Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Labour Not Gr8

Labour introduced a text and remind feature for their corporate fringe advertisers. It wasn’t working yesterday. MessageSpace offers an alternative, fully functioning free text and remind service to LibDem, Labour and Conservative conference goers…

By popular request Guido will be live blogging the Brown speech from 2 pm this afternoon and you will all be able to join in the fun in the Cover It Live chatroom. Don’t forget by using this reminder thingy. It should be a barrel of laughs.

Will anyone give Guido odds on the Prime Mentalist saying “Getting on with the job”? Please?

Flashback : Brown 2005 Speech on "Light Touch Regulation"

Today’s speech will no doubt include a section about how he for many years had, with great insight, been calling for global financial regulation. His speech in 2005 to the CBI however was pure New Labour neo-liberalism, praising enterprise, free markets and globalisation. He promised the corporate class deregulation, a “new risk based model of regulation” for financial services
“no inspection without justification, no form filling without justification, and no information requirements without justification, not just a light touch but a limited touch.”

So there was no risk-based reason to clamp down on Northern Rock?

Osborne in the Indy catches Balls at it as well

“But the real prize for memory loss must go to Ed Balls. On Monday he said that those who had advocated “light touch regulation” had been, in his words, “routed”. This is the same Ed Balls who as Chief Economic Adviser to the Treasury for eight years boasted about the “light touch” regime of City regulation he had designed. This is also the same Ed Balls who then as City Minister called for “a light touch approach at the global and EU level”. The star player of Labour’s football team has scored a spectacular own-goal.”

Do they really think that Labour supporters are too stupid to notice the about turn?

UPDATE : Maybe not, LabourHome is mocking Balls’ conversion.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Market Mayhem Watch : Day 1

Gold jumped some $30 on the back of fear. If the U.S. government is going to bail out the banks people realised it was time to bail out of U.S. dollars, bonds and stocks. Guido took profit on the spike, probably far too soon. You don’t go broke taking profits too soon though. Gold carried on through $900 without Guido for the ride.

The euro jumped nearly 2.5% or some 300 pips, biggest move ever. Took profit on that and switched to shorting the dollar against sterling on the possibly irrational idea that other speculators will start to eye a $2 pound and the move against the dollar was not as violent as it was vis-a-vis the euro. The position is a little underwater.

Just to prove what an evil speculator Guido is he shorted the FTSE hard. Am still running the short and marked to market am up some 21.5% overall on the day. A profit or loss of that magnitude in a day signals too much leverage in too volatile a market. Strangely traders never mind violent P&L swings when they are to the plus side. Friday’s broad stock market gains evaporated, oil hit $125 a barrel. Tomorrow can’t be this volatile, can it?

The FT’s Alphaville blog (“The Site That Supports our Shorts”) highlights a Downing Street petition to criminalise consenting behaviour between capitalists. They want to criminalise short selling. Some trade union boss told the Labour Party conference he wants to tax us into extinction. Tax us to the Bahamas more likely.

Party Hack Rat Packs Up

Sheila Murphy, Regional Director for the Labour Party’s Northern region has announced she is quitting. Sheila was closely linked to Peter Hain’s ill fated campaign team. She is known to be close to David Evans, the ex-Deputy General Secretary, who is busy working with the rebel MPs to get Brown out.

Will the last Labour Party apparatchik switch off the light?

Vaz : The Ingratitude

Vaz spotted Gordon outside the Midland Hotel Saturday night. He strolled over smiling and said to Brown “Hello Gordon, how are you?” Gordon switched off his smile and walked off without saying word.

This is the man who saved Gordon’s bacon over detention without charge. How rude and ungrateful. Vaz is after all such a paragon of integrity that he has asked the sleaze watchdog to investigate himself.

"So We Adopted."

Peston "Fisks" Marrs Brown Interview

The BBC’s business editor Robert Peston, currently the object of the frustrations of a substantial number of City fund managers who think he should be done for creating a false market in HBOS, has fisked yesterday’s Marr interview with Gordon.
Implicitly critical of Marr for letting Gordon off the hook, Peston makes some good points:-
  • Gordon said it is the right time for the government to borrow – as if he had a choice – the PSBR could reach £100 billion. Double the budget estimate.
  • Gordon took the credit for the FSA’s banning of short selling. Does he take the credit for the FSA’s failure to monitor Northern Rock’s liquidity problems as well?
  • Brown blamed global problems and everyone else, as if he was blameless.
  • He misrepresented the real reason for Bank of England’s flood of liquidity.
Brown rightly resisted EU regulation of London’s financial services, he now says he wants international regulation. Gordon says Britain’s regulation was better than America’s regulation. The FSA allowed Northern Rock to lend 125% against the asset to borrowers. Was that best practice? Peston, Gordon’s biographer, says he is exhausted by the twisting of Brown.

Scottish Labour Facing Annihilation

The SNP is looking at a 14.5% swing towards them in Scotland on the basis of the YouGov / PolitcsHome super-poll of the marginals. That will wipe Scottish Labour out. Gordon will achieve the annihilation of the Labour Party in his homeland for a generation. Could that be why Luke Akehurst’s We Don’t Want a Labour Leadership Election Facebook group had a flood of non-Labour Party applicants? Luke has revoked Guido’s membership and blocked new members, spoilsport…

Market Mayhem Watch: Fear and Greed

Guido can’t resist and is now actively trading once again in financial markets, attracted by the blood on the streets of New York and London. The approach is old fashioned, none of that quantitative analysis using super-computers that you need to lose billions. Just two or three positions on the go at any one time, mainly restricted to financial futures, foreign exchange and commodities rather than individual stocks. Have an aversion to trading stocks because insiders (or friends of Robert Peston) can kill you if you are leveraged – given portfolio leverage varies from none to 20 times – it is essential to employ stop losses. Will report how the portfolio is doing in percentage terms (in the right hand column) as of Tokyo market opening this morning. Because of the leverage employed swings of 20% are not unheard of – unfortunately that is usually on a bad day. Mark to market since this morning’s open is +4% largely on the back of another FTSE short .

Will probably keep the reporting going until this period of extreme disequilibrum in the markets is over or the portfolio is down 50% or up 100%. It will be an interesting experiment to keep a public trading diary.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View


Seen Elsewhere

All the Single Ladies (And Lords) | Bloomberg
How Ruffley’s Resignation Became Inevitable | ConservativeHome
We Need a Recall Bill Now | Speccie
Left-Wing Anti-Semitism is Nothing New | Dan Hannan
Coe Pulls Out of BBC Trust Race | Mail
It’s Not How You Look, Ed. It’s How You Think | Hugo Rifkind
Mehdi Hasan’s Israel Spin Debunked | Breitbart
Labour’s Muddled Cam Attacks | Janan Ganesh
Ed’s Policies are a Pile of Fudge | Damian McBride
What Ruffley Standing Down Tells Us About Gove | James Forsyth
Tories Say They Could Sack Ruffley | Buzzfeed


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Damian McBride writes in the epilogue to his memoir…

“At the time of writing, nine months from the election, I’ve concluded that Labour currently has no positive messages to communicate to anyone about why they should vote for the party, no policies which will persuade them, and is being run in a totally dysfunctional way.”



Christie Malry @fcablog

Ed Miliband does photo oops, not photo ops


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