Friday, March 22, 2013

Blackberry in the USA

© fintag

News comments:
While the world waits to see how the Cyprus debacle turns out, the real stress weighing on the minds of most business people is Blackberry`s Z10 launch in the USA.

As you know I am a Z10 owner and the first week was hell. That was until the upgrades came and now it's my favourite gadget. Android!s jelly custard OS is a bit odd and when the device is on your life is handed over to Google who look after your data, and although my new nexus tablet has lots of whizz bang dolphin gesture apps, it doesn't feel like its finished. The BlackBerry 10 is finished and it is better than both the iPhone and Android. The Z10 device is great.

Even so it's 2 years too late and endorsements from an Apple short seller aren't going to save the company, which is a shame.

Back to Cyprus. Bad bank, Russian takeover or bond holders having to empty their pockets, this is a close call.

Today's shorts:
Cyprus trees (bbc)

Today's longs:
USA I no Cyprus bloomberg

Gossip:
Cyprus to be renamed Cyprusikstan.



Sunday, March 17, 2013

Cyprus: Big banks orgasm, Markets crash

cyprus lotto © fintag

News comments:
The stealing of bank deposits is a complete no no but the IMF and EU have done it anyway. The outcome will be very unpleasant. When Kings raid people of their money to fund wars, the outcome is always revolution.

Cyprus is a basket case (fintag Oct 2011 - Cyprus is symptomatic of the European Nightmare) (fintag Feb 2013 - Cyprus isn't worth saving) and should have been left to blow up. Of course socialists like to control everything and weighing up a few banks blowing up against a massive run on the banks was easy; taxing the depositors to pay for the recklessness of the bankers and incompetenance of the regulators. Yep, on paper a great idea but in reality the catalyst to serious banking instability. Big banks get an unexpected blow job and euro markets a nasty bit of volatility.

The upshot is next week there will be people moving money from the banks and hiding it under their mattresses (standard) or even worse moving it to the big banks. These "big banks" have enough cheap cash as it is but will take it anyway to help bolster their capital and keep the regulators happy. Big banks will get even bigger and too big to bail out. The small banks will disappear and we will all end up in an even worse position.

As much as we all love electronic money, cash will becoming even more King than Mervyn.

I can see photos of ATM lines next week in countries from Spain to Ireland. Your money is safer in your hands than in a faceless bank that allows unelected bodies to come and take your money to help bankers keep their bonuses. Meanwhile, euro markets are going to tank and lots of back peddling and vol will make the recent equities rally become a long forgotten memory.

You couldn't make this up.

Today's shorts:
Cyprus ministers face violent threats (bbc)

UK to bailout out Cypriots (telegraph)

Euro Markets to crash (washingtonpost)

Anarchy here we come (activistpost)

Russia moves cash and assassins to the UK (guardian)

Today's longs:
USD (seekingalpha)

Gossip:
Bankers to be given bodyguards by the ECB.



Friday, March 15, 2013

JP Morgan's Value Of @ Covering

hats off© fintag

News comments:
JP Morgan has been exposed as having over 5,000 Global Heads of Globalness. I just made that up. Its probably a bit more.

Interesting to see Investment Banking politics being laid bare with JP Morgan's testimony of its internal handling of the London Whale. If things go wrong you can blame overinflated valuations and flawed models. Oops, that's what Ina Drew (net worth excess of USD15m) also said when the London Whale beached up on Dimon's desk.

Of course we all know the Value At Risk is flawed which is why bankers love using it. Its easy to fix and risky crap can be be made to look like a 99% triple AAA safe bet. As Reuters blogged, spotty 27 year olds know that tweaking V@R equals fat bonuses.

And that is the same ruse Drew and her internal hedge fund interns were relying on - a V@R that was flawed so that they could trade like bandits without red alerts flashing across a dozy RM's inbox.

Not that JP Morgan knows who runs what and who is responsible for what (sounds like the BBC) and what the meaning of life is, but she and her team were doing what every other banker is trying to right now and will in the future which is pretending they know what is going on, managing low risk with high reward and making sure risk is off loaded onto IT, Compliance or Middle Office.

Same old same old. Despite V@R being discredited and useless, the banks are still using it as their primary risk number.

Today's shorts:
JP Morgan blames door man for its losses. (bloomberg)

Useless Bank of Switzerland gives capped bonuses the finger (guardian)

Today's longs:
11 sessions of froth (huff)

Gossip:
Erin "Demi Moore" Callen to launch new book exposing Lehmans incompetence (fintag's lawyers having removed any mention of a sexual liaison) and spill the beans on CNN.



Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Stik-ee fingers equals profits

stik © banksy

News comments:
As bonds become no more, equities are where its at.

No need to short just yet. Everything is a buy and that includes Apple. Yesterday, to keep warm, I snuggled into the Regent St Apple store and was abducted by the blue clad staff who forced me to buy stuff I just didn't need (bluetooth speakers?). So I swapped my iCons with the Big Issue seller outside for some Stik posters which I am ebaying for a few hundred.

After lunch my greasy fingers (Polpo dishes) were used to randomly buy equities. And yes, I am up 1.4%. The good times are back. Irrational momentum madness.

My quants are looking at the correlation of new Popes and the Chancellor putting up taxes on beer and hey presto its boom boom boom. Until May when as usual cash is all that will be held. Lots of USD of course.

Today's shorts:
Swiss cheese (bloomberg)

FSA haven't an AIF'M clue(lexology)

Today's longs:
Castrated pope to be elected (reuters)

Gossip:
Anything but Gold.



Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The USA is like Ronaldo

god © offside

News comments:
Ronaldo is the greatest player ever. So says his manager. (telegraph)

The USA is a bit like Ronaldo. Talented but expensive to service. As a Brit I look out the window onto the tourists that consume Old Bond Street and the overseas investors who seem to own everything (Football clubs to Buildings) and wonder what life would be like as an American. A bit like Spanish Real Madrid having a Portuguese as its star talisman. [Ed: Another lunch at Madisons?]

Of course, like those in the know, I would have relinquished my citizenship years ago because of its anti wealth creation (yahoo) regulations and would have found ways of enjoying the wealth producing nation without living there. You know, S&P futures for starters (telegraph). And Campari and Soda which you will find me guzzling in the Mandarin on a Thursday night (bloomberg).

The UK is shot to pieces. I love the place and yet detest it at the same time. We hate bankers and yet don't defend them given its our only source of income (reuters). So the only thing to do is go long real estate assets, the USD and the S&P and short the GBP and anything else that isn't luxury (Rolls Royce, Burberry et al).

Today's shorts:
Ruddock shorts his partners (hedgeweek)

Rich scum bags (telegraph)

Today's longs:
The best night in 2013 (sky)

Z10 on the way to being best smartphone on the market thanks to fintag complaints (register)

Dowdy (zerohedge)

Gossip:
Man Utd, owned by Americans, to win again.