.