Have you ever seen what happens in a room full of people when one of them blows up a balloon and releases it into the air without tying it off?...the balloon flies around the room, changing direction, bouncing off startled people, making a loud farting noise until it runs out of air and drops inert to the floor…that’s what online discussion forums have been like in the UK this week. We have a new Prime Minister, a new cabinet of senior ministers…and the same old hot air being expelled, except this time it's a post-referendum balloon…the farting is louder, and that's just the journalists…
On Tuesday we heard that the salaries of big banks have jumped by 8%. The big six US banks did better than the Europeans, netting an impressive 10%. Looking at the performance of the US compared to Deutsche Bank etc. it’s hard to knock this. But the overall figures for the CEOs are a sight for sore eyes – Jamie Dimon, or as I prefer to call him ‘Jimmy the Diamond’, leads the field with $27.6m. Not bad, even by mob standards, and even better than his fellow crime boss down the road at Goldman Sachs - ‘Big Louie Blankcheck’
From the FT:
'Bill Smead of Smead Capital, a Seattle-based firm with $2.4bn in assets under management, said pay across the industry looks high, given the generally low returns on equity…"
(MarkGB - But he added, in defence of those who do ‘God’s work’)
“How many brilliant 22-year-olds wake up and say to themselves, ‘I want to run one of these big banks?'"
Probably more than Mr. Smead thinks. I’m sure that many 22 year olds would like to be Jamie Dimon or Lloyd Blankfein, irrespective of the ‘heat’ of the job. But brilliance and ambition are not the only criteria required - willingness to cover up criminal activity, and lie convincingly under oath are equally important. A degree in sociopathy is the ideal qualification.
Beijing's political leadership continued it's dialogue with the markets this week:
Beijing: The answer is 6.7%...what’s the question?
Financial Press: What are China’s GDP* figures for the 2nd Quarter?
Beijing: Very good, carry on
* Technical term = Grossly Distorted Promises
Helicopter money will soon be coming to a field near you – get there early to scoop up the confetti as it drops from the sky…
This week good old ‘Blackhawk Ben Bernanke’ visited Japan to give Abe the help he needs to sink his country further into the debt swamp…yes folks, when the heroine is wearing off there’s only one thing for it…up the dosage…your liver will swell to the size of basketball but you’ll be too stoned to notice…
Japan will be the trial balloon…the Eurozone will follow…the land of the free will submit eventually, as telegraphed this week by Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester. From ABC news:
"However, Dr. Mester signaled that in the event of another shock or economic downturn that most likely option would be more quantitative easing-style money printing.
"In the US we've done quantitative easing and I think that's proven to be useful," she observed…So it's my view that would be sort of the next step (helicopter money) if we ever found ourselves in a situation where we wanted to be more accommodative”
Hear that America? Dr. Mester wants to accommodate you…good luck with that…
P.S. No-one knows what the politically independent BoE will do. It was well telegraphed that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, would be fired this week, so Governor Mark Carney has had nobody to give him instructions. Andy Haldane says he's ready to print, print, print...he's also available to do children's parties and card tricks for anyone who can make him look or sound more impressive than he really is.
The NPLs "non-performing loans," held by Italian banks have reached 360 billion euros, which is 17 percent of all the outstanding bank loans in Italy and equal to about one-fifth of the annual Italian GDP. It is also many times the level of bad debt held by Italian banks at the peak of the financial crisis in 2008. According to new ECB rules, which came into effect in January, 'bailouts' have been replaced by ‘bail-ins’. There is absolutely no way that Italian Prime Minister Mr. Matteo Renzi will allow this to happen however much Brussels gnashes it's teeth or Wolfgang Schäuble furrows his brow...negotiations will continue until they can find a fudge*
*Fudge = a terribly clever arcane rule will be found to save everyone’s face. Used to be known as 'bullshit'.
N.B. Italian Banks are not the exception, they are just the ones ‘on the top’…what is ‘underneath’ is far more scary...Deutsche Bank…the largest derivative holder in the world
On Thursday the Sydney Daily Herald picked up a story from the satirical 'Le Canard Enchaine', which disclosed that President Hollande has been spending 9,985 euros per month on a hair stylist. The piece includes a rather 'fetching' photo of how Hollande might look with a different style, and his face superimposed on the Tricolour above the legend 'because I'm worth it'. I recommend you take a look:
Overnight there has been an attempted military coup in Turkey that was originally reported as 'working', but which is now being reported as having 'failed'. It's too early to predict how this will turn out, except to say that it will have great repercussions. President Erdogan is an utterly ruthless man with a messianic sense of 'personal destiny' - AKA a dangerous idiot.
Finally, a prayer for the loved ones of those killed by hatred in Nice this week…God Bless
And that was the other news…Saturday 16th July 2016...a good weekend to all…MarkGB