20120813-070208.jpgGood morning

The headlines:

  1. The doom and gloom of Britain.

    Link: the pessimism of the King.

    Bank of England governor Mervyn King has continued to be less-than-upbeat about the Euro crisis and the UK outlook and the need for reforms in the banking sector.

    But then he congratulated London on its Olympic Games success and told the banking sector that “they could learn a thing or two about fair play from the Olympic movement”.

    Now he must mean being more like those Chinese badmington players that got expelled for “not playing their best” in order to proceed to the finals without facing their fellow countrymen in the semis. Because “fair play” in the Olympics does not extend to Usain Bolt slowing down so that everyone crosses the line together.

    No. The Olympic Games are pure capitalism. The rules are biased in favour of those blessed by birth and funding. And we only celebrate the winners.

    So making longterm economic success dependent upon “reforming our banking system so that banks focus less on making money in the short term, and more on building businesses to serve their customers” is entirely the opposite of the Olympic spirit. Because then the rules would allow anyone to compete if they wanted, and we’d all walk away with a bar of chocolate and a participation certificate, and no one would watch it because it’d all be too boring for TV.

    What King is suggesting, when you really think about it, is pure Communism. Which isn’t a bad thing. It’s just, you know, more boring.

  2. The Catholic running-mate.

    Link: Welcome, Paul Ryan.

    Mitt Romney announced a running mate. And he’s the Catholic gentleman that followed his “Catholic principles” with every suggested budget that he’s put forward as head of the House Budget Committee.

    Of course, according to the US Catholic Bishops, his principles aren’t really too Catholic. But that’s just being semantic.

    In the linked article, there’s lots of conflict with Obama over medicare and budgets and pithy phrases like “That is not class envy. That is math”.

    Who else is excited for the election campaign?!

    For more about Ryan and less about his conflict with Obama, you should read this.

  3. SARS chases Christo Wiese for R2 billion.

    Link: penalties.

    Mr Shoprite apparently owes R1 billion in tax. And then R1 billion in penalties and interest. So a total of around $247 million. Mr Wiese denies it.

    It really does sound like the answer to a bit of a budget shortfall. Chase the really wealthy for tax evasion.

  4. Facebook’s new share trades coming up this week.

    Link: the lifting of the insider share ban.

    Goldman Sachs and Co are soon going to be able to trade their shares from the Facebook IPO. Currently, there are around 500 million shares actively trading. Once all the insider share trading bans are lifted (usually applied to the supporters/underwriters of the IPO that purchase a portion of the shares initially), there should be a further 1.9 billion shares in active trade.

    That’s also called “quadrupling”.

    There are successive bans that will lift on various shareholders starting on Thursday with Goldman and Microsoft and Accel Partners. Then bans of trading for other employees and Markie Z will start to lift at later dates, with the final ban lifting in May 2013.

    We’re waiting to see if there will be a giant sell-off when those bans are lifted. Because the FB price is low enough before the market gets flooded with volume.

  5. Japan increases its sales tax.

    Link: for the first time in 15 years.

    Doubled from 5% to 10%. Lots of people protested. I can’t tell if it’s because they don’t like paying taxes or if they think that this will throw the country back into deflation.

That’s all for now.

Have a good day.