Thursday, March 22, 2012

UK AAA

Not Tulisa © lionel messi

News comments:
The UK budget frenzy is over and it shows what a mess the UK is in.

London is the greatest city on the planet which explains why overseas companies are hoovering up safe real estate assets. A purchase tax (stamp duty) of 7% (or 15% if you don't set the company up properly) for assets over GBP2million will ensure these are either long term holds or will just keep pushing the prices up by 7% a year. Where is the CGT? Best to tax on the way out, not the way in.

If you are looking for opportunities then try Berlin. Like Notting Hill in the 1960s it has rent controls but these are coming to an end. Prices will rocket. And why not? Germany is a proper AAA country and Berlin is its London.

Budget good news: Flat tax on its way, Irish like corporation tax, high rate starting to fall
Budget bad news: Why is VAT still 20%? Being over 65 and never been on welfare, high net worth married people, luncheon vouchers, having children, debt still increasing and AAA being challenged.

AAA - does it matter? UK can print its own money so who cares?

Today's shorts:
Granny's to protest outside St Pauls Cathedral (telegraph)

Knight Frank says business as usual (prweb)

Today's longs:
Fiscal Pact joke continues (ft)

Gossip:
Fintag looking to leak his sex tape to get more hits.



Friday, March 16, 2012

Spring and all change

Latest GS client © Oz

News comments:
The Daffodils are out and young lovers are snogging in Hyde Park.

The times are a changin' and as the S&P bulls pounce on undervalued high yielding stocks, 2008 and all that is becoming a foot note in the history books.

Will muppetgate be the final nail in the coffin for the bank (hedge fund) we all love to hate (and yet wouldn't mind some its bonus pool)?

Hector Sants who presided over the light touch regulation of Scottish banks during the boom years is to leave the FSA with a whimper.

The FSA (not the Food Standards Agency) is in turmoil as the FCA and the PRA fight over the easy work ready for the 2013 relaunch as the lawyers best friend.

English football comes to an end as the Italians and Spanish push aside their defaults and the old and overpaid SKY sponsored premiership bloaters prepare to retire as Qatar take's over the reigns and introduces compulsory AC and Camel rides during the interval.

The iPad 3 will hail the end of 20 20 vision (mine arrived this morning and after 30 minutes my eyes were bleeding and so had to be calmed down with a burst on the Kindle).

iPad will usher in the Google Goggles because where can you go now with a tablet?

New Order reach the top of the iTunes charts following the latest Syrian product placement (along with Right Said Fred).

Today's shorts:
Miss Piggy resigns from JP Morgan (reuters)

Today's longs:
Sants ready to be the next Tesco CEO (cityam)

Gossip:
Obama and Camerons love child to be called Samichelle if its a girl and Samichelle if its a boy.



Thursday, March 15, 2012

Bankers to demand a rise in the minimum wage

A dying profession© fintag

News comments:
Well you wanted it and you got it.

I don't know any Investment Bankers. I used to, but they are now called Wealth Managers, Corporate advisors, Asset Protectors, CRMs. Despite banking attracting the smartest, the quickest, the maddest and people who if couldn't work in banking would be computer hackers or international criminals, the most hated profession is still one that attracts hoards of get rich quick graduates.

Given the average Investment Relationship Officer works 120 hours a week and earns an hourly wage less than the minimum (in hope that the bonus pool will give them a deposit on a house in Bishops Avenue), it appears the profession is being forced by the media, the regulators and the politicians into a charity.

Yes, wage pay is falling fast in the nationalised industry of investment banking.

Shareholders are at last starting to get the rewards they deserve. Dividend yields are up and the bonus pools are being raided to pay the people who provide the balance sheet for sad Goldman Types who have earned enough money to feed and house a village to have their 15 minutes of fame. (muppets)

I may have worked at Goldman in the days when it was cooler to work for Lehman, and it was a pretty lame bank. Offices were crap and everyone wore chinos. Thanks to its squid like growth though (just after I left), it has turned into the equivalent of Microsoft (arrogant) except Microsoft's founders are now the world's largest charity givers whereas Goldman Sachs is its own Charity.

Today's shorts:
Goldman Sachs on life support (fintag)

Google plus has ruined Google (cnn)

Today's longs:
Bankers on minimum wage (cityam)

Stressed bankers stressed out: Shareholders feeling Smug (fox)

Gossip:
HBO to launch new show to rival Suits based on two Investment Bankers fighting for their clients - show to be called "Wankers".



Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Muppets. Goldman Sachs.

Bloody Goldman Sachs © fintag

News comments:
Sometimes in life, one has to stop and smell the coffee.

"What are three quick ways to become a leader? a) Execute on the firm’s “axes,” which is Goldman-speak for persuading your clients to invest in the stocks or other products that we are trying to get rid of because they are not seen as having a lot of potential profit. b) “Hunt Elephants.” In English: get your clients — some of whom are sophisticated, and some of whom aren’t — to trade whatever will bring the biggest profit to Goldman. Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t like selling my clients a product that is wrong for them. c) Find yourself sitting in a seat where your job is to trade any illiquid, opaque product with a three-letter acronym."

"It makes me ill how callously people talk about ripping their clients off. Over the last 12 months I have seen five different managing directors refer to their own clients as “muppets,” sometimes over internal e-mail."

GS (Greg Smith) about GS (Goldman Sachs)

Today's shorts:
Resignation Letter (newyorktimes)

Today's longs:
Goldman Sachs hiring again (independent)

Gossip:
Goldman Sachs to rename itself in PR coup, Fluffy Puppy Inc.



Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Fiscal Compact: A joke before it even started

Spain © openstreetmap

News comments:
Last night Spain did a Greece.

It said yes to Fiscal Compact but in reality it was lying. PM Rajoy has said he is trying his best but factors outside his control means Spain cannot adhere to the tighter rules imposed by the technocrats. 5.8% is close enough to 4.4% so its not a big deal is it?

The Fiscal Compact was signed with fanfares and belly dancers less than 10 DAYS AGO. It has been breached.

Italy is now in recession and will be doing the same. Lying and asking for an excuse not to adhere to the Fiscal Compact.

Greece new bonds are discounted by 25%. And don't you recall I said many investors were lining up their lawyers to fight the Greek SD? And here they come ...

What Europe needs is hyper inflation. The only way this is going to happen is to ban goods from China and get the Trade Unions on the streets pumping up higher wage demands. But this is all a pipe dream.

Seriously, you think the Euro will survive?

Today's shorts:
More debt to solve the debt problem (cityam)

EU says Spain will adhere to Fiscal Compact (March 5) (pf)

Today's longs:
When you are struggling it is time for the lawyers (reuters)

Gossip:
Obama and Cameron to announce love child.



Friday, March 9, 2012

Greece: The fat lady hasn't sung yet

opera © indyopera.org

News comments:
As far as I am concerned, we have just sat down after swigging an interval G&T.

The fat lady has yet to sing but the way the Eurocrats are bleating, Greece has been saved.

Banks owned most of its debt and were coerced into saying yes whilst the minnow creditors have been CAC'd. Very undignified. The EU may have thrown a few more Euros at Greece to thank the Greek-o-crats for losing their next election (jobs at the top table, then) but the will of the markets will win. They always do. Just look at the distressed junk yields (15%+) on the new shiny tainted Greek debt.

Greece is bankrupt. It has defaulted. It will need another bail out in next 6 months. And it will leave the Euro.

Today's shorts:
Silicon Valley rents boom as earthquake rears (bloomberg)

Today's longs:
Greece is saved (yawn) (reuters)

Gossip:
Goldman Sachs working on a new EU M&A prospect (Greece, Portugal and Spain)



Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Greece poker finals: March 20

Bluff © pokerstars.com


News comments:
Feeling a bit stressed? Sweaty palms? Tense, nervous headache?

The big Greek poker bluff is in full force. Will the Greeks CAC themselves and give the Eurozone a dose of VD [Editor: You mean SD)? Or will the patsy banks who are enjoying the ECB fairground of free rides and a nice tier 1 capital deposit at Europe's favourite bank, the ECB, find themselves being paid back in full because some aggressive hedge funds want to be CAC'd?

I will say it again. Greece will do a Lehman. Italy and Spain will be overjoyed because if Greece doesn't get its bail out, they can be the next in line. Greece will enjoy a proper FX rate and a few bankers will not be getting bonuses this year. It is a win win and one we have been predicting for months now.

Good to see the Netherlands preparing to leave the Euro too.

No euro means more currencies means more jobs means growth.

Keeping the Euro keeps Germany alive and a few technocrats pension funds bolstered with Euro tax payers hard earned cash.

Today's shorts:
Mitt Moron ready to do battle with the useless Obama (reuters)

30 Banks say yes (reuters)

Today's longs:
CAN leads the pack (marketwatch)

Gossip:
My Greek bonds appear to be glowing in the dark.