Good morning

The headlines:

  1. It’s all about to crash.

    Link: Marc Faber: contrarian prophet of doom.

    Marc Faber is a famous contrarian investor (sometimes, joining the business world is like joining a cult – you suddenly hear about these people who are so “famous” and “wise” and “how could you not know them, dude?”).

    And he is also making calls about the end being nigh for stock markets, and expressing general excitement for the bargains that he will be finding.

    His logic is as follows:

    – Central banks are printing money.

    – Money flows to some sectors (ie. investors) before others (ie. the masses).

    – In this case, it flowed to equities first.

    – And “I believe that markets will punish central banks at some stage through an accident”.

    My favourite line:

    “I love this market because the higher it goes, the more likely we will have a nice crash, a big time crash.”

    The great thing about this type of prediction is that you’re always right…eventually. It’s like saying “that man will die”. The most important part (“when”) is missing.

  2. The 10 best-paid jobs, “no bachelors required”.

    Link: Marketwatch is actually the Huffington Post, I’m convinced. 

    So if you haven’t got a bachelors degree, all these careers apparently don’t require further education and earn six-figure salaries: air-traffic controllers, radiation therapists, dental hygienists, nuclear medicine technologists, nuclear technicians, registered nurses, and aerospace engineering and operations technicians.

    Firstly – nurses?!

    Secondly – NUCLEAR and AEROSPACE workers?

    I kind of feel like this article was a little poorly researched. And/or geographically limited (to the United States?).

    But as to the good salary part, it seems to me that almost all these jobs have a high degree of danger attached. And/or really bad hours. Which (to me) seems like the best explanation for higher salaries.

  3. China’s manufacturing.

    Link: no longer in recession.

    China’s PMI (Purchasing Managers Index) is no longer indicating that Chinese manufacturing is contracting*.

    Hmmm. I think that Beijing pollution levels have been indicating that as well – for almost all of last month.

    *Confession: the PMI for December also indicated that – but I missed it owing to being generally on holiday.

  4. Deutsche Bank is astonishing.

    Link: I laughed out loud.

    Deutsche Bank announced some grand losses (€2.2 billion) for the fourth quarter of 2012 (here is the BBC version of that announcement).

    However, the exciting part is that Deutsche is using the losses to boost their compliance with international capital requirements. The link attached to this section is an article by Matt Levine from Dealbreaker**, who tears that argument apart in a way that I didn’t entirely understand, but enjoyed anyway.

    The basic summary: Deutsche Bank wrote off assets that required them to have higher reserves of capital; so by taking the losses on those assets upfront, their capital requirements have dropped. That, and they have amended their computer programming, and moved €28 billion of assets into non-core operating units under a process of “portfolio optimization”.


    **Who is awesomely sharp.

That’s all for now.

Have a good day.