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Financial news I consider important, with my opinion, which is worth as much as you paid for it.
Please click HERE to read a synopsis of my view of the financial situation.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

BitCoins is NOT the Answer

Bitcoins is getting a bit of press recently.  I have posted on Bitcoins before.   The entire construct is based on scarcity, which is akin to using baseball cards or gold as money.

I am against gold as money, baseball cards, or any means of placing value based on constricting circulation to derive 'collectibles' value.

Bill Still put together a decent video on bitcoins below.  I could do with less preachy god-life values and more with the core reality of bitcoins vs a better solution.

In any case a good watch, see below:

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Europe poised to blow in 2013

Granted, I have stated YEARS ago that Europe was going down the tubes.  And yes, I was year(s) too early.  As I have watched over the years Germany and the European union contort, twist, manipulate, and do everything under the sun to maintain the Euro status quote, I keep wondering, is it time yet?

I am amazed at how really stupid the European Union is behaving towards Greece, Spain, and other countries.    The European Union had entry criteria for each country to maintain a certain fiscal responsibility inorder to ensure the Euro wasn't undermined by some countries using the clout of the Euro to get a free ride.
Here we are years later, and its known that many countries used off-balance sheet tactics to hide massive debt, to play games with their balance sheets to appear more compliant than they where.

Once the derivative insurance schemes blew sky-high with cost, the jig was up.  No longer could these countries afford to pay the premium to ensure the risk, to offset their at risk balance sheets.

The right thing to do for their citizens was one of two things.  Either get the Euro onto a path of fiat currency, allowing countries to run debts not tied to a central authority OR to exit the Euro and return to a soveriegn currency.

Neither of those things happened, instead these countries have sold everything that wasn't nailed down, and cut services to the public to reduce spending.  At the same time, jacked up taxes to new highs in hopes of balancing their budgets.  Recently Greece initiated a 'savings tax', basically taking a % of all savings in banks, under certain criteria.

The result?  Business plummeting, unemployment syrocketing, budgets blowing wider, not narrower.  And like a crack addict trying to get his life together just by taking 'one more hit', it just gets worse.

Greece is entering into full implosion mode.  The society is devolving into a barter society, with credit collapsing.  Food stocks are low, estimated two days in super markets.   Bank losses are going parabolic, and cash shortages due to the credit collapse.

The Greek government due to lack of strength to choose what is right for the people, has set themselves up for a violent revolution.  Something that I didn't even think was possible 2 years ago.  Never did I think the leaders would outright ignore the public and drive into private interests, bankrupting a nation.  I knew that was the path they where on, but I thought this game of chicken would have ended a couple of years ago.

Next up is Spain, then Italy, then the rest of the weaker European countries.  If Greece falls into revolution, we will have a Euro Spring, with a contagion that cannot be contained.  If Germany doesn't relinquish its tight demands for fiscal responsibility, deflationary collapse is going to occur.   Once started, it may actually take France down with it.  I do think Germany will not fall, but will go under some severe stress as it tried to hold the line.

I really do hope I wake up tomorrow to hear Euro come to their senses.  Forcing countries down a deflationary collapse and under economic strain to jack up taxes, slash services is not sane.
I do agree that all of that needs to happen - but under local rule.  In this situation its a foreign entity - European Union, forcing fiscal responsibility.  This will force the common Greek to enter a mind set of nationalization, us vs them.  A more prudent path would have been Greece to have its own currency and due to its lack of fiscal constraint their own currency devaluation forcing Greece to reform. 

I really hope that this collapse does not occur, that the nations can see fit to change the construct.  The irony is if Germany holds the line, the Euro should shoot up like a rocket in a deflationary collapse with the dollar plummeting.   As the European nations go under immense strain, the rising euro should give it a one-two punch accelerating the chaos.  I am mildy optimistic that the US fares reasonably well, as the currency war favors the dollar in the near term.  Take a look at the chart at the end of this post.  Pretty amazing eh? Its nice to be the big boy on the block.

Gold should do well, but may get a punch down as asset fire sales occur to raise capital.

