Wednesday, February 22, 2012

How to take over a country without force

Center of the universe © fintag

News comments:
You have to hand it to the technocrats.

They have pushed and pushed and got what they wanted. Greece has been taken over. It has lost its sovereignty and not a bullet was fired. Iran may think owning a nuke or two is the way forward but its not - they should hand out interest free credit cards to the West.

Greece is dying but not dead. It still has a trump card or two including leaving the Euro and the ECB taking a nice hit and the people electing a new radical government with no alliance to the EU. It will leave the Euro. The plastic knife ready to cut my leg off is in a picnic hamper in the basement. No pressure.

But behind this "technocrats versus the markets" is a story of real sadness. There is a lost generation of skilled Greeks, Irish and Spanish who are unemployed. Many are hungry and angry as we have seen. A bunch of old dinosaur farts who enjoyed the good times are destroying people's lives. Last time this happened in the West we ended up with a couple of World Wars.

So what is going on? Is the CDS market now dead given ISDA and the CRA's are trying to determine if Greece really is a SD? I mean what is a default? Many of my hedgie mates believe Greece has defaulted because it refinanced. Lawyers will have a field day.

While the media focus on riots, the ECB is handing out nice interest rates and safety and will then a few days later will be giving this to Greece for some technocrats to run. Banks tier 1 capital will really be junk. Marvellous!

Joy follows pain. Death follows a lingering blood letting.

So why the gloom? Well my home in Mayfair is being turned into a house. It seems Mayfair residential property yields trump commercial property yields and so I may have to move towards St Pauls and mingle with the Devil called Sachs.

Today's shorts:
Fitch downgrades Greece (reuters)

Obama buys votes (reuters)

Today's longs:
Buffet Berated By Bloomberg

Gossip:
German to become the new EU language.



Wednesday, February 15, 2012

One Direction and waiting for the next celebrity death

one direction © fintag

News comments:
Sometimes just saying it over and over again will make it happen.

Take Greece. It will go bust. It has an appalling track record and has people who are revolting. (telegraph)

Take Private Equity. For years we have moaned about their tax breaks and being responsible for the credit crunch. Looks like the techocrats have woken up to a large tax pool thanks to Mitt Romney. (irishtimes)

Take Obama. Even before he was elected (lest not forget I saw him taking money off hedgies in Greenwich in the days when he loved money) we predicted he would be a one trick donkey. Mormon moron here we come. (persicope)

Take bonuses. We have ranted about the short term deferred salaries called bonuses for years (at least hedgies are up front with their performance fees). And now we are seeing banking partnerships coming back into fashion. (asiaone)

Take Facebook. We told you it was worth a USD100bn a year ago and hey presto it is IPO'ing at USD100bn. Unbelievable but there you go. Dot com madness Ocado style. (Ed: Not quite)

Gossip:
Real news to follow shortly ...



Sunday, February 12, 2012

Australia is the new USA

Sunset © fintag

News comments:
Australia. The land of plenty (if you can get in).

Thanks to China, Australia will soon be the new USA. Despite having a fraction of the people, it is home to soon to be the richest woman in the world (ousting out Walton, the Walmart heiress). Its debt is falling and the second richest Australian works for Glencore. Mining trumps moving money around.

As wikipedia says

"Australia's per-capita GDP is higher than that of the UK, Germany, and France in terms of purchasing power parity. The country was ranked second in the United Nations 2011 Human Development Index and sixth in The Economist worldwide quality-of-life index 2005. [2] [3] Australia's sovereign credit rating is "AAA", higher than the United States of America and Australia's four 'Big Banks' are among the 25 'Worlds Safest Banks of 2011'.[20] Australia has highest ratio of assets to population than any country in the World. The country's government debt to GDP is the lowest among OECD countries. The Australian government aims to run surpluses from 2012/13."

Ok. This is just filling. Like you I am waiting for this Greek debacle to end because it is clear the fixed income run is dead and equities are where its at for 2012. But for the boom in cash rich, high yielding equities to start Greece must leave the Euro.

Today's shorts:
Welsh woman loses out on carbon (theaustralian)

Today's longs:
Glencore catches up with Facebook (smh)

Australian beats China at Cricket (thecourier)

Country pleads for help (theaustralian)

Gossip:
United States of Australia.



Poverty is the new black

Zadig and Vulgar © fintag

News comments:
Best to hide that bling because the bling police are coming after you.

Italy and Greece have been pumping resources into their bling police. This new and sinister 1984 / Minority Report squad of socialist agents are pouncing on those who flaunt their wealth. The regulators are successfully prosecuting hedgies for market abuse (Hank Paulson of course has avoided any such problem) and in Italy those who drive fast red cars are being reported to the tax authorities.

As most of you know, the inherited rich like to keep their wealth hidden. So taking a leave out of their books, my car of choice (notice that is singular) is a beaten up Toyota and home and possessions are held in the name of an offshore nominee company (no utility bills in my name alas so a nightmare trying to do anything these days that involves Know Your Client). Cash is my best friend and my cellar has been converted into a bullion vault.

My clothes are tatty but my teeth and fingernails are nicely manicured and keeping a six pack doesn't cost much.

Poverty is the new black.

Today's shorts:
Film finance tax loopholes (telegraph)

Today's longs:
Italian bling (bloomberg)

Gossip:
Oxfam to open up on New Bond Street.



Monday, February 6, 2012

Greece prepares to leave Euro

greece © eu

News comments:
A bit like watching a Hollywood couple with the perfect marriage that we all know is not so and yet we are still shocked when a Tweet or two tell the world it was a sham and it's all over.

Greece. The longest running and most boring soap opera is coming to an end. Here is a leaked Tweet that has come our way via tor-megaupload-wikileaks-scribd-recycle-bin:

@theworld Greece has decided to enter a new era of the Drachma. It would like to thank the IMF, the IFF, the hedge funds, the technocrats, for providing us with free biscuits and coffee during .... [Ed: > 140]

Greece is going to leave the Euro. You know this and I know this. My hedge fund mates know this and all the Greeks know this except a few "jobs for the boys" politicians who are still moving their assets abroad before tweeting like crazy.

Today's shorts:
130 = starvation (telegraph)

The death of Equities (bloomberg)

Today's longs:
Merkozy go to Greece (speigel)

Greece holidays (beatthebrochure)

Gossip:
Greece prepares to leave the Euro ...