Tuesday, September 29, 2015


---A way long time ago, 2008 or early 2009, I compared Obama to a kid I knew in grammar school.  Like the kid, I called Obama a Punk and like the kid, I predicted that as people grew up, Obama was going to run into someone that was even a bigger punk.  Putin is a bigger punk.  The sight of this President folding like a cheap suit before this Moscow Center Hood (apologies Mr. Carre) at the U.N. was disgraceful.  Of course the real problem may well be that Mr. Xi is no Moscow Center Hood: he's the real deal with a growing military and tremendous economic power...capable of sizing up Obama for what he seems to be; a cheap and empty suit.  What will be the long term consequences of Mr. Xi's policies in the 15 months remaining in this administration?  We have few adults, little leadership and after last week's debacle, little respect.  Anyway, it kept me awake on I-80.

---I don't like the look of these markets anywhere and yet American consumer confidence rose to well over 100 this morning.  The consumer is usually the last to get the word and the word out there seems to be more and more, "look out below."  The latest expression of concern is in corporate fixed income with new issues being pulled right and left.  T-Bills are still yielding 0%.  Ug.  High yield?  Fuggetaboutit.

---Coupled with all this, is there a bigger dunce than Billy the Dud who, just a few short weeks ago couldn't keep his mouth shut (never could) in expressing the view that things were not looking good for a rate increase and then last week saying he expected the Fed to move before the end of the year?  I agree, there isn't.  With howls of "Uncertainty is Bad" ringing in the financial corridors of the world, Big Mouth Billy just adds to it all.  Hopefully, he'll soon return to Goldman Sachs where they are too smart to allow him to do any real damage.

---The WSJ ran a story about the increased use of computer programs in the FX trading business in order to reduce the "human element" which leads to law suits as to rate fixing.  They specifically mentioned that algorithms were especially in play at the time of the 4:00pm fixing in London to fill client requests who trade at the fix.  Of course one might ask one's self are there still people out there so dumb as to trade at the fix?  That's akin to the Greenhorn (that's American for young and stupid) who, in the wonderful movie, "Little Chickadee," sits down at a card table with W.C. Fields and asks, "Is this a game of chance?"  Fields replies, "Not the way I play it."  I mean you are into Billy the Dud territory with this one.  Now with computers, these guys are still going to get screwed AND they are going to pay a fee for the service which will be impossible to decipher.  There is justice in the world...perhaps.  It just doesn't always reveal itself in a simple manner.  A long road trip helps it along.

No comments:

Post a Comment