Op Ed : Political Transitions Everywhere and Bread and Butter Banking

John’s Dog Lennon or Ringo.

Bernie wrote a piece last week on the revival of bread and butter banking, I like to call it. Regional banks are making a come back.

UBS is cutting 10,000 jobs, Reuters reported this morning. Citigroup has changed a CEO. WSJ reports “Frustrated by Wall Street, more investment bankers are quitting – with no job lined up“.

Occupy Wallstreet rejoice. The Berlin wall is crumbling. Banks are shrinking and shedding jobs as well as customers.

I emphatise whole heartedly with all the events happening around me. Just last week was a revelation that another dozen of so traders, albeit mostly junior ones, have been suspended for misdemeanour; a young broker girl passed off tragically and; Obama regains his lead over Romney.

Political transitions are happening all around us, starting with China, giving NY Times the audacity to publish a exposé on Wen Jiabao’s family wealth.

NYTimesglobal Family of Wen Jiabao holds a hidden fortune in China

Well, someone told me, off the record, that a Chinese mainlander had just purchased 10 stories of a new development in a prime area of Singapore just very recently and that half the Sentosa bungalows have been snapped up by anxious politically connected Malaysian families (unverified).

Malaysia, too, has an election coming soon with the Prime Minister hinting at November or early 2013. And the Vietnamese Prime Minister just came out to admit he mismanaged the economy after a close friend of his was arrested and the local property bubble threatens to explode.

Vietnam banker’s arrest spooks markets
Vietnam is getting crushed by a property bubble

Elsewhere, Argentina is back on brink of collapse with a US court ruling that could spark a debt exodus. Japan has a JGB crisis on her hands.

I am overwhelmed. I do not blame anyone who is apathetic these days. Who has the energy to cope with all this uncertainty ?

One way I choose to equate all this news is by simple association, like I have written about in the past.


Uncertainty is no good. It creates a herd mentality.

Transitions are bad in the short term as power bases shift and systems change. And beneficiaries of the old system bail out into Singapore condos and bungalows.

There is no good or bad about it. It just is. And it is outside our sphere of control even though we are part of the social gestalt on which the future will be based upon.

The past 2 weeks have been relatively tranquil in the marketplace and optimism is returning. The optimism that has been the fuel for human evolution and domination.

Even as I feel deep sorrow for the 5th Tibetan self immolation this week, I will not develop extraordinary zest for living. The next decade will be a slow grind.

At present, I do not have a single stock in my portfolio, or bond for that matter. Because, like the countries out there and this country here, I am going through a transition as well, mentally and personally. To find a euphemistic way to experience the crazy days ahead and embrace changes .

Not for Sale.