Good morning

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The headlines:

  1. Swap rates suggest 0% interest rates in the States until 2015.

    Link: let’s look at the swap curve.

    Wrote about it here.


  2. The sudden drop in US consumer credit.

    Link: some of the reasoning here, I would question.

    Consumer borrowing “unexpectedly decreased” in July by $3.28 billion. After the median result of a survey of bloomberg economists** expected an increase of $9.2 billion.

    According to the report, some economists suggest that this may be a result of people’s fears around the fiscal cliff and their tax situation. I would personally question how likely it is that the majority of borrowers have grasped the full implications of a fiscal cliff. Which is very confusing. And it seems to me that the Average American is more concerned with saving the sanctity of marriage by eating at Chik-Fil-A***.

    Is it maybe because people have realised that there’s enough job loss around them to make them think twice about spending as much?

    **Admittedly, I am very very sceptical of these surveys. “Median” can be such a misleading version of “average”. I’m just not sure that there’s enough information given about the survey for it to be useful.

    ***I am continually amazed that this takes up so much time. Marriage sanctity is an American farce. For example, the American twitter trend this morning was “#EmbarassYourBestFriend”. Where the American twitterverse posted a large number of pictures of their BEST FRIENDS in all manner of intoxicated and sexual disadvantage. To go from there to “marriage is sacred” seems like mass delusion.

  3. South Africa’s AMCU to join Marikana peace talks.

    Link: just arrest them.

    Over the weekend, there was talk of a Peace Accord between Lonmin and NUM (National Union of Mineworkers) and AMCU (Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union) and various other interested parties. AMCU, the source of all this nonsense****, refused to sign the peace accord. But AMCU president, Joseph Mathunjwa, has said that AMCU will attend wage negotiation talks.

    The Lonmin strike, which was started as a stand-off between rival unions NUM and AMCU, has become a global platinum crisis after causing 44 deaths and almost a month of no-production.

    ****I realise that I risk my health with that observation.

  4. Japan is buying islands.

    Link: a sovereignty dispute.

    Nothing like antagonising China first thing in the morning.

  5. The disappearance of a president-in-waiting.

    Link: Where in the world is Xi Jinping?

    No one seems to know where the current Chinese vice-president is. He’s cancelled meetings and photoshoots with various important people like Hilary Clinton and some heads of state. With no reason. And no one has seen him for some time now.

    And he’s meant to be taking over the Presidential role later this year.

    The rumour is back pain and/or assassination. It is, literally and figuratively, all Chinese to me.

That’s all for now.

Have a good day.