“OXI” Dokey! – July 6th 2015

So the Greeks have voted “No” to more austerity and the first “casualty” is Varoufakis the Finance Minister. I have always found game theory very confusing and no doubt he feels the same way this morning! On his blog site http://yanisvaroufakis.eu/ he said this “Soon after the announcement of the referendum results, I was made aware of a certain preference by some Eurogroup participants, and assorted ‘partners’, for my… ‘absence’ from its meetings; an idea that the Prime Minister judged to be potentially helpful to him in reaching an agreement. For this reason I am leaving the Ministry of Finance today. I consider it my duty to help Alexis Tsipras…


Impunity – June 20th 2015

How many more great scandals will we have to endure before someone readily, and without duress, puts their hand up, admits mea culpa and makes a decent effort of falling on a sword? FIFA is the latest example of gross feeding at the trough with the arrest of most in the higher echelons for excessive consumption of wonga. It took some further journalistic digging (why did it take so long guys?) to dislodge Sipp Bladder from the top. The Irish FAs decision to accept a “cash recompense” to climb down from an indefensible attack on fair play is a classic own goal….and adds to the litany of two wrongs don’t…


Have we lost our way? – May 15th 2015

As an industry we seem to have forgotten our roots and have become obsessed with trying to manage risk by hijacking mathematical models that can never accurately map the emotional investment landscape. Risk is all about losing money and the attributes attached to that outcome are almost entirely emotional! Ask investors in a “Cautious” fund, with a high weighting to “safe” low volatility bond funds, populated with supposed triple AAA rated paper, post the Lehman bust, how they felt. As a result the regulator embarked on a series of heart searching exercises that culminated in the retail distribution review and so the quest for suitability and a formula for determining…


Flip a Rolo – April 4th 2015

Something different this month dear readers. Firstly a request to donate some of your hard earned cash to a charity walk I am doing – the link is here Walking_for_Dorset_Wildlife and there is more info at the end of this piece. Secondly, instead of the interminable diatribe from your scribe this month, a guest post from the inimitable Slog, whose website – The_Slog – is full of treasures such as this. Just a word of warning he is of my vintage and equally grumpy so those of you with a delicate constitution need not apply. I think you will enjoy this topical piece though. Here it is! The fast-growing sport…


Perchance to dream – March 7th 2015

This week has seen an acceleration of dollar strength, and its opposite, emerging currency weakness, along with a further rise in the yield of US Treasuries. Gold has been given another bath and has closed under $1,200. The euro has taken the brunt of western economy currency weakness, ending the week at a 12 year low, yet European stock markets are on a tear. The up trend in US equities is still very strong and US unemployment is approaching the “natural rate”, which is in the low 5% range. These are just a few of the many variables we have to factor in to our assessments of the global economy and financial markets…


Beware Greeks bearing spanners February 8th 2015

“A clueless political personnel, in denial of the systemic nature of the crisis, is pursuing policies akin to carpet-bombing the economy of proud European nations in order to save them.” Yanis Varoufakis the current Greek finance minister on ECB, EU, German (take you pick) economic policy.  This guy, and his boss Alexis Tsipras, are being portrayed in the massively manipulated “main stream press” as Marxist tyrants who will lead the Greek economy into ruin. Varoufakis’ argument is that, courtesy of the Troika, Greece is already in that condition, but the root of the problem goes back much further. To get to join the euro club in the first place “convergence”…


A conspiracy of central bankers – January 18th 2015

It is way past time that we had a collective noun for central bankers? So how about a “conspiracy”? Don’t believe me then read on… Hey Mario it’s the Milky Bar Kid here and I need a bit of help. You see I have been selling chocolate for euros and seem to have accumulated rather a lot of them. Well Kid I am rather busy right now with the Greek hummus trade warming up a bit and there’s also going to be a bit of trouble with the frankfurters in Germany. The Greeks can’t pay and the Germans won’t pay. Then of course the whole European economy, which the unelected…


Any volunteers? January 12th 2015

2015 has started much as 2014 left off which should come as no surprise as markets care little for arbitrary changes in dates after all; so no predictions! Oil is one of many unknown variables including the fate of Greece the strength of the dollar the flight of Abe’s third arrow relations with Russia and the greater Chinese slow down. Then of course we have elections in the UK which will be interesting in the debate but almost certainly inconclusive in the outcome. It has been suggested a coalition government might be formed between Labour, the Scottish Nationals and UKIP; if so I’ll be catching the first flight to somewhere…


No time like the present – December 10th 2014

At the latest ECB press conference Draghi said that. “The monetary policy team had this week discussed buying all assets except gold”; qualifying a claim by fellow member Yves Mersch two weeks ago that gold bullion could be included.” If central bankers truly believed in sound monetary policy the headline would have said “We’ll buy all your gold”. That would have propelled both gold and the European equity markets upwards. As it is markets on the continent get cheaper as the good doctor fiddles. “We may not do anything until January at the earliest”. Code for “It’s taking us longer to convince the Germans than we thought”. This has all…


The Ides of October – October 6th 2014

To read the “View” in pdf format click here Back in early August we suggested that we might have seen a few chinks in the armour of the markets only to be derided when the powers that be pressed the “buy me now” levers yet again. The central bankers have truly been the markets best friends and Dr Aghi and Kuroda-san have been taking over where Ms Yellen has all but left off, but even they can do little in the face of protest and dissent by various members of the global populace and the continuing stupidity and arrogance of our “democratically” elected representatives. One area of the market that is…