Good morning

The headlines:

  1. China buys Japanese water rights.

    Link: Hokkaido.

    no regulation of foreign land ownership + low land prices + incomplete land registry + property rights including water rights + no real issues with selling forest + Chinese water crisis = Japan real estate boom in strange places.

    According to Bloomberg, the big spike is in Hokkaido, the northern water-rich island that supplies 20% of Japan’s food. Purchases in Hokkaido account for 90% of the purchases of raw forest. And China leads the purchases.

    And because of a loophole that allows purchases of non-agricultural land to be reported post the fact, “Forests with abundant water resources are being bought and sold,” according to a member of the Hokkaido prefecture.

    This comes as the UN warns that two thirds of the world will be “water stressed” by the year after next. That’s in 14 months time.

    The rape of Japan?

  2. Apple and Intel to break up?

    Link: the chips are down.

    Apple is apparently investigating a new chip supplier for its lap tops. Something more like the chips that we’re using on our iPhones and iPads. Intel shareholders were non-plussed, with the Intel share price remaining relatively constant.

    Apple’s share price. Well Apple’s share price still looks like this:

    Which compares quite badly (since last week) to Hon Hai, the Foxconn holding company:

    I dare them to find another “Taiwanese” manufacturer to make chips of Apple’s own design…

  3. US Elections.

    Link: yes, they’re today.

    It’s not really news yet.

  4. Zimbabwe gives Barclays an ultimatum.

    Link: Buy treasury bills or NCDs. That’s it.

    The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is going to attempt to sell another $30 million worth of 91 day treasury bills today.

    And, um, Tendai Biti is telling the banks, including Barclays, that this is their last chance to get involved. And I quote:

    “I am giving the banks sector the last chance to fully support the Treasure bills. If they don’t support it, I will issue NCDs and that’s it”.

    NCDs are Negotiable Certificates of Deposit. Basically, a call deposit.

    Some questions: why is Tendai Biti, the Minister of Finance, involving himself in the province of the Reserve Bank? Surely this should be the soap-box of the Governor of the Reserve Bank? It doesn’t bode well.

    Secondly – what kind of a threat is “T-bills or NCDs”? I feel like I missed something – will the banks be forced to buy NCDs? Then why not force them to buy T-bills?

    Either way – I feel where Tendai is coming from. As he says: “There is so much demand against the state and it’s not possible to meet these demands. The economy is a crumb against the developmental needs of the country.” Without development, there is no growing economy to tax. Something must give.

That’s all for now.

Have a good day.