Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tuesday morning news

FT Alphaville - zombie credit mispricing. I got one of those "eureka moments" reading this. The article seemed to suggest to me an interesting macroeconomic principle: that the collapse of all debt yields to zero might just be a result of the moral hazard inherent in government backstopping. If you're an economist about to write a paper on this, you now have to carry me as a co-author.

Bonddad - overlooking the contribution of financial bloggers. Brilliant, and well in line with my general snit: the major economists were all fucktards who failed to see the housing bubble bursting, while the financial bloggers were all over it. Hale Stewart goes one further, and suggests the blindness of the "respected economists" could have been expected, since they've never had to put on a trade based on their little pet theories. Again, as I've said, always be prepared to jettison theory when it's wrong (i.e., when it loses you money).

Beyond Brics - Egypt is a clusterfuck. I'm only putting this out there if you want to play disaster-trading; EGPT is the ETF, and while it looks healthy now, maybe soon you'll be able to buy it after a 75% collapse?

Bloomberg - Will Japan's pension funds start buying gold? Well, if the Yen is devaluing, it seems like a good idea, no? And there's a lot of money there to pile in. And once they start piling in, it'll drive a virtuous cycle. Something to fantasize about.

Biiwii - on Apple. My own opinion? On the one hand, Apple could be worth even more than $600 per share if they execute things right. One the other hand, the various stories I've read suggest that Steve Jobs was a commonsensical and hands-on leader who single-handedly stopped the company from multiple embarrassing failures (like the time he forced them to change all their iPhone screens a few weeks before product launch because he had a prototype in his pocket and his keys had scratched up the screen); now that he's not there, the possibility of idiotic screw-ups has increased dramatically.

Also, tangentially but significantly, Apple is almost entirely fund-owned; retail has nothing to do with it. So you can't use rational thinking to determine where Apple's price is going to go.

And for some humour:

Fark - Subby just found out he is going to be a father today. What sage advice/snark do you have for the future dad? Among the useful suggestions re impending fatherhood:

  • Keep her off the pole.
  • Don't smell the umbilical cord stump.  Trust me on this.
  • Dishsoap will get puke and poop out of most fabrics.
  • Paternity test
  • Give the kid a name that doesn't suck.
  • Pull out next time.
  • Wait until he's at least five or six before his first tattoo.
  • The pageant world will teach her positive life skills that she will use in the real world.
  • If you drop your kid, blame it on the dog.
  • Sell it on ebay.
  • Don't forget to eat the placenta!!


  1. Regarding Japanese buying, the article suggests expansion from 45b yen to 100b yen, or about 550 million USD worth of gold etf purchases by 2015. The current market cap of GLD is 75 billion dollars and there are several other gold etf's out there. Unless they got the numbers wrong this will have zero impact on the gold price.

    1. I'd think that in an irrational paper market, expectation is more important than reality.

      Let ZeroHedge and King World News get their mitts on this and spin it for a while.