Monday, March 04, 2013

Financial Sarcasm Roundup for 03/04/13

I must state up front that the federal sequester has not impacted the operations of Alfidi Capital.  This firm doesn't run on government largess.  It runs on my limitless supply of genius.

The sequester happened because the consequences for the U.S. government's finances and the economy were minimal, despite lots of scary rhetoric.  The potential shutdown of the government is more serious, and that's why the negotiations in Washington are more likely to get a deal.  No one in D.C. wants to see the interest costs for new debt jacked up.  The U.S.-based credit rating agencies are sufficiently deterred from cutting the nation's sovereign credit rating but the bond market won't be fooled for long.

Professional fund managers are losing their heads again.  The slowing Chinese economy is spooking hedge fund managers into cutting their exposure to commodity derivatives.  Okey-dokey, derivatives are one thing but hedge funds have no business fiddling with those anyway.  IMHO only industrial end-users are knowledgeable enough about demand for stuff to use hedges.  Commodity prices will indeed suffer as the global recession becomes obvious but the low-cost commodity producers left standing will trade at bargain valuations.

Corporate earnings are up while hiring stays down.  Executive greed for more bonuses isn't the only reason.  American workers are less productive and more expensive than workers in emerging economies.  If you don't believe me, just look around your own office.  Observe the room full of obese slobs goofing off on the Internet instead of making things happen.  Oh yeah, let's not forget how Obamacare has made hiring one full time employee more expensive and troublesome than engaging a temp firm to bring in two or three part-time employees.

Portuguese demonstrators don't like living within their means.  Gee, that's too bad.  They won't like hyperinflation either but that's what they'll get after they're kicked out of the eurozone.  The U.S. will see a lot of this self-pitying and indignation eventually.  It will be fun for me to watch because I'll be able to buy things that stupid people can't afford anymore.

Here's some advice for U.S. government workers based on the headlines above.  Don't feel sorry for yourselves because Uncle Sam is cutting your pay by 20%.  Don't take to the streets like the Portuguese and complain about subsidies that will be permanently gone.  Instead, go learn some marketable skills that have nothing to do with your present job pushing papers around.  Real skill at making real things will come in handy once our society turns off many of the subsidies it can no longer sustain.  Start by taking classes at General Assembly and then market your project work online.  I know I'm talking to human beings here, so asking people to get off the stoop and take charge of their lives might be a waste of effort.  Maybe one or two people out of a few million will get the message.