Saturday, 7 November 2020

Bi-Den Trump Dumpy

The President-Elect has been announced. Well done Joe Biden! Well done. and THANK GOD we will see the back of that "man" Trump - even more so his ridiculously inept and self-entitled family and surrounding cronies. So the USA has decided. Finally. Unless you are watching Fox News that is, where they are refusing to called President-Elect Biden the "President-Elect"!

Hope we have all learnt something these last 4yrs. No time to go through the list here now, not enough energy to type for that long after 4 days watching CNN/Sky News/BBC repeating themselves ad nauseam during the slow "every vote counts" count. We hopefully have learnt to be accurate in statements, truthful and that just because you say something doesn’t make it true. Just watch Trump’s pathetic conference from last night. The facts are there for all to see.

We will not accept false statements (we never should allow falsehoods anyway) and neither have a large electoral majority of the USA! Thank God!

LONG LIVE DECENCY AND HONESTY

Now is the right time to once again show love and enable integrity to prevail. Especially amidst the educated classes as yourselves. It is everyone's responsibility to be a leading light for the rest and never allow such an aberration of global leadership nor forget the importance and need of the ability to soothe and repair through dialogue and calm, with fair discourse, rather than obliterate and destroy by spewing lies and inaccurate statements filled with nothing but evil spite and evil convulsions intended to divide.

It is not about supporting one against the other, it is about attempting to ensure the facts are always prevalent and not lost in the sound and hatred that can engulf it when hijacked by dangerous ‘leaders’ like the ‘man’ that is desperately acting out as he faces defeat.

Good has almost prevailed. The immense sense of relief that people have felt at knowing these last 4yrs are coming to an end are proof enough.

We wait and watch with glad anticipation. The change many of us have been waiting for has finally arrived. Bring it on!

Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Vaccine, Vaccine, Vaccine (CoronaVirus - The Return!)

"Vaccine Vaccine Vaccine. Simple. Elegant. Seemingly impossible to imagine at this difficult and frustrating moment in time".

...this was wayyyyy (seems it no?) back in May...has anything changed? Wellll...No. We now know a little more about the Virus but still have no easy solution to stopping it. We now have some more expertise on how to treat it, yet deaths continue to rise. We now know how to cease its exponential spread, yet you would think people galavanting around the streets of Central London simply do not care, or somehow have missed the realms of 24hr-News coverage advice. Oh, and we still have an idiot in the White House.

Many questions of culture, civilisation, simple understanding and intelligence come to mind when witnessing some of the truly incredulous stupidity to be found throughout patches of society..not only in London but across the most cosmopolitan and seemingly advanced urban areas in the world. Talk of deploying the military in certain countries to ensure citizens adhere to restrictions and advice is testament to the inability of sections of the population to follow literally the simplest instructions - wash your hands, wear your mask...I mean come on..how hard is it really?

Honestly..with what has been on display throughout the various cities and towns across Europe and the US, it comes as no surprise the hard work and "sacrifices" (really?) made during lockdown earlier this year have had f-all effect on dealing with the Coronavirus spread...and..wait a minute..no Asia is not included in this..why you ask?..well because they are somehow more caring and cognisant of their own fellow inhabitants and apparently find it easier to listen to and follow simple, common sense recommendations and directions. Sure, they have not defeated Coronavirus and it will likely remain an issue that must be dealt with for many months to come, yet they have successfully stifled the spread and are seemingly fully on top of any outbreaks. 

Some will yell and decry that the vast difference in population numbers between countries like France, Spain and the likes of Singapore/Taiwan make for unreasonable comparisons...well I'm sorry..stick in there Japan, South Korea and...lest we forget, China(!)..and you simple cannot sit there with a straight face and deny that there is a HUGE difference in how our culture here deals with caring about others and even handling their own self-awareness and shame..yep that's the word..shame. People ought to be ashamed at how they have handled themselves in the last few weeks - desperately attempting to return to a full life of non-stop drinking and partying..sitting around without a care in the world as they cough and sneeze their way around Pavilion Rd..and generally ignoring (or forgetting..who knows?) the simplest rules and mechanisms for ensuring the containment of this pesky virulent foe. Forget watching children being allowed by their parents to run around the elderly as they try to walk peacefully and away from the crowds in parks and quiet pavements, it's dangerous enough just trying to walk and not have to breathe in the heavy exhaust of (totally oblivious) sweaty runners!...Keep 2 metres apart..it is NOT that difficult!

Would also have to reflect on the younger demographics of the urban areas. Translating to a worrying disregard for the elderly and vulnerable that happen to also share the same streets and terraces..at times my blood has boiled at the blatant disregard for the simplest of hygiene procedures - honestly...it is no surprise whatsoever that the apparently more hygienic cultures and those more respectful of the "whole" rather than the "individual" are making a better go of this entire dire situation. In Tokyo everyone wears a mask, no questions asked. And that was 20years ago. They practically Dettol the entire city three times a day..on any given Sunday..not washing your hands after the toilet or before eating, is akin to slitting-a-cute-little-puppy's-throat in front of a group of 3yr olds...and here...? Sad. Just sad. We should all act less selfishly, less moronic, less shameful and basically...be more Japanese. 

6 months have passed since the last analysis of this situation, and the same conclusion (literally word for word) remains...

"We will only return to normal when a full Covid-19 vaccine has been developed, tested AND widely distributed. Until then, sit back, listen to some more Deepak Chopra abundance meditations, read, Zoom/Hangout/Teamssss or whatever your eyes go googgly on first and enjoy this quieter time of life."

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

What Matters...

In these seemingly never-ending dark and difficult days, LIFE Matters.

This blog supports the peaceful and righteous protests in America, indeed around the world. The brutal and indisputable murder (a "hit" even?) of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police, has rightly sparked a renewed wave of rejection of endemic racism and the institutionalised corruption across the very authorities meant to instil confidence, protect and provide peace-of-mind for all citizens.

Of course, there is no place for the mindless violence and looting that has accompanied and morphed. Sure, it was to be expected - what with the levels of frustration and boredom created on the back of Covid-lockdown, the warm weather of long Summer's days, increasing frustration with "leaderships" and the visceral income inequality that has continued unabated. People do not need much encouragement to exacerbate those flames of the fire. People are also all too easily incorrectly encouraged to looting and wanton destruction by nefarious organisations - always keen and ready to exacerbate situations to their our ends.

No matter what the mitigating circumstances however, allowing a devolution of a morally water-tight and strong protest, does no favours for the long-term game. For true change and effective lasting legacies of uprisings, history has shown that firm principles and level-heads with strong, consistent and mainly peaceful messages, bring about the shifts in systemic prejudices required. Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela the epitome of such understanding - struggles there still ongoing but their initiation of the message echoes each day.

Unfortunately, Trump and his administration are quite good at taking advantage of these situations - rather like all scarily astute and manipulative historical tyrants.

Leadership is required on the part of the protesters. A lighting-rod and beacon for the grief and frustration of the crowds. Not necessarily one-person, a top-level consortium of voices perhaps, capable of articulating and enduring the harsh environment of hatred and seeing through the mist of anger to reach out a hand and seek solutions. No celebrities, no legacy leaders - fresh, honest and frank faces, open voices, innocent minds and souls, capable of forgiveness, cognisant of children's futures and generations needing to be hopeful and better than their own. Maybe then can true dialogue bring about enough (of course not all) shifts in attitudes to reach a critical mass and break through the walls of a sickening circle of racism.

Peaceful protest in the face of one man's photo-op requirements (tear-gassing crowds to disperse and make a route for one guy to waddle across a lawn with his sickeningly affirmative entourage) indicate difficult days to come. This is not exclusively an American issue. They might shout against it louder than most but these issues exist all around the world in various iterations - how this concludes may decide the shape of many global expressions of frustration to come.

Right now, the world watches on, wincing with every blow of the baton and cheering with every taking-of-the-knee. Let's hope this movement neither trips itself up by diluting its message through counter-productive aggression, nor is violently forced to fall-flat-on-its-face - that would be a dangerous position for us all.



Thursday, 14 May 2020

Three Magic Words...

Vaccine Vaccine Vaccine. Simple. Elegant. Seemingly impossible to imagine at this difficult and frustrating moment in time.

We will only return to normal when a full Covid-19 vaccine has been developed, tested AND widely distributed. Until then, sit back, listen to some more Deepak Chopra abundance meditations, read, Zoom/Hangout/Teamssss or whatever your eyes go googgly on first and enjoy this quieter time of life.

First there was shock, bewilderment, anger and then open acceptance. A couple of months in and a few wonderful books later (particularly enjoyed the beautifully apt "Gentleman In Moscow"), we have all rationalised and identified a path for ourselves out of this crisis. No matter what we say and do, we are all in the same boat from an economic perspective - simply because nothing can get to the way it "used to be" until the vaccine is available for everyone. Or are we indeed?

No. We aren't really, be honest. There will be boats and then there will be yachts. Worse, there will be larger-than-ever super yachts of inequality. The antibody tests will at minimum create more of a two-tier global system than anything else - the younger, "healthier" and more capable of travel (should that be "more allowed") across international borders, reaping the advantages of being mobile and apparently immune to either catching or spreading the disease.

The difficulty of this two-tier world will become more apparent as the months go by. The elites will feel more superior than ever. The masses and those that likely need to be freed from the constraints of global lockdowns, resigned to longer periods of impoverishment and a difficult path of return to gainful employment.

Global media has not done much to assuage these fears. In the US and other EU nations, the vitriol and ugly rhetoric has started to gain traction, opposing news networks provide different realities of what the world currently looks like, with very different and very dangerous forecasts of where it will go.

The markets for now seem not to care. Just. They seem to be slipping today (Thursday 14th May). With fear and fingers on the sell buttons all around, this may quickly turn into a rout. Most ammunition has been used in the "limitless" war the FED and others central banks have so far successfully waged against this combatant.

Meanwhile, green shoots of Private Equity Covid-19 recovery funds (as predicted here a few weeks back) continue to gather pace. Chances must be taken. Fears overcome. The woods have not been cleared as of yet but we shall smell the clean, fresh grass of unencumbered attractively-valued-portfolios and pipelines once more.

Stay calm, healthy and happy. Vaccine, Vaccine, Vaccine. Repeat slowly and calmly with each breath. It will happen. As per our elegant protagonist in situ within Moscow's Metropole Hotel, after a delicious meal and nightcap, we will meet in person again.








Thursday, 2 April 2020

Humanity - Locked Down but NOT Knocked Out


Humanity is a fickle companion, no? We cling to its most beautiful and admirable qualities - community, society, knowledge and thirst for development and all that, when purpose serves, only to turn on it within a flash or a wobble to our sensitivities.

Whilst it is certainly "human" to panic in the face of an unknown terror and lose certain civil liberties and senses in one fell swoop, it most certainly is not OK to witness the rash of idiocy and ignorant resentment a large swathe of global citizens currently display. Will not bore you with the usual repetition of such actions here, we all know what - and whom - we are talking about..every City around the world has these people.  

We will prevail. We must prevail. There is no other option but to come together and defeat this virus enemy. For now, it would appear we are in the acceptance phase of the psychological rollercoaster the entire globe has gone through. There will be more phases, not all good, yet we are not left with any other option but to overcome.

A few interesting observations of the last couple of weeks and forecasts of what is yet to come...(coming soon...heading out for my state mandated exercise now...only 36yrs after Orwell predicated such a scenario..close)

Monday, 9 March 2020

Covefey-19!

Here we go again..all those with dry powder are set to become (even) richer by 2025 (read; the titans of US PE..oh..and Warren Buffet's $128bn..lest we also forget Apple's $220bn..what about lucky Jeff with his own $100bn arsenal)

Did capitalism's supposed best representation and supporter somehow know this was coming..sending a private message out to his friends in the form of "Covid19" which somehow was auto-corrected "Covefey". Can picture it now, after a couple of Big Macs and one too many Diet Cokes..he reaches over at 3am for his trusty device..no, not that one, come on people!...and says.."Hey Siri..send a message to those suck-ups on Wall Street..group name..Dark Nights".

Hmmm..nothing surprises me about "The President" - not since the day he claimed "Ginaahh" was an easy negotiating partner..really?..how's that going for you buddy?

Markets are finally reacting as they would have been well to do over three months ago. Complacency has given way to capitulation. As if almost 12yrs of rising markets had numbed those that should have known better and remember, combined with likely 70% of the financial workforce being somewhere between 28-32yrs old and hence probably never witness to a severe downmarket. Recipe for a disaster - hold on for the ride!

However, we have been here before. We will prevail. Markets will return to record levels. The true winners will be those PE titans capable of purchasing practically any asset they so desire. The 2020 PE Vintage will likely go down in history much like the Lafites and Cheval Blancs of the legendary '82 crop...incredible and only for the rich.



Monday, 1 October 2018

Trading the War

Trading the War - Monday 1st October 2018

There is nothing worse than watching someone cause insufferable pain to their own body. The sheer trauma and experience of what one must be going through to ensure self-immolation satisfies the end result, must be so excruciating, that any alternative simply provides a lesser exit outcome, compensated only by the short-term "relief" of whatever resulting pain is replicated in another part of the body. Is there any other so saddening definition of desperation? One must surely feel for such an individual.

Or perhaps not...if that individual happens to be sat in an over-sized-leather-bound (somehow still not a Golden-Throne, for now) reclining chair in the Oval Office? That person is fulfilling a number of election promises to the US people, or someone else - hmm...please tell us already Mueller..stop teasing - with little regard for the incoming pain and suffering.

Shiller’s Irrational Exuberance dictated the ostentatious display of market wealth that would result in disaster back in the mid 00’s. Now, we have all but forgotten those days of “austerity” and had nothing but rapid growth and social-media friendly-super-sized-ostentatious spending, as well as accumulation of wealth - personally I blame the instagrammers and their enablers (read: advertising companies), those that know the cost of only "aspirational items" they probably cannot even correctly pronounce and nothing in between. 

Back to the pain - What must one be experiencing to decide it is easier to cut their nose rather than alleviate the actual problem? Given the latest salvo in the Trump-Trade-Tirade (this guy is amazing isn’t he?) there must be some serious pain being endured across the White House as we speak.

I am more interested in attempting to comprehend recent global economic necessities - China/US trade wars, tariffs, EU rate-freezes, market-IPO mania, the death of regulators, Gold miners hugging one another (do they know something we don't?), Oil acting squarely in the face of fundamentals (what's new)...even China moving to ensuring they elicit the next World War by doing what Saddam Hussein failed to do in 2003 and launch their own oil trading based in Renminbi. What about emerging markets..as the US increases rates, will anyone still want to invest in riskier jurisdictions or will we simply leave it once and for all to the Chinese, again. Will OBOR really flatten Pakistan into a nuclear-puddle of debt disaster or does the US realise it is almost too late and make up for lost time..perhaps they are slightly occupied attempting to kick-off the GCC conflict by stoking the reluctant Iranians into a confrontation with the might of US-military massively building itself-up on their doorstep in the guide of "arms sales" to Saudi+UAE. As ever, we are confronted with nothing but questions, all of which will eventually be answered, whether with discussion or aggression is the only main concern.

The reason I stopped writing was that my soul was quite literally shattered after Brexit and the Trump election victory - I know, I know..it was all “written on the wall” and we are experiencing a strong resurgence of nationalism with a sign of the times..blah…blah..but come on..where is the rationality of human logic and goodness? Have we learnt nothing from the last 6,000yrs of violence and hardship? Is humanity truly destined to continue to inflict pain on itself? Is Man as violent as we deep down believe, or are we capable of change and development? 

I really have no answers to these profound questions..and I apologise for the large number of question marks. Perhaps a sign of my exasperation and helplessness. When reading through my “blog” I am even shocked at the gradual erosion of optimism and an overriding belief in human goodness in less than a decade of writing. Are adults always doomed to pessimism? Oops, just did the question mark thing again, really sorry.

We once thought Martin Luther King (the 50th anniversary of his assassination passed earlier this year in April, he was only 39..39..most people have not even begun to fully mature before their 40th bdays) had all the answers, that we had finally succumbed at long-last to a pure, white and shining goodness within our very beings, eliciting desires of passive freedom and loving - borrowing heavily on the Zionist tales of freedom and escape from evil captors (the Jews being freed from the Pharaohs) - what have we achieved since then? False prophets abound, Twitter Trolls and Cambridge Analytica now rule supreme. Manipulation, deceit, privacy infringement, fabrication - oh how sad that we are accurately living in an Orwellian nightmare. Probably worse in fact. Technology has enslaved us. Similar to purchasing a pair of jeans in 1982 and awaiting its fashion revival (cyclicality is truly conveyed throughout nature and replicated by all within the animal kingdom) not having ever been on Facebook once saw me ostracised as a pariah and now lauded as some sort of foresight induced genius - able to understand the deeply concerning machinations of a globally connected US CIA fact book - see, I told you soooooo people! 

A presaging narrative penned by George Friedman back in 2009 (The Next 100years) has proven quite accurate with a number of its fore-tellings - none less so than Russia's renewed regional muscle-flexing, the rise of global populism, demise of oil-producing states and their politics due to US fracking etc., however it certainly feels that media pundits and a large number of “experts” are lost at sea - with little or no defining sense of the next 5yrs. Is that why they focus on frivolous matters and seem to report more gleefully the latest moves of Strictly/Dancing with the Stars - we're transatlantic darlings - happier to tussle over the immediacy of breaking news concerning butt-pinchers, anthem kneelers, lip-pouters, IOS release issues and of course, of courrrrseee, the all-important endless digestion of the real leaders in 2018...the #taggers. 
Let's hurry up, get through the mid-terms, move swiftly passed the Christmas festive season and reach the end of this year intact. Trump-willing.
Hani