Thursday, 19 February 2009

Retry #3

My Poor Broker!

Since the world stock markets began their wide roller coaster rides last fall, I began to use BNN as background noise as I work on various projects. Interesting to catch occasional bits of chatter as the stock tickers in rare moments climb out of the black pits or as usual plummet into the abyss. Despite the wild fluctuations in direction and general agreement among the commentators in the inability to forecast the direction of prices, those all seeing, all knowing huckster salesmen AKA the professional brokers have yet to change their tunes.

Every day still remains a gigantic buy opportunity as ’prices have never been so low since the Great Depression’ and ’the market has nowhere to go but up’. Never a suggestion or hint to dump the dogs and keep cash under the mattress, because of course, that action would rob them of commissions (which they nimble pry out of your wretched hands whether buying or selling or prices up or prices down. Everybody even gets to shell out good money for their bad advice. I’m especially enamored of the constant prompting to engage the power of averaging down. With share values falling so rapidly your average cost declines to almost nothing until the company goes bankrupt. And I suppose if you buy enough shares at no cost, eventually your average price will descend almost to zero.

Now you can sell it and enjoy all your profits!

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Retry #2

Poor Shoichi Nakagawa!

Disembark from your government private jet at yet another exotic world location and your hosts whisk you, together with your entourage, away to the creme de la creme of upscale hotel or living quarters.

Have a sumptuous meal accompanied by copious flagons of wine; then retire to the drawing room with snifters of $1000 (US) brandy to divvy up the spoils for the politicos and elites.

Ah! The pampered life of a G7 or G20, or whatever the current number, finance minister or treasury secretary gathering to debate the fate of world trade and economic relationships.

And here I thought that it was perfectly rational to rectify world monetary problems and the course of trade whilst knocking back a few. But then occurs the disgrace of Shoichi mumbling and stumbling around the microphone, embarrassing his country and fellow participants; seemingly painting a less than favourable portrait of the wise money men of the world. Of course, his actions and poor judgment are censured, and his career shattered, while we are assured his behavior represents a complete anomaly at such conferences.

Now that I realize our ’public servants’ may not be falling down drunk on the job, I’m truly worried since I suspected that was the reason for their impaired outlook and hapless performance at anticipating future problems and global directions. How else to explain their delayed reaction to the worldwide economic recession and total incomprehension at the speed of the meltdown.

Maybe they are simply unable to see the forest for the trees.

Meanwhile, I can anticipate Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, or Mark Carney, Bank of Canada Governor, jiggling into another press conference letting us know how much things have worsened in the past 48 hours and the need to constantly revise their positions as they lead from the rear. Over the past three moths the duo have gone from ’the no need to panic and no deficits’ to all out ’ramp up the presses and throw money at the problem until it sinks’.

Oops! Time to grab a pitcher of wine.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Retry #1

Poor Mr. Donald!

Every time unwary investors build up his stock, another market downturn brings him to his knees and yet he can ride away into the sunset without having to hawk his gold bathroom fixtures. Hmmm! A mere 2.4 billion in debt and a scanty 1.74 billion in assets - leaving a paltry 660 million lost from the petty cash box. Hardly enough to retire on. Let’s see: wash the jet once a month instead of once a week, buy red brand caviar in place of the better black label, ask the servants to take a pay cut and work one month a year for free (probably already a term of employment). See, everything is okay.

Interesting that the usual faith in booze, gambling and entertainment as bulwarks during downtimes no longer holds true - just watch Las Vegas - which means the big money may have to go to the mattresses. Wonder if we are due for a quantum shift in the publics approach to life and material values?