Mother Nature isn’t joking around…

Yesterday I made a fairly bold statement stating that I believed we are on the cusp of a recession. Today I am going to point out some of the things that may shape global policies beyond economy.

Simply put its Mother Nature, Naturomics, maybe somebody coined that phrase before me – who knows, what I’m trying to say though is that nature will increasingly have an impact on world economies. The weather systems and ecosystems of the world were in state of stasis for a long time and now we have disrupted the whole thing, derailed a system that worked prefectly well for millenia. The price?

(recent storms in california)

Well, take California (my original home state), during the autumn they had the worst fires on record in a long long time, was the sun particularly hot because we’ve melted away all the ozone? was there no rain because of global warming? were the winds that drove it somehow higher due to shifts in weather patterns being caused by humans? I’m no scientist, so I can only ponder. Then …

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Mother Nature isn't joking around…

Yesterday I made a fairly bold statement stating that I believed we are on the cusp of a recession. Today I am going to point out some of the things that may shape global policies beyond economy.

Simply put its Mother Nature, Naturomics, maybe somebody coined that phrase before me – who knows, what I’m trying to say though is that nature will increasingly have an impact on world economies. The weather systems and ecosystems of the world were in state of stasis for a long time and now we have disrupted the whole thing, derailed a system that worked prefectly well for millenia. The price?

(recent storms in california)

Well, take California (my original home state), during the autumn they had the worst fires on record in a long long time, was the sun particularly hot because we’ve melted away all the ozone? was there no rain because of global warming? were the winds that drove it somehow higher due to shifts in weather patterns being caused by humans? I’m no scientist, so I can only ponder. Then …

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One prediction you don’t want to hear for 2008

I want to make a quick prediction for 2008. It will be (contrary to what everybody else in this industry says) that the property market is going to fall further and the mortgage mess is far from over. My whole living revolves around property so I don’t say this lightly, but it kills me when estate agents and the like keep saying that it will be o.k. when that is clearly not the case, this is a time where you need to be tuned and ideally experienced in order to gain from it.

Remember: when markets almost as much money can be made, in the same way you can buy then sell a share you can also sell and then buy, things moving downwards doesn’t spell disaster or the end of the world as we know it, it just requires looking at the market and being honest with your view, and it means that you may have to work a little harder for the same gain or move away from certain things altogether.

I spoke to a friend of mine …

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One prediction you don't want to hear for 2008

I want to make a quick prediction for 2008. It will be (contrary to what everybody else in this industry says) that the property market is going to fall further and the mortgage mess is far from over. My whole living revolves around property so I don’t say this lightly, but it kills me when estate agents and the like keep saying that it will be o.k. when that is clearly not the case, this is a time where you need to be tuned and ideally experienced in order to gain from it.

Remember: when markets almost as much money can be made, in the same way you can buy then sell a share you can also sell and then buy, things moving downwards doesn’t spell disaster or the end of the world as we know it, it just requires looking at the market and being honest with your view, and it means that you may have to work a little harder for the same gain or move away from certain things altogether.

I spoke to a friend of mine …

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Mortgage Fraud. A story of collusion and a closer look at Thomas Byrne and Michael Lynn

Michael Lynn is making headlines, for ripping off the banks, to the tune of fifty million euro! yes, thats €50,000,000!!! What an astronomical rip-off! Not even the Northern Bank robbers got away with that much, and more to the point Michael Lynn will either not face jail, or go to an open prison or some other shamble that is meant to represent ‘imprisonment’. The fact is that crime does actually pay, especially white collar crime.

I have to say ‘hats off’ to Mr. Lynn though… I mean, how the hell did he pull that off? My first suspicion is that part of the way he did it was bank greed, I know what most people have to go through in order to secure finance, there is no way of lying your way through it, however, some people are ‘special’ clients, and I don’t mean they catch a short bus. They get treated differently, endless lines of credit, think Nick Leeson, think Barings Bank (although he was a trader not a borrower).

Now we hear that Michael Lynn is a fugitive. …

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Obama wins Iowa caucus.