I could be wrong on all of this, but its starting to look pretty dicey to me.  I went from looking at this situation that the policy makers would see the problems and realize that the path was destruction.  Now its obvious that there is only one way to change course - by force.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Euro Doomed

The Euro was doomed to fail the instant it was created.
It is not a true fiat currency.  A true fiat currency can be printed, at will, for whatever reason.  Need more cash, just issue more!

The euro requires memebers to try to keep a fiscal order.  If you have high debts, then get it under control.  The US has no such limitation.

So countries like Greece, Spain, Italy get slammed while the savers of Europe, such as Germany scream they must get their lons repaid.

The result is a currency at odds with itself.  If countries like Greece had their own currency, they would print more money - answering to no one - and continue on their merry way.  Their currency would likey trend lower vs German currency.  The local Greeks would be appeased and not rioting.  However, rest assured, german exports would be too expensive for most greeks and not buy german products.

So one side benefit of the Euro is to ensure everyone keeps currency relatively flat to each other.  This DRAMATICALLY favors the sellers and puts the debtors at great disadvantage.

Niral Firage has a nice speech about recent step being done.  Announcing to the world taking money from EVERYONE's savings as a tax, over-night, no wardning.    The message is: dont keep money in banks, keep them in mattresses.

It is stuff like this that WILL create a crisis, and assets keep value, some like gold may explode up.
People still don't get it.  Printing money doesn't cause currency problems, faith in the stability of the finance does.  And what message does it send to announce taking people who have money to pay off some of other people's debt......

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Facebook, ZNGA ,GRPN

I posted a while back to buy beaten social media companies stock.

Back then facebook when it was at 22 range.  Recently the stock hit over 30.  I had a stop loss in at 26, and closed my position.  if Facebook comes up with a new micropayment model to infuse money to its user, the stock should explode significantly higher in the year ahead.  Who knows if they will do something so significnat.

Zenga was at 3, now at 3.38, I am going to hit out 2/3 of the position now purely because I am nervous.  I'll put other 1/3 at 3 to stop out.  It would not surprise me at all that ZNGA moves up to 4.50, but who knows.

Grpn is back to same place as bought, about 5.50.  I wish I watched this stock closer and hit out at 6 recently.  I'll problable dump entire position, I have no faith in Grpn model.

Good luck!

Gold miners

Gold miner ETF GDX recently hit under 36 bucks a share, quite a fall from 55 in september.
And the overall market is hitting new highs, something that i am sure leaves a bad taste in everyone's mouth.

I have been having second thoughts on long term for gold miners, I'll share them in a post hopefully soon.
But looking at the charts, longer term trends, and price of gold, I am adding a little here.

I stayed out of miners for over a year, to get in just before it rallied and crashed....lower than before I got in.
Not a nice experience, but, timing stocks perfectly is not how you win, its being in for the next rise, no matter when getting in happened.

Good luck.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Technology and Economics

Good video on economics and technology.
I agree that a company like Flattr needs to go viral and re-engergize the economy.
If we can make micropayments work, I see a booming economy instead of a dying one.
I could see the market soaring much higher from here, if we can simply include the internet generation into making money.

Monday, March 11, 2013

A setback for gold and gold miners

My contention since I liked gold is that it will rise in price due to indian and chinese demand.
I am not one who believes gold is money, and it should NEVER be money again!

The logic being, as the two largest consumers of gold increase in wealth, they would buy more gold!
Well, Indian government is putting a damper on my master plan, but actively fighting Indian purchases of gold.
The government is blaming currency imbalances on Indian high gold purchases.

So they are actively tyring to slow gold purchases, now with tarriffs.
I am not saying gold will collapse, but if the west hates gold as a threat from guns and gold bugs who think the world would be better if the economy was dictated by mining production, and the Indian government is also fighting gold.  That leaves China to pick up the slack, and I am no fan of China's economy.  China needs to prove they can change their model from exporter to consumer.

I am unsure what to do, time to leave gold?  At very least I am not a buyer of more.