Friday, April 27, 2012


The Premier Division of course, especially this weekend and Monday.  What?  Not a football fan?  Well, you're buggered then because there is absolutely nothing going on in the financial world except for some of the stuff coming out of Argentina which reminds us that the more things change...well, you know the rest.

The Argies new heros are dogs...yes...dogs.  Just like the good old days it appears that the Argies are heading across the river to Punta in droves carrying with them as much hard currency as they can.  Clever as can be the Argies have trained dogs to be capable of sniffing out the scent of the ink used on currency and according to the authorities the bow-wows have stopped the hot money flow in its tracks.  Yeah, right.  Twenty-five years ago whilst in BA I was musing about how much could you bring across in an attache case in front of an old line banker who had plied his trade in BA since the Big War.

"Two Million," says he, "of course we are talking about a standard case and fresh $100 bills...otherwise you have to push them down."

These boys have been at it for a loooong time.  No pooch or army of pooches is going to stop the fast conclusion of their appointed rounds(trips).  Punta is very nice this time of year; sort of like the Hamptons at the end of the season.  All of the awful people have left and just the bankers remain.  Ah, memories!

And that got me thinking and got me to call a pal who runs numbers on events such as this.  Why?  Beats the hell out of me but he claims flows of funds like this is the clearest indicator of confidence and satisfaction just like talking to the cab drivers is the best gage of economic activity.  Anyway, my question was,  "Was there a Punta for Euroland and was there anyone heading that way? "

"Not yet," was the reply, "but you raise an interesting question, Charlie.  The only bank anybody likes is the ECB but you can't keep your money in the least not the common folk."

"But all the banks do."

"Indeed, but at a point you look at the balance sheet and you have to ask yourself how big is too big?"


"My dear boy, rhetorical questions do not become you.  Obviously you look for alternative safe havens."

"Can you stop it?"

"Now you are becoming annoying.  You don't play chess do you?"


"I thought not.  A Philistine for sure but in chess there is a position one finds himself from time to time known as a zugzwang which..."

"...being in a pickle.  You could speak English."

"I could but where's the fun in that?   Anyway, don't stop it and it goes on and grows.  Try to and you send a very bad message indeed"  Don't talk about it and it might go away, but then again, you've begun to talk about it haven't you?  Now there's a bother but then again if they are listening we could have some real merriment with this down the road."

(Laughing)  "You hate them don't you?"

"Dear Lord, would you stop that!  Of course I do, pompous fools that they are.  They actually thought they would make this work.  They were much better value when they were trying to kill each other.  Then again, if history is any guide..."

I rang off some where in the middle of the Franco-German War.  No names please, in order to protect the guilty

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