Weekly Review 15
Dear <<First Name>>,
Before I forget, tune in to Russia Today's splendid News channel to catch me musing live from Warsaw on the Euro et al in their review of the year programme on December 31st at 8PM CET (2PM EST).
So, we’re nearly there. 2011 is almost over and the Euro may indeed last the year (2011 that is). The ECB has certainly done its best with a series of 3 year repos that ought to be referred to as long range can-kicking swaps (CANKS I suppose). In a backdoor attempt to refinance the bank-rupts, Mario Draghi has done the sort of operation which certainly amounts to an “open market” one - with some 498 billion in take-up from Amalgamated Desperado Bank NV and all of their cohorts, in one day. Oh well, that just postpones the day of reckoning once again and indeed when it all hits, wow it is going to be awesome. Watch out for that nuclear tsunami being a hot topic of 2012 methinks...
Next week I expect to get around to catching up with propagating my backlog of thoughts (there are _so_ many) but at the same time I may not, so I’ll say it now (and I may say it - partially - again): all the best to you and yours for a Very Happy Christmas and a Peaceful and Prosperous New Year.
As I type, the Czech President Vaclav Havel is being buried. Amongst his many inspired remarks, I will leave the last word before Christmas to him as it is a motto which will prove perfect for surviving and thriving in 2012 and beyond:
"The only lost cause
is one we give up on
before we enter the struggle."
- Vaclav Havel
Quotations of the Week
"This is scary. This tells me that the whole of the European banking system is in very, very serious trouble."
- Michael Hewson, CMC Markets
“We find little evidence that the FTT will be effective in correcting market failures. Taxing of transactions is not well targeted at behaviour that leads to excessive risk and systemic risk creation. The empirical evidence does not suggest that the introduction of an FTT reduces volatility or asset price bubbles. Transaction taxes will likely reduce investment in trading activity and information acquisition, but also raise the costs of insurance against currency and interest risks by companies, insurers and pension funds. The welfare effect of that is unclear.”
- CPB - Netherland's Bureau
for Economic Policy Analysis
“I do not see myself going off to sell to my fellow citizens a Europe that behaves in this way. To say 'it's Europe or democracy,' I do not agree. We are in the midst of creating a monster. Turning Europe into an angry father whipping his children is a fundamental error."
- French Liberal MEP Sylvie Goulard
Meanwhile, did you hear that Druids at Stonehenge report the omens from the Solstice were very propitious for 2012? I am left to wonder:
a> Can technocrats be Druids?
b> Are Investment Banks desperately trying to employ Druid analysts to add a little positive spin to their 2012 reports?
Useful Statistics to Digest Over Festive Dinners*
During the first 6 months of 2011, Greek immigrants into Germany grew by 84%. Spanish immigration to Germany increased by 49% - a total of 67,000 people apparently.
...every 48 hours during 2010, more data was created than was created in the 30,000 years previously...
- via Eric Schmidt of Google
Five Pieces of Festive Reading
A> As I have been noting some foibles of the GOP candidates, it seems only fair to discuss a few of the worst lines from an administration which has exceeded my expectations that they would be as bad as Jimmy Carter’s. In fact they are much, much worse but hopefully only here for one term...
B> I really wanted to share a brilliant heartwarming tale of what happens when management gets its act together in a way that makes the likes of Lee Iacoca look like a rank amateur. It’s the tale of Sergio Marchionne and how he transformed first Fiat then Chrysler.
By the way, I saw Marchionne speak at the World Federation of Exchanges conference in Milan a few years ago (one of the best conferences I have ever attended incidentally but then we always knew Antonella would excel) and he was utterly spellbinding.
Unfortunately, after that entirely justified mega-introduction, Time Magazine only make it available to annual US print subscribers which is a great great pity. Hopefully some of you will be lucky enough to read it:
C> For me, the week’s must read: some fascinating insights in to credit scoring and social networks, fascinating stuff:
D> Pondering the MF Global collapse:
E> ...and finally, Ambrose Evans Pritchard on the world’s richest beggar:
I can’t resist this from the fabulous Alex series, still with a finger on the g spot of markets after 20 years:
A fitting tribute to the late barbaric brutalist mass murderer who has just passed on as leader of North Korea (NB includes swearing):
Video of the Week
Thought you had seen every stunt to try to raise early stage financing? Well try this: