Thursday 10 November 2016

Wat Da Trump?!

Wat Da Trump just happened? a sentence (take a deep breath)...
A global wave of populist sentiment and media fuelled inaccuracies - obsessed with all that is frivolous, sensationalist, racist, two-faced, opportunistic and down-right false - backed by a King of media manipulation with an (admittedly) genius awareness of prevailing aforementioned popular feelings, destroyed all comers with a malicious wave of unrelenting simple-minded yet clearly effective and resonating one-liners..resulting in blocking out any true intelligent conversation and surging himself into the most coveted Western modern edifice of power, along with (some decent) family members. 

Wow, just WOW. The fear we would sleepwalk into a nightmare has happened in front of a watching and (much to blame) public confused between reality-TV and plain reality. 

There has already been much written to try and 'explain' what went wrong. Sorry..nothing went wrong. This was always the natural conclusion to the stupidity of allowing us to reach such a point from the primaries in the first place. Stoke a disassociated public with fiery rhetoric and...Trump becomes President-Elect. Incredible. I tried waking up several times whilst falling asleep in front of the bewildered and in-denial news coverage, only to find the nightmare hadn't changed and it wasn't all just a dream. Sheeezzz. 

Years of West Wing, House of Cards and a stream of celebrities playing the President appear to have numbed the perception of 'fit for office' not to mention the social-media infused blurring and downright destruction of any semblance of a line between cold-hard-political-reality and ludicrous ignorance-fuelled scaremongering. There is no one to blame but the supposed 'elitists' for not trying to nip it in the bud and kill off this hideous travesty of media manipulation. No amount of counter celebrity influence was able to help the desperately fumbling Hillary in the end. Trump had that one figured out from the start - HE was the biggest celebrity attraction around. 

Now what? Already Trump's acceptance speech expressed even his admittance that all he had been saying was just bluster. That's just great. After all that destruction and Pandora's Box of racism and intolerance irrevocably ripped open, now he wants to just forget about it and move on?? 

Well done Donald, well done. You've made it into office Tweeting your way to infamy amidst almost half the very population you now must placate.  Now they are marching against you in Chicago. You inherit a country sharply divided and a world misunderstanding what their misguided voyeuristic pleasure has now unleashed. 

We can only hope the famous checks and balances will prevail. It really won't be easy but Trump can still try to do the right thing - he may even stop grabbing for female genitalia and try getting a grip on a few of the numerous and onerous challenges he now faces. 

We are all watching and waiting. Exactly what he wanted, doesn't it seem? 

Tuesday 11 October 2016

(Half)-A Nation Grabbed by the P£$$y

(Half)-A Nation Grabbed by the P£$$y

What more can one say about the entirely embarrassing and frankly obscene, trashy, low-brow, reality-TV-like yet exceptionally popular and highly-viewed "drama" of the US Election?? Over the last 18mths, I here have been lost for words. I have been guilty of sitting back, reading and watching the events unfold, rather than make my own comments known through the medium of this ("so out of date maaaaan") blog.

Yes, social media is clearly the main culprit here, responsible for bringing us to this (inevitable?) incongruous match - of serious political choice that must be made and the totally cartoon-like choices to make it from. After our first (admirably intelligent and downright decent) black American President, some have taken it upon themselves to blindly support another "first" - the first woman to hold the highest office in the Free World, the first (and hopefully) last man to spout lies as if he were in a game-show that awarded points for lies-per-minute - jeeeeez, is this the best we have? Of course not..everyone knows that..but no one seemed to care for the first 12mths of this debacle despite numerous warnings and obvious signs of what was yet to come. 

Problem is - we (yes including the European audience) seem to WANT this. Our messed-up, lowest common denominator media these days is obsessed with tawdry, repugnant, easy and non-finicky issues. We DON'T want to sit and watch or listen to serious debate. Otherwise BBCRadio4 would be the most popular downloaded App and not SnapChat. You can blame the Kardashians, so-called "reality-stars" and a race to the bottom in media coverage as much as you like, yet the finger ultimately must be pointed at the youth and supposed not-so-youthful that lap this stuff up like a hungry kitten (yes, p£$$y pun totally intended). 

