Friday, January 24, 2014


I rang up My Really Smart Friend, Larry this morning to ask him if he thought there was a chance that this time Argentina might really disappear.  "Nah," he said, "although Christina might."  He's probably right but the Argie-Bargies have gotten themselves into a hell of a mess by…well…by being Argies.  The last 170 years have been notable for their continued disposition to over-extend, be bailed out by a spike in one commodity price or another and if that doesn't come along by simply refusing to repay what they have borrowed which in the mind of an old banker is akin to theft.  You would think that after 8 or 10 times of this bankers would catch on but it's becoming very clear that the only think dumber than bankers are Venezulus who, owning all the oil in half the world and oceans full of fish and land so fertile that if you stuck a dead stick in it you would shortly have a forest, have managed to once again put themselves on the brink of disaster.  Both countries currencies have been crushed in recent weeks and the only surprise given the economic policies being followed is why financial markets have once again acted with shock and dismay as if we haven't seen this before.

Well, throw this into the pot of the slowing of China, Europe in an ongoing mess and the policy of choice for The Leader being class warfare, the DOW was down over 300 at the close with whispers of the The Big One--correction, that is--all over the street.  And just when everything was looking soooo good…

As I said, Larry is probably right that Argentina and Venezuela wont disappear.  He's a really good economist and he knows these things.  I'm not so smart being a banker but the things I worry about are not their disappearance but their existence, made up in part by their balance sheets and in particular to whom it is that they owe money.  In the case of the Argies I have a very unsettling feeling that we may be looking once again towards the banking system Over There which has never really figured out how to say "No" to the colonies either directly or in the support of equity investment.  To be honest I do not have a handle on this but I'm going to try to get one real quick.  I'm less concerned about Venezuela because…I mean…nobody could be that dumb…then again…Nah!  Couldn't happen…could it?

It is now 11 Degrees Fahrenheit with the wind chill at -14.  If we survive the weekend we'll be back with some answers (hopefully) on Monday.

1 comment:

  1. Watch Russia. An Iran deal would help Europe and hurt Putin. Could we be doing something smart for once?