Monday, February 03, 2014

Financial Sarcasm Roundup for 02/03/14

I'm so glad US stocks are headed down.  This is more than just an opportunity to buy assets at reduced prices.  It's another big chance to throw my sarcasm in the face of bull shills who bought in at high prices.

The US and EU are promising economic aid to Ukraine.  I do not see the point of antagonizing Russia.  This risks a retaliation if Gazprom decides to jack up natural gas prices for its European customers.  Perhaps this intervention is some kind of revenge for Russia's ascension after the Syria chemical weapons controversy last year.  Ukrainians are perfectly capable of solving their own problems.  They key to understanding what's at stake is the Russian ethnic minority in the southeastern part of the country.  The southeast is Ukraine's most economically productive region with most of the country's arable farmland.  Ukraine's viability as a political entity is doubtful without control of that region.  The only silver lining is that unrest could potentially force more hot Ukrainian women to emigrate to the US and expand my available dating pool in San Francisco.

Corporations realize that the American middle class is weakening.  The class of middle income consumers is getting smaller and its disposable income is declining.  Enterprises are adjusting their business models to accommodate this change.  I've blogged before about how mid-market retailers are toast.  Extend this change to other brands.  We'll see more low-end restaurants with fast food dollar menus and more five-star venues for rich palates with fat wallets.  If the middle class ceases to exist, class warfare will be inevitable.  Most Americans don't see it coming.  The $35,000 leather hammock I saw in a high-end Union Square shop will end up in a hedge fund manager's office, or it will be looted by a rioting mob.  That linked article said hedge fund investors want a restaurant chain to spin off its high-end properties to isolate their performance.  I think those fund managers just don't want upscale chains associated with the same corporate parent as middle-income chains.  It really is about snobbery.

Politicians can't figure out how to fix Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  I've known how to fix those things all along.  I'd shut them down and stiff their creditors.  That would destroy the speculative investors who bought up their stock, counting on continued government lifelines.  I don't care at all.  The housing market can't reach a sustainable long-term equilibrium until every misguided government effort to support housing prices reaches a sunset.  These GSEs' continued existence tempts activists to use them to fund disastrous social justice experiments.  Landlords will have fits during hyperinflation if the GSEs impose national rent controls as conditions for securitizing mortgages on multi-unit properties.

There is so much to be sarcastic about in the world but I only have a limited number of waking hours during the day.  Others are welcome to pick up where I leave off.