Truth is, Trump hasn't grabbed any random pretty-star-struck-little young thing, he's grabbed Americans by the P£$$Y!

In doing so, he has exposed their flaws for the world to see. China and Russia can't believe how lucky they are in seeing an apparent exporter of the great system of democratic capitalism self-destruct amidst a watching public. Most of Asia do not even understand what is going on. Sure, they are used to failings of their own political elite (think corrupt politicians in India etc) but they ultimately are able to choose between relatively sober leadership contenders. 

What we are witnessing is dangerous. It is dangerous that the myth of strength and superiority the US has enjoyed since the Second World War has been decimated in so base a fashion. Is this really what the culmination of the great system of Capitalism promises for all? A choice between two characters as shady and flawed as Trump and Hillary? Wow, what a wonderful thing to aspire to, isn't it?

This near-destruction of the "Capitalism Cloud" has almost happened numerous times before but the US system always recovered with some elegance and order - think Nixon post-Watergate and the coming together of the Senate and the Congress to fix it. Now though, even if Trump is defeated with a healthy majority by the less than wholesome (or believable) Hillary - the mess that is left will echo long into the future as the balance of power continues to shift away from US democracy and US capitalism, to whatever form MUST come in its place.

Although we say we would rather not, nor admit we always do, we continue to watch with fascination, only once in a while pausing to understand how worrying the real conclusion to this "show" will be.

Thursday 23 June 2016


BREMAIN loyal, decent, open and proud NOT Brexiting to shame and isolation.

When you find yourself out of class and in the playground, with kids you don't necessarily like, you stand your ground and make things better - that's what leaders and strong characters do - NOT run off and sit on your own in another playground, all alone like a weak, intolerant and ineffectual brat.

This is a vote about being decent, expressing pride, confidence and loyalty, whilst maintaining the smart option of a future choice rather than a short-term knee-jerk decision. Make changes from within, not hope and pray for changes on the fringes.  

We hope so complicated a decision, left in the hands of the people (there is a reason our great previous civilisations made decisions on behalf of the masses with representatives!) will be met with sanity and logic. Now is not the time to pander to demagogues and sensationalism. The immigration issue will come to pass, time always solves the deepest issues. Give the EU more time.

May we all BREMAIN for the sake of modern civilisation, peace and prosperity.

Monday 25 January 2016

Better late than...

...NEVER have the markets been so much fun.

Back in September, a number of highly motivated and historically prescient investment professionals this writer is lucky to know, were quite accurate in their market predictions, leading to my earlier post to "take it all off" - no Hillary, not please keep it all on.

There was one teeny bit wrong with that was a full quarter too soon. Anyone with short positions will have sweated out most of the pre-NYE celebrations! 2016 and things have moved with quite a vengeance since then however...from a collapse in the oil price to incredible volatility and now bear-market territory for Asia stock markets, European bourses and dramatic losses in blue-chip NYSE stocks, the heady days of Central Bank largesse are being exposed for their quick-fix issues.

The biggest political factor at play here is not Trump - as much as he wishes - but the speedy re-integration of the Iranian juggernaut. Iranian oil and other GCC wide implications will continue to ripple for much of 2016. Markets will continue to rely fully on monetary easing and a seismic shift in renewable energy, tech "sobberisation" and continued innovation in industry-changing robotics will keep us all on our toes.

Previous calamitous issues (ISIS, European asylum seekers etc.) will give way for increasingly dangerous currency pressures on US$-linked economies - Saudi, HK, beware that peg, plenty have been watching the "Big Short" and are coming for you! - incredible advances in drone-technology making us all even lazier thanks to at-home deliveries in minutes..but also (hopefully) humane and civilisation improving understandings in protecting our environment and finally fully utilising alternative forms of power generation. Oh..and watch space (literally) for where the next 20yrs of super-power muscle-flexing will be best expressed.

There is no doubt we will be surprised and amazed over the next 12mths...fingers crossed it won't be by "The Donald".