Archive for the ‘Post’ Category

Land of Hope and Gloria

By Derek On February 6, 2012 No Comments

“I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and democracy – but that could change.”  – Dan Quayle

The weathervane of macro data releases is beginning to point firmly in one direction. The US non-farm payroll number we saw on Friday was huge and tells us the risk of a double dip scenario in the world’s largest economy is no longer worth worrying about. The 243,000 net jobs added is over 70% higher than consensus estimates of 140,000. Hiring was strong across the board from services to manufacturing. What’s more, is once you look inside the numbers you see this isn’t just people giving up looking for work and going back to the couch or jumping off high bridges: the labor force actually expanded. Average hourly earnings are also up and have risen 1.9% over the past 12 months which helps

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Killing Chickens

By Derek On January 31, 2012 No Comments

“Sometimes you have to get to know someone really well to realize you’re really strangers.”  - Mary Tyler Moore

The slow motion train wreck that is Greece has reached a very interesting point with Germany throwing down the gauntlet and insisting the Greeks give up sovereignty in order to receive their desperately needed (second) 130 bn euro bailout in March. Of course, the Greeks are up in arms over this and any politician that agrees to such a demand from a foreign power is signing his own death sentence. Implications:

1)       Germany is now willing to see Greece out of the Euro zone

2)       Germany is sending a strong message to the PIIGs (as the Chinese say, “Kill the chicken to scare the monkey”).

Angie” by the Rolling Stones, will be the song they start singing on the rocky streets of Athens:

“….Angie, you’re beautiful, but ain’t it time we said

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What to Do If You Lose Your Job

By Derek On January 25, 2012 No Comments

“If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs…” - Kipling

It is a cold January here manning the fort on the eastern front of global finance. All is quiet on the high plains in Hong Kong as the Chinese New Year holiday comes to a hazy end. With the beginning of the Year of the Dragon, activity in our markets is sure to pick up. A lot of that activity, however, will be cost cutting rather than money making. Last year, the global financial industry may have lost 200,000 jobs, depending on the source. Let’s look at the recent announcements of some of the big banks:

Citi: Plans to cut another 1,200 jobs in the IB. Share price down 38%, 2011

JPM: Cut workforce 4%, plans to cut another 1,000 jobs. Shares down 11%

MS: Plans to cut 1,600 jobs. Shares down 33% 2011

GS: Cut 2,400 jobs last year,

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