I take an active interest in American politics, and their economy, because so much of what happens there affects us and because I’m half American too. Born in Los Angeles and lived here and there including three years in Chicago which is where I first heard of Barack Obama, an inspirational and highly intelligent politician.

It is on the basis that several months ago I made the first political donation of my life, and it was to his campaign. Naturally I was absolutely delighted to see him win the Iowa caucus. The Iowa caucus is considered to be an early indicator of who will gain the nomination of their political party. Sometimes the losers win out, Bill Clinton (my favourite president since George Washington) only got 2% in the Iowa caucus in 1992.

However, only once since 1974 has the winner of the Iowa caucus actually won the election and that was George Bush, although he didn’t really win the election so I don’t know if it counts or not. Hopefully the next president won’t be a half-witted hillbilly …

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Financial Highlights / Lowlights of 2007

Last year was a market full of ‘surprises’ and here is my list:

1. Affecting my own livlihood the most was the credit crunch. It spread from the US to the Eurozone Australia and then on to Asia.

2. The sub-prime fiasco, and I don’t use the word ‘fiasco’ sparingly – on that note I would ask banks to stop inventing things like SIV’s because it was the inability to value them correctly and the subsequent failures of same which kick started the whole thing. The sub-prime mess hit everything from wall street to London, here, there, everywhere and it even raised rates for all new mortgages in Ireland because the Euribor sat at 6 year high and refuses to drop as far as the ECB had hoped with the latest cash injection, it went from almost 5% to (todays) 3 month money price of 4.64%…. are we getting value for our billions? Does it even matter any more? The fact of the matter is that the likes of Citibank should have its whole board resign and they should have …

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Expect more inflation as Oil Reaches $100

Inflation… commodities bull run is not finished by a long shot! the upsurge in prices of the basic things that we all need is going to cause base level inflation to rise, the kind that could upset China and India’s growth as the things they manufacture become more expensive to make, however the market doesn’t embrace increased end user prices as the are suffering already from the same inflation.

For Oil to hit $100 a barrel is something that people used to joke about, today its real. There is upset in too many of the worlds oil producing regions. Nigeria has some of the best oil but they also have some of the best examples of abuse in human rights (read the story of Ken Siro Wiwa) and there are rebels out there fighting agains the way oil profits are distributed they are called ‘MEND’ or Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta.

Here is something to think about, not a consipracy theory so much as a novel observation: What if it serves the Oil companies to have such …

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Goodbye Mervyn Percival.

Mervyn Percival passed away just before Christmas. He was the Chairman and founder of Cornmarket, one of the countries leading Brokerages and a powerhouse in the market which he built from nothing.

I met Mervyn at a barbeque in St. Andrews in Malahide about five years ago, and it was in speaking to him that I was first turned onto brokerage as opposed to direct sales which is what I had done up until that point. He was part of the inspiration for me in being part of a start up brokerage, and my own father (r.i.p.) also cited him as one of the main success stories of people he knew in the finance game.

His funeral packed the church and the crowds were out the door of St. Andrews and almost onto the road, he was obviosly a hugely popular man and will be sorely missed by many, of the attendees that I knew there were many locals as well as a veritable who’s who in the financial industry with CEO’s of companies like PermanentTsb showing their respect to …

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ECB release half a Trillion just in case…

The ECB released a further 500 billion, Bank of England 10 billion and the Fed 20 billion This was done as a follow on the the USA’s liquid injection rather than rate cut, the idea is to lower interbank rates, increase liquidity and at the same time not promote inflation.

Thankfully and historically we are seeing a trend here. The Fed, ECB, Canadian Central Bank, Bank of England and the Swiss Central Bank all acted in unison, traditionally this was not the case and its great to see that internationally we can start acting in a global way in a global world. Prior to this we acted in a national way in a global world, central banks didn’t refer to eachother before making a move.

All the banks with the qualifying collateral could buy from the ECB at 4.21% which is what the old Euribor was, this will mean that the people selling from euribor rates will only be able to sell to institutions which don’t qualify for this money, it may also mean that the people who are most …

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