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Barclays - I am confused. Last summer, every commercial break on CNBC featured kidnappers sent by Barclays absconding with university researchers through trap doors in chem labs or rappelling out of mathematics lectures. They were very smart by implication, and getting smarter by kidnapping researchers out of the hard sciences. I did not think that stealing academics out of basic research was anything to brag about. After all these are the people who are the most valuable memebers of society while they are in their research. Then along comes Barclays and kidnaps them and turns them into parasites, broadly speaking. I would not call venture capitalist parasites normally, however, for Barclays, I can make the exception. Additionally, I see no reason to kidnap a medical researcher to work at an investment bank, while he/she is at the height of their creativity. While investment banks need credible review of science, this is something that can be done by many members of the community, as well as retired academics. And most of all there is zero need to glorify absconding with research scientists to work for your investment bank.

Bear of Little Brain

1. Russell Napier ("Anatomy of the Bear") wrote, about a year or more ago, that Japan had bottomed according to his analysis and a generational rise in the Nikkei was about to commence. Eagerly, I watch a couple of UK funds that specialise in Japan, waiting for that turn. I'm still waiting. Anyone any thoughts on this?
Incidentally, I even bought his book. Light reading it isn't. A few graphs; lots of tables; and no humour.

2. Gold and paper. I've taken to a curious affliction. I find myself pricing fiat in gold and silver ounces. I'm sure it'll be my (financial) undoing. (The non-financial undoing is already accounted for. What's the plural of "La donna e mobile" BTW? Ho hum.)

3. One of the European Grand Poobahs, Trichet, (he of "The Governing Council" - it's all a bit of a Gilbert and Sullivan opera over there) was on Bloomberg UK this morning, speaking at some conference of economists. Wasn't it Galbraith who said that economists were invented to give astrologers a good name (no insults intended!)? Anyway, notably absent was any reference to interest rate hikes. (I commented previously that I thought he had been goaded into suggesting a rate hike, because it was in a reply to a journalist, not in the statement read previously.) There are some very real stresses arising in the European Union and Trichet will have to tread very carefully if the Euro is to survive. They have been congratulating themselves on ten years of the Euro as of this June, but it has never been tested by a downturn. This one should be a doozy.

4. Calvino:
Don't know what it's like in the US, but a quick skim through the jobs section of "New Scientist" will show you that the employers of scientists must think that they are doing these boffins a favour in paying them at all. The pay rates are a joke in relation to the qualifications and experience required, and it's not easy to pay the bills and bring up a family out of your job satisfaction.

Elaine Meinel Supkis

La Donna est mobile....heh.

Japanese funds are kept locked in the basement. Everything that might interest OUTSIDERS to invest in Japan are DISCOURAGED LIKE HELL. This is Fortress Japan Inc, Bear. They don't want your money or anyone's money. They want PROFITS on deals they control. Got that?

They don't want you or anyone to buy into control.

Bear of Little Brain

Then I shall wait patiently and live in hope, for the Nikkei must really be the outline of some mystical mountain range, Elaine! ;-)

Before zen, there is chopping wood and fetching water. After zen, there is chopping wood and fetching water.


Elaine Meinel Supkis

Don't forget the breathing part. Ommm

Buffalo Ken

breathing is important --- the lungs are perhaps the most "efficient" machine.

Buffalo Ken

they are amazing....we should try to emulate them as well as many other "simple" things....


Buffalo Ken

I'm an engineer. I honestly think there could be some good ideas "hiding" somewhere within there. Because engineers love to build.

Right now in DC there are a bunch of killers...

Killers love to kill.

Buffalo Ken

You know what i mean?

Buffalo Ken

I also like trains (a whole bunch) so thanks for the upfront picture...

Buffalo Ken

although the train you had posted was a bit smoky...they make them other ways now...

DeVaul probably knows, but I could be wrong? (smiley face if I knew how....)


Bear of Little Brains,

That is why the scientists are pretending to work...u pay peanuts u get monkeys...


Some banks are looking to gold

"The Royal Bank of Scotland has given gold a 25 per cent weighting in its latest Autopilot capital guaranteed deposit account targeted at expatriate customers." Peter J. Cooper at http://arabianmoney.net/


I am wondering ... not to sound like someone following the crowd, but doesn't China's M2 issuance imply that it too is greatly expanding the money supply? Back in February I had pulled up the following simple data points:

M2 issuance currently: +$1.1T USD, up 18%
M2 currently: $6.2T
China / US Trade surplus: +$256B USD (as of Feb)
China's Nominal 2007 GDP: $2.9T USD

CNY/USD inflation now: ~ +7.7%
Deposit Rate, Q1 08: 4%
Prime Lending rate, Q1 08: 7.5%

M2 issuance was a little under 50% of their entire nominal GDP. Yes, they are increasing reserve requirements, but to me, this seems like heavy duty, industrial strength money creation. And would be inflationary to the world as well.

The deposit rate, at 4%, is well, well below their inflation, which forced them to blow bubbles in real estate and stocks that are bursting. And the corporations too are getting cheap loans, with a real lending cost of less than 0%.

Wouldn't this put them in a similar camp to the US and to Japan? And the Gulf countries that have pegged to the dollar, and Vietnam? Is this also not why we have the global inflationary pressures we're seeing now?


Good news for your forecasts, Elaine !

China urges Japan to support union with Taiwan


Elaine Meinel Supkis

Japan and China are now in tandem again. And yes, this is increasing inflation. Why do this?

Wellllll.....by restarting the Japanese carry trade with the US, China's sales rise. China also can see clearly that America, not they, is going bankrupt! This is A RACE AGAINST TIME: who will be in worse shape in 2012? The US or China.

I am betting, the US. We are way ahead of everyone with trade, budget, etc deficits! Gads. We are spending like fiends on wars and making oil very expensive by attacking Iran all the time.

Buffalo Ken

You know this seems like good news to me. On a separate matter, I want to say one more time how much I like the train photo.

Trains are the way to go - if you want to use energy and resources efficiently, trains are the best.

OK, sorry for that little diversion. I have added something at my main website, kjh-es.com about this.


Oh, and lastly let me hit return....

Buffalo Ken

212 - oh, oh, ho, the ho. A magic number some think so. Ha. Ha. He. He.

Last post for the day, crap...looks like I missed my moment.

Elaine Meinel Supkis

I love old trains and new trains and travel by train as much as possible.